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FACULTY (subject to change)
E. Edward Aquino (Honolulu, HI)
E. Edward Aquino has been a Deputy Public Defender with the State of Hawaii, Office of the Public Defender since graduating from law school. He iscurrently assigned in the Honolulu Office’s Felony Division - handling various felony cases. Mr. Aquino received his J. D. degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston in 1999.
Hon. Mark W. Bennett - U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa (Sioux City, IA)
Mark W. Bennett was appointed a United States District Court Judge in the Northern District of Iowa on August 26, 1994. On January 1, 2000, he became Chief Judge of the Northern District and served in this capacity for seven years. He has spoken at more than 325 CLE programs across North America. Judge Bennett graduated from the Drake University Law School in 1975, and started his own law firm in Des Moines, in the basement of a long since demolished building. During more than sixteen years, his extensive private practice in criminal defense, employment discrimination, constitutional law, and other civil rights litigation took him to more than 50 state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States resulting in more than seventy reported decisions, including arguing Evans v. Oscar Mayer Co., 441 U.S. 750 (1979), in the United States Supreme Court. As a young lawyer before the age of 35, he had 3 certiorari petitions, in a row, granted in the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Bennett is very proud that he became a CJA panel lawyer within one week of passing the Iowa bar in the summer of 1975 and remained on the panel up to the day before he became a federal judge. The Northern District of Iowa has been the national leader in trials per judge of the 94 federal district courts for most of the last decade. Judge Bennett has tried more than 400 jury trials including numerous high profile civil and criminal cases. This includes two three month long federal death penalty cases where the severed co-defendants, boyfriend and girlfriend, were separately convicted of murdering witness, including two young children, in furtherance of a drug conspiracy and a CCE- a continuing criminal enterprise. Both received the death penalty. Angela Johnson became the first female on federal death row since 1953. In March of 2012, Judge Bennett granted §2255 habeas relief to Johnson and granted her a new penalty phase trial. Judge Bennett has published a number of opinions detailing his policy disagreements with the anti-trust, child pornography, crack, and career offender federal sentencing guidelines. Additionally, he was one of the first judges in the nation to adopt a 1:1 crack/powder cocaine ratio both before and after the Fair Sentencing Act. Judge Bennett was the sentencing judge in two important recent U.S. Supreme Court sentencing decisions: Spears v. U.S. (varying from the then 100-1 crack/powder ratio) and Pepper v. U.S. (granting a substantial variance for post-offense rehabilitation). Judge Bennett has sat by designation on both the Eighth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals. In 2010-2011, he sat as a trial court judge in the District of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and has sat in Tucson on multiple occasions in 2011 2013. Judge Bennett has sentenced more than 3500 defendants.
Drew Findling (Atlanta, GA)
Drew spent the first three years of his career as a lawyer as a Fulton County, Georgia, public defender assigned to the courtroom of the late Judge William Daniel, known throughout Georgia for having authored three fundamental treatises on Georgia criminal practice. Just a few years after graduating from law school, in 1987, Drew “hung out a shingle” and went into private practice. Since then, Drew has represented clients in state and federal courts in many states, including Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Indiana, Florida, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, as well as handled international matters. Further, Drew served as chair of the NACDL Forensic Evidence Committee for nearly a decade, allowing Drew to meet and work with the nation’s leading forensic experts, investigators, and support personnel, providing a resource to find the right person to assist in the smallest to the largest case. Drew has enjoyed great success as a trial lawyer representing clients with charges ranging from minor offenses to multi-million dollar federal conspiracy cases. Over the years, his reputation for zealous and skilled representation has resulted in his being retained to represent several high-profile clients, including Grammy-nominee Faith Evans, Former Fulton County, Georgia, Sheriff Jackie Barrett, Former Clayton County Sheriff and current Sheriff elect Victor Hill, Former President of Morris Brown College Dolores Cross, NBA Superstar Shaquille O'Neal, former NBA great Dennis Rodman and Los Angeles Clippers first-round draft choice Al-Farouq Aminu. In his over 25 years of practice, Drew has published numerous articles and given speeches in 30 states on such topics as defending battered woman syndrome cases, jury selection in high profile cases, forensic preparation for a criminal trial, giving effective opening and closing statements, and cross-examination, including several on the cross-examination of the homicide detective. He has lectured at Emory Law School, Georgia State University College of Law, the National Criminal Defense College, the Georgia Institute of Trial Advocacy, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Criminal Defense College. Respected for his legal analysis and trial abilities, Drew is also regularly invited by Shepard Smith and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News to serve as legal analyst on their programs. He has also earned a local reputation for his abilities and his legal commentary can be heard on All News 106.7. Drew’s professional memberships include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Bar Association, and the Atlanta Bar Association. Drew also serves on the Board of Advisors for the prestigious National Clearing House on Science and Technology of Law. He has been named as one of Georgia’s Legal Elite in Georgia Trend Magazine and as a Georgia “Super Lawyer” by Atlanta Magazine.
