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2020 Making the Case for Life Seminar

Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, New Orleans, LA - CLE Credits: 14.5 General

Agenda Faculty CLE Hotel Exhibitor/Sponsor Scholarships Pricing Register Online Register by PDF Materials

COVID-19 Update: The health and welfare of conference attendees and staff is a priority for NACDL. We are currently proceeding with this scheduled event as planned, however, NACDL will continue to closely monitor developments in connection with the status of the coronavirus. While we are trying hard to strike a balance between taking immediate measures to limit personal contacts, we will continue long-range planning in anticipation of a point when the risk of virus spread has diminished. Obviously, if safety considerations continue, NACDL will promptly notify you should there be any change of plans with respect to this event. For resources to educate you on safe travel tips and any relevant health alerts or travel advisories, we recommend you stay current on any information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization at:

Program Summary:

Make the case...for your client's life at NACDL's 22nd Annual Making the Case for Life Seminar.  This seminar is designed to help capital defenders, investigators, and mitigation specialists. Participants will hear cutting-edge presentations regarding pretrial investigations, capital jury selection, new perspectives on discovering the story of the client and mitigation evidence.  Attendees will learn from seasoned capital trial lawyers, nationally-known law professors, and jury consultants, who will offer their personal perspectives, advice, and proven strategies for making the best case for life. If you are handling or may handle a case in which your client is facing the death penalty, then this is a must-attend seminar for you.


The program agenda and faculty are subject to change.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
3:00 pm Early Registration
Thursday, August 27, 2020
7:00 am Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:10 am Welcoming Remarks and Announcements – NACDL President Chris Adams (Charleston, SC) & CLE Program Co-Chairs Theresa M. Duncan (Albuquerque, NM), Natman Schaye (Tucson, AZ), and S. Boyd Young (Columbia, SC)
8:20 am Waking up to Justice: Death Penalty Work and the Deepest, Most Compelling Spiritual Adventure of my Life  – Sister Helen Prejean (New Orleans, LA)
9:20 am Trying the Case With Your Heart: Making the Jury Care  – Richard Jaffe (Birmingham, AL)
10:20 am Networking & Refreshment Break   
10:35 am Knowing What You Don't Know: Investigating a Capital Case – Marc Bookman (Philadelphia, PA)
11:35 am Aggressive Investigation in Capital Cases – Richard Kammen (Indianapolis, IN)
12:35 pm Lunch break on your own 
2:00 pm Preparing for What's Next: Creative Motions Practice in a Capital Case – Marc Bookman (Philadelphia, PA) 
3:00 pm Combining Non-Capital and Capital Voir Dire – Richard Kammen (Indianapolis, IN)
4:00 pm Break
4:15 pm Colorado Voir Dire Method – Tamara Brady (Greeley, CO) & David Wymore (Boulder, CO)
5:45 pm Adjourn for the day 
Friday, August 28, 2020
7:00 am Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:10 am Morning Announcements – Program Co-Chairs Theresa M. Duncan (Albuquerque, NM), Natman Schaye (Tucson, AZ), and S. Boyd Young ( Columbia, SC)
8:15 am The Capital Jury Project – Prof. Scott E. Sundby (Coral Gables, FL)
9:15 am Storytelling for Life – Chris Adams (Charleston, SC)
10:15 am Networking & Refreshment Break   
10:30 am Staking Out the Story - The Path to Life – Richard Jasper (New York, NY)
11:30 am Mental Health as Mitigation – Tamara Brady (Greeley, CO)
12:30 pm Lunch break on your own 
2:00 pm Conducting a Culturally Competent Mitigation Investigation – Felicia Sullivan (Jacksonville Beach, FL)
3:00 pm Making RICO Work For You in a Capital Case by Frontloading Mitigation – Richard Jasper (New York, NY)
4:00 pm Networking & Refreshment Break
4:15 pm KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Batson, History & Race: A Case Study – Tucker Carrington, Co-Author of The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist (Public Affairs 2018)
5:30 pm Seminar Adjourns


CLE Information

NACDL is an accredited provider of CLE in all states requiring mandatory CLE Training. NACDL will apply for at least 14.50 general credit hours in every state requiring pre-approval. Approved hours for each state will be identified at the seminar. Some states, IL, GA, NC, NE, NM, PA and UT require additional fees by the attendee in order to receive credit.


Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel
739 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

Phone Reservations: 504-962-0500
Online reservations:

Group Discount Rate: $99 + tax (Expires Wednesday, August 5, 2020)
Please mention group code ZXO to receive the applicable discount rate
Rooms/discounted group rates are not guaranteed if the block has been sold-out prior to the cut-off date.

Sponsorship and Exhibits

For information on exhibiting or sponsorships, please contact NACDL's Sales and Marketing Manager Jason Petty at or call (202) 465-7637.

Sponsor/Exhibit Prospectus

NACDL would like to thank the following sponsors, exhibitors, and affinity partners for their support and contributions:


still available...

Agenda Boards Sponsor:

still available...

Lanyards Sponsor:

still available...

Tote Bag Sponsor:

still available...


Envista Forensics


NACDL offers a variety of scholarships for this event ranging from partially discounted to fully funded. Each type of scholarship has different application requirements. To apply for any of the following scholarships, please follow the instructions for that specific scholarship.  

OPTION 1: Needs Based Scholarships

Based on need, scholarships are available to NACDL members for up to 50% off the standard seminar fee of $299. Approved recipients are responsible for the remainder of the tuition fee, which is $150  (all other expenses are not included). The reduced scholarship fee includes seminar tuition, admission to all evening social events, and downloadable seminar materials. Travel, hotel, and other costs are not included.

To Apply: Prepare and e-mail or fax a letter of no more than two pages explaining the reason why you believe you should receive the grant grant to: NACDL Director of Events Akvile Athanason, at or fax it to 202-872-8690. All applications must be submitted before registering for the seminar and received by July 30, 2020.


OPTION 2: Public Defense Scholarships

As a result of generous grant funding, NACDL is able to offer scholarship assistance to public defense providers to attend this NACDL training program. Scholarships will be awarded in the form of full or partial reimbursement of the registration costs of the program. Limited travel reimbursement stipends may also be awarded to qualifying individuals to help defray the costs of travel and lodging.

Apply for a Public Defense Scholarship  


Register Online Register by PDF Materials

Members of NACDL enjoy exclusive registration rates for our seminars along with all the benefits from joining.

Registration Fees
Regular, Life, and Sustaining Members $299
Non Members (includes 1 year membership)  $449
ALL Public Defenders $269
ALL Mitigation Specialists $269
ALL Investigators $269
Groups of 4 or more PDs (must register at the same time; 1 payment; no changes or cancellations allowed) $239
Non-Attendee Materials / Recordings
Course Materials on CD-Rom $150
Audio Recordings of Seminar (Non-Attendee) $150
Pre-Order Video DVD Recording of Seminar $299

Code of Conduct

NACDL endeavors to foster a working, learning, and social environment free of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and insult. To that end, NACDL has adopted a Code of Conduct for Affiliated Persons that applies to all attendees and participants of any kind at all NACDL sponsored events.

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