Federal Practice Committee
Hosts CLE for Criminal Practitioners

Photo Box
Clockwise from top left: Brian Gaddy, Judge Whipple, Travis Poindexter, Judge Laughrey, Cindy Dodge, and Chief Judge Gaitan

On Nov. 3, 2011, the Federal Practice Committee hosted a continuing legal education program titled “Federal Criminal Litigation—Judicial & Practitioner Perspectives.” Federal prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys and judges attended and participated in this seminar that was designed to offer in-depth instruction in a variety of substantive criminal law areas.

From the arraignment, initial appearance and detention hearing to an evidentiary hearing and sometimes a change of plea, the criminal defense bar and assistant U.S. attorneys spend most of their time practicing before federal magistrate judges. So the first panel discussion featured U.S. Magistrate Judges Robert E. Larsen, John T. Maughmer and Sarah W. Hays, who spoke on pretrial criminal litigation. This panel was moderated by Lisa G. Nouri, a criminal defense attorney and member of the Federal Practice Committee.

The program’s second panel featured U.S. District Judges Fernando J. Gaitan Jr., Nanette K. Laughrey and Dean Whipple.  The judges discussed the sentencing process post-Booker, Gall, Kimbrough and Spears, highlighting what works or hurts when parties advocate for a more favorable sentence. They shared their views on the impact of pre-sentence investigation reports, sentencing memoranda, defendant statements and new sentencing considerations under the recent case law. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Oliver, who represents the Springfield area on the Committee, moderated the panel.

The third panel of the day, “Ethical Issues Arising in Federal Criminal Defense,” featured three practitioners who talked openly about the ethical dilemmas faced by criminal defense attorneys who practice in federal court. The panelists discussed client communication, client fees, ABA Criminal Justice Standards for control and direction of the case, direct appeals, 2255 motions and ownership of the government’s discovery material. Brian J. Gaddy presented the perspective of an attorney who is privately retained on federal criminal cases. Travis Poindexter, an assistant federal public defender, and Lisa G. Nouri, an attorney appointed to cases under the Criminal Justice Act, offered their viewpoints as well. This panel was moderated by Willie J. Epps Jr., of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., chair of the Federal Practice Committee. 

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