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July 31, 2015; Vol. 14 No. 07

Austin, TX, Lawyer E.G. “Gerry” Morris Sworn in as 2015-16 President of National Assn. of Criminal Defense Lawyers

E.G. "Gerry" Morris of Austin, TX, was sworn in as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association's 58th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, on July 26. Morris has served on NACDL's Board of Directors since 2001. He has served as Co-Chair of NACDL's Indigent Defense and Fourth Amendment Committees, as chair of NACDL's Familial DNA Task Force, and as Vice Chair of NACDL's Audit Committee. Last year, Morris served as President-Elect of NACDL.

Speaking at NACDL's annual meeting of the Membership and Board of Directors in Denver, CO. Mr. Morris described his vision for the Association during his term as President:

"Recently, there has been growing acknowledgment from all points on the political spectrum that our criminal justice system is in need of sweeping reform. This acknowledgement has been accompanied by a new wave of activism by broad coalitions of groups with historically diverse interests. They are now uniting for the common purpose of changing the criminal justice system to better reflect the vision of the Constitution's framers and our contemporary notions of justice. NACDL welcomes those who want to join in this effort and we will continue to offer our leadership and expertise in this undertaking."  

Read more here.


2015-16 Officers and Newly Elected Members of the Board of Directors Sworn in at Annual Meeting

NACDL installed newly-elected officers and directors at its Annual Board and Membership Meeting in Denver, CO, on July 26.

NACDL's newly-elected officers and directors:

Executive Committee 

President:  E.G. Morris (Austin, TX)
President-Elect:  Barry J. Pollack (Washington, DC)
First Vice President:  Rick Jones (New York, NY)
Second Vice President:  Drew Findling (Atlanta, GA)
Secretary:  Nina J. Ginsberg (Alexandria, VA)
Treasurer:  Chris Wellborn (Rock Hill, SC), who was elected in a prior election, will continue to serve until 2016.
Board Representative:  Jo Ann Palchak (Tampa, FL)
Board Representative:  Aric M. Cramer (Saint George, UT)

Board of Directors 

John L. Arrascada (Reno, NV) (Affiliate Representative)
Charles Atwell (Kansas City, MO)
Jean-Jacques Cabou (Phoenix, AZ)
Pat Cresta-Savage (Washington, DC)
Candace Crouse (Cincinnati, OH)
Ray de la Cabada (Miami, FL)
Daniella Gordon (Moorestown, NJ)
Richard Jaffe (Birmingham, AL) (Affiliate Representative)
Ashish Joshi (Ann Arbor, MI)
Nellie King (West Palm Beach, FL)
Ben LaBranche (Baton Rouge, LA)
George Newman (Philadelphia, PA)
Mark Schamel (Washington, DC)

Bonnie Hoffman (Leesburg, VA) was appointed Parliamentarian by NACDL President E.G. Morris at the July 26 meeting of the Board of Directors.

Pennsylvania Attorney Peter Goldberger Receives Prestigious 2015 Heeney Award from Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Peter Goldberger was this year's recipient of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award. He received the award on July 24 at the Foundation for Criminal Justice 2015 Awards Dinner in Denver, CO. This highly prestigious recognition is presented annually to the NACDL member who best demonstrates the goals and values of the Association and of the legal profession.

NACDL President Theodore Simon said: "Over the course of many decades, Peter Goldberger has demonstrated a wide-ranging and unparalleled commitment to NACDL, to the cause of criminal justice, and to civil liberties. In addition to fiercely and tirelessly advocating for his clients, he routinely and generously shares his considerable knowledge and talents with the entire defense bar, effectively ensuring we are better lawyers inevitably achieving better results. I am pleased to present Peter with this year's Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award, an honor and recognition the defense community uniformly and joyfully regards as richly and well deserved."

Read more here.


