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

1:00pm EDT

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 EDT
Chesapeake Gallery 3rd Floor

2:00pm EDT

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 EDT
Severn II

4:00pm EDT

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 EDT
Chesapeake I-II 3rd Floor

4:00pm EDT

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 EDT
Severn I 2nd Floor

4:00pm EDT

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

Deputy Chief, Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services, Public Defender Service for DC
Ms. Robinson serves as the deputy chief for 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... Read More →


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

4:00pm EDT

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

Speakers
avatar for Keir Bradford-Gray

Keir Bradford-Gray

Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Since becoming Chief Defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 2015, Keir Bradford- Grey has been the city’s leading advocate for comprehensive justice system reform. Ms. Bradford- Grey believes that the Defender must not only provide clients with first-rate legal... 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 EDT
Potomac 3rd Floor

5:00pm EDT

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
avatar for Brittany Mobley

Brittany Mobley

Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Deputy Chief of Juvenile Services Program, Community Defender Division
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

Deputy Chief, Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services, Public Defender Service for DC
Ms. Robinson serves as the deputy chief for 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... 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
With nearly 20 years of experience in criminal defense litigation, Brendon Woods has held positions of increasing responsibility in the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office since he joined the office as a post-bar law clerk in 1996. In December 2012, he was appointed public defender... 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

Founding Attorney, Still She Rises
Patrice James has spent her career tackling the inequities of the criminal justice system. Most recently, she was a founding attorney of Still She Rises, Tulsa, where she provided holistic legal representation primarily to low-income women of color, engaged in community building... Read More →


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

6:30pm EDT

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

7:30am EDT

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 EDT
Chesapeake Gallery 3rd Floor

8:00am EDT

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 EDT
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor

8:00am EDT

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 has spent his entire career as a criminal defense attorney. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1995. Upon graduation, Mr. Germán went to work as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York City in Kings County. Thereafter, he worked... Read More →

Speakers
HD

Herbert Duzant

Criminal Defense Investigator, Neveda Federal Defenders
Herbert Duzant is a native New Yorker and veteran criminal defense investigator with more than 25 years of experience. Mr. Duzant is currently the senior investigator at the District of Nevada’s Federal Public Defender (FPD), where he handles both fact and mitigation investigations... Read More →
avatar for Aisha McWeay

Aisha McWeay

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

Martesha Johnson

Chief Public Defender, Public Defender - Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County


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

8:00am EDT

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
HP

Heather Pinckney

Partner, Harden & Pinckney LLC
Heather Pinckney is currently a partner at Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, a boutique law firm located in downtown Washington, D.C. Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, specializes in criminal defense litigation, contract, divorce, and family law. Before entering into private practice, Ms. Pinckney... 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 EDT
Harborview I 2nd Floor

9:30am EDT

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

9:45am EDT

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

NLADA Board of Directors, Client Advocate, Hearne, TX
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

Just Leadership USA, Just Leadership USA
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 EDT
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor

9:45am EDT

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-Gray

Keir Bradford-Gray

Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Since becoming Chief Defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 2015, Keir Bradford- Grey has been the city’s leading advocate for comprehensive justice system reform. Ms. Bradford- Grey believes that the Defender must not only provide clients with first-rate legal... Read More →
avatar for Rich Harris

Rich Harris

Littler Mendelson P.C., Shareholder
Richard Harris counsels employers with regard to crisis management, litigation avoidance and assists employers in developing policies and programs in accordance with state and federal employment laws. His practice also includes conducting internal corporate investigations and workplace... Read More →


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

9:45am EDT

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
HP

Heather Pinckney

Partner, Harden & Pinckney LLC
Heather Pinckney is currently a partner at Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, a boutique law firm located in downtown Washington, D.C. Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, specializes in criminal defense litigation, contract, divorce, and family law. Before entering into private practice, Ms. Pinckney... 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 EDT
Harborview I 2nd Floor

11:15am EDT

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

11:30am EDT

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 LaMer Kyle-Griffiths

LaMer Kyle-Griffiths

Director of Training & Complex Litigation, Still She Rises
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 EDT
Chesapeake I 3rd Floor

11:30am EDT

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 EDT
Harborview II 2nd Floor

11:30am EDT

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
HP

Heather Pinckney

Partner, Harden & Pinckney LLC
Heather Pinckney is currently a partner at Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, a boutique law firm located in downtown Washington, D.C. Harden & Pinckney, PLLC, specializes in criminal defense litigation, contract, divorce, and family law. Before entering into private practice, Ms. Pinckney... 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 EDT
Harborview I 2nd Floor

1:15pm EDT

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 EDT
Chesapeake II 3rd Floor