Northern District of Florida CJA Panel Training Information

Panel Training Videos

We have copies of all of these videos and DVDs, there is a copy in each of our four offices. Panel members are welcome to come to our office to view the videos. Panel members may also make arrangements to borrow a video for a few days.

Select videos (2015 through 2017) are available on to stream on Vimeo. Panel members can contact the office for access to streaming videos.

Adobe Acrobat Panel Training Video List, Updated 2/22/16 (115kb)

January 2010 - Sentencing Guidelines - Relevant Conduct: Stream on Vimeo

Previous Panel Training (Upcoming Panel Training)

NEW!July 2017 - Post Johnson World

Florida Bar Reference #1705294N
Approval Period: 07/25/2017-01/25/2019

We’ve already had several training sessions that have addressed Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). The landscape, however, continues to change, and the intersection between Johnson and the question of “divisibility” discussed in Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), and Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), is complicated. Then, too, unlike many other courts dealing with similar statutes, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected arguments about Florida’s aggravated assault and robbery statutes, and concluded offenses such as Florida’s battery on a law enforcement officer are divisible, though lawyers are continuing to contest the decisions. Johnson’s application to the old mandatory guidelines also remains a live issue.

This month’s video features Paresh Patel a lawyer with Federal Public Defender in Maryland. It is an updated version of his presentation that we showed in June of 2016. Mr. Patel is a 1996 graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law and has been with the office in Maryland since 2003.

We recorded the presentation this past June in New Orleans at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat July_17_Handout.pptx (241 KB)

NEW!June 2017 - Sentencing - Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going

Florida Bar Reference #1704607N
Approval Period: 06/20/2017-12/20/2018

Four lawyers of the National Sentencing Resource Counsel Project (NSRCP), Amy Baron-Evans, Denise Barrett, Jennifer Coffin, and Laura Mate recently gave an overview of federal sentencing. They covered everything from changes in the Sentencing Guidelines to the possibility of new legislation and Attorney General Sessions’s new directives to the United States Attorneys.

We filmed the presentation last month at the Federal Defender Conference in New Orleans.

Amy Baron Evans, a 1991 graduate of the Harvard Law School, has been a member of the NSRCP since 2005. Denise Barrett is a 1989 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and has been with NSRCP since 2008. Jennifer Coffin graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2000 and has been with NSRCP since 2006. Laura Mate, a 1998 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, has been with NSRCP since 2010.

We have requested CLE credit from the Florida Bar.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat June_17_Handout-Sentencing_Where_We've_Been,Where_We're_Going.pdf (1032 KB)

NEW!May 2017 - Supreme Court and Eleventh Circuit Update

Florida Bar Reference #1703862N
Approval Period: 05/23/2017-11/23/2018

Both the Supreme Court and the Eleventh Circuit have issued significant opinions over the past year in federal criminal cases. In this recording from last month’s CJA Panel Training presented in Orlando by the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida, Conrad Kahn analyzes the decisions and discusses their impact on our clients.

Conrad Kahn is a 2012 graduate of the St. Thomas University School of law. He is a lawyer in the appellate division in Middle District’s Public Defender Office. Before joining the office, he had worked with a law firm in Miami focusing on civil litigation and criminal defense.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat May 17 Handout 1.pdf (107 KB)
Adobe Acrobat May 17 Handout 2.pdf (14.1 MB)

NEW!April 2017 - High Times and Low Sentences: Successful Sentencing Strategies for Synthetic and Analogue Drugs

Florida Bar Reference #1702930N
Approval Period: 04/13/2017-10/13/2018

Clandestine chemists are regularly changing their formulas to create new recreational drugs. The sentencing guidelines fail to address these emerging substances and instead instruct courts to use the marijuana equivalency of the “most closely related” listed drug. In this month’s presentation, Chase Scolnick, focuses on the chemistry, toxicology, and creativity necessary to secure the most favorable guideline range.

Chase Scolnick is a 2003 graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and works as an assistant federal public defender in the Southern District of California. In years past, he has worked for federal defender offices in the Central District of California and the Eastern District of New York. He has tried more than 45 federal cases and regularly lectures on criminal defense topics at law schools and Criminal Justice Act seminars.

We filmed the presentation last June in Pittsburgh at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat High_Times_and_Low_Sentences-Successful_Sentencing_Strategies_for_Synthetic_and_Analogue_Drugs.pdf (7.60 MB)

NEW!March 2017 - Criminal Procedure Update - Drones, Dogs, and Delay
NEW!Stream Winning the Evidentiary Battles at Bond, Sentencing, and Revocation Hearings on Vimeo.

Florida Bar Reference #1701703N
Approval Period: 03/22/2017-09/22/2018

In this broadcast by the Federal Judicial Network, Brenda Baldwin-White, Senior Judicial Education Attorney, talks with Professor Laurie Levenson of the Loyola Law School, about the latest in criminal procedure. Professor Levenson addresses the most recent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and developments in investigative practices, including the use of drug-sniffing dogs, as well as drones and other high-technology devices. She also examines recent cases involving Batson challenges, trial and sentencing delays, and sentencing errors.

It was initially broadcast this past July.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 03-17_Handout.pdf (486KB)

February 2017 - Winning the Evidentiary Battles at Bond, Sentencing, and Revocation Hearings
NEW!Stream Winning the Evidentiary Battles at Bond, Sentencing, and Revocation Hearings on Vimeo.

Florida Bar Reference #1608704N
Approval Period: 02/21/2017-08/21/2018

Even when the rules of evidence aren’t in play, there are limits on what information the court can consider at a hearing. In this month’s video, Juval Scott, a lawyer with the Training Division of the Defender Services Office discusses strategies for excluding prejudicial and unreliable evidence at bond, sentencing, and supervised release or probation revocation hearings. She makes suggestions, too, about getting the evidence you need into the record.

Ms. Scott is a 2002 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law. She was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Milwaukee and Indianapolis before joining the Training Branch in 2015. She teaches regularly at local panel trainings and programs sponsored by the Defender Services Office.


January 2017 - Federal Sentencing Update
NEW!Stream Federal Sentencing Update on Vimeo.

Florida Bar Reference #1608965N
Approval Period: 01/24/2017-07/24/2018

This month’s video from the Federal Judicial Center features Alan Dorhoffer, the Deputy Director of the United States Sentencing Commission’s Office of Education and Sentencing Practice. In a discussion with moderator Brenda Baldwin-White, he covers a number of timely topics in federal sentencing, including issues related to Johnson v. United States, new guideline amendments, and recent Supreme Court and appellate sentencing cases.

It was originally broadcast on September 28, 2016.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 17-01_Handout.pdf (475KB)

2016 Collection of 2016 Training Video's on Vimeo

November 2016 - Plain Error from Top to Bottom
Stream Plain Error from Top to Bottom on Vimeo.

Florida Bar Reference #1608483N
Approval Period: 09/15/2016-03/15/2018

“Plain error,” as all good federal practitioner’s know, is what you are left to argue on appeal when there is no objection in the trial court. This month’s presentation by Assistant Federal Public Defenders Tim Crooks and Judy Madewell, covers all aspects of dealing with unpreserved error on appeal. In addition to strategies for arguing against plain-error review, Tim and Judy provide tips for litigating all four prongs of plain-error review, with special emphasis on the third and fourth prongs - “effect on substantial rights” and “serious effect on fairness integrity, and public reputation of judicial proceedings.”

The presentation is intended for those handling appeals, but will give those who only handle trials invaluable insight into the challenge presented in the absence of an objection.

Tim and Judy appeared in the video we presented in August on statutory construction. As they did in that one, they have made an entertaining presentation out of what could be a deadly boring topic.

Tim Crooks is a 1986 graduate of the Tulane Law School. He is currently the Chief of the Appellate Section in Houston for the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Texas. Earlier this year, he argued and won the case of Molina-Martinez v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1338 (2016), an important Sentencing Guidelines case. Judy Madewell is a 1994 graduate of the University of Texas. She’s an Assistant Federal Public Defender in San Antonio, Texas. She has been an adjunct professor at the St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio since 2005.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Plain Error from Top to Bottom - Pittsburgh 2016.pdf (102 KB)

October 2016 - Improper Prosecutorial Argument
Stream Improper Prosecutorial Argument on Vimeo.

Florida Bar Reference #1607805N
Approval Period: 10/18/2016-04/18/2018

In this month’s video presentation, Assistant Federal Public Defender Keith Hilzendeger, explores the improper closing arguments sometimes advanced by prosecutors, tactical considerations in addressing the arguments, and appropriate ways for preserving the issue for appeal. He includes concrete examples from circuits around the country.

Keith has been a lawyer with the Arizona Federal Public Defender since 2008. He is a 2004 graduate of the Arizona State University College of Law.

We recorded the presentation last June in Pittsburgh at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 16-10 Handout 1.pdf (31 KB)
Adobe Acrobat 16-10 Handout 2.pdf (69 KB)

September 2016 - Character Evidence and Impeachment
Stream Character Evidence and Impeachment on Vimeo.

Florida Bar Reference #1606930N
Approval Period: 09/20/2016-03/20/2018

This month’s video, from the Federal Judicial Center, features Professor David Sonenshein of the Temple University School of Law. He discusses Rule 404 (Character Evidence). His discussion includes reasons for impeachment, including prior convictions, prior acts of dishonesty, and prior inconsistent statements; character witnesses; and impeaching the hearsay declarant. He also covers rehabilitation of witnesses on redirect examination.

Professor Sonenshein is co-author with the late Irving Younger and Professor Michael Goldsmith of the case book Principles of Evidence. He teaches Evidence to Federal Judges at the Federal Judicial Center and to some of the premier law firms in the country.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 16-09 Handout 1.pdf (31 KB)
Adobe Acrobat 16-09 Handout 2.pdf (69 KB)

August 2016 - But What Does it Mean? A Basic Guide to Statutory Construction
Stream Statutory Construction on Vimeo.

Florida Bar Reference #1606074N
Approval Period: 08/23/2016-02/23/2018

The dramatic change in the law brought about by the efforts to determine the meaning of the Armed Career Criminal Act is just the most recent example how critical statutory construction can be. In this month’s video, Tim Crooks and Judy Madewell have made what can be a terribly dry topic into an entertaining and useful presentation. They cover basic principles for both trial and appellate lawyers, including: textual-versus-nontextual approach; use of dictionaries; commonly used canons of statutory construction; finding and using legislative history; interpreting statutes in light of federalism and other policy concerns; and the rule of lenity.

Tim Crooks is a 1986 graduate of the Tulane Law School. He is currently the Chief of the Appellate Section in Houston for the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Texas. Earlier this year, he argued and won the case of Molina-Martinez, 136 S. Ct. 1338 (2016), an important Sentencing Guidelines case. Judy Madewell is a 1994 graduate of the University of Texas. She’s an Assistant Federal Public Defender in San Antonio, Texas. She has been an adjunct professor at the St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio since 2005.
July 2016 - Taking the Best Advantage of the Sentencing Guidelines’ New Definition of “Crime of Violence”
Stream Taking Advantage of the New Definition of Crime of Violence on Vimeo.
Panel members, contact office for access to streamed videos

Florida Bar Reference #1605420N
Approval Period: 07/20/2016-01/20/2018

Next month, on August 1st, the United States Sentencing Guidelines breaks out its new definition of “crime of violence.” Burglary is gone. There is no longer a residual clause. The Commentary has lost its list of offenses and added a new definition of “forcible sex offense.” The changes mean that many who in years past have been sentenced as career offenders will no longer be. Many sentenced for firearm and immigration offenses will be eligible for shorter sentences.

