How can public defenders ask the right questions during cross examination to help their clients’ cases? What’s the best way to approach fact-finding, juror selection and closing arguments?
Over six days, 57 public defenders from across the country discussed those issues during the 2011 Public Defender Trial Advocacy Training Program at the University of Dayton School of Law.
The attorneys leafed through bulky binders filled with hundreds of pages of material during brainstorming sessions.
“What makes this program so unique is that everybody brings a real case that they’re working on,” said conference organizer and adjunct professor Ira Mickenberg, a full-time professor at the School of Law from 1982-87. He currently lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he runs the nonprofit National Defender Training Project, which organizes such training workshops at universities around the nation.
In addition to the practicing public defenders and the 16 experienced defense attorneys serving as faculty for the program, three School of Law students were in attendance, having received scholarships to participate in the conference.
“They’re treated exactly like the lawyers,” Mickenberg said.
The program began June 3 and continues through tomorrow.