Maureen Franco (El Paso, TX)
Ms. Franco is the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Texas as of February 6, 2013. She was the former Deputy Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas, from September 11, 2007 until her appointment as the Federal Public Defender. Former Supervisory Assistant Federal Public Defender, 2004-2007. Graduated with honors from University of Texas-Austin in 1986 with a degree in Government. Graduated from Baylor Law School in 1989 and licensed in Texas that same year. Joined the Federal Public Defender in July 1993 and left in November 2001 to go into private practice where the majority of criminal work as in CJA appointed cases. Rejoined the Federal Public Defender in December 2002. Formerly on the State Bar of Texas grievance committee from 1992 - 2000 - the last two years as a subcommittee chairman. Named Outstanding Federal Attorney by the El Paso Bar Association for the year 2007-2008. Current fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and member of the Federal Bar Association. Current member of the El Paso CJA Selection Committee and the Western District of Texas Disciplinary Committee. Licensed in the Western District of Texas, the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
Steve Harmon (Riverside, CA)
Steven L. Harmon has practiced criminal law for more than 35 years. He is regarded as preeminent in the field of criminal law and enjoys an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Harmon is listed in the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers” and has been featured in the publication “Best Lawyers in America” for many years. He is a highly sought after and accomplished speaker and lecturer and has spoken and lectured to numerous bar associations and organizations throughout the United States. He is on the Faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Santa Clara Death-Penalty College. Mr. Harmon is a past President of the Riverside County Bar Association. He was the founding member of the Riverside County Criminal Courts Bar Association and was the organization’s first president. He is a designated “Trial Master” at the Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court where he has been a member since its inception. He is a past recipient of the Inn of Court award given to the lawyer who each year reflects outstanding ethics and civility. He was awarded from the Inns of Court the very first Terry Bridges “Outstanding Attorney Award” which is awarded to the attorney who has exemplified and demonstrated exceptional skill, conduct and demeanor and positively influenced the legal profession in Riverside County. Mr. Harmon has tried all levels of jury trials in the criminal courts including death penalty cases. He was chosen as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers” in the State of California. He is a member of the prestigious College of Trial Lawyers and he is a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, a national organization. He has been named as one of the “Super Lawyers” in California for many years. Mr. Harmon was named in the Los Angeles Times Magazine as one of the “Top Attorneys” in southern California and is recognized by The National Trial Lawyers Organization as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers in California.. He has been selected by the President of the Riverside County Bar Association to sit on the Judicial Evaluation Committee.