In this month’s video Amy Baron-Evans and Jennifer Coffin, both of the Sentencing Resource Counsel project, talk about the issues that the amendments raise and how you can take advantage of and develop them. Amy is a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School, a former law clerk for the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and has been the National Sentencing Resource Counsel since 2005. Jennifer is a 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, a former law clerk for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a staff attorney with the Sentencing Resource Counsel Project since 2006.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 16-07 Amendment.pdf (197k)
Adobe Acrobat 16-07 Baron-Evans-Coffin - Enumerated Offenses Effective August 1_May 2016.pdf (217k)
Adobe Acrobat 16-07 Baron-Evans-Coffin - Commentary Offenses Memo with Circuit Split. revised 3.18.16.pdf (445k)
Adobe Acrobat 16-07 Baron-Evans-Coffin - COV Practice Guide rev 5.2.16.pdf(48k)
June 2016 - The Residual Clause and Crimes of Violence
Stream The Residual Clause is Gone on Vimeo.
Panel members, contact office for access to streamed videos

Florida Bar Reference #1604761N
Approval Period: 06/22/2016-12/22/2017

In its decision in United States v. Johnson, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), the Supreme Court gave us a tool to dramatically reduce sentences for many of our clients. Significant numbers of those who were once eligible for long sentences under the Armed Career Criminal Act will no longer have the requisite number of convictions. Some of those who had been eligible for the mandatory consecutive sentences based on the use of a firearm in a crime of violence will no longer be. There is a real likelihood, too, that Johnson will similarly affect the Sentencing Guideline definition of “crime of violence,” which would mean far fewer would be eligible for sentencing as career offenders and that some of those sentenced under the provision applicable to firearms immigration will benefit.

You cannot, though, count on the probation officer who prepares the presentence report to lead you through this. Under existing law such common predicate offenses as burglary and robbery still count. Then, too, though it is the only circuit to have reached the conclusion, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that Johnson is inapplicable to the Sentencing Guidelines. It all means that if your client is to benefit from the developing litigation, you will need to raise the issue.

This month’s video that we recorded in Pittsburgh earlier this month at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders will help you do just that.  The speakers are Jennifer Coffin and Paresh Patel. Jennifer is a 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, a former law clerk for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has been a staff attorney with the sentencing Resource Counsel Project since 2006. Paresh is a 1996 graduate of the American University Washington College of Law. He is a former law clerk to a United States District Court Judge and has served as a research and writing specialist for the Federal Defender in Maryland since 2003.

This one is important. All of our lawyers have been required to watch it.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat16-06 Powerpoint.pdf  (8.94MB)
April & May 2016 - Practical Tips for Your Client Facing Federal Incarceration - Part One & Two
Stream Practical Tips for Your Client Facing Federal Incarceration - Part One  on Vimeo.
Stream Practical Tips for Your Client Facing Federal Incarceration - Part Two on Vimeo.
Panel members, contact office for access to streamed videos

Part One:
Florida Bar Reference #1602852N
Approval Period: 04/20/2016-10/20/2017

Part Two:
Florida Bar Reference #1602851N
Approval Period: 05/18/2016-11/18/2017

Despite the best efforts of lawyers around the county, most of those charged in federal court with criminal offenses go to prison. This month we have Part One of a two part video series in which David Merchant, an Assistant Federal Public Defender from Montana, talks about what you can do before sentencing to maximize the client’s chances for a favorable placement and to reduce the percentage of time he or she serves.

David Merchant is a 1996 graduate of the College of Law at Michigan State University. Before joining the Federal Defender’s Office in Montana in 2005,  he worked for the Bureau of Prisons, was in private practice in Lansing, Michigan, and was on the CJA Panel for the Western District of Michigan. Dave serves as the Montana Membership Chair for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has lectured throughout the United States on Bureau of Prison issues.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat16-04-05 Powerpoint.pdf  (1.05MB)
March 2016 - Writing Motions - With Style
Stream Writing Motions - With Style on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1602395N
Approval Period: 03/23/2016-09/23/2017

Good lawyering depends on good communicating, and good communicating depends on good writing. The goal for this session is to give you several easy-to-implement tips that will immediately improve your writing, which will lead to better communicating, which will result in better lawyering.

Jay McEntire is a trial lawyer with the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Washington. He is a 2007 graduate of the Seattle University School of Law. Before joining Federal Defender Office, he was a law clerk for a United States District Court judge in the Eastern District of Washington and practiced with a firm in Spokane. He is an adjunct professor at the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat16-03 Powerpoint.pdf  (3.24MB)
February 2016 - Proposed Amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1601511N
Approval Period: 02/23/2016-08/23/2017

The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines contain several enhancements for defendants who have prior convictions for a “crime of violence.” Those guidelines contain language virtually identical to the Armed Career Criminal Act’s “violent felony” definition. Both definitions have a “residual clause” that includes felony offenses that “otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”

Though the Supreme Court found the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act to be unconstitutionally vague in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2251 (2015), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in United States v. Matchett, 802 F.3d 1185 (11th Cir. 2015), held Johnson to be inapplicable to the guidelines.

In response to the decision in Johnson and decisions by other courts of appeal that have concluded that Johnson applies to the residual clause of the guidelines, the United States Sentencing Commission recently promulgated a guideline amendment that eliminates the residual clause from the guideline’s definition of crime of violence. The amendment also lists specific offenses that qualify as a crime of violence. The amendment is expected to take effect in August 2016.

In this month’s video, we’ll be presenting a discussion by Assistant Federal Public Defenders Jim Skuthan and Rosemary Cakmis of Florida’s Middle District. They discuss the nuances of the guideline amendment and offers suggestions about using the amendment in sentencings between now and the effective date of the amendment. They also address the other proposed amendments to the guidelines applicable to immigration, compassionate release, and child pornography.

Rosemary Cakmis is the Appellate Chief for the Federal Public Defender Office in Florida’s Middle District. She is a 1981 graduate of the University of Florida and is board certified by The Florida Bar in the field of criminal appellate law. Jim Skuthan is the First Assistant in the same office.  He is a 1985 graduate of the Florida State University School of Law and is board certified by The Florida Bar in both criminal appellate law and criminal trial law.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 16-02 Handout - Amendment on COV eff 8-1-2016.pdf  (218kb)
Adobe Acrobat 16-02 Handout - Chan Order Denying Restitution.pdf  (104kb)
Adobe Acrobat 16-02 Handout - Crimes of Violence Slides.pdf  (76kb)
Adobe Acrobat 16-02 Handout - pp feb bb.pdf  (126kb)
Adobe Acrobat 16-02 Handout - US v Galan.pdf  (42kb)
Adobe Acrobat 16-02 Handout - USSG changes to COV.pdf  (138kb)
January 2016 - Court-Ordered Electronic Surveillance
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1600136N
Approval Period: 01/21/2016-07/21/2017

One of the most complicated tasks you’ll face as a defense lawyer is that of reviewing the legality of court-ordered electronic surveillance. In this month’s video, Senior United States District Court Judge James G. Carr (N.D. Ohio) explains the process, including the “necessity” showing in the application, violation of the Franks doctrine, minimization, and delayed sealing of the recordings.

Judge Carr was a law school professor at the Toledo College of Law after graduating from Harvard Law School. He served as a United States Magistrate Judge from 1979 to 1994. The Senate confirmed him in 1994 as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, and he assumed senior status in 2010. He is the principal co-author of the treatise The Law of Electronic Surveillance (Thompson/West).

Materials: Adobe Acrobat16-01 Handout.pdf (33kb)

2015

Collection of 2015 Training Video's on Vimeo

January 2015 - Criminal Procedure Update
 Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #15002027N
Approval Period: 01/02/2015-07/02/2016 (past)

This month’s video features Professor Laurie Levenson of the Loyola Law School. She addresses topics in criminal procedure, including recent Supreme Court decisions on search and seizure, interrogations, self-incrimination, right to counsel, and sentencing. She will also discuss the impact of new technology on police investigations.

Professor Levenson has been a faculty member of the Loyola Law School since 1989 and teaches a variety of courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence. She’s authored a long list of articles over the years and currently leads the Capital Habeas Litigation Clinic and the Project for the Innocent at the law school.

The presentation was broadcast this past November by the Federal Judicial Center.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Presentation Slides  (8mb)
February 2015 - Forfeiture
 Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1501147N
Approval Period: 02/19/2015-08/19/2016 (past)

Though most of our clients rarely have any assets worthy of forfeiture, the topic does come up. Most of us know little about it and run the risk of failing to protect the interests of our client. This month’s presentation by Baltimore lawyer Robert Biddle will help. It will give you an overview of the various types of asset forfeiture proceedings (civil, criminal, and administrative), and the possible defenses.

Mr. Biddle is a 1987 graduate of the Univesity of Pennsylvania Law School. He’s been a law clerk for a United States District Court Judge, and an Assistant United States Attorney. He is a partner in the Baltimore firm of Nathans & Biddle.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Presentation Slides  (457kb)
Adobe AcrobatDEA Letter (64kb)
Adobe AcrobatCAFRA Seizure Notice (205k)
Adobe Acrobat Property Record (51kb)
Adobe Acrobat Verified Complaint (90kb)
Adobe Acrobat Notice of Seizure (69kb)
March 2015 - Computer Crimes
 Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1503362N
Approval Period: 03/17/2015-09/17/2016 (past)

Computers are gifts that seem to keep on giving when it comes to federal prosecutions. With desktops, laptops, iPads, smartphones, etc., our clients now have any number of ways to get indicted. In addition to child pornography cases, there have been increases in prosecutions for other computer-related crimes such as hacking, identity theft, cyber-stalking, unauthorized password use, and fraud, This month’s video will provide an overview of recent trends in defending both child pornography cases and these other areas of computer related crimes.

We filmed the presentation last May at the national Seminar for Federal Defenders in Cleveland.

The presentation is made by Ken Hawk, an Assistant Federal Public Defender, from the Eastern District of Texas. He is a 1989 graduate of the Texas Tech University School of Law.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat March 2015 Handout  (619kb)
April 2015 - Litigating Synthetic Drug Cases
 Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1502533N
Approval Period: 04/22/2015-10/22/2016 (past)

The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 permanently placed 26 types of synthetic cabbanbinoids and cathinones into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It also expanded DEA’s authority to administratively schedule substances under its emergency scheduling authority. As a result of the legislation and a rise in prosecutions, the likelihood of representing a client charged with a synthetic drug offense has increased. This month’s recording will provide you with an understanding of how scientists determine the nature of synthetic drugs and some of the legal challenges available in such cases. The speakers are James Felman and Gregory Dudley. Mr. Felman is a partner in the Tampa law firm of Kynes, Markman, & Felman, P.A. He is a 1987 graduate of the Duke University School of Law. He frequently writes and speaks on criminal justice policy issues, He serves as the Chair-Elect of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association and is the ABA’s liaison to the United States Sentencing Commission. Dr. Dudley is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University. He earned his doctorate in 2000 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

We hope you can join us. You decide whether to bring your old chemistry book.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat April 2015 Handout  (12.2MB)
May 2015 - Addiction and Professionalism
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1503697N
Approval Period: 05/21/2015-11/21/2016 (past)

We recorded this month’s presentation this past March at the Middle District’s Panel Training Seminar. It features Michael Cohen the Executive Director of Florida Lawyers Assistance, the program created by the Florida Supreme Court to help lawyers impaired because of drugs, alcohol, or psychological conditions.

