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2019 Black Public Defender Association (BPDA) Conference.
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Thursday, June 6
 

1:00pm

Registration
The registration desk is located outside of the Chesapeake Ballroom. Please visit us with questions at any point during the conference.

Thursday June 6, 2019 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Chesapeake Gallery 3rd Floor

2:00pm

BPDA Board Meeting
The executive committee of BPDA will hold a board meeting to discuss the business matters of the organization. This is a closed meeting, by invitation only.

Thursday June 6, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Severn II

4:00pm

BPDA Membership Committee
This meeting will focus on the creation of BPDA chapters and membership engagement.

Speakers
SS

Sylvia Smith

Staff Attorney-Trial Division, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
PV

Porsha Venable

Staff Attorney, The Bronx Defenders
Born, raised, and still residing in the Bronx, Porsha-Shaf’on received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her MSW from New York University School of Social Work. She initially worked at the Bronx Defenders as a forensic social worker. During law school, she returned... Read More →


Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Chesapeake I-II 3rd Floor

4:00pm

Pathways to Legal Education
Black public defenders have an important role to play as teachers in both professional and academic settings. Yet, for many of us, law teaching may seem out of reach. This workshop explores the various pathways available to public defenders seeking to engage with legal education. This session will explain what law teaching involves and provide advice on how to pursue clinical and other academic opportunities.

Speakers
VJ

Vida Johnson

Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Before joining Georgetown University Law Center, Professor Johnson was a supervising attorney in the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she worked for eight years. At PDS, Ms. Johnson was assigned to the most serious cases at the... Read More →
NS

Nicole Smith Futrell

Associate Professor; Co-Director, Defenders Clinic, City University of New York School of Law
Nicole Smith Futrell is an associate professor and co-director of the Defenders Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law. In the clinic, she and her students handle a variety of defense related cases such as representing clients in state court misdemeanor matters... Read More →


Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Severn I 2nd Floor

4:00pm

Social Policy and Advocacy Committee
This committee of BPDA is focused on policy reform and advocacy on issues affecting black public defenders. This meeting will focus on developing a plan and strategy on how BPDA can engage the larger criminal justice reform community and how members can volunteer to ensure the success of the work.

Speakers
CR

Chiquisha Robinson

Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services Manager, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Ms. Robinson serves as the Manager of the Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services program in the D.C. Public Defender Services' Community Defender Division. The Community Defender Division (CDD) provides legal advice, social services, and community education and outreach to adults and children... Read More →


Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Chesapeake III 3rd Floor

4:00pm

Training and Professional Development Committee
This meeting will focus on identifying topics and ideas for future BPDA training.

Speakers
avatar for Keir Bradford-Grey

Keir Bradford-Grey

Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Keir Bradford-Grey was named chief defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 2015. Previously, she was a trial lawyer at the Defender Association and the Delaware Federal Public Defender’s Office before she was named chief defender for the Montgomery County (PA) Public... Read More →
avatar for Lori James-Townes

Lori James-Townes

Assoc. Clinical Professors, Towson University
Professor James-Townes’s passion is adding value to others. She has focused her attention on personal and professional development. Nothing brings her more joy than working with students and professionals as they take their journey and focus on achieving their full potential. She... Read More →


Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Potomac 3rd Floor

5:00pm

Opening Plenary: The Role of Black Public Defenders in Shaping Justice
Black public defenders have played an instrumental role in shaping justice in America. We will discuss the various roles that current and former public defenders have played in advancing criminal justice reform and social justice. The panel will include a diverse group of defenders who currently serve in leadership roles in leading social justice organizations, serving as members of the judiciary, and academics.

