Event Calendar

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Course: Mitigation from the Start: Interviewing For and Influencing Sentencing with Mitigation

Start Date: 1/25/2023 5:00 PM EST
End Date: 2/22/2023 6:30 PM EST

Venue Name: Online through NAPD's LMS System

Organization Name: National Association for Public Defense

Jeni Benavides
Email: events@publicdefenders.us
Phone: (502) 219-6149

January 25-February 22, 2023

PRICE $340

REGISTRATION DEADLINE - January 13 at 5:00 pm Eastern
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP HERE  January 3 at 12:00 pm Eastern

Mitigation from the Start: Interviewing For and Influencing Sentencing with Mitigation
This five week course will have meetups (meetings) on Wednesdays beginning January 25 from 5:00-6:30 pm Eastern | 2:00-3:30 pm Pacific

Course length and time expectations for participants
This course will last five weeks meeting on Wednesdays Each week will involve:

  • Some course videos and reading to be done at your convenience (~ 1 hour)
  • Participate in course online forum (~ 30 minutes)
  • Live instruction and small groups ( ~ 90 minutes) (5 meetings - see below)
  • The final work product for this course is creation of a sample sentencing memorandum
Each meeting will include a large group presentation and small group discussion

Led by Stephanne Thornton

Course Description:
You want the best possible outcome for your client and zealous advocacy includes learning the details of your client's life to compel the court to make a just and fair ruling appropriate for your client's needs, not just their actions. With the goal of reducing your client's sentence and emphasizing that incarceration or lengthy incarceration will not serve anyone well, learning and using the details of your client's life culminates in mitigation presented to the court.

This five-session course for attorneys, investigators, and paralegals new to mitigation development in their legal case, will approach ways to develop mitigation from the start of the criminal case assignment. You will learn how to begin the development of mitigation from the initial client interview, how to look for mitigation themes, explore specific mitigation topics that may be relevant to representation, how to get the most from your expert and collateral witnesses, how to prepare your client for allocution, and finally how to write the sentencing memorandum. This course is geared to new legal practitioners who do not have social workers, sentencing advocates, or dispositional specialists in-office, but need to develop rich, robust mitigation to zealously advocate for merciful sentencing for your clients.

Target Audience:
Attorneys new to mitigation, attorneys who are interested in producing a sentencing memorandum, investigators and paralegals interested in interview clients for mitigation, and attorneys who want to enhance their interviewing skills to develop mitigation from the start of the case. *Note: This course differs from the Critical Examination of Mitigation and Our Role in Uncovering It! course as the focus is on interviewing for mitigation and developing a sentencing memorandum. For a more in-depth course on how to spot and develop mitigation, consider the Critical Examination course.

Stephanne Thornton
Stephanne Cline Thornton is the Clinical Director for the West Virginia Judicial and Lawyer Assistance Program and owner of Transform Legal, focusing on mitigation and training for legal advocates. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Master Addiction Counselor focusing on access to trauma and substance use disorder treatment to ensure the health and well-being of affected individuals including practitioners of the law. Stephanne has two decades of mitigation experience including in Capital defense work and feels privileged to focus on the well-being and sustainability of legal practitioners because she has seen how this work can take a toll on its zealous advocates.

Stephanne earned a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University Candler School of Theology in the Honors Program, and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia. She has been clinically licensed as a social worker and addictions counselor since 2004 and additionally holds certificates as Certified Addiction Counselor Level III, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider. Stephanne’s clinical training background is in trauma, and she is on the Trauma-Informed Care Network Speakers Bureau and presents on trauma, substance use, and self-care across the state and at national conferences.

Stephanne is a West Virginia State Advisory Committee Member to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Co-Chair of the Court Systems and Criminal Justice Populations Subcommittee to the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, and is a Board Member on the West Virginia Board of Social Work. She also sits on other non-profit boards.

NAPD Cancellation Policy

All registration cancellations must be submitted in writing to accounting@publicdefenders.us at least 7 days prior to the first day of the event. Refunds will be processed via the original payment method, minus a $25 administrative fee, after the event. In lieu of a refund, an organization may transfer the registration to another attendee at no additional cost. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days in advance. Should NAPD find it necessary to cancel the event for any reason, a refund will be issued in full.

***NAPD doesn't apply for CLE or track attendance to provide certifications for our live webinars, conferences and online courses. This helps us keep the price as low as possible and avoids the disruption of the flow of the training required by many states to verify attendance.
We are able to provide CLE for dozens of recorded sessions from previous training for NAPD members in most states.   These sessions are only $10 per credit hour.   For more details, log in with your NAPD credentials at this link.         

By registering for this training, I am affirming that today I am neither a prosecutor, nor attending this training  with the purpose of aiding the prosecution of any criminally accused.   I further affirm that I  am dedicated to the ideals of the criminal defense practitioner, and am committed to the causes of effective and zealous defense of those charged with crimes, the protection and assertion of constitutional rights afforded the criminally accused, and the recognition and preservation of human dignity of those charged with crimes.  I further affirm that my use of the information provided by this training  will not be used by me in any manner which would impugn the above set out ideals.   

Online Registration

Registration is Closed
Closed: 1/13/2023 5:00 PM

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