Start Date: 3/14/2019 12:30 PM EDT
End Date: 3/14/2019 2:00 PM EDT
National Association for Public Defense
Making and Defending Batson Challenges: Protecting Your Client's Constitutional Right to a Truly Representative Jury
March 14, 2019 @ 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 90 minutes
Webinar Faculty: Andre Allen Vitale
About the Webinar: The 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees each person charged with a crime has the right to have her fate decided by a jury comprised of a fair cross section of the community. A potential juror cannot be removed solely on account of her race, gender, or ethnicity. Until the Supreme Court’s decision in Batson v. KY, a defense lawyer had to prove the prosecution engaged in a systematic and intentional effort to prevent people of color from serving on the venire. The Batson decision enabled lawyers to prevent potential jurors from being removed by showing the Prosecutor’s peremptory strike was based upon the person’s race, gender, or ethnicity. We will discuss why selecting a representative jury is essential to protecting your clients’ due process rights and achieving fundamental fairness. Lawyers will learn strategies to properly raise Batson challenges and how best to fight back against prosecutors’ pre–textual efforts to raise race neutral reasons in their efforts to remove jurors of color. You will also learn how to protect against prosecutors’ efforts to raise reverse Batson challenges, designed to limit your efforts to choose a jury best suited for your client’s defense.
About the Faculty: Andre Vitale (Jersey City, NJ). Andre has served as a public defense lawyer for over 19 years as a trial lawyer, training director, educator, and mentor. He currently works as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, where he is assigned to their Hudson Trial Region. Andre is the co–chair of NJ OPD’s Forensic Science Working Group. He has extensive trial experience taking more than 90 cases to verdict, while handling some of the most complex matters. He has developed an expertise in defending homicide and sex cases, with a proficiency in contesting forensic and other technical evidence, including DNA, fingerprints, CSAAS, and eyewitness identification. Andre developed much of his knowledge through his own diligence, but is always happy to share the lessons he has learned with other lawyers so they can benefit from his experience to develop their own skill base and confidence. As a Training Director he has created new, innovative, and interactive programs designed to help attorneys develop legal knowledge, confidence in their abilities, and the skills necessary to be successful lawyers, as well as inspire them to serve as client–centered, relentless advocates for their clients. He has developed programs designed for new attorneys as well as advanced trial skills programs for more experienced lawyers. Andre designed a Defending a Child Sex Case advanced trial skills program, which has been used by State Public Defender Offices in Montana, Missouri, and New Jersey. He is a core faculty member with Gideon’s Promise (gideonspromise.org) and Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute Trial Advocacy Workshop (TAW). He has also served on the faculty of the Colorado Alternate Defense Counsel Litigation Academy; the New Jersey Office of the State Defender Trial Skills program; the Bronx Defender’s Academy; the Louisiana Public Defender Training Institute; the Litigation and Persuasion Institute (Kentucky); the Litigation and Talent Academy (Seattle); and Legal Aid Society’s (NYC) DNA Defense College. He is both a presenter and frequent blog contributor for the National Association of Public Defense (publicdefenders.us). Andre previously served three terms as a Board Member with the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL), chairing their Indigent Defense Committee and CLE Committees. Due to his passion and commitment to client–centered representation, Andre has received the Kevin Andersen Award by the New York State Defender’s Association (NYSDA) and the Denison Ray Award by the New York State Bar Association. In addition to his legal accomplishments, Andre has finished twenty–one marathons.