While this isn’t our usual presentation about federal criminal practice, Mr. Cohen talks about the role of addiction in the lives of our clients and about just how difficult it is to overcome. He works in, too, a discussion about the stresses faced by lawyers and the services provided by Florida Lawyers Assistance.

Mr. Cohen is a 1980 graduate of the Suffolk University Law School. Much of his practice prior taking his current position was criminal defense.
June 2015 - Key Issues in Digital Search Cases Post-Riley and Confrontation Clause Cases
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1504263N
Approval Period: 06/24/2015-12/24/2016 (past)

This month’s video is a presentation by Stanford Law School Professor Jeffrey Fisher. In it, Professor Fisher discusses what he sees as the litigation likely to follow the Supreme Court’s decision in Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014), the case involving the search of a cell phone incident to arrest. His discussion includes the question of whether Riley extends to other digital devices and what the decision means for other privacy concerns such as GPS and cell phone tracking and cell cite location. Professor Fisher includes a review of recent confrontation clause cases and discusses his case, Ohio v. Clark, which he argued this term before the Supreme Court and asks whether admission of a  statement of a young child about alleged abuse to a teacher violates the Confrontation Clause.  If there was ever a star in the field of criminal defense, it is Jeffrey Fisher. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997 and since then has argued 27 cases before the Supreme Court, including Riley, Crawford v. Washington (landmark Confrontation Clause decision), Blakely v. Washington (sentencing guidelines), and Kennedy v. Louisiana (Eight Amendment prohibits states from imposing death sentence for crimes that don’t result in death). Before joining the faculty at the Stanford Law School, Professor Fisher clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share in the insights of one of the country’s best lawyers.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat15-06 Reframing the Right to Confrontation.pdf (322kb) 
 Adobe Acrobat15-06 Digital Privacy.pdf (172kb)
July 2015 - Understanding new Surveillance Tools - Cell Phone Tracking, Stingrays, Hemisphere and More
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1504930N
Approval Period: 06/23/2015-12/23/2016 (past)

Technological advances have given law enforcement powerful new tools to conduct surveillance. While techniques like cell site tracking are widely known to the defense community, newer technologies like IMSI catchers or “stingrays” and databases like Hemisphere and the DEA’s bulk call records collection program have only recently come to light after being shrouded in government secrecy. This month’s video presentation by Hanni Fakhoury will review these technologies , steps investigators and attorneys can use to discover whether they’ve been used in their cases and legal challenges that can be made.

Hanni Fakhoury is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, California. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of California. He was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in San Diego from 2007 to 2011, and has been with the Electronic Frontier Foundation since then. Mr. Fakhoury is a frequent speaker at domestic and international conferences on law enforcement surveillance techniques and a member of the Northern District of California’s CJA Panel.

Materials: Powerpoint15-07 Handout - Understanding New Surveillance Tools_0.pptx (4.31 MB)
Adobe Acrobat15-07 Handout -  Hemisphere Powerpoint.pdf (19.4 MB)
Adobe Acrobat15-07 Handout - Diaz-Rivera Amicus Brief.pdf (495 kb)
Adobe Acrobat15-07 Handout - Electronic Frontier Foundation Amicus Brief in Davis.pdf (172 kb)
Adobe Acrobat15-07 Handout - Electronic Frontier Foundation Singray Discovery Request.pdf (61 kb)
Adobe Acrobat15-07 Handout - Judge Lefkow's Order in Evans Re Cell Towers.pdf (55 kb)
Adobe Acrobat15-07 Handout - MuckRock Hemisphere Slides.pdf (14.1 MB)
Adobe Acrobat15-07 Handout - Stingray Guide.pdf (1.31 MB)
September 2015 - Hearsay
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1506915N
Approval Period: 09/23/2015-03/23/2017

In this month’s video, Temple University Law School Professor David Sonenshein reviews and discusses some of the most important elements of hearsay and hearsay exceptions, including what is and isn’t hearsay, party admissions, business records and official records, the residual hearsay exception, and impeaching the hearsay declarant.

Professor Sonenshein is co-author with the late Irving Younger and Professor Michael Goldsmith of the case book Principles of Evidence. He teaches Evidence to Federal Judges at the Federal Judicial Center and to some of the premier law firms in the country.

The presentation was broadcast this past June by the Federal Judicial Center.
October 2015 - Johnson v. United States - It’s Impact and Implications
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1507424N
Approval Period: >10/22/2015-04/22/2017

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015) dramatically reduced the scope of the Armed Career Criminal Act. Though the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in United States v. Matchett, Case No. 14-10396 (11th Cir. Sept. 21, 2015), has declined to extend the Johnson holding to the career offender guideline, it is an issue that remains very much alive as a number of courts have held to the contrary. Johnson, too, will provide relief to many who were sentenced in the past under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

This month’s video is a recording of a webinar presented in September to the Federal Defenders. Paresh Patel, an appellate lawyer with the Federal Defender in Maryland and Joshua Carpenter, the Appellate Chief of the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina, outline the decision and go on to argue that, now, almost nothing qualifies as a violent felony.

Paresh Patel has been with the Maryland Office since 2003. He earned his J.D. from American University in 1996. Joshua Carpenter joined the Western North Carolina Office in 2012. Prior to joining the office he had been a law clerk for Judge M. Blane Michael of the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center.

Don’t miss this presentation about a revolutionary change in the law!

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 15-10 PP Handout Final.pdf (7.11mb)
Adobe Acrobat 15-10 Potential Challenges Post-Johnson Other Than CO.pdf (79kb)
November 2015 - Recent Developments in Federal Sentencing
Stream on Vimeo. Panel members, contact office for access.

Florida Bar Reference #1508599N
Approval Period: 11/12/2015-05/12/2017

In this month’s video, Alan Dorhoffer, the Deputy Director of the Office of Education of the United States Sentencing Commission, discusses the decision in United States v. Johnson, the 2015 amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and the retroactivity of the 2014 drug amendment.

Mr. Dorhoffer has conducted hundreds of training sessions for judges, attorneys, law clerks, and probation officers. He is a graduate of the George Washington School of Law.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatNovember 15 Handout - Recent Developments in Federal Sentencing.pdf (896kb)

The determination of what sort of prior convictions can serve as predicate offenses for the armed career criminal statute and the career offender and other provisions of the Guidelines has become increasingly complicated. Just, though, when the dust was starting to settle, the Supreme Court decided Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), and provided an altogether new analysis. In this month’s presentation, Paresh Patel surveys this ever changing jurisprudence, and provides practice tips to maximize the benefits to our clients.

This presentation is a webinar presented by the Training Division of the Defender Services Office. Paresh Patel is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Maryland where he has worked as an appellate lawyer since 2003. He is a 1996 graduate of the American University Washington College of Law and a former clerk for United States District Court Judge Ancer Haggerty of the District of Oregon. 
Financial transactions provide a wealth of information above and beyond the general movement of funds. This webinar will show you how to use these documents in many different types of cases. The presentation will first detail the anatomy of a financial transaction, as well as currency reporting documents required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Suggestions for obtaining, organizing and analyzing financial documents will also be illustrated.  The session will then cover the alternative uses for financial transactions, such as potential witness leads, determination of lifestyle, alibi, and corroboration of witness statements. Lastly, using an actual case scenario, the presenter will show how a financial analysis can be used to mitigate the impact of Sentencing Guidelines calculations regarding loss amounts.

Pam Bishop, a former assistant federal public defender, works for Commonwealth Litigation Support Services in Ashland, Virginia. While working in the defender office, she specialized in large scale fraud and financial cases.  She has lectured frequently in the areas of financial investigations, document analysis, and e-discovery.
This month’s video features two lawyers from the National Sentencing Resource Counsel, Amy Baron-Evans and Jennifer Coffin. They discuss the recent bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress, directives from the Attorney General, reports from the Sentencing Commission, district court opinions, reports from well-respected policy research organizations, and other influential sources that they argue reflect a growing consensus that sentences recommended by the sentencing guidelines and required by mandatory minimum statutes serve no purpose of sentencing. They explain  how to use these materials to obtain variances from the guideline range, and, for the bold, to prove that many of the mandatory minimums violate the Eight Amendment and the Due Process Clause.

Both Amy Baron-Evans and Jennifer Coffin are part of a group of lawyers that form the National Sentencing Resource Counsel that is funded by the Defender Services Office. They regularly lecture on sentencing issues and provide support to the Federal Public Defender system. Ms. Baron-Evans is a 1991 graduate of the Harvard Law School. Ms. Coffin is a 2000 graduate of the Tennessee College of Law.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatAmendments to the Sentencing Guidelines (329k)
Adobe AcrobatJustice Safety Valve Act of 2013 (245k)
Adobe AcrobatLetter from United States Sentencing Commission to Senate Judiciary Committeed re Mandatory Minimums (366k)
Adobe Acrobat Links to Research Reports (122k)
Adobe Acrobat Maximum Penalties for Drug Offenses in States with Life Without Parole Sentences (418k)
Adobe Acrobat Memorandum from Attorney General Eric Holder re Department Policy on Charging and Sentencing (704k)
Adobe Acrobat Memorandum from Attorney General Eric Holder re Department Policy on Charging Mandatory Minimum Sentences and Recidivist Enhancements in Certain Drug Cases (1.4M)
Adobe Acrobat Memorandum from Attorney General Eric Holder re Retroactive Application of Department Policy on Charging Mandatory Minimum Sentences and Recidivist Enhancements in Certain Drug Cases (1.3M)
Adobe Acrobat Smart on Crime - - Reforming the Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century (598k)
Adobe Acrobat Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013 (300k)
Adobe Acrobat U.S. Department of Justice Letter re Proposed Amendments to Federal Sentencing Guidelines (3M)
Adobe Acrobat United States v. Bartholomew, Order Granting Continuance (165k)
Adobe Acrobat United States v. Douglas Young (N.D. Iowa, Aug. 16, 2013) (1.7M)
Adobe Acrobat United States v. Jones, Order on Motion to Strike (124k)
Adobe Acrobat United States v. Lulzim Kupa (E.D.N.Y., Oct. 9, 2013) (802k)
Adobe Acrobat United States v. Ross, Order on 2255 (420k)
Many of our clients decide cooperation is in their best interest. Sometimes proffer sessions can devolve into train wrecks with the client getting no benefit and all the added risk. This month’s video explores common benefits and dangers associated with cooperation while addressing the many land mines waiting for your client in the proffer room. The speaker, Patrick Ehlers makes suggestions for protecting the cooperating defendant, including such things as sealing, sentencing letters, and other avenues of protection.

Patrick Ehlers is a 1993 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of law. He has worked as a state public defender and as an assistant federal public defender since 1999 in both Oklahoma and Oregon. 
In Porter v. McCollum, 130 S. Ct. 447 (2009), the Supreme Court recognized our nation’s long tradition of affording leniency to veterans in recognition of their service, especially for those who  fought on the front lines. In this month’s video, two Assistant Federal Public Defenders, Jim Skuthan and Joseph Wilhelm, will discuss how to handle a case involving a veteran and how to use the resources available to investigate, develop, and present mitigation evidence. The session will also cover recurrent mental health issues defense counsel should be aware of when defending veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Jim Skuthan is the First Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Middle District of Florida. He regularly lectures on topics in federal criminal defense and has appeared in a number of our past video recordings. He is a 1985 graduate of the Florida State University School of Law. Joseph Wilhelm is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of Ohio. He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

We recorded the presentation this past May at the national Seminar for Federal Defenders that was held in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Sept 14 Handout.pdf (997k)
For those of us who don’t regularly file an appeal with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, it is always a challenge to try and fulfill the requirements established by the Court. The rule governing the appendix has changed several times over the last couple of years and those changes have only added to the task. Then, too, there is the matter of putting together a compelling argument for the client.

