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Amy Baron-Evans - Boston, MA
Amy Baron-Evans is Sentencing Resource Counsel with the Federal Public and Community Defenders. She represents Defenders’ interests in matters of policy, provides litigation support, and teaches sentencing advocacy. She is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and clerked for the Honorable Hugh H. Bownes on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Baron-Evans is a former Co-Chair of the Practitioners’ Advisory Group to the United States Sentencing Commission and of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Keith Belzer – La Crosse, WI
Keith Belzer is a nationally recognized lecturer and teacher on criminal defense issues, trial techniques and strategies. In addition to his position on the faculty at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy, Mr. Belzer has lectured or taught for over 50 criminal defense groups or conferences. He has presented to the Israeli National Public Defender, the Puerto Rican CJA Panel and The People’s Republic of China, where Mr. Belzer was the keynote speaker at the first public defender regional training ever held in China. Mr. Belzer has been named a Super Lawyer by his peers every year since its inception in 2005. In 2006 Mr. Belzer received one of 12 statewide Leaders in the Law awards from the Wisconsin Law Journal. Mr. Belzer has had the honor and privilege of representing three Wisconsin Innocence Project clients who were ultimately exonerated. One of these clients, Evan Zimmerman, a man previously falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a homicide that he did not commit, was the subject of a feature length documentary, Facing Life, the Retrial of Evan Zimmerman, which can be seen in syndication on the Arts and Entertainment Network and the History Channel. Mr. Belzer is also a frequent commentator on national, statewide and local legal issues and has appeared on such nationally syndicated shows as Good Morning America, The O’Reilly Factor and Geraldo at Large. Keith has also worked as an actor, director and playwright. Keith has acted in Illinois, Wisconsin, Vermont and Connecticut. Plays he has written have been produced in California, Illinois, Connecticut, and Wisconsin. Prior to law school, Keith co-founded one theater company and managed two others and devoted close to a decade of his life exclusively to the world of theater.
Kelli Childress – Saint Charles, IL
Kelli M. Childress, Kane County Public Defender, has focused her career on criminal litigation. Her office, located in St. Charles, Illinois, consists of 35 attorneys. Kelli was formerly the Deputy Chief of the Lake County Public Defender’s Office, First Assistant of the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office, a private practitioner and an Assistant State’s Attorney in Kane County. Kelli is Secretary of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Human Rights Section Council and past Chair of the Criminal Justice Section Council. She is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Public Defender Association, a member of the State of Illinois Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency, and a member of the Kane County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee. Kelli is also active in other bar associations and community organizations, and is a frequent speaker at various programs throughout the midwest. Kelli received her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in January, 1996. She received a B.A. from Loyola University in May, 1993, where she majored in political science and communication.
Saleem “Sam” Dennis – Valdosta, GA
Iris Eytan – Denver, CO
Iris Eytan is a criminal defense attorney and a partner at Reilly Pozner LLP in Denver, Colorado. She focuses her practice on high-profile criminal defense litigation, with a special emphasis on cases that involve homicide, assault, sexual offenses and mental health issues. Iris is listed as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the American Trial Lawyers Association and in the “Top 50 Women Lawyers” in Colorado Super Lawyers. She is also included in The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Prior to joining Reilly Pozner LLP, Iris was a Deputy State Public Defender and a senior attorney for the Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People. She earned a J.D. from the University of San Diego and a B.A. from the University of Arizona. Iris is an experienced lecturer and recently served as the Co-Chair of the NACDL’s National Criminal Defense Forum on Forensic Mental Health & the Law. Iris’ blog can be found at www.criminaldefensementalhealth.com
Jeffrey L. Fisher - Stanford, CA
Jeffrey L. Fisher is a professor at Stanford Law School and co-director of its Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. His academic and Supreme Court work runs the gamut of federal constitutional and statutory matters, but focuses on constitutional criminal procedure issues. Professor Fisher has argued 22 cases in the Supreme Court, including representing the petitioners in Crawford v. Washington, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, Blakely v. Washington, and Kennedy v. Louisiana. In 2006, the National Law Journal named him one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country – the youngest person on the list – and he has remained on that list since. He also is a recipient of the Heeney Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Professor Fisher formerly served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court of the United States and to Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Cliff Gardner – Berkeley, CA
In over 30 years of practicing criminal law, Cliff Gardner has developed extensive experience representing clients in post-conviction proceedings, including both appellate and habeas corpus representation. Mr. Gardner's post-conviction experience includes representing clients at all levels of the state and federal systems. In addition to handling many cases before the intermediate appellate courts in California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, he has briefed and argued several cases in the United States Supreme Court; he has also argued over a dozen cases before the California Supreme Court. Mr. Gardner has published numerous articles about post-conviction practice, spoken at various national conferences on appellate and post-conviction issues, and successfully represented capital defendants in California, Idaho, Montana and Arizona. In 1999, he co-authored Proposition 36 -- the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 -- which was approved by 61 percent of California voters in the November 2000 election. Mr. Gardner graduated from UCLA School of Law Los Angeles, California, in May, 1980 (Order of the Coif). His undergraduate degree is from SUNY at Binghamton Binghamton, New York B.A., June 1977.
