Criminal Law and Individual Rights

Criminal Law and Indiviual Rights Section Annual Report 2014

The Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section has a robust membership of more than 700 attorneys. We are looking forward to a stellar year.


D.C. already offers excellent CLE programs through the public defender and prosecutor programs. The section also cosponsors a number of D.C. Bar CLE programs.

The steering committee has decided to focus on newsworthy programs, with anemphasis on quality over quantity. Our first program was a rousing success. The program, "Brady after U.S. v. Stevens," was originally scheduled during the government shutdown period, but was rescheduled for December 12. We had the leading attorneys in the country as panelists for this program, and most important, the judge who tried the criminal case of Senator Ted Stevens.The panelists provided an excellent discussion, followed by refreshments.

We are also planning our annual judicial reception with the Litigation Section, scheduled for February 27. The annual event has a well-earned reputation for high judicial participation, excellent lawyer attendance and phenomenal food. This year we have decided to present an award to an outstanding U.S. District Court judge, to be presented at the reception.

We have a tentative date at the end of January for a program on "MetadataCollection - what you need to know." D.C. is the hub of decision-making for metadata, recently serving as the locus of important decisions from the FISC Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and of course, the Supreme Court.

In addition, D.C. provides close access to legislators who have passed statutes affecting metadata collection. Once again, we will have the leading experts in the field for this program.

We are planning several other newsworthy programs, dependent on the availability of speakers. We are scheduling a program on the most recent Holder sentencing memo, with a focus on discrimination in sentencing. And we are planning a program entitled "50 years after Gideon" - again, with outstanding speakers in the field. We have an additional program in the works, focusing on one or more of the pending Supreme Court cases which will be argued a few blocks from our local courthouses.

Community Outreach
We are once again contributing to the annual Youth Fair. 

Practice Manual
We are editing the Criminal Law and the Criminal Traffic Offenses chapters of the Bar's District of Columbia Practice Manual.

Steering Committee
Our steering committee meets monthly, and our finances are secure.