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NACDL Long Range Plan

The Long Range Plan sets out the aspirational goals for NACDL during the next five years. Each of its Goals is intended to fulfill the Association’s Mission Statement: to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime; to foster the integrity, independence and expertise of the criminal defense profession; and to promote the proper and fair administration of justice. Each Goal in  the Long Range Plan is intended to maintain and enhance the Association’s position as the preeminent organization, both nationally and internationally,  providing assistance to criminal defense attorneys in the protection  of the rights of the accused.

As adopted on October 27, 2012 

Goal 1.

To Work for Rational and Humane Criminal Justice Policies in America through Federal, State, and Local Efforts.
A. Protect the Presumption of Innocence, Due Process and the Right to Counsel.

NACDL will promote, on the local, state and federal levels, policies that preserve  the most cherished and fundamental individual rights and protect against unfair and false charges, prosecutions and convictions.

Recognizing that the right to counsel protects both the innocent and the guilty alike, and that the assistance of counsel, enshrined in the Sixth Amendment, is essential to maintaining liberty, NACDL will vigorously oppose any effort by prosecutors to consider consultation with counsel or assistance by counsel as reflecting guilt or “lack of cooperation.”  NACDL will continue to fight efforts by the government to prevent the accused from obtaining counsel of his or her choice as well as policies or actions by government officials that in any way interfere with or chill the attorney-client relationship or privilege. NACDL will diligently work to preserve the constitutional rights of all persons through legislative reform at the state and federal level, advocacy before the courts, and dialogue with the Department of Justice and other state and federal law enforcement agencies. NACDL will continue to forge coalitions with other organizations where there is a commonality of interest and a mutual desire to work together to advance common goals. NACDL will continue to educate its constituents on actions they can take in their local communities to promote a fair, rational and humane criminal justice system.

NACDL will champion legislative reform of the grand jury process, so that it is returned to its historical and rightful status as a check against government excess, rather than a captive of the prosecution. Among the grand jury reforms for which NACDL will advocate, are the following: witnesses’ right to counsel in the grand jury room, the disclosure of all exculpatory evidence, the exclusion of unconstitutionally obtained evidence, the right of a target or subject to testify with reasonable notice of that right, and the right of a witness to a transcript of his or her testimony.

NACDL will support all meaningful reforms to minimize the risk of wrongful convictions and prevent the introduction of unreliable evidence. These efforts shall include, without limitation, reform of eyewitness identification procedures to improve eyewitness accuracy and reliability, mandatory electronic recording of all custodial interrogations and statements to guard against false, manipulated, or coerced “confessions”; reform of the practice and oversight of forensic science disciplines, including the use and presentation of forensic science evidence, and the elimination of “junk science”; and strong curbs on the use of inherently  untrustworthy jailhouse and other “informant” testimony. In conjunction with these efforts, NACDL will support the admissibility of expert testimony on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony and statements that are the product of coercive or deceptive interrogation techniques, and will promote enhanced safeguards on the use of testimony from cooperating witnesses.

NACDL will advocate for more open and fair discovery procedures such as the right to depositions and interrogatories, the provision of witness lists, and timely pre-trial access to all evidence, including grand jury testimony.

NACDL will continue to issue ethics opinions  that protect the right to counsel, and  that oppose any intrusions by courts, prosecutors, or military authorities on the attorney-client privilege and work product.

B. Expose and Correct the Convictions of Innocent Persons.

NACDL will continue to promote Innocence Projects at law schools to assist the wrongfully convicted and support all innocence efforts throughout the nation.

NACDL will promote innocence protection legislation to eliminate procedural hurdles to defense access to probative evidence and expert witnesses who can help exculpate the wrongfully convicted.

NACDL will promote legislation to fairly and promptly compensate persons wrongfully convicted of crimes.

NACDL will work with its partners to improve the work product, oversight and independence of crime laboratories and to preclude prosecution reliance upon evidence  that is the product of unreliable forensic “experts” or any other purported scientific opinion evidence that is untested, unvalidated or unverified.

