NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY

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Natasha Perdew Silas

Senior Litigation Attorney; Federal Defender Program, Inc.

Natasha Perdew Silas became the Dean of the National Criminal Defense College in August of 2017 along with new bestie Karen Smolar. Together they are the third Deans of NCDC. For the past two plus years, Karen and Tasha have worked tirelessly to honor the legacy of the College, to move it forward, and to help it in all ways fulfill its mission of pursuing justice by empowering defenders.…Read More
Work 101 Marietta Street, NW, Suite 1500 Atlanta GA 30303 TPI Attendance: June, 1995
Biography

Natasha Perdew Silas became the Dean of the National Criminal Defense College in August of 2017 along with new bestie Karen Smolar. Together they are the third Deans of NCDC. For the past two plus years, Karen and Tasha have worked tirelessly to honor the legacy of the College, to move it forward, and to help it in all ways fulfill its mission of pursuing justice by empowering defenders.

Tasha has twenty-five years of experience as a trial lawyer with the Federal Defender Program in the Northern District of Georgia, where she now serves as a Senior Litigation Attorney still representing clients before the district and circuit courts.

Tasha credits NCDC with helping her to find her voice and power in the courtroom and she has a passion for helping others in their quests to continually improve courtroom advocacy. Tasha has taught extensively in the State of Georgia, in various other states, and also internationally in the Republic of Georgia. She is a proud member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She has received a number of awards for her work and advocacy including from the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Gate City Bar Association.

Tasha lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children.

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Recent Teaching History

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Fredilyn Sison

Attorney at Law

Where hasn’t Fredi worked? She’s been an Assistant Federal Defender in Omaha, Nebraska; Boise, Idaho; Reno, Nevada and Asheville, North Carolina, with side stops in Washington, DC as visiting counsel at the Defender Training Branch and at the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She’s in such “high demand” that she recently received a recruiting email asking her if she would like to be a legal assistant in an up and coming workers’ comp firm.…Read More
Work PO Box 2432 Asheville NC 28802 TPI Attendance: June, 1993
Biography

Where hasn’t Fredi worked? She’s been an Assistant Federal Defender in Omaha, Nebraska; Boise, Idaho; Reno, Nevada and Asheville, North Carolina, with side stops in Washington, DC as visiting counsel at the Defender Training Branch and at the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She’s in such “high demand” that she recently received a recruiting email asking her if she would like to be a legal assistant in an up and coming workers’ comp firm. She wrote back thanking them but she was having too much fun being an advocate for poor people and had to decline their lovely offer. Then she killed her LinkedIn account.

An honors grad of Cornell University and New York University School of Law, Fredi has served on the faculty for numerous programs around the country. Her favorite tag line during her teaching sessions is, “You understand this is interactive, right?” To date, no one has successfully slunk down low enough for her to not make eye contact and ask for a volunteer.

Fredi co-authored Trial in Action: The Persuasive Power of Psychodrama and expects to be an answer to a trivia question one day because of it. She’s written article/chapters on various topics: child pornography, voir dire, cross examination and the effects of incarceration on families. Her two passions are psychodrama (where she’s certified as a practitioner, not to be confused with being certified period) and Improv. She will play improv games all day if allowed, and you’ll often hear her muttering, “Whoosh, Bang, Pow!”

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Recent Teaching History 

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James Smith , III

James Smith Attorney at Law

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Work 201 East Pine St, Suite 446 Orlando FL 32801
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Recent Teaching History

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Karen Smolar

Training Director, Committee for Public Counsel Services

Karen Smolar is the Legal Training Director of the Criminal Practice at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts, where she develops and conducts innovative trial training programs for every public defender and court-appointed attorney representing the indigent accused statewide. At CPCS, Karen also lends her expertise to other practice areas in the Training Department to help conceptualize curriculum across the agency.…Read More
Work Cranston RI TPI Attendance: June, 2007
Biography

Karen Smolar is the Legal Training Director of the Criminal Practice at the Committee
for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts, where she develops and conducts
innovative trial training programs for every public defender and court-appointed attorney
representing the indigent accused statewide. At CPCS, Karen also lends her expertise
to other practice areas in the Training Department to help conceptualize curriculum
across the agency. In addition, Karen is a member of the agency’s Anti-Racism Team,
and she serves as lead on its DEI Recruitment Sub-Committee.

