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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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  • Join Date: 13/13/2017 38:00:00
  • Last on: 01/05/2017 14:18:30
  • Location: Chief Public Defender, Hennepin County Public Defender's Office (Minneapolis, MN)
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On December 28, 2016, NAPD published its Open Letter to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro for his prosecution of Orleans Public Defender investigator Taryn Blume. A bedrock principle of our criminal justice system is that every citizen accused by the government of a crime starts with the benefit of the doubt – with a presumption that they are in fact innocent.  That right becomes meaningless if we do not uphold the equally important right of every citizen-accused defense team who fights for her cause; who digs for evidence of her innocence; who exposes the government when it hides that evidence.  The legitimacy of our criminal justice system depends upon defense lawyers and defense investigators doing their jobs, and doing them well, without fear of reprisal from a prosecutor acting more like a bully than the champion of truth and justice he is supposed to be.

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Last Chance to Register! The NAPD Executive Leadership Institute (ELI-2017) is almost full will will be held from 3:00 pm on April 2 through 11:45 am on April 5, 2017 at the Department of Public Advocacy training facility in Frankfort, KY. You can see more information and registration details HERE