NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Attorney, The Law Offices of Sean M. Maher, PLLC
Sean Maher has been a criminal defense attorney for 24 years. Sean started his career in indigent defense at the Fulton County Public Defender’s Office in Atlanta, where he became a senior trial attorney. He then moved to New York City and joined the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS), eventually supervising NDS’s criminal defense division. Since 2005, Sean has been in private practice in Manhattan defending people against criminal charges levelled by various governmental entities.
Sean has defended people charged with almost every type of crime, including terrorism offenses related to al Qaeda, the Taliban, al Shabaab, and the Khalistan Commando Force. Sean is on the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panels for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and serves on the faculty of Gideon’s Promise, the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC), Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop, and several trial skills academies.
Moeel Law Office
Shaffy is a partner at Moeel Lah Fakhoury LLP, where she represents individuals charged with complex felony cases in state and federal court. Before entering private practice, Shaffy was a federal public defender in San Diego. Shaffy is also a Board Member of the National Criminal Defense College, is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and serves on the Board of Directors of Suzerain Capital Defense.…Read More
Shaffy is a partner at Moeel Lah Fakhoury LLP, where she represents individuals charged with complex felony cases in state and federal court. Before entering private practice, Shaffy was a federal public defender in San Diego. Shaffy is also a Board Member of the National Criminal Defense College, is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and serves on the Board of Directors of Suzerain Capital Defense.
Shaffy received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
Recent Teaching History
I started my career as a public defender in Colorado. After leaving the PD’s office, I have maintained and dedicated my career to criminal defense. I am fortunate to be able to continue to represent indigent clients through court appointments in both state and federal court, along with private clients. I can not imagine doing any other kind of work!
University of Denver
Learned Counsel, Anthony J. Natale, P.A.
Anthony J. Natale, “Tony” is lead capital counsel for the defense team representing Abdul Rahim Al Nashiri, the individual charge with masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole, the Military Cmmission Tribunal being held in Guantanamo, Cuba. Previously he was a Supervising Assistant Federal Public Defender in Miami, Florida. Tony was also the training coordinator for the Federal Defender Office and the CJA panel lawyers for the Southern District of Florida.
Prior joining the Federal Defenders Office he was in private practice for over twenty years concentrating in criminal defense and civil rights trials in both State and Federal courts. The cases he has taken to trial include capital murder, terrorism, complex fraud matters, large drug conspiracies, civil rights violations and personal injury actions.
He has been a member of the National Criminal Defense College faculty since 1982, and lectures extensively throughout the United States on criminal defense topics such as voir dire, advanced cross-examination, cross-examination of experts and theory of the case. Tony has been instrumental in the development of trial practice training programs for the Federal Defender and CJA Training Division and has helped to organize and teach in criminal defense training programs in China, Zimbabwe and Vietnam.
He is a member of the Florida and District of Colombia Bars, NACDL, FACDL and has been admitted pro hac vice in several jurisdictions throughout the country. He is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University and the Antioch School of Law.
Aaron Nelson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School in 1996. He is the owner of Nelson Defense Group, LLC, in Hudson, Wisconsin, where he devotes 100% of his practice to defending people accused of crimes or charged with drunk driving. He has been an instructor at the WI SPD Trial Skills since 2012 and an instructor at the National Criminal Defense College (“NCDC”) since 2014. Aaron still dreams of becoming a public defender and appreciates all the incredibly hard and life-saving work all of Public Defenders do on a daily basis.
David Patton has been the Executive Director of the Federal Defenders of New York for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York since July 2011. From 2002 to 2008, he worked at the Federal Defenders as a trial attorney in the Manhattan office.
From 2008-2010, he was an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Alabama where he taught Criminal Law and directed the Criminal Defense Clinic. From 2010 to 2011, he was a Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford Law School and founded the school’s first trial-level criminal defense clinic. He currently teaches Professional Responsibility in Criminal Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at N.Y.U. Mr. Patton is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Law Institute. Among other publications, he is the author of The Structure of Federal Public Defense: A Call for Independence, 102 CORNELL L. REV. 101 (2017) and Federal Public Defense in an Age of Inquisition, 122 YALE L.J. 100 (2013). Since 2008, Mr. Patton has been a faculty member for Gideon’s Promise, a non-profit organization dedicated to training new public defenders and fostering a community of client-centered lawyers.
