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FACULTY (subject to change)
Jose A. Baez (Coral Gables, FL)
The one common denominator when you look at the biggest high profile cases in America is attorney Jose Baez. Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman (Baez represented the lead Detective) Gary Giordano (Missing in Aruba case), the Dark Knight Theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado (Baez represented the victims) and Katelyn Roman (Cyber bullying case); these are just a few of the cases that he has been involved with. While he is best known for shocking the world as the lead defense attorney in the Casey Anthony case, Baez has also represented many victims in civil cases. Like the shootings in Aurora, Colorado and most recently the Hialeah, Florida shooting massacre. The L.A. Times has called Baez "one of the most sought after defense attorneys in the country." He is also a highly sought after legal analyst and speaker as he has been asked to lecture across the United States and in five different countries. Jose Baez is also a faculty member at Harvard Law School where he teaches 2nd and 3rd year law students the interworking’s of trial advocacy. In order to more effectively cross examine many forensic experts, Mr. Baez finds it important to learn the science himself. That is why he has completed hundreds of hours of training in forensic science. Mr. Baez has studied DNA, Blood Pattern Analysis, trace recovery, forensic pathology and entomology, just to name a few. Mr. Baez has gained extensive experience in successfully defending scientifically and medically intensive criminal and civil cases. He has worked on issues including shaken body syndrome, pediatric head injuries, sexual assault cases with medical evidence, and cases involving DNA evidence.
Simon Cole (Irvine, CA)
Simon A. Cole is Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. He received his Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University. Dr. Cole is the author of Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Harvard University Press, 2001) , which was awarded the 2003 Rachel Carson Prize by the Society for Social Studies of Science, and more than 20 scholarly articles and book chapters about the scientific validity of fingerprint evidence and its use in the courts. His most recent book is Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting (University of Chicago Press, 2008, with Michael Lynch, Ruth McNally & Kathleen Jordan). Dr. Cole has spoken widely on the subjects of fingerprinting, scientific evidence, and science and the law, and he has consulted and testified as an expert witness on the validity of fingerprint evidence. He has also written for many general interest publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New Scientist, and Lingua Franca. He is a member of the American Judicature Society Commission on Forensic Science and Public Policy, and he is Co-Editor of the journal Theoretical Criminology.
Jim Cooney (Charlotte, NC)
Jim Cooney has represented individuals and businesses in some of the most difficult and high-profile cases in North Carolina. He successfully defended Reade Seligmann - one of the wrongfully charged lacrosse players in the “Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” - by securing a dismissal of the charges and a declaration by the Attorney General of North Carolina that Reade Seligmann was innocent. He successfully defended a convicted death row inmate, Alan Gell, by exposing the prosecutorial misconduct that led to his wrongful conviction and sentence of death. Heading a team of Womble Carlyle lawyers who worked pro bono, Cooney first convinced a Superior Court Judge to reverse Gell’s conviction and sentence of death and then, acting as co-counsel at Gell’s retrial, obtained a “not guilty” verdict. Gell became the 113th person in the United States to be exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. Cooney was awarded the North Carolina Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award for his work in Alan Gell’s case. Mr. Cooney, as lead appellate counsel, secured a reversal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit of a District Court’s decision reducing a contingent fee agreement in a personal injury case from 33% to 3%. In re Abrams and Abrams, - F.3d – (2010) 2010 WL 1971240. This resulted in the award of $5.4 Million in additional attorneys’ fees. Cooney successfully defended a convicted death row inmate, Michael Pinch, by gaining a reversal of two first degree murder convictions and death sentences that had been imposed 26 years earlier. During the course of representing Pinch for more than a decade, Cooney found both legal errors and prosecutorial misconduct that led a Superior Court to throw out Pinch’s convictions and death sentences. Mr. Cooney successfully defended five hospital systems in seven putative class action lawsuits brought on behalf of uninsured patients, resulting in a dismissal of all claims against the hospital systems. He successfully defended the North Carolina Democratic Party in hearings before the State Board of Elections alleging that the Party participated in a scheme to avoid the campaign finance laws of North Carolina involving the Mike Easley for Governor Campaign.