C. Promote Restoration of Habeas Corpus.

NACDL will promote the restoration of the Writ of Habeas Corpus to its traditional and essential role as a curb on criminal justice system abuses, wrongful conviction and incarceration and will oppose onerous barriers to post conviction review. At a minimum, actual innocence and new exculpatory evidence must be cognizable at any time on collateral  review.

D. Eradicate overly punitive measures to cure social ills.

NACDL will strive to abolish unjust, inefficient and counter-productive laws, such as those providing for mandatory minimum sentences; the prosecution of children as adults  and the prosecution of those with mental illness, addiction and intellectual and developmental disabilities. NACDL will oppose inflexible habitual or repeat offender laws. NACDL will vigorously oppose assertions of unchecked executive authority and other unconstitutional encroachments on cherished rights and liberties  under the guise of national security, such as the use of military commissions  instead of Article III court trials, warrantless searches and surveillance, “sneak and peek” searches, third party disclosure of electronic communications, and general warrants.

NACDL will advocate for the reduction of  unnecessarily harsh terms of incarceration, and for the preservation of  the judicial independence necessary to ensure that all sentences are appropriately tailored to the individual offender

NACDL will  seek fundamental reform of criminal laws  based upon ill-conceived drug control policies  Current drug enforcement policies  have increased crime and disorder arising from the  illicit drug market, compromised constitutional guarantees, increased prison populations due to harsh mandatory minimum sentences, clogged court systems, disproportionately targeted the poor, persons of color and other minority populations, and  have diverted essential resources from programs necessary to treat substance abuse. NACDL believes that substance abuse should be treated as a health problem rather than as a criminal justice issue.

Specifically, NACDL will continue to advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana for the treatment of debilitating, painful diseases. NACDL will support organizations seeking the legalization of marijuana and will support the use of marijuana for medical purposes, consistent with longstanding NACDL policy. NACDL will support various states that have enacted medical marijuana legislation and will advocate for the delisting of marijuana as a Schedule One drug.

E. While Public Health Options for Rehabilitation Remain Unavailable, Ensure that Problem-Solving Courts are Open and Fair.

NACDL stands by the resolution by the Board of Directors adopted  in November of 2000, calling “upon federal and state governments to end the War on Drugs by declaring all drug use to be a health rather than a criminal problem and immediately repeal all laws criminalizing the possession, use, and delivery of controlled substances.”  NACDL maintains that conduct that is a symptom of drug abuse or mental illness should not be criminalized, but rather treatment should be universally available. However, until that goal is reached, drug and other problem-solving courts will have a role in the criminal justice system. NACDL recommends that the criminal justice community implement the recommendations contained in its report, America’s Problem Solving Courts: The Criminal Costs of Treatment and the Case for Reform.To that end, NACDL believes that a defendant should not be required to plead guilty before accessing treatment. Admission criteria to treatment programs must be objective and fair, and prosecutors must be relieved of their role as gatekeeper. Defense attorneys must not abandon their ethical role as zealous advocates and merely become members of a treatment team. Problem-solving courts must not cherry-pick, that is, reject repeat and violent offenders. Problem-solving courts must be open to all people regardless of race, economic status, or immigration status.

F. Eliminate Bias in our System of Criminal Justice.

NACDL will continue to work for equal justice in the criminal law. Because the death penalty has historically been applied in an arbitrary fashion with a disparate impact on racial and ethnic minorities as well as the poor, NACDL will support abolition of or a moratorium on the death penalty. NACDL will seek the complete elimination of harsh and racially discriminatory disparity in penalties for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. NACDL will promote  policies to prohibit racial profiling, disparate enforcement of drug and forfeiture laws and the death penalty, as well as inhumane immigration measures.