Edward Garland - Atlanta, GA
Ed is the Senior Partner in the Atlanta law firm of Garland, Samuel & Loeb, P.C., a litigation boutique law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in criminal defense and major plaintiff’s civil litigation. For over 50 years Ed has had an active trial practice in state and federal courts, having tried cases in 12 states, in addition to having successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court of the United States re Peters v. Kiff. He has tried tax fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, anti-trust, RICO in its various forms, Medicare fraud, CCE, political corruption, child molestation, robbery, rape, complex multi-defendant drug cases, and dozens of murder cases, without a death penalty. His clients have included lawyers, doctors, politicians, celebrities, sports stars, average citizens, and pro bono death penalty defendants. He was pictured on the front cover of the December, 2006, issue of GEORGIA TREND magazine as one of Georgia’s Legal Elite, and was also featured as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Georgia. In 2009, through 2012, he was again listed in the Atlanta Magazine’s Super Lawyers Section as one of the Top 10 Attorneys in Georgia. For 26 years (1981-2012), Ed has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, along with having an A.B. rating in Martindale Hubbell’s Registry of Preeminent Lawyers. Ed was on the cover of the January, 2012 SUPER LAWYERS Magazine. He successfully defended the Baltimore Ravens’ Linebacker, Ray Lewis, on double murder charges; represented Baltimore Ravens’ Running Back, Jamal Lewis, on distribution of drug charges; Atlanta Thrashers’ Hockey Star, Dany Heatley, on vehicular homicide charges. His first case of national notoriety was in 1973 in the successful defense mail fraud charges of pyramid salesman, Glenn W. Turner of “Dare To Be Great” fame in a 9 month trial in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida. Ed has frequently appeared on CNN, Fox, Court TV, and Georgia’s television networks, both as a commentator and as counsel for the accused. Ed is Past President of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a former three-term member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and presently serves as a Board Member of the Southern Center of Human Rights and Georgia’s Innocence Project. He is a recipient of the State Bar of Georgia’s Tradition of Excellence award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Elbert P. Tuttle Jurisprudence Award, and was named by Atlanta’s Buckhead Magazine as “The Best Lawyer To Get You Out of Big Trouble.” He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Lawyers, the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Georgia Bar Association, and the Atlanta Bar Association. Garland, Samuel & Loeb is a member of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms (“INBLEF”).
John Garland - Atlanta, GA
John Garland graduated cum laude from the law school of the University of Georgia in 2004, and then he joined his father, Ed Garland, at Garland, Samuel & Loeb. He focuses on advocacy at the trial level, including criminal defense, personal injury, and product liability. John has successfully handled many complex cases. He, along with Don Samuel, currently represents the former principal of Parks Middle School in case brought by the Fulton County District Attorney’s. John’s client is alleged to have participated in a multi-year, multi-defendant RICO conspiracy to systematically cheat and change answers on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) of Atlanta Public School students. John, along with counsel for the co-defendants, has challenged the constitutionality of the investigative process. A challenge which if successful will likely result in the dismissal of the indictment against his client as well as the co-defendants.
William W Hamilton, Jr. - Washington, DC
Bill Hamilton has been part of Fenton’s national leadership since joining the company in 1998. Prior to that, he served as public affairs director and later chief of staff at AFSCME, the public employee union, and as Vice President for Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, directing its Washington legislative office. His clients have ranged from the Councils on Foundations to MoveOn. Org; from Health Care for America Now (the legislative coalition that helped frame what today is called “Obamacare”) to campaign to stop horse slaughter under the aegis of the National Horse Protection League. He has led much of Fenton’s union and advocacy work over the past decade but currently works daily with a global client in Ecuador, an immigration advocacy group, a human rights organization focused on Africa and a foundation that supports research in diseases affecting the aging. He came to Washington from Texas to work for a U.S. Senator more than 30 years ago after a brief career in journalism in Texas, New York, and Latin America. He lives in Baltimore.