Karen spent her three previous decades representing the indigent accused in New York
City, including twenty years of dedicated work at The Bronx Defenders. Karen spent a
decade their Trial Chief, deservedly earning the informal title of Persuasion Guru.
Karen’s time at The Bronx Defenders was marked by formal and informal brainstorming
of a countless number of cases, as she mentored, trained, and supervised dozens and
dozens of younger public defenders representing clients charged with nearly every
crime imaginable.

Karen’s trial training legacy lives on at The Bronx Defenders, embodied in the
Defenders' Academy, the annual, intensive five-day program that Karen created from
scratch in 2007. The Academy was the first training program in the country to focus on
the intersection between trial skills and performance work, and it continues to attract
and welcome interested attorneys in criminal, family, and civil practices from across the
United States. Many Academy graduates from over the years would acknowledge the
debt they owe to Karen when they speak of having been “Smolarized” in their approach
to trial work.

Since 2017, Karen has also been the co-Dean at the National Criminal Defense
College, America’s preeminent trial training school for criminal defense practitioners.
Prior to her appointment as Dean, Karen had served for a decade on the College’s
faculty as a presenter, lecturer, and small-group leader. Her work at the College allows
her to develop and implement creative programming and pedagogy to train lawyers
from around the country and beyond. Since her Deanship began, Karen has been
especially proud of both the College’s successful efforts to diversify its faculty, staff, and
participants as well as the College curriculum’s new emphasis on racial and social
justice.

Karen is herself a renowned lecturer and guest trainer on everything from storytelling to
closing argument, cross-examining expert witnesses to voir dire, having presented at
trainings for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York State
Defenders Association, and many other state-wide public defender offices around the
country. Karen also has more than a decade of experience teaching in law school
classrooms. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Roger Williams University
School of Law in Rhode Island, where she is a sought-after Trial Advocacy Instructor
and where she coaches the school’s Trial Team. Before moving to Rhode Island, Karen
served in similar positions at St. John’s School of Law in New York and at Seton Hall
Law School in New Jersey.

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William Snowden

New Orleans Director, Vera Institute of Justice

Will's legal career began as a public defender in New Orleans, LA, where he witnessed the discriminatory practices removing jurors from the jury panel and took his fight from the courtroom to the community and created The Juror Project--which is his passion project. Will presents at high schools, colleges, churches and other community gatherings discussing the importance of jury service, the discriminatory practices of some prosecutors, and the factors at play removing diversity from the jury.…Read More
Work 1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. #203 New Orleans LA 70113 TPI Attendance: June, 2023
Biography

Will’s legal career began as a public defender in New Orleans, LA, where he witnessed the discriminatory practices removing jurors from the jury panel and took his fight from the courtroom to the community and created The Juror Project–which is his passion project. Will presents at high schools, colleges, churches and other community gatherings discussing the importance of jury service, the discriminatory practices of some prosecutors, and the factors at play removing diversity from the jury.

Will completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota and earned his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. He currently works with the Vera Institute of Justice as the Director of the New Orleans office.

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Recent Teaching History

2022 Winter Online Cross (January/​February 2022)

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Michael Stout

Emeritus Faculty

Michael L. Stout is a trial attorney specializing in Criminal Law. He received a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law and is a Recognized Specialist in Criminal Law. He often teaches other lawyers throughout the nation through workshops and seminars, especially in the area of jury selection. Michael has been on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College for 36 years.…Read More
Attorney, Law Offices of Michael L. Stout Work 6665 Vista De Oro Las Cruces, NM 88007 TPI Attendance: June, 1978
Biography

Michael L. Stout is a trial attorney specializing in Criminal Law. He received a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law and is a Recognized Specialist in Criminal Law. He often teaches other lawyers throughout the nation through workshops and seminars, especially in the area of jury selection.

Michael has been on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College for 36 years. He was the first chair of the New Mexico Public Defense Commission and remains a member of the Commission.  Michael also serves as the acting President of New Mexico Justice, a Criminal Justice PAC.  He is an AV rated attorney and has been named in every issue of the Best Lawyers of America, SuperLawyers, and most recently on America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys.

