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James J. Brosnahan (San Francisco, CA)
James J. Brosnahan is named among the top 30 trial lawyers in the United States, according to the Legal 500 US. A lion of the trial bar, James J. Brosnahan is one of the most respected and recognized trial lawyers in the United States. Mr. Brosnahan has more than 50 years of experience in both civil and criminal trial work. He regularly undertakes complex cases that are about to go to trial. He has tried, to conclusion, 150 cases. The cases have ranged from anti-trust to wire fraud and from patent litigation to white collar crime and murder. Mr. Brosnahan has received numerous awards and recognition throughout his distinguished career. In 1996, he was inducted into the State Bar of California's "Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame" and was awarded the Samuel E. Gates Award by the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2000 for his "significant, exceptional lasting contribution to the improvement of the litigation process." In 2001, Mr. Brosnahan was named "Trial Lawyer of the Year" by the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the following year, the San Francisco Lawyers' Club honored Mr. Brosnahan with its "Legend of the Law" award. In 2006, he was named one of America's most influential trial lawyers by the National Law Journal. In 2007, he received the American Inns of Court Lewis F. Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics to recognize a "lifetime devoted to the highest standards of ethical practice, competence, and professionalism." In 2011, he received the Judge Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee. He was recently recognized as a 2012 Lifetime Achiever by The American Lawyer which recognizes outstanding professional success and a devotion to public service. He was also a National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Teacher of the Year. Mr. Brosnahan has been recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA every year since its launch. He is also ranked by PLC Which Lawyer?, The Best Lawyers in America (for the past 29 years), The Legal 500 US 2013, Benchmark Litigation, The Lawdragon Top 3000, The Best of the Best USA Litigation 2013, Euromoney’s Expert Guides, and the top ten in Northern California Super Lawyers since its launch in 2004. Mr. Brosnahan is active in professional activities and is a past president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, whose Volunteer Lawyers Service Program he founded. He was also a National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Teacher of the Year. Mr. Brosnahan has served as special counsel to the California Legislature's Joint Subcommittee on Crude Oil Pricing, the lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and Chairman of the Delegation. Mr. Brosnahan also serves as Master Advocate on the faculty and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Mr. Brosnahan authored the "Trial Handbook for California Lawyers."
Ellen C. Brotman (Philadelphia, PA)
Ellen C. Brotman is a partner in the firm's Litigation Department. She concentrates her practice on government investigations and white collar criminal defense and representation of attorneys before the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Brotman has defended a wide variety of criminal cases, including political and public corruption, corporate securities fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, currency structuring and other white collar crimes involving complex trial, sentencing and appellate issues. She recently served as a key member of the defense team representing U.S. Army Brigadier General Sinclair in a rare and high-profile court-martial, in which the most serious charges were dropped and the court imposed no jail sentence and no dismissal from service. Brotman is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP), having received certification from the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE) Academy in September 2010. She has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of Criminal Defense, 2013 - 2007 and as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in the area of White Collar Criminal Defense, 2013 – 2008. Prior to joining Montgomery McCracken, Brotman was a partner at Carroll & Brotman for four years, where she concentrated her practice on criminal defense in federal courts and represented professionals in state disciplinary proceedings. From 1995 to 1998, as an assistant federal defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, she provided criminal defense for indigent clients in federal court at trial and appellate levels. Before relocating to Philadelphia, Brotman served as a law clerk to Hon. Lee P. Gagliardi, U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York.
Drew Findling (Atlanta, GA)
Drew exclusively practices federal and state criminal defense. His creative and legally sound defense strategies have helped him to successfully defend cases throughout the country. Drew’s diverse practice has included the successful defense of complex white collar cases, political crimes, and murder cases. As a much sought after lecturer, he has spoken to bar associations in over 30 states. Recognized by the Justice Department for his expertise as a criminal defense lawyer, he co authored the Justice Department’s A Guide for Law Enforcement: Crime Scene Investigation and is the only criminal defense attorney serving on the Justice Department’s Advisory Council for Science, Technology and the Law. Drew is also on the Board of Directors for NACDL, Chairman of the Forensic Sciences Committee and serves on the National Forensics Litigation College Advisory Board.