This month’s training seminar is designed to address those concerns. Chet Kaufman and Margaret Clemons of our office will be making a live presentation in Pensacola and Tallahassee, and we’ll be showing a video of their presentation in Gainesville and Panama City.

Please plan to bring your legal assistant as both you and your assistant will benefit from the presentation.

Chet is a 1989 graduate of the Florida State University School of Law, a former law clerk for, then, Florida Supreme Court Justice Rosemary Barkett, and has been an appellate lawyer with our office since 2002. Margaret Clemons is the secretary to the Federal Public Defender and has been preparing and submitting our appeals since 1994.
This month we will be bringing to you a video presentation by Temple University  Law Professor David Sonnenshein. In it, he gives a wonderfully clear and thoughtful discussion of some of the more challenging evidence issues: expert testimony as governed by Rules 701, 702, and 703 of the Federal Rules of Evidence and character evidence as governed by Rules 404(a) and (b). He covers, too, the business records exception and the introduction of electronic evidence.

Professor Sonenshein is co-author with the late Irving Younger and Professor Michael Goldsmith of the case book Principles of Evidence. He teaches Evidence to Federal Judges at the Federal Judicial Center and to some of the premier law firms in the country.

The presentation was broadcast this past September by the Federal Judicial Center.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Major Cases 2014.pdf  (85kb)

January 2013 -  Creative Uses of the Rules of Evidence

Over the years, we’ve shown you a number of presentations by University of New Mexico Law School Professor Barbara Bergman. This month, we’ll be showing her updated and most recent version of her lecture about the innovative use of the Rules of Evidence.  She will tell you how to use Rule 806 to impeach out-of-court statements that are not hearsay or are an exception to the hearsay rule.  She’ll warn you about the possibility of the Government impeaching your client even though he doesn’t testify. Need help getting evidence before the jury during the Government’s direct examination - she has answer for that, too. She’ll also show you how to get damaging Government statements in as admissions. She’ll talk about all of this and present a host of angles that most of us rarely considered.

For those of you who have seen her before, you’ll find her presentation to be a wonderful refresher. If you haven’t seen her before, you’ll come away with new ideas that will make you a better prepared lawyer.

The video runs an hour an ten minutes.

Ms. Bergman is a 1976 graduate of the Stanford Law School.  She clerked for a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, has been in private practice, and worked as a public defender. She was on the defense team representing Terry Nichols who was charged with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. She is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is the co-author of Wharton’s Criminal Evidence, 15th Edition, and has been on the University of New Mexico law faculty since 1987.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatGuidelines Handout.pdf (2751kb)

February 2013 - Mining the Guideline Manual - Using Recent Amendments for New Types of Departures & Variances


We’ve made some progress in reducing the length of sentences, here, in the Northern District of Florida. There, however, remains much work to be done. In this month’s video presentation, Laura Mate, a lawyer with the Sentencing Resource Counsel, of the Office of Defender Services reviews some of the recent amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines and discusses how they can be used to argue for below-Guideline sentences.

Ms. Mate is a 1998 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. She worked in private practice and spent nine years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Western District of Washington before joining the National Resource Counsel Project in 2010.

We recorded Ms. Mate in April of 2012 at the Panel Training Seminar presented by the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida.  

Note that we will not be providing handouts of what amounts to some lengthy articles referred to by Ms. Mate. Those articles are: Departures and Variances by David Hemingway and Janet Hinton, Fighting Fiction with Fact: Research to help Advocate for Lower Sentences by Laura Mate, Denise Barrett, and Anne Blanchard, and No More Math Without Subtraction: Deconstructing the Guidelines Prohibitions and Restrictions on Mitigation Factors by Amy Baron-Evans and Jennifer Niles Coffin. They are all  available at the Sentencing Resource Page of the Defender Training website at: http://www.fd.org/odstb_SentencingResource3.htm

March 2013 - Electronic Surveillance - Jones and Beyond

In United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012), the Supreme Court held that, under the circumstances of the case, the Fourth Amendment required the police to obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS tracking device to a car belonging to a Washington, D.C., resident.  The decision was the Court’s first effort at addressing new technology, ranging from cell phones to drones, that has the potential to expand the ability of law enforcement agencies to monitor and track citizens.

In this month’s video presentation, Lisa Hay, an Assistant Federal Public Defender from Oregon, discusses the use of available technology by law enforcement agencies and the protection the  Fourth Amendment affords against its use for unwarranted intrusions into privacy.

We recorded Ms. Hay in April of 2012 at the Panel Training Seminar presented by the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida. 

Lisa Hay is a 1991 graduate of the Harvard Law School. She  is  a former law clerk to United States District Court Judges Robert Keeton and Patti Saris and a former associate in a prominent Boston law firm. She  has been an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the District of Oregon since 1998.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat March 2013 Handout 1.pdf (195kb) Adobe AcrobatMarch 2013 Handout 2.pdf (31kb) Adobe AcrobatMarch 2013 Handout 3.pdf (26.8MB)

April 2013 - Themes and Trends in the First and Fourth Amendments Jurisprudence

 Erwin Chemerinsky, the Dean of the Irvine Law School at the University of California has frequently argued cases before the Supreme Court. His clear and insightful explanation of the law has made him a regular commentator on legal issues for national and local media. His casebook, Constitutional Law, is one of the most widely read law textbooks in the country.

In this month’s video he talks about recent First and Fourth Amendment cases from the Supreme Court. From the case involving “animal crush” videos to the “Bongs for Jesus” case, he covers First Amendment trends. In his analysis of both civil and criminal Fourth Amendment cases, he sees the survival of the exclusionary rule hanging by the thin thread of Justice Kennedy’s vote.

Mr. Chemerinsky holds a law degree from the Harvard Law School and has taught as a law professor at the University of Southern California and Duke. His authored seven books and nearly 200 articles in top law reviews. His most recent book is The Conservative Assault on the Constitution (Oct. 2010, Simon & Schuster).

May 2013 - The Basics of Computer Forensics

Evidence in many of our cases is routinely found on computers. It may be that it most commonly occurs in child pornography cases, but it almost always happens, too, in all kinds of fraud and identity theft cases. Many times we are faced with the decision of whether to hire an expert who can examine the electronic evidence and explain its significance to us.

Rick Lavaty, the Supervisory Computer Systems Administrator for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Arizona, gives you some of the basics of computer forensics and tells you what you can expect from a computer forensic expert.

Mr. Lavaty has been in the computer business for nearly 20 years and with the Federal Public Defender since 1999. He is trained in computer forensic analysis and regularly conducts forensic analysis on computer hard drives, CDs, flash drives and memory cards. He has testified as an expert in computer forensics and is a frequent speaker on the topic at conferences throughout the country.

Materials:Adobe Acrobat May 2013 Handout.pdf (2.7MB)

June  2013 - Sentencing and the Sentencing Memorandum

Sentencing in some respects has always been a plea for mercy or leniency. The approach in federal court, though, is based on something more concrete, the goals of Congress set out in 18 U.S.C. § 3553. It is a setting in which a sentencing memorandum can be an invaluable tool.

This month we’ll be having one of our rare live presentations. Randy Murrell will be talking about the federal sentencing scheme and will offer some suggestions about preparing an effective sentencing memo.

Randy Murrell has been the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Florida since 1998. He is a 1976 graduate of the Florida State University College of Law.

Materials:    June 13 Sentencing Presentation.pptx (18.9mb) Adobe Acrobat Wilson Memo.pdf (60kb) Adobe Acrobat Bush Memo.pdf (80kb) Adobe AcrobatTruman Memo.pdf (59kb)

August  2013 - Admission of Expert in Opinion
                      - Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993)


The Federal Courts abandoned the Frye test years ago in favor of the principles established in Daubert that are now part of Federal Rule of Evidence 702. Now that Florida courts have adopted those principles, there is a new found interest among defense lawyers in better understanding the Daubert decision.  In July, the Florida Public Defender Association and Nancy Daniels, the Public Defender for Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit, presented a lecture that featured Florida State University Law Professor Emeritus Charles Ehrhardt. Professor Ehrhardt, whose presentation was broadcast live over the web, gave a memorably clear and enthusiastic explanation of the Daubert principles. Ms. Daniels and the Public Defender Association have graciously allowed us to use the presentation.

Charles W. Ehrhardt, Ladd Professor Emeritus, Florida State University College of Law, has been on the faculty of the Florida State University of Law since 1967. He has taught state trial judges at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, and United States District Judges for the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C. He has been published widely in law reviews and is the author of the respected Ehrhardt’s Florida Evidence.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat August 2013 Handout.pdf (41kb)


January 2012 - Defending Those Who Defend Us - Considerations in Defending Veterans

Particularly with the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we sometimes have clients who are veterans. This month’s video will help you identify key considerations in representing them, particularly those who suffer from service-connected Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. The speaker, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Christian Capece, will also provide tips on how to maximize the impact of a client’s honorable military service and offer assistance in understanding the client’s service record and its potential for securing a better sentence.

Christian Capece served as Judge Advocate in the United States Marines in Okinawa, Japan, and Quantico, Virginia from 2000-2004. He has also been a law clerk for a United States District Judge in New York, worked for a New York law firm, and has been an assistant federal public defender in Charleston, West Virginia, since 2007.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatJanuary 2012 Handout.pdf (3.61mb)
  Adobe AcrobatJanuary 2012 Additional Handout Military_Service_5H1-11_Departures_Booker_Variances.pdf (106kb)

February 2012 - Special Considerations in Representing Non-Citizens After Padilla

In Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 1482 (2010), the Supreme Court placed upon defense counsel the responsibility of accurately advising the non-citizen about the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. That means, of course, that all of us must have some basic information about immigration law. In this month’s presentation, Eleni Wolfe-Roubatis of the National Immigration Justice Center offers some help. In her presentation that we recorded last June at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders, she discusses some of the key facts to consider when representing a non-citizen, what amounts to a conviction under immigration law, the major consequences of convictions for immigrants, crimes of “moral turpitude,” “aggravated felonies,” and eligibility for relief under immigration law.

The National Immigrant Justice Center is located in Chicago. The organization provides legal services to immigrants and advocates for immigrants through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Ms. Wolfe-Roubatis is the Detention Project Supervising Attorney for the Center and has been with the Center since 2007. She is a 2007 graduate of the DePaul University College of Law.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat February 12 Handout - Special_Considerations.pdf (173kb)

March 2012 - Searching Cell Phones

It has become something we see more and more often. The police arrest someone and then proceed to search the individual’s cell phone. Many, but not all courts, have upheld the search of cell phones if made incident to the arrest. The Florida Supreme Court, however, has pending before it the decision of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal in Smallwood v. State, 61 So. 3d 448 (1st DCA 2011) and it is still an evolving area of the law.

Florida State University of Law Professor Wayne Logan reviewed the issue in a presentation he gave in January to the Tallahassee FACDL Chapter. Professor Logan is a past Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He is a dynamic lecturer who has published on a wide variety of issues, including capital punishment, police search and seizure, sex offender registration and community notification, and the interplay among, state, federal and local criminal justice systems.

