NACDL - NACDL Welcomes an Unprecedented Incoming Corps of Leaders (Inside NACDL)

NACDL Welcomes an Unprecedented Incoming Corps of Leaders (Inside NACDL)

In July 2012, NACDL welcomed 14 new members to its board of directors.

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It is my privilege to introduce the membership to NACDL’s incoming class of leaders. This year NACDL welcomes what may well be the largest class of new board directors ever. Nine members of the incoming class of 13 are newly elected. In addition, two affiliate representatives are new designees. Add to that the three individuals who were elected to fill vacant terms during the past year, and the Board is comprised of 14 new members1 since the Annual Meeting in August 2011. They represent 13 different states, and every practice setting, from solo and small practitioners to members of large firms. They include as well the Public Defender in one of the nation’s largest cities.

In addition, we have two familiar faces returning in new positions. NACDL’s 50th president, John Wesley Hall, has been elected treasurer. NACDL recently amended the Bylaws to provide a multi-year term for the treasurer to promote continuity in the oversight of the Association’s finances. This effectively removes that position from the informal leadership ladder. John Hall, who previously served NACDL as treasurer, has made himself available to fulfill this critical role. And Vicki Young, a longtime Board member and recent recipient of the Heeney Award, has been designated by President Steve Benjamin to serve as parliamentarian.

Every year brings an opportunity to re-energize and rededicate NACDL to pursuing its mission, but with this extraordinary infusion of new and diverse leadership the Association has a golden opportunity to tackle longstanding challenges and pursue new initiatives.


John Wesley Hall returns to the Executive Committee after a two-year hiatus. John is the principal in the Law Offices of John Wesley Hall Jr., based in Little Rock, Ark. His record of service to NACDL and the profession is too lengthy and extraordinary to summarize.2 Aside from his service as president, he has held every officer position, served on the Board of Directors, and in 2002 received the Heeney Award. John Hall is a nationally recognized expert in criminal defense ethics and Fourth Amendment issues. His numerous publications include the highly regarded Search and Seizure treatise.3 John Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., and a law degree from the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, Ark. He is a life member of NACDL.


Vicki H. Youngis a principal in the Law Offices of Vicki H. Young in Palo Alto, Calif., and is of counsel to the Law Offices of Ephraim Margolin in San Francisco. She has been a criminal defense lawyer throughout her career, which included several stints in county and federal public defender positions. Vicki recently served as chair of NACDL’s Nominating Committee and has played a pivotal role on two task forces. Vicki was a member of the Task Force on Problem-Solving Courts, which issued a groundbreaking report, America’s Problem-Solving Courts: The Criminal Cost of Treatment and the Case for Reform. Vicki currently serves as co-chair of the Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction, which is holding hearings around the nation on the legal barriers that confront formerly convicted persons. She earned her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College and her law degree at Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley.

On July 27, 2012, at the Foundation for Criminal Justice celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Gideon decision, Vicki H. Young received the prestigious Heeney Award for service to the criminal defense bar. She is a life member of NACDL.


Andrew Birrell is a member of the Minneapolis law firm Gaskins Bennett Birrell Schupp. His practice is 90 percent criminal defense, and includes trials in both state and federal venues, as well as appellate advocacy. A longtime member of NACDL, Andy said he views service on the Board as an opportunity to give back to NACDL for all the support and friendship it has provided him throughout his career. Andy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a law degree from Antioch School of Law.

Ellen C. Brotman joins the Board as an affiliate representative. Ellen is a partner in the White Collar and Government Investigations Group at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads in Philadelphia. She concentrates her practice on white collar criminal defense and representation of attorneys in disciplinary proceedings. Earlier in her career Ellen served as an assistant federal defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia and as a law clerk to the Hon. Lee P. Gagliardi in the Southern District of New York. Ellen is a frequent lecturer on myriad criminal defense issues, and an adjunct professor at Widener Law School. Ellen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Albany and a law degree from Albany Law School at Union University, where she served as note and comment editor of the Albany Law Review.

Alexander Bunin is the Chief Public Defender of Harris County, Texas (Houston). He is the first person designated to that position, which was just created in 2010. Prior to that Alex served as the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of New York, and before that he established and managed the federal defender organization in the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile. He has served NACDL in many capacities, and for 15 years he has published Federal Convictions Reversed, case summaries of federal court conviction reversals, which he graciously shared with NACDL. Alex earned his bachelor’s degree at Bowdoin College and his law degree at South Texas College of Law.

Jean-Jacques (J) Cabou is a partner in Perkins Coie LLP in the Investigations and White Collar Defense Group in Phoenix, Ariz. Prior to that J was a partner at Osborn Maledon, P.A., and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Law School and at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. J Cabou’s practice is 95 percent criminal defense, particularly white collar matters, with emphasis on postconviction work, including direct appeals, extraordinary writs and other postconviction proceedings. He has served NACDL as a CLE faculty member and as an amicus author. J earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia and his law degree at the University of Chicago Law School.

