U.S. v. Ursery
Washington, DC (June 24, 1996) -- "I've never seen our nation's highest court do such an abrupt about-face," commented National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Robert Fogelnest today after reading the Supreme Court's dismaying decision in U.S. v. Ursery. "To anyone concerned about the growth of government power beyond constitutional limits, today may be the single saddest day in many terms," Fogelnest said.
Richard J. Troberman, co-chair of NACDL's Forfeiture Abuse Task Force and author of the defense bar's amicus curiae brief in the case, explained: "The Court's decisions in its last four terms have recognized that taking property from citizens because of alleged wrongdoing is punishment. Today all but one of the Justices are saying 'we never said that.'"
"It's unfortunate to see them abandon their own recent precedents and claim that their hands are tied by civil forfeiture law's ancient roots," Troberman commented. "As Justice Thomas recognized just two terms ago, modern forfeiture law 'differs not only in degree, but in kind,' from its historical ancestors," he added.
"This case is not about whether the government can both prosecute a person and take his property; the government has all the authority it needs to do both, as long as it does them in one criminal proceeding," Troberman explained. "This case is about the government going after people on several different fronts, making them defend themselves in multiple, separate proceedings. The Court today has given the government carte blanche to do just that."
"Only Justice Stevens, in his lone dissent, had the intellectual honesty to point out that Americans' Fifth Amendment protections from government overreaching have deeper roots than war-on-drugs statutes that make it easy for the government to take private property," he added.
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.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
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.
NACDL Communications Department
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.