OJD Week in Review: June 3 – 7

Happy Friday once again!  This week there are the normal reminders along with a new tip and one other announcement….

Monique WilliamsIntroducing…

We are proud to officially introduce the newest member of the OJD team, Project Attorney Monique Williams.  Coming from the Pitt County Public Defender Office, Monique joined the OJD team earlier this year to help facilitate OJD’s State Enhancement Program.  As project attorney, she has collaborated with the National Juvenile Defender Center to coordinate our recent Juvenile Training Immersion Program training, completed extensive investigations of juvenile courts in multiple counties, collected data, and devised new training to prepare N.C. juvenile defenders for the full implementation of Raise the Age.  Please welcome Monique and check out her bio on our website here.

 

Tip of the Week – Intake and Non-divertible

Did you know that if your client is accused of a non-divertible offense, then the juvenile court counselor is not supposed to conduct an intake interview? N.C.G.S. §7B-1701 states that once it has been determined that the complaint meets legal sufficiency and there are reasonable grounds to believe the juvenile has committed the offense, “[T]he juvenile court counselor, without further inquiry, shall authorize the complaint to be filed as a petition.” Non-divertible offenses include:

  • murder,
  • 1st or 2nd degree rape,
  • 1st or 2nd degree sex offense,
  • Arson,
  • Chapter 90 offenses that would be a felony if committed by an adult,
  • 1st degree burglary,
  • Crime against Nature; or
  • Any felony involving willful infliction of serious bodily injury or was committed by use of a deadly weapon.

This means that the court counselor should not be meeting with your client, recommending any evaluations (especially sex offender specific evaluations) prior to the approval and filing of the petitions.

Job and Fellowship Opportunities

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is currently seeking an executive director.  The executive director will be responsible for fundraising, strategic planning, communicating with board members and supervising staff, and ensuring that the organization adheres to its intersectional and anti-racist practices and principles in its internal operations.  The deadline to apply for this position will be June 21.  To see the full job description, please go here.  To apply or if you have questions, please contact NJJN here.

Training

The required pre-registration deadline for the 2019 Summer Criminal Law Update Webinar will be 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 5.  This webinar, which will take place on June 7 from 1:30 to 3 p.m., will cover recent criminal law decisions issued by the North Carolina appellate courts and U.S. Supreme Court and will highlight significant criminal law legislation enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly.  School of Government criminal law experts John Rubin and Phil Dixon will discuss a wide range of issues affecting felony and misdemeanor cases in the North Carolina state courts.  The webinar, broadcast live from the School of Government, includes a dynamic visual presentation, live audio, and interactive Q&A.  This webinar is open to public defenders, private attorneys who handle or are interested in pursuing indigent criminal defense work, and other court personnel who handle criminal cases.  The webinar will offer 1.5 hours of CLE credit and qualifies for N.C. State Bar criminal law specialization credit.  The registration fee for private assigned counsel, contract attorneys, and other non-IDS employees is $75.00.  There is no registration fee for IDS state employees, thanks to support from the Office of Indigent Defense Services.  If you have questions related to webinar content, please contact John Rubin at 919.962.2498 or rubin@sog.unc.edu.  If you have questions about logistics, please Jessica O’Sullivan at 919.962.9754 or josullivan@sog.unc.edu.

Please save the dates for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

The online registration deadline for the 2019 Defender Trial School, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be June 25.  The event will be held Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.  Defender Trial School participants will use their own cases to develop a cohesive theory of defense at trial and apply that theory through all stages of trial, including voir dire, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examination. The program will offer roughly 29 hours of general CLE credit.  The Defender Trial School is open to public defenders and a limited number of private attorneys who perform a significant amount of appointed work.  IDS has expanded the number of fellowships available to cover the registration fee, but please note there is a limited number of fellowships.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email Kate Jennings or Professor John Rubin or call 919-962-3287/919-962-2498.  To register, find a fellowship application, see the agenda, or find any other information, please check out the course page here.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR)‘s Youth in Custody Certificate Program will be held July 22 – 26 at Georgetown University in partnership with Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators.  This training is designed to help juvenile justice system leaders and partners improve outcomes for youth in custodial settings, covering critical areas including racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, reentry planning and support, and culture change.

