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Cacj’s 46th Annual Criminal Defense Seminar


Never before, and perhaps never again, have so many of the nations most influential criminal defense lawyers and criminal justice reformers -- fearless visionaries, leaders, and change-makers, gathered together in one place to enlighten, inspire, educate, and rally for the cause of equal justice. This seminar won't just be the best CLE you will ever attend. It's likely to change your life.

Connect with the best criminal defense lawyers in the country. Meet Atlanta's Drew Findling, the New York Times' so-called Billion Dollar Lawyer, representing artists from Offset to Cardi B. and more, and learn why he is the real deal. Meet Rick Jones, father of the holistic defense model, fresh off his visit with the Argentine Vice President. Jones, the acclaimed Executive Director of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and Detroit, Columbia Law Professor, and last year's NAPD Public Defender of the Year is widely regarded--from Supreme Court Justices to presidential nominees-- as one of the most insightful criminal justice reformers in the country. Meet the tireless visionary, Norman Reimer, Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the most influential group of criminal defense lawyers in the world. See why Norm is criminal defense's greatest champion, from the beltway to the bayou, and everywhere in between. Meet the legendary Nan Whitfield, who, after three decades in the Los Angeles Public Defender's office (now managing the Boston PD), was never once "Marsdened." See why generations of Los Angelenos credit Nan for their freedom. Meet the iconic, larger-than-life civil rights and criminal defender, Tony Serra. And meet local favorites, Bob Sanger and Al Menaster, who'll tell us exactly where we are and where we're headed.

The Annual Seminar is always one of CACJ's best-attended, most inspirational seminars, held every year in San Francisco when the city is all decked out for the holidays. It's a great time to bring your loved ones and blend the work/pleasure line. And whether you're into massive pub crawls in Santa suits, or shopping alongside the ice skaters in Union Square, there's nothing like the enchantment of the city during the holidays.


INTERVIEW: Albert Woodfox with Rick Jones, Esq., & Drew Findling, Esq.

Albert Woodfox, one of the "Angola Three," whose conviction was overturned, gained his unfortunate fame for holding the record for the longest period of captivity in solitary confinement U.S. prison history. His recently-released book, Solitary, is featured prominently at the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. On November 18th, Rick Jones interviewed Woodfox for the Schomburg Museum in New York City, to wide acclaim. Jones and Woodfox, along with Drew Findling, have agreed to give this transformative presentation to us, as well as attend a book-signing. It's more than an account of survival. Solitary, a finalist for the National Book Award this year and a powerful call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement, is a story of triumph, resilience, and hope. Solitary confinement is an issue we all care deeply about. And an opportunity to spend time with someone like Woodfox should not be missed.

SESSION: Criminal Defense 1960 & Today with Tony Serra, Esq.

Serra is an amalgamation of every great criminal defense lawyer. He's represented individuals from groups as diverse and politically charged as the White Panthers, Hell's Angels, Good Earth, and New World Liberation Front (NWLF). Some of these individuals include Brownie Mary, Dennis Peron, Hooty Croy, Ellie Nesler, and Symbionese Liberation Army members. His victories and dedication are the stuff of novels. In 1970, Serra successfully defended Black Panther leader Huey Newton in a murder trial. And in 2004 Serra won the acquittal on murder charges for Rick Tabish in the death of casino mogul Ted Binion. He walked the walk for 60 years. If you've never seen the legendary Tony Serra speak, you MUST NOT MISS THIS.  Join me and CACJ as we honor this true hero.

SESSION: The Trial Penalty Norman Reimer, Esq., 

The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It The "trial penalty" refers to the substantial difference between the sentence offered in a plea offer prior to trial versus the sentence a defendant receives after trial. This penalty is now so severe and pervasive that it has virtually eliminated the constitutional right to a trial. To avoid the penalty, accused persons must surrender many other fundamental rights which are essential to a fair justice system. NACDL is once again at the forefront of groundbreaking change to ensure justice for all, everywhere.

SESSION: Ameliorating Implicit Bias in Criminal Justice Nan Whitfield, Esq.

Nan Whitfield, after three decades in the Los Angeles Public Defender's office, has now moved to Boston. She returns to California to discuss the realities of implicit bias and how to address the systemic issues, as well as navigate your client to freedom within the imperfect system.

LECTURE: Charles R. Garry Memorial Lecture Bob Sanger

At this year's Garry Lecture, Bob Sanger first takes us back to a time that was formative both for CACJ and for his own practice of law.  The period in the late 1960s leading up to the founding of CACJ was one in which the death penalty was shown for what it was - arbitrary and racist.  Then, in 1972, the death penalty as then implemented was found unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia.  Immediately thereafter, in 1973, the year Bob started practicing law and the year CACJ was founded, there was a vicious backlash to the Furman decision.  Fighting against the renewed efforts to reinstate the death penalty became a fundamental focus of CACJ and a significant part of the practice of law by lawyers of that generation.  One of the first two committees formed by CACJ was the Death Penalty Committee which persists to this day.


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If You're Facing Criminal Charges In Orange County, Los Angeles or Throughout California Call (714) 266-3945; For After-Hours, You Will Be Redirected To Her Cellphone
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