Terrence M. Jackson (Las Vegas, NV)
Terrence M. Jackson was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1946. He came to Las Vegas, Nevada, as a child in 1953 and has lived most of his life here. He attended Oregon State University, receiving a degree in mathematics in 1968. He also attended graduate school at the University of Oregon studying economics in 1969 and 1970. In 1972 Terrence M. Jackson began the study of law at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he found fortunate to have great professors who had fought for civil rights in the 1950s and they reinforced his belief in questioning authority. After graduating from law school in 1975, he worked briefly as an attorney at Clark County Legal Services, handling consumer law, bankruptcies, and landlord-tenant cases. In 1976 he began a 25 year career as a public defender in Las Vegas, Nevada, handling every type of criminal case from misdemeanor to capital murder. When he left the Clark County Public Defender’s Office in May of 2000, he had won more jury trials than any other attorney in the office at that time. Terrence M. Jackson has argued numerous cases numerous times before the Nevada Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he was co-counsel in a search and seizure case before the United States Supreme Court in 2004. In his private practice, Terrence M. Jackson handles all kinds of criminal cases in state and federal courts with an emphasis on appellate work. Las year he won reversals of two murder cases on post-conviction petitions and the reversal of a sentencing of a sexual assault case on appeal. He is a Criminal Justice Act panel attorney and a member of Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
Margaret Katze (Albuquerque, NM)
Legal Aid Society of NYC, criminal defense division - Brooklyn, Navajo Nation - tribal government, Federal Defender Office - currently Albuquerque, NM, previously El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, NM, New Mexico Public Defender Department.
David O. Markus (Miami, FL)
David Oscar Markus is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. After graduating from Harvard, David served as law clerk to the Honorable Edward B. Davis, then-Chief United States District Judge, Southern District of Florida. Following his clerkship, David worked as an associate at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., and then practiced as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Miami. He is now in private practice focusing on criminal trials and appeals. David is the past-president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers--Miami Chapter and the past-president of Federal Bar Association-South Florida Chapter. He serves as the vice-chair of the NACDL amicus committee for the 11th Circuit and runs the popular Southern District of Florida blog. In a first of its kind “pill-mill” trial, USA v. Ali Shaygan, his client (a doctor) was acquitted of all 141 counts.
Al Menaster (Los Angeles ,CA)
Al Menaster is a Head Deputy for Training and Appellate for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, where he has worked since 1973. Al has argued a case to the United States Supreme Court, Fare v. Michael C. Al has argued nine cases to the California Supreme Court, and is counsel of record on many published cases in the Court of Appeal and the Appellate Department of the Superior Court. Since 1987, Al has been an associate editor of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) Forum magazine. Since 1998, Al has been the managing editor of C.P.D.A.’s California Defender Magazine. Al is the co-author of Compendium Press's Criminal Trial Notebook, the 3-Strikes Manual, and the Proposition 36 Manual. Al is also the co-author of Compendium Press's Motion Manual, as well as its yearly updates. From April, 1988, to April, 1989, Al was the training coordinator for CPDA, and put together many seminars on behalf of that organization. Al has continued to organize and moderate programs for CPDA. Since 1995, Al has written a technology column for Forum, called ``Hi-Tech for the Defense.'' In 1987, Al was honored by CPDA as the ``Defender of the Year.'' In 2007, Al was honored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association as “Defender of the Year.”
Eric Newmark (Minneapolis, MN)
Prior to establishing Newmark Law Office LLC, Eric Newmark was a partner at the Minneapolis law firm of Gaskins Bennett Birrell Schupp LLP-- where he co-founded the criminal practice group, and a partner in the Minneapolis criminal defense firm Birrell & Newmark, Ltd. Newmark represents individuals throughout Minnesota accused of crimes in both State and Federal court, and is licensed and practices in Wisconsin. He represents individuals in all types of criminal cases including violent crimes, drug crimes, sex crimes, white collar/fraud, and driving offenses including DUI/DWI, as well as appeals in both the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the 8th Circuit (Federal) Court of Appeals. Newmark also represents attorneys and other professionals accused of unethical or unprofessional conduct before licensing boards. A Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Criminal Trial Specialist. Newmark serves as an adjunct professor at Hamline University School of Law where he teaches criminal procedure. He has given analysis on Minnesota legal matters for the Los Angeles Times, the national cable television station MSNBC and local TV outlets WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV. He has been a speaker at legal seminars in Minnesota on a range of topics including crime scene investigations and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and has written a chapter on representing individuals accused of drug crimes for Thomson Reuter's Aspatore series.
