2022 Appellate Defender Training

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 9:00 am to Saturday, January 22, 2022 12:00 pm


The 2022 National Appellate Defender Training (ADT) will be offered an intensive, four-day virtual learning experience.  ADT is designed specifically for attorneys who represent indigent defendants in criminal and delinquency appeals in the state and federal court systems. This national skills training brings together court and appellate public defenders at the state and federal levels, assigned counsel, contract defenders, and Criminal Justice Act private attorneys for a multi-day program. ADT uses a "learning-by-doing" teaching methodology: participants will bring their own case files to work on during the program, and they will be asked to apply to their case the practice methods presented through ADT plenary presentations and materials. It ensures that you will improve, whether you focus on appeals or trials.  By the end of the conference you will have thoroughly analyzed the facts of your case, developed a persuasive story line to support your theory and begun to prepare a written brief and oral argument.

The 4 Day Training will be Hybrid ( Virtual and In Person) 

COVID-19 Protocols 

  • All attendees will be required to attest when they register that they will follow the following COVID Protocols on site:
  • All attendees must be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination at on-site check-in.
  • All attendees must wear masks in conference areas (unless eating or drinking). NLADA will provide masks.
  • All attendees will maintain six feet distance from other attendees in sessions and other conference spaces.

To help maintain a safe environment, NLADA and/or the venue will provide masks, hand sanitizer stations, and alcohol/disinfectant wipes. Microphones and lecterns used by presenters will be cleaned between uses. Food functions will not have open buffet lines. All food stations will be attended or there will be individually wrapped servings.

Who Should Attend?



This unparalleled four-day skills based learning experience designed specifically for state and federal court public defenders, assigned counsel, contract defenders, and private counsel Criminal Justice Act attorneys who represent indigent defendants in criminal and delinquency appeals.

With the assistance of expert faculty, participants will analyze fact and law issues, develop case theories and themes, and incorporate them into their motion, brief, or writ drafting. ADT is the only national trial and appellate defender conference where participants work on their own cases, not just hypothetical problems. 

ADT Goals 

 The objectives are to assist appellate defense advocates in writing and delivering quality appellate briefs and writs, to improve the quality of appellate advocacy in the United States Supreme Court and other state and federal courts, and to provide a supportive national community for state and federal appellate advocates. By the time the conference is over, participants will have thoroughly analyzed the facts of their cases, developed a persuasive story line to support that theory, and begun to effectively prepare a written brief and oral argument on their case. This is the only appellate defender conference in the nation where participants work on their own real cases, not just hypothetical problems.