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October 30, 2013; Vol. 12 No. 10

NACDL Creates Task Force to Examine Current State of Federal Indigent Defense System

At NACDL’s Fall Meeting in Savannah, Georgia, NACDL President Jerry Cox announced the creation of a task force to examine the effects that sequestration is having on the federal indigent defense delivery system, and to more broadly examine the federal indigent defense system. The action comes just a few months before the 50th anniversary of the Criminal Justice Act, which established the present system, and in the wake of severe budget cuts. The task force will be chaired by NACDL board member and Heeney Award recipient Bonnie Hoffman of Virginia. William Wolf of Chicago will serve as Vice Chair. The creation of the task force is the latest in a series of efforts by NACDL to draw attention to the devastating effects that sequestration is having on the ability of both federal defenders and CJA panel attorneys to provide effective representation. The task force will examine the current state of the federal indigent defense delivery system and will document the effects of sequestration. The task force will also evaluate the level of independence that the Office of Defender Services is afforded and will consider whether reforms are necessary to ensure adherence to the ABA’s Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System.


Third Circuit: Warrant Needed for GPS Tracking

In a landmark decision last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Katzin held that “the police must obtain a warrant prior to a GPS search and that the conduct in this case cannot be excused on the basis of good faith.”  This case resolved an issue left open by the Supreme Court in United States v. Jones. NACDL joined in an amicus brief with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation arguing that law enforcement must first obtain a warrant based on probable cause before attaching a GPS device to a car, and Davis did not apply because the officers did not rely on existing precedent.

Group Admission to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court

NACDL is sponsoring a unique opportunity for up to 12 members to participate in a group admission ceremony to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. This opportunity will be available to the first 12 qualified members on a first-come, first-served basis and will take place on the morning of January 13, 2014. Members will be responsible for their own travel arrangements, must be in good standing with a state bar for a minimum of three years, and must submit their completed application materials to NACDL by November 8, 2013.

Interested members should contact Elsa-Maria Ohman, NACDL’s National Affairs Assistant, at (202) 465-7638 or eohman@nacdl.org for further instructions.


FREE: NACDL trainings on NSA spying programs

On Thursday, October 31 and Friday, November 8 at 2pm ET, NACDL will present webinar trainings on recent disclosures regarding NSA spying and criminal cases. The first in the two-part series is titled: How to Challenge NSA terrorism spying in Non-Terrorism Cases: A Primer on the NSA/DEA Special Operations Division Information Sharing Program. Joshua Dratel and Barry J. Pollack will present the program.

The second in the two-part series, to be held on November 8, is titled: The NSA Leaks: FISA 702 and PATRIOT 215 Litigation Strategies, and will be presented by Joshua Dratel, Thomas A. Durkin and Ahmed Ghappour.

Additional information, including how to register for each webinar, is available here

Congressional Task Force on Overcriminalization Holds Third Hearing

The Congressional Task Force on Overcriminalization, which was created on May 7, 2013, by a unanimous vote of the House Committee on the Judiciary, held its third hearing this morning. The task force – composed of five Democrats and five Republicans – has been charged to “conduct hearings and investigations and issue a report on overcriminalization in the federal code, as well as possible solutions.” 

The subject of this morning’s hearing was “Regulatory Crime: Identifying the Scope of the Problem.” The witnesses at the hearing included Mr. Reed D. Rubinstein (Partner, Disnmore & Shohl, LLP) and Ms. Rachel Barkow (Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy, New York School of Law), as well as two victims of regulatory overcriminalization, Mr. Lawrence Lewis (Bowie, MD) and Mr. and Mrs. Steven Kinder (Grand Rivers, KY).

Links to a webcast of the full hearing and written witness testimony are available here.


