National Webinars and Seminars

There are some great free national seminars and webinars available for CJA counsel. Below is a summary of a few of them, with links to details and registration. They are free, excellent quality, and the seminars are a great way to connect with criminal defense attorneys from across the country. If you attend a national seminar and would be willing to share the highlights, please let Melanie Morgan know and she will get you scheduled to present at a FEDTalk. You can also find a full list of available seminars at 

The Andrea Taylor Sentencing Advocacy Workshop (March 28-30, 2019)
San Antonio, Texas

Registration is open for the Defender Services Office, Training Division's The Andrea Taylor Sentencing Advocacy Workshop.

This free workshop focuses on a vital area of federal practice that has evolved since the Supreme Court declared the federal sentencing guidelines were advisory. It teaches a comprehensive approach to sentencing where participants are trained to develop persuasive, fact based, sentencing theories, and they are provided with the advocacy skills necessary to advance their theories both in writing and during sentencing hearings. Presentations and demonstrations at the workshop include client relations and interviewing for mitigation, brainstorming the facts of the case, developing persuasive theories and themes, storytelling at sentencing, persuasive writing, and persuasive presentation. The workshop consists of plenary sessions and small group breakout sessions. In the small group sessions, participants will use pending cases of their own to brainstorm facts, develop theories and themes, practice storytelling, persuasively write part of their sentencing memorandums, and discuss how best to conduct sentencing hearings.

Limited financial assistance is available to non-federal defender registrants for travel-related expenses. A draft agenda, financial assistance application, and registration links are available at You can also register by clicking on

Trial Skills Workshop I: Advocacy Strategies & Skills To Maximize Use Of Experts (April 4-6, 2019)
Austin, Texas

Registration is open for the Defender Services Office, Training Division Trial Skills Workshop I.  

This new program is an excellent opportunity for attorneys to learn about the value of experts to (a) help them understand complex areas which impact representation of clients and (b) to develop their courtroom skills, when presenting expert testimony in their cases or cross- examining government experts. Participants will learn from an experienced and highly skilled faculty in plenary and small-group sessions.  Areas covered include: (1) identifying and screening experts to support the theory of the case, with practice sessions on screening, interviewing, records collection and qualifying the experts to testify; (2) using the Federal Rules of Evidence to make sure that experts are qualified and the reports and documents that further the defense theory are admitted into the record; and (3) cross- examining the government’s expert witness. 

A draft agenda is attached here and a financial assistance application is attached here. You may register here 

Winning Strategies II and Fundamentals of Federal Criminal Defense II (June 6-8, 2019)
Baltimore, Maryland

Winning Strategies II and Fundamentals of Federal Criminal Defense II Seminars will be held June 6-8, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. This seminar is free and is for panel attorneys and federal defender staff.

The Fundamentals of Federal Criminal Defense seminar is a one-day program that will be held on June 6, 2019.  Fundamentals attendees are invited and encouraged to attend the remainder of the Winning Strategies program. The Winning Strategies seminar will go from June 6, 2019 to mid-day on June 8th, 2019.

The Fundamentals program is an overview for new federal CJA practitioners. It will include topics such as discovery issues, plea negotiations, and sentencing guidelines issue.

The Winning Strategies Seminar brings together a dynamic group of faculty who address a wide variety of topics designed to keep counsel abreast of the most recent and important developments in federal criminal defense. Sessions will include developing immigration trends, recurring issues in drug and gun cases, sentencing, and ethics.

You can register and get information about financial assistance at the training page of 

The Defender Services Trial Skills Academy (TSA) (July 21-26, 2019)
Indianapolis, Indiana

The Defender Services Trial Skills Academy is being hosted by Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. The skills-based academy focuses on (1) the use of a trial advocacy process to facilitate development of a persuasive, fact-based theory and supporting themes, and (2) the advocacy skills necessary to persuasively advance that theory and those themes throughout trial. A very experienced and skilled faculty leads this program through a series of plenary sessions and workshops. Elements of effective litigation advocacy skills are presented in the plenaries. Participants then engage in hands-on practice of those skills and receive feedback in small group workshops.

Registration will begin in early April. Participation is free but will be limited to 66 attorneys.  You can register and get information about financial assistance at the training page of