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Recent Teaching History

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Dean Strang

Distinguished Professor in Residence

Dean A. Strang is a Distinguished Professor in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and a criminal defense lawyer. He is known for his work in a trial documented in Netflix’s Making A Murderer and for his books of legal history, Keep the Wretches in Order: America's Biggest Mass Trial, the Rise of the Justice Department, and the Fall of the IWW; and Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror.…Read More
Loyola University Chicago School of Law Work 25 E. Pearson Street, Unit 105 Madison WI 53703 TPI Attendance: June, 1995
Biography

Dean A. Strang is a Distinguished Professor in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and a criminal defense lawyer. He is known for his work in a trial documented in Netflix’s Making A Murderer and for his books of legal history, Keep the Wretches in Order: America’s Biggest Mass Trial, the Rise of the Justice Department, and the Fall of the IWW; and Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror. He also has written several law review articles. Mr. Strang’s past work includes five years as Wisconsin’s first Federal Defender. He has argued in the United States Supreme Court and five federal Courts of Appeal. Mr. Strang is a co-founder of the Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences and a member of the American Law Institute since 2004. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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University of Virginia, 1995

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Dr. SunWolf

Dr. SunWolf was Training Director for Colorado's Public Defender Office when she left to get her Master’s and Ph.D. at the University of California, studying juries and persuasion. Two decades of trial work as a criminal defense attorney included a three-year stint in the appellate division. Now a professor studying social behavior, her research has won numerous national awards, including her book, "Practical Jury Dynamics2: From One Juror's Trial Perception to the Group's Decision-Making Processes," translating academic concepts into practical trial tools.…Read More
Biography

Dr. SunWolf was Training Director for Colorado’s Public Defender Office when she left to get her Master’s and Ph.D. at the University of California, studying juries and persuasion. Two decades of trial work as a criminal defense attorney included a three-year stint in the appellate division. Now a professor studying social behavior, her research has won numerous national awards, including her book, “Practical Jury Dynamics2: From One Juror’s Trial Perception to the Group’s Decision-Making Processes,” translating academic concepts into practical trial tools. She published a new theory (Decisional Regret Theory), which explains how deliberating jurors use counterfactual thinking to avoid anxiety about unwanted verdict outcomes. Her newest book is: “God-Thinking: Every Juror’s Moral Brain” (LexisNexis). As a trial attorney, she survived angry judges, misguided prosecutors, strange juries, and the most creative of clients.

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Ryan Swingle

Attorney, Ryan J. Swingle, Attorney at Law, LLC

Ryan is a criminal defense attorney based in Athens, Georgia who practices in both federal and state courts. Ryan is a former state public defender and state capital defender. Ryan began his legal career in 2001 as an Athens public defender. For 12 years, Ryan dedicated himself to defending indigent defendants in Athens on cases ranging from disorderly conduct to murder.…Read More
Work 244 E. Washington Street Athens GA 30601 TPI Attendance: July, 2004
Biography

Ryan is a criminal defense attorney based in Athens, Georgia who practices in both federal and state courts. Ryan is a former state public defender and state capital defender. Ryan began his legal career in 2001 as an Athens public defender. For 12 years, Ryan dedicated himself to defending indigent defendants in Athens on cases ranging from disorderly conduct to murder. During his five years as lead attorney for the Northeast Georgia Capital Defender Office, none of the office’s clients were sentenced to death. Ryan’s current private practice focuses 100% on criminal defense. Ryan is an experienced trial lawyer having tried all manner of misdemeanor and felony cases. Ryan is also a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College Trial Practice Institute.

