NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Training Director, Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy
Melanie Foote is the Education & Strategic Planning Branch Manager for the Department of Public Advocacy. Melanie joined the Education and Strategic Planning Branch of the Department of Public Advocacy in 2015. She 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,
Melanie represented adult clients on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, mistake in the proceedings, and claims of actual innocence. In that role, she secured the release and exoneration of Mr. Jason Girts, who had been wrongfully convicted based on false statements made by the child complaining witness.
In 2009, she joined the Kentucky Innocence Project to work exclusively on DNA based claims of actual innocence, and assisted several clients to prove their innocence through DNA testing. At the completion of the DNA Grant in 2010, she began representing clients in district, circuit, juvenile and family court in the Elizabethtown and LaGrange Trial Offices. While at the Elizabethtown Trial Office, Melanie had the pleasure of representing Mr. Jose Padilla after his case was vacated and remanded by the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Padilla’s charges were ultimately dismissed after a period of deferred prosecution, allowing him to remain in the United States. In 2017, Melanie secured a new trial for and the release of Mr. Norman Graham, who was wrongfully convicted of a 1980 rape and murder. All charges were dropped and Mr. Graham was fully exonerated in December of 2019.
Melanie regularly trains public defender litigators in Kentucky and nationwide. She also assists with community education on issues related to public defense.
Recent Teaching History
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.
Isaiah “Skip” Gant is a 1969 graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and a 1974 graduate of its law school. He is currently an assistant Federal Public Defenders for the Middle District of TN, Nashville, TN. He previously worked as a staff attorney with the New York State Defender Association and as the director of the office’s Innocence Project. He spent over fifteen years in private practice on the Southside of Chicago, did a stint as the Chief of the Chicago Bureau of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, and an adjunct Professor at DePaul University Law School, thereafter, coming to Nashville as a staff attorney with the Capital Case Resource Center of Tennessee, specializing in capital litigation. He spent four years in Cambodia working for the International Human Rights Law Group’s Cambodian Defender Project (one year as its director), and as a United Nations consultant/mentor to the judges and prosecutors at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Cambodia. He is a past president of the Napier-Looby Bar Association and, is a Fellow of both the Napier-Looby and Nashville Bar Foundations
Director of Engagement; Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel
Shawna Mackey Geiger is the Director of Engagement for the Colorado Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel. Her focus is on supporting and improving family defenders in Colorado. Before moving to ORPC she was the Director of Training for the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Denver and was previously the Training Director for the Colorado Office of Alternate Defense Counsel. Prior to her role as a trainer, Ms. Geiger represented clients as a public defender as well as in private practice where she focused on indigent criminal and juvenile defense.
Ms. Geiger teaches trial advocacy, storytelling, persuasion, leadership and client communication skills across the country. Recently, she spends far less time in courtrooms with clients, but loves the time she spends in classrooms and conference rooms teaching lawyers to bring their clients’ stories to life in an effort to dismantle white supremacy, work toward systemic equity and justice, and uplift our defender communities to continue their valiant fight.
Recent Teaching History
Executive Director, Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington & Idaho
Andrea K. George is the Executive Director of the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho. She has held this position since 2012.
Ms. George began her legal career in 1989 as an Appellate Attorney with the Federal Defenders of Minnesota. In 1992 she became a trial attorney with that office and was eventually promoted to Senior Litigator. This year marks her thirtieth with the Federal Defender system. She is currently the President of the National Association of Federal Defenders and is a member of the Board of Regents for the National Criminal Defense College. Ms. George is on the faculty of NCDC and speaks regularly for the Federal Judicial Center and other Defender programs.
EDNC Federal Public Defender
Kyana Givens became a Federal Public Defender in the Eastern District of North Carolina in 2020 after being a Visiting Attorney Advisor, Defender Services Office, Training Division, from August 2018-December 2019. She previously served as a trial attorney at The Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington since 2009 and a state public defender with the King County Public Defender (TDA) in 2005. Ms. Givens has been committed to mentoring and teaching other defenders throughout her practice. As the Albert M. Sacks Fellow at Harvard Law School, Ms. Givens worked closely with Clinical Professors teaching and training in trial advocacy.
