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Pattern Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses: A Trial Strategy & Resource Guide
In a criminal trial, cross-examination of the prosecution’s forensic expert may make the difference between victory or defeat.
2020 Sample Motions Collection Update
NACDL’s 2020 Sample Motions Collection is the follow-up to our wildly popular 2019 Sample Motions Collection and contains the newest and most recent additions to our ever-expanding Sample Motions library.
State v. Stone - A Case Study on Child Sexual Molestation & Sexual Battery
The criminal defense attorney tasked with defending such a case has to be prepared to not only show reasonable doubt, but to answer this question: If it did not happen, how is it that the child believes it did happen?
POZNER ON CROSS: Advanced Cross of Experts & Officers in DUI Cases
It’s not your strong opening argument. It’s not how many of your impassioned objections the judge sustains. It’s not even how you tie your theory of the case together with a dazzling closing statement bow. What wins your trial is your cross.
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Begay v. United States
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of the petitioner.
Boulware v. United States
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of petitioner.
Argument: Diversion of corporate funds to a shareholder of a corporation without earnings and profits automatically qualifies as a non-taxable return of capital up to the shareholder’s stock basis, even if the diversion was originally not labeled as a return of capital.
Boumediene v. Bush
Amicus curiae brief of the Coaltion of Non-Governmental Organizations, including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, arguing that the habeas-stripping provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Pub.L. No. 109-366, violate the Suspension Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Brendlin v. California
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Federal Defenders.
Cuellar v. United States
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of certiorari.
Gall v. United States & Kimbrough v.United States
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers.
Argument: In support of (1) It is not consistent with United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), and Rita v. United States, 551 U.S. __ (2007), for an appellate court to require that a sentence which lies outside the Guidelines range be justified by “extraordinary circumstances,” and (2) Sentencing judges must consider whether the Guideline ranges applicable to a given category of offenses adequately represent a sound balancing of all the Section 3553 factors pertinent to selecting the sentence for a particular case or group of cases within that category.
Gonzalez v. United States
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Federal Defenders in support of petitioner.
Argument: The Federal Magistrates Act requires that a criminal defendant personally give knowing, voluntary consent to the delegation of felony trial voir dire to a U.S. Magistrate Judge.
Kennedy v. Louisiana
NACDL amicus curiae brief in support of certiorari.
Argument: Brief argues that since convictions for child rape often rest solely on the testimony of children, and that research explains that child testimony is frequently unreliable, the risk of innocent persons receiving the death penalty is unacceptable; the Court has consistently held that the Eighth Amendment demands heightened reliability in capital cases.
Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Association of Federal Defenders and National College for DUI Defense in support of Petitioner.
Roper v. Weaver
NACDL amicus brief in support of respondent.
Argument: Brief argues that case can be affirmed alternatively on Eighth Amendment grounds, and AEDPA's standard of review does not apply.
Scott v. Harris
NACDL amicus brief in support of respondent, arguing that police officer violated the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure when office intentionally collided with plaintiff's vehicle during high speed chase.
United States v. Rodriquez
NACDL amicus curiae brief in support of respondent.
Argument: The ACCA’s focus on the particular “offense” for which a defendant was previously convicted dictates that the top of the state’s standard sentencing range for that offense is the statutory maximum for that offense.
United States v. Santos
Arguing, inter alia, that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the term “proceeds” as limited to profits is consistent with congressional intent and necessary to prevent defendants from inappropriately being punished twice (and more severely) for the same conduct.
United States v. W.R. Grace
Amicus curiae brief in support of defendant-appellees’ petition for rehearing en banc.
Argument: The panel decision erroneously failed to apply the rule of lenity in its ruling that the Clean Air Act’s ban on releasing hazardous air pollutants are defined more broadly in the criminal context than in the civil context; even if there were some merit in the panel’s ruling, the Act is ambiguous in that regard, which triggers the rule of lenity. The panel decision is also in error in holding that the government may cure an untimely indictment, originally dismissed for failure to state an overt act within the statute of limitations, by filing a superseding indictment within six months of dismissal.
Uttecht v. Brown
NACDL amicus curiae brief in support of Respondent. The issue involves whether the Ninth Circuit properly granted habeas relief in a capital case on the ground that the state trial court improperly ruled that a juror who expressed misgivings about the death penalty but repeatedly said he could follow the law was not “death qualified.”
Argument: Brief argues that juror's concern whether lack of "future dangerousness" mitigates against the death penalty comports with Washington state law, and the juror was erroneously excused.
Virginia v. Moore
NACDL amicus curiae brief in support of respondent.
Argument: At common law, an arrest falling outside the scope of “arrestable” offenses can never be justified and is always unreasonable; neither probable cause, nor good faith, nor even witnessing the alleged offense can make the arrest reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.