Tucker v. Idaho
In June 2015 a class action lawsuit was filed alleging Idaho's current public defense system violates the state and federal right to counsel because it is overburdened and under resourced. issues raised include whether workload standards should be established and if so, what those standards should be; the use of fixed fee contracts which disincentivize trials and investigation (according to data from the Public Defense Commission, in 19 of 44 counties, contract attorneys utilized zero dollars for investigator services in FY17); the lack of trials (with some counties reporting no trials having occurred in FY17), and the lack of political and judicial independence.
Initial litigation addressed issues relating to the case being able to proceed on the merits, were initially resolved in favor of the State by the Idaho Court of Appeals.NACDL, in partnership with its Idaho affiliate, IADCL, filed an amicus brief in support of Tucker as did the United States Department of Justice. In April 2017, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, permitting the case to go forward. The ruling determined the plaintiffs were not required to wait for the cases to conclude and then bring individual claims for ineffective assistance of counsel, but could pursue, as a class, a prospective claim for the denial of counsel due to systemic failures.
After certifying the class, both sides sought summary judgment, with the trial court denying both noting the significant areas of factual dispute. The court, thereafter, on its own motion, requested the Idaho Supreme Court to grant an interlocutory appeal to address the question of what standard should be applied to a systemic challenge. Tucker asserts their burden is to establish that the current policies and practices create a substantial risk that defendant’s right to counsel will be violated. The defendants assert that the plaintiffs must show actual or constructive denial of counsel did occur and are continuing to occur through the state. The parties are awaiting further direction from the Supreme Court to brief and argue the issue.
While the lawsuit has been pending, the state has passed several bills targeting improvements, including in March 2016: the allocation of $5 million in new public defense funding in the form of grants to be distributed by the PD Commission to localities to support trial level services and authorizing the PD Commission to develop and enforce performance standards.
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.