Criminal Law and Individual Rights

Criminal Law and Indiviual Rights Section Annual Report - February 2015

The Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section is excited about its 2014-2015 year. We have many new steering committee members and we are excited about the great programs coming up. Details of our activities since our last annual report was submitted can be found below:


Past Educational Programming
In fall 2014, we hosted two programs. The first was entitled "The Fourth Amendment & Privacy in the Digital Age: The Supreme Court's Cell Phone Cases & What's Next." It was held at the United States District Courthouse and it was very well attended. We were able to also get clearance from the Superior Judges to provide CJA-CLE credits to court appointed lawyers for attending.

We also co-hosted the Attorney General Forum with a number of other sections. It was really informative for every D.C. resident. Many residents reported that they personally changed their prospective vote after listening to all of the candidates. The large moot courtroom at UDC/Van Ness was standing room only – and everyone stayed through the last question! The UDC location was close to the metro, and obviously an excellent location for events.

We also cosponsored, in name only, several other programs including:

  1. Cosponsor of a panel with the CCE Criminal Justice Committee at 2015's Bar Conference.
  2. Cosponsor of "From Civil Rights to Home Rule: Looking Back to Look Forward" held on Thursday, December 11, 2014.
  3. Cosponsor with the D.C. Affairs Section for "Meet the New D.C. Government" on Thursday, January 29, 2015.
  4. Cosponsor with The Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section of the D.C. Bar for a panel of top government officials and private practitioners that will provide an update on the federal government criminal environmental enforcement program, on Thursday, January 8, 2015 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm.
  5. Cosponsor with The D.C. Affairs section for "The Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Forecast: Stormy or Calm?" to be held on Thursday, March 12, 2015, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. This will be a discussion of the changes in the fiscal side of D.C. under the new Mayor and new Council.

On February 26, 2015, our section will co-host the annual judicial reception at federal court, which we cosponsor with the Litigation Section.

Upcoming Programs
We have a busy year planned. We currently have many programs in the works. The following is just a sample of some of the upcoming programs:

U.S. v. Antoine Jones: A Case Study – from Arraignment Through the Supreme Court
This panel discussion will deal with the aftermath and practical implication of the United States Supreme Court's unanimous decision in United States v. Jones. The case dealt with warrantless searches and GPS tracking devices. The court found that the government installing such a GPS system in a vehicle constituted a "search" under the Fourth Amendment and therefore requires a warrant and compliance with the terms of such a warrant. We will discuss many of the remaining questions post this decision including how we deal with privacy and technology.

Reflections on Ferguson: How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go Next?
This panel discussion will deal with the aftermath of the grand jury decisions in the Ferguson and New York cases and its impact on the criminal practice.

Politics to Prison Pipeline: A Discussion of How Our Elected Officials Keep Ending Up in Jail
This panel discussion will discuss just how our elected officials keep ending up in criminal trouble and what the future holds for representation in the political arena.

Criminal Justice Reform and the REDEEM Act
Currently on the calendar for March 17, 2015, this will be a lively discussion of the REDEEM Act (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment) and how the legislation could give Americans convicted of non-violent crimes a second chance at the American Dream.

New Technology in the Criminal World: How to Use Technology to Present the Best Case
Legal Tech Vision, a company based in Delaware but used all over the country, has pledged to offer a tech program/demonstration with a bit of strategy and an emphasis on the use of Trial Director, PowerPoint, Adobe, Case management systems and other programs. Judge Reggie Walton of the United States District Court has indicated that we may use his courtroom so we are just narrowing down dates. We are currently looking at an evening program on either March 12th, 19th or April 1, 2015 (depending on the judges courtroom availability as well). We are also attempting to coordinate CJA/CLE credits for people.

Defending Individuals in White Collar Criminal Investigations
A panel discussion of how to defend people in white collar cases.
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Community Outreach
Participation in activities of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program: None to date.

Monetary donations made by the section to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program: None to date.

Monetary or in-kind contributions to other institutions: None to date.

Participation in the Annual Youth Law Fair, beyond monetary contributions: Members do plan to participate in the Youth Law Fair.

Other community outreach activities: None to date.
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Membership and Financial
Membership numbers including a comparison to those in the prior year's annual report: The criminal law section has 852 members as of January 31, 2015

Characterization of the section's financial status and outlook, including a comparison to those in the prior year's annual report (include the amount of funds the section has available to it for activities:

In regards to the financial information, our section did not have a separate net asset fund at this time last year, thus we cannot provide a comparison number. This year's numbers are as follows:

$25,432 – Net Assets as of July 1, 2014        
$796 – Expenses as of November 30, 2014
$24,666 – Available for Section Activities
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Practice Manual Updates: The updates are almost done and are currently being handed off to the "reviewers". Per David Itkin, we will have it to him by February 20, 2015.

Newsletters: None to date.

Other section publications None to date.
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Public Statements
Principal sponsor: None to date.

Cosponsor: None to date.
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CLE Cosponsored Programs
How to Handle a Criminal Case in D.C. Superior Court - December 2014
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Other Items to Communicate to Membership
We are working on planning other ways to communicate with our membership. We did want to communicate to the Bar that our section would like to have a Listserv e-mail list as soon as possible. A Listserv e-mail list would enable us to keep in constant contact with our members.

Respectfully submitted,

Heather Pinckney
Date: 2/13/15
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