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July 28, 2016; Vol. 15 No. 07

DOJ Persuades Panel at U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to Keep Its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book From Being Disclosed to the American Public; NACDL to Seek Rehearing En Banc

On July 19, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit – Circuit Judge Srinivasan and Senior Circuit Judges Sentelle and Edwards – issued its decision in National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys and U.S. Department of Justice. The decision upheld the lower court's and the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) denial of NACDL's Freedom of Information Act request that DOJ release to the public its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book, finding that the Blue Book is attorney work product that was prepared to protect DOJ from litigation and therefore it is protected from disclosure.

NACDL President E.G. "Gerry" Morris said: "The Department of Justice told Congress it did not need to enact legislation to protect the American people from discovery abuse by federal prosecutors. They told Congress that the Department's new Criminal Discovery Blue Book 'comprehensively covers' the law, policy and practice of prosecutors' disclosure obligations. Ever since, though, the DOJ has been fighting tooth and nail to keep its handbook on disclosure a secret from the American people it's supposed to protect. NACDL most certainly intends to seek a rehearing en banc in this case."

Read more here.

Kent R. Hart, Executive Director and Past President of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Missing and Believed Dead

Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (UACDL) Executive Director and Past President Kent R. Hart is reported to have slipped and fallen into a waterfall while hiking in Hallingdal, Norway on July 24. According to news reports, significant efforts to find Kent have been underway, but his son Evan said that the family was told by officials that it was unlikely that Kent survived the fall.

"There are simply no words for such a tragedy," said NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer. "Through his tireless work for many years as a public defender to his steadfast commitment to advocating for a more fair and humane criminal justice system, Kent has always set an example for his peers to emulate. In addition to his splendid work on behalf of Utah's criminal defense bar, Kent has been a powerful and eloquent voice for reform on the national stage. On behalf of the nation's criminal defense bar, Kent's brothers and sisters in the important work to which he has dedicated his career, I extend our deepest concern for Kent's and his family's well-being."

Read more here.

Federal Action Alert

Act Now to Stop Expansion of Government Hacking Authority 

Recently, the Supreme Court transmitted to Congress an amendment to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, proposed by the Department of Justice and approved by the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 41 authorizes federal magistrate judges to issue warrants for law enforcement searches and seizures. The current rule requires the government to get a warrant from a judge in the jurisdiction where they want to conduct the search (except in certain limited circumstances). The amendments to Rule 41 would allow the government to apply for warrants in one jurisdiction to conduct remote searches of computers located in another.

Act now to stop this massive expansion of government surveillance and hacking authority! Tell Congress to support the "Stopping Mass Hacking Act" and reject the changes to Rule 41! 

NACDL Gears Up for 15th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference

The 15th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference, The Revolution Will Not Be Criminalized: Inspiring a Movement for Criminal Justice Reform is shaping up to be a timely and important event. Efforts have been made to ensure attendees come from ideologically diverse communities in Florida and beyond. Attendees also represent groups with conservative and liberal leanings.

Conference panelists are experts in criminal justice reform from the personal and/or in the legislative arena. Their participation will complement the many lawyers and advocates who attend the conference each year. All of the issues are timely and progressive reforms of several issues have been enacted on the state level including bail reform and asset forfeiture.

We are also pleased to feature the following:

  • Robert Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who will be discussing his book Fundraiser A: My Fight for Freedom and Justice.
  • Nkechi Taifa, Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice with Open Society Foundations, will interview Gerald Lefcourt, former NACDL President and lawyer for members of the Black Panther Party featured in the documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. The discussion will focus on the Black Panther movement of yesterday and the similarities and differences of the Black Lives Matter Movement of today.
  • Most poignant, however, will be the documentary screening on Friday afternoon of 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, followed by discussion with parents of Jordan Davis, who on November 23, 2012, stopped at a gas station with three of his friends to buy gum. "As he waited in the parking lot, an altercation ensued with another driver, 45-year-old Michael Dunn, over the volume of the music playing in Davis' car.
  • Finally, in light of recent police killings and increased racist rhetoric around the country we have extended our schedule on Friday to continue the discussion on race in the criminal justice system. 

For more information about the conference please click here.

Federal Legislative Tracking
Click here for a complete listing of all federal legislation NACDL is currently tracking. For more information on a specific bill or to learn NACDL's position, please contact Monica Reid, NACDL's Grassroots Advocacy Manager, at mreid@nacdl.org.
Have you checked out NACDLConnect lately?  In addition to the Daily Criminal Justice Briefing, NACDLConnect features three exclusive discussion groups, for members only: a General, a White Collar Crime, and a Young & New Lawyers discussion.  NACDL Members use these groups to connect with each other, share knowledge, and strategize together for the good of all. Log in at https://connect.nacdl.org! Get started today at https://connect.nacdl.org/faq1.
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, D.C. 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 9, 2017. 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 7, 2016.

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

Make Your Voice Heard on Criminal Justice Priorities

The National Criminal Justice Association through its Center for Justice Planning (NCJP) and the National Governors Association (NGA) are collaborating on a national initiative to accelerate reform that enhances public safety and makes the most cost-effective use of public resources in five areas of criminal justice policy and practice. The purpose of this short survey is to capture stakeholder priorities to inform the project's goals and objectives. To accomplish this, input is needed from both policymakers and practitioners in states and local jurisdictions.

They are asking individuals to complete this survey and forward it to colleagues in criminal justice including corrections officials, law enforcement officers, courts, sheriffs, legislators, prosecutors, academic experts, community-based service providers. Please ask them to complete the survey and also share it with their colleagues. They are hoping to get as many respondents as possible, so now is the time for the advocacy community to have their voices heard. 

To begin the survey, please click here

Spread the Word about The Right to Counsel National Campaign
NACDL is a proud consortium and steering committee member of the Right to Counsel National Campaign. This Bureau of Justice Assistance-led initiative is spearheaded by a consortium of national, state, and local criminal justice stakeholders, community advocates, and policymakers who are committed to ensuring the fulfillment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and the effective delivery of public defense services. To learn more and spread the word on the importance of public defense, like the campaign on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. And you can join the conversation by using the hashtag #right2counsel.
New Affinity Partners


NACDL members save up to 70% off at over 150,000 hotels worldwide. This member portal is free to use. No bidding required, shop by location, brand, and hotel name, and get exactly what you want—for less! Every time you book a trip, you're saving money and supporting NACDL. More>>  

Page Vault 

NACDL welcomes its newest affinity partner! Page Vault enables lawyers to easily and securely capture web content—everything from standard web pages, to blogs, and social media pages—for subsequent use as evidence in U.S. courts. NACDL members receive 10-15% off subscription services. More>> 

Townsquare Interactive 

One of NACDL's newest affinity partners is Townsquare Interactive. Members receive 25% off marketing services, and the setup fee is waived! More>> 

In Other News

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Dates and times for upcoming meetings will be posted here early on the week of August 1.

Upcoming CLE Events
View the Calendar

Recent Updates to Restoration of Rights Project
View Restoration of Rights Project

Employment Opportunities
View Employment Opportunities

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