G. Oppose Over-Federalization of Local Crimes.

Over-federalization of the criminal law results in unduly harsh penalties in inappropriate cases. NACDL will vigorously oppose or seek the repeal of laws that expand the federal role in historically local crimes such as domestic violence, local fraud, local theft, unlawful firearms possession, witness intimidation, and other matters which should more appropriately be addressed by the civil justice system.

H. Oppose Excessive Use of Overbroad Federal Laws.

NACDL will support narrowing the increasingly overbroad application of money laundering, continuing criminal enterprise, RICO, forfeiture, and similar criminal provisions. NACDL will advocate against this trend, namely the expansive reading of criminal fraud statutes to prosecute conduct that has been historically addressed through regulatory proceedings and civil litigation. NACDL’s  advocacy will focus on the federal level, with attention to state practices where appropriate. To this end, NACDL will continue to partner with other groups that seek to narrow federal criminal jurisdiction and require strict construction of federal crimes, including the preservation of a strong  mens rea element in all criminal statutes. NACDL will systemize successful working relationships and partnerships with like-minded groups in areas of mutual interest, as well as other groups, irrespective of their ideology,  that agree with NACDL’s position on specific issues.                                                          

I. Mens Rea Requirements.

NACDL will work to ensure that all federal and state statutes are drafted to provide adequate and precise intent requirements as to every element of all offenses so as to avoid any reasonable possibility that an innocent person may be convicted. NACDL will also oppose the overcriminalization and overly expansive use of criminal laws to regulate personal and economic behavior.

J. Oppose Repressive Procedural and Ethics Rules.

NACDL will continue to vigorously oppose procedural and ethics rules that  weaken the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

K. Promote Reform of the Nation’s Misdemeanor Courts.

NACDL will seek to eliminate injustice in the nation’s misdemeanor courts by supporting reclassification of petty regulatory and quality of life offenses as non-criminal matters, and by working to ensure that every person facing the prospect of a misdemeanor conviction has prompt access to independent defense counsel and that no guilty plea may be accepted without a knowing and voluntary waiver of rights after consultation with counsel.

L. Protect Fourth Amendment Rights.

NACDL will continue to take a leading role in the protection of Fourth Amendment rights, the breach of which inevitably leads to the illegal seizure of evidence that is used against criminal defendants. Through public advocacy and litigation on behalf of the organization or individual clients, NACDL will work to safeguard individual rights in this age of increasingly technologically sophisticated intrusions, searches and seizures, by working to preserve the guarantee that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment must be excluded in in all criminal prosecutions.

M. Promote Diversion, Expungement, and Restoration of Rights.

NACDL will promote a broader application of diversionary programs, probation without adjudication, expungement of records, and restoration of civil rights to those previously convicted.

N. Promote Pretrial Justice Reform

NACDL will seek to implement the policies adopted by the Board of Directors adopted on July 28, 2012 (Pretrial Release and Limited Use of Financial Bond) in pursuit of broad national reform of pretrial justice practices

Goal 2.                                        

To Further Achieve and Safeguard Respect and Support for Due Process of Law in the United States and Territories.

A. NACDL will develop public policy and briefing papers on topical criminal justice issues and in support of reforms that will advance the Association’s mission. When appropriate, committee reports and recommendations will be presented to the Board of Directors for consideration and eventual adoption as official NACDL policy. NACDL will use all responsible and appropriate means in furtherance of its policy objectives, including advocacy in the legislative and executive branches of state and local government, as well as litigation and communication strategies.

B. NACDL will continue to develop a forceful grassroots movement among members willing to discuss criminal justice issues in their own communities.

C. NACDL will encourage members to share with the national office noteworthy victories, as well as examples of injustice and corrections of unjust results, including exoneration of the innocent, baseless accusations against innocent persons, corrupt and unreliable police laboratories, police brutality, prosecutorial misconduct, and other evidence of abuse in the criminal justice system.

D. NACDL will work with print, broadcast media, and internet news sources to provide qualified legal commentators on important cases and issues, and to maintain NACDL‘s status as the best source for informed explanation of the defense position. NACDL will seek to enhance the communication skills of the Association’s members in media relations and ensure that members have accurate and up-to-date information on current topics so that they may speak in an informed manner. Additionally, NACDL will communicate directly with the media to clarify legal developments.

