NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Attorney, Belzer, Schroeder & Lough, S.C,
Keith Belzer is a nationally recognized lecturer and teacher on criminal defense issues, trial techniques and strategies. In addition to his position on the faculty at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy, Mr. Belzer has lectured or taught criminal defense lawyers in most of the 50 states. He also has presented to the Israeli National Public Defender, the Puerto Rican CJA Panel and The People’s Republic of China, where Mr. Belzer was the keynote speaker at the first public defender regional training ever held in China. Mr. Belzer has been named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer by his peers every year since its inception in 2005. In 2006 Mr. Belzer received one of 12 statewide Leaders in the Law awards from the Wisconsin Law Journal. Mr. Belzer is also a frequent commentator on national, statewide and local legal issues and has appeared on such nationally syndicated shows as 48 Hours, Good Morning America, Crime Scene Investigation, The O’Reilly Factor and Geraldo at Large.
Mr. Belzer has had the honor and privilege of representing three Wisconsin Innocence Project clients who were ultimately exonerated. One of these clients, Evan Zimmerman, a man previously falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a homicide that he did not commit, was the subject of a feature length documentary, Facing Life, the Retrial of Evan Zimmerman, which can be seen in syndication on the Arts and Entertainment Network and the History Channel. Keith has also worked as an actor, director and playwright. Keith has acted in Illinois, Wisconsin, Vermont and Connecticut. Plays he has written have been produced in California, Illinois, Connecticut, and Wisconsin. Prior to law school, Keith co-founded one theater company and managed two others and devoted close to a decade of his life exclusively to the world of theater.
Assistant Public Defender, Wisconsin State Public Defender
Guy Cardamone is a dedicated Public Defender and trainer with the Wisconsin State Public Defender. Over his career in both Wisconsin and Miami, Florida, he has defended the indigent accused of all levels of crimes, from homicide to simple battery. Guy has also taught criminal defense and trial skills nationwide as a faculty member of the Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New Jersey Trial Skills programs, and has presented for NACDL, OACDL, and the Wisconsin Public Defender. His multidisciplinary approach to criminal defense practice includes education, sales, psychology, and literary and film studies.
Recent Teaching History
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
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.
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. 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.
University of Virginia, 1995
Attorney; Deja Vishny
Deja Vishny is an attorney who is a criminal defense lawyer, consultant and trainer based in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She also does litigates police misconduct litigation, including hearings to get bad cops fired from their jobs. She was formerly the Deputy Training Director and head of the statewide homicide practice group at the Wisconsin State Public Defender and is currently of counsel at Nelson Defense Group in Hudson Wisconsin and Motley Legal in Charlotte NC. She joined the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon Georgia 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 co-chaired 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 each year since.
Ms. Vishny is currently on the Board of Regents of the National Criminal Defense College, served several terms on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the board of the State Bar of Wisconsin Criminal Law Section. She has received numerous awards include the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers award for lifetime contributions to indigent defense in Wisconsin and multiple awards for acquittals in homicide cases Her book, Suppressing Criminal Evidence, is in its third edition and is available from James Publishing Company.
Recent Teaching History
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. 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.
Recent Teaching History