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Cathryn S. Crawford (Austin, TX)
Cathryn Crawford, who has represented indigent teenage and adult defendants in trial and appellate courts for close to twenty years, currently serves as counsel to clients on Texas’ death row in state and federal habeas proceedings. In addition to providing direct representation, Ms. Crawford acts as a consultant to attorneys representing youth across the country. Ms. Crawford served on the faculty of the Northwestern University School of Law for thirteen years. In addition to teaching various seminars and classes, she was a clinical professor and a staff attorney at Northwestern's Bluhm Legal Clinic, where she specialized in representing youth charged with serious offenses in criminal court. In 2007, Ms. Crawford took a leave from Northwestern to serve as the inaugural director of Juvenile Regional Services, a public defender organization charged with representing indigent youth charged in Orleans Parish Juvenile Delinquency Court. The following year, she took another leave to join the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, where she oversaw Models for Change, a multi-state juvenile justice reform initiative. She left Northwestern in 2011 to return to her native state of Texas. Ms. Crawford writes and lectures extensively on criminal and juvenile justice issues. She is on the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and has trained countless attorneys across the nation in trial skills and substantive areas. She is the editor of Promise Unfulfilled: Juvenile Justice in America, (Int'l. Debate Educ. Assn. Pr., June 2012). Ms. Crawford received her BA (cum laude) from the University of Texas at Dallas and her JD (cum laude) from Northwestern University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Texas and Illinois
Eric Davis (Houston, TX)
Eric J. Davis has been a practicing attorney since 1994 and accepted employment at the Harris County Public Defender’s Office in September of 2011. There Mr. Davis serves as an Assistant Public Defender in the Felony Trial Division. Mr. Davis is a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College where he honed his trial skills by learning from some of the best trial lawyers in the country. Following graduation, Mr. Davis was asked to join the staff of the college. He currently serves on the staff of the Trial Lawyers College and helps train lawyers from across the country. He has successfully defended numerous criminal cases in Federal and State Court, ranging from Capital Murder, to multiple defendant drug conspiracies, to misdemeanors. Mr. Davis has successfully defended multiple homicide cases where criminal defenses were at issue. Many of the clients that Mr. Davis represents have some form of mental health diagnosis. In 2007, when Mr. Davis was in private practice, he secured the acquittal of a defendant in a double homicide case where his client asserted self-defense. The prosecutor boasted prior to trial that there was no way his client could win. With the client’s approval, Davis rejected the prosecutor’s 40 year plea deal, fought the case at trial, obtained a “not guilty” verdict and secured his client’s freedom. Additionally, Mr. Davis secured the dismissal of charges against his client following a hung jury in a case where the state asserted certain limitations on the client’s right to self-defense. And since joining the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Davis has successfully defended multiple homicide cases where defenses were at issue. Several of those clients had mental illnesses. In 2013, Mr. Davis secured the acquittal of a client who asserted self-defense after being charged with shooting her husband in the back and in the back of the head. Additionally, Mr Davis has had multiple hung juries in cases where defenses were alleged. And a mentally ill client who was accused of murder, was convicted of a misdemeanor in a case where self-defense was asserted. In 2015, Mr. Davis tried a murder case with multiple defensive issue where it was alleged that Mr. Davis’ armed client provoked an encounter with an unarmed complainant. And although the jury rejected the claim of self-defense, the jury sentenced the client to 5 years in TDC. The client rejected a 45 year plea deal and went to trial. In 2006, Mr. Davis made national news and was featured in several stories printed in the Houston Chronicle for his work that exonerated a man who had been wrongfully imprisoned for over 18 years for an alleged sexual assault of a child. In 2003, the Texas State Legislature passed House Resolution 191 which commended Mr. Davis for his work as Special Counsel for the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. For the Commission, Mr. Davis was lead counsel in a case that removed a judge from office who was mistreating citizens by wrongfully jailing them and addressing them in an abusive manner in court. Handling the case from beginning to end, Mr. Davis was able to obtain an order that the Judge never be allowed to hold judicial office again.