Colette Tvedt (Seattle, WA)
Colette Tvedt is a criminal defense attorney at the Seattle law firm Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, where she works on complex blue collar and white collar cases involving everything from first degree murder to complex fraud and RICO cases in state and federal court. Before joining Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, Ms. Tvedt was a felony trial attorney at the Defender Association, a public defender agency in Seattle. Prior to moving to Seattle, she was a Clinical Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Rutgers School of Law, Ms. Tvedt worked for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) as a staff attorney and member of the training and murder units. She is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) in Macon, Georgia. Ms. Tvedt is a frequent lecturer and moderator at local and national training programs. She also participated in the Oxford University Roundtable on International Criminal Justice.
Edward Ungvarsky (Arlington, VA)
Edward Ungvarsky is Capital Defender for Northern Virginia and a career public defender. Ed is co-Chair of the NACDL Death Penalty Committee and a frequent lecturer on criminal procedure and practice, capital defense, and forensic litigation. Ed chaired the NACDL Task Force of the Future of Forensic Science, was a member of the NIJ Technical Working Group on DNA for the Defense, and has written and lectured extensively on forensic laboratory issues. Ed clerked in Montgomery, Alabama for Eleventh Circuit Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., after receiving his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. His wife is the founder and director of Bridges Public Charter School, which provides an inclusion model for children with and without special needs from grades pre-K through elementary school in the District of Columbia.
Dr. Jimmie L. Valentine (Ocean Springs, MS)
Dr. Valentine has B.S. degrees in both Biology and Chemistry from Centenary College of Louisiana; M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Mississippi in Medicinal Chemistry. He retired in 2008 from the University of Arkansas, College of Medicine, where he served for 19-years as Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology, and Myeloma Research and the last 5 years as Chairman of the Institutional Review Board at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences which oversaw all the human research in the various colleges and affiliated Veterans’ Hospitals. Prior to that Dr. Valentine was a faculty member at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine (Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Lecturer in Medicine) and Oral Roberts University School of Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Associate and Full Professor and Chairman of Pharmacology). At all the academic institutions where Dr. Valentine served as a faculty member he also directed Toxicology laboratories and had active research programs in the fields of drugs of abuse, performing and developing analytical techniques for determining drugs of abuse, and correlating levels found in humans with behavioral effects. Dr. Valentine was a pioneer in utilizing gas and liquid chromatography for analysis of human physiological fluids and tissues. Dr. Valentine has published 59 articles in peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature, 12 monographs in forensic newsletters, 11 chapters in books and is co-author of 3 books. He has presented at many scientific meetings on the correlation of drug use and behavioral effects in relationship to levels determined in physiological fluids both in living and post-mortem situations. Dr. Valentine has testified in numerous civil and criminal trials, and administrative hearings concerning drug findings and has been qualified as an expert witness in 28 different states as well as Federal courts and military court martial proceedings. Dr. Valentine now serves as a consultant in medical pharmacology and toxicology. Dr. Valentine is also a commercially rated pilot and a Certified Flight Instructor.
C. Rauch Wise (Greenwood, SC)
C. Rauch Wise is a 1966 graduate of USC School of Law. He is a member of numerous organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina (President 1990-1991), American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the South Carolina Bar Association, the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (President 1995). He is a frequent lecturer at seminars for the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the South Carolina Public Defenders’ Association, and the South Carolina Magistrates’ Association. He has appeared as a guest on numerous talk radio programs including the Hugh Rodham Show, the BBC and the Barry Farber Show. He has also made appearances on ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, The O’Reiley Factor on Fox TV, CNN, Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel, and Court TV. He was a co-counsel for Cornelia Whitner and Brenda Peppers in what is known as the “cocaine baby” cases. The cases involved the question of whether a woman can be convicted of child abuse for taking drugs while pregnant. He also represented Larry Hannopole and Terry Cobb in a case before the South Carolina Supreme Court which involved the right of anti-war protesters to picket at the Columbia Airport. He has also been co-counsel representing the KKK concerning their right to march in several cities in the upstate. He has handled more than 50 cases before the South Carolina appellate courts and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.