Josh A. Cohenis a partner at Clarence Dyer & Cohen LLP in San Francisco. The firm is devoted to criminal defense and complex civil litigation with an emphasis onparallel proceedings and internal investigations. Prior to that Josh had a solo practice and before that he was an associate at several firms and served for four years as an assistant federal public defender in San Francisco. Josh Cohen earned his bachelor’s degree at Williams College and his law degree at Yale Law School, where he served as essay editor for the Yale Law Journal.

Anthony D. Cotton returns to NACDL’s Board of Directors one year after completing his first term. Tony is a member of Kuchler & Cotton Law Offices in Waukesha, Wis., where he has an active criminal practice that includes both privately retained cases as well as public defender and CJA cases. He has been an active NACDL member for several years, serving on both the Indigent Defense Committee and the Membership Committee. Tony is a tireless recruiter for NACDL and a dedicated supporter of NACDL’s Wisconsin affiliate. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin and his law degree at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee.

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Candace C. Crouse is a senior associate at Strauss & Troy, LPA in Cincinnati. Prior to that Candace was an associate at various firms, served as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and as a law clerk to Hon. Frederick P. Stamp Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. Candace’s practice is almost entirely criminal defense and mostly in federal court. She is one of only two women attorneys on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of Ohio. Candace comes to NACDL’s Board with a history of service to the Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and a determination to bring the perspective of the younger lawyer to NACDL. Candace earned her bachelor’s degree at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va., and her law degree at Ohio State University College of Law.

Aric M. Cramerjoins the Board as an affiliate representative. Aric is the managing member at Cramer Cramer, LLC in St. George, Utah. His practice is limited to criminal defense in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels. He is a life member of NACDL.

Ramon (Ray) de la Cabadapractices criminal defense in his own law office in Miami, Fla. He focuses on criminal defense, compliance law and strategy for corporations and licensing and regulatory cases against professionals. Ray serves on the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases. He had extensive experience as a prosecutor before joining the ranks of the defense bar. Ray has also taught on the college level, including teaching criminal law at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. Ray earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree at Florida State University. He is a life member of NACDL.

Nina J. Ginsberg returns to NACDL’s Board after a hiatus of seven years. She previously served two terms from 1989-1995, and has served NACDL on numerous committees over the years, including a stint as chair of the Amicus Committee. She was also privileged to serve as a lawyer in the John Adams Project, representing one of the Guantánamo detainees accused in the 9/11 attacks. She practices criminal defense at Dimuro Ginsberg PC in Virginia, where she focuses on complex trial and appellate litigation, including capital litigation. Nina has served on the adjunct faculty at the George Washington University and George Mason University Schools of Law. Nina received a bachelor’s degree at the University of Rochester and a law degree at Antioch School of Law.

Ashish S. Joshiis a shareholder in the Lorandos Joshi law firm in Ann Arbor, Mich. His practice focuses on criminal defense, complex commercial litigation, and cross border criminal defense matters. Ashish has been an active participant and faculty member at NACDL CLE programs. In addition to his admission in numerous U.S. jurisdictions, he is a member of the bar of Gujarat, India. Ashish has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. Ashish Joshi earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the H.L. College of Commerce at Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, India, Bachelor and Master of Laws degrees at Sir L.A. Shah College, also at Gujarat, India, and a Master of Laws degree at the University of Michigan Law School.

Nellie L. King joins NACDL’s Board of Directors immediately following her term as president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She practices criminal defense out of her own law firm in West Palm Beach, Fla. Nellie worked closely with NACDL to advance the reforms proposed in Three-Minute Justice, the NACDL report on misdemeanor courts in Florida. She devotes significant time to pro bono work, particularly in the area of Graham juvenile resentencing hearings. Nellie earned a bachelor’s degree at Mary Washington College and a law degree at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale.

Benjamin R. LaBranchepractices criminal defense at the Rozas and Rozas Law Firm, L.L.C., in Baton Rouge. Prior to that Ben was an assistant public defender in Baton Rouge for five years. In addition to his involvement at NACDL and the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he has served as president of the Baton Rouge Bar of Criminal Justice. Ben also serves on the CJA Panels for the United States District Court for the Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana. He received his Bachelor of Science degree at Louisiana State University and his law degree at Southern University Law Center.

Norman R. Mueller is a shareholder in the Denver law firm Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, P.C. Norm began his legal career with a six-year stint in the office of the Colorado State Public Defender, where he rose to become chief appellate deputy. He has been an active NACDL member for many years, distinguishing himself with his work as a Tenth Circuit vice-chair of the Amicus Committee. Norm has also played a pivotal role in litigation efforts to challenge a Colorado statute that requires indigent defendants charged with misdemeanors to meet with the prosecutor before counsel can be appointed to represent them. He was recently appointed by the governor of Colorado to serve as a member of the Judicial Performance Commission for the Second Judicial District, and he serves as a member of the Criminal Pattern Jury Instruction Committee for the Tenth Circuit. Norm Mueller received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas, and his law degree at Yale University. 


  1. The complete list of officers and directors appears on page 2.
  2. To read the complete biography of each officer and director, visit www.
  3. John Wesley Hall, Search and Seizure (3d ed. 2000); available at www.