Fernando Freyre (Denver, CO)
Fernando Freyre was born in Havana, Cuba. He is a senior lawyer for the Denver Trial office of the Colorado State Public Defender. He has been doing criminal defense since 1983 and has tried over 100 criminal jury trials. He has taught ethics and trial tactics to the Colorado Defender System, for the Colorado Bar Association and at the University of Colorado and Denver University law schools. Fernando is on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia where he teaches each year, and he has taught at trial colleges in Chile and Argentina. He is also a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Joseph A. "Andy" Gavaldon (Fort Collins, CO)
Andy (Joseph A.) Gavaldon has a reputation for his tenacity in protecting and advocating for his clients. He graduated in 1972 from the University of Colorado with a B.A in English and Philosophy and from CU Law School in 1975. He has been a criminal defense lawyer for 38 years, with 17 as a state public defender. He is qualified as an expert in criminal defense, has been asked to teach and lecture throughout the country and has been a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College since 1992. The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory assigned Joseph (Andy) Gavaldon its highest rating. Mr. Gavaldon has been bestowed the title of Fellow in the highly respected American Board of Criminal Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Andrea George (Spokane, WA)
Andrea George is the Executive Director of the Federal Defenders for the Eastern District of Washington and Idaho and has held that position since January, 2012. Prior to heading the office, she was the Senior Litigator with the Federal Defenders for the District of Minnesota and worked in that office from 1989 to 2011. This year marks the starts of her 25th year defending indigent clients charged with serious crimes in federal court. Ms. George is a 1984 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and a 1989 graduate of Hamline University School of Law. Ms. George is a long-time faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College, the Wisconsin Trial Academy, ADC Trial Advocacy and is a regular speaker for the Federal Judicial Center and Defender Services.
Gerald H. Goldstein (San Antonio, TX)
Gerald “Gerry” Harris Goldstein is a nationally known and respected defense lawyer and Past President of both the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Texas Lawyer’s Legal Legends, has been profiled in numerous publications, has served as an adjunct professor of law at University of Texas School of Law in Austin and at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, and is a fellow in the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Goldstein is nationally renowned for his brilliant criminal defense advocacy and extraordinary skills as a lecturer. A 1991 recipient of the Rober C. Heeney Memorial Award from the NACDL, he served as amicus curiae for the NACDL in many high-profile cases, including CNN v. Manuel Noriega (1990), opposing network broadcasting of government tapes of Noriega’s conversations with his attorneys; and Joe Does v. United States (1994), arguing that lawyers should not be required to disclose the identity of cash-paying clients on IRS forms. His congressional testimony during the 1996 House Waco hearings is credited with helping to turn the tide against further suppression of citizen’s rights in America. Goldstein served as President of the NACDL from 1994-1995. Goldstein previously served as President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association from 1992-1993. In 2002, he received the high honor of induction into the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Hall of Fame.
Cat Kelly (Jefferson City, MO)
Cat Kelly just retired from her position as Missouri’s fourth State Public Defender, the first woman to hold that post. Although she started her legal career as a prosecutor, she quickly learned the error of her ways and spent the next 31 years in atonement, working with the Missouri Public Defender System. Fourteen of those years were as the state’s Director of Training, before she was named Deputy Director in 2006 and then Director in 2011. Cat is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College at Mercer Law School, has spoken on issues of criminal defense around the country, and has served as an adjunct professor of law at both Washington University and St. Louis University Schools of Law. She is a past recipient of the Missouri Bar’s Defender of Distinction Award, the Missouri Lawyers Media Women’s Justice Award, and in 2010 was named one of Missouri’s Most Influential Lawyers. In 2012, she received the National Defender of Justice and Life in the Balance awards from the National Association of Legal Aid and Defender’s Association.
Randi McGinn (Albuquerque, NM)
Randi McGinn is the senior partner in a five-woman, two-man law firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is known for her creativity in the courtroom and her use of demonstrative evidence to visualize opening, direct, cross-examination, and closing argument. She has destroyed adverse witnesses by leaving a pretentious Beverly Hills doctor standing in front of the jury covered with post-it notes and clutching a grapefruit to his chest, by grilling a government snitch until he threw up, and by exposing the fact that a world-renowned polygraph expert had been polygraphing his own sperm cells in the dead of night. In a particularly hard-won police shooting case, the local SWAT officers once put her face on their Christmas piñata and took turns whacking it with a big stick. Randi started her career by giving birth to daughter Heather, now age thirty-four, the day before the three-day bar examination. Randi is the vice president of the Inner Circle of Advocates. She is double-listed in criminal and civil litigation in Best Lawyers in America, and is a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. She is a former governor of the American Association for Justice, a past president of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, and a former board member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Randi has taught trial practice for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the National Criminal Defense College, and has been an adjunct professor for the University of New Mexico.
Roberta M. "Bert" Nieslanik (Grand Junction, CO)
Roberta “Bert” Nieslanik is the Deputy Director of the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel, the Colorado statewide conflicts office. She spent 11 years at the Colorado Public Defender’s Office, managing 2 different trial offices and 3 years in private practice in Grand Junction, Colorado. She teaches at the National Criminal Defense College, New York State Defender’s Basic Trial Skills Institute and other places. She was the 1993 Jonathan Olom Award recipient. Bert has presented hundreds of times in programs and workshops around the United States on various topics in Criminal Defense and trial practice. She believes in the power of story and is blessed with a rich Irish-Catholic heritage that gave her the storytelling gene. Her passion is to try to inspire each of us to be a little bit better than we are today.
Jeffery P. Robinson (Seattle, WA)
Jeff has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1993. He has been selected as one of the top 100 black lawyers in America by Black Enterprise magazine and is an elected fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, whose membership is limited to one percent of the attorneys in any state. He is also consistently ranked as one of the top 10 Criminal Defense Lawyers in Washington State by Washington Law & Politics magazine. Jeff has tried over 200 cases to verdict and represents a broad range of clients facing investigation or prosecution for white collar crimes and other serious felony charges. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981, Jeff spent the next seven years representing indigent clients in state court at The Defender Association and then in federal court at The Federal Public Defender’s Office, both in Seattle. In private practice at SGB since 1988, Jeff has successfully represented individuals and corporations in state and federal court on charges ranging from first-degree murder to healthcare fraud. He also has extensive experience representing clients in lengthy grand jury investigations that have resulted in no indictment. In addition to being a nationally recognized trial attorney, Jeff is also a respected teacher of trial advocacy, and has lectured on trial skills all over the United States. He is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia. He is a past President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a winner of that Association’s prestigious William O. Douglas Award (2004).
Martin Sabelli (San Francisco, CA)
Martin Sabelli has represented individuals in federal and state courts since 1993. He has represented individuals in state and federal death penalty prosecutions, in complex federal white collar matters, and in high-profile crimes including, in particular, many gang-related offenses. He served as a federal public defender in San Francisco, as the first Director of Training for the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, and as a law clerk to the late Honorable Robert F. Peckham. He has also practiced criminal defense with Patrick Hallinan and as a partner Winston & Strawn in San Francisco. He teaches regularly at the National Criminal Defense College and for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy as well as numerous other criminal defense/public defense programs around the country and abroad. In particular, he has been deeply involved in the transitions from inquisitorial to adversarial systems in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other Latin American nations. He has authored law review articles on the dangers of self representation and prosecutorial discretion. He graduated from Harvard College, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Yale Law School and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of NACDL.
Deja Vishny (Milwaukee, WI)
Deja Vishny has practiced criminal defense for over 35 years with the Milwaukee Wisconsin Office of the State Public Defender, where she specializes in defending homicide cases. She heads the statewide Homicide Practice Group and is the deputy training director for that agency. She is a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Marquette University Law School and has taught at seminars on trial and motion practice throughout the United States and in India. She studied police interrogation and attended the Reid school of Interrogation course in 2004, is a nationally known lecturer on the subject of defending false confession cases, and published articles in The Champion and The Wisconsin Defender on the subject. She currently is serving her third term on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and served several terms on the Board of the Wisconsin State Bar Criminal Law Section. Her book , Suppressing Evidence, will be published by James Publishing in 2015.
David Wymore (Boulder, CO)
David Wymore maintains a solo practice in Boulder, Colorado. He graduated from the Ohio State University and the University of Colorado School of Law. He became a Colorado Deputy Public Defender in 1976 and the Colorado Chief Trial Deputy from 1982 to 2004 when he retired. David also teaches trial tactics and death litigation, and is primarily recognized for his creation of the Colorado Method of Capitol Voir Dire. He is presently involved with the on-going Capital Voir Dire project of NACDL and the Southern Center for Human Rights. Mr. Wymore was featured in the May 1997 publication of The American Lawyer under the caption “Too Effective for his working in keeping Colorado’s death row empty.” A feature-length documentary entitled, “The Life Penalty” about David and the Colorado Method of Jury Selection is presently being shown in the U.S. and abroad. Various awards he has earned include, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar 1997 Jonathon Olom Award; University of Colorado, School of Law 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award; Colorado Criminal Defense Bar 2008 The Gideon Award; Boulder County Bar Association 2008 Ron Porter Award of Merit; and the ACLU Foundation of Colorado 2008 Edward Sherman Award.