Advocacy & Related Press
Fishy SOX: Overcriminalization’s New Harm Paradigm Todd Haugh, March 2015.
“Should You Be Jailed for Committing a Crime You Didn’t Know Was A Crime? New Ohio Law Tackles Issue,” The Daily Signal, January 13, 2015.
“The Overcriminalization of America,” Politico Magazine, January 7, 2015.
“House Judiciary Committee Gets Broader Jurisdiction After Rule Change,” LegalTimes, January 6, 2015.
“A Rare Bipartisan Consensus In Favor of Overcriminalization Reform,” National Review Online, January 4, 2015.
"When Ignorance Is an Excellent Excuse," by Evan Bernick, National Review, January 13, 2014.
"Opinion: Overcriminalizing Americans wastes money and ruins lives," by Cara Sullivan, Fox News, December 11, 2013.
"MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system," by John G. Malcolm and Norman L. Reimer, The Washington Times, December 11, 2013.
"Opinion: Laws Have Overcriminalized Business Behavior," by Ellen Podgor, The New York Times, November 10, 2013.
Legislative Tool: Criminal Law Checklist for Federal Legislators
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A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.
Overcriminalization Task Force: All materials related to the work and hearings of this House Judiciary Committee Task Force is available here.
"Factsheet - Overcriminalization: An Explosion of Federal Criminal Law," The Heritage Foundation, April 27, 2011.
Congressional Hearing on "Reining in Overcriminalization: Assessing the Problems, Proposing Solutions," September 28, 2010
- Testimony of NACDL President Jim E. Lavine, September 28, 2010
- NACDL Op-Ed, "Wasted lives, wasted money: The offense of overcriminalization," The Hill, September 24, 2010
- "Congress looks at laws that criminalize non-criminal behavior," McClatchy Newspapers, October 4, 2010
- Coalition Media Kit
- Hearing video, testimony and statements
Capitol Hill Release Event for "Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law," May 5, 2010
- NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer on The Problem of Overcriminalization, May 5, 2010.
- Without Intent Report & Materials
- "Report: Congress makes too many vague laws", Associated Press, May 4, 2010
Congressional Hearing on "Over-criminalization of Conduct and Over-Federalization of Criminal Law," July 22, 2009
- Written Statement of NACDL President John Wesley Hall, July 22, 2009
- "Right and Left Join Forces on Criminal Justice," The New York Times, November 23, 2009
- Hearing video, testimony and statements
Ronald A. Cass, Overcriminalization: Administrative Regulation, Prosecutorial Discretion, and the Rule of Law, The Federalist Society, December 2014.
Evan Bernick, Paul Larkin, and Jordan Richardson, Is Congress Addressing Our Overcriminalization Problem? Reviewing the Progress of the Overcriminalization Task Force, The Heritage Foundation, August 2014.
Stephen F. Smith, A Judicial Cure for the Disease of Overcriminalization, The Heritage Foundation, August 2014.
Paul Larkin, The Extent of America's Overcriminalization Problem, The Heritage Foundation, May 2014.
James Copland & Isaac Gorodetski, The Shadow Lengthens: The Continuing Threat of Regulation by Prosecution, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, February 2014.
Evan Bernick, "The Best of Disinfectants": Using Publicity to Fight Overcriminalization, The Heritage Foundation, January 2014.
Julie Rose O'Sullivan, The Federal Criminal "Code": Return of Overfederalization, 37 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 57 (2014)
Paul Larkin, Regulation, Prohibition, and Overcriminalization: The Proper and Improper Uses of the Criminal Law, 42 Hofstra L. Rev. 745 (2014)
Law Review Articles Produced from: "Overcriminalization 2.0: Developing Consensus Solutions" and "Overcriminalization Symposium - The Politics of Crime"
Paul Larkin, Reasonably Construing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Avoid Overcriminalization, The Heritage Foundation, June 2013.
Paul Larkin, Fighting Back Against Overcriminalization: The Elements of a Mistake of Law Defense, The Heritage Foundation, June 2013.
Paul Larkin, The Need for a Mistake of Law Defense as a Response to Overcriminalization, The Heritage Foundation, April 2013.
Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), Engulfed by Environmental Crimes: Overcriminalization on the Gulf Coast, December 2012.
Overcriminalization of Conduct, Overfederalization of Criminal Law, and the Exercise of Enforcement Discretion, Smart on Crime: Recommendations for the Administration and Congress (2011)
Kyle O'Dowd, Shana-Tara Regon and Michael Price, Notes from the Defense Bar: Fighting for Reform on Three Fronts During the Obama Administration, Federal Sentencing Reporter (December 2010)
Tiffany M. Joslyn, Criminal Provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, Federalist Society New Federal Initiatives Project (December 2010) [HTML Version] [PDF Version]
Brian W. Walsh and Tiffany M. Joslyn, Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law, The Heritage Foundation and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2010)
"A Conversation With Abbe David Lowell" - This unique one hour program with prominent defense attorney Abbe D. Lowell discusses lessons learned from his defense of John Edwards, and other prominent politicians, and explores the overcriminalization implications of such prosecutions. Click here to watch!