Ellen Eggers (Sacramento, CA)
After earning her JD degree in 1978 from Valporaiso University in Indiana, Ellen Eggers began her legal career as chief of civil litigation for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union. In 1990 she was hired by the California Office of the State Public Defender where she worked for the next 24 years handling capital appeals and habeas corpus petitions on behalf of death row inmates. Her capital work sparked an immediate interest in abolishing the death penalty, and especially the problem of wrongful conviction. In 2006, Ellen had an opportunity to work on a case of actual innocence when an acquaintance asked her to meet with a young inmate at Folsom Prison who claimed to be innocent. Francisco “Franky” Carrillo had been arrested when he was just 16, and charged with a gang-related drive-by murder. Although all of the teenage witnesses initially reported it had been too dark to identify anyone, a corrupt sheriff’s deputy prompted one of the teens to pick Mr. Carrillo’s photo from a six-pack lineup. Eventually all six witnesses identified him in court as the shooter. Despite Mr. Carrillo’s alibi, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Ellen believed in Mr. Carrillo’s innocence and sought permission to take his case. Her state office could only grant permission if she agreed to work pro bono, and entirely on her own time. After three years of working nights and weekends, she brought the case to an evidentiary hearing in 2011. There, five of the six original witnesses recanted their testimony; the final witness refused to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds. Dr. Scott Fraser, an expert in human night vision and eyewitness identifications, testified that under the lighting conditions present at the time of the crime. it would have been virtually impossible for a witness to have discerned facial features of the perpetrators inside the car. In addition, the judge agreed to visit the crime scene at night to observe a simulated re-enactment of the crime. The evidence showed overwhelmingly that the witnesses could not have identified anyone. Mr. Carrillo’s conviction was reversed and he was released in 2011, after more than 20 years in prison. For her successful pro bono efforts on Mr. Carrillo’s behalf, Ellen was honored in 2012 by the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association and the California State Bar Association.
Iris Eytan (Denver, CO)
Iris Eytan is a criminal defense attorney and a partner at Reilly Pozner LLP in Denver, Colorado. She focuses her practice on high-profile criminal defense litigation, with a special emphasis on criminal cases that involve homicide, assault, sexual offenses and mental health issues. Iris is often hired as an expert and consultant by attorneys around the country regarding the forensic mental health issues of insanity and incompetency. In 2013, Iris and her team successfully sued the Colorado State Mental Health Hospital in Federal Court for civil rights violations against defendants with mental illness wrongfully detained in jails across the state. Iris’ firm allowed her to use the entire attorney’s fees award from this lawsuit to create, manage and host the first National Criminal Defense Forum on Forensic Mental Health & the Law with NACDL. The Forum attracted the brightest legal scholars and doctors in this area of the law and the conference was attended by a sold out crowd of 400 lawyers and doctors from all over the world. Iris is listed as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the American Trial Lawyers Association and in the “Top 100” and “Top 50 Women Lawyers” by Colorado Super Lawyers. She is also included in The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Prior to joining Reilly Pozner LLP, Iris was a Deputy State Public Defender and a senior attorney for the Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People. She earned a J.D. from the University of San Diego and a B.A. from the University of Arizona.
Prof. Keith A. Findley (Madison, WI)
Keith A. Findley, a 1985 graduate of the Yale Law School and a 1981 graduate of Indiana University, is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he teaches courses on criminal procedure, wrongful convictions, and evidence, and where he is also co-founder and co-director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project. He is currently the president of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of more than 60 innocence projects in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and South Africa. He has written and published numerous articles and book chapters on various topics related to wrongful conviction of the innocent, including wrongful convictions in so-called Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) cases. In addition to teaching and writing about the law, he has litigated hundreds of appeals at all levels of state and federal courts, including numerous cases that led to exoneration of a wrongly convicted individual. In 2008, he successfully represented Audrey Edmunds in the first case in the U.S. in which a court overturned an SBS conviction on the basis of new scientific evidence challenging the SBS expert testimony used at trial to obtain the conviction.