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That closes this week.  Please make sure to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already and head over to Twitter and Facebook, like and follow us!  Also, N.C. juvenile defenders, please contact us to have your contact info added to/removed from our listserv.  And for people already practicing law, please visit the N.C. State Bar Legal Specialization page if you are interested in specializing in juvenile defense and get your application in before July 2!  We would love for you to join our N.C. juvenile defender family.  Enjoy weekend.

OJD Week in Review: Sept. 24 – 28

Happy Friday to all!  This week there is more training to announce and two new podcast segments now available on SoundCloud.

Training

On Oct. 18, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Juvenile Defense Section in collaboration with the Office of the Juvenile Defender will be hosting a CLE in Asheville, N.C. at the Lexington Brewery.  This CLE will have presentations from IDS Regional Defender Valerie Pearce, discussing the ethical obligations to representing youth following the full implementation of Raise the Age, and Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim Howes, discussing strategies for utilizing resources and advocating for the best results for clients to set them up for success.  One CLE credit hour in ethics and one general  CLE credit hour for this course are currently pending with the Bar.  A sidebar social will also be held at the same location at 5:30 p.m.  You do not need to be a member of NCAJ to attend this CLE.  Everyone can attend for free and pay their CLE credit fees directly to the Bar.  To RSVP, please contact Valerie Pearce by email here or call 919-667-3369.

every-day-is-training-day

On Nov. 16, the UNC School of Government will be hosting a Back to School CLE from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The training offers 6.25 hours of CLE credit, including an hour of ethics and an optional hour of substance abuse credit.  Topics will include civil and criminal case law and legislative updates, the opioid epidemic, and a review and preview of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Registration will be $300 and the deadline to register will be Oct. 31.  Lunch will be provided.  To register please visit the UNC SOG site here.

From Around the Community

Dilemma of DutiesEarlier this week, we posted our newest N.C. Juvenile Defender podcast with Dr. Anne Corbin about her new book, Dilemma of Duties: The Conflicted Role of Juvenile Defenders.  During the podcast, we discuss the background behind Dilemma of Duties, Corbin’s thoughts on how role conflict may be affected once Raise the Age is fully implemented, ideas from other defenders regarding the juvenile justice system, and much more.

This was our longest interview so far, and to make it easier to digest, we’ve broken it into two 25-minute segments.  Please take a moment to listen to part one of two here and feel free to listen to the final segment here to get all of the substantial info Corbin had to share with us.  Also, please check out Dilemma of Duties, which is available in print and e-book format and can be purchased through Southern Illinois University PressAmazon, Google BooksGoodreads, or wherever you like to make your book purchases!

Job Opportunities

The Lousiana Center for Children’s Rights (LCCR) is currently accepting applications for a Miller staff attorney, a regional mitigation specialist, and a Miller mitigation supervisor.

That is all there is for this week.  Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Dr. Anne Corbin Discusses the Conflicted Role of Juvenile Defenders in New Podcast

In our latest N.C. Juvenile Defender podcast, we talk to Dr. Anne Corbin about her new book, Dilemma of Duties: The Conflicted Role of Juvenile Defenders, which outlines patterns of role conflict experienced by juvenile defenders specifically in North Carolina.  Corbin is a law-trained social scientist with an extensive background in research focused on the professional development of government agents and criminal justice professionals.  In her book, through interviews with 24 juvenile defense attorneys across the Tar Heel State, Corbin examines the role of juvenile defenders and the internal and external pressures experienced by defenders to divert from expressed-interest advocacy to best-interest advocacy.

Dilemma of Duties

During the podcast, we discuss the background behind Dilemma of Duties, Corbin’s thoughts on how role conflict may be affected once Raise the Age is fully implemented, ideas from other defenders regarding the juvenile justice system, and much more.

This was our longest interview so far, and to make it easier to digest, we’ve broken it into two 25-minute segments.  Please take a moment to listen to part one of two here and feel free to listen to the final segment here to get all of the substantial info Corbin had to share with us.  Also, please check out Dilemma of Duties, which is available in print and e-book format and can be purchased through Southern Illinois University PressAmazon, Google BooksGoodreads, or wherever you like to make your book purchases!

OJD Spotlight: Introducing Cindy Ellis

Cindy Ellis pic

Today in the OJD Spotlight we have the new juvenile defense contractor of Davie County, Cindy Ellis.

