NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Attorney, Findling Law Firm
Drew Findling’s practice, The Findling Law Firm, P.C., focuses exclusively on federal and state criminal defense and he tries cases ranging from matters involving complex white- collar crimes to serious violent felonies. Mr. Findling spent the first three years of his career as a Fulton County, GA public defender. Over more than 30 years, he has represented clients in state and federal courts across the country, as well as in international matters.
As a public defender, he was a leader in developing the battered woman syndrome defense. Nationally, Mr. Findling was the first attorney to successfully employ that defense based exclusively on verbal abuse. For his efforts, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) awarded him their Indigent Defense Award. In recent years, he has successfully represented a string of well-known clients including: Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neal, Grammy Award Winner Cardi B, Grammy Award Nominee Faith Evans, Emmy Award Winner actor/comedian Katt Williams, actor/comedian Mike Epps, Hip Hop superstars, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff from the Grammy-nominated group Migos, Boosie, Trippi Red, Lil Baby, Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Jim Jones and Da Baby. Mr. Findling has also represented Morris Brown College President Dolores Cross, Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Barrett, and, in the highly publicized public corruption jury
trial of Clayton County, GA Sheriff Victor Hill, Mr. Findling won an acquittal of all charges in the 37-count indictment. For his effort on behalf of Sheriff Hill, Mr. Findling received the NAACP’s Civil and Human Rights Award and a commendation by the Legislative Black Caucus of Georgia. He also secured a non-prosecution agreement for the long-serving District Attorney of Douglas County, GA, David McDade.
Mr. Findling is a member of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the American Bar Association. Findling also serves on the Board of Advisors for the prestigious National Clearing House on Science and Technology of Law. Due to Mr. Findling’s success in jury trials, appeals, and post-conviction work, he has been named as one of Georgia’s Legal Elite in Georgia Trend Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top Lawyers in Georgia, and as a Georgia “Super Lawyer” by Atlanta Magazine and one of the Best Lawyers in America© in the area of criminal defense.
Mr. Findling is a Past President and a Life Member of The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”). Mr. Findling joined the Association in 1988 and has served multiple terms on the Board of Directors. His commitment includes service as chair of multiple committees related to forensic science, chair of the Membership Committee, and as co-chair of the Discovery Reform Committee. He also served as a member of NACDL’s Nominating Committee and National Forensics Litigation College Advisory Board. Mr. Findling was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award which is given to one criminal defense attorney in the country each year by NACDL.
In his more than 30 years of practice, Mr. Findling has published numerous articles and become a highly sought-after speaker, speaking in more than 40 states across the country. He has spoken extensively on topics as race in the criminal justice system, combatting collateral consequences of convictions, defending battered woman syndrome cases, jury selection in high profile cases, forensic preparation for a criminal trial, effective opening statements and closing arguments, professionalism, and advanced cross-examination. He has lectured at Emory Law School, Georgia State University College of Law, and the University of Georgia Law School. He has been on the faculty of the National Criminal
Defense College since 1989 and also teaches at NACDL’s White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson and Tulane University Law School’s Pre-Trial Criminal Litigation Boot Camp. Mr. Findling is also regularly invited to serve as a legal analyst on various respected national television news networks. Mr. Findling was recently profiled in a New York Times piece, “Atlanta’s #BillionDollarLawyer Is Looking Out for Your Favorite Rappers,” and he was a guest speaker at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival on “Hip-Hop Collision: Music Race and the Law.” In 2018 Mr. Findling was featured in a documentary by Mic.Com and a 2019 documentary on CNN’s “Great Big Story.” Mr. Findling was also recently named an R&B/Hip-Hop Power Player by Billboard Magazine and a Top-20 Hollywood Troubleshooter by the Hollywood Reporter
Assistant Public Defender; Sacramento County, Office of the Public Defender
Recent Teaching History
2022 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (July Session)
Partner, Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP
Kobie is a trial lawyer, with over twenty years of courtroom experience. Kobie has litigated cases in federal and state courts throughout the United States and internationally in the military commissions in Guantanamo Bay.
His first-chair trial experience in building cases for the government as a federal civil rights prosecutor and in fighting the government’s efforts as an assistant federal public defender provides him with an uncommon insight into trial practice. Kobie typically represents high-profile clients in high-stakes criminal investigations, civil litigation, internal investigations, or trials. In his lifelong effort to end mass incarceration and police brutality, Kobie also represents the wrongfully convicted and sues police departments. Recognized by his peers for his trial acumen, Kobie teaches the art and science of trial lawyering to other trial lawyers around the country.