Moderators
BM

Brittany Mobley

Staff Attorney, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Brittany Mobley has been an attorney for the Juvenile Services Program for the Public Defender Service (PDS) for Washington, D.C., since July 2015. Before joining PDS, Brittany was a senior attorney at the Children’s Law Center within its Guardian ad Litem Program representing children... Read More →

Speakers
CR

Chiquisha Robinson

Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services Manager, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Ms. Robinson serves as the Manager of the Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services program in the D.C. Public Defender Services' Community Defender Division. The Community Defender Division (CDD) provides legal advice, social services, and community education and outreach to adults and children... Read More →
CD

Charles Dorsey

Associate Judge, Circuit Court for Baltimore City
Judge Charles H. Dorsey III has been associate judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City since December 22, 2016. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Dorsey was the deputy public defender for the State of Maryland, a position he held since December 2009. The Office of... Read More →
VJ

Vida Johnson

Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Before joining Georgetown University Law Center, Professor Johnson was a supervising attorney in the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she worked for eight years. At PDS, Ms. Johnson was assigned to the most serious cases at the... Read More →
avatar for Brendon Woods

Brendon Woods

Public Defender, Alameda County Public Defender's Office
Appointed in December 2012, Brendon Woods is the first African American public defender in Alameda County’s history and is currently the only African American public defender in the state of California. He had formative experiences with law enforcement from a young age that steered... Read More →
GD

Genesis Draper

Assistant Public Defender, Harris County Public Defender's Office
Genesis Draper is an assistant public defender with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office in Houston. Before joining Harris County, she was an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Texas in Houston and an assistant public defender with the Metropolitan... Read More →
PJ

Patrice James

Director of Community Justice, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law


Thursday June 6, 2019 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Chesapeake I-II 3rd Floor

6:30pm

BPDA Networking Reception
Thursday June 6, 2019 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Brown Goldstein Levy 120 E. Baltimore Street
 
Friday, June 7
 

7:30am

Registration
The registration desk is located outside of the Chesapeake Ballroom. Please visit us with questions at any point during the conference.

Friday June 7, 2019 7:30am - 2:00pm
Chesapeake Gallery 3rd Floor

8:00am

Litigating Race in the Courtroom
The workshop will highlight the important and innovate work of the San Francisco Public Defender Office on racial justice. Many black defenders know that race plays a central role in the criminal legal system, but they lack the tools and knowledge needed to attack the issues in the courtroom. This workshop will equip you with the tools and ideas needed to address race in the courtroom.

Speakers
MR

Manohar Raju

Public Defender, San Francisco Public Defender
Manohar Raju was appointed San Francisco Public Defender in 2019. Before that, he served as felony manager. He came to San Francisco in 2008 by way of the Contra Costa Public Defender’s Office, where he worked as a deputy public defender for seven years. He is known for being a... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 8:00am - 9:30am
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor

8:00am

How to Become a Leader in Public Defense
This workshop will focus on the pathway to leadership in public defense. Leadership opportunities in the public defense community are diverse in nature, and we will feature different types of leaders in the public defense community. They will discuss their pathway to assuming those roles and provide advice for emerging leaders.

Moderators
avatar for Stan Germán

Stan Germán

Executive Director, New York County Defender Services
Stan Germán is a graduate of New York University School of Law and a criminal defense attorney. Upon graduation, he worked at the criminal defense division of The Legal Aid Society of New York City in Brooklyn before joining New York County Defender Services as a staff attorney... Read More →

Speakers
HD

Herbert Duzant

Senior Investigator, Federal Public Defender, District of Nevada
avatar for Aisha McWeay

Aisha McWeay

Executive Director, Still She Rises, Tulsa
avatar for Martesha Johnson

Martesha Johnson

Chief Defender, Nashville Defenders, Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference


Friday June 7, 2019 8:00am - 9:30am
Harborview II 2nd Floor

8:00am

The Fundamentals of Cross
Cross-examination is the cornerstone of a public defender’s work. This session will focus on the fundamental trial skills needed to be excellent at cross-examination. The process of preparing for cross-examination involves determining a theory of the case, investigation and fact gathering, organizing facts by topic (preparation charts), preparing the cross-examination (chapters of cross-examination), and execution of the cross-examination. This session will give you the roadmap to how to master cross-examination.

