Bonnie Hoffman serves as NACDL’s Director of Public Defense Reform and Training. She focuses on addressing the needs of both public defense systems and the attorneys who provide representation to those accused. Overseeing NACDL’s commitment to public defense, Bonnie assists full-time public defenders, private assigned counsel, and contract counsel by developing and delivering training programs and materials, as well as working with local, state and national leaders to address reforms in our nation’s public defense delivery systems.
Bonnie is a career public defender. For 21 years prior to joining NACDL, she served as a public defender in Loudoun County, Virginia. Representing adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses from drunk driving on a farm tractor to murder; her practice included both trial and appellate cases.
Bonnie is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College. She earned her law degree George Mason University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. She served as chair of NACDL’s Federal Indigent Defense Task Force. The Task Force’s report, Federal Indigent Defense 2015: the Independence Imperative, highlighted the systemic problems in our nation’s federal public defense system and identified Seven Fundamentals of a Robust Federal Indigent Defense System. She was the primary author of “Gideon’s Champions,” a series of articles published in The Champion highlighting issues and challenges facing public defenders through the profiles of individual state and federal defenders from across the country.
Over her career Bonnie has served on numerous committees and work groups associated with public defense, the criminal justice system, and special populations including the Virginia Supreme Court’s Special Committee on Discovery Rules, Virginia’s Model Jury Instruction Working Group on Eyewitness Identification, and Loudoun County’s Disability Response Team and Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Collaborative.
In 2013, Ms. Hoffman received the Robert C. Heeney Award, NACDL’s most prestigious honor. This award is given annually to a criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Ms. Hoffman was the first active state public defender to receive this award.
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.