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NAPD Kicks off Workloads Conference

The National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) will hold its 2017 Workloads Conference at St. Louis University School of Law on November 17-18, 2017. Public defenders from across the nation will gather in St. Louis to address the problem of excessive public defender workloads. It is no accident Missouri was chosen for this conference. 
The National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) will hold its 2017 Workloads Conference at St. Louis University School of Law on November 17-18, 2017. Public defenders from across the nation will gather in St. Louis to address the problem of excessive public defender workloads. It is no accident Missouri was chosen for this conference. 
 
In 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court decided Kelly v. Waters, and held that when a public defender office demonstrates it has more cases than its lawyers can handle and provide competent and effective representation, those lawyers must refuse additional appointments. Additionally, judges may not appoint public defenders to represent additional indigent defendants.
 
In 2014, The American Bar Association and RubinBrown, one of the nation's leading accounting and professional consulting firms, published The Missouri Report, which provided reliable data and analytics establishing that Missouri public defenders have far more cases than they can handle competently. 
 
For the last several years, Michael Barrett, Missouri's Chief Public Defender has used The Missouri Report to produce a budget to the Missouri Legislature, and the legislature has responded with substantial increases in the Missouri public defender's appropriations. However, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed those bills. Barrett made national headlines when he appointed Governor Nixon to represent an indigent defendant in his criminal case. 
 
Recently, Missouri was in the news again as the Missouri Supreme Court disciplined a public defender who could not represent his clients diligently and competently because of excessive workload. 
 
Missouri is not alone.  Excessive public defender caseloads are at a crisis level in many states around the nation, including New Mexico, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.  This conference will feature speakers from many of these hotspots who have had experience with resisting excessive public defender caseloads.
 
Members of the media who wish to attend plenary sessions of the conference can contact NAPD prior to the conference at ernie.lewis@gmail.com. Requests for interviews will be accommodated.  

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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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