Upcoming DSO Training Events

Date: July 01 - August 31, 2021

This presentation was recorded during a live webinar event. Click here to view.

Stress, exhaustion, burnout… Do these sound familiar? If you or a family member, friend or colleague is experiencing these feelings, this interactive seminar is for you. Anana Harris Parris teaches practical self care strategies that are easily integrated into your professional or personal life. This session will include electronic reference materials and many opportunities to interact with Anana Harris Parris before, during and after the presentation.


Anana Harris Parris is the founder and CEO of the Self Care Agency, a social enterprise promoting strategic self care programming through workshops, seminars, products and community partnerships.

Date: August 25, 2021

In Borden v. United States, 141 S. Ct. 1817 (2021), the Supreme Court held that a criminal offense that requires only a mens rea of recklessness cannot count as a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act's (ACCA's) force clause or elements clause. ACCA enhances the sentence of anyone convicted under 18 U.S.C. SS 922(g) of being a felon in possession of a firearm if she has three or more prior convictions (whether state or federal) for a "violent felony" or a "serious drug offense," or both. The increase in penalty is severe: A 10-year maximum sentence turns into a 15-year minimum. This webinar will analyze the Borden decision and its application to the ACCA and other enhancements in pending and future cases, as well as cases that are final on direct review, e.g., post-conviction remedies. The webinar will also discuss strategies to challenge application of ACCA's force clause beyond Borden's holding.  


Paresh Patel is currently the Appellate Chief at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland. He has been at the Federal Public Defender since 2003. Before then, he worked as a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. and the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York, New York. In 1999-2000, he clerked for the Honorable Ancer L. Haggerty of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland. Paresh earned his J.D. from American University in 1996, and he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California in 1993.

Erin Rust was counsel of record in United States v. Borden, 141 S. Ct. 1817 (2021), and is currently an Assistant Federal Defender serving in the Appellate Unit at Federal Defender Services of Eastern Tennessee, Inc.  She has been with Federal Defender Services since 2014 handling retroactive/post-conviction cases and district court cases in the Trial Unit before transitioning to appeals.  Previously she was in private practice.  Erin earned her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010, and her undergraduate degree from Maryville College in 2006.

Date: September 08, 2021

Are you looking at trials and deadlines stacked back to back this Fall? Is your calendar filling up with jail visits, investigation work, discovery review and hearings? What about your personal life? How are your family and friends and community coping?

Are you stressed?

Stress has always been a constant companion to those in criminal defense work, and it sat closer than ever as we experienced the events of 2020 and adapted to a new world and work life during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, we are returning to offices, the trial floodgates are opening, and we are adjusting to a “new normal” in our work lives and personal lives.

Please join us for 75 minutes where you will learn from one of our own what happens when we don’t properly manage stress (it isn’t pretty). You will be able to identify stress, side effects and understand if you are experiencing burnout and using negative stress responses. Tracy DaCruz, a former Assistant Federal Defender, who is a certified stress management coach, will provide everyone on the defense team with strategies to (1) better manage or reduce stress for a better work/life integration, (2) improve professional and personal well-being and (3) prepare for transitioning back to a work life post-Covid.

During the first portion of the webinar, we will discuss the unique factors that create high stress in defense attorneys and staff.  We will explore how stress is individualized and unique to each person and address the mental, physical, and ethical consequences of not properly managing or reducing stress with positive stress responses.

During the second portion, we will use the provided stress management guide workbook and apply four steps to better manage current stressors.  Additionally you will receive other materials to help you immediately develop coping skills for stress management.


Tracy DaCruz served as an Assistant Federal Defender and Research and Writing Specialist at the Federal Defender’s Office in the Middle District of Florida for over seven years. Currently, Ms. DaCruz practices appellate litigation as a solo practitioner and is an adjunct professor in the Legal Studies Department at Palm Beach State College. Ms. DaCruz is the founder and owner of Esquire Wellness, LLC whose mission is to promote and provide law student, attorney, and law firm/agency wellness programs. Ms. DaCruz is certified in stress management, life, and happiness coaching, and she is currently completing her corporate wellness certification.

Location: San Francisco, CA
Date: November 04 - 06, 2021

Crimes Decoded explores the intersection of digital technology and zealous advocacy in criminal cases. 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 their cases. We aim to build lawyers’ confidence to use traditional advocacy skills with a new understanding of the potential challenges to the technology that law enforcement is using. With knowledge and skills, we can be successful in all phases of representation. 

We anticipate opening registration in early September. 

Date: October 18 - 26, 2021

The Andrea Taylor Sentencing Advocacy Workshop (Virtual Program) 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-centered communication, interviewing for mitigation, fact busting, developing persuasive theories and themes, storytelling at sentencing, persuasive writing, and persuasive presentation

This virtual iteration of the workshop consists of pre-recorded videos 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, participants must commit to attend all parts of this workshop, i.e., prepare for the workshop sessions by watching all seven (7) pre-recorded videos, and attend all six (6) live small group breakout sessions.

Enrollment for this program is limited to 60 participants - priority will be given to those people who have not attended this workshop in the past.

Live virtual small groups October 18-21 (Monday-Thursday) & 25-26 (Monday-Tuesday) 3:30 to 5:30 (EDT) (12:30 to 2:30 (PDT))