Stand Up for Norm Lefstein

“Stand up, Scout, a great man is passin'.” I took a little liberty there from the words of “To Kill A Mockingbird... It is time for all of us to stand up for Norm Lefstein, because a great man is passing.

“Stand up, Scout, a great man is passin'.”

I took a little liberty there from the words of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” when one of the black folks in the upstairs courtroom gallery tells Scout to join the others there and stand up as Atticus Finch leaves the courtroom and passes under the gallery.

It is time for all of us to stand up for Norm Lefstein, because a great man is passing.

Norm Lefstein has terminal Stage 4 glioblastoma. His life span is limited. He is at home with his wife Diane and plenty of home health care from the hospital. He is generally pain free. He is usually resting or sleeping peacefully, due to daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

When I visited him at his home two Saturdays ago, we talked a lot about his storied career and his stunning last victory — the just recently issued Formal Opinion 486: Obligations of Prosecutors in Negotiating Plea Bargains for Misdemeanor Offenses by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

A week before that, his children had all gathered around him and read him the concluding paragraph of that Opinion and a few brief remarks I had sent them about its significance.

There was not a dry eye in the room.

When I visited Norm a week later, it was clear to me that he realized what he had accomplished in that last great six-year effort.

Those of us who will carry on in this work will be doing so standing on the shoulders of a giant.

Norman Lefstein is the architect of the modern indigent defense reform movement.



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.

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

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. 

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