Washington, DC (Feb. 22, 2018) – At its midwinter meeting, NACDL’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution Concerning Public Defender Selection.
"It is increasingly clear that there is a critical need to preserve the independence of public defenders, whether local, state, or federal and whether full-time defenders or private lawyers appointed via an assigned counsel system. This resolution addresses the question of independence as relates to the selection of public defense administrators," said NACDL President Elect Drew Findling. "Consistent with NACDL's principles and standards for public defense leadership set forth in the resolution, the Association is deeply concerned regarding the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors' selection for interim Public Defender and calls upon the Board to act quickly in recruiting and hiring a Public Defender who has a demonstrated commitment to and experience in delivering high quality, effective, and zealous advocacy on behalf of public defense clients. The Association further urges the Board to assure that the person placed in this leadership role be given the independence needed to assure that she or he works to support the needs of the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, its staff, and the clients entrusted to their care."
As explained in the resolution, independent and effective leadership of public defender offices and agencies is vital to assuring those accused receive the zealous and effective representation the Constitution requires. And those directly involved in the selection, retention, and removal of public defense leaders have a vital role to play in ensuring the independence of the defense function. Accordingly, the Association has officially endorsed the following principles and standards regarding the selection, retention, and removal of public defender system leadership:
- Public defense leadership, management, and operations should be independent and insulated from control by actors whose interests may be directly or indirectly adverse to the public defense function;
- Public defense leadership, management and operations should have a demonstrated commitment to and experience in (a) delivering high quality, effective, and zealous advocacy on behalf of public defense clients; (b) confronting, addressing, and working to eliminate racial disparity and bias in the criminal justice system; (c) promoting and supporting high standards in individual advocacy on behalf of clients and/or for the operation of public defense systems; and (d) Advocating for the public defense function within the relevant governance structure to secure necessary funding, staffing, resources, and organizational independence; and
- Those directly involved in the selection, retention, and removal of public defense leadership, management, and operations should be committed to the public defense function and should represent the diversity of the community served by the public defense provider.
To learn more about NACDL’s extensive work in the area of public defense, please visit www.nacdl.org/publicdefense.
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
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NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.
Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or email@example.com
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.