NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY

A B C D E F G H J K L M N P R S T V W Y Z

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Chris Adams

Attorney, Adams & Bischoff

Chris concentrates in criminal defense in federal and state courts. Chris concentrates on defending clients accused of white collar crimes, street crimes, sex offenses and capital murder in the South and around the country. Since launching his private practice in 2007, Chris has represented clients in serious matters from Las Vegas to New York City to San Juan, Puerto Rico.…Read More
Work 171 Church St., #210 Charleston SC 29401
Biography

Chris concentrates in criminal defense in federal and state courts. Chris concentrates on defending clients accused of white collar crimes, street crimes, sex offenses and capital murder in the South and around the country.

Since launching his private practice in 2007, Chris has represented clients in serious matters from Las Vegas to New York City to San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, the bulk of his practice is fighting for men and women accused of crimes in and around South Carolina.

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Norma Aguilar

Federal Defenders of San Diego

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Work 225 Broadway, Suite 900 San Diego CA 92101 TPI Attendance: July, 2010
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Tara Allen

Roger Williams School of Law

Tara I. Allen is an Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law where she teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and Trial Advocacy.  She was an Assistant Federal Public Defender, first with the Eastern District of California, then the Western District of Pennsylvania and, most recently, the District of Rhode Island. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders organization, Tara was a supervising staff attorney for the U.S.…Read More
Work 10 Metacom Avenue Bristol RI 02809 TPI Attendance: July, 2005
Biography

Tara I. Allen is an Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law where she teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and Trial Advocacy.  She was an Assistant Federal Public Defender, first with the Eastern District of California, then the Western District of Pennsylvania and, most recently, the District of Rhode Island. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders organization, Tara was a supervising staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco and a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City. She also served as a judicial intern in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts under Chief Magistrate Judge Joyce London Alexander.

Tara taught Legal Writing & Research and Moot Court at University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA, and Appellate Advocacy at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA.

Tara is a visiting faculty member at NCDC Trial Practice Institute (NCDC) and a 2005 alumna of the program. She is on the faculty of the Federal Criminal Justice Act Trial Skills Academy (TSA), administered by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and has served as a panelist and presenter for numerous legal skills trainings and workshops.

Tara received her JD from Northeastern University School Law in Boston, MA and her BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

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Jenny Andrews

Sr. Deputy Public Defender; Santa Barbara Office

A child of counterculture, raised off the grid by back-to-the-land hippies in Northern California, Jenny Andrews is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She has been a public defender in California since 1996 and is currently the Director of Training and Career Development at the Santa Barbara County Public Defender, where she is creating a new training curriculum and litigating capital cases.…Read More
Work 1100 Anacapa Street Santa Barbara CA 93101
Biography

A child of counterculture, raised off the grid by back-to-the-land hippies in Northern California, Jenny Andrews is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She has been a public defender in California since 1996 and is currently the Director of Training and Career Development at the Santa Barbara County Public Defender, where she is creating a new training curriculum and litigating capital cases. She teaches on the faculty of Gideon’s Promise, the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School, and the Trial Skills Institute of the California Public Defenders Association.

She believes in finding supportive practices to sustain a career in public defense—hers include yoga and meditation, writing, hiking along the beach with her husband and daughter, and tending a rural apple farm in Northern California.

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Recent Teaching History

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Connor Barusch

Trial Attorney & Training Attorney; Committee for Public Counsel Services

Connor Barusch (“Barusch”) (he/they) joined CPCS, the Massachusetts Public Defender, in 2011, working as a trial attorney in several different neighborhoods in Boston at the District Court and Superior Court levels. In 2018, he rotated into the Training Department. During law school, Barusch co-founded and worked at a free legal clinic called Massachusetts Transgender Legal Advocates.…Read More
Work 44 Bromfield St. Boston MA 02108 TPI Attendance: June, 2015
Biography

Connor Barusch (“Barusch”) (he/they) joined CPCS, the Massachusetts Public Defender, in 2011, working as a trial attorney in several different neighborhoods in Boston at the District Court and Superior Court levels. In 2018, he rotated into the Training Department. During law school, Barusch co-founded and worked at a free legal clinic called Massachusetts Transgender Legal Advocates. Before joining CPCS, they worked as a law clerk at the Massachusetts Appeals Court and as an associate at Kauffman Crozier LLP, an LGBT family law firm. Barusch loves trying cases, cooking, running and playing board games.

