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
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.