E. NACDL will augment relationships with policy makers, professional journalists, researchers, editorial boards, and reputable commentators to promote the education of the American public and its elected representatives concerning the criminal justice system.

F. In addition to its legislative and amicus efforts, NACDL will continue, through its Lawyers Assistance Strike Force, to come to the aid of lawyers who are targeted by prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, courts or other government entities for vigorously representing their clients.

G. NACDL supports the fundamental, constitutional principle of an independent and impartial judiciary. NACDL will speak out in defense of judges when they are subjected to serious, unjust criticism that fosters misunderstandings about the role of the judiciary or the justice system, and tends to undermine judicial independence. In addition, NACDL deplores the use of money to influence elections, particularly when candidates, their supporters or other entities issue statements that deprecate the rule of law and impartial justice.

Goal 3:

To Expand NACDL’s Leadership Role in Elevating the Quality of Indigent Defense and the Effective Assistance of Counsel, beyond the Minimal Requirements of Strickland v. Washington, and Consistent with the Expectations to which every Person Accused of a Crime is Entitled.

Through the efforts of its Indigent Defense Committee, Indigent Defense Counsel, and its national strategic network of NACDL affiliates NACDL will:

A. Develop a strategy and work with affiliates and federal, state and local political bodies to promote public respect for and recognition of the value of indigent defense services and providers , and fair treatment of indigent defense providers by all three branches of government. This strategy will be grounded upon the principle that defense providers must be assured independence in the discharge of their duty to provide high quality representation.

B. Pursue a vigorous program of strategic litigation and support for legal challenges that address the systemic lack of resources available to defend those in need. NACDL’s strategic litigation program will  recruit volunteer attorney and organizational resources to support systemic litigation. NACDL supports parity in compensation for public defenders, court – appointed counsel, and prosecutors.

C. Pursue legislation that insists on no less than proportional parity of resources for both government and defense representation. Such resources must include, but are not limited to, ancillary services of investigators, experts, paralegal and administrative staff, compensation and cost of living increases, training and CLE services, and access to electronic legal research databases. NACDL will support legislation requiring the full funding of the Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act and similar legislation to support and encourage lawyers to enter and to remain in public service. NACDL will pursue legislation that provides adequate compensation and funding for defense services and lawyers on a continuing and reliable basis, and that supports and encourages lawyers to enter and remain in public service.

D. Develop and/or assist indigent defense agencies in the creation of detailed performance standards to ensure the highest quality of legal services.

E. Oppose any local, state, or federal legislation that has the effect of encouraging anything less than excellence in zealous advocacy in any system of indigent defense services, or which places the defense at a systemic disadvantage because of the lack of resources for support services such as investigators and experts.

F. Support the use of strategies and methodologies for evaluating indigent defense agencies or providers that appropriately account for considerations such as a lawyer’s training, experience and expertise; the quality of representation; the complexity of cases; prosecutorial policies and practices; the amount of time allowed by the courts to prepare; and other circumstances unique to the jurisdiction. NACDL will oppose any strategy or methodology for evaluating an indigent defense agency or attorney that fails to fulfill the promises of the Sixth Amendment and Gideon v. Wainwright.

Goal 4.

To Abolish the Death Penalty, to Assist in the Representation of Those Charged with or Convicted of Capital Crimes, and to Develop the Expertise of the Defense Bar in Defending Capital Cases.

A. NACDL will work with groups and individuals opposing capital punishment and with those fighting the death penalty in individual cases. NACDL will work with coalition partners in national and state legislatures to reform or abolish the death penalty, assist international coalitions to abolish the death penalty, help foreign lawyers fighting the extradition of their clients to the United States in capital cases, and target specific states and localities for concentrated legal efforts. NACDL will direct its members and the public to materials that educate the public about the arbitrariness and unreliability of the death penalty, its discriminatory imposition, its high cost, the frequency of wrongful convictions in death penalty cases, and the need for high quality and fully compensated counsel, mitigation specialists, investigators, defense-initiated victim advocates and expert witnesses in capital litigation.