May 2012 - Preparing Your Client for the Bureau of Prisons

The truth of the matter is that nearly all of our clients end up serving a sentence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In this month’s video presentation, John Badalamenti, an Assistant Federal Public Defender from the Middle District of Florida, will familiarize you with the structure of the Bureau of Prisons and will discuss such topics as the Program Statements that set out the rules applicable to the Bureau, the administrative process which prisoners must use to challenge the actions of the Bureau, the designation process, the Bureau’s reliance upon the presentence report, and admission into the Bureau’s popular residential drug treatment program.

John graduated from the University of Florida Law School in 1999. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Attorney General’s Honors Program, where he spent a year as an Attorney-Advisor for the Bureau of Prisons in Atlanta. He has been in private practice with Carlton Fields, P.A., and has served as a law clerk to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Paul H. Roney and Frank M. Hull. He is currently as Assistant Federal Public Defender in Tampa.

We recorded Mr. Badalamenti this April at the Criminal Justice Act panel training presented by the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatBadalamenti Slide Show.pdf

June 2012 - Supreme Court Review

This month we’ll be presenting our video tape of the annual Supreme Court Review from this year’s Federal Defender Conference that was held earlier this month in Atlanta. The video will feature Professors Susan Herman and Erwin Chemerinsky along with Assistant Federal Public Defender Paul Rashkind. The trio will be reviewing the essential criminal law cases from the Court that have been issued over the last year. Their thoughtful and entertaining analysis was, as always, one of the high points of the conference.

This is one of our longer presentations. It runs for just over one hour and forty minutes.

Susan Herman has been a professor at the Brooklyn Law School since 1980. She’s appeared before the United States Supreme Court on a number of occasions and is often sought out by one media source or another for her insights into criminal law. Edwin Chemerinsky is the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at UC-Irvine. He appears regularly before the United States Supreme Court and is a frequent commentator for the media. Paul Rashkind heads the appellate section of the Federal Public Defender’s office for the Southern District of Florida. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Miami

Materials: Adobe AcrobatSupreme Court Review 2012.pdf

July 2012 - Sentencing Guidelines (Part One) – Overview: The Sentencing Guideline Commission and Relevant Statistics

This month we begin a three-part series featuring the presentation made by the United States Sentencing Guideline Commission this past April in Pensacola. Part One, which you will see this month, features United States Sentencing Guideline Commissioner Dabney Friedrich and the Commission’s principal trainer, Rusty Burress.

Ms. Friedrich talks about the make-up of the Commission, describes the process used by the Commission to promulgate the Guidelines, and reviews the recent research conducted by the Sentencing Commission regarding mandatory minimum sentences and the ongoing research into the child pornography guideline and the impact of the Booker decision on sentencing. Mr. Burress gives you the comparison between the kinds of cases being prosecuted nation-wide and the kind of cases being prosecuted in North Florida. He examines, too, the rates at which sentences are imposed within and outside the Sentencing Guidelines.

Ms. Friedrich who is from Pensacola served as associate counsel at the White House from 2003 until her appointment to the Sentencing Commission in December of 2006. Prior to that she was counsel to Chairman Orrin Hatch of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, worked as an Assistant State Attorney, as an associate in a San Diego law firm, and as a clerk to a United States District Judge. She is a graduate fo the Yale Law School.

Rusty Burress is the Principal Training Advisor in the Sentencing Commission’s Office of Education and Sentencing Practice and has been on the staff of the Commission since its inception in 1985. He worked as a U.S. Probation Officer in South Carolina prior to joining the Sentencing Commission. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned a Master’s Degree from Fordham University.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatGuidelines Handout.pdf (777kb)

August 2012 - Sentencing Guidelines (Part Two) – Proposed 2012 Amendments, the 2011 Amendments, and the Definition of “Crime of Violence”

This month we’ll be showing Part Two of the three-part series featuring the presentation made by the United States Sentencing Commission this past April in Pensacola. It features the Commission’s principal trainer, Rusty Burress, and Alan Dorhoffer who serves as the Commission’s Deputy Director of its Office of Education and Sentencing Practice.

Mr. Burress reviews the proposed amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines that are scheduled to take effect in November of this year and the most recent amendments that took effect in November of 2011. It is a broad landscape covering everything from mortgage fraud to supervised release, illegal reentry, firearms, mitigating role, and crack cocaine. Mr. Dorhoffer addresses Guideline amendment retroactivty, the Fair Sentencing Act, and begins a discussion of what is surely the fastest-changing feature of the Guidelines – the definition of "crime of violence" and "violent felony" as those terms are used in the Career Offender Guideline and the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Rusty Burress is the Principal Training Advisor in the Sentencing Commission’s Office of Education and Sentencing Practice and has been on the staff of the Commission since its inception in 1985. He worked as a U.S. Probation Officer in South Carolina prior to joining the Sentencing Commission. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned a Master’s Degree from Fordham University.

Alan Dorhoffer has conducted hundreds of training programs for judges, attorneys, law clerks, and probation officers on federal sentencing issues. He is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Law.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatGuidelines Handout.pdf (777kb) (Same file as July)

September 2012 - Sentencing Guidelines (Part Three) – Recent Case Law

This month we’ll be showing the third and final installment of our three-part series featuring the presentation made by the United States Sentencing Commission this past April in Pensacola. In it, Alan Dorhoffer covers what practitioners need most – up-to-date case law. He reviews Supreme Court and Eleventh Circuit decisions regarding the Sentencing Guidelines issues of (1) what amounts to a "crime of violence" and "violent felony" as those terms are used in the Career Offender Guideline and the Armed Career Criminal Act, (2) appellate review for "reasonableness," (3) departures and variances, (4) child pornography, and (5) restitution in mortgage fraud cases.

Alan Dorhoffer is the Deputy Director of the Sentencing Commission’s Office of Education and Sentencing Practice. He has conducted hundreds of training programs for judges, attorneys, law clerks, and probation officers on federal sentencing issues. He is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Law.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatGuidelines Handout.pdf (777kb) (Same file as July)

October 2012 - Enticers and Travelers

Here in North Florida, we’ve had a series of sting operations where law enforcement officers, posing as either young adolescents or the parent of a young adolescent, post an ad, usually on Craig’s list, offering sexual relations with the adolescent. The cases, as many of us have found, are, challenging, to say the least. In this month’s video presentation, two Assistant Federal Public Defenders, Jonathan Jeffress and Rosanna Taormina, will discuss strategy and the best options for defending these cases.

Ms. Taormina and Mr. Jeffress both work for the Federal Public Defender in the District of Columbia. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a former law clerk to Judge Rendell of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a 1998 graduate of the University of Virginia.

We filmed this presentation this past June at the Federal Public Defender Conference in Atlanta. The presentation is 75 minutes long.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Enticers and Travelers Slide Show.pdf (371kb) Adobe Acrobat Handout for Enticers and Travelers.pdf (258kb)

 
November 2012 -  New Developments in the Right to Confrontation

Since the revolutionary decision in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), the right of confrontation has taken on a new meaning and has been subject to continued interpretation by the Supreme Court. In this month’s video presentation, Stanford University Law Professor Jeffrey Fisher, who won the victory in Crawford provides his analysis of the Court’s ongoing interpretation of one of the Constitution’s most basic rights.

Among those practicing law today, few have had the impact in the United States Supreme Court that Jeffrey Fisher has had. Since 2003, he has argued more than 20 cases before the Court. Among them: Bullcoming v. New Mexico, 131 S. Ct. 2705 (2011), where the Court concluded the testimony of a lab analyst who did not perform the blood alcohol testing violated the confrontation clause; United States v. O’Brien, 130 S. Ct. 2169 (2010), where the Court held proof that the firearm was a machine gun was a necessary element of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii); Melendez-Diaz v. Masssachusetts, 557 U.S. 305 (2008), where the Court found the introduction of certificates signed by state lab analysts violated the Confrontation Clause; Kennedy v. Louisiana, 554 U.S. 407 (2008), upholding the ban on capital punishment for child rape; Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471 (2008), the case involving the punitive damage claim in the Exon Valdez oil spill; Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004) and, of course, Crawford v. Washington. His talent and insight into the Court make him a uniquely qualified to discuss the Confrontation Clause.

We filmed this presentation in June at the Federal Public Defender Conference in Atlanta. The presentation lasts 75 minutes.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat November 2012 Handout (Fisher).pdf (179kb)

December 2012 -  Recurring Practice Issues in Federal Court

Fritz  Scheller is the Criminal Justice Act Panel Representation for the Middle District of Florida. He is a graduate of the University of California’s Berkeley Law School. After serving 6 years as a an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Middle District of Florida, he opened his own practice in Winter Park where he specializes in federal criminal defense.

In his entertaining and lively presentation, Mr. Schiller takes some shots at probation officers and north Florida lawyers, but devotes most of his time to addressing issues that regularly arise at detention hearings and in Sentencing Guideline calculations. His discussion includes examples of errors found in presentence reports he has reviewed.

We recorded Mr. Schiller at the Criminal Justice Act panel training presented in April by the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida.

May 2011 - Forfeiture

If there was ever a topic in federal criminal defense that most of us know little about, it is forfeiture. The Government, though, routinely files a forfeiture count in many indictments, and a forfeiture action can cost our clients thousands of dollars. The Government routinely takes cars, trucks, an firearms for forfeiture. It has taken homes and real property, too.

This month’s speaker is Assistant United States Attorney Bobby Stinson. He’ll cover the basics of criminal forfeiture and provide some valuable insight as to how it all works.

Bobby Stinson is the Financial Litigation Unit Chief for the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. He is a graduate of the Cumberland School of law and joined the United States Attorney’s Office twenty-two years ago. He has spoken at numerous seminars and conferences on asset forfeiture.

He will be making a live presentation in Tallahassee. We’ll be showing a recording of that presentation in Gainesville, Panama City and Pensacola.

June 2011 - Supreme Court Review

This June we’ll be presenting our video tape of the annual Supreme Court Review from this year’s Federal Defender Conference that will be held in June in Baltimore, Maryland. The video will feature Professors Susan Herman and Erwin Chemerinsky along with Assistant Federal Public Defender Paul Rashkind. The trio will be reviewing the essential criminal law cases from the Court that have been issued over the last year. Their thoughtful and entertaining analysis will, as always, surely be one of the high points of the conference.

Susan Herman has been a professor at the Brooklyn Law School since 1980. She’s appeared before the United States Supreme Court on a number of occasions and is often sought out by one media source or another for her insights into criminal law. Edwin Chemerinsky was a professor at the Duke University School of Law and is now the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at UC-Irvine. He appears regularly before the United States Supreme Court and is a frequent commentator for the media. Paul Rashkind heads the appellate section of the Federal Public Defender’s office for the Southern District of Florida. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Miami.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Supreme Court Review 2011 Handout.pdf (252kb)

July 2011 - No Training

August 2011 - Supreme Court Review (Part Two)

This month we’ll being showing a video of the rest of the presentation made by Susan Herman and Paul Rashkin that we recorded the first of June at the Federal Defender Conference in Maryland. We have added, though, a review of the Supreme Court decisions that have issued since the first of June. Gwen Spivey and Chet Kaufman who make up our appellate division will provide the update.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Supreme Court Review 2011 Handout.pdf (252kb)

September 2011 - New Developments in the Right of Confrontation

Since the revolutionary decision in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), the right of confrontation has taken on a new meaning and has been subject to continued interpretation by the Supreme Court. In this month’s video presentation, Stanford University Law Professor Jeffrey Fisher, who won the victory in Crawford and argued this year’s confrontation clause case, Bullcoming v. New Mexico, provides his analysis of the Court’s ongoing interpretation of one of the Constitution’s most basic rights.