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Mary Ann Tally

Judge

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Cumberland County Courthouse Work 117 Dick St. Fayetteville NC 28301
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TPI Graduate

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Richard Tegtmeier

Attorney

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Sherman and Howard Work 633 17th St., Ste. 3000 Denver CO 80202
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TPI Graduate

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Colette Tvedt

The Law Firm of Colette Tvedt LLC

COLETTE TVEDT is the founder and owner of Tvedt Law, where she represents individuals charged with complex felony cases in state and federal court. Prior to starting her law firm in Denver, she served as the Director of Public Defense Training and Reform for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). In that capacity, she focused on developing and delivering premier training programs for public defense provider’s nationwide focusing on racism in the criminal justice system, police misconduct, pretrial detention, challenging forensic evidence, and trial skills.…Read More
Work 1600 Stout Street, Suite 1400 Denver CO TPI Attendance: June, 1999
Biography

COLETTE TVEDT is the founder and owner of Tvedt Law, where she represents individuals charged with complex felony cases in state and federal court. Prior to starting her law firm in Denver, she served as the Director of Public Defense Training and Reform for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). In that capacity, she focused on developing and delivering premier training programs for public defense provider’s nationwide focusing on racism in the criminal justice system, police misconduct, pretrial detention, challenging forensic evidence, and trial skills. Colette has devoted her career over the past 25 years to representing poor people accused of crimes.

Prior to moving to Denver, she was a public defender in Massachusetts and Washington State and in private practice as partner with the Seattle law firm, Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender. She has organized training programs for thousands of defense lawyers and served as a Clinical Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School in Boston as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law and at Seattle University Law School. She is a faculty member and board member of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC). Colette Tvedt is an honor graduate of Rutgers University, where she also attended law school. She is a certified yoga instructor.

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Recent Teaching History

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Ronald Tyler

Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic

Ron Tyler is a Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Stanford Law School. The Clinic represents clients in the Superior Courts of California. Prof. Tyler’s scholarly agenda focuses on self-care skills for lawyers and criminal practice and procedure. His article: The First Thing We Do, Let’s Heal All the Law Students: Incorporating Self-Care Into A Criminal Defense Clinic, 21 Berkeley J.…Read More
Stanford Law School Work 559 Nathan Abbott Way Stanford CA 94305-8610
Biography

Ron Tyler is a Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Stanford Law School. The Clinic represents clients in the Superior Courts of California. Prof. Tyler’s scholarly agenda focuses on self-care skills for lawyers and criminal practice and procedure. His article: The First Thing We Do, Let’s Heal All the Law Students: Incorporating Self-Care Into A Criminal Defense Clinic, 21 Berkeley J. Crim. L. 1 (2016) is available at: http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/bjcl/vol21/iss2/1

Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty, Professor Tyler was an Assistant Federal Public Defender for 22 years in the Northern District of California. A dedicated defense attorney and nationally recognized expert, he has litigated at trial and appellate courts covering the full gamut of federal criminal cases. He teaches regularly at seminars for criminal defense attorneys, investigators and paralegals. He is also active in several nonprofits, serving on the Executive Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Board of Regents of the National Criminal Defense College and the Guiding Rage Into Power Institute (providing mindfulness based programs to prisoners).

Professor Tyler received his BS in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981 and had a brief career in high tech before changing his focus to public interest advocacy. He began law school as a Tony Patiño Fellow at Hastings College of the Law and earned his JD from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1989, where he served as notes and comments editor on the Ecology Law Quarterly. After law school, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel.

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Deja Vishny

Attorney

Deja Vishny is an attorney who is a consultant and trainer based in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She specializes in the defense of homicide and false confession cases and has a national reputation as one of the top lawyers in those areas. She was formerly the Deputy Training Director and head of the statewide homicide practice group at the Wisconsin State Public Defender.…Read More
Work Milwaukee WI 53202 TPI Attendance: July, 1990
Biography

Deja Vishny is an attorney who is a consultant and trainer based in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She specializes in the defense of homicide and false confession cases and has a national reputation as one of the top lawyers in those areas.

She was formerly the Deputy Training Director and head of the statewide homicide practice group at the Wisconsin State Public Defender. She joined the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in 1998, and lectures at criminal defense and public defender seminars throughout the United States. She is an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School where she teaches trial advocacy. She has also taught trial skills in India, and was a guest lecturer at a Harvard Law School class, “The American Prosecutor”. Ms. Vishny attended the Reid School on Interrogation and published articles in The Champion and The Wisconsin Defender on cross examining police interrogators. She cochaired the false confession program at the inaugural session of the National Forensic College at Cardozo Law School in June 2014 and has taught at that program for several years.

