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The Champion

July 2004 , Page 44 

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Public Defense: NACDL Joins ACLU in Hosting Successful 'Systemic Indigent Defense Litigation Forum'

By Catherine V. Beane

Read more Public Defense columns.

On June 2, 60 litigators from 14 states across the country participated in a “Systemic Indigent Defense Litigation Forum.” Jointly organized and planned by NACDL and the American Civil Liberties Union, the forum was hosted by Covington & Burling partner John Hall, who is working with NACDL as pro bono counsel to explore the viability of a systemic challenge to Virginia’s indigent defense system. Highlights of the day included spirited discussions of potential litigation strategies, a remembrance of NACDL founder Sam Dash for his leadership and outspoken advocacy regarding the right to counsel, and attendance by Arnold & Porter partner Abe Krash, who worked with former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas on the brief in Gideon v. Wainwright. 

Although attendees came from different geographic and professional backgrounds, all shared a deep concern over the failure of state governments to meet their constitutional obligations regarding the right to counsel, and a common interest in using thei

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