Profile: sunwolf

Dr. SunWolf was Training Director for Colorado's Public Defender Office when she left to get her M.A. 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. 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 of perception, group decision-making, and persuasion into practical trial tools. Now a social scientist and full professor at Santa Clara University, she teaches persuasion, group dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and jury law (as Visiting Professor the law school). Dr. SunWolf published the first communication theory based on jury deliberations (Decisional Regret Theory), which explains how deliberating jurors use counterfactual thinking to avoid anxiety about unwanted verdict outcomes. Her new book describes neuroscience and religious thinking of jurors: God-Thinking: Every Juror's Moral Brain (LexisNexis). As a public defender, she survived angry judges, misguided prosecutors, weird juries, and the most creative of clients.




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.


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