As a member of the Attorney General’s Honors Program, Kobie was a civil rights prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice for over four years. He specialized in the prosecution of police brutality cases. Kobie was one of the prosecutors who successfully tried the largest case against federal correctional officers in the history of the Civil Rights Division. For that effort, he earned the Civil Rights Division’s Special Commendation for Outstanding Service. Kobie never lost a case as a federal civil rights prosecutor.
After his tenure as a federal civil rights prosecutor, Kobie sought out the challenge of defending against federal prosecutions as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. As an AFPD, Kobie successfully represented clients charged with federal felonies. Kobie won two-thirds of his trials. When trial was not in the client’s best interest, Kobie navigated through the demands of the government and obtained numerous favorable, pre-verdict outcomes for his clients, including dismissals of cases.
Kobie has consistently been recognized as a top lawyer by publications like, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Lawdragon, and Washingtonian, as well as by leading organizations like the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He graduated from Stanford University and Georgetown Law.
Before starting his legal career, Kobie served in the United States Peace Corps.
Recent Teaching History
Education & Strategic Planning Branch Manager, Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy
Melanie Foote is the Education Branch Manager for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. Melanie joined the Education and Strategic Planning Branch of the Department of Public Advocacy in 2015. In that role she is responsible for training all members of the statewide public defender system in Kentucky.
Melanie received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. She is a member of New York and Kentucky State Bars and has been practicing in Kentucky since she joined the Adult Post Conviction Branch of the Department of Public Advocacy in 2007.
While in the Post Conviction Branch, Melanie represented adult clients on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, mistake in the proceedings, and claims of actual innocence. In 2009, she joined the Kentucky Innocence Project to work exclusively on DNA based claims of actual innocence.
In 2010, Melanie transitioned to a trial position with DPA and represented clients in district, circuit, juvenile and family court in the Elizabethtown and LaGrange Trial Offices. Melanie assists in educating the community on issues related to criminal law and is a faculty member for several state and national training programs, including the National Criminal Defense College.
Recent Teaching History
2021 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2020 Online Cross (June Session)
2020 Online Cross (July Session)
2019 Trial Practice Institute (July Session)
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Fernando became a lawyer in January of 1983 because he lacked the size, speed and talent to be an NFL quarterback. In order to satisfy his insatiable desire to overcome unending adversity he became a criminal defense lawyer.
He was born in Havana, Cuba in 1955, raised in Louisiana and Wyoming. He graduated from Louisiana State University-Geaux Tigers- and later from the University of Denver College of Law in 1982. He started as a trial lawyer in the Denver trial office of the Colorado State Public Defender’s office in 1983 and spent a total of 25 years with them. He is now in private practice and teaches trial tactics around the US, Mexico, Chile, Cuba and Argentina. He has tried over 130 jury trials and more than 25 homicide trials. He is on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College and is a member of the American College of trial lawyers.
Director of Training; Maryland Office of the Public Defender
Patrice Fulcher is the Director of Training for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD). She joined OPD in 2015, and is responsible for heading the Agency’s Gideon’s Promise Certified New Hire Attorney Training Program, and developing/managing all other public defender training curriculum for OPD’s attorneys and core staff throughout the state. Prior to becoming OPD’s Director of Training, Patrice was a tenured Associate Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Her scholarship and other publications focus on issues surrounding the Prison Industrial Complex; private prisons, forced prison labor, and jail/prison video visitation. She has lectured extensively on these issues as well as the erosion of the 4th Amendment, client-centered representation, and effective storytelling techniques for defense attorneys throughout the U.S.
From 1995-2007, Patrice successfully represented indigent clients as a public defender in Georgia. She handled capital cases, major felonies, and fought against unconditional jail conditions. She did so while serving as a Senior Staff Attorney for the Georgia Capital Defender and the Fulton County Public Defender offices; as Senior Staff Attorney for the Fulton County Conflict Defender; and while working with the Southern Center for Human Rights.
Patrice has served as a Core Instructor for Gideon’s Promise, Inc. since its inception, and is a faculty member for the National Criminal Defense College. She has also been a litigation instructor for The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, The Kentucky Death Penalty Institute, The Mississippi Office of the State Public Defender Training Division, The National Association for Public Defense, The American Bar Association NACDL National Defender Training Program, The National Legal Aid & Defender Association, and is a faculty member of the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop. She received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and her B.A. from Howard University. Patrice is admitted to practice law in Georgia and Maryland.