Dr. Michael A. Fuller (Galveston, TX)
Dr. Michael Fuller serves as a faculty clinician and advisor for The Psychiatric Consultation and Liaison Service. He has been a faculty member with UTMB since 1989 and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. A native of Oklahoma, Dr. Fuller attended the U.S. Army Academy of Health Science eventually completing his premed education at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1980. He received his medical degree from UTMB in 1984 and then completed a two-year internship at the United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio. In 1986, Dr. Fuller returned to Galveston and UTMB for a four year psychiatry residency followed by a two-year fellowship in consultation-liaison services. As an associate clinical professor, Dr. Fuller advises residents, fellows and medical students in accurate, effective patient evaluation, treatment and referral. His expertise comes from years of experience with the Psychiatric Consultation and Liaison Service where he evaluates and treats hundreds of patients requiring immediate interventions during their hospitalization in any of the UTMB facilities or in the Emergency Department. Dr. Fuller also brings to psychiatry his vast knowledge of general medicine derived from his two years of providing instruction in the Family Medicine Department of UTMB. This enables him to easily incorporate or differentiate medical issues into his treatment decisions involving psychiatric interventions. His research activities have included investigation into the progression of AIDS encephalopathy and the effect of various medications shown to slow this process. Dr. Fuller has also participated in research and medication trials in an effort to better treat depression in AIDS patients and in trials aimed at treating Traumatic Stress Syndrome in combat injured soldiers. Dr. Fuller has given numerous lectures and seminars throughout Texas on several subjects including anxiety disorders, treatment of depressive disorders, psychiatric manifestations of AIDS, clinical hypnosis, Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder, emergency psychiatric interventions and substance abuse.
Brockton D. Hunter (Minneapolis, MN)
Brock Hunter is a criminal defense attorney who handles all types of criminal cases in the state and federal courts. Brock has served as the President and Legislative Chair for the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) and received its Special Achievement Award in 2009. Brock also received the 2011 Professional Excellence Award, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s “most prestigious award, in recognition of outstanding efforts to advance the legal profession and the administration of justice.” Brock has been annually selected by his peers as a “Rising Star” (2006 – 2009) and a “Superlawyer” (2011 – 2014). Brock is also a former U.S. Army Recon Scout who focuses his practice on defending psychologically injured veterans in the criminal courts and advocating for reforms in the way the justice system deals with them. Brock helped draft and lead passage of Minnesota’s Veterans Sentencing Mitigation Act, Minn. Stat. 609.115, Subd. 10., which was subsequently cited in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Porter v. McCollum, 130 S. Ct. 447, at 455, n.9 (2009), the Court’s first to address combat trauma in criminal sentencing. Brock has since helped pass similar veteran sentencing legislation in other states, has been called on to brief the Obama Presidential Transition Team, and has spoken to leadership of the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs on more effective ways to address troubled veterans who commit crimes. Brock has also trained thousands of attorneys, judges, law enforcement officers, and mental health professionals across the country on these same issues. Brock is the lead editor and co-author of the just-released book, The Attorney’s Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court. He is also the co-founder and President of the Veterans Defense Project – a non-profit dedicated to advocating and educating for veterans in the justice system.
Elizabeth Kelley (Spokane, WA)
Elizabeth Kelley is a criminal defense lawyer based in Spokane, Washington. She travels throughout the country working on cases involving people with mental illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities. She is serving her third term on the board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), chairs its Mental Health Committee, has chaired the Membership Committee, and is a Life Member. She has served on the Problem- Solving Courts Task Force and currently serves on the Body Camera Task Force. She has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee of The ARC’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability. In 2009 and 2014, she traveled to Liberia as part of a mission sponsored by the NACDL and the UN Commission on Drugs and Crime to train that country’s criminal defense bar. In 2013, she traveled to Cuba as part of a People-to-People delegation for lawyers and judges. In 2015, she led a legal delegation to London. In the summer of 2015, she served on a team of pro bono lawyers representing detained Central American families held at the South Texas Family Residential Center. She lectures across the U.S. on representing persons with mental disabilities, and frequently provides legal commentary for radio and television. Her book reviews regularly appear in The Federal Lawyer,.and she hosts two internet radio shows, one titled CelebrityCourt and the other, AuthorChats. She is a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance, RYT.