While at Harvard, she represented adult and juvenile clients being served by CJI and provided litigation support to Prof. Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. on criminal and Civil Rights matters. Ms. Givens’ dedication to teaching and mentoring extends beyond the legal community. She has also taught Constitutional Law to undergraduate students at Seattle University. A graduate of Northeastern University School of Law (Boston, MA), Ms. Givens earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, WA).
Ms. Givens is a faculty member at The National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) in Macon, Georgia, she is also on the Faculty for the Trial Skills Academy for Federal Defenders and she regularly speaks at CLEs about trials skills, emerging digital technology in criminal cases and unconscious bias.
She is the proud mother of two boys, her weakness is ice cream, and enjoys travel, camping, county fairs, and any sandy beach.
Recent Teaching History
Law Office of Andres R. Guevara
Andres R. Guevara has been a trial attorney since graduating from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1995. After stints with both the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Andres started his own law firm in 2007 specializing in criminal defense and trial cases. Out of his Denver office, Andres handles both private and court-appointed criminal work in various Colorado state courts (through the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (“ADC”)) and in federal courts (through the CJA Panel). Since starting his own law firm in 2007, Andres has handled and tried every type of criminal case, from misdemeanors to homicides, sex assaults, human trafficking, federal drug and gun cases, and large conspiracy cases. He has also handled post-conviction cases (including a current State death penalty case) and has presented oral arguments before both the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.
Andres is a long-time instructor with ADC and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and has been on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College for the past four years. He has presented on different topics including closing arguments, direct examinations, cross-examinations, federal criminal law, trial practice, jury selection, and COCCA/RICO cases. Andres is also an author having published in the areas of federal law enforcement and marijuana laws. In his spare time, Andres teaches mock trial at a local high school.
Recent Teaching History
Partner, Harden & Pinckney
Riverside County Public Defender
Public Defender, Palm Beach County
Boyd County DPA Trial Office
Attorney, Hogue Hogue Fitzgerald and Griffin
Recent Teaching History
Hogue Hogue Fitzgerald & Griffin
Laura Hogue graduated magna cum laude from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, in 1991. She was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, and was selected by her professors as the recipient of the National Women in Law award from the university. Following graduation, Laura joined the international law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis, and Pogue, in their Atlanta office, assisting in the litigation division.
In early 1994, Laura was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney for the Macon Judicial Circuit (encompassing Bibb, Peach, and Crawford counties). She prosecuted major felony offenses, including violent crimes, sex offenses, and crimes against children. Additionally, Laura co-directed the appellate division of the office, handling numerous appeals before the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court.
In September 1997, Laura left the District Attorney’s office to join her husband, Franklin J. Hogue, to form the law firm of Hogue Hogue Fitzgerald & Griffin. The firm handles exclusively criminal defense matters, trying cases in both state and federal courts, and handling appeals and post-conviction matters in the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Laura has tried cases throughout the state of Georgia, successfully prevailing in matters as diverse as vehicular homicide, child cruelty, child molestation, aggravated assault on a peace officer, and tax fraud. Laura has successfully argued appeals before the appellate courts that have resulted in victories in cases such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and aggravated child molestation.
Laura is a past President of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. For three years, Laura served as chairperson of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Amicus Committee. Under her direction, the Amicus Committee has prepared and filed briefs to the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court, addressing critical issues of concern to the criminal defense community. Through the efforts of this committee, there have been numerous victories on significant issues of constitutional and procedural law benefitting the rights and liberties of all of Georgia’s citizens.
Laura is a frequent speaker on criminal law and trial practice and procedure issues, having lectured for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Mercer Law School, Georgia Capital Defenders, the Macon Bar Association, and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Laura serves on the faculty of the William “Bill” Daniels Criminal Defense College in Athens, Georgia, and the National Criminal Defense College. In 2016, Laura was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Recent Teaching History