DSO Training Events


Location: Charleston, SC
Date: September 19 - 21, 2019

In the digital era, knowledge about managing, reviewing, and analyzing electronic discovery or voluminous discovery is a critical skill for criminal defense attorneys.  In fact, the first principle of the national joint electronic discovery protocol developed by representatives of the Department of Justice, Federal Public Defenders, CJA panel attorneys, and the Defender Services Office reflects this trend in the law: "[l]awyers have a responsibility to have an adequate understanding of electronic discovery."  Office of the U.S. Courts Joint Working Grp. on Elec. Tech. in the Criminal Justice Sys., Recommendations for Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Discovery Production in Federal Criminal Cases Recommendations 2 (2012). This is a position that the ABA has adopted. See Commentary to Model Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.1

The Law & Technology Series: Techniques in Electronic Case Management (TECM) Workshop exposes CJA panel attorneys and FDO staff to the legal, strategic, and technological considerations involved with electronic and/or voluminous discovery.  This two-and-a-half-day program uses a combination of plenary presentations and small group, hands-on instruction.  Besides gaining an understanding of the legal, practical, and technological considerations in these types of federal criminal cases, participants will learn basic and advanced features of three litigation support software programs (Adobe Acrobat Pro, dtSearch, and CaseMap/TimeMap suite).  Attendees will better understand how legal litigation support programs work, and how to coordinate thoughtful workflow processes with co-counsel, staff, and potential vendors. They will also improve their overall ability to master case information, in order to better prepare a defense


Location: Oakland, California
Date: September 05 - 07, 2019

CRIMES DECODED:  Emerging Digital Technology Litigation Strategies

Trial Skills Workshop II focuses on Litigation Strategies for Emerging Digital Technology’s impact on Criminal Cases.  This is a brand new program that explores the intersection of digital technology and criminal investigations. We aim to increase understanding and inspire CJA lawyers and Federal Public Defenders to think innovatively about how to litigate issues surrounding the digital technology that increasingly permeates our cases. We want to build lawyers’ confidence to use traditional advocacy skills with a new understanding of the vulnerability of the technology that the government relies on.  Although criminal investigations are changing by using artificial intelligence-based decision making, the same skills and questions we have always utilized in criminal defense work can be adapted to emerging digital technology today.  This workshop will “decode” the technology and increase your advocacy skills.  The program is a skills-based workshop. The expectation is that participants spend most of the workshop on their feet practicing their advocacy skills. The skills learned are not limited to the trial setting; they are geared toward other hearings like bail hearings, evidentiary hearings, Daubert and SR violation hearings. Participants are divided into small groups to practice the skills necessary to effectively exclude, explain, and/or persuade a Judge or Jury about the technology utilized.  Lectures and demonstrations of these skills supplement and inform the small group workshops.

Attendance will be capped at 70 participants and each participant must apply to be accepted to the program.  Completed applications will be reviewed in the order they are received.

The Andrea Taylor Sentencing Advocacy Workshop

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Date: September 12 - 14, 2019

The Andrea Taylor Sentencing Advocacy Workshop focuses on a vital area of federal practice that has evolved since the Supreme Court declared the federal sentencing guidelines were advisory and no longer mandatory. Since approximately 97% of federal criminal cases continue to the sentencing phase, participation in the Sentencing Advocacy Workshop should not be missed. The Sentencing Advocacy Workshop teaches a comprehensive approach to sentencing where participants are trained to develop persuasive, fact-based, sentencing theories, and 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, fact busting, 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 bust the facts, develop theories and themes, practice storytelling, persuasively write part of their sentencing memorandums and discuss how best to conduct sentencing hearings. Please note that due to the workshop format of this program, participation in all of the sessions is mandatory.

Enrollment for this program is limited to 65 participants – priority will be given to those people who have not attended this workshop in the past. Limited financial assistance may be available to non-federal defender registrants for travel expenses.

Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar

Location: Denver, CO
Date: August 15 - 17, 2019

The Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar offers in-depth instruction in a variety of substantive areas of federal criminal defense practice areas through both plenary and breakout sessions.  The plenary sessions will address topics of general interest and importance to criminal defense practitioners.  The program also provides related sessions, or tracks, which are grouped together allowing attorneys to select areas of practice which will best meet their training needs.  The five tracks (breakout sessions) are:  (1) Race in the Federal Criminal Court; (2) Forensics; (3) Drugs; (4) Sentencing Strategies & Practices; and (5) Trial Skills and Evidence.

Law & Technology Series: Electronic Courtroom Presentation

Location: Orlando, Florida
Date: August 01 - 03, 2019

The Law & Technology Series: Electronic Courtroom Presentation Workshop (ECP) exposes CJA panel and federal public/community defender attorneys and professional staff to the legal, strategic, and technological considerations involved with electronically presenting information in the federal courtroom during trial and hearings. This two-and-a-half-day program uses a combination of plenary presentations and small group, hands-on instruction. In the smaller breakout groups, attendees will practice direct and cross-examination, opening statements, and closing arguments, using Trial Director and PowerPoint software which are well suited for electronically presenting information in the courtroom.


Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: July 21 - 26, 2019

The skills-based Academy has been a tremendous success. This program focuses on (1) the use of a trial advocacy process to facilitate the 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 the 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. Participation is limited to 66 attendees, with a majority of participants accepted being CJA panel attorneys.

Persuasive Writing Workshop

Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: August 12 - 14, 2019

This hands-on workshop teaches participants how to use fact-busting and principles of storytelling and persuasion to craft fact-driven written advocacy that persuasively integrates the facts of one's case with relevant legal principles. Through plenary and small group sessions, participants will find that these techniques result in writing that is enjoyable to read and enhances one's chances of winning. During the course of the workshop, participants will apply these principles to one of their own cases. Registration will be limited to 36 federal defender staff, CJA panel attorneys, and other legal professionals that provide work under the Criminal Justice Act. Participants must bring to the workshop an open CJA case in which they will be filing a written work product (e.g., pre-trial or trial motion, sentencing memo involving some legal challenge, opening brief on appeal). Please note that due to the workshop format of this program, participation in all of the sessions is mandatory.