Cindy knew she wanted to be a lawyer even when she was little.  Back then she thought it would be glamorous, but now she says she knows it can be one of the most stressful, yet rewarding career choices.

In law school, she had the wonderful opportunity to be involved in a wrongful convictions clinic.  During that clinic, she and her classmates studied and watched an actual case of innocence unfold and a man released from prison.  It impressed upon her the importance of what lawyers do and how they do it.

Cindy became motivated to join the juvenile defense field after seeing too many children making mistakes that haunted them for years.

“So many studies have shown that our brains are not fully developed until well after the age of 18, yet we punish kids as if they fully understand their actions and the consequences of them,” she said.  “The cycle needs to be broken.  I want to help find ways for kids to make better choices and grow up without the stigma that accompanies a criminal history.”

Her greatest personal success in life is not one particular thing or moment.  Cindy said she is extremely proud of the fact that she has worked full-time since she was old enough to have a job.  Through undergrad and law school, she worked a full-time job.

When asked about her greatest professional success, she said this is also difficult to pinpoint.  “Anytime I have been able to help someone, not just with his or her case, but also with the things that landed him or her in court initially, I feel like I have been successful.”

In  life and in her professional practice, the Davie County attorney says there is one maxim she chooses to apply in both.  “Life is about choices.  I remind myself that the key difference between defending and being a defendant can be as simple as one bad decision.  Have empathy and follow the golden rule.”

As far as words of wisdom to impart on others, Cindy only said, “I am positive the juvenile defense community has many more words of wisdom to share than I, so please share with me (and with each other)!”

You can find more about Cindy on her personal website, https://www.cynthiaellislaw.com/, and her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/cynthiaellislaw/.

 

OJD Week in Review: Feb. 26-Mar. 2

This week, we’ve got some not-so-fresh news, but there is a profile piece we’d like to acknowledge, and we would like to remind everyone of some of the upcoming training and current job opportunities available around the community.

Job/Fellowship Opportunities

The UNC School of Government is seeking a tenure-track full-time permanent assistant professor of juvenile justice and criminal law.  The selected candidate for this position will be expected “to write for, advise, plan courses for, and teach” public officials, including judges, magistrates, law enforcement, prosecutors and defenders.  Applications will remain open until the position is filled.  The expected starting date for the new hire will be July 1.  Please find the full details for the position and how to apply here.

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is now accepting applications for its 2018-19 Youth Justice Leadership Institute.  This is an annual year-long fellowship program that selects 10 people of color working as professionals in the juvenile justice field to participate in a curriculum to develop their leadership and advocacy skills.  The fellowship can be completed with the fellows’ current employment, so those selected will not have to leave their jobs to participate in the Institute.  The fellowship will include two fully financed retreats, mentoring and frequent distance learning opportunities.  NJJN will be hosting two informational webinars, one on Mar. 8 and another on Apr. 2.  To register for one of these webinars, please visit here.  Applications for the Institute (found here) must be submitted by Apr. 23.

Welcome Colleen Mullan

This may be old news to some, but we wanted to take a moment to bring attention to the Council for Children’s Rights’ (CFCR) selection of Colleen Mullan as their new director of Children’s Defense.   Mullan, who has been a part of the specialized children’s advocacy organization since 2012, previously as a staff attorney in mental health and a juvenile defense attorney, took the leadership position after the departure of former Director Mitchell Feld.  You can read CFCR’s full blog post here.

Training Time

There are still a few spots open for “Higher-Level Felony Defense, Part I” training, so please hurry if you are interested in attending!  This training will take place April 9-10 and will offer 9.0 CLE credit hours.  Topics will include working with investigators and experts, building rapport with clients, investigation and discovery, the theory of defense, and third-party records.  Members of public defender offices should get approval from the Chief Public Defender to register and contractors and privately assigned counsel must receive a fellowship from IDS Director Tom Maher.  For more information on registration, the agenda, and hotel information please visit here.

Today is the last day that the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform(CJJR) will be accepting applications for its Youth in Custody Certificate Program, to be held June 11–15, 2018, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  This training is designed for juvenile justice system leaders and partners working to improve outcomes for youth in post-adjudication custody.  The curriculum covers critical areas, including culture change and leadership, addressing racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, and reentry planning and support.  Upon approval of a Capstone Project Proposal initiating or building on local reform efforts, participants receive an Executive Certificate from Georgetown University and join the CJJR Fellows Network of more than 850 individuals.  If interested, please see how to apply here.