Prof. Michelle LaVigne (Madison, WI)
Michele LaVigne is a Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School where she teaches Criminal Procedure, Defense Functions, and Trial Advocacy. She is a former Wisconsin State Public Defender and longtime faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy. Prof. LaVigne has written and lectured extensively on the prevalence of language deficits among our clients and the behavioral, cognitive, social, psychological, and communicative ramifications. In her work, she has paid particular attention to the effects of these deficits on individuals facing charges in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Michael Laurence (San Francisco, CA)
Since 1987, Michael Laurence has provided representation to death row inmates throughout the country in a levels of state and federal courts. For seventeen years, he was the Executive Director of the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, a California Judicial Branch agency created in 1998 to provide representation to death-row inmates in state and federal habeas proceedings. He has represented death-row inmates in numerous evidentiary hearings and appeared in numerous cases before the California Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Laurence was counsel of record in class actions challenging lethal gas and lethal injection as methods of execution and the application of various portions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Mr. Laurence also was a member of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, which the California Senate created to examine the causes of wrongful convictions and to make recommendations to ensure the fair administration of criminal justice in California.
Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos (Ann Arbor, MI)
Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D. is a first generation American of Greek and Australian descent. After graduating from San Francisco State he studied science at the New School for Social Research. He has been a clinical and forensic psychologist for four decades. He trained in law with the Jesuits at the University of Detroit and has been a litigator for two decades. He is a member of the bar of New York, California, Michigan, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. He has been admitted to practice in many federal district courts as well as the Second, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh federal circuit courts of appeal. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. He is a senior partner at Lorandos Joshi, a litigation law firm which practices globally. He is a Thomson-Reuters WEST “Key Author” and is a peer reviewer for journals of science and of law. He currently completing a three volume set for Thomson-Reuters WEST entitled The Litigator’s Handbook of Forensic Medicine, Psychiatry and Psychology. The work has forty contributors from five countries.
Andrea D. Lyon (Valparaiso, IN)
Andrea Lyon was appointed as Dean of Valparaiso University Law School in July of 2014. She is thrilled to be at the helm at this time of needed change in legal education. Valparaiso University is a leader in curriculum reform and embracing diversity. Formerly, she was a clinical professor of law, associate dean of Clinical Programs, and director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases. Lyon received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and her law degree from Antioch School of Law. After graduating, she worked for the Cook County Public Defenders' Office in the felony trial division, post-conviction/habeas corpus unit, preliminary hearing/first municipal (misdemeanor) unit and the appeals division. Her last position there was chief of the Homicide Task Force, a 22-lawyer unit representing persons accused of homicides. She has tried over 130 homicide cases, both while in the Public Defender's Office and since. She has defended more than 30 potential capital cases at the trial level and has taken 19 through penalty phase; she won all 19. In 1990, she founded the Illinois Capital Resource Center and served as its director until joining the University of Michigan Law School faculty as an assistant clinical professor in 1995. A winner of the prestigious National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Reginald Heber Smith Award for best advocate for the poor in the country, she is a nationally recognized expert in the field of death penalty defense and a frequent continuing legal education teacher throughout the country.
Mindy Montford (Austin, TX)
Mindy Montford has practiced law for almost 20 years as both a criminal prosecutor and defense attorney in Travis County. She is a graduate of the University of Texas where she earned both her B.A. and J.D. As a prosecutor, Mindy co-founded the prosecution externship program at the University of Texas School of Law and served as an Adjunct Professor teaching law students about the criminal justice system. She has testified as a resource witness before legislative committees on criminal justice issues and has worked on major pieces of legislation including Life Without Parole. Mindy has participated in numerous panel discussions and given several presentations on topics including public integrity prosecutions, sexual assault, child abuse, and insanity defenses. She is frequently called upon by local news and radio stations to provide legal analysis on high profile cases. In 2014, Mindy successfully defended a murder case in which the jury found the defendant not guilty by reason of insanity-a verdict that had not been reached in Travis County since 2005.