Legislative Update: Comprehensive Bill to Reform NSA Spying Authorities Introduced

Yesterday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the USA FREEDOM Act. In addition to increasing congressional oversight and public transparency of government spying authorities, the bill seeks to end the bulk collection of telephony metadata, or collection of all call records in the United States. Further, the bill seeks to ensure that other surveillance authorities, like national security letters and pen register and trap and trace authorities, cannot be used for bulk collection. A short description of the bill can be found here

NACDL’s Daily Criminal Justice Briefing

Issued seven days a week, NACDL’s Daily Criminal Justice Briefing aggregates the most important stories affecting the criminal defense profession each day. The Daily Briefing covers both domestic and international news and regularly includes articles from Law.com, Blog of Legal Times, New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Politico, The Hill, BBC News, The Atlantic, and a host of other publications. The Daily Briefing makes it easy for members to maintain an awareness of the news of the day and keep track of the latest developments in the field of criminal justice.

Click here to sign up for the Daily Criminal Justice Briefing. After logging in, subscribe to the Daily Criminal Justice Briefing by clicking “real time” and then “save.”


Domestic Drone Information Center

While drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles) are most commonly known for their use in U.S. counterterrorism strategy, their use by law enforcement, other agencies, and civilians has become a growing concern in recent months. NACDL’s Domestic Drone Information Center aims to be a resource for the defense bar and the public, so that both can monitor the many issues posed by the increased use of drones inside the United States.

The Domestic Drone Information Center collects news from leading publications; features a comprehensive listing of legislative developments; and contains sections devoted to relevant case law, government documents, scholarship, upcoming events, and data on drone usage. The Domestic Drone Information Center also aggregates existing material from other websites, making it a launching pad to additional information about domestic drones on the web.

Visit the Domestic Drone Information Center at http://www.nacdl.org/domesticdrones/.


Episode 33 of “The Criminal Docket” Podcast Series: Groundbreaking Report on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System – Part II

This latest episode of “The Criminal Docket” Podcast series explores a groundbreaking, NACDL co-sponsored report on Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System, a critically important and inclusive examination of the profound racial and ethnic disparities in America’s criminal justice system, and concrete ways to overcome them. Barbara Moses, President of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, host of the conference leading to the report, and Professor Tanya E. Coke, who prepared the report, are the featured guests.

Launched in March of 2012, each episode of “The Criminal Docket” provides a rundown of highlights in criminal justice news. In addition, every episode explores important items on the criminal justice agenda, in-depth, with top leaders in the legal practice, public policy, journalism, academia, and others whose lives intersect with the criminal justice system.

Listen to Episode 33 and all past episodes of “The Criminal Docket” free at http://www.nacdl.org/thecriminaldocket/ or in the Apple iTunes store.


Ensure Current Contact Information for 2014 NACDL Member Handbook

In preparation for publication of the 2014 edition of the printed NACDL Member Handbook, NACDL is updating all member records. Most members have already received an email about this, so this is just a reminder to all NACDL members to update contact and bar information by Friday, November 1.

Here’s how: Go to www.nacdl.org/memberoptions and log in with your email address. If you don't know your password, just click "Reset Password" in any login screen and enter your email address. You'll immediately receive an email message containing a link that allows you to change your password. When you log in, click the "Remember Me" checkbox to stay logged in for up to 60 days (assuming you allow cookies). Once you’re logged in, click “Update your profile.”

For assistance, please write memberservices@nacdl.org or call the member services hotline at 202-872-4001.

Participants Needed for Study on Forensic Evidence

Professors Brandon Garrett and Gregory Mitchell of the University of Virginia School of Law are conducting research on how people evaluate forensic evidence, and are inviting lawyers to participate in this research. Participation is voluntary and anonymous and takes only a few minutes. The study involves a few questions about a hypothetical criminal case and can be completed online.

To learn more about participating, please click here. Questions or concerns should be directed to Gregory Mitchell at pgm6u@virginia.edu or 434-243-4088.

In Other News

Upcoming CLE Events
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Updates to Domestic Drone Information Center
View Drone Center

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