Barusch became interested in public defender work after witnessing and beginning to understand the impact of mass incarceration on queer people, especially queer people of color. As a white person, Barusch believes that white public defenders should take on a special role in combating racism against our clients as well as standing in solidarity with our public defender colleagues of color. He is constantly on a journey of learning to hold himself and other white public defenders accountable for the mistakes we make in our jobs and in our lives related to racism and would love to have conversations with the NCDC community about what accountability and solidarity should look like.

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Recent Teaching History

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David Baugh

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Work 2025 E. Main St., #108 Richmond VA 23223
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Marilyn Bednarski

Attorney

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Kaye, McLane, Benarski, & Litt Work 975 E. Green Street Pasadena CA 91106
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TPI Graduate

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Jerilyn Bell

Georgia Capital Defenders

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Work 104 Marietta Street, Suite 600 Atlanta GA 30303
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Recent Teaching History 

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David Beller

Recht Kornfeld, PC

With experience in more than 100 jury trials, David Beller specializes in criminal defense litigation, attorney and judicial discipline, and the collateral consequences that accompany a criminal allegation. He represents individuals and organizations involved as targets, subjects, or witnesses in state and federal criminal investigations and related grand jury and pretrial proceedings. David brings a depth of experience in managing crisis level regulatory and criminal matters, as well as in advising clients on how to structure compliance programs so as to help avoid such problems.…Read More
Work 1600 Stout St. #1400 Denver CO 80202
Biography

With experience in more than 100 jury trials, David Beller specializes in criminal defense litigation, attorney and judicial discipline, and the collateral consequences that accompany a criminal allegation. He represents individuals and organizations involved as targets, subjects, or witnesses in state and federal criminal investigations and related grand jury and pretrial proceedings.

David brings a depth of experience in managing crisis level regulatory and criminal matters, as well as in advising clients on how to structure compliance programs so as to help avoid such problems. David’s experience includes the most thorough and sophisticated representation in all state level misdemeanor and felony allegations from DUIs to homicide.

He has defended actions throughout Colorado and worked opposite both municipal and state prosecutors, Colorado Attorney General, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Department of Human & Health Services (TRAILS), Office of Attorney Regulation, Judicial discipline, university disciplinary boards, SEC, Department of Justice, and United States Attorney’s Offices for the Districts of Colorado and the Eastern District of California. His litigation skills have also been called on to assist in the representation and support of firm clients in complex civil and regulatory actions.

Prior to joining Recht Kornfeld, P.C., David was a Colorado State Public Defender. He is a Colorado native and attended school in Fort Collins, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science in 1999, and his Juris Doctor in Ohio in 2004. In 2007 David joined Recht Kornfeld, PC and was made a Partner in 2012.

David served as President of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, proudly serving 1000 criminal defense lawyers, paralegals and investigators. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Denver College of Law and at Metropolitan State University. He is a faculty member of Colorado Alternate Defense Counsel, teaching trial skills to Colorado criminal defense lawyers. He serves by appointment of the Denver Presiding Judge as a Commissioner of the Office of Municipal Public Defender and was appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court to serve on the Committee for Character and Fitness. As a legal analyst, David has been consulted and quoted by The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, The Boston Globe, The Denver Post and local news affiliates, amongst others. David is also a published author, coauthoring 2015’s Colorado DUI Defense Manual, published by Circuit Media.

Since starting his legal career, David has consistently been recognized as one of Denver’s premier attorneys. In 2007, he was named by Law Week Magazine as one of Denver’s Top 20 Up and Coming Lawyers. He has been named one of Denver’s best criminal defense lawyers in each of the 2009-2020 editions of Super Lawyers Magazine and 5280 Magazine named him a Denver Top Lawyer every year since 2017. David has been named by The National Trial Lawyers as one of Colorado’s top 40 trial lawyers under the age of 40. In 2014, they named him as one of the 100 best trial lawyers in the nation. In March 2015, the Denver Business Journal named David amongst Denver’s Top 40 business leaders under the age of 40.

