OCTOBER 13-14, 2021

Wednesday, October 13Th

11:00 am - 11:15 am
Opening Remarks

11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Confessions in Sexual Assault Cases
Lisa Wayne - The Law Office of Lisa M. Wayne

Lisa Wayne is an attorney in private practice in both state and federal courts. Ms. Wayne was a Colorado State Public Defender where she served as office head, training director, and senior trial attorney. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University Colorado Law School. She lectures nationally with NACDL, National Criminal Defense College, National Institute of Trial Advocates, American Bar Association and other legal organizations. Ms. Wayne will discuss the use of confessions in sexual assault cases.

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Forensic Interviewing in Sexual Assault Cases
Nick Canto - Forensic1Consulting

Nick Canto is the Founder of Forensic 1 Consulting which provides expert testimony, forensic interviewing and consulting advice to both State and Defense attorneys. Mr. Canto has conducted over 6000 forensic interviews pertaining to child sexual abuse and has over 30 years of experience. Mr. Canto will provide an overview of forensic interviewing, the common mistakes made by forensic interviewers as well other aspects that affect the quality of a forensic interview.

1:15 pm - 1:45 pm

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
Voir Dire in Sexual Assault Cases
Eric Davis - Harris County Public Defender's Office

Eric Davis is the Chief of the Felony Trial Division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. Mr. Davis has been a practicing attorney since 1994 and currently serves on the staff of the Trial Lawyers College helping to train lawyers across the county. Mr. Davis regularly presents at CLE courses. In 2019, Mr. Davis was recognized as one of the “Best of the Best” by the NACDL for his CLE presentation on “Arguing and Defining Reasonable Doubt for Juries.” Mr. Davis will provide insight on the best ways to voir dire in a sexual assault case.

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
Cross-Examining the SANE nurse
Jed Silverman - The Law Office of Jed Silverman

Jed Silverman is an attorney in private practice who represents clients across Texas and in Federal Court. Mr. Silverman is board certified in criminal law and has representing criminal defendants for more than 20 years. Mr. Silverman has presented classes and seminars for TCDLA, Thurgood Marshall School of Law as well for the HCPDO. Mr. Silverman will be discussing how to cross-examine a SANE nurse in sexual assault cases.

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Cross-Examining the State's Experts
Dr. Michael Brannon - The Institute for Behavioral Science and the Law

Dr. Brannon is a licensed psychologist with a specialty in Forensic Psychology. Dr. Brannon has handled thousands of cases in a forensic capacity and has testified as an expert over 1000 times in Federal and State Courts. Dr. Brannon will be discussing how to combat the State’s expert testimony in sexual assault cases.

Thursday, October 14th

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sean Darvishi - The Law Offices of Sean Darvishi

Mr. Darvishi is an attorney in private practice in Harris County. Mr. Darvishi specializes in DWI law and has successfully tried numerous cases. Mr. Darvishi is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. Mr. Darvishi will be discussing all aspects of DUI and DWI cases, including the Harris County District Attorney’s new policies on obtaining blood search warrants.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Search Warrants
Natalie Ware - Harris County Managed Assigned Counsel

Ms. Ware is a resource attorney with the newly created Harris County Managed Assigned Counsel Office (the “MAC”). Prior to joining the MAC, Ms. Ware was a Harris County Assistant Public Defender in the trial division where, in addition to managing her own docket of felony criminal cases, she served as a mentor to new attorneys and developed a training program for new hires. Ms. Ware is also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center. Ms. Ware will be speaking on how to properly evaluate search warrants.

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Monique Sparks - The Sparks Law Firm

Ms. Sparks is an attorney in private practice and founder of the Sparks Law Firm. Ms. Sparks served as lead counsel for a team of lawyers and experts defending against Harris County’s proposed Southlawn Gang Injunction which would have barred approximately 92 accused gang members from a court ordered 2 square mile area of the Southlawn neighborhood in Houston. Ms. Sparks will be discussing how to defend cases involving gangs, included how the Houston Police Department and other law enforcement agencies handle cases involving gangs. Ms. Sparks will also touch on her experience in defending against the Southlawn Gang Injunction.

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Confidential Informants
Leticia Quinones - Quinones & Associates

Ms. Quinones is an accomplished trial attorney and founder of Quinones & Associates. Ms. Quinones has spent more than 20 years successfully litigating complex state and federal criminal matters and is Board Certified in Criminal Law. She has spoken at numerous conferences hosted by NACDL and TCDLA. Ms. Quinones will discuss the use of confidential informants in drug cases.

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
Collateral Consequences in Drug or DWI cases
Leslie Ginzel - Harris County Public Defender’s Office

Ms. Ginzel is an attorney and the Chief of the Holistic Services Division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. Prior to joining the PDO, Ms. Ginzel served as Program Director for Beacon Law. Through her work, Ms. Ginzel has developed systems to address the legal issues that burden and marginalize those struggling with poverty and reentry from the criminal justice system. Ms. Ginzel will provide insight regarding the numerous collateral consequences that occur if an individual is convicted of a drug or driving while intoxicated case.


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