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Program

8:45-9 a.m.

Introduction

9-9:30 a.m.

The State of Justice in Criminal Courts in the U.S.

Hon. Lisa Foster
Former Director, Office for Access to Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, and Judge, San Diego Superior Court, California (Ret.)

View Speech (PDF)

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Procedural Justice

There is a commonly held view that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel ensures that accused persons never stand alone in a criminal court. But that belief is belied by reality in countless courts throughout the country. Far too often the accused appear in criminal courts with no lawyer to assist them when their liberty is at stake or when a guilty adjudication may be entered. Oftentimes, the accused is not treated with respect. This panel will explore traditional concepts of procedural justice and various practices that deprive individuals of fundamental due process: failure to provide attorneys, uninformed waiver of counsel, group waivers, failure to account for language barriers, and imposition of fees to obtain counsel.

Moderator: Abbe Smith
Director, Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, and Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

David LaBahn
President and CEO, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

Hon. Steve Leben
Judge, Court of Appeals, Kansas

Hon. Betty J. Thomas Moore
Judge, Shelby County General Sessions Court, Tennessee

Norman L. Reimer
Executive Director, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

10:30-10:45 a.m.

Break

10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Judicial Control Over Bail

Avoiding unnecessary pretrial detention should be of paramount importance to every court system. Bail systems that do not consider a defendant’s ability to afford bail are unconstitutional; detaining defendants pretrial is expensive; and pretrial detention often results in lost employment and housing, disruption in education, and damage to family relationships. Defendants detained pretrial plead guilty more often, are convicted more often, and receive harsher sentences. Courts must move away from reliance on money bail and instead make individualized determinations based on the characteristics of the individual defendant and the use of validated risk assessments. This panel will discuss bail reforms that are reducing the number of pretrial detainees, leading to substantial savings and a society that is freer, fairer and safer.

Moderator: Cynthia Jones
Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law

Hon. Ronald B. Adrine
Administrative and Presiding Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court, Ohio

John T. Chisholm
Milwaukee County District Attorney, Wisconsin

Zeke Edwards
Director, Criminal Law Reform Project, American Civil Liberties Union

Colette Tvedt
Director, Public Defense Training and Reform, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

12:30-2 p.m.

Luncheon and Keynote | “Implicit Bias and the Courts”

Hon. Kevin Burke
Judge, Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota

2-3:30 p.m.

Control of the Case and Counsel

An overwhelming percentage of misdemeanor cases are disposed of at arraignment. This result is often achieved without any investigation by defense counsel, without any discovery provided by the prosecution, without the defense filing necessary legal challenges, and without appropriate judicial intervention. For cases that continue beyond arraignment, there is often little discovery provided and little defense investigation, and the prosecution may impose time conditions upon plea offers. What role should the court play regarding any of these issues?

Moderator: Ellen Yaroshefsky
Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics and Executive Director, Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Vicki A. Hill
Phoenix City Prosecutor, Arizona

Hon. David M. Rubin
Judge, Superior Court of California, County of San Diego

Steven Zeidman
Professor and Director, Criminal Defense Clinic, The City University of New York School of Law

3:30-3:45 p.m.

Break

3:45-5 p.m.

Case Disposition and Its Consequences

Misdemeanor prosecutions are often accompanied by a proliferation of collateral consequences that affect jobs, licenses, housing, public benefits, voting rights, immigration status, the right to bear arms, and a host of other “silent sentences.” Many misdemeanor sentences are also subject to exorbitant fees, fines and costs that are assessed without any consideration of defendants’ indigency status and their ability to pay — often leading to escalating debt, incarceration for non-payment, loss of jobs, and a cycle of poverty that is impossible to escape. This session will discuss the impact of collateral consequences and fees, fines, and costs in misdemeanor courts and solutions.

Moderator: Peter A. Joy
Henry Hitchcock Professor of Law and Director, Criminal Justice Clinic, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis

Christopher Ervin
Community Organizer, Baltimore, Maryland

Carlos J. Martinez
Miami-Dade Public Defender, Florida

Jenny Roberts
Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Scholarship and Co-Director, Criminal Justice Clinic, American University Washington College of Law

Hon. Edward J. Spillane
Presiding Judge, College Station Municipal Court, Texas

5-6:15 p.m.

Changing Court Culture

What should judges do to implement various suggestions made by previous panels to improve systems of justice? What are the impediments to changing court culture, and what have been successful methods to change those cultures?

Moderator: Amy Bach
Executive Director and President, Measures for Justice

Hon. Elizabeth Pollard Hines
Judge, 15th Judicial District Court, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Hon. Lawrence K. Marks
Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of New York State

Hon. Andra D. Sparks
Presiding Judge, Birmingham Municipal Court, Alabama

Hon. Nan G. Waller
Presiding Judge, Multnomah County Circuit Court, Oregon

Hon. Gayle Williams-Byers
Judge, South Euclid Municipal Court, Cleveland, Ohio

6:15-7:15 p.m.

Reception