The Champion

May/June 2008 , Page 44 

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Origins of the Organized Criminal Defense Bar: The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -- Part One

By Jack King

Editor’s Note: NACDL, started by a handful of defense lawyers in 1958, has always led the struggle to ensure justice and due process for all. In this issue, Jack King begins a three-part series tracing the roots of NACDL, an organization that has grown from 13 founding members to include nearly 13,000 members from every state and 30 nations. 

The 1950s foreshadowed the rise of individual rights and liberties. For its first 11 years, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers called itself the National Association of Defense Lawyers in Criminal Cases (NADLCC). It was formed in 1958 at the Drake Hotel (pictured above) in Chicago, immediately following a new program at Northwestern University Law School, the “Short Course for Defense Lawyers,” organized by Prof. Fred E. Inbau. The first annual meeting of NADLCC in 1959 featured presentations such as “Discovery Opportunities Available to the Defense,” “The Federal Exclusionary Rule,” and “Illegal Detentio

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