Speakers
BH

Brandi Harden

Managing Partner, Harden & Pinckney, PLLC
Brandi Harden is currently the managing partner at Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, a boutique law firm located in Washington, D.C. Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, specializes in criminal defense litigation, contract, divorce, and family law. Ms. Harden is also an adjunct professor at Howard University... Read More →
AO

Adeola Ogunkeyede

Legal Director, Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program, Legal Aid Justice Center
Adeola is the founding legal director of the Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia. She also teaches the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law. Before moving to Virginia, Adeola served as the first director of staff... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 8:00am - 9:30am
Harborview I 2nd Floor

9:30am

Break
Friday June 7, 2019 9:30am - 9:45am
Chesapeake Gallery 3rd Floor

9:45am

How to Work with Client Communities & Acknowledge Our Own Privilege
This workshop will focus on strengthening client relationships, and it will discuss the inherent power dynamic between clients and public defense advocates. We will discuss how to recognize and own our privilege as public defense professionals and how it affects our relationships with clients.

Speakers
avatar for Regina Kelly

Regina Kelly

Chair, NLADA Client Council, Lone Star Legal Aid
A mother of four by age 24, Regina Kelly worked multiple jobs to support her family and provide a safe environment in the midst of the tough neighborhood in which they lived. Despite her efforts, she became entangled in an ironic twist of fate when she was arrested at work right before... Read More →
RS

Ronald Simpson-Bey

Director of Outreach and Alumni Engagement, JustLeadershipUSA
Ronald D. Simpson-Bey is a national leader in the decarceration movement and currently works as the director of outreach and alumni engagement for JustLeadershipUSA. He is also a 2015 LwC Fellow with JLUSA committed to cutting the national prison population in half by 2030. Ronald... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 9:45am - 11:15am
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor

9:45am

How to Navigate Workplace Challenges as a Public Defender Leader
This workshop will discuss the workplace challenges that face public defenders. It will focus on the information that every manager or chief in a public defender office should know. Specifically, the workshop will cover employment law issues and some of the barriers encountered by leadership in public defense. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge and tools needed to cultivate a healthy and productive workforce.

Speakers
avatar for Keir Bradford-Grey

Keir Bradford-Grey

Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Keir Bradford-Grey was named chief defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 2015. Previously, she was a trial lawyer at the Defender Association and the Delaware Federal Public Defender’s Office before she was named chief defender for the Montgomery County (PA) Public... Read More →
RH

Richard Harris

Co-Chair, Litigation and Trials Practice Group, Littler OnDemand
Richard Harris represents management in a wide variety of employment litigation matters, including high stakes/high profile litigation, wrongful termination and promotion cases, discrimination claims, racial and sexual harassment claims, trade secret litigation/unfair business practices... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 9:45am - 11:15am
Harborview II 2nd Floor

9:45am

Cross-Examination: Intensive Small Group Exercises
After the lecture outlining the fundamentals of cross examination, students will be broken into small groups. Under the leadership of expert attorneys, the students will have the opportunity to participate in small on-their-feet practice and coaching sessions. Students will receive materials in advance and will be expected to arrive to the session having read through the facts and with having prepared a few chapters of cross examination to use in the practice.

Speakers
BH

Brandi Harden

Managing Partner, Harden & Pinckney, PLLC
Brandi Harden is currently the managing partner at Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, a boutique law firm located in Washington, D.C. Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, specializes in criminal defense litigation, contract, divorce, and family law. Ms. Harden is also an adjunct professor at Howard University... Read More →
AO

Adeola Ogunkeyede

Legal Director, Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program, Legal Aid Justice Center
Adeola is the founding legal director of the Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia. She also teaches the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law. Before moving to Virginia, Adeola served as the first director of staff... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 9:45am - 11:15am
Harborview I 2nd Floor