B. NACDL will have a Death Penalty Counsel. The Death Penalty Counsel, in conjunction with our affiliates and coalition partners, will serve as a resource coordinator, obtaining and distributing information from other groups, and helping to recruit attorneys and their firms to represent persons facing the death penalty. NACDL will support and work toward the full funding of the defense function for all individuals charged with or convicted of capital crimes and for the creation of an independent appointment authority. NACDL will continue to support the restoration of Death Penalty Resource Centers.

C. Through the services of its Death Penalty Counsel, NACDL will assist defense teams in providing high quality legal representation by training attorneys, mitigation specialists, and investigators in uncovering and presenting an affirmative case for a life sentence through training lawyers in capital voir dire, and by supporting the development, training, and use of defense-initiative victim outreach specialists. NACDL will work to have the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases (2003) as well as the Supplemental Guidelines for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Death Penalty Cases (2008) adopted in every death penalty jurisdiction.

Goal 5.

To Ensure Justice for Juveniles.

NACDL, through its leadership and Juvenile Justice Committee, will:

A. Provide continuing legal education and training for lawyers who represent juveniles in state and federal proceedings whether the proceedings are in juvenile or adult court. This shall include education through publications, stand-alone and regular seminar programs, and joint seminars with other juvenile advocacy groups.

B. Educate the public and legislators regarding direct and collateral consequences of juvenile dispositions.

C. Support legislation that ensures the minimum age of 18  at which a child may be tried as an adult, allows meaningful and regular parole review for juveniles serving lengthy criminal sentences, houses accused and convicted juveniles in strictly juvenile facilities until they reach the age of 18, confers discretion  on judges and juries to consider the age of a juvenile offender and any mitigating circumstances at the time of transferability, trial and sentencing, ensures the right of a juvenile to effective and competent counsel, and provides for data collection to ensure that juvenile justice practices do not have a disparate impact on racial and ethnic minorities.

D. Encourage the federal government to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), to increase federal authorizations and appropriations for the JJDPA grant programs and restore the authority of the federal Office of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

E. Ensure that juveniles and their guardians are educated as to their constitutional and statutory rights.

F. Promote more humane juvenile sentencing practices and promote full understanding and implementation of the Supreme Court’s decisions in the Graham and Miller cases.

Goal 6.

To Continue to Develop and Enhance NACDL’s Reputation Internationally.

A. NACDL will work to maintain its Non Governmental Organization (” NGO “) Special Consultative Status with the “Economic and Social Council of the United Nations” and fully participate in relevant UN mechanisms.

B. NACDL will identify opportunities for international participation consistent with its mission. For example, NACDL will continue to approach governments and NGO’s to coordinate efforts to end the death penalty.

C. NACDL will continue to support, as well as to participate in leadership roles, in international criminal defense attorneys associations.

D. NACDL will continue its participation in training criminal defense lawyers throughout the world.

E. NACDL will support the right to counsel, fair trials and due process in international criminal justice systems throughout the world.

F. Domestically, NACDL will assist criminal defense lawyers in understanding international issues and laws that affect criminal justice and will promote educational opportunities in the legal and political community which concern, in domestic criminal defense matters, the importance of respect for international law.

G. NACDL will continue to participate in international forums consistent with NACDL’s mission.

H. NACDL will continue to seek international members and encourage criminal defense attorneys from throughout the world to participate in NACDL activities.

Goal 7.

To Provide Innovative CLE Programs that Meet the Varied Needs of Criminal Defense Lawyers and  Raise the Standards of Advocacy for Criminal Defense Lawyers.