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Recent Teaching History

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Keith Belzer

Attorney, Belzer, Schroeder & Lough, S.C,

Keith Belzer is a nationally recognized lecturer and teacher on criminal defense issues, trial techniques and strategies.  In addition to his position on the faculty at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy, Mr. Belzer has lectured or taught criminal defense lawyers in most of the 50 states.  He also has presented to the Israeli National Public Defender, the Puerto Rican CJA Panel and The People’s Republic of China, where Mr.…Read More
Work 300 2nd street N., Ste. 200 La Crosse WI 54601 TPI Attendance: June, 1995
Biography

Keith Belzer is a nationally recognized lecturer and teacher on criminal defense issues, trial techniques and strategies.  In addition to his position on the faculty at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy, Mr. Belzer has lectured or taught criminal defense lawyers in most of the 50 states.  He also has presented to the Israeli National Public Defender, the Puerto Rican CJA Panel and The People’s Republic of China, where Mr. Belzer was the keynote speaker at the first public defender regional training ever held in China.  Mr. Belzer has been named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer by his peers every year since its inception in 2005.  In 2006 Mr. Belzer received one of 12 statewide Leaders in the Law awards from the Wisconsin Law Journal.  Mr. Belzer is also a frequent commentator on national, statewide and local legal issues and has appeared on such nationally syndicated shows as 48 Hours, Good Morning America, Crime Scene Investigation, The O’Reilly Factor and Geraldo at Large.

Mr. Belzer has had the honor and privilege of representing three Wisconsin Innocence Project clients who were ultimately exonerated.  One of these clients, Evan Zimmerman, a man previously falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a homicide that he did not commit, was the subject of a feature length documentary, Facing Life, the Retrial of Evan Zimmerman, which can be seen in syndication on the Arts and Entertainment Network and the History Channel.  Keith has also worked as an actor, director and playwright.  Keith has acted in Illinois, Wisconsin, Vermont and Connecticut.  Plays he has written have been produced in California, Illinois, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.  Prior to law school, Keith co-founded one theater company and managed two others and devoted close to a decade of his life exclusively to the world of theater.

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Cathy Bennett

Training Consultant; National Association for Public Defense & Gideon’s Promise

Kathleen L. Bennett recently moved to Anchorage, Alaska from Boston, Massachusetts where she was a public defender with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (the Massachusetts Statewide Public Defender) for 30 years. She was the Criminal Defense Training Director at CPCS for 17 years. As a trial lawyer in the CPCS Public Defender Division, she defended clients charged with murder and other serious felonies.…Read More
Work Anchorage AK
Biography

Kathleen L. Bennett recently moved to Anchorage, Alaska from Boston, Massachusetts where she was a public defender with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (the Massachusetts Statewide Public Defender) for 30 years. She was the Criminal Defense Training Director at CPCS for 17 years. As a trial lawyer in the CPCS Public Defender Division, she defended clients charged with murder and other serious felonies. She now works as a training consultant for the National Association for Public Defense and for Gideon’s Promise, and she intends to accept appointments to represent criminally accused people in the Alaska Courts soon.

Cathy is on the faculty and the Board of Trustees of the National Criminal Defense College. She is a Core Faculty member of Gideon’s Promise (formerly the Southern Public Defender Training Center), which was the subject of the award winning HBO documentary “Gideon’s Army,” and she has taught for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers  and criminal defense training programs across the country.

She received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Committee for Public Counsel Services in 2007, the Scholar-Mentor Award from Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE) in 2008, the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2011 and the Stephen B. Bright Award in 2018 from Gideon’s Promise, and the Gideon Award from the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2017.

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Recent Teaching History 

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Barbara Bergman

Professor

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James E. Rogers College of Law University of Arizona Work 1201 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson AZ 85721
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TPI Graduate

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Tamar Birckhead

Attorney, Parrett Porto Parese and Colwell, PC

For over twenty-six years, Tamar R. Birckhead has represented individuals charged with criminal offenses in the state and federal court systems at both the trial and appellate levels.  Licensed to practice in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina, Tamar has defended clients in a wide variety of criminal cases—from serious felonies in state court to alleged acts of terrorism in federal court.  …Read More
Home 2319 Whitney Avenue, One Hamden Center Hamden CT
Biography

For over twenty-six years, Tamar R. Birckhead has represented individuals charged with criminal offenses in the state and federal court systems at both the trial and appellate levels.  Licensed to practice in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina, Tamar has defended clients in a wide variety of criminal cases—from serious felonies in state court to alleged acts of terrorism in federal court.  Among her clients was Richard Reid, the attempted “Shoe Bomber” prosecuted in the District of Massachusetts under the U.S.A. Patriot Act.

In her Connecticut practice, Tamar regularly defends clients facing serious criminal charges in Connecticut’s Superior Courts (both GA and Part A) located in Bridgeport, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, and Waterbury, although she has handled cases throughout the state.  She also defends the rights of clients prosecuted in federal court in the Districts of Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Tamar offers an aggressive criminal defense strategy and devotes substantial resources analyzing the government’s evidence against you, often working with leading experts, such as former law enforcement officers, toxicologists, forensic computer analysts, forensic psychologists, and forensic accountants.

For many years Tamar has also handled school discipline defense and appeals.  She frequently represents college as well as high school students accused of violating their school’s code of conduct, which can result in suspension or expulsion as well as the initiation of criminal prosecution that arises from the same conduct.  Code of conduct violations may include academic dishonesty, including plagiarizing and cheating; alcohol-related offenses; campus sexual assault and rape cases; fraternity, sorority, and athletic team hazing; and the possession, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs as well as the illegal use of prescription drugs.  Tamar has represented students facing disciplinary charges at colleges throughout Connecticut, including the University of Connecticut, the University of New Haven, Quinnipiac University, Wesleyan University, and Yale University.  She also represents high school students in the state’s public, private and boarding schools on matters ranging from assault and possession of a weapon to threats and bullying.

Tamar graduated cum laude from Yale University and Harvard Law School.  After a decade as a public defender in Massachusetts, she taught criminal and juvenile defense as a tenured law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law where she also served as Director of Clinical Programs.  Tamar is the author of more than a dozen law review articles on topics related to criminal defense as well as an editor and contributor to several juvenile justice-related books. She has written opinion pieces for major publications, including The Nation, New York Daily News, and Los Angeles Times and has provided legal commentary on the challenges of defending high-profile criminal suspects for CNN, Fox News, and the Wall Street Journal, among many other television, radio, print, and web-based media outlets.

Tamar is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Federal Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and New Haven County Bar Association.  She regularly volunteers in the New Haven County Bar Association’s Ask-a-Lawyer Legal Consultation Clinics and serves on the Board of Directors and as a volunteer judge for Project Youth Court, a diversionary program for adolescents in New Haven.

Tamar prides herself on the close, collaborative working relationships she has with her clients.  She is available for a free consultation and often meets, speaks or texts with clients on evenings and weekends.  Tamar understands that facing criminal charges can be a frightening experience, and she spends as much time patiently counseling her clients as she does rigorously advocating for them in the courtroom.

Tamar lives with her husband and their two teenage daughters in Guilford.

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Alison Bloomquist

Director of Training and Education, Office of the Chief Public Defender

Alison Bloomquist was appointed Director of Training and Education for the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services in 2016. As Director she coordinates training for attorneys, investigators, social workers and clerks in all aspects of criminal defense. She also tries cases in counties across Connecticut. Before moving to Connecticut, Alison served for over ten years as a staff public defender in greater Boston, and two years as Attorney‐in‐Charge of the Norfolk Superior Court office at the Committee for Public Counsel Services.…Read More
Work 30 Trinity St, 4th floor Hartford CT 06106 TPI Attendance: July, 2003
Biography

Alison Bloomquist was appointed Director of Training and Education for the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services in 2016. As Director she coordinates training for attorneys, investigators, social workers and clerks in all aspects of criminal defense. She also tries cases in counties across Connecticut. Before moving to Connecticut, Alison served for over ten years as a staff public defender in greater Boston, and two years as Attorney‐in‐Charge of the Norfolk Superior Court office at the Committee for Public Counsel Services. She tried numerous felony cases to verdict across eastern Massachusetts, and has appeared before the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

She was chapter author for MCLE publications: Massachusetts Superior Court Criminal Practice Manual, Massachusetts District Court Criminal Defense Manual, and Trying Drug Cases in Massachusetts. Alison has been invited to teach federal and state public defenders all across the country, including Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Kentucky, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, District of Columbia, as well as the Navy and Marine Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Alison is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, and Boston University College of Arts and Sciences. She lives in West Hartford with her wife, three children and their silver lab, Cooper.

