BJA Right to Counsel Technical Assistance Website

American University, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance have partnered to support a website to “provide technical assistance to public defense providers to promote their enhanced ability to the ABA Ten Principles of a Public Defender System.”  The site includes publications and resources, as well as information about webinars and symposiums.

In a similar vein, the National Juvenile Defender Center and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association published Ten Core Principles for Providing Quality Delinquency Representation Through Public Defense Delivery Systems.

The right to counsel topic has been featured repeatedly on this blog, and with the coming implementation of Criminal Rule 25 on January 1, 2015, the hope is that yet more children will be represented by counsel during juvenile delinquency hearings.  Despite that, Indiana has a long way to go to ensure that every child, whether in a rural or urban setting, has access to trained, experienced defense counsel.

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Reliability of Assault Victim’s Accounts

The Reliability of Assault Victims’ Immediate Accounts: Evidence from Trauma Studies by Melissa Hamilton (Stanford Law & Policy Review, forthcoming) discusses the excited utterance, present sense exception, and statements about mental and medical conditions exceptions to the hearsay rule when the witness has been a victim of interpersonal violence.  “[M]uch recent research in interdisciplinary circles highlights that the impact of trauma has varied consequences upon subjects’ abilities to accurately and fully articulate what just transpired to them. Concurrent neurophysiological reactions to traumatic stress can mediate, alter, or entirely thwart one’s capacity to conceptualize internally, and to clearly verbalize externally, the violent attack. Thus, unlike the hearsay exceptions’ presumption of accuracy, a surfeit of scientific knowledge now shows that violence victims may — or may not — issue in the near term holistic and reliable reports. On the other hand, empirical studies reject the notion that it takes more than a blink of an eye to fabricate a story.”

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ABA Call for Proposals

The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law will be hosting back-to-back conferences in Washington, DC in July 2015.  They have issued a call for workshop proposals for both conferences, with a submission deadline of January 12, 2015.

The 4th National Parent Attorney Conference focuses on attorneys how to represent parents in abuse and neglect cases.  The conference will be held July 21-23, 2015, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.  This blogger attended the conference in 2013 and a wealth of information was presented that was then passed along to defense attorneys here in Indiana through the Indiana Public Defender Council.  The information about the request for proposals for that conference is available here.

The 16th ABA Conference on Children and the Law focuses more on the children in juvenile courts, whether in abuse and neglect cases or in juvenile delinquency cases.  That conference will be held July 24-25, 2015, at the same hotel.  The request for information for the Conference on Children and the Law is available here.

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NLADA Juvenile Appellate Defense & Persuasive Writing Skills Institute

Beginning on January 22, 2015, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association will sponsor a four-day juvenile track at the 2015 National Appellate Defense & Persuasive Writing Skills Institute in New Orleans.  “[P]articipants will bring their own case files to work on during the program, and they will be asked to apply the practice methods presented through ADPWSI plenary presentations and materials to their case. With the assistance of expert faculty, participants will analyze fact and law issues, develop case theories and themes, and incorporate them into their motion, brief or writ drafting.”  This is a rare opportunity to focus on appellate skills at a seminar, as most focus on trial-level skills.

Registration information is available here.

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Juvenile Training Immersion Training (JTIP) Summer Academy 2015

The National Juvenile Defender Center and Georgetown Law are accepting applications for the 2015 Juvenile Training Immersion Program Summer Academy.  This is a “one-week intensive and interactive juvenile defender training program intended for both new and experienced front-line defenders.  Applications are due by January 14, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Go here for more information, including the sample 2014 agenda, and the application.

Mark James, a public defender from St. Joseph County in Indiana, went in 2014 and has raved about the experience.  Check it out!


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“Sending Some Love” Holiday Book Recording Project

The Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings is promoting “Sending Some Love: Holiday Book-Recording Project.”  Children record themselves reading a book aloud, and the book and recording will then be sent to a younger child — whether a sibling or a child  at a daycare center or other setting.  The project aims to give children who are removed from their community “an opportunity to share, give thanks, and combat their feelings of loneliness and isolation during the holidays.”  It also, obviously, helps the juveniles with their reading.

This is a project that does not need to focus on the holidays.  Students could generate these recordings anytime of the year to share with younger children, and stay connected to others.

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Rural Health Research Gateway

For those who are interested in the disparity of access to services between urban centers and rural communities, the Rural Health Research Gateway provides access to research and webinars on a wide variety of topics, including substance abuse, children, mental health.

Publications of interest include:

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