Hon. Elizabeth T. Hey – Philadelphia, PA
Elizabeth Hey is a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Collins J. Seitz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. After serving as an associate at Dechert LLP form 1991 to 1995, she joined the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where she served in the trials and appeals unit. She was appointed as a Magistrate Judge in April 2007. She earned her B.A. degree from Vassar College in 1953, her J.D. form Villanova University School of Law in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology form Hahnemann (now Dexel) University in 1991.
Rick Jones - New York, NY
Rick Jones is the executive director and a founding member of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS). He is a distinguished trial lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience in complex multi-forum litigation. Rick is a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, where he teaches the criminal defense externship and a trial practice course. He is also on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) in Macon, Georgia and is frequently invited to lecture on criminal justice issues throughout the country. Rick currently serves as the secretary of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). He has previously served NACDL as a two-term member of the board of directors, parliamentarian, co-chair of both the Indigent Defense Committee and the Special Task Force on Problem-Solving Courts, and is currently co-chair of the Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction. Rick is a member of the inaugural steering committee of the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) and the New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Executive Committee. He also sits on the boards of the New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) and the Sirius Foundation and serves on the Editorial Board of the Amsterdam News. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Rutgers Law School, and was a Leadership New York Coro Fellow.
Neal Katyal - Washington, DC
Neal Katyal focuses on appellate and complex litigation. He has extensive experience in matters of patent, securities, criminal, employment, tort, and constitutional law, and has orally argued 17 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with 15 of them in the last four years. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Neal served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States, where he argued several major Supreme Court cases involving a variety of issues, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, his unanimous victory against 8 states who sued the nation's leading power plants for contributing to global warming, and a variety of other matters. As Acting Solicitor General, Neal was responsible for representing the federal government of the United States in all appellate matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals throughout the nation. He served as Counsel of Record hundreds of times in the U.S. Supreme Court. He was also the only head of the Solicitor General's office to argue a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on the important question of whether certain aspects of the human genome were patentable. Neal has also served as a law professor for 15 years at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was one of the youngest professors to have received tenure and a chaired professorship in the university's history. He was also Director of the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law until his appointment to Principal Deputy Solicitor General at the Justice Department. Additionally, he served as a visiting professor at both Harvard and Yale Law Schools. After graduating from Yale Law School, Neal clerked for The Honorable Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as well as for The Honorable Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served in the Deputy Attorney General's Office at the Justice Department as National Security Advisor and as Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during 1998-1999. Neal has published dozens of scholarly articles in law journals, as well as many op-ed articles in such publications as the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has testified numerous times before various committees of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Neal is the recipient of the very highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award, which the Attorney General presented to him in 2011. The Chief Justice of the United States appointed him in 2011 to the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules. Additionally, he was named as One of the 40 Most Influential Lawyers of the Last Decade Nationwide by National Law Journal (2010); One of the 90 Greatest Washington Lawyers Over the Last 30 Years by Legal Times (2008); Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers USA (2006); Runner-Up for Lawyer of the Year by National Law Journal (2006); One of the Top 50 Litigators Nationwide 45 Years Old or Younger by American Lawyer (2007); and one of the top 500 lawyers in the country by LawDragon Magazine for each of the last six years. He also won the National Law Journal’s pro bono award in 2004. After graduating from Yale Law School, he worked as a summer associate with Hogan Lovells' legacy law firm, Hogan & Hartson.
Prof. Michele LaVigne – Madison, WI
Michele LaVigne, J.D., Clinical Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School.Before joining the clinical faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Michele LaVigne Michele practiced as a State Public Defender in Madison, Wisconsin. She now teaches criminal law, professional responsibility, and trial advocacy, and directs a public defender internship program. She is a long time faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy. Her research and advocacy interests concern language deficits among our clients and the impact of those deficits on behavior, communication, and due process.
Sean Maher – New York, NY
Sean Maher’s practice focuses on federal and state criminal defense. He has represented clients charged with a wide array of criminal activity, including murder, providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States, fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking, and sex offenses. Mr. Maher also provides representation for businesses and organizations facing federal and state investigation and prosecution. Prior to forming The Law Offices of Sean M. Maher, PLLC, Mr. Maher was a partner in the firm of Wahid, Vizcaino & Maher LLP based in New York and Miami. Before entering private practice, Mr. Maher was a supervising attorney at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem where Mr. Maher represented hundreds of clients facing felony and misdemeanor charges, ranging from infanticide, serial rape, and gang execution to minor drug possession and DUI. Mr. Maher also handled hundreds of felony cases as a senior trial attorney at the Fulton County Public Defender's Office in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Maher teaches trial advocacy around the nation and serves on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College, the Southern Public Defender Training Center in Birmingham, Alabama, the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy Litigation Persuasion Institute, and the Wisconsin State Public Defender Trial Skills Academy. Mr. Maher has been an invited speaker at several law schools, including Albany, Boston University, Brooklyn, Columbia, Fordham, and NYU law schools. Mr. Maher and his cases have been covered in various new media, including the New York Times, National Public Radio, BBC News, al Jazeera English, Democracy Now!, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, as well other national and local news outlets. Mr. Maher received his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1991 and graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 1995, where he was an Article Editor of the Boston University Law Review. Mr. Maher is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a co-chair of its National Security Committee. He is also a member of the New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Lawyers Guild. He is member of the State and Federal Bars of New York, as well as the State Bar of Georgia and the District of Columbia.