A. NACDL has established a CLE Institute that is comprised of staff and volunteer leaders of the Association with a demonstrated interest in continuing legal education. The mission of the Institute is to develop and execute NACDL’s CLE curriculum in a manner that maintains the integrity of its programs and its status as the preeminent CLE provider to the criminal defense bar. The Institute shall ensure the viability, efficiency, continuity, quality, and profitability of NACDL seminars by overseeing, planning, and implementing cutting-edge programming to foster excellence and high ethical standards in criminal defense practice.

B. NACDL will continue to produce innovative and timely high-quality CLE programs that raise the standards of practice of criminal defense lawyers. NACDL will present a spectrum of CLE programs targeting its diverse membership and recognizing its members’ different areas of practice. NACDL will make its programs accessible and relevant to all of its members. CLE programs and association meetings provide an excellent forum to foster affinity among members and promote collegiality.

C. NACDL will solicit and advance participation by local affiliates and local public defender offices in program development and event planning to increase CLE attendance by members, local affiliate members, and non-members. NACDL will endeavor to provide scholarship assistance to support attendance by lawyers of limited means.

D. Site Selection: Site selection for programs conducted outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area shall be coordinated with the CLE Institute to maximize outreach and financial viability. NACDL must select meeting and CLE sites with an eye toward member recruitment, accessibility and the financial success of each program. NACDL must consider whether certain yearly events would be more effective if held in the same location each year or rotated among fixed locations. NACDL should avoid meeting and CLE sites that are difficult to reach or require extraordinary expenses for attendees.

E. NACDL will work to provide creative, innovative and effective continuing education programs that raise the level of advocacy for criminal defense lawyers in all practice areas. NACDL will offer diverse programs that can benefit all members, as well as seminars in more specialized areas of practice. The CLE Institute will identify and recruit talented presenters. Presenters need not be nationally prominent, but they must represent a broad spectrum of legal expertise. There must be a strong emphasis on diversity of speakers based on age, gender, nationality, race, and sexual orientation. To the extent that funds may be available pursuant to an annual budgetary allocation, the CLE Institute will have the authority to provide speakers with reimbursement for costs of participation. The CLE Institute, in conjunction with the appropriate staff, will present an annual budget request to the Budget Committee that will include justification for the request.

Goal 8.

To Support Membership Recruitment and Retention, and to Promote Diversity within the Association and the Profession, NACDL will Develop Specific Assessable Efforts towards increasing Board, Officer and Membership Diversity, Particularly with respect to  Age, Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexual Orientation.

A. NACDL will expand diversity in Board representation with respect to age, gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation by proactively identifying, recruiting, and retaining new members of diverse backgrounds throughout the membership , and on committees, the Board of Directors and among the officers. NACDL will mentor such persons for leadership position within NACDL.. NACDL will develop metrics to assess its progress in achieving this goal.

B. NACDL Directors, Officers and past Presidents will contact lapsed members in their communities when asked to do so by the national staff or Membership Committee.

C. NACDL will encourage all committees and, through the efforts of the Affiliate Council, NACDL’s affiliates to recruit and retain young lawyers, women, persons of diverse ethnicities and cultures, and sexual orientation. NACDL will also encourage committees and NACDL affiliates to address issues of concerns to those groups.

D. NACDL should conduct a comprehensive survey of members and prospective members at least every five years to inquire into their needs and expectations. To assess efforts toward diversity, a comprehensive membership survey should inquire into and analyze responses by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, years of legal practice, years of criminal defense practice and years of NACDL membership. NACDL will periodically conduct targeted surveys to quickly respond to the changing legal environment.

E. NACDL will expand benefits and services to meet member needs to include all forms of insurance, healthcare, financial planning, as well as the provision of childcare during CLE, Board and committee meetings.

F. NACDL will develop innovative events, such as annual special events and CLE options that focus on issues of interest to young lawyers, women, persons of diverse ethnicities, and sexual orientation.

G. Where opportunities may arise consistent with NACDL core principles, NACDL will coordinate efforts to interact with bar organizations including minority bar organizations specifically serving or addressing issues pertinent to racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation diversity.

