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2023 Defending Modern Drug Cases Seminar

Planet Hollywood Hotel, Las Vegas, NV - 12.0 Credits/1.0 Ethics Credit

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

Modern drug cases are evolving as the "War on Drugs" expands.  The opioid epidemic and Fentanyl have plagued the nation and the criminal justice landscape – leading to harsher punishments and other incentives to force pleas, even when they are unjust.  

As the impact of the pandemic continues to fade, criminal drug trials are picking up once again, and you must be prepared for the fight!

To help you get ready, join NACDL in Las Vegas from September 20-23 for the 16th Annual Defending Modern Drug Cases Seminar,  to learn novel techniques and practices from the nation's leading experts. You will undoubtedly enhance and improve your practice at this seminar, all while spending three days in Las Vegas with your peers in the fight for justice. This event is ideal for helping you creating a national referral network – all in all, a fantastic way to prepare for success in your next drug case. 

NOTE: This Defending Modern Drug Cases Seminar is held jointly in conjunction with the "DWI Means Defend With Ingenuity" Seminar, on the same dates, at the same location. While the Drug Seminar is held in the afternoons only, the DWI seminar is held in the mornings only. If you are interested in attending both seminars, click to register for both seminars button below and receive up to a 20% discount on your total combined registration fees.



The program agenda and faculty are subject to change.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
3:00-6:00 pm Early Registration & Exhibit Hall Open
Thursday, September 21 2023
11:30 am Registration & Exhibits & Exhibit Hall Open
1:30 pm Welcome, Introductions, Announcements – NACDL President Michael Heiskell (Fort Worth, TX), Drug Program Co-Chairs John Arrascada (Reno, NV), Carmen Roe (Houston, TX), Ian M. Wallach (Los Angeles, CA), and Tim Zerillo (Portland, ME)
1:40 pm The Busy Lawyers’ Guide to Objections – Rene L. Valladares (Las Vegas, NV)
2:40 pm Turning a Government Expert into a Defense Witness in a Drug Case –Amanda Clark Palmer (Atlanta, GA)
3:40 pm Refreshment & Exhibitor Break
4:00 pm Bled To Death By A Thousand Cuts: Creative Motion Practice in Drug Cases – Justin Rosas (Medford, OR)
5:00 pm Minimizing Harm at Sentencing: Aggravating Factors, Disparate Treatment of Certain Substances, and Acquitted Conduct – Mark Sedlander (Los Angeles, CA)
6:00 pm Drug Seminar adjourns for the day
6:30 pm Opening Reception – Planet Hollywood Hotel
Friday, September 22, 2023
1:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
1:45 pm Affirmative Defense Evidence in a Drug Case: Winning With Your Client and Other Witnesses – Ed Ungvarsky (Alexandria, VA)
2:45 pm Impeaching the Witness in Drug Prosecutions – Jason Downs (Washington, DC)
3:45 pm Refreshment & Exhibitor Break
4:05 pm Zealous Drug Defense in the Fentanyl Era – Molly Parmer (Atlanta, GA)
5:05 pm Defending Drug Overdose Homicides: Telling the Story of the Addict – Bridget Krause (Milwaukee, WI)
6:05 pm Drug Seminar adjourns for the Day
Saturday, September 23, 2023
11:00 am Exhibit Hall Open
12:00 pm What is "Substantially Similar"? Understanding and Challenging the Federal Analogue Act  – Marci G. LaBranche (Denver, CO)
1:00 pm Voir Dire in a Drug Case – Jovan Blacknell (Culver City, CA)
2:00 pm Refreshment & Exhibitor Break
2:15 pm Negotiations and Plea Agreements in Drug Cases – Carmen Roe (Houston, TX)
3:15 pm Ethics and Fee Agreements – Susan E. Williams (Summerville, SC)
4:15 pm Drug Seminar Adjourns Until September 18-21, 2024



CLE Information

NACDL is an accredited provider of CLE in all states requiring mandatory CLE Training. NACDL will apply for at least 12.00 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, TN and UT require additional fees by the attendee in order to receive credit.


Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino 
3667 Las Vegas Blvd South 
Las Vegas, NV 89109 

Phone Reservations: 1-866-523-2781
Group rate: $163 + $29 resort fee + tax  (Expires August 20, 2023). Please mention group code SMNAC3 to receive applicable discount rate. 
Rooms/discounted group rates are not guaranteed if the block has been filled prior to the cut-off date.

A limited number of rooms at government per diem rate are currently available for NACDL Public Defender Members. For more information, please contact Director of Events Akvile Athanason at

Sponsorship and Exhibits

Disclaimer: NACDL does not necessarily endorse or guarantee the quality, applicability, or discounts of the products and/or services of its exhibitors. Users of these products and/or services do so at their sole discretion and NACDL assumes no responsibility for them.

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...

GOLD Sponsor:

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SILVER Sponsor:

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BRONZE Sponsor:

Thursday Night Opening Reception Sponsor:

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Wi-Fi Sponsor:

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Seminar Materials Sponsor:

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Lanyards Sponsor:

Tote Bag Sponsor:

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BluShark Digital
British Custom Tailors
California Behavioral Health
Convert It Marketing
Defense Forensic
Godoy Medical Forensics, Inc.
Legal Brand Merketing
RizeUp Media
The Criminal Mastermind


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 $399. Approved recipients are responsible for the remainder of the tuition fee, which is $200 (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 to: NACDL Director of Events Akvile Athanason, at
All applications must be submitted before registering for the seminar and received by August 10, 2023.


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.
Completed public defense scholarship applications should be emailed to: 

Apply for a Public Defense Scholarship  


Register Online Register by PDF Materials

If you are interested in attending both DUI and Drug seminars, register for both seminars together and receive up to 20% discount on your total combined registration fee.

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

Registration Fees Drug Only BOTH Drug/DUI
NACDL Members: Regular, Life, and Sustaining  $399 $799
NACDL Members: Public Defender, Associate, Professor, "New Lawyer", and International  $269 $534
Non-Members of NACDL: Public Defenders $289 $568
Non-Members on NACDL: Private Practice (Includes a 1-Year Membership)  $575 $1099
ALL Nevada Lawyers (Residents Only) $269 $709
Groups of 4 or more Public Defenders from the same office (must register at the same time; 1 payment; no changes or cancellations allowed). To register a group, please visit: $239 $480
Non-Attendee Materials / Recordings
Written Materials Only $150
Audio Recording of Seminar (Non-Attendee) $150
Pre-Order Video DVD Recording of Seminar $299

CANCELLATIONS: There is a $75 cancellation fee. Cancellations must be received in writing via e-mail by 5:30 pm E.T. Friday, September 15, 2023, to receive a refund, less the cancellation fee. No refunds can be issued after the cancellation deadline.

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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