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Across the State Line: Representing Clients in our Mobile Country.

For lawyers, admission to practice is by individual jurisdiction.  We become experts in the jurisdictions where we primarily represent our clients.  We understand the nuances of the local court system, the law, and our communities which profoundly influence our practice and advice to clients. However, our clients find themselves with problems outside our licensing jurisdictions impacting representation in our local jurisdiction. 

This blog post introduces the NAPD's Education Committee's Reading Criminal Records Project.

For lawyers, admission to practice is by individual jurisdiction.  We become experts in the jurisdictions where we primarily represent our clients.  We understand the nuances of the local court system, the law, and our communities which profoundly influence our practice and advice to clients. However, our clients find themselves with problems outside our licensing jurisdictions impacting representation in our local jurisdiction.  Complicating the analysis of multi -jurisdictional interaction with the criminal justice system are the factors of as many variations on how crimes are classified, marked as disposed of and there are no standard classifications or dispositions descriptions across the country. 

This need to provide high quality representation addressing this multi jurisdiction records interpretation problem led to the creation of Reading Criminal Records Project, a project of the NAPD Education Committee.  The project links any member of NAPD with, at a minimum, a link to information about how to obtain criminal history information in any state or federal jurisdiction.  Where defenders have volunteered to help, link any member to a lawyer via email in the specific jurisdiction who can help interpret the other jurisdictions' criminal history.  This allows the requesting lawyer to provide accurate advice to the client about the impact of another jurisdiction's criminal dispositions on a pending case.   In the spirit of NAPD's mission to connect defenders everywhere with each other as Tim Young described so well  in his October 29 blog post, “NAPD: A Reflection on 5 Years,” this project began and took flight. NAPD's wonderful community of people who want to provide high quality representation across the board stepped up and volunteered to help other defenders.  Volunteers responded to the call within 15 minutes of it going out via email over the Leadership listserv.  If you want to help, email me at kmason291@gmail.com.  Thank you to all of you.  Join us on December 10 at 12:00 p.m. E.S.T. for a webinar about the Reading Criminal Records Project. 

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not the Georgia Public Defender Council.

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NAPD News

December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.
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October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

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July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 
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January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE
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