H. NACDL will encourage law students to join and become active in the organization. Law students of diverse ethnicities, age, gender and sexual orientation will be regularly invited to attend board meetings and activities associated with CLE training. NACDL will continue and seek to expand its diversity-focused internship program.

Goal 9.

To Evaluate NACDL’s Organizational Structure.

To ensure that NACDL’s structure continues to meet its goals, the Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Executive Director, shall evaluate the manner in which NACDL operates. Recognizing that the growth of the Association impacts its ability to function, the Board in conjunction with the Executive Committee shall from time to time determine whether NACDL’s structure and operations are consistent with its goals and size.

A. Board Membership.

Under NACDL Bylaws, Art. VI, Sec. 2, the Board consists of thirty-five Directors elected by the membership, and four Affiliate Directors elected by the Council of Affiliates. The Nominating Committee under Art. VII, Sec. 5, is directed to “recruit and to nominate candidates for election as Directors and Officers of the Association.”  The Nominating Committee is further directed to “endeavor to ensure at least two directors from each circuit, and to ensure heterogeneous minority and gender representation on the Board of Directors.” Furthermore, the Nominating Committee is directed by the bylaws to annually review and adopt guidelines for its operation. NACDL’s Nominating Committee will consider in its annually adopted operational guidelines how it will recruit and nominate candidates in such a way as to advance NACDL’s commitment to cultivating a diverse leadership. Diversity among private and public defender practitioners is of paramount importance to enable NACDL  to function as a bar association that represents all criminal defense attorneys. In addition, the Nominating Committee will endeavor to nominate Directors and Leaders who bring a wide variety of talents to the Association.

Nomination to a second term on the Board of Directors will not be automatic. When considering the question of whether to nominate a Board member to a second term, the Nominating Committee should consider the member’s  participation in recruitment of new members, attempts to retain current members, mentoring of new members, committee involvement, and support of the Foundation.

B. Responsibilities of Board Members.

The Board of Directors shall be charged with responsibility for committee participation. Directors shall act as NACDL liaisons in their affiliate(s) and participate actively in member recruitment. Directors will actively participate in budget oversight and development, fundraising activities, and support for the Foundation for Criminal Justice.

C. Promoting Leadership Development through Leadership Succession.

To promote leadership continuity and development, committee vice-chairs will be appointed with the expectation that they will become chairs in a later year. The President and President-Elect will confer on appointment of committee vice-chairs. One member of the Executive Committee shall be assigned to be a member of each active committee to promote coordination of the goals of the committee with the long range objectives of the organization.

D. Planning for Committee Work.

Each committee will have a mission statement, an annual working plan and, if appropriate, a budget request. Each budget request must be submitted in accordance with the annual budget cycle as determined by the Treasurer and the Executive Director. The plan will be submitted by the committee chair(s) and vice-chair(s) to the Budget Committee prior to its annual meeting to develop a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The plan will detail the committee’s anticipated efforts for the upcoming year, how the efforts will contribute to NACDL’s long range goals, anticipated staffing needs/staff assistance, and likely costs, if any. Committees are encouraged to submit quarterly reports to the Board that not only detail the workings of the committee, but which reflect the committee’s progress in relationship to the goals identified in the committee plan. The Executive Committee is encouraged to hold frequent meetings with all committee chairs and vice-chairs to assess committee progress toward the goals of the current administration as well as the long term goals of the Association. Committees should explore meetings by conference call and video link when necessary and feasible. Committees should meet at least four times per year, preferably in person, and if not, electronically.

E. Sunset Provision for Committees.

NACDL’s President and President-Elect will confer, and the President shall discontinue committees that are not contributing to the Association’s goals.

F. Staff Level Planning.

As part of the budget forecast, the Executive Director will identify to the Budget Committee and the Board foreseeable changes in the number and composition of NACDL staff. All staff members shall be accountable to the Executive Director. The Board shall consider the feasibility of hiring additional staff members to work in the areas of military law, training, CLE resources, fundraising, diversity recruitment, and international affairs.