Among those practicing law today, few have had the impact in the United States Supreme Court as Jeffrey Fisher. This current term, he has argued, in addition to Bullcoming, the speedy trial case of United States v. Tinklenberg, 131 S. Ct. 2007 (2011). Since 2003, he has argued 20 cases in the Supreme Court. Among them: United States v. O’Brien, 130 S. Ct. 2169 (2010), where the Court held proof that the firearm was a machine gun was a necessary element of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii); Melendez-Diaz v. Masssachusetts, 129 S. Ct.2527 (2008), where the Court found the introduction of certificates signed by state lab analysts violated the Confrontation Clause; Kennedy v. Louisiana, 128 S. Ct. 2641 (2008), upholding the ban on capital punishment for child rape; Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 128 S. Ct. 2605 (2008), the case involving the punitive damage claim in the Exon Valdez oil spill; Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004) and, of course, Crawford v. Washington. His talent and insight into the Court make him a uniquely qualified to discuss the Confrontation Clause.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Sep 11 Handout - Crawford v. Washington.pdf (155kb)

October 2011 - Variances, Departures, and Alternatives to Prison after Gall, Pepper, and Tapia (Part One)

We have made some progress in North Florida. This past year, our percentage of below-guideline sentences and our average sentence looked more like that of the rest of the country. There is, though, still room for improvement. This month’s video should help us stay headed in the right direction. It features Sentencing Resource Counsel Amy Baron-Evans and Jennifer Coffin. In it, they present a careful and thorough analysis of the theories available for supporting below-guideline sentences. We filmed them this past June at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders.

Because of the length of the presentation, we’ve divided it into two parts. We’ll be showing Part Two next month.

Any Baron-Evans is a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School. She has been the National Resource Counsel for the Office of Defender Services since 2005. She is a former law clerk for Judge Hugh Bownes , Circuit Judge for the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals. She served as an assistant federal public defender for five years before becoming the National Resource Counsel. Jennifer Coffin is 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and has been a Staff Attorney for the Sentencing Resource Counsel Project since 2006. She worked as a law clerk for Judge Gilbert Merritt of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Variances, Departures, Alternatives to Incarceration.pdf (282kb), Adobe AcrobatNo More Math Without Subtraction.pdf (1MB)

November 2011 - Variances, Departures, and Alternatives to Prison after Gall, Pepper, and Tapia (Part Two)

We have made some progress in North Florida. This past year, our percentage of below-guideline sentences and our average sentence looked more like that of the rest of the country. There is, though, still room for improvement. This month we will be showing Part Two of the video we started last month that features Sentencing Resource Counsel Amy Baron-Evans and Jennifer Coffin. In it, they present a careful and thorough analysis of the theories available for supporting below-guideline sentences. We filmed them this past June at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders.

Any Baron-Evans is a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School. She has been the National Resource Counsel for the Office of Defender Services since 2005. She is a former law clerk for Judge Hugh Bownes , Circuit Judge for the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals. She served as an assistant federal public defender for five years before becoming the National Resource Counsel. Jennifer Coffin is 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and has been a Staff Attorney for the Sentencing Resource Counsel Project since 2006. She worked as a law clerk for Judge Gilbert Merritt of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

December 2011 - Ten Lessons Learned From the Supreme Court

In a time when so many Supreme Court decisions favor the Government, Stanford Law Professor Jeffrey Fisher remains convinced that there are victories to be won and that good lawyering can still make a difference. Mr. Fisher is, himself, proof of his conviction, having regularly come away with victories from the Court.

In this month’s video presentation, Mr. Fisher talks about what he thinks makes for good lawyering. Some of what he says applies directly to Supreme Court practice, but much of his presentation carries over to appellate work in general and to making compelling arguments in the trial court.

It would be hard to find someone who is better qualified to discuss a successful approach to arguing criminal cases. Mr. Fisher. This term before the Supreme Court, Mr. Fisher argued the Confrontation Clause case of Bullcominng v. New Mexico, and the speedy trial case of United States v. Tinklenberg, 131 S. Ct. 2007 (2011). Since 2003, he has argued 20 cases in the Supreme Court. Among them: United States v. O’Brien, 130 S. Ct. 2169 (2010), where the Court held proof that the firearm was a machine gun was a necessary element of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii); Melendez-Diaz v. Masssachusetts, 129 S. Ct.2527 (2008), where the Court found the introduction of certificates signed by state lab analysts violated the Confrontation Clause; Kennedy v. Louisiana, 128 S. Ct. 2641 (2008), upholding the ban on capital punishment for child rape; Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 128 S. Ct. 2605 (2008), the case involving the punitive damage claim in the Exon Valdez oil spill; Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004) and, of course, Crawford v. Washington. 541 U.S. 36 (2004).


January 2010 - Sentencing Guidelines - Relevant Conduct

Section 1B1.3 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines describes "relevant conduct." It is a concept that includes in the guideline calculations conduct other than that involved in the offense of conviction. It can include conduct for which the defendant was never charged, conduct addressed in counts of the indictment that have been dismissed, and even conduct for which the defendant was acquitted. It is a concept that is both vexing and difficult to understand.

In this month's video presentation, Rusty Burress and Kealin Culbreath of the United States Sentencing Commission will provide you with a better understanding of this provision that, for some defendants, can produce especially harsh results. The presentation includes the application of relevant conduct to scenarios involving a drug conspiracy, a social security offense, a firearms offense, and a child pornography offense. We recorded it on September 26th of last year in Pensacola.

Rusty Burress is the Principal Training Advisor for the United States Sentencing Commission. He has been on the Sentencing Commission's staff since its inception in 1985. He is the Commission's principal trainer of judges probations officers, and attorneys. Before joining the Sentencing Commission he was a United States Probation officer for the District of South Carolina. Mr. Burress holds degrees from the University of South Carolina and Fordham University.

Kealin Culbreath is a Senior Education and Sentencing Practice Specialist for the United States Sentencing Commission where he began working in 2002. He analyzes appellate court decisions and conducts training programs for judges, probation officers, and attorneys. Prior to joining the staff of the Sentencing Commission, Mr. Culbreath was a Staff Attorney for the Governor's Office in Atlanta. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia Law School.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatJanuary 10 Handout.pdf (494kb)

February 2010 - Sentencing Guidelines - Multiple Counts

One of the most difficult sections of the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual contains the rules governing multiple counts. The object, of course, is to determine when and when not to "group" different counts of an indictment. If the offenses are not "grouped," then the task is to arrive at the correct calculation.

In this month's video, Rusty Burress who is a member of the staff of the United States Sentencing Commission, will walk you through this complicated process. We recorded him in September of last year in a presentation made in Pensacola.

Rusty Burress is the Principal Training Advisor for the United States Sentencing Commission. He has been on the Sentencing Commission's staff since its inception in 1985. He is the Commission's principal trainer of judges probations officers, and attorneys. Before joining the Sentencing Commission he was a United States Probation officer for the District of South Carolina. Mr. Burress holds degrees from the University of South Carolina and Fordham University.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatFebruary 10 Handout.pdf (701kb)

March 2010 - Sentencing Guidelines - Firearms

Firearms figure prominently in many federal cases. Accordingly, most who practice federal criminal defense have some familiarity with the applicable sentencing guidelines. Still, there are many fine points that can make all the difference: the adjustments that apply if the gun is stolen or the serial number obliterated, the question of what amounts to trafficking in firearms, the definition of possessing a firearm "in connection" with another felony offense and the cross-referencing provision that can apply if the firearm is possessed "in connection with" another felony, the impact of a conviction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 924(c), and the grouping rules as they apply to those cases that inclNew Developments in the Right to Confrontationude both firearm and drug offenses.

In this month's video presentation, Kealin Culbreath and Rusty Burress, members of the United States Sentencing Commission's staff, address these issues and work through a number of scenarios to help you better understand the firearm provisions of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. We recorded them last September in Pensacola.

Rusty Burress is the Principal Training Advisor for the United States Sentencing Commission. He has been on the Sentencing Commission's staff since its inception in 1985. He is the Commission's principal trainer of judges probations officers, and attorneys. Before joining the Sentencing Commission he was a United States Probation officer for the District of South Carolina. Mr. Burress holds degrees from the University of South Carolina and Fordham University.

Kealin Culbreath is a Senior Education and Sentencing Practice Specialist for the United States Sentencing Commission where he began working in 2002. He analyzes appellate court decisions and conducts training programs for judges, probation officers, and attorneys. Prior to joining the staff of the Sentencing Commission, Mr. Culbreath was a Staff Attorney for the Governor's Office in Atlanta. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia Law School.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatMarch 10 Handout.pdf (701kb) (revised 3/10/10)

April 2010 - Defending a Mortgage Fraud Case in Federal Court - From Pretrial Through Sentencing

The financial crisis that led to the collapse of the economy was in large part precipitated by home-lending practices. That has, in turn, led to an increase in mortgage fraud prosecutions in federal court. While we have not yet seen many of them in the Northern District of Florida, they have been filed in many districts around the country and we will surely see some in the Northern District of Florida in the months to come.

In this month’s video, Kevin Tate, an Assistant Federal Public Defender from Charlotte, North Carolina, walks you through the essentials of defending a mortgage fraud case. Along the way he discusses the roots of the mortgage crisis, argues for an aggressive pretrial motion practice, discusses defenses including an innovative materiality defense, and talks about sentencing strategy with considerable emphasis on arriving at an accurate loss calculation.

We recorded the presentation last June in Orlando at the CJA Panel Seminar hosted by the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Mr. Tate has been with the Defenders Office in the Western District of North Carolina since 2005. Before joining that office, he had been with the Federal Defender’s Office in Las Vegas for five years and had spent 10 years as an investigator with Federal Defender offices in Wisconsin and Indiana. He is a 1999 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law.

The recording is an hour-and-a-half long.

May 2010 - Federal Drug Sentencing

Drug cases account for the largest percentage of cases filed in many districts including the Northern District of Florida. This month Federal Public Defender Randy Murrell reviews the essentials of sentencing for federal drug offenses. In addition to reviewing the general sentencing scheme, he will discuss (a) the determination of the drug quantity for the purpose of establishing the mandatory minimums; (b) the notice requirement of 21 U.S.C. § 851; (c) the determination of separate acts for purposes of the §851 enhancement; (d) the safety valve; (e) substantial assistance; (f) relevant conduct; and (g) the status of proposed changes to the crack cocaine law. This is a live presentation so there will be an opportunity for discussion.

Randy Murrell has been the Federal Public Defender since 1998. Prior to his appointment, he spent 20 years as an assistant state public defender. Between the two jobs, he has tried over 300 felony cases including 19 first degree murder cases. He is Board Certified in criminal trials by The Florida Bar and is a 1976 graduate of the Florida State University School of Law.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat May 10 Handout.pdf (222kb)

June 2010 - Supreme Court Review

This June we’ll be presenting our video tape of the annual Supreme Court Review from this year’s Federal Defender Conference that will be held in June in Seattle. The video will feature Professors Susan Herman and Erwin Chemerinsky along with Assistant Federal Public Defender Paul Rashkind. The trio will be reviewing the essential criminal law cases from the Court that have been issued over the last year. Their thoughtful and entertaining analysis will, as always, surely be one of the high points of the conference.