Marissa McCall Dodson Awarded Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award by National Criminal Defense Bar

Marissa McCall Dodson, Policy Director and Attorney at the Georgia Justice Project (GJP), was honored on July 24 with the National Association of Criminal Justice Lawyers' (NACDL) Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award at NACDL's 14th Annual State Criminal Justice Network conference in Denver, CO. The Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award recognizes an individual or group who has made exceptional efforts advocating for progressive reform of a state's criminal justice system.

NACDL's Director of State Legislative Affairs and Special Projects Angelyn Frazer said: "Marissa's unyielding drive to reform Georgia's criminal justice system and to ease the transition for individuals with a criminal record to reenter society clearly demonstrates her passion for ensuring fairness in an uphill battle against an often unjust system. In addition, NACDL is very pleased that Marissa's reform efforts parallel many of the recommendations in our groundbreaking Collateral Damage report. She is a determined, dedicated leader in her community, and I am proud to present her this award on behalf of NACDL's State Criminal Justice Network."

Read more here.


Clemency Project 2014 Applauds Commutation of 46 Federal Prison Sentences

On July 13, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 prisoners, 4 of whom were early applicants who had their petitions reviewed and supported by Clemency Project 2014.

"It's heartening to see President Obama using his constitutional clemency powers for the good of nonviolent federal prisoners who received excessively long sentences," said Cynthia Roseberry, director of Clemency Project 2014.

"Yet, many non-violent prisoners are still serving unduly harsh prison terms based on repudiated laws and policies. That means we have quite a bit of work ahead, as do the Office of the Pardon Attorney, the Deputy Attorney General, and the White House. This is an all-hands-on-deck situation."

For more information and to volunteer for Clemency Project 2014, please visit www.clemencyproject2014.org.


With Significant Amicus Support, Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Continues Push for Public Disclosure of the Department of Justice Discovery Blue Book

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) brought its years-long effort to secure the public release of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, filing its opening brief on July 15, 2015. In it, NACDL argues that the Blue Book may not be withheld as work product or as law enforcement information whose disclosure risks circumvention of the law. On July 22, three amicus curiae, or friend-of-the-court briefs were filed by (i) 63 law professors from across the nation, (ii) the Constitution Project and the Innocence Project, and (iii) the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of the Nation's Capital, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Read more here.


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

NACDL is once again pleased to sponsor an opportunity for up to 12 members to participate in a group admission ceremony to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

Participation in this ceremony, in which admittees are administered the oath of admission by the Chief Justice of the United States in the well of the Supreme Court, 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 19, 2016. 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 13, 2015.

Interested members should contact Lisa Ama Schrade, NACDL’s National Affairs Assistant, at (202) 465-7638 or lschrade@nacdl.org, for further instructions.


State Issues Working Group Meeting to Discuss Problems with Bail

Please join the State Issues Working Group for a meeting/conference call on Wednesday, August 12 from 12:30 p.m-2:00 p.m. at the Open Society Foundations (1730 Pennsylvania Avenue 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20016). The Pretrial Justice Institute will discuss the problems with bail, how they can be addressed at the state level, states that have worked on fixing bail issues and current status of states working on bail issues. Call-in number will be provided. Please RSVP to advocacynetwork@nacdl.org and specify if you will be calling-in. Lunch will be provided.


Become a Life Member of NACDL

There will never be a better time to become a Life Member of NACDL! Effective January 7, 2016, the cost of Life Membership will increase to $6,500. You can lock in the current rate with five yearly installments of $1,000 each, or a one-time payment of $5,000. If you have ever thought of upgrading your membership…2015 is the year to do it. Beginning January 7, 2015, a new Life Membership will cost $6,500.

CALL: The membership hotline now to upgrade your membership! (202) 872-4001

QUESTIONS: Contact Michael Connor at (202) 465-7654 or mconnor@nacdl.org 

VISIT: http://www.nacdl.org/lifememberupgrade for more information, or to download the Life Membership Form.


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