11:15am

Break
Friday June 7, 2019 11:15am - 11:30am
Chesapeake Gallery 3rd Floor

11:30am

Discussion Groups: a. How to Find Your Voice as a Leader of Color b. The Power of Mentorship c. What Does Fellowship Look Like among Black Public Defenders?
Speakers
avatar for La Mer Kyle-Griffiths

La Mer Kyle-Griffiths

Director of Training and Complex Litigation, Still She Rises, Inc.
La Mer Kyle-Griffiths is the Director of Training and Complex Litigation at Still She Rises, Tulsa. La Mer has been a lifelong public defender amplifying the voice of the poor in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Washington. In Seattle, she was responsible for designing, organizing, and... Read More →
PV

Porsha Venable

Staff Attorney, The Bronx Defenders
Born, raised, and still residing in the Bronx, Porsha-Shaf’on received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her MSW from New York University School of Social Work. She initially worked at the Bronx Defenders as a forensic social worker. During law school, she returned... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor

11:30am

Demonstrating Our Value: Black Leadership in Public Defense
As black public defenders, we know our worth to our clients and the value we bring to countless courtrooms as we hold the criminal legal system in check on case after case, day after day. But our own organizations, and the legal profession in general, often don’t recognize our unique skills and experiences as valuable to wider conversations about professional and organizational development, innovation, and sustainability. This session will help black public defenders conceptualize all the ways they add value across the full spectrum of organizational operations and strategize on how they can (and should!) demonstrate that value to their peers, managers, and others across the legal profession in order to advance their professional goals.

Speakers
AO

Adeola Ogunkeyede

Legal Director, Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program, Legal Aid Justice Center
Adeola is the founding legal director of the Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia. She also teaches the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law. Before moving to Virginia, Adeola served as the first director of staff... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm
Harborview II 2nd Floor

11:30am

Cross-Examination: Intensive Small Group Exercises
After a lecture outlining the fundamentals of cross examination, students will be broken into small groups. Under the leadership of expert attorneys, the students will have the opportunity to participate in small, on-their-feet practice and coaching sessions. Students will receive materials in advance and will be expected to arrive to the session having read through the facts and with having prepared a few chapters of cross examination to use in the practice.

Speakers
BH

Brandi Harden

Managing Partner, Harden & Pinckney, PLLC
Brandi Harden is currently the managing partner at Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, a boutique law firm located in Washington, D.C. Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, specializes in criminal defense litigation, contract, divorce, and family law. Ms. Harden is also an adjunct professor at Howard University... Read More →
SS

Sylvia Smith

Staff Attorney-Trial Division, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia


Friday June 7, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm
Harborview I 2nd Floor

1:15pm

Closing Plenary: Lawyering While Black: How to Fight for My Clients and Take Care of My Health
As black public defenders, it was disturbing (while not surprising) to hear about the injustice that occurred in Hartford County, Maryland, when Rashad James was detained for impersonating an attorney while in court representing his client. Unfortunately, many of you surely have similar stories to share from your own practice. This panel will discuss the distinct pressures faced by black advocates working in the criminal legal system, and it will discuss the importance of self-care and managing the stress and secondary trauma that comes with the work.

Moderators
avatar for Lori James-Townes

Lori James-Townes

Assoc. Clinical Professors, Towson University
Professor James-Townes’s passion is adding value to others. She has focused her attention on personal and professional development. Nothing brings her more joy than working with students and professionals as they take their journey and focus on achieving their full potential. She... Read More →

Speakers
KH

Keisha Hudson

Deputy Chief Public Defender, Montgomery County Public Defender's Office
EM

Erin Miles Cloud

Trial Attorney, The Bronx Defenders
MK

Mr. Kenneth Days, III

Director/Chief Public Defender, City of Atlanta: Office of the Public Defender
Kenneth Days III is the current director and chief public defender for the City of Atlanta Office of the Public Defender. Before his tenure with the City of Atlanta, Days was a managing attorney for a large real estate practice and worked in private practice advocating as both plaintiff... Read More →


Friday June 7, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Chesapeake II 3rd Floor