G. Strengthen Affiliate Relations.

The Council of Affiliates is crucial to the implementation of organizational long-term goals. A separate committee shall be formed to undertake the task of reviewing the role and function of the Council of Affiliates and the goals stated below.

NACDL must work with Affiliates to strengthen the network. To do so, NACDL and the Affiliates must:

  1. Devise strategies that allow both the Affiliates and  NACDL to derive maximum benefit from affiliation with each other;
  2. Strengthen areas of mutual benefit, including but not limited to state legislative outreach, CLE training, strike force assistance, resource counsel support, and grassroots organizing; 
  3. Improve communication between NACDL and its Affiliates.
  4. Encourage NACDL members to attend affiliate meetings in their states to discuss the benefits of NACDL membership and affiliation.
H. Headquarters Site.

NACDL will evaluate whether to purchase a building, continue to rent space, raise the necessary funds to purchase a building or, if appropriate, to relocate the headquarters outside Washington D.C.

I. Site Selection.

NACDL must consider meeting and CLE locations that  will benefit the greatest number of members and recruitment efforts.

Goal 10.

To Use New Technology for Members’ Benefit and to Improve Delivery of Member Services.

A. NACDL will promote members’ access to technology by seeking affinity group partnerships that will offer members technological equipment and services at affordable prices.

  1. Since maintaining a free, private and secure internet is essential to all NACDL goals, NACDL’s legislative initiatives must be consistent with the goal of maintaining a free and secure internet
  2. NACDL will continue to educate members and affiliates about emerging technologies and the potential for those technologies to improve members’ practices.

B. NACDL will enable Members to Electronically Access NACDL Resources.

  1. NACDL will make available to members, where practicable, teleconferencing and video conferencing so as to further member participation in NACDL.
  2. NACDL will expand online training programs and seminars covering a range of practice specialties and topical criminal justice issues.
  3. NACDL will continue to maintain a robust online Resource Center.
  4. NACDL will continue to develop forums on the website geared toward each committee topic.

C. NACDL will use Technology to Educate the Public. To meet the public education goal established in this Long Range Plan, NACDL will use available technologies to channel information to the media and to the public.

D. NACDL will make its membership directory available in the public section of its website in order to serve as a resource for those seeking criminal defense representation.

Goal 11.

To Enhance Non-Dues Revenue Streams.

NACDL must increase all revenues if it is to fund its policy objectives and augment its capacity to fulfill its mission. There must be a sustained commitment to cultivate program-specific funding sources, as well as general support for the organization. NACDL will work in partnership with its supporting 501 ( c ) (3) organization, the Foundation for Criminal Justice, to sustain short and long-term fundraising initiatives including an annual campaign, an endowment fund campaign and planned giving. Board members and other leaders will participate in all aspects of these initiatives as an ongoing responsibility. A committee will be established to work in conjunction with the Foundation to develop strategies for increasing revenue, with a particular emphasis on increasing fundraising for the Foundation.

Goal 12.

To Achieve Continuity in the Long Range Plan.

To meet the goals set for the association, the Long Range Planning Committee (“LRPC”) shall report as necessary on NACDL’s progress toward fulfilling its goals. In its monitoring and advisory efforts, the committee’s membership will be staggered to allow for both continuity and for renewal. Four members will be appointed each year to three-year terms.

NACDL will revise its Long Range Plan every five years, with necessary updates and adjustments approved by the LRPC at other times as the LRPC deems necessary.

The Long Range Plan will be posted on NACDL’s website. Each NACDL committee chair will revise mission statements as required to reflect the evolving  mission of each committee.

The LRPC will periodically consult with Board and other committee members with an eye toward necessary Long Range Plan revisions. Moreover, to ensure the direct flow of information and Plan integration and consistency with NACDL’s operations, the LRPC chair or co-chairs will attend each Executive Committee retreat and meetings of the Budget Committee.

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