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Specialized Practice Division

Co-Executive Directors

Marissel Descalzo,  Anthony Musto

Amicus Review Committee

Co-Chairs: Mark Dwyer, Rory Little, Daniel Harawa, Christina Swarns; Marsha Levick

The Amicus Committee makes every effort to respond to the increasing number of requests for Criminal Justice Section applications for ABA amicus briefs.  The Committee monitors pending Petitions for Certiorari and notes cases where the ABA might want to file a brief. As it has in the past, the Committee will consider such requests:

·       in light of the importance of the issue and its significance to lawyers, the legal profession or compelling public interest;

·       applicable ABA policy;

·       the court in which the case is pending;

·       the timeline for submission of the brief; and

·       identification of a qualified brief writer. 

Based on its review, the Committee will make recommendations to the Section Council or its Executive Committee.  Upon Section approval and to the extent necessary and appropriate, the Committee will assist in drafting the application to the ABA Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs and, if the application is approved by the Board of Governors, in editing the draft brief.

Please make sure that a request to the Amicus Committee includes a summary of the record, including a copy of the Circuit Court opinion, any District Court findings and orders, and a summary as to how ABA policy supports the issues on appeal.


The Committee welcomes Christina Swarns, Executive Director of the Innocence Project, New York, NY as a Co-Chair of the Committee.  The Committee will continue its review of cases for those in which it may request the filing of an ABA amicus brief.  

View Amicus Brief page.

Appellate & Habeas Committee

Co-Chairs: Jessica Langsam, Terri Rosenblatt

Explores habeas reform, studies current use of material witness warrants and procedural protections related to the issuance and continued detention of individuals under such warrants; makes recommendations regarding appropriate policy statements.

Seeks improvements in post- conviction remedies in State and Federal jurisdictions.

Considers existing or proposed measures that would enable heirs or family members of executed defendants, who had maintained their innocence, to try to establish their actual innocence through DNA evidence or other means. The same remedies would likewise be available for heirs of convicted defendants who had died of natural causes.

Goals·        1.       The first meeting will involve level-setting and a discussion of areas of interest and expertise of our members.  Subsequent meetings will track progress on a few projects.  

2.       We would host a webinar on the ABA’s post-conviction forensic testing positions and advocacy. 

3.       To engage with membership and develop work plans on AEDPA procedural bars and a comment or article on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Shin. 

Cyber Crime Committee

Co-Chairs: Matthew Esworthy, Jody Westby

Studies various crimes committed via computer such as internet fraud, hacking, intellectual property theft, e-mail threats, child protection, etc.


The Cybercrime committee would like to address the following in the 2023-2024 bar year.

·         The impact of AI on cybercrime

·         The Data Protection Review Court: what it is and how it works

·         Export controls on technologies and criminal penalties

·         The Cloud Act and its intersection with cybercrime investigations

·         Contact tracing and digital surveillance

·         Global cybercrime laws and substantive and procedural issues associated with  international cooperation in cybercrime investigations, including UN Cybercrime Treaty currently under negotiation

·         Geofence warrants

·         Computer Crime & Abuse Act – How it is being applied post Van Buren

·         We will collaborate with the Privacy & Computer Crime Committee in Science & Technology Law Section

The Cybercrime committee will communicate regularly with its members on relevant issues and expects to host a webinar addressing one or more of the following topics:

1.    The Cloud Act and Its Impact on Cybercrime Investigations and Civil Liberties

2.    Geofence warrants: A Dragnet?

3.    FBI search warrants to remove malware from computers.

4.    AI and how it is being used in cybercrimes.

5.    We are open to doing podcasts associated with each of the above webinars.

Global Anti-Corruption Committee

Co-Chairs: Andrew Boutros, T. Funk, Preston Pugh, Mara Senn

The Committee plans, organizes and sponsors events and publications in the anti-corruption field; works closely with, among others, the International Section’s Anti-Corruption Committee and some of its constituents, as well as the ABA Corporate Social Responsibility and Forced Labor Task Force, and the ABA President's Task Force on Human Trafficking.

The Global Anti-Corruption Committee's principal purpose is to monitor, evaluate, and report on developments under trans-national anti-bribery instruments such as the United Kingdom Bribery Act, the German Anti-Corruption Act, the Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Law, Russia’s National Plan for Counteraction to Corruption, South Africa’s Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.N. Convention Against Corruption, and the OECD Anti-Corruption Convention, among other anti-corruption analog apparatuses.


First, we will continue to make diