NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O 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

Norma Aguilar is a Supervisory Attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. She began working at Federal Defenders after graduating from Berkeley Law School in 2000. In her capacity as a Supervisory Attorney, Norma helps guide and mentor newer attorneys while litigating her own cases. She has tried various types of federal offenses from immigration, drug, sex-trafficking, fraud and others.…Read More
Work 225 Broadway, Suite 900 San Diego CA 92101 TPI Attendance: July, 2010
Biography

Norma Aguilar is a Supervisory Attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. She began working at Federal Defenders after graduating from Berkeley Law School in 2000. In her capacity as a Supervisory Attorney, Norma helps guide and mentor newer attorneys while litigating her own cases. She has tried various types of federal offenses from immigration, drug, sex-trafficking, fraud and others. She has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seven times. Norma has taught at national conferences on a variety of substantive federal law issues. Besides being a faculty member with the National Criminal Defense College, she is a faculty member at the Trial Skills Academy program offered by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Norma is a fluent-Spanish speaker and has taught at various Spanish-language trial skills programs in the United States, Mexico and Argentina.

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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

Director of Training; Indigent Defense Improvement Division; Office of the State Public Defender CA

A child of counterculture, raised off the grid by back-to-the-land hippies on the Lost Coast in Northern California, Jenny Andrews is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She started her career as a public defender in Oakland, California in 1996, but left after seven years, after experiencing burnout and moral injury, and didn’t practice law for three years.…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 on the Lost Coast in Northern California, Jenny Andrews is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She started her career as a public defender in Oakland, California in 1996, but left after seven years, after experiencing burnout and moral injury, and didn’t practice law for three years. She returned to public defense work in 2007, and continued working as a public defender in Sonoma County and Santa Barbara County, in a wide variety of positions, including: Forensic Resource Counsel, Felony Team Leader, Director of Training, and Senior Deputy.

For 23 years, she consistently and aggressively litigated cases, including misdemeanor, felony, juvenile, civil commitment (mentally disordered offender and sexually violent predator), mental competency, homicide and multi-jurisdiction (and multi-jury) trials. She has carried specialized caseloads requiring complex, forensic and capital litigation. In 2022, she became California’s first Director of Training at the new Indigent Defense Improvement Division of the Office of the State Public Defender.

She teaches on the faculties of Gideon’s Promise, the National Association for Public Defense, the National Criminal Defense College, the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School, and the California Public Defenders Association. She has taught in public defense training programs in New York, New Jersey, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Georgia, and in public defense offices throughout California. She has designed and presented training programming for public defenders working at all levels, from intern through capital litigation, and in specialized areas such as challenging forensic evidence, discovery litigation, mentorship, and sustaining well-being. She conceptualized and launched a Felony Team Unit, a Pre-Arraignment Unit, and Be Well Wednesday, a weekly wellness meet-up with experiential practices for public defenders. She created and teaches a series of online course for the NAPD Academy on Sustaining Well-Being in Public Defense, created BeSustained.org to support the well-being of defenders, and presents frequently on supporting and sustaining well-being.

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Recent Teaching History

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Connor Barusch

Trial Attorney & Training Attorney; CPCS (MA Public Defender)

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.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

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David Baugh

Emeritus Faculty

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

Partner, McLane, Bednarski, & Litt, LLP

Marilyn Bednarski is a partner at MBL Law. Marilyn began her career as a criminal defense lawyer in 1983 working with a death penalty defense lawyer in Los Angeles and joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles in 1984.  Her career has spanned public service and private practice. Marilyn is a graduate of Loyola Law School and earned her undergraduate degree in history and classical languages at UCLA.…Read More
Work 975 E. Green Street Pasadena CA 91106
Biography

Marilyn Bednarski is a partner at MBL Law. Marilyn began her career as a criminal defense lawyer in 1983 working with a death penalty defense lawyer in Los Angeles and joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles in 1984.  Her career has spanned public service and private practice. Marilyn is a graduate of Loyola Law School and earned her undergraduate degree in history and classical languages at UCLA.

Marilyn tries cases in state and federal courts and has tried over a hundred jury trials in federal court. She has been very successful, once winning six acquittals in a row from juries. Marilyn has also been very effective in negotiations of dismissals and reduction of charges and obtaining short sentences in all kinds of cases, including very complicated prosecutions for fraud, securities, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering, tax evasion, exportation of defense technology as well as other types of serious cases such as those involving the RICO act, guns and drugs.

She is nationally known and enjoys a stellar reputation among attorneys, judges and clients for her creativity, tireless work ethic and dogged commitment to her clients. Among other passions besides work and family, Marilyn enjoys the outdoors, especially the mountains, and has traveled the world.

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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
Notes

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.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

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Keith Belzer

Attorney, Johns, Flaherty & Collins, 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 205 5th Avenue South Ste. 600 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.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

2019 Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2018 Trial Practice institute (June Session)
2017 Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2016 Trial Practice Institute (June Session)

2015 Trial Practice Institute (June Session)

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Cathy Bennett

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

Cathleen 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

Cathleen 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.

Notes

Recent Teaching History 

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Barbara Bergman

Director of Advocacy, James E. Rogers College of Law University of Arizona

Professor Barbara Bergman graduated from Stanford Law in 1976.  After clerking on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, she became a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service (PDS) in Washington, D.C.  She took a one-year hiatus from being a public defender to serve as Associate Counsel to President Jimmy Carter in the White House from 1979 to 1980. …Read More
Work Tucson AZ 85721
Biography

Professor Barbara Bergman graduated from Stanford Law in 1976.  After clerking on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, she became a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service (PDS) in Washington, D.C.  She took a one-year hiatus from being a public defender to serve as Associate Counsel to President Jimmy Carter in the White House from 1979 to 1980.  After representing clients as a PD for a total of five years — beginning in juvenile court and ending up representing clients charged with murder and rape — she joined the law firm of Bredhoff & Kaiser handling civil litigation, including employment and union-side labor law.

In August of 1987, she became a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law and taught there for 28 years with one of her primary courses being a 6-credit Evidence/Trial Practice course.  She also taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Children’s Law as well as in the clinic.  While at the UNM School of Law, she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for four years and interim Dean for ten months.

Professor Bergman had been co-director of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s (NITA) Southwest Regional Trial Practice program as well as NITA’s Southwest Taking and Defending Depositions Program. She has served on the NITA Board of Trustees since 2006.  In 2010, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Trial Advocacy, presented by Stetson School of Law.

During her tenure at UNM, she joined the defense team in the state court capital prosecution of Terry Nichols. She worked on that case for 4 ½ years, spending one and one half of those years in Oklahoma, including the 3 ½ months that the case was in trial in McAlester, Oklahoma.

Her publications include the Everytrial Criminal Defense Resource Book, Wharton’s Criminal Evidence (8 volumes) and Wharton’s Criminal Procedure (5 volumes).

On July 1, 2016, Professor Bergman started work at the U of A as the Director of Advocacy, taking the reins from the legendary Professor Tom Mauet, who had founded the Trial Advocacy Program over 40 years before.  She now teaches Basic Trial Advocacy, Advanced Trial Advocacy, Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating, and Taking and Defending Depositions.

Notes

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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Michael Bloch

Partner; Bloch & White LLP

Michael Bloch is an accomplished trial attorney with an unparalleled record of courtroom success. Most recently, he was one of the lead attorneys in Sines v. Kessler, the historic federal civil rights lawsuit brought against the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who conspired to commit racially-motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. The four-week jury trial resulted in a $26 million judgment for Michael’s clients.…Read More
Biography

Michael Bloch is an accomplished trial attorney with an unparalleled record of courtroom success. Most recently, he was one of the lead attorneys in Sines v. Kessler, the historic federal civil rights lawsuit brought against the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who conspired to commit racially-motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. The four-week jury trial resulted in a $26 million judgment for Michael’s clients.

Prior to launching Bloch & White LLP, Michael practiced at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, where he represented individuals investigated by various state and federal regulatory agencies, in addition to leading other plaintiff-side matters, including the Charlottesville litigation. Before Kaplan Hecker, Michael spent over seven years as a public defender at the Bronx Defenders and three years at Williams & Connolly LLP.

At Bronx Defenders, Michael represented hundreds of clients charged with criminal matters at all stages of litigation. He tried more than a dozen felony and misdemeanor cases to verdict and earned an acquittal or dismissal of all criminal charges in all but one case. In his last four years as a public defender, he tried seven cases to jury verdict – as lead counsel on five of them – and earned a full acquittal on all of them. In addition to working as a staff attorney, Michael was a supervisor in the Criminal Defense Practice, counseling a team of five to eight felony-certified attorneys on criminal matters from arrest through trial. Michael was also a member of the Homicide Practice Group, and previously served as a supervisor of the Investigations Practice, training and overseeing the team of Bronx Defenders investigators. At Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C., Michael worked primarily in the areas of commercial litigation and legal malpractice defense.

Michael has been a member of the faculty of the leading trial advocacy schools in the country, including Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop, National Criminal Defense College, the New York State Bar Association’s Trial Academy and The Defenders’ Academy. He has been a guest lecturer on civil procedure at Columbia Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center, among others. Michael has conducted numerous trainings on trial advocacy and criminal defense investigations.

Michael graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he represented clients charged with crimes in Roxbury District Court as part of the Criminal Justice Institute, and he worked with the NAACP representing a client in post-conviction proceedings as part of the Death Penalty Clinic. He was also a member of the winning team in the Ames Moot Court competition. After law school, Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Chief Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and subsequently to the Honorable Diane P. Wood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Michael graduated cum laude from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Government. Before law school, he worked as a criminal defense investigator with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C.

Michael has been a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Operations Committee and Mass Incarceration Task Force. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Bloomberg Law, Law360, National Law Journal, The Champion and The Forward.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

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Alison Bloomquist

VP, Defender Services and Strategic Alliances, National Legal Aid and Defender Association

Alison Bloomquist has been trying public defense cases in New England since 2005. She served for over ten years as a staff public defender in greater Boston, two of them as Attorney‐in‐Charge of the Norfolk Superior Court office at the Committee for Public Counsel Services. She served for six years as the Director of Training for the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services, where she coordinated training for attorneys, investigators, social workers, and clerks in all aspects of criminal defense.…Read More
Work Washington DC TPI Attendance: July, 2003
Biography

Alison Bloomquist has been trying public defense cases in New England since 2005. She served for over ten years as a staff public defender in greater Boston, two of them as Attorney‐in‐Charge of the Norfolk Superior Court office at the Committee for Public Counsel Services. She served for six years as the Director of Training for the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services, where she coordinated training for attorneys, investigators, social workers, and clerks in all aspects of criminal defense. In 2021, Alison became Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Innovation for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA). She has been invited to teach federal and state public defenders all across the country, including as faculty at the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC), and has authored several trial skills publications. She is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, and Boston University College of Arts and Sciences. She is an executive committee member of the National Alliance of Indigent Defense Educators (NAIDE) and a Black Public Defender Association (BPDA) Certified Anti-Racism Trainer. Alison 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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Carmen Brooks

Capital Fellow

Carmen earned her BA and MA at Washington University in St. Louis. She fell in love with indigent defense during her criminal law clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. A member of the Gideon's Promise class of 2012, after graduating from law school, Carmen worked in the Nashville Public Defender’s Office for a year before moving home to Denver, CO.…Read More
Federal Death Penalty Capital Resource Counsel Work 101 Marietta St, NW Suite 1500 Atlanta Georgia 30303 TPI Attendance: June, 2022
Biography

Carmen earned her BA and MA at Washington University in St. Louis. She fell in love with indigent defense during her criminal law clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. A member of the Gideon’s Promise class of 2012, after graduating from law school, Carmen worked in the Nashville Public Defender’s Office for a year before moving home to Denver, CO. Following two years as a paralegal in death penalty post-conviction matters, Carmen landed at a three-attorney firm committed to indigent clients. While at this firm, Carmen carried adult and juvenile conflict contracts with the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel and Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel. In May 2019, she returned to full time indigent defense as a Deputy Public Defender for the Colorado Springs Office of the Colorado Office of the State Public Defender. During her time at the COSPD, in addition to her caseload, Carmen was a faculty member for the state-wide mandatory public defender trial advocacy program. Before joining the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel, Carmen served as an Assistant Federal Defender with the Federal Defender Program, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. She is Alumni Faculty with Gideon’s Promise and has taught for other systems such as the Kentucky Office of Public Advocacy, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Colorado Office of Alternate Defense Counsel.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

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Juanita Brooks

Attorney, Fish & Richardson

Juanita R. Brooks is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney who focuses on complex intellectual property, products liability, and mass tort litigation. She is an innovative, formidable litigator with a demonstrated, near-perfect winning record in complex, high-stakes lawsuits that few trial attorneys can match. A master storyteller, Juanita paints pictures with words to explain the complex technologies at the center of her matters to judges and juries in a way that is both understandable and compelling and will be remembered throughout the trial. Read More
Work 12860 El Camino Real, Ste. 400 San Diego CA 92130
Biography

Juanita R. Brooks is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney who focuses on complex intellectual property, products liability, and mass tort litigation. She is an innovative, formidable litigator with a demonstrated, near-perfect winning record in complex, high-stakes lawsuits that few trial attorneys can match.

A master storyteller, Juanita paints pictures with words to explain the complex technologies at the center of her matters to judges and juries in a way that is both understandable and compelling and will be remembered throughout the trial. Law360 named her an “Icon of IP” for her “skill at trying complicated patent cases without getting bogged down in the technical weeds” and said that she is a “jury whisperer.” She has also been heralded by The American Lawyer as “a titan of the patent bar” upon receiving its “Litigator of the Year” honors. 

Her skill at connecting with courtroom audiences has made her a go-to litigator when the stakes are high for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 10 corporations. Juanita’s successes in patent litigation have protected billions of dollars in sales for clients and have helped define the ever-evolving landscape of IP law. Clients come to her from a cross-section of cutting-edge industries, including software, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and electronics. 

Having handled more than 150 trials during her career, Juanita is highly skilled at cases that rest, in large part, on expert analysis, testing, and testimony. Utilizing Fish & Richardson’s science- and technology-intensive expertise, she crafts novel, outside-the-box legal strategies. Her ability to present and challenge expert testimony in court has been a decisive factor in courtroom victories. In one case, the trial judge noted that the opposing expert’s “credibility was eviscerated on cross-examination” by Juanita. 

Throughout her 44-year career, Juanita’s numerous trials have resulted in notable wins. In 2018, the Federal Circuit unanimously affirmed a decision for client Gilead Sciences in which she successfully wiped out a $200 million damages award by convincing the court that opposing party Merck was guilty of unclean hands. In defense of client Microsoft, Juanita scored a huge jury win in 2017, in which the plaintiff originally demanded $63 million in damages. The jury returned a noninfringement verdict on every claim, awarding nothing to the plaintiff. Also in 2017, Juanita represented GlaxoSmithKline in a patent infringement lawsuit involving GSK’s highly-successful drug Coreg®. By utilizing a novel patent infringement theory, she convinced a jury that the defendant had willfully infringed and GSK was awarded $235 million in damages. In 2016, she led a team that successfully defended one of the largest mass tort/wrongful death cases in the United States, which included 12,000 cases (some of them class actions representing hundreds of individual plaintiffs). 

As a Latina, Juanita has shattered ethnic and gender barriers to become one of the U.S.’s top IP litigators, having received numerous honors for her courtroom successes and her devotion to the practice of law. She has been named Hatch-Waxman Litigator of the Year by LMG Life Sciences, received The American Lawyer’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, and been honored with Corporate Counsel’s National Women in Law Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, Juanita was inducted into the California Bar Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, becoming the first Latina honoree and only the third inductee from San Diego to receive this honor. 

While she tries cases nationally, she is also active in her local community and played a significant role in drafting the original and the subsequent amendments to local patent rules for the Southern District of California.

As an elected member of the firm’s management committee, Juanita has championed policies that have changed the culture and diversity of Fish and become blueprints for similar policies at other firms. 

After graduating from Yale Law School, Juanita returned to San Diego and worked for Federal Defenders, Inc. She eventually opened her own practice, the first Latina to become a criminal defense solo practitioner in the community. She went on to be a partner in a preeminent international law firm before joining Fish in 2000. 

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TPI Graduate

Photo of Raymond Brown

Raymond Brown

Attorney, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden

Raymond M. Brown has decades of experience as a highly respected civil and criminal litigator. He focuses his practice in white collar criminal defense, international human rights compliance, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation on behalf of individuals, corporations, and government entities. He counsels foreign and domestic multinationals on a broad range of corporate risk management, governance, and transactional issues.…Read More
Work Court Plaza South, 21 Main St. Suite 200 Hackensack NJ 07601
Biography

Raymond M. Brown has decades of experience as a highly respected civil and criminal litigator. He focuses his practice in white collar criminal defense, international human rights compliance, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation on behalf of individuals, corporations, and government entities. He counsels foreign and domestic multinationals on a broad range of corporate risk management, governance, and transactional issues. He has been active in the development of the practice of law concerning the regulation and enforcement of business requirements for human rights compliance, both domestically and on the international stage.

Raymond has extensive experience as a trial lawyer, including numerous high-profile cases. He represented U.S. Senator Robert Menendez as defense co-counsel in a public corruption and bribery case brought by the U.S. government, which ended in a hung jury, subsequent mistrial, and dismissal of charges against Senator Menendez. His other prominent cases have included the nine-month trial involving former U.S. Secretary of Labor Raymond J. Donovan and the successful eight-year defense of senior executives of a major multinational corporation charged with environmental violations. Raymond has also represented a large municipality in COVID-19 related litigation.

He has appeared twice before the N.J. Supreme Court in 2021 representing amicus curiae on important issues criminal law including in State v. Andujar, in which the Court held that improper peremptory jury strikes motivated by “implicit or unconscious bias” violate the N.J. Constitution.

Raymond has defended clients in state and federal courts and before administrative tribunals. He has appeared in courts in 12 U.S. states and conducted investigations throughout the country as well as in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa, El Salvador, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, the Bahamas, Colombia, and Sierra Leone. He also has significant international experience qualifying as counsel before the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where he represents victims in the Darfur genocide.

A devoted advocate for human rights, Raymond was a student activist and an important participant in the 1968 occupation of Columbia University. He and other participants contributed to “A Time to Stir,” a collection of essays written by participants. A documentary film is also in production.

Notes

TPI Graduate

Photo of Jennifer Buyske

Jennifer Buyske

Criminal Defense Attorney, Kirschbaum Law Group

Jennifer Buyske, LCDR U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC), earned her J.D., with honors, at Gonzaga University School of Law in 2010. She is licensed in the States of Montana and Connecticut, and was commissioned in the United States Navy in 2010. As a defense counsel within the JAGC, Jen has tried numerous cases to verdict.…Read More
Work 433 South Main St West Hartford CT 06110 TPI Attendance: July, 2015
Biography

Jennifer Buyske, LCDR U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC), earned her J.D., with honors, at Gonzaga University School of Law in 2010. She is licensed in the States of Montana and Connecticut, and was commissioned in the United States Navy in 2010. As a defense counsel within the JAGC, Jen has tried numerous cases to verdict. In her 12 years of service, she has been stationed in Guam, Florida, and Connecticut. She now does habeas corpus and criminal defense practice in CT and serves as a JAG Reservist. Jen has been invited to teach all across the country, including CO, MA, CT, WA, as well as for the JAGC. She currently lives in West Hartford, with her wife and three kids.

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Recent Teaching History

2022 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2022 Winter Online Cross (January/​February 2022)
2021 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (July Session)