Prof. Jeffrey L. Fisher (Stanford, CA)
Jeffrey L. Fisher is a professor at Stanford Law School and co-director of its Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. His academic and Supreme Court work runs the gamut of federal constitutional and statutory matters, but focuses on constitutional criminal procedure issues. Professor Fisher has argued 23 cases in the Supreme Court, including successfully representing the petitioners in Crawford v. Washington, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, Blakely v. Washington, Kennedy v. Louisiana, and, most recently Riley v. California. In 2006, the National Law Journal named him one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country – the youngest person on the list – and he has remained on that list since. He also is a recipient of the Heeney Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Professor Fisher formerly served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court of the United States and to Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Patrick Morgan Ford (San Diego, CA)
Pat Ford is an appellate lawyer in San Diego, specializing in criminal writs and appeals in the state and federal courts. He represents defendants in capital and noncapital cases, was co-counsel before the US Supreme Court in Riley v. California (2014) 573 US, and has been counsel of record in many cases published by the California courts and the Ninth Circuit. He has written and published The California Criminal Law Reporter (available at patfordlaw.com), a case law digest used by lawyers and judges around the state since 1983. He also writes a regular online article for California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), and lectures on criminal law related topics. He received his B.A. from Georgetown University and his J.D. from the University of San Diego.
Scott C. Fraser, PhD (Los Angeles, CA)
Bio to come...
Daniel G. Giaquinto (Bridgewater, NJ)
Daniel G. Giaquinto has been a member of Kern Augustine Conroy & Schoppmann, P.C. since 2006, where he currently serves as a Partner, heading the firm’s white collar crime law section. He focuses his practice on the defense of healthcare professionals in Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions; in Licensure Disciplinary matters; and in Civil Penalty, Adverse Administrative and Credentialing matters. He is also qualified as a mediator and provides Alternative Dispute Resolution Services on behalf of the firm. He is a member of the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Bar. Mr. Giaquinto has defended physicians and other health care providers in Federal and State criminal matters, as well as disciplinary actions before the NJ, NY and PA State Medical Boards; DEA Adverse Administrative Actions; Hospital Adverse Credentialing Actions and Military Medical Command Adverse Credentialing Actions; Medicare and Medicaid Exclusion Actions; Commercial Insurance Exclusion Actions; and Government and Commercial Insurance Audits. He has lectured at numerous health care venues on a wide range of health law issues including fraud and abuse, physician licensure and discipline, and healthcare regulatory issues. Prior to joining KACS, Mr. Giaquinto spent a career in the public service sector in New Jersey, to include the following positions: The Prosecutor of Mercer County, leading an office of over 150 assistant prosecutors, detectives, and administrative support; Assistant Attorney General/ Director of State Police Affairs, coordinating and leading the State’s efforts to implement New Jersey State Police reforms required by the federal consent decree to address issues of racial profiling; Municipal Court Judge for the City of Trenton and the Township of Hopewell, New Jersey; and Deputy Attorney General in the Major Fraud Section of the Division of Criminal Justice, NJ Attorney General’s Office, investigating and prosecuting white collar and fraud related crime.. Mr. Giaquinto also completed thirty years of military service as a member of the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), from which he retired in the rank of Colonel. His service included a four year active duty tour in Germany, and the remainder of his military career was with the NJ Army National Guard, which included a year deployment in Iraq as the Command Judge Advocate, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Joint Area Support Group.