Mr. Patton is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Virginia Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders in 2002, he was an associate at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
Bob Pepin started his 39-year criminal defense career as a work study intern with the Public Defender’s office in Boulder, Colorado during his first year of law school. He tried a case to a jury that summer and was hooked.
By then, his tour as an army infantryman in West Berlin, its infamous Wall still imprisoning an entire population, had sharpened Bob’s sense of how jealously our freedoms, our Constitutions, must be protected. He considers criminal defense in general, and public defense in particular, to be deeply patriotic commitments.
Bob was a Deputy Colorado State Public Defender for eleven years. The head of an office for 5 of those years, he was extensively involved in training new defenders and was added to the NCDC faculty in 1991. His state defender trial experience included the wildly polarizing first significant Colorado Make My Day Case and capital work.
Bob was in private practice for six years; focusing on criminal defense and serving as co-editor of the Criminal Law Column of the Colorado Lawyer, on the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) board of directors, and as president of the CCDB. In 1998 Bob joined the team that successfully stopped El Paso County from sentencing Lucas Salmon to death.
In 2000 Bob joined the Colorado Federal Public Defender as a trial attorney. Over the years he has trained attorneys in workshops and clinical programs across the country, lectured extensively on jury selection, cross and direct examination, evidence, opening statements, closing arguments, and various aspects of federal and state criminal practice. He is the 2020 recipient of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar’s Jonathon Olom Award presented “…for remarkable personal sacrifice made without regard to personal gain in the defense of the accused…”
Bob retired June, 2019 and moved to Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula where he spends his time hiking, fishing, and writing for his own entertainment. Bob is still training at trial advocacy programs and doing some legal work. He and his wife, Sharlene, also a defender, have a daughter and son, neither of whom intend to permanently weather the gray skies of the Pacific Northwest, no matter how green the forests or mighty the rivers.
Recent Teaching History
Attorney, Pinales Stachler
Martin Pinales has been successfully defending individuals and companies in federal and state courts throughout the United States for over 50 years. In addition to his impressive trial and appellate experience, he also has extensive experience representing clients who are involved in criminal investigations and who have been called to testify before a grand jury.
Martin is a frequent lecturer throughout the United States to various bar associations on a wide array of subjects, including trial techniques and ethics. He also teaches at the National Criminal Defense College, part of Mercer Law School, in Macon, Georgia, as well as the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City. Martin had the privilege of teaching trial skills at Legal Aid of China and lecturing for the doctor of laws program at the prestigious Peking Law School. He has also published articles in legal periodicals and books.
After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines were enacted, Martin was appointed by the United States Sentencing Commission to train other defense attorneys on the Guidelines. In addition, he served on the Practitioner’s Advisory Group to the Sentencing Commission, which acts as a liaison between defense attorneys and the Sentencing Commission. He was also appointed by former Chief Justice Rehnquist to serve on the United States Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services.
He has earned the Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review rating, which is the highest rating attorneys can achieve in both legal ability and ethical standards.
Recent Teaching History
Partner, Harden and Pinckney, PLLC
Ms. Heather Pinckney is currently a partner at Harden and Pinckney, PLLC. Located in the Penn Quarter area of Washington. D.C., Harden and Pinckney, PLLC is a boutique law firm specializing in the areas of criminal defense litigation, civil litigation, contract and family law. The firm practices in D.C. Superior and D.C. Federal Court. She was the Co-chair of the D.C. Bar Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section Steering Committee for 3 years.
Before entering into private practice, Ms. Pinckney served as the Deputy Chief of the Trial Division for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (hereinafter PDS) – widely recognized as the premier public defender office in the country. As Deputy Trial Chief, Ms. Pinckney assisted in the management and day to day operations of the trial division and supervised over 60 attorneys litigating criminal cases in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Prior to becoming Deputy Trial Chief, Ms. Pinckney served for eight years as a staff attorney at PDS. She also served for four years as the Chair of the D.C. Public Defender Service Hiring Committee.
