I hope this message finds you, your loved ones, and your colleagues doing well and heeding all applicable precautions in this most difficult time. The risks to the health of our clients and those close to us is uppermost in our minds. But we also recognize that the near total shutdown also brings untold financial and emotional stress. As a membership organization that embodies the unique spirit of camaraderie that binds the criminal defense bar, NACDL is striving to do everything we can to support you throughout this public health crisis.
By now, many of you are aware of NACDL’s ever-growing coronavirus resource. Since the middle of March, NACDL has been gathering, and you – Liberty’s Last Champions – have been sending, extraordinarily helpful content for this resource. In addition to NACDL’s statements, principles, and messages concerning the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. criminal justice system, this resource offers scores of motions, pleadings, rulings, letters, platforms, and dynamic databases tracking developments in the nation’s jails, prisons, courts, and legislatures. The coronavirus resource page also includes important links concerning the availability of financial support for workers and small businesses who have been hit hard by the shutdown. NACDL will continue to work diligently on this resource throughout the current crisis. I invite you to submit relevant material directly to NACDL Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications Ivan Dominguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we know that most of the nation is under stay-at-home orders, going to one’s office for many is no longer a part of the daily routine. Rather, many of us, including NACDL’s professional staff, are working from home. NACDL wants to be sure you do not miss out on even a single issue of The Champion magazine. To accomplish that, NACDL is making a full color PDF of the entire March issue available to members on the website. All you need to do is click that link and log in to nacdl.org using your member credentials. It is important to point out that this issue of The Champion was completed and in production prior to the pandemic sweeping the nation.
In keeping with NACDL’s commitment to offer the best in legal education for the criminal defense bar and recognizing the hardship and disruption this pandemic has caused to all aspects of our lives, NACDL is offering a three-week series of free online and on-demand continuing legal education programs to you, NACDL’s members. This week, through April 10, the available programs are “Practical Considerations for Cross-Examining Adult Complainants in Sexual Assault Cases” (presented by Jason Downs of Baltimore, MD) and “Radical Jury Tools for Difficult, Challenging, Troublesome Trials” (presented by SunWolf of Santa Clara, CA). All you need to do to watch these webinars, as well as those each week for the next two weeks, is log in and register.
COVID-19 Federal Compassionate Release Project
Yesterday, working together with FAMM and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, NACDL announced the launch of an emergency COVID-19 initiative of the groups’ joint Compassionate Release Clearinghouse. To date, hundreds of attorneys have stepped up to volunteer to save the lives of at-risk individuals through this effort. Since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, more than 400 individuals in federal prison have requested the assistance of the Compassionate Release Clearinghouse, and requests are coming in every day. While the coronavirus epidemic is a medical emergency, lawyers too can help save lives. I ask that you join us in this urgent effort by volunteering.
The virus has forced the entire nation to come together as one enormous extended community. All of us have to do our part to stop the spread of the infection and to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable among us. Perhaps when we are on the other side of this, the renewed sense of community will be just the thing we need to once and for all restore rationality and humanity to our criminal justice system.
Stay well and safe.
Norman L. Reimer
Executive Director, NACDL
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.