Ms. Vishny served several terms on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the board of the State Bar of Wisconsin Criminal Law Section and is currently on the Board of Regents of the National Criminal Defense College. She is a of numerous awards from the Wisconsin Criminal Defense Association’s for her acquittals in homicide cases, her contributions to indigent defense in Wisconsin and in 2022 received the William Coffee award for her lifetime of service to the Wisconsin Criminal Defense Bar. Her book, Suppressing Criminal Evidence, is in its fourth edition and is available from James Publishing Company at http://jamespublishing.com/shop/suppressingcriminal-evidence/.

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Recent Teaching History

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William Ward

State Public Defender

William M. Ward is the State Public Defender for Minnesota. Previously, Bill served as Chief Public Defender for the Fourth District - Hennepin County, Minnesota (April 2009-June 2014) and as Chief Public Defender, Tenth Judicial District, Minnesota (January 2001- April 2009). Prior to moving to Minnesota, Bill worked in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Cook County, Illinois (1987 – 2001).…Read More
Minnesota Board of Public Defense Work 331 Second Ave S., Suite 900, Minneapolis MN 55401 TPI Attendance: June, 2000
Biography

William M. Ward is the State Public Defender for Minnesota. Previously, Bill served as Chief Public Defender for the Fourth District – Hennepin County, Minnesota (April 2009-June 2014) and as Chief Public Defender, Tenth Judicial District, Minnesota (January 2001- April 2009). Prior to moving to Minnesota, Bill worked in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Cook County, Illinois (1987 – 2001). While there, he practiced in Chicago as well as the 6th Municipal District as a Felony Trial Assistant and Trial Supervisor. Bill has served as an adjunct at Hamline University Law School, William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) and DePaul University College of Law, instructing on trial advocacy. Bill is on faculty at the National Criminal Defense College, Illinois Extended Trial Advocacy Program, Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy, the Minnesota Public Defender Trial Advocacy Institute and has presented or coached on many topics in numerous jurisdictions. Bill previously served as Chair of the Systems Builders Committee for the National Association for Public Defense. Bill received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and his B.A. from the University of Illinois. Admitted to practice in Minnesota and Illinois.

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DePaul University College of Law

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Lisa Wayne

Attorney at Law

Lisa Monet Wayne is an attorney in private practice in both state and federal courts around the country. She is also “Of Counsel” to Gerash and Steiner P.C.. She represents individuals and corporations in both the investigation phase and criminally accused capacity. Previously, Wayne was a Colorado State Public Defender for 13 years where she served as office head, training director, and senior trial attorney.…Read More
Work 1775 Sherman Street, Suite 1650 Denver CO 80203
Biography

Lisa Monet Wayne is an attorney in private practice in both state and federal courts around the country. She is also “Of Counsel” to Gerash and Steiner P.C.. She represents individuals and corporations in both the investigation phase and criminally accused capacity. Previously, Wayne was a Colorado State Public Defender for 13 years where she served as office head, training director, and senior trial attorney. She lectures nationally with NACDL, National Criminal Defense College, National Institute of Trial Advocates, Numerous Public Defender Organizations, American Bar Association, and many other legal organizations. Wayne is currently an adjunct law professor at the University of Colorado where she teaches trial advocacy, and she serves on faculty at the Trial Practice Institute at Harvard Law School, The National Criminal Defense College, and Cardoza Law School.

Ms. Wayne is an advocate in all venues of the media addressing important issues confronting the criminally accused. She is a legal analyst for numerous media outlets including, ABC, CBS, CNN, Al Jazeera, World Radio and Fox regarding high profile cases around the country. She is frequently quoted in print media such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, and the AP wire. Ms. Wayne testified before the United States Sentencing Commission in 2012 against the implementation of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines as mandatory. In 2005, Wayne was honored with the Robert J. Heeney Award, NACDL’s most prestigious recognition. Wayne is the Past President of NACDL, President of the Foundation of Criminal Justice, and serves on numerous committees’ around criminal justice issues.

Wayne is a law graduate of Pepperdine University Law School in Malibu, CA, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado.

