Profile: ira.mickenberg

Ira Mickenberg is an criminal defense lawyer, defender trainer and consultant from Saratoga Springs, NY. Ira has designed, directed and taught trial, appellate, capital, and post-conviction training programs for defender organizations throughout the nation, and is the founder and Director of the National Defender Training Project. He has also represented defendants in the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the highest courts of several states, and has tried homicide and other felony cases. From 1988 to 1994, Ira was a founder and Attorney-in-Charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. He has been certified as an expert witness in federal and state courts on the subject of effective assistance of counsel, and has taught criminal law, criminal procedure, death penalty litigation, and appellate advocacy at the University of Dayton School of Law, American University School of Law, Williams College, and New York Law School. His latest project is establishing an alliance between the University of Dayton School of Law and public defender offices throughout the nation that will train students for careers as public defenders and channel them into jobs, internships and externships. During the month of August, Ira shuts down his practice, refuses to answer his phone, mail or e-mail, and can be found in the clubhouse at Saratoga thoroughbred racetrack.




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


On March 2, 2017, NAPD released its Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution Can Reduce Defender Workload, Save Money, and Reduce RecidivismThere are more than 2 million people in jail and prison in the United States. This is a four-fold increase since 1980. This increase and the racial disproportionality among incarcerated people has led to alliances across the political spectrum to address the impact on people and on budgets.  As the new Coalition for Public Safety has put it, “Our country has an ‘overcriminalization’ problem and an ‘overincarceration’ problem — and it’s getting worse." NAPD authored this statement because there is a great opportunity to make transformative changes that can improve justice and save money.  A variety of organizations representing a wide spectrum of political views have joined together to end the systematic problem of overcriminalization and narrow the net of incarceration by reforming criminal codes.