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CJA Panel Training Opportunities

National Training Opportunities

Listed below are the dates and locations of seminars for Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel attorneys, presented by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Office of Defender Services Training Branch.

The Training Branch is now using online registration for all of its programs.

January 14-19, 2013 Orlando, FL Winning Strategies, Fundamentals of Criminal Defense and Persuasive Writing Workshop

- Flyer & Draft Agendas -

The first FY 2013 Winning Strategies and Fundamentals Seminars for CJA panel attorneys will take place in Orlando, FL, January 17-19, 2013 and registration is now open. As is the case with all of our programs, there is no registration fee. The Winning Strategies seminar provides panel attorneys with an array of sessions across the gamut of federal criminal defense, such as sentencing, computer forensics, mental health and cultural issues, and more. The Fundamentals Program takes place on January 17th, and is specifically designed for practitioners who are new to federal criminal practice, and covers such basic topics as bail, client interviews, sentencing, Bureau of Prisons issues, and more. Participants must register for these two programs separately by clicking on the Register Here button on the training page of fd.org. Limited financial assistance for travel costs is available.

Immediately preceding Winning Strategies and the Fundamentals Seminars, in the same hotel in Orlando, January 14-16, 2013 will be a Persuasive Writing Workshop for CJA panel attorneys. This is a hands-on, skills-based workshop in which participants learn and practice the use of brainstorming and principles of storytelling and persuasion to craft fact-based written advocacy that persuasively integrates the law and facts. This workshop is suitable for appellate practitioners and those doing trial-level written advocacy. Participation is limited to 36 participants. A limited amount of funding is available for financial assistance for travel expenses and the application for financial assistance, as well as a draft agenda, are available on fd.org. Registration is now open and also can be accessed by clicking on the "Register Here" tab under the listing for this event on the training page of fd.org.

February 14-16, 2013 San Francisco, CA Sentencing Advocacy Workshop

- Flyer & Draft Agendas -

Registration is now open for the ODS Training Branch's Sentencing Advocacy Workshop. The Workshop will be limited to approximately 72 CJA panel attorneys and federal defender staff. Early registration is encouraged as this program fills up quickly. As with all of our training events, there is no registration fee. Please make this information available to your staff and panel members.

The Sentencing Advocacy Workshop takes laser aim at one of the most important areas of federal criminal practice - SENTENCING. Given 97% of federal criminal clients will be sentenced; participation in the Sentencing Advocacy Workshop should not be missed. The Sentencing Advocacy Program teaches a comprehensive approach to sentencing where participants are trained to develop a persuasive, fact-based, sentencing theory and provided with the advocacy skills necessary to advance their theory both in writing and during sentencing hearings. The Workshop’s presentations and demonstrations will include changes in federal sentencing law, judging at sentencing, storytelling and persuasive writing. The workshop consists of plenary sessions and small group breakout sessions. In the small groups, participants will use a pending case of their own to brainstorm facts, develop a theory and theme, tell a story, persuasively write a portion of their sentencing memo and discuss what to present and how to conduct the sentencing hearing. One previous participant indicated that this workshop, "completely changed, for the better,the way I practice sentencing advocacy."

Limited financial assistance for travel costs is available for panel attorneys. The financial assistance form is attached below and available on fd.org, through which participants may also register. A flyer about the programs is also attached, as is a draft agenda (which are also available on fd.org). For substantive information about this events, please contact Eric Vos at Eric_Vos@ao.uscourts.gov. For logistical information, please contact Jenna Shepard at Jenna_Shepard@ao.uscourts.gov.

April 24-29, 2013 San Diego, CA Trial Skills Academy

- Draft Agenda -

Registration is now open for the Office of Defender Services Training Branch's Fifth Annual Federal CJA Trial Skills Academy (TSA), put on in collaboration with the California Western School of Law, where the academy takes place. It is scheduled for April 24-29, 2013. The event is a hands-on, skills practice workshop in which participants work on one of their own cases. Participants will learn a process for the development of a persuasive, fact-based theory of the case and the advocacy skills necessary to advance that theory during trial. Among other subjects, presentations, demonstrations and small group work will address brainstorming, storytelling, development of theories and themes, and all of the necessary trial advocacy skills. The Academy is always extremely well-received, and the work done on cases brought to the Academy has contributed to a number of not guilty verdicts. A draft agenda is attached.

As with all of our programs, there is no registration fee. TSA is open to both CJA panel attorneys and federal public defender staff, with some preference given to CJA panel attorneys. Registration is available through the training page on www.fd.org. Participants are selected based upon trial experience in the last few years, so upon initial registration, all registrants are waitlisted and required to supply supplemental information. Registration is open until February 13, 2013, unless otherwise indicated on fd.org. After that date, participants are selected for participation and will be notified by Thursday, February 28, 2013 whether they have been selected.

Limited financial assistance for travel costs is available to CJA panel attorneys. A financial assistance application form will be posted on fd.org by January 11, 2013, and the deadline for applying will be February 15, 2013. For substantive information about this event, please contact Lori Green at Lori_Green@ao.uscourts.gov. For logistical information, please contact Jenna Shepard at Jenna_Shepard@ao.uscourts.gov.


For program descriptions and additional information, visit the Office of Defenders Services Training Branch web site.

This page was last updated on January 2, 2013.