Susan Herman has been a professor at the Brooklyn Law School since 1980. She’s appeared before the United States Supreme Court on a number of occasions and is often sought out by one media source or another for her insights into criminal law. Edwin Chemerinsky was a professor at the Duke University School of Law and is now the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at UC-Irvine. He appears regularly before the United States Supreme Court and is a frequent commentator for the media. Paul Rashkind heads the appellate section of the Federal Public Defender’s office for the Southern District of Florida. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Miami.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat June 2010 Handout.pdf (240kb)

July 2010 - Computer and Internet Crimes

In the last decade, criminal activity involving the internet has become common place - child pornography offenses, unauthorized access into even the most secure networks, identity theft, and all kinds of fraud. In this month’s video presentation, Assistant Federal Public Defender Ken Hawk covers the terrain and shares his insights into defending these computer based crimes.

Ken is a 1989 graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law. He was a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer in Lubbock, Texas from 1989-2006. He has been an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Eastern District of Texas since 2006.

We recorded Ken in June at National Seminar for Federal Defenders in Seattle. Ken’s humor and analysis made his one of the best presentations at the Seminar.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat July 2010 Handout.pdf (240kb)

August 2010 - The Incredible Shrinking Crime of Violence

Some of the longest sentences are given to those who qualify as armed career criminals and career offenders. In many, if not most, instances those classifications are based on "crimes of violence." Beginning with United States v. Begay, 553 US. 137 (2008), though, courts have been reconsidering what amounts to a crime of violence. In June, for example, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Harris, 2010 WL 2382401 (June 16, 2010), concluded that under the circumstances of the case, the defendant’s Florida conviction for lewd and lascivious assault could not be considered a crime of violence.

This month’s video will give you an excellent review of where the issue stands and the analysis you can use in considering whether your client’s conviction qualifies as a crime of violence.

The presentation is made by three assistant public defenders, Michael Caruso who is the Chief Assistant Federal Defender in the Southern District of Florida, Shereen Charlick who is the Chief Assistant Federal Defender in the Southern Distirct of California, and Donna Coltharp who is an assistant federal public defender in the Western District of Texas. We recorded their presentation this past June at the Federal Defender Conference in Seattle.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat August 2010 Handout.pdf (286kb)

September 2010 - Educating Courts about Invisible Punishments - Collateral Consequences of Conviction and Imprisonment as Mitigating Factors

In this month’s video recorded presentation, Denise Barrett and Sara Silva explore the effects of imprisonment on defendants, families, and communities - such things as disqualification from public housing, residency requirements for sex-offenders, limited employment opportunities, loss of welfare or food stamps, and deportation. They discuss, too, using these factors to mitigate the length of the sentence or conditions of probation and supervised release.

Denise Barrett is a 1989 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law. Sara Silva is graduate of the Boston University School of Law. Both work with the Office of Defender Services Sentencing Resource Counsel.

We recorded them this past June at the Federal Defender Conference in Seattle.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Collateral Consequences Resource List.6.1.10.pdf (187kb)

October 2010 - Handling an Appeal in Federal Court

For those of us who don’t regularly file appeals with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most challenging things we do is to try and fulfill all the requirements established by the Court. The new rule requiring expanded record excerpts has only added to the task. Then, too, there is the matter of putting together a compelling argument for the client.

This month’s training seminar is designed to address those concerns. Gwen Spivey and Margaret Clemons of our office will be making a live presentation in Pensacola and Tallahassee, and we’ll be showing a video of their presentation in Gainesville and Panama City.

Gwen is a 1970 graduate of the Harvard Law School and has been handling criminal appeals since 1984. She has been an appellate lawyer with our office for12 years. Margaret Clemons is a senior legal secretary with our office, having handled our appeals since 1994.

Margaret and Gwen will both address the nuts and bolts of criminal appeals. Gwen will also present some of her insights into how to make the best argument for your client.

November 2010 - Advanced Guideline Issues: Multiple Counts

For most of us, one of the most complicated Sentencing Guideline issues is that of dealing with multiple counts. The"grouping rules" exist for providing incremental punishment for significant additional criminal conduct, but also serve to limit the significance of charging decisions by the Government so as to prevent multiple punishment for essentially the same conduct. Any lawyer who hopes to accurately gauge the potential punishment his or her client is facing, needs to have a good understanding of the applicable sections, USSG §§3D1.1-3D1.4.

This month’s video is designed to give you that working knowledge. It features Rachel Pierce and Krista Rubin, both of whom are with the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Office of Education and Sentencing Practice. They develop training curriculum, conduct training programs for judges, probation officers, and lawyers on the federal sentencing guidelines. Ms. Pierce has been with the Sentencing Commission since 1998; Ms. Rubin since 1996. Their presentation was broadcast this past August on The Federal Judicial Televison Network.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Nov 10 Handout.pdf (187kb)


January 2009 - Armed Career Criminal and Career Offender: Challenging the Predicate Offenses

For those clients designated as career offenders or armed career criminals, the sentences are brutal and usually much longer that what have been imposed absent the designation. With the decision several years ago of the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Shepard, 544 U.S. 13 (2005), and more recently, Begay v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 1581 (2008), and this summer's 11th Circuit decision in United States v. Archer, 531 F.3d 1347 (11th Cir. 2008), we have strategies that can be used to try and save some from those long sentences.

In this month's video, Jim Skuthan, the Chief Assistant Federal Public Defender in Florida's Middle District outlines the possibilities of Shepard, Begay, and Archer. We filmed him this past November at the Sentencing Showcase presented in Tampa by the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Jim is a 1985 graduate of the FSU Law School. He’s been an assistant federal public defender in the Middle District for 16 years. He organizes the Middle District’s CJA training and is a frequent lecturer on topics of federal criminal defense

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Jan Handout 1.pdf (1.3mb)  Adobe Acrobat Jan Handout 2.pdf (1.4mb)

February 2009 - Using a Mental Health Expert at Sentencing in Child Pornography Cases

In most child pornography cases, the issue is not guilt or innocence, but the length of the sentence. To make matters worse, penalties have increased dramatically over the last five years. In an effort to limit the length of these sentences, many lawyers have begun retaining psychologists who can provide the court with a realistic assessment of the risk the defendant might present to children.

Ted Shaw a Gainesville psychologist, has been providing treatment to and assessing sex offenders for 25 years. Much of his work has been that of providing assessments in Jimmy Ryce cases. Over the last few years, though, he has begun working with defense counsel to assess the risk of clients charged with child pornography.

We recorded Dr. Shaw at the Sentencing Showcase presented this past November by the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He reviews the literature that shows that most of those charged with child pornography present only a small risk of committing further criminal acts, provides insights into those that are attracted to child pornography, and talks about the sort of assistance that an expert can provide in child pornography cases.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatFeb 09 Handout.pdf (235kb)

March 2009 - Federal Rule of Evidence Rule 806

Rule 806 of the Federal Ruled of Evidence provides for the impeachment of hearsay declarants. Barbara Bergman, who is a professor at the University of New Mexico Law School and a former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, has lectured for years about the little-used rule. In this most recent version of her lecture, she gives a tour through the possibilities: impeachment by prior convictions, inconsistent statements, bias and prejudice, and even reputation. Along the way, she shows how to keep the government from introducing damaging hearsay under the guise of explaining the course of the police investigation, the importance of Rule 403 (weighing the unfair prejudice against the probative value), and how to use Rule 806 to expand discovery and even secure a severance from a co-defendant. She includes a warning about prosecutors using the rule against unwary defense counsel.

Professor Bergman has been teaching at the University of New Mexico Law School since 1987, after having practiced as a public defender in Washington, D.C. She teaches criminal law, evidence, and trial practice. She lectures and publishes extensively and is the co-author of Wharton's Criminal Evidence, 15th Edition. We filmed her last June at the Federal Defender Conference in New Orleans.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatMarch 09 Handout.pdf (236kb)

April 2009 - Best Practices

In this video-taped presentation, Randy Murrell, the Federal Public Defender, reviews what he sees as the best practices in federal criminal defense. He starts with the initial appearance, works through the process of developing rapport with the client, addresses motion practice, use of experts, discovery, guilty pleas, trial, and sentencing. In discussing the existing practices, he relies on some random sampling done with respect to the practices of the lawyers in the Federal Defender office. That sampling showed many instances of waived detention hearings, little in the way of documentation in the lawyer’s file, little use of experts, limited motion practice, pleadings without much in the way of a supporting memorandum, and almost no sentencing memoranda. In his presentation, Randy addresses these shortcomings and makes suggestions for providing a better quality of representation.

Randy Murrell is a 1976 graduate of the Florida State University of Law. He is serving his third term as the Federal Public Defender, having first been appointed in 1998. Prior to his appointment he served as an assistant state public defender for more than 20 years. He has represented clients in more than 250 felony trials, including 19 first degree murder trials and 33 federal trials. He is Board Certified in Criminal Trials by The Florida Bar.

May 2009 - Policies and Procedures of the United States Attorney for the Northen District of Florida

The policies and procedures of the United States Attorney’s Office play a significant and often the most critical role in the outcome of any criminal case. Whether it be the grand jury procedures, the decision making structure of the office, the policies of the office regarding plea negotiations or substantial assistance, or the decisions each Assistant United States Attorney makes regarding discovery, the more you know about these matters, the better able you will be to advise your client and prepare your case.

This month we will be showing a video-recorded interview of Thomas Kirwin, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. In a relaxed discussion with Federal Public Defender Randy Murrell, Mr. Kirwin will give you an insight into the policies of his office and the way his office works.

Mr. Kirwin is the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. He was appointed to the position in January by the Attorney General after serving as the interim United States Attorney following Gregory Miller’s resignation and entry into private practice. Mr. Kirwin has been a mainstay of the Office, having begun working there in 1992. In 2000, he became the First Assistant. He served earlier as the interim United States Attorney, holding that position for over a year, beginning in June of 2001. He served as an assistant state attorney in Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit for nine years before joining the United States Attorney’s Office. He was also a JAG officer for the United States Army where he served in Germany for several years. Mr. Kirwin is a 1979 graduate of the Florida State University College of Law.

June 2009 - No panel training in June

July 2009 - Begay and Chambers: What Crime of Violence Means Today and How to Use the New Definition to Shorten Sentences

Those sentenced as career offenders and armed career criminals often receive the longest sentences. In Begay v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 1581 (2008) and Chambers v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 687 (2009), the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of the sort of violent offense that serves as a predicate for both of these two harsh provisions. The decisions affect, as well, the guideline scoring in firearm and immigration cases where a conviction for a violent offense produces a higher offense level. Gwen Spivey, one of our two appellate specialists, will review Begay and Chambers and the decisions that have followed. She will talk, too, about how to take advantage of these decisions and will discuss the possibility of extending the rational of Begay and Chambers beyond the exact holding of those decisions. This is a live presentation so there will be an opportunity for discussion and for questions.

Gwen Spivey has been an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of Florida for 11 years. She graduated from FSU in 1976 and Harvard Law School in 1979. She handled appeals for the local state public defender, managed her own practice focusing on state and federal appellate and post-conviction cases for 11 years, and worked briefly with Aurell, Radey, Hinkle, Thomas & Beranek, PA, She came to our office after 3 years with the Judicial Education program of the Office of State Courts Administrator.

August 2009 - Crack Cocaine Sentencing

On April 29th, speaking on behalf of the Department of Justice and before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crimes and Drugs, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer testified that "The Administration believes Congress’s goal should be to completely eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine." Where, though, does this leave us now? The Guidelines remain unchanged as does the threshold for the statutorily required mandatory minimum sentences. Will any of this change? What is the best strategy to follow to take advantage of this new stance taken by the Attorney General? What can we expect from the United States Attorney’s Office, here, in the Northern District of Florida? If the Guidelines eventually change or the mandatory minimum thresholds change, will the changes apply retroactively?

