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Profile: mary.moriarty

Mary Moriarty had been a public defender in Minneapolis for all of six weeks when she had her first felony suppression hearing. She prepped diligently, argued tenaciously, and lost both the motion and the subsequent trial. She was right about the issue at hand, however, and a couple of years later when the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, Moriarty—who can laugh about it now—couldn’t be pried away from her caseload to attend oral arguments in Minnesota v Dickerson. “Next time,” she told herself. Fast-forward two decades: Moriarty has not had another occasion to argue before the high court, but she has tried a dozen murders and countless other serious felony cases—including a number that set important state-court precedents. In the process, she has acquired a national profile as a gifted courtroom advocate with a talent for training others in the creative, powerful trial skills she uses to secure acquittal after acquittal. The training director and the managing attorney of the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office’s Adult Division, Moriarty has taught attorneys, judges, investigators, and paralegals in every region of the country. She serves on the faculty of public defender trial schools in Minnesota, Kentucky, Illinois, and Louisiana. She is a core faculty member of Gideon’s Promise. Her interactive curriculum models have been widely copied by other trainers. Her NACDL presentation, "Tuning Your Ear to the Off-Key," on prosecutorial misconduct, was featured in the April 2009 issue of The Champion.

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NAPD News


July 1, 2017: NAPD announces Save the Date for 2017 Workloads Institute, to be held at SLU Law School (St. Louis, MO) on November 17-18, 2017. Click HERE for a brochure with details and faculty!
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April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE 

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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.