Recent Events

The Criminal Justice Act at 50
On August 7, 2014, the Colorado and Wyoming Chapters of the Federal Bar Association hosted a continuing legal education program, in Denver, Colorado, exploring “The Right to Counsel in the Federal Courts.” The event provided a forum for attorneys, judges, and academics to exchange insights on a wide range of issues centered on the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 (CJA) and its implementation over the past 50 years. With a series of distinguished speakers that shared their studied observations, audience members learned about the diversity of perspectives on this topic, and were challenged to consider what has been achieved by the CJA, and identify where challenges still remain.

The Right to Counsel in The Federal Courts and Courts Martial
As part of its year-long look at the Criminal Justice Act at 50, the Federal Bar Association presented a unique program exploring the development of the right to counsel in the military courts martial and the civilian federal courts on June 12, 2014.

Hon. Gustavo Gelpi, President-Elect Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of 1964 Criminal Justice Act
FBA member Geoffrey Cheshire moderated, and Judge Gelpi served as one of the distinguished speakers at the Criminal Law Section of the FBA and the Law Library of Congress program on August 20 that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Criminal Justice Act of 1964. A copy of his remarks are available online as well as video of the event.

On June 12, the Criminal Law Section and the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association jointly presented a one hour CLE devoted to Federal Sentencing Variances and Departures. Alan Dorhoffer, Deputy Director for the Office of Education And Sentencing Practice at the United States Sentencing Commission, and Kito Bess, Chief United States Probation Officer, presented information regarding variances and departures from the advisory sentencing guideline range. At the request of New Orleans Chapter President, Judge Kurt Engelhardt, New Orleans Chapter Board Members Walter Becker and Brian Capitelli along with Criminal Law Section member Virginia Schlueter put together a training attended by approximately forty attendees comprised of federal judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law clerks and federal bar association members.

Later that week, the Criminal Law Section and the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association co-hosted speakers who presented at the United States Sentencing Commission's Annual Training which was held in New Orleans. There were over one thousand in attendance. Attendees iincluded United States Sentencing Commissioners, Commission attorney training faculty, Federal Judges, Federal Prosecutors, Federal Public Defenders, Criminal Justice Act Panel lawyers, defense attorneys, and Federal Probation Officers. In order to have a balanced presentation, the general panel format was comprised of a Commission Attorney, a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney and probation officer. Approximately one hundred of the speakers who presented were in attendance at the reception.


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