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Recent Teaching History

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Mario White

Judge, Dane County Circuit Court

Judge Mario White was appointed to the Dane County Circuit Court bench in 2020 by Governor Tony Evers He handles both criminal and civil cases. Prior to being appointed to the bench, Mario was a Dane County Circuit Commissioner. In that role, he presided over an array of cases, including small claims, family law and criminal law.…Read More
Work Dane County Courthouse, 215 S. Hamilton Street, Rm. 8105 Madison WI 53703 TPI Attendance: June, 2016
Biography

Judge Mario White was appointed to the Dane County Circuit Court bench in 2020 by Governor Tony Evers He handles both criminal and civil cases. Prior to being appointed to the bench, Mario was a Dane County Circuit Commissioner. In that role, he presided over an array of cases, including small claims, family law and criminal law. Before that, Mario was as an Assistant State Public Defender. As a trial lawyer, White was recognized for his abilities when the Wisconsin Law Journal named him a 2017 Leader in the Law. White has been on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Bristol, Rhode Island and teaches at the Wisconsin Public Defender Trial Skills Academy. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2008, Judge White became an adjunct professor coaching mock trial. A 2005 graduate of Oklahoma State University, Judge White was named a 2018 OSU Outstanding Alum by the Oklahoma State University College of Arts and Sciences.

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Recent Teaching History

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Gerald Williams

Asst Federal Public Defender, District of Arizona

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Work 850 W. Adams #201 Phoenix AZ 85007 TPI Attendance: June, 1992
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Recent Teaching History

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Heather Williams

Federal Defender – California Eastern

Ms. Williams has worked in the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Arizona since 1994. Prior to her appointment as FPD in 2013, she had served as first assistant federal public defender since 2006. She led the Tucson Criminal Defense Unit and assisted in supervision of staff in district offices in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Yuma, and an out-of-district office in Salt Lake City, Utah.…Read More
Home 801 I Street, 3rd floor Sacramento CA
Biography

Ms. Williams has worked in the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Arizona since 1994. Prior to her appointment as FPD in 2013, she had served as first assistant federal public defender since 2006. She led the Tucson Criminal Defense Unit and assisted in supervision of staff in district offices in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Yuma, and an out-of-district office in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ms. Williams also helped manage the district’s Capital Habeas Unit. The Office of the Federal Defender for the Eastern District of California, which opened 1,966 new cases in fiscal year 2016, is headquartered in Sacramento and maintains a fully-staffed branch office in Fresno.

Ms. Williams began her career in public service in 1988 as an assistant public defender for Pima County Office of the Public Defender in Tucson, Arizona, where she handled felony cases including death penalty homicides, drugs, sex crimes, and child abuse. Prior to that, she worked as an associate attorney in San Diego, California, from 1986 to 1988. A Tucson native, Ms. Williams received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Pittsburgh State University in 1982 and her J.D. from the University of San Diego Law School in 1985.”

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LaToya Williams

Senior Assistant Public Defender; Houston County Public Defender Office

LaToya Simone Williams began her quest for excellence at an early age. She graduated as Valedictorian of the 2005 senior class of George Washington Carver High School in Columbus, GA. LaToya then continued her tedious journey through education at Albany State University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She then went on to matriculate at Mercer University’s Walter F.…Read More
TPI Attendance: July, 2015
Biography

LaToya Simone Williams began her quest for excellence at an early age. She graduated as Valedictorian of the 2005 senior class of George Washington Carver High School in Columbus, GA. LaToya then continued her tedious journey through education at Albany State University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She then went on to matriculate at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law where she obtained her Juris Doctor and then an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure.

LaToya is a servant leader who believes in providing her clients with zealous advocacy and compassionate service. LaToya is currently a Senior Assistant Public Defender in the Houston Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office in Warner Robins, GA. She is also an adjunct professor of paralegal studies and business technologies at Central Georgia Technical College and adjunct professor of criminal justice and business law Miller-Motte Technical College. She is a member of Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers where she has served as a faculty member of the Bill Daniel trial advocacy program, Faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College, Past-President of the Houston County Bar Association, Past-president of the Houston County Young Lawyers Division, member of the Macon Reentry Coalition, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and many more civic and social organizations. She is the owner of Vision Venture Consulting, LLC, a business consulting firm that specializes in personnel development and commodity building and branding. She is also the owner of The Dream Team Events and Planning, an event coordinating, catering, and design business.

LaToya believes that a curve in the road doesn’t mean the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.

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Recent Teaching History

2022 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2021 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (July Session)