Katy O’Donnell – Baltimore, MD
Katy C. O’Donnell graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law where she graduated with Honors. Ms. O’Donnell obtained a judicial clerkship with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City with the Honorable Elsbeth Levy Bothe where she spent a year assisting the Court with a criminal felony trial docket. Ms. O’Donnell joined the Office of the Public Defender in 1985 and spent six (6) years in the Baltimore County District Office, primarily handling a felony trial caseload including death penalty cases, and serving as a Trial Team Supervisor for other felony attorneys. In 1991, Ms. O’Donnell joined the Capital Defense Division of the Public Defender’s Office; a specialized unit which works exclusively on capital and death eligible cases. In 1999, she became the Division Chief of the Capital Defense Unit. The division provides instruction, consultation, support, and training on all aspects of capital representation to public defender and panel attorneys involved in capital litigation. As Division Chief, Ms. O’Donnell is involved in the direct representation of capital clients across the State at the trial level. She also lectures extensively nationwide on numerous subjects relevant to death penalty litigation. In 2008, Ms. O’Donnell had the honor of serving on Governor Martin O’Malley’s Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment as a Commission Member on behalf of the Office of the Public Defender. The Commission was made up of 23 representatives from the legislature, the judiciary, law enforcement, prosecution and defense, corrections, victim’s family members, an exonerated death row inmate, and representatives of the religious community. The Majority of the Commission recommended the abolition of capital punishment in the state of Maryland. Ms. O’Donnell has testified before the Maryland legislature as a passionate advocate for repeal of the death penalty for nearly twenty years. In 2009, the Capital Defense Division became the Aggravated Homicide Division and the mission of the unit was expanded to include complex murder cases in which the State did not pursue a capital prosecution. Ms. O’Donnell continues to serve as the Division’s Chief Attorney. Ms. O’Donnell has been the recipient of the Office of the Public Defender’s Death Penalty Defense Award for Outstanding Advocacy in 1998, 2003, 2005 and 2009. In 2013, the Aggravated Homicide Division received the National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists (NASAMS) prestigious Mim George Award for outstanding contributions by an organization. Also in 2013, the Aggravated Homicide Division received The Champion of Justice Award (The Bryan Stevenson Award) for championing legal reforms that preserve the right to justice for indigent criminal defendants.
Hon. Luis Felipe Restrepo – Philadelphia, PA
Jeffrey Rosen - Philadelphia, PA
Jeffrey Rosen is a professor of law at The George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. His most recent book is The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America. He also is the author of The Most Democratic Branch, The Naked Crowd, and The Unwanted Gaze. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College, summa cum laude, Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and Yale Law School. Professor Rosen's essays and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, on National Public Radio, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the 10 best magazine journalists in America and the L.A. Times called him, "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator."
Hon. Timothy T. Savage – Philadelphia, PA
Prof. Ronald Tyler – Stanford, CA
Ron Tyler joined Stanford Law School in 2012 to direct the Criminal Defense Clinic after a 22 yearlong career as an assistant federal public defender with the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California. A dedicated defense attorney and nationally recognized expert, he has litigated at trial and appellate courts covering the full gamut of federal criminal cases. A founding member of the faculty of the Federal Trial Skills Academy and a faculty member of the Office of Defender Services Training Branch, he teaches regularly at seminars for criminal defense attorneys, investigators, and paralegals. He also teaches at the annual National Criminal Defense College in Georgia. He taught trial advocacy at UC Hastings College of the Law as an adjunct professor for many years. He is also active with several nonprofits including the American Civil Liberties Union, serving on its national board of directors. Professor Tyler received his BS in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981 and had a brief career in high tech before changing his career focus to public interest advocacy. He began law school as a Tony Patiño Fellow at Hastings College of the Law and earned his JD from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1989, where he served as notes and comments editor on the Ecology Law Quarterly. After law school, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel.