Vanessa Antoun is NACDL’s Senior Resource Counsel. She provides resource materials, support and training for criminal defense lawyers across the country, with a particular focus on small and solo practices, indigent defense counsel, and post-conviction lawyers. Ms. Antoun coordinates NACDL’s efforts on the Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis Review, a collaboration with the FBI, Department of Justice, and Innocence Project to identify and review cases where scientifically invalid microscopic hair comparison evidence may have been presented. She organizes nationwide trainings for defense lawyers on the latest techniques for investigating and litigating cases involving forensic evidence, post-conviction innocence claims, immigration issues, representing juveniles in adult court, and a variety of other topics. She developed and maintains an online resource center for defense counsel, including developing research and training materials. She has represented NACDL on several advisory boards, working with other organizations to implement national criminal justice projects and trainings.
Prior to joining NACDL, Ms. Antoun was a criminal defense lawyer for over ten years, representing clients charged with offenses ranging from reckless driving to capital murder. Following an internship with the City of Alexandria Public Defender, she joined the Fairfax County Office of the Public Defender in northern Virginia. She served as an Assistant Public Defender, Senior Assistant, Deputy Public Defender and finally as the chief Public Defender for the City and County of Fairfax. She then went into private practice with Devine & Connell, P.L.C., and most recently had been a solo practitioner. Ms. Antoun is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and George Mason University School of Law
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.