Event Calendar

Friday, July 17, 2020

Course: Intellectual Disability: Uncovering, Evaluating, and Changing Outcomes

Start Date: 6/15/2020 12:00 PM EDT
End Date: 7/17/2020 9:13 AM EDT

Venue Name: Online through NAPD's LMS System

Organization Name: National Association for Public Defense

Jeanie Vela
Email: jeanie.vela@publicdefenders.us
Phone: (303) 921-3736


June 15 - July 17, 2020
Taught online with one 90 minute small group meeting per week
Small Group meeting times will be determined by poll of the registrants
Price $345

Led by Juliet Yackel & Betsy Wilson

It is our mission to ensure that no one with intellectual disability is ever executed or excessively punished. We are dedicated to equipping all members of the defense team with the tools needed to discover, investigate, and effectively litigate intellectual disability.
Live sessions:
Expert presentations
June 15, 2-4 EDT           Attorney Emily Paavola, Legal developments and anatomy of a case
June 22, 2-4 pm EDT     Dr. Marc Tasse, Intellectual disability and its determination; stereotypes & misconceptions. 
June 29, 2-4 pm EDT     Dr. Dan Reschly; Adaptive Behavior; School and Educational History
July 6, 2-4 pm EDT       Leading national expert (IQ)

Optional Small groups to discuss your case will be scheduled by polling the participants

Each week in the course you will

  • 1-2 hours of at your own pace interactive videos and readings
  • Mondays at 2-4 pm Eastern. Live Zoom conference Q & A with leading experts.   These are not recorded.
  • One 90 minute small group meeting (optional)  to discuss the application of the week's topic to your case.   The time will be chosen through a poll of the group.  
This intensive training introduces participants to the nuances of investigating and litigating intellectual disability claims and features strategies for overcoming common barriers to identifying and effectively presenting evidence of ID.

Intellectual disability can be difficult to detect. Clients go to great lengths to their disability due to shame and embarrassment, even when it can save their life. Unlike common stereotypes, those with intellectual disability cannot be identified based on their appearance or superficial interactions. Clients may appear “normal” in the context of school, work, family or when we first encounter them as the defendant in a capital prosecution. Education is crucial to overcome these stereotypes.

Investigations face multiple barriers. School records are missing, IQ scores are unavailable or - in some cases - there are multiple IQ scores with widely variable scores. We’ll discuss how to overcome these challenges.

This training will offer the most up-to-date legal and scientific information concerning ID and provide hands-on opportunities to practice skills needed to screen effectively for ID. Students will learn how to work with mental-health experts and how to develop and provide the detailed life-history information needed for an effective evaluation. Instructors will include psychologists, lawyers, and mitigation specialists who are experts on the subject.

Flexible learning
In these uncertain times, and it’s hard to plan for next week, let alone next month. So we want to provide options and flexibility: we aim to offer learning opportunities that will meet your learning style and fit your schedule, including:
(1) live lectures from leading experts in the field
(2) on-line material to access anytime, at your own pace
(3) small groups if you want to workshop a current case, brainstorm a problem, or discuss the material
(4) schedule private consultation with the experts to discuss case-specific problems. 

We understand some of you have limited availability. Feel free to consume the materials that best meet your needs – for example, attend relevant lectures, schedule a private consultation, and review on-line materials as your schedule permits. 

For those of you who want the intensive learning experience, participate in the weekly small groups where you can work on a pending Atkins case. With the help of seasoned experts, you will become familiar with and develop a plan for implementing best practices articulated by the AAIDD in your cases. You will develop comprehensive investigation plans, prepare work product, and be introduced to a wide variety of tools and resources needed to effectively investigate and litigate Atkins claims.

We understand that lawyers and mitigation specialists are approaching this issue from slightly different angles. The mitigation specialist must master the art of uncovering evidence of ID, and counsel must learn how to orchestrate the evaluation and presentation of ID. These are related but different skills. Ideally, all team members will understand each other’s roles to maximize productivity and communication, which ultimately translates into successful outcomes for the clients.


This event is full. Registrations will be added to the waiting list.

Online Registration

Registration is Closed
Closed: 6/8/2020 11:45 PM

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