NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
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
Executive Director, Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia
Christina L. Hunt is the Executive Director for the Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia, Inc. She has been with that office since 2010, and before joining that office, was Senior Litigator with the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho where she had worked for 14 years. This year, she also began teaching again at Mercer Law School where she teaches the Public Defender Extern Clinic.…Read More
Christina L. Hunt is the Executive Director for the Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia, Inc. She has been with that office since 2010, and before joining that office, was Senior Litigator with the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho where she had worked for 14 years. This year, she also began teaching again at Mercer Law School where she teaches the Public Defender Extern Clinic.
A graduate of Furman University and Mercer University Law School, since 1985 Tina has devoted her career to representing indigent people accused of crimes and training those who represent them. She began her practice in Macon, GA as a private practitioner who specialized in criminal defense after she did one, just one, divorce case. She learned she far preferred the stories of those accused of crimes. After eleven years in Macon, she picked up everything and moved to the Eastern District of Washington to become a career federal defender. Before moving to Washington, Tina taught Trial Practice and Georgia Criminal Practice and Procedure at Mercer Law School and was the Associate Dean of the National Criminal Defense College. She served as a member of the National Criminal Defense College Board of Regents and Faculty, is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Federal Defenders and is a member of the Training Expert Panel for the Federal Defender Offices. She has a wealth of training experience and has taught at the Western Trial Advocacy Institute, the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy, the Georgia Institute of Trial Advocacy, the Federal Trial Skills Academy, the Colorado Alternate Defense Counsel Trial Skills program the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy Litigation Persuasion Institute, fondly known as Faubush, as well as at the New York State Defender’s Association. She taught trial advocacy at Gonzaga Law School in Spokane, WA and has spoken at numerous seminars around the country on trial skills, persuasive sentencing stories and storytelling.
Beyond learning from other lawyers, which is the real reason she agrees to speak at seminars, her true passions are her new husband, Steve, their blended family of two dogs, Winston and MaddieDog, who were both clients in their former lives. (Those who have met them agree). She and her husband also have a well-behaved cat, MaddieCat, who was obviously a public defender in a former life as she has managed to put up with two dogs who think she may be an appetizer.
Recent Teaching History
Attorney, Recht Kornfeld PC
Abe Hutt has been a criminal defense lawyer and NACDL member in Denver, Colorado since 1984. He is on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College and since 2000 has taught at all of NCDC’s programs, including Advanced Cross-Examination, Theories, Themes and Storytelling, and each summer’s Trial Practice Institute. He has lectured around the country on trial tactics subjects, especially cross-examination and jury selection, as well as teaching courses on trial practice at the Law Schools of the University of Denver and the University of Colorado.
Abe has defended clients including sitting judges, elected district attorneys, and public defenders as well as the writer Hunter S. Thompson and innumerable lower profile people accused of serious crimes, from traffic offenses to capital murder. He has also represented attorneys, teachers, physicians, nurses, pilots, veterinarians, and dentists in disciplinary proceedings concerning their professional licenses.
Abe is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B. 1980) and the University of Southern California Law Center (J.D. 1984). He currently serves on the Colorado Supreme Court Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure and on the Colorado Legislature’s Interagency Task Force on Drunk and Impaired Driving. He is probably best known for his work in the area of DUI defense. He has authored numerous articles on the subject and served as an expert witness in the area as well. He is the only non-judge who is a contributing author to the Colorado County Court Judge’s DUI Benchbook and has written the DUI and Motor Vehicle Law section of The Colorado Bar Association’s Annual Update of Colorado Law since 1991.
Recent Teaching History
Johnson is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina and the University of Kansas School of Law. He began work in the Topeka public defender’s office in 1975, then opened his private practice two years later, focusing primarily on criminal defense. He was in private practice for 28 years before his 2005 appointment to the bench in the 3rd Judicial District by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. He was the first African-American judge in the history of the judicial district, which is composed of Shawnee County. Johnson said he has seen small steps of progress in the Kansas judicial ranks when it comes to diversity. With his retirement, he said, “Kansas will have only three African-American district court judges and one serving on the Kansas Court of Appeals.”
In addition to his judicial duties, Johnson teaches at the National Criminal Defense College at the Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Ga.; the Trial Advocacy Institute at the University of Wyoming School of Law in Laramie; and the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Yeshiva University Cardoza School of Law in New York. He holds memberships in the National and State Criminal Defense Lawyers Associations, the American College of trial Lawyers, and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. After more than a decade of serving as a judge, Johnson said at times the responsibility of the office is overwhelming. “When I was in practice, my viewpoint was primarily from the person I was representing,” he said. “Sometimes I felt the court was taking the easy way out. After taking the bench, it became clear to me that making the right decision was overwhelming. It’s very difficult to assess what the judge has to go through. From that standpoint, it was quite humbling. There was a lot more to it than I thought.” Johnson said he appreciates the trust and support extended to him by the residents of Shawnee County and hopes his service lived up to their expectations.
In retirement, Johnson said he plans to continue lecturing and teaching and to play golf in each of the 50 states. Johnson and his wife have two children, three grandsons, and two granddaughters