Podcast: Timothy O'Toole & James Copland on Overcriminalization - Timothy O'Toole, criminal defense attorney with Miller Chevalier and NACDL Board Member, and James Copland, director of the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute, discuss overcriminalization at federal and state levels. Click here for the audio!
Hill Staffer Training: Have You Committed a Felony Today? - Federal criminal laws present a labyrinth that is difficult for staffers to navigate in order to stay on the right side of the law. On October 7, 2011, NACDL and the Heritage Foundation co-hosted a training on Capitol Hill to address this very issue. This panel of experts explores the pitfalls facing Hill staffers in federal criminal law and shares insights on what staffers can do to avoid being prosecuted for how they do their job. For anyone working on or around Capitol Hill, this must-see program will help you answer that critical question: Have you committed a felony today? Click here for the video!
Overcriminalization 2.0 Symposium - Developing Consensus Solutions - On October 21st, 2010, the Journal of Law, Economics & Policy at the George Mason University School of Law hosted its annual symposium on the problem of overcriminalization and development of reforms. This program was sponsored by NACDL, the Foundation for Criminal Justice, and the Law & Economics Center at George Mason University. Symposium materials and law review scholarship, published in J.L. Econ. Pol'y Issue 7.4, are below:
- Program Agenda (PDF)
- J.L. Econ. Pol'y Issue 7.4, Overcriminalization 2.0: Developing Consensus Solutions [PDF]
- Norman L. Reimer, Opening Remarks, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 573 (2011)
- Larry D. Thompson, Keynote Speech: The Reality of Overcriminalization, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 577 (2011)
- Ronald L. Gainer, Remarks on the Introduction of Criminal Law Reform Initiatives, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 587 (2011)
- Roger A. Fairfax, Jr., From "Overcriminalization" to "Smart on Crime": American Criminal Justice Reform - Legacy and Prospects, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 597 (2011)
- Larry E. Ribstein, Agents Prosecuting Agents, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 617 (2011)
- Lucian E. Dervan, Overcriminalization 2.0: The Symbiotic Relationship Between Plea Bargaining and Overcriminalization, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 645 (2011)
- Darryl K. Brown, Criminal Law's Unfortunate Triumph Over Administrative Law, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 657 (2011)
- Geraldine Szott Moohr, Playing With the Rules: An Effort to Strengthen the Mens Rea Standards of Federal Criminal Laws, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 685 (2011)
- Harvey Silverglate, Remarks on Restoring the Mens Rea Requirement, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 711 (2011)
- Marie Gryphon, The Better Part of Lenity, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 717 (2011)
- Jeffrey S. Parker, Developing Consensus Solutions to Overcriminalization Problems: The Way Ahead, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 725 (2011)
- Ellen Podgor, Foreward, 7 J.L. Econ. Pol'y 565 (2011)
Avoiding a Rush to Judgment - Overcriminalization in the Subprime Meltdown - On October 27, 2008, the Heritage Foundation, NACDL and the Washington Legal Foundation presented a discussion of the subprime crisis, viewed through the lens of potential criminal liability, by a panel of distinguished criminal defense lawyers. Most leading financial experts and economists agree that the causes of the financial meltdown are predominately economic, and not criminal in nature. Yet both The Economist and former Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand have recently observed that political pressure in the wake of a crisis frequently translates into a perceived mandate on Congress to create new criminal laws – and on the Executive Branch to prosecute and convict someone. Click here for the video and review the written materials from NACDL: "Mortgage Fraud: In Brief" and "Sufficiently Armed: The Federal Toolbox for Punishing Criminality in the Subprime Market."
Overcriminalization Symposium - The Politics of Crime - On October 29, 2004, NACDL, the American University Law Review and The Heritage Foundation presented an all-day symposium on overcriminalization. Symposium materials and law review scholarship are below:
- Welcome Letter, Steven C. Serio, Editor-in-Chief, American University Law Review
- Agenda: Overcriminalization - The Politics of Crime
- Faculty Biographies
- Selected Bibliography
- Ellen S. Podgor, Overcriminalization: The Politics of Crime, 54 AMULR 541 (2005)
- Erik Luna, The Overcriminalization Phenomenon, 54 AMULR 703 (2005)
- John S. Baker, Jr., Jurisdiction and Separation of Powers Strategies to Limit the Expansion of Federal Crimes, 54 AMULR 545 (2005)
- John Hasnas, Ethics and the Problem of White Collar Crime, 54 AMULR 579 (2005)
- Peter J. Henning, Targeting Legal Advice, 54 AMULR 669 (2005)
- Sara Sun Beale, The Many Faces of Overcriminalization: From Morals and Mattress Tags to Overfederalization, 54 AMULR 747 (2005)
- Geraldine Szott Moohr, Defining Overcriminalization: Through Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Example of Criminal Copyright Laws, 54 AMULR 783 809 (2005)
- Paul Rosenzweig, Overcriminalizing: An Agenda for Change, 54 AMULR 809 (2005)