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Conference Overview

The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is proud to offer the 2012 National Appellate Defender Training.

The National Appellate Defender Skills Training is a unique, national skills training that brings together state and federal court appellate public defenders for a multi-day learning program. Each participant brings an appellate case brief or Writ of Certiorari and has the opportunity to work on the analysis and drafting of that brief or Writ with feedback from an outstanding, national faculty. Our faculty includes appellate specialists from state and federal public defender systems, from the private bar, and from law school faculties. Small workshop sessions are limited to seven (7) participants so that attendees may receive substantial faculty attention. Registration limits for each of the small groups will be strictly enforced and slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis - no exceptions. Therefore, early registration is essential to guarantee a place in the program. This program is open to state and federal appellate public defenders/research & writing specialists, contract defenders, assigned appellate counsel and federal appellate Criminal Justice Act (CJA) attorneys. (Note: Attendees must bring laptop computers for the small group work.)

The Skills Writing Track provides specialized training for all levels of appellate advocates. After absorbing the plenary session information, participants work on their briefs in small, faculty facilitated group breakout workshops. We have two (2) workshop groups for entry level and intermediate level appellate advocates. There are four (4) specialized small workshop groups that include the following:

1. Two (2) small workshop groups for experienced appellate advocates, who are appellate attorneys who have previously attended this national program or one similar to it offered by their public defender office. Experienced appellate participants must have a minimum of seven (7) years appellate practice experience.
2. One (1) small workshop group for federal assistant defenders, research/writing specialists, and appellate CJA attorneys. This workshop group welcomes federal participants at all experience levels.
3. One (1) small workshop group for juvenile delinquency appellate advocates. The National Appellate Defender Skills Training is committed to building a national group of well qualified juvenile appellate advocates.

In addition to working on their analytical and writing skills, participants will also spend some time at the end of the program working on their communication and oral argument skill sets.

The Advanced Advocacy Track is for experienced state and federal public defenders, contract and assigned counsel, and appellate CJA lawyers who have had or who anticipate litigating a case in the United States Supreme Court. The focus is on the analysis and drafting of Writs of Certiorari, both to support an appeal and to oppose the state or governmentís Writ. Participants will bring to the program their own Writ case file: one expected to go to the US Supreme Court or a Writ that was denied but the participant wishes to re-work it consistent with the teaching of this program. The Advanced Advocacy Track also works on the building of oral advocacy and communication skills for attorneys who will argue in the U. S. Supreme Court and participants have the opportunity to present a moot oral argument on their Supreme Court case at the end of the program.

The national faculty for the Advanced Advocacy Track small workshop groups consists of very experienced state and federal appellate specialists all of whom have extensive experience with Writ drafting and with the processes of the U.S. Supreme Court. The program faculty also includes one of the nationís top law school experts on the U.S. Supreme Court as well as two nationally recognized public defender trainers who have also directed and performed in theatre and improvisation and who have coached attorney courtroom performance.

The enrollment in this Track is limited to fourteen (14) experienced attorneys who will work in two small workshop groups: one (1) for federal defenders, research/writing specialists and CJA attorneys and one (1) for state court experienced appellate advocates. Early registration is a necessity to guarantee participation in this track.