Events Around the Community

The North Carolina Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section will be holding a council meeting on March 22, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  A networking reception will be held directly after the meeting at Whiskey Kitchen on 201 W. Martin St. and appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.  All section members and attorneys who could be members are welcome to attend and may RSVP here.

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That is all we have for you fine folks this week.  We still invite everyone in the juvenile defense community to please contact us if there is anything we could assist with (questions, concerns, or suggestions).  We are also always open to giving every opportunity to defenders to voice their opinions and share their experiences openly in the community through our various communication/social media channels–so don’t be shy if there is a useful tip you’re itching to share, a game-changing case you’ve worked on, or some other sage advice you’d like to impart to your friends and fellow defenders.  We will bringing more updates next week, so be sure to check back!

Meet Cody Davis – OJD’s 2017 Fall Intern

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Cody Davis will be joining the office this fall as our new intern.  Cody is a third-year law student at Campbell University School of Law.

While in law school, Cody also received his Master’s of Public Administration from North Carolina State University.  Prior to law school, Cody received his Bachelor’s from North Carolina State University where he studied political science with minors in criminology and philosophy.  Cody has previously worked at the Legislative Analysis Division of the North Carolina General Assembly where he had the opportunity to experience the passage of North Carolina’s Raise-the-Age provisions and compile some research on juvenile jurisdiction across the country.  Cody also had the opportunity to shadow a juvenile defense attorney while he was in college.  In the community, Cody is a volunteer judge for Capital Area Teen Court and serves as the Assistant Director for the Campbell Law School’s Pro Bono Council.

Cody has always had an interest in juvenile delinquency issues, and that is what caused him to pursue a legal education.  Even before law school, Cody’s undergraduate coursework included the topic of juvenile delinquency; and in graduate school, one of Cody’s policy analysis research projects was a program evaluation of teen court programs.  Though Cody has lived in Raleigh for several years, he is originally from Archdale, N.C. and comes from a large, close family.

Also joining the office with Cody is his guide dog Bingo, an 8-year-old black lab.  Bingo is a graduate of Southeastern Guide Dogs; and her interests include eating, sleeping, and sniffing.

Juvenile Defenders Reflect on Gault & Their Careers in the N.C. State Bar Journal

The North Carolina State Bar Journal has published an article from the Office of the Juvenile Defender in its Summer 2017 issue in honor of In re Gault.  The article, titled “Juvenile Defenders Reflect on Their Careers and 50 Years Since”, is a Q&A-style piece written by Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry and features Barbara Fedders, assistant professor at UNC School of Law and director of the Youth Justice Clinic, Mary Stansell, juvenile chief of the Wake County Public Defender Office, Sabrina Leshore, attorney of Leshore Law Firm, PLLC, and executive director of CROSSED, Scott Dennis, associate at Bringewatt Snover, Starr Ward, juvenile defender in Guilford County, Mitch Feld, director of Children’s Defense at the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte, and Yolanda Fair, assistant public defender in Buncombe County.

2017BarJournal_120101Juvenile defenders were asked a variety of questions, ranging from who influenced their practice and why they became involved in delinquency law to what advice they would pass on to the next generation of defenders and what keeps them going on the toughest days of their career.

When asked what she finds most and least rewarding about practicing in juvenile court, Fedders said, “I like forming relationships with kids.  The lawyer-client relationship is unique and special.  What I like least is how little impact court involvement has on a kid, how meaningless the court proceedings typically are to kids.”

On the subject of Gault and it’s influence on their practice, the interviewees also provided very passionate, thoughtful responses.  Mitch Feld stated “The Gault decision has increased my passion to tell others that children have the same rights as adults do.  People tend to be very quick to say ‘well it’s just a child’ or ‘they’re a child so they won’t know what to decide.’  Minimizing children and treating them like second-class citizens causes me to fight even harder for them to be treated like anyone else.”

The article was released digitally about a week ago and the PDF version can be found here. Now the printed version is also available and we want to encourage everyone to get a copy to read the words of wisdom from these inspirational people.