During her tenure, Ms. Pinckney represented juvenile and adult indigent clients on criminal matters ranging from misdemeanors to homicides before both, the D.C Superior Court and the United States Parole Commission. Her representations have included individuals charged with homicide, sex offenses, arson, firearm violations, and obstruction of justice. She has tried numerous jury trials to verdict and has represented individuals at every stage of criminal litigation, including pre-indictment, grand jury, trial and post-conviction.
Prior to beginning at PDS, she worked for the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. She also worked for The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and TransAfrica. She served as chair of the 2005 PDS Criminal Practice Institute Conference, acted as faculty for numerous PDS Summer Series Training Sessions and was an active member of the PDS Forensic Practice Group, which dealt with areas involving blood spatter and DNA.
Ms. Pinckney teaches litigation skills at Trial Skills Programs all around the country, including the states of Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin. She has also served as a guest lecturer at Howard University School of Law, American University School of Law, George Washington University School of law, The David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC) and the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop. She currently serves as a faculty member for Gideon’s Promise and the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia.
She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), the D.C. Law Students in Court Clinical Program and JusticeAid. Ms. Pinckney is the proud recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award from D.C. Law Students in Court, in recognition of her commitment to pro bono criminal defense work on behalf of indigent clients. In 2017 and 2018, she and her business partner were each named one of Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers for Criminal Defense by the Washingtonian Magazine.
She is a native Washingtonian and received her B.A. from Marymount University and her J.D. from George Washington University School of Law. Ms. Pinckney is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.
lecturer, author, and trial consultant
Larry is a solo practitioner, with his time spent on lecturing, writing and case consultation. He is co-author of Cross Examination: Science and Techniques (Lexis 3rd edition 2018, Pozner and Dodd). His lectures on trial techniques, principally Pozner on Cross: The Chapter Method, have taken him to 48 states, throughout Canada, and (inexplicably) Brazil. Delaware and South Dakota are missing. Know anybody there?
Larry is also a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, which honored him with its highest recognition; the Olom Award. He graduated law school (UC Hastings, summa cum barely) knowing nothing about how to defend. Thankfully, he landed his dream-job as a Colorado public defender. It was there that he had a great training director, Steve Rench, who patiently taught Larry how the elements of trial fit together.
After his years as a public defender, Larry had a solo criminal defense practice, which eventually grew to a 3 -lawyer firm, including fellow NCDC Faculty member, Abe Hutt. In 2000 Larry assembled a firm, eventually 30 lawyers, and added to his criminal defense practice the representation of plaintiffs and defendants in commercial litigation. This commercial litigation practice includes an $111 million verdict against PNC Bank, recently affirmed, and the successful defense of Pat Bowlen in a trial challenging Mr. Bowlen’s purchase and ownership of the Denver Broncos.
For many years Larry has taught criminal law at the University of Denver College of Law, where he was voted Best Professor. That may have had something to do with his “Nobody Flunks” policy. He also writes a column for the NACDL Champion, entitled Cross Country. It is practical advice, so he never sites case law.
Larry is excited to be rejoining the NCDC faculty after too long an absence.
Bronx Public Defender
In 2005, Archana started her career as a public defender at The Bronx Defenders. She moved to the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem in 2008 where she worked for over a decade. While at NDS, she started as a Staff Attorney became a Supervisor and moved onto the Management Team. She ended her time at NDS as a Senior Staff Attorney, representing clients charged with homicides and other serious felonies. In January 2019, Archana went back to the Bronx to help create the Homicide Unit at the Bronx Defenders. She has tried cases ranging from homicides to violations and represented thousands of clients in New York City.
She is on the faculty at the National Criminal Defense College and the NYSDA Basic Trials Skills Program. She teaches at various other public defenders trainings and spent three months in Palestine through the International Legal Foundation, training and mentoring public defenders. Prior to becoming a public defender, she spent two years litigating civil claims related to wrongful convictions. After graduating from law school, she clerked for the Honorable Myron H. Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Cornell University.