NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Deputy Director of Litigation of the Georgia Capital Defender
Clinical Professor Emeritus, University of WI Law School,
Until early 2020, I was a long time Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. I retired just in time. I began my career as a public defender in Wisconsin, first in Eau Claire and then in Madison. I have a particular interest (practice and research) in the special issues presented by clients who are deaf/hard of hearing or language impaired.
Recent Teaching History
Partner, Sheffield & Lentine, P.C.
John received his B.A. with honors from the University of West Florida and his J.D. from Cumberland Law School in 1987. He practices exclusively criminal defense work on the trial and appellate levels throughout the State of Alabama and in a variety of Federal trial and appellate courts. He is a Past President of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Legal Aid Society of Birmingham. He is a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and he has been Board Certified as a Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has served as the Board’s State Coordinator in Alabama. He was the CJA Panel Representative and Resource Counsel for the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama for ten years and also served as the 11th Circuit’s Representative to and for 3 years. He served as the Chief CJA Panel Representative in the United States to the Defender Services Advisory Group for the Administrative Office of Courts in Washington.
He has been appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court to serve on the Alabama Criminal Rules Committee and the Alabama Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions Committee and was appointed by the President of the Alabama State Bar in 2013 to serve as the Chair of the newly restored Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar and as Vice Chair of the Appointed Counsel & Indigent Representation Committee. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the Birmingham Bar Association and Birmingham Bar Foundation.
He is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Georgia Criminal Defense Association’s Bill Daniel Trial Advocacy Program. He is an adjunct faculty member at Cumberland School of Law where he teaches trial advocacy and the Birmingham School of Law where he teaches criminal law, criminal procedure and the death penalty. He has also been an adjunct professor at Miles Law School and has lectured at Faulkner and the University of Alabama schools of law.
He has been a Fellow in the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America specializing in Non-White Collar and White Collar Criminal Defense, Alabama’s SuperLawyers in the area of criminal defense, and The Birmingham Magazine’s and The Birmingham Business Journal’s Best Lawyers in Birmingham and acknowledged by The National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in Alabama and by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the Top 100 criminal defense lawyers in Alabama.
He is the 2010 recipient of the Judge Walter P. Gewin Award from CLE Alabama for his contributions to the development and presentation of CLE programs. The Best Lawyers in America has selected him as Birmingham’s “Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 in Non-White Collar criminal defense and in 2018 as Birimingham’s“Lawyer of the Year” in White Collar criminal defense.
In 2012 he received the “Lawrence B. Sheffield, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. In 2013 he was selected as a Master Bencher in the inaugural group of Masters of the Bench in the Judge James Edwin Horton Inn of Court at Cumberland School of Law. Also John has recently been listed in the Top 50 Alabama Super Lawyers for 2013-18 and listed in the Top 10 criminal defense attorneys in Alabama by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. In March of 2014 he was named to membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel in the area of criminal defense. In May of 2014, he received the “Roderick Beddow Sr. Award” from the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. The Beddow Award is the ACDLA’s highest honor and recognizes a lifetime achievement and service in the field of criminal defense.
John has spoken at numerous CLE programs over the last 30 years in Alabama and across the country devoted to the teaching and training of criminal defense lawyers.
Recent Teaching History
Executive Director, National Association for Public Defenders
Ernie Lewis received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University in 1969, a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University in 1973, and a Juris Doctoris (J.D.) from Washington University in 1977. He was a VISTA Volunteer in Minnesota in 1970. He was with the Department of Public Advocacy from 1976 until 2008 in several different capacities, including appellate lawyer, local assistance branch manager, directing attorney of the Richmond Trial Office, and Regional Manager for the Central Kentucky Region.
He was appointed Kentucky Public Advocate in 1996, overseeing the statewide public defender system, and served in that capacity until 2008 when he retired from state government. From 1985 until 2015, he taught at the National College of Criminal Defense located at Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia. He served for two years as Chair of the American Council of Chief Defenders from 2006-2007. He has worked on indigent defense issues with various groups in Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and Louisiana. In 2000, he was named Outstanding Lawyer by the Kentucky Bar Association. In 2007, he was given the Champion of Indigent Defense Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2008, he was given the Chief Justice’s Special Service Award. He received the Department of Public Advocacy’s Professionalism and Excellence Award in 2003 and the Nelson Mandela Award in 2009.
He served as Legislative Agent for the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 2009-2015. He was one of the founding board members of KACDL and served as the President of KACDL in 2016. He is active in teaching public defenders and consulting. Since January of 2014, he has been serving as the Executive Director of the National Association for Public Defense, an organization with over 22,000 members, including 130+ organizations.
Senior Attorney, Southern Center for Human Rights
Mark Loudon-Brown is a senior attorney in the Capital Litigation Unit of the Southern Center for Human Rights, where he represents people facing a death sentence at trial, on appeal, and in post-conviction. Prior to that, Mark was a public defender in the Criminal Defense Practice at The Bronx Defenders. While there, Mark served as a Supervising Attorney for two years and the Forensic Practice Supervisor, overseeing the office’s Forensic Practice Group and consulting on cases involving DNA evidence. After earning his J.D., he completed two years as a Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown Law, representing indigent clients charged with crimes and supervised third-year law students doing the same. He teaches a forensic science seminar at Georgia State College of Law.
Recent Teaching History
Attorney, Lyon Law LLC
Ms. Lyon is a renowned lawyer, author, speaker, professor and former Dean of the Valparaiso University Law School, who has been featured on national news and media outlets. Dubbed “The Angel of Death Row” by the Chicago Tribune, she was the first woman to serve as lead attorney in a death penalty case, and she holds an unparalleled 19 wins in 19 capital cases.
Ms. Lyon has dedicated her career to advocating and upholding justice for all. Her legal work began in the Cook County Public Defender’s Office where she rose to become Chief of the Homicide Task Force. Managing a 22-lawyer unit, she tried over 130 homicide cases and defended more than 30 potential capital cases at the trial level, including taking 19 capital cases through penalty phase. In 1990, Ms. Lyon founded and directed the Illinois Capital Resource Center representing all of the death row inmates in Illinois.
She is leader of academic reforms in both curriculum development and mentoring diversity in law school student and faculty populations. Ms. Lyon brought her depth of criminal justice experience to enrich legal education at University of Michigan Law School as assistant clinical professor; DePaul University College of Law as clinical professor of law, Associate Dean of Clinical Programs, and Director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases; and as Dean of Valparaiso University Law School.
In January of 2015, Ms. Lyon was awarded Operation Push’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson Dream-Makers Award. A winner of the prestigious National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Reginald Heber Smith Award for best advocate for the poor in the country, she is a nationally recognized expert in the field of death penalty defense and a frequent Continuing Legal Education (CLE) teacher throughout the country. She has been designated as learned counsel in the federal defense system.
Recent Teaching History
2021 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (July Session)