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Recent Teaching History:

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Melody Brannon

Federal Public Defender

MELODY BRANNON is the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas. She has been with the federal defender office for 23 years. She began her career as a public defender in the Oklahoma County Public Defender in 1990, and worked in death penalty defense at both trial and habeas levels in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.…Read More
Home 117 SW 6th Street, Suite 200 Topeka KS
Biography

MELODY BRANNON is the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas. She has been with the federal defender office for 23 years. She began her career as a public defender in the Oklahoma County Public Defender in 1990, and worked in death penalty defense at both trial and habeas levels in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. As Federal Defender, she has developed a holistic defense paradigm for federal cases and created an extensive CLE, mentoring, and internship program.

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Juanita Brooks

Attorney

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Fish & Richardson Work 12860 El Camino Real, Ste. 400 San Diego CA 92130
Notes

TPI Graduate

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Raymond Brown

Attorney

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Pashman Stein Walder Hayden Work Court Plaza South, 21 Main St. Suite 200 Hackensack NJ 07601
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TPI Graduate

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Beattie Butler

Attorney, Butler Law Group

I worked exclusively as a public defender in South Carolina for 18 years. For 12 years I served as the Chief Litigator/Director of Litigation and all lawyer training for the Charleston County Public Defender Office. I currently work in a solo practice, focusing on criminal trial practice, employment law, and trial consulting.Read More
Home 345 Sumter Suite A Charleston SC 29403
Biography

I worked exclusively as a public defender in South Carolina for 18 years. For 12 years I served as the Chief Litigator/Director of Litigation and all lawyer training for the Charleston County Public Defender Office. I currently work in a solo practice, focusing on criminal trial practice, employment law, and trial consulting.

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Recent Teaching History:

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Yasmin Cader

Attorney, Cader / Adams Trial Lawyers

As a former federal defender, Yasmin Cader has tried more than thirty criminal cases to resolution before juries and judges in state and federal courts in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. At the Offices of the Federal Public Defender in the Southern District of New York and Los Angeles, Yasmin represented witnesses and individuals facing a variety of federal criminal charges, including complex white-collar criminal and regulatory matters.…Read More
Work Los Angeles CA
Biography

As a former federal defender, Yasmin Cader has tried more than thirty criminal cases to resolution before juries and judges in state and federal courts in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. At the Offices of the Federal Public Defender in the Southern District of New York and Los Angeles, Yasmin represented witnesses and individuals facing a variety of federal criminal charges, including complex white-collar criminal and regulatory matters. Yasmin also served as the Chief of Training in Los Angeles, a position in which she developed and executed substantive legal and trial skills training programs for attorneys in Los Angeles and across the country. While representing individuals in Washington D.C. with the Public Defender Service, she defended juveniles and adults facing the most serious felony charges in Superior Court.

Yasmin is also an experienced civil litigator. She began her career as an Honors Program Trial Lawyer with the Employment Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where she litigated individual and class-action claims of sexual and racial harassment and discrimination. Prior to that, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In private practice, Yasmin continues to teach trial skills to practicing lawyers and law students alike. She is a member of the faculty at Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop and the National Criminal Defense College. She has served as a guest lecturer at local and national bar associations across the country, as well as at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, UCLA School of Law and Loyola Law School. She currently serves on the Yale Law School Executive Committee and is also on the board of a national non-profit dedicated to effective messaging for social justice issues.

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Guy Cardamone

Assistant Public Defender, Wisconsin State Public Defender

Guy Cardamone is a dedicated Public Defender and trainer with the Wisconsin State Public Defender. Over his career in both Wisconsin and Miami, Florida, he has defended the indigent accused of all levels of crimes, from homicide to simple battery. Guy has also taught criminal defense and trial skills nationwide as a faculty member of the Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New Jersey Trial Skills programs, and has presented for NACDL, OACDL, and the Wisconsin Public Defender.…Read More
Work 17 S Fairchild St., Floor 2 Madison WI 53703 TPI Attendance: June, 2012
Biography

Guy Cardamone is a dedicated Public Defender and trainer with the Wisconsin State Public Defender. Over his career in both Wisconsin and Miami, Florida, he has defended the indigent accused of all levels of crimes, from homicide to simple battery. Guy has also taught criminal defense and trial skills nationwide as a faculty member of the Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New Jersey Trial Skills programs, and has presented for NACDL, OACDL, and the Wisconsin Public Defender. His multidisciplinary approach to criminal defense practice includes education, sales, psychology, and literary and film studies.

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Recent Teaching History