Prof. Michael L. Perlin (New York, NY)
Michael L. Perlin is Professor of Law Emeritus at New York Law School (NYLS), founding director of NYLS's Online Mental Disability Law Program, and founding director of NYLS's International Mental Disability Law Reform Project in its Justice Action Center. He is also the co-founder of Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates. He has written 30 books and nearly 300 articles on all aspects of mental disability law, many of which deal with the overlap between mental disability law and criminal law and procedure. His most recent books are INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: WHEN THE SILENCED ARE HEARD (Oxford University Press, 2011), MENTAL DISABILITY AND THE DEATH PENALTY: THE SHAME OF THE STATES (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), and A PRESCRIPTION FOR DIGNITY: RETHINKING CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MENTAL DISABILITY LAW (Ashgate, 2013). His five-volume treatise, MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: CIVIL AND CRIMINAL (2d ed.) (Lexis-Nexis, 1998-2002), is universally seen as the standard text in the area; the seven-volume third edition of that work will be forthcoming in 2016. An earlier book, THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE INSANITY DEFENSE (Carolina Academic Press, 1995) won the Manfred Guttmacher award of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and law as the best book published that year. Before becoming a professor, Perlin was the Deputy Public Defender in charge of the Mercer County Trial Region in New Jersey, and, for eight years, was the director of the Division of Mental Health Advocacy in the NJ Department of the Public Advocate. He has represented thousands of persons with mental disabilities in individual and class actions, and has represented criminal defendants at every level from police court to the US Supreme Court (second-seating Strickland v. Washington, and representing amicus in Ake v. Oklahoma, and Colorado v. Connelly). He directed the online mental disability law program at New York Law School from 2000 to 2014, and through that program, offered 13 courses to lawyers, mental health professionals, and disability advocates. Through this program, he has also taught mental disability law courses in Japan, Nicaragua, Finland, Israel, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Sweden. He has done extensive work in China with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law—Asia office where he has conducted “Training of Trainers” workshops in Xi’an, China to teach experienced death penalty defense lawyers how to train inexperienced lawyers, employing the online distance learning methodologies used in the NYLS online program. He has also done advocacy work on behalf of persons with disabilities on every continent. In the fall semester of 2012, he served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, teaching and consulting at the Islamic University of Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Four years earlier, also as part of the Fulbright designation, he taught in the Global Law Program at Haifa University in Israel. Last year, he was elected to be co-chair of the Disability Rights Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.
Colette Tvedt (Washington, DC)
Colette Tvedt serves as the Director of Indigent Defense Training and Reform. In that capacity, she focuses on developing and delivering training programs for indigent defense providers nationwide. She also partners with other national organizations on projects such as an initiative to increase pretrial release and implementation of workload studies to ensure the best representation of indigent defendants. Colette has devoted her career over the past 25 years to representing poor people accused of crimes. She spent 18 of those years as a public defender in Massachusetts and Washington State. During the last seven years she was in private practice with the Seattle law firm, Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, where she continued to represent the indigent by court appointment in state and federal court, in addition to serving on the board of one of Seattle’s public defender providers. Colette Tvedt also has extensive experience training attorneys. She has organized training programs for hundreds of defense lawyers and served for several years as a Clinical Professor of Law as the director of the Suffolk Defenders Clinical Program at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. In recent years, in addition to her practice, she has served as professor of advanced trial advocacy at the University of Washington School of Law and at Seattle University School of Law. She is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) in Macon, Georgia. Colette Tvedt is an honors graduate of Rutgers University, where she also attended law school.
Dr. Clarence Watson (Bala Cynwyd, PA)
Dr. Watson is a native of Philadelphia, PA who received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and his law degree from Villanova University School of Law. He completed medical residency training in psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and fellowship training in forensic psychiatry at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, NY. Dr. Watson is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in general psychiatry and forensic psychiatry and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association. He holds medical licenses in Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware. Prior to his practice as a physician, Dr. Watson practiced law in Pennsylvania. In addition to his experience in the diagnosis and treatment of general psychiatric disorders, Dr. Watson has extensive experience with violence risk assessments; the impact of psychiatric illness on criminal behavior; and the treatment of criminal offenders with psychiatric illnesses. Dr. Watson has also lectured extensively on such topics as: general mental health; treatment of psychiatric disorders; competency to make medical decisions; crime and mental illness; stalking; internet sexual predators; sleepwalking violence; false confessions and filicide (murder of children by their parents).