Nellie L. King (West Palm Beach, FL)
Nellie L. King is the owner of The Law Offices of Nellie L. King, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida. Ms. King practices exclusively criminal defense work in state and federal courts and has handled thousands of complex criminal cases during her career, including murder, sex crimes and drug trafficking cases. She has represented clients in all stages of the criminal process, from investigation of clients by law enforcement, through the pre-filing process with the State Attorney’s Office, and at jury trials. Ms. King also represents clients who come to her after they have been represented by different counsel for the purposes of post-conviction litigation, for example appeals or motions pertaining to claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Ms. King has been recognized by her peers as a leader within the criminal defense bar. In 2011-2012, Ms. King was elected President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. FACDL, an organization proudly described as “Liberty’s Last Champion,” is the preeminent voluntary bar association for lawyers practicing criminal defense in the State of Florida. Ms. King is committed to the ideals espoused by FACDL, an organization which strives to advance the knowledge of criminal defense practitioners, promote the proper administration of criminal justice and encourage the integrity and independence of the criminal defense bar. Ms. King is also a Past President and Board Member of the Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Ms. King was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in June 2012. The award was presented to Nellie for her significant achievements and contributions to the legal profession and community, as well as for her leadership contributions which serve to inspire the students of UMW. While studying at Mary Washington, Nellie served as President of the Honor Council, twice receiving a Board of Visitors Citation for her service and leadership to the institution. Ms. King currently serves on the Mary Washington Alumni Board of Directors and leads UMW’s South and Central Florida Regional Alumni Network. In 2012, Ms. King was elected to the Board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the nationwide organization dedicated to ensuring justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. Founded in 1958, NACDL has approximately 10,000 members in 28 countries. In February 2012, Ms. King testified at a regional hearing of NACDL’s Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status after Conviction about Florida’s draconian policies relating to rights restoration. She is also a frequent lecturer on criminal law topics, having presented at NACDL’s 2012 Midwinter Meeting and Seminar on the topic, “Beyond Registration: Collateral Consequences of a Sex Crimes Conviction,” as well as at NACDL’s Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference on the topic of juvenile sentencing issues. Ms. King also believes in giving back to the local community. Ms. King currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Boys’ Town South Florida and she is the current Chair of the Court Systems Task Force for the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission. Ms. King is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County, Class of 2004, and she subsequently was elected to the Board of that organization from 2004-2008. Ms. King also served on the inaugural Board of the Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County, an organization which invests in women and girls to encourage their leadership and positively affect their economic, political and social status. Ms. King is also actively associated with the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Association of Women Lawyers and the Palm Beach County Bar Association. Ms. King is admitted to practice in the Florida Bar, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Ms. King is a graduate of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where she majored in International Affairs/Russian Studies. Ms. King then graduated from Nova Southeastern University Law School, where she won the Feinrider Moot Court Competition for her oratory skills, as well as various trial advocacy awards.
David Meyer (Los Angeles, CA)
David Meyer is a Clinical Professor and Research Scholar at the Institute of Psychiatry, Law and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine where he is responsible for the criminal law and the mental health law curricula. Mr. Meyer previously served as Chief Deputy Director and Counsel of the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Mental Health, as Director of the LAC Department of Community and Senior Affairs, and as Interim Public Defender and Chief Deputy Director of the LAC Public Defender. Mr. Meyer is an attorney, having specialized in mental health law and criminal defense for more than 30 years. He obtained his B.A. degree at the University of Southern California and his J.D. degree from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. Currently he is a Candidate for the Doctorate in Health Law and Policy, emphasis in Bioethics, at the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. Mr. Meyer’s dissertation research assesses conflicting ethical obligations among clinicians, attorneys and judges in the operations of problem-solving mental health courts. Mr. Meyer currently serves on the California Council on Mentally Ill Offenders and the Executive Steering Committee of the California Mentally Ill Offenders Program. He is also an internal Board member of the Elyn Saks Institute of Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Mr. Meyer previously served on the California Judicial Council Task Force for Criminal Justice Collaboration on Mental Health Issues and continues to work with judges, lawyers and court administrators throughout the United States on this difficult issue. In addition, he is Chair of the Board of the national Sixth Amendment Center and is a member of the California State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and its sections on Criminal Justice and Health Care Law, the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics and the American Health Lawyer’s Association.
Darryl S. Neier (Livingston, NJ)
Darryl Neier, Principal of the Firm, is in charge of the Forensic Accounting / Litigation Services Group. He holds this role because of the unique experiences he brings to the firm. Having spent 20 years with the Morris County New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office, Darryl has been involved in the detection and prevention of fraud in a variety of situations and cases. Darryl’s reputation as one of the experts in this field is widely recognized. He has worked on cases that include white collar crime investigation, money laundering, insurance fraud and computer forensic investigation and political corruption. Since joining Sobel & Co., Darryl has been involved in domestic and international engagements involving forensic accounting (criminal and civil fraud investigations, banks and shareholder disputes; computer forensics; business valuation; fraud vulnerability studies; loss profits calculation; damage claim analysis; asset recovery; due diligence review; discovery production; intellectual property investigations; anti-money laundering compliance and expert witness testimony). Additionally, Darryl serves on the firm’s Executive committee and is a faculty member at both New York University and a certified instructor with the National White Collar Crime Center. Darryl holds a Master of Science degree in Economic Crime Management from Utica College of Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from William Paterson University.
