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Indigent Defense Topic Of Alabama State Bar Symposium

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Montgomery, February 23, 2004 - Is it time for an Indigent Defense Commission in Alabama? That is the question that will be uppermost in the minds of attendees at an Alabama State Bar symposium this week. The area of indigent defense is a growing concern in Alabama and across the country. To address this issue, leaders in the field of indigent defense will join local and state participants at the Alabama State Bar Indigent Defense Symposium on February 26, 2004 at the State Capitol Building in Montgomery from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

According to Alabama State Bar president William N. Clark of Birmingham, an "informative and interesting day has been planned in which we will examine where we have been, where we are, and where we might go in indigent defense in Alabama." In discussing the mandated right to counsel, Clark stated, ". . . most indigent defendants are represented by appointed counsel who generally perform admirably, but often must do so under difficult circumstances. There is no statewide advocate for indigent defense. One response many states have made is to create a statewide indigent defense commission to oversee indigent defense in their respective states. During this symposium, we will hear from key representatives from other states as to how they have dealt with these important issues."

Luncheon speaker will be Mr. Mark Curriden, of Dallas, Texas - a former Dallas Morning News reporter and author. Other speakers will include Robert L. Spangenburg of The Spangenburg Group, West Newton, MA. as well as representatives from Georgia and North Carolina.

For more information or to make reservations for the symposium, contact Ed Patterson at the Alabama State Bar at 800-354-6154 or 334-269-1515, extension 161. (Schedule attached)

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President, Alabama State Bar

9:15 - 10:00 a.m. Update on Indigent Defense Reform Efforts Around the Nation and Update on 2003 Indigent Defense Expenditures in Alabama Under the Fair Trial Fax Fund and the General Fund Robert L. Spangenburg

The Spangenburg Group, West Newton, MA

10:00 -10:45 a.m. Indigent Defense Concerns in Alabama Moderator: Donald Q. Cochran Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law Robert Williams, Public Defender's Office 18th Judicial Circuit, Columbiana John A. Pickens,

Executive Director Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice,

Montgomery Bruce Gardner, President Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Huntsville Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director Equal Justice Initiative, Montgomery

10:45 - 11:00 a.m. BREAK

11:00 a.m. - Noon Judicial Perspectives/Concerns Moderator: Hon. J. Gorman Houston, Jr. Acting Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Alabama Hon. Sue Bell Cobb, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Montgomery Hon. P. Ben McLauchlin, Jr., Circuit Judge, 23rd Judicial Circuit, Ozark Hon. Pete Johnson, District Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit,

Birmingham Hon.Robert Benham, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia

12:15 - 1:30 p.m. LUNCHEON Guest Speaker: Mr. Mark Carrigan, Dallas, Texas Former Dallas Morning News reporter, author

and current partner Vincent & Elkins, LLP

1:45 - 3:00 p.m. Lessons Learned: Successful State Indigent Reform Efforts Moderator: Professor Pamela Bucy Bainbridge Professor of Law, University of Alabama Law School Annettte Lovoi, Executive Director, Texas Appleseed Center, Austin Stephen Bright, Executive Director Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta Mary Ann Tally, Director, Trial Assistance Unit

Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Durham, NC

3:00 - 3:15 p.m. BREAK

3:15 - 4:30 p.m. Observations/Comments: Where Do We Go From Here? Moderator: William N. Clark President,

Alabama State Bar Panelists:

Acting Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Alabama

-Hon. J. Gorman Houston, Jr.

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