Annual Capital Defense Training Program

  • Death Penalty

This free program offers 6.0 CLE credits.* It is intended for law students & attorneys who represent or are interested in representing one or more death row inmates in postconviction proceedings. The program features nationally recognized death penalty experts. It includes an introductory presentation on postconviction capital work, a review of recent Supreme Court decisions, presentations on lethal injection challenges & recent 28 U.S.C. 2254(d) decisions, & an ethics workshop.

The session will be followed by presentation of the Norman Redlich Capital Defense Distinguished Service and Pro Bono Awards. The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Eleanor Jackson Piel, a prolific civil rights and death penalty litigator who, as a solo practitioner in NYC, took on some of the most challenging cases throughout the country. The Pro Bono Award will be presented to James W.B. Benkard of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, who has litigated a number of death penalty cases, including People v. Davis, 42 N.Y.2d 17 (1977), which effectively abolished the death penalty in New York until its reinstatement in 1995. These awards seek to honor Dean Redlich's legacy by recognizing New York lawyers who have emulated his life-long dedication to challenging the death penalty.


1:00-1:25pm Registration
1:25-1:30pm Welcome Remarks by John Howley
1:30-2:20pm An Overview of Habeas Corpus and AEDPA by Randy Susskind
2:20-2:30pm Break
2:30-3:20pm Supreme Court Review by Samuel Spital
3:20-4:10pm Lethal Injection Challenges by Deborah Denno
4:10-4:20pm Break
4:20-5:10pm Updates on 2254 (d) and the Practical Implications of Pinholster and Martinez by John Howley
5:10-6:00pm Ethics Workshop: Client Competence, Publicity, and Working with Trial Counsel on IAC Evidence by Bruce Green
6:00-7:00pm Presentation of the Norman Redlich Capital Defense Distinguished Service and Pro Bono Awards to Eleanor Jackson Piel and James W.B. Benkard
7:00-7:45pm Reception

The award presentation will be followed by a cocktail reception.

To register, please provide the following information to Catherine Geddes via e-mail ( or fax (212-336-2788):

  1. name
  2. affiliation
  3. mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address
  4. whether you currently represent and/or are interested in representing a death-row inmate.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Catherine Geddes at (212) 336-2473.

  • CLE Credit Comments: This program offers 6.0 CLE free credits: 5.0 for professional practice and 1.0 for ethics. All credits qualify as transitional and non-transitional credits
  • Contact:
    Catherine Geddes
    Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
    (212) 336-2473