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National Seminar on the Development and Integration of Mitigation Evidence

Thursday, March 31, 2011

  • The Habeas Assistance and Training Counsel (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts’ (AO) Office of Defender Services Training Branch)

The Habeas Assistance and Training Counsel, through the Administrative Office of the
U.S. Courts’ (AO) Office of Defender Services Training Branch, are pleased to announce the
Eighth National Seminar on the Development and Integration of Mitigation Evidence in
Capital Cases
. This unique training initiative will bring together nationally recognized mental
health experts, mitigation specialists, and capital defense attorneys to discuss new developments
and recurring issues related to social history investigation and the comprehensive development
and integration of mitigation evidence at all stages of representation in capital cases.

The program will be held on March 31-April 3, 2011 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL.
This seminar is designed for, and attendance is limited to, federal defenders, CJA panel
attorneys, mitigation specialist, investigators, attorneys interested in representing an inmate in
federal collateral review, and state court practitioners who are currently appointed or seeking
appointment in a capital proceeding in federal court. Continuing Legal Education (CLE)
accreditation for attorneys will be sought in all applicable jurisdictions. There will be no tuition
and materials will be provided to participants free of charge, but no funding is available for
financial assistance to attendees for airfare and lodging expenses. Space is limited to 200


This seminar has been held annually since the Supreme Court decision in Wiggins v.
, 539 U.S. 510 (2003), which recognized the need for thorough mitigation investigation and
acknowledged the importance of the non-lawyer who had compiled the mitigation in the
successful postconviction presentation. This year’s seminar will include presentations on the use
of narrative, finding and telling humanizing stories, utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to
present mitigating evidence, and both helpful and harmful developments in the domain of mental
health evidence. Additional topics will include gangs and neighborhood investigation, using
mitigation to resolve cases, and exploring the impact of history on our clients’ lives. Faculty will
include academics and writers as well as litigators, mitigation specialists, and mental health
experts. Breakout sessions will include a beginners’ track on mitigation basics as well as
advanced workshops on specialized problems.


To register, please go to You will need to Login in order
to register. If you’ve attended a program in the past 2 years and haven’t created or updated your
profile, your Login ID will be the email address you’ve provided to us and your password will be
your last name with the first letter being capitalized. Example: Login ID:, Password: Smith. If you have not attended a program in the
past, you will need to create a Login ID. If assistance is needed, please email Shemiah Schuler at . You will receive a confirmation email of your enrollment in
the program and you will be provided information on how to make your hotel reservation within
3-5 business days after registering.

We expect that on-site registration and materials pick-up will commence at 3:30 p.m. and
the program will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, and that the seminar will conclude
by 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, 2011.

Thank you for your interest in this very important program. If you have any logistical
questions or require additional information, please contact Chastain Smith via email at All registration inquires should go to LaShawn Parker at

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