This month Federal Public Defender Randy Murrell will provide an update on the world of crack cocaine sentencing and explore the answers to these and other crack-related questions. This will be another live presentation so there will be an opportunity for discussion.

Randy Murrell is a 1976 graduate of the Florida State University of Law. He is serving his third term as the Federal Public Defender, having first been appointed in 1998. Prior to his appointment he served as an assistant state public defender for more than 20 years. He has represented clients in more than 250 felony trials, including 19 first degree murder trials and 33 federal trials. He is Board Certified in Criminal Trials by The Florida Bar.

September 2009 - Criminal Law Cases From the U.S. Supreme Court 2008-2009 Term

During its 2008-2009 term, the United States Supreme Court addressed a number of issues that significantly impact those accused of crimes. This year, in Arizona v. Gant, 129 S.Ct. 1710 (2009), the Court significantly changed the rules regarding the search motor vehicles incident to an arrest. In Herring v. United States, 129 S.Ct. 695 (2009), the Court addressed the question of whether negligent police record keeping rendered an arrest unlawful. In Kansas v. Ventris, 129 S.Ct. 1841, the Court was concerned with whether statements taken in violation of the Sixth Amendment could be used for impeachment. Finally, in Montejo v. Louisiana, 129 S.Ct. 2079 (2009), the Court expanded the rights of law enforcement officers to question defendants after a lawyer had been appointed at the initial appearance.

Earlier this summer, Florida State University College of Law Emeritus Professor John Yetter reviewed the cases for the Tallahassee Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and we caught him on video. This month we will be presenting that 1 ½ hour presentation. **

Professor Yetter taught criminal law for decades at Florida State University and has been a frequent lecturer for The Florida Bar and judicial education programs. In 1998, he was awarded the Selig I. Goldin Award, the highest honor given by The Florida Bar criminal law section. In years past, Professor Yetter has chaired The Florida Bar’s executive counsel of the criminal law section and the Florida Criminal Procedure Rules Committee. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the Duquesne University Law School.

**This is a video of The Florida Bar Course Title: New Law of Search Incident to Arrest; Course Number: 57609. CLER credit of 1.5

December 2009 - Discretionary Sentencing in Federal Court

Since the Supreme Court decided United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), sentencing in federal court continues to change. In this month's video presentation, Kealin Culbreath of the United States Sentencing Commission reviews what has happened since Booker. In doing so, he discusses the key decisions from the United States Supreme Court, a list of recent decisions from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and those issues that are currently among the most contentious: the child pornography guidelines, the fast-track disparity, and the definition of crimes of violence.

This presentation is for both those who want an overview of the changes brought about by Booker and for those who are looking for the most up to date information about the status of the law. We recorded this presentation on September 16th of this year at the presentation made by the Sentencing Commission in Pensacola.

Kealin Culbreath is a Senior Education and Sentencing Practice Specialist for the United States Sentencing Commission where he began working in 2002. He analyzes appellate court decisions and conducts training programs for judges, probation officers, and attorneys. Prior to joining the staff of the Sentencing Commission, Mr. Culbreath was a Staff Attorney for the Governor's Office in Atlanta. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia Law School.

Materials: Adobe AcrobatDecember 09 Handout.pdf (7,193kb)


This past January, at the Federal Defender Conference in Seattle, Federal Defender Resource Counsel Amy Baron-Evans and Anne Blanchard, reviewed the decisions in Kimbrough v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 558 (2007) and Gall v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 586 (2007), recent developments in the Government's implementation of its civil commitment of sex offenders under the Adam Walsh Act, and the status of the challenges made to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). In discussing Gall and Kimbrough, Ms. Baron-Evans covers a number of important topics: the reduced significance of the need for uniformity in sentencing, the highly deferential standard of review, Justice Scalia's continued interest in 6th Amendment challenges, the Guideline's failure to rely on past practices or empirical research and a strategy for challenging the advisory sentencing range on that basis, and efforts underway to develop an "anti-Guidelines" manual. In Ms. Blanchard's discussion of the Adam Walsh Act, she lists the districts where those commitment proceedings are being held and details some of the successful challenges that have been made to the commitments. Ms. Baron-Evans concludes the one hour presentation with her review of SORNA, which includes successful challenges to the law and recent legislation that may limit the reach of the Act.

Ms. Blanchard is a 1989 graduate of the Rutgers University Law School. She was an assistant federal public defender in New Jersey from 1990-2005 when she became one of the Federal Defender’s National Resource Counsel. Ms. Baron-Evans has been a National Sentencing Resource Counsel since 2005, having been in private practice in Boston and a clerk for a First Circuit Court of Appeals judge. She is a graduate of the Harvard Law School.

Identity theft has become the crime du jour. The federal government has responded by insuring that those convicted of the offense will serve significant prison sentences. As of 2004 there has been a mandatory minimum two year sentence that runs consecutively to the related offense.

In this month’s training video, Martin Richer, an assistant federal public defender from Boston, reviews the statute and the applicable sentencing guidelines. He includes a discussion of some of the loss calculations that drive the sentencing guideline score.

Martin is a 1991 graduate of the Northeastern University School of Law. He is a former law clerk and has been an assistant federal public defender since 1997. We recorded him last year in Miami at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat May 08 Handout.pdf (222kb)>

June 2008 - Supreme Court Review

This June we’ll be presenting our video tape of the annual Supreme Court Review from this year’s Federal Defender Conference that will be held in May in New Orleans. The video will feature Professors Susan Herman and Erwin Chemerinsky along with Assistant Federal Public Defender Paul Rashkind. The trio will be reviewing the essential criminal law cases from the Court that have been issued over the last year. Their thoughtful and entertaining analysis will, as always, surely be one of the high points of the conference.

Susan Herman has been a professor at the Brooklyn Law School since 1980. She’s appeared before the United States Supreme Court on a number of occasions and is often sought out by one media source or another for her insights into criminal law. Edwin Chemerinsky has been a professor at the Duke University School of Law, and will soon be the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at UC-Irvine. He appears regularly before the United States Supreme Court and is a frequent commentator for the media. Paul Rashkind heads the appellate section of the Federal Public Defender’s office for the Southern District of Florida. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Miami.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Supreme Court Update.pdf (205kb)

This past January, we showed you a presentation by Assistant Federal Public Defender Tracy Dreispul that reviewed the developments in sentencing that ensued following the decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005). Not long after Tracy made that presentation, the Supreme Court continued the sentencing revolution in its decisions in Kimbrough v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 558 (2007), and Gall v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 586 (2007). In this month’s video presentation, Tracy reviews those cases and discusses how they affect the day-to-day sentencing decisions faced by district court judges.

Tracy Dreispul is a graduate of the University of Florida Law School. Upon graduation, she clerked for Judge William Garwood of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. After spending three years as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison in New York, she, in 2002, joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Middle District of Florida.

We filmed Tracy’s presentation this past May at the 2008 Middle District CJA Panel Seminar in Orlando.

Materials: Booker08.ppt (2.8mb)

Last month we presented a video that discussed the Supreme Court decisions in Rita v. United States, Gall v. United States, and Kimbrough v. United States. It was one we recorded at the Middle District of Florida’s recent panel training. We think these decisions are so critical to federal sentencing, that this month we have even more on Rita, Gall, and Kimbrough.

We recorded Amy Baron-Evans and Paul Hofer in June at the Federal Public Defender Conference. In their presentation they give an overview of how the decisions clarify that 18 U.S.C. §3553(a) really is the controlling law and that the guidelines are merely advisory; give the procedural nuts and bolts argument for improving sentencing procedural safeguards; and describe how the influence of a particular guideline on a particular sentence depends on whether or not it is based on sound policy in light of empirical evidence.

Any Baron-Evans has, since 2005, been the Federal Public Defender National Sentencing Resource Counsel. She is a 1991 graduate of the Harvard Law School and a former law clerk to the Honorable Hugh H. Bownes of the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Paul Hofer is a 1986 graduate of the University of Maryland Law School. He was the Senior Research Associate at the United States Sentencing Commission from 1995 to 2007. He has, since 1986, also been an adjunct professor in the psychology department at John Hopkins University.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat 8-08 handout.pdf (124kb) (Previous handout was incorrect)

Today there are 110 prisons and detention centers run by the Bureau of Prisons. There are nearly 200,000 prisoners. The Bureau’s Program Statements regulate much of what goes on within the prisons. Prisoners who wish to challenge their treatment must follow a particular administrative procedure. In the last few years, the designation process has been moved out of the regional offices and centralized in Grand Prairie, Texas. As early as the sentencing, what the sentencing judge does or does not do, can greatly impact the conditions of imprisonment.

In this months video, John Badalamenti, a Assistant Federal Public Defender from the Middle District of Florida, who spent a year as an Attorney-Advisor with the Bureau of Prisons, provides a tour through the methods and regulations of the Bureau. His presentation includes practical advice about what you can do and who to call to help your client navigate the hazards of a prison sentence.

We filmed John’s presentation at the panel training presented this past May in Orlando by the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida.

John graduated from the University of Florida Law School in 1999. Upon graduation he entered the United States Attorney General’s Honors Program, where he spent a year as an Attorney-Advisor for the Bureau of Prisons in Atlanta. He has been in private practice with Carlton Fields, P.A., and has served as a law clerk to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Paul H. Roney and Frank M. Hull.

Materials: Sept 08 handout.ppt (1.2mb)

Among those practicing law today, few have had the impact in the United States Supreme Court as the young Stanford University law professor, Jeffrey Fisher. This past term, he argued and won the case involving the death penalty for child rape, Kennedy v. Louisiana, 128 S. Ct. 2641 (2008), and argued the punitive damages case involving the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 128 S. Ct. 2605 (2008). He changed the course of criminal law as much as anyone in the last couple of decades by winning decisions in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004) and Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004). His talent and insight into the Court make him uniquely qualified to discuss criminal justice trends in the Court.

We recorded Professor Fisher this past summer at the Federal Defender Conference in New Orleans. In his presentation, he discusses areas he thinks provide fertile ground for advancing the cause of criminal defendants: the rule of lenity; the validity of searches incident to an arrest when the individual no longer has access to the area of the arrest; whether the 6th Amendment right to a jury trial means the jury should be advised of the potential penalties; and the continuing debate over the interpretation of the Confrontation Clause as it has been revitalized by Crawford.

Jeffrey Fisher is a 1997 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and a former law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
With an ever increasing number of foreign nationals being prosecuted in federal court, we are having to rely more and more on interpreters. Accordingly, lawyers need to recognize the obstacles faced by interpreters and how to use them effectively. In this month’s video, Jeanette Alvarado, an assistant federal public defender from Arizona, and Catherine Betancourt, who works as a staff interpreter for the Federal Public Defender in Arizona, discuss some common misconceptions about using interpreters and offer suggestions about the best way to communicate with clients through an interpreter. Along the way they discuss some of the cultural differences that can complicate communication.

Jeanette Alvarado is a 1994 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. She has been an assistant federal public defender since 1998. Catherine Betancourt earned a masters degree from the University of Charleston in 2000. She has been a staff interpreter for the Federal Public Defender since 2006.

We filmed the presentation in May of this year at the Federal Defender Conference in New Orleans.

Materials: Adobe Acrobat Nov 08 outline.pdf (203kb) Adobe Acrobat Nov 08 article.pdf (503kb)  Nov 08 Slideshot.ppt (395kb)

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