Steve Oberman (Knoxville, TN)
Steve is the founder and managing partner of The Oberman & Rice Law Firm practicing in the areas of DUI defense and criminal defense. Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Steve served as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) during 2009-2010. He was subsequently designated as a Fellow and continues to serve on several committees of the NCDD. He currently serves as chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers DUI Committee. Steve was the first lawyer in Tennessee to be certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and the NCDD. He is the author of DUI: The Crime & Consequences in Tennessee, updated annually since 1991 (Thomson-West), and co-author with Lawrence Taylor of the national treatise, Drunk Driving Defense, 7th edition (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen). Steve has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Law School since 1993 and has received a number of prestigious awards for his faculty contributions. He is a popular international speaker, having spoken at legal seminars in 23 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries. His DUI and trial technique seminar audiences have included the bar associations and judicial associations in many states and the National Judicial Institute of Canada.
Mark M. O'Mara (Orlando, FL)
Mark M. O'Mara has been practicing Criminal and Family Law in Central Florida for over 30 years, and is presently Board Certified as a Criminal Trial Specialist and a Marital and Family Law Specialist. Mark is a former felony prosecutor and Division Chief and has handled all types of criminal cases, including traffic, property crimes, DUI, drug cases and Death Penalty cases. He has extensive trial experience in both state and federal criminal defense. Mark also represents clients in contested divorce cases, involving child time sharing issues, alimony and division of assets.
Dr. Nora Rudin (Mountain View, CA)
Norah Rudin holds a B.A. from Pomona College and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. She is a member of the California Association of Criminalists, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Criminalistics. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, she served three years as a full-time consultant for the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory and has also served as consulting technical leader for the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement DNA Laboratory, the San Francisco Crime Laboratory DNA Section, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department DNA Laboratory. Dr. Rudin has co-authored An Introduction to DNA Forensic Analysis and Principles and Practice of Criminalistics: The Profession of Forensic Science. She is also the author of the Dictionary of Modern Biology. Her current work focuses on forensic DNA interpretation and statistics. She co-founded SCIEG, a non-profit company created to house Lab Retriever, a free of charge and open-source software tool for forensic statistics. SCIEG also provides and promotes education in forensic interpretation and statistics as well as forensic science in general. Dr. Rudin has taught a variety of general forensic and forensic DNA courses for the University of California at Berkeley extension and on-line. She is frequently invited to speak at various legal symposia and forensic conferences, and recently served a guberatorial appointment to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Scientific Advisory Committee. She remains active as an independent consultant and expert witness in forensic DNA.
Prof. William C. Thompson (Irvine, CA)
William C. Thompson is a professor in the Department of Criminology, Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine (UCI); he has joint appointment in UCI’s School of Law (where he has taught Evidence) and in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published extensively on the use and misuse of scientific and statistical evidence in the courtroom and on jurors’ reactions to such evidence, focusing particularly on forensic DNA analysis and on the problem of contextual bias. He has received over a million dollars in grant funding to study issues related to inference and bias in forensic science. Although primarily an academic, Thompson occasionally practices law, representing clients in cases involving novel scientific and statistical issues. He has also been an expert witness. Thompson was a member of the Task Force that drafted the ABA’s Standards on DNA Evidence, he served on the California Crime Laboratory Review Task Force, and was a voting member of SWG-Speaker—the scientific working group on speaker identification. He currently a member of the Human Factors Committee established by the Department of Justice and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to advise their Forensic Science Standards Board.
Deja Vishny (Milwaukee, WI)
Deja Vishny has practiced criminal defense for 33 years with the Wisconsin Office of the State Public Defender. She heads the Homicide Practice Group at the Milwaukee Trial Office and is also a training coordinator for that agency. She studied police interrogation and attended the Reid school of Interrogation course in 2004, is a nationally known lecturer on the subject of defending false confession cases, and published articles in The Champion and The Wisconsin Defender on the subject. She is a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Marquette University Law School and has taught at seminars on trial and motion practice throughout the United States and in India. She served two terms on the Board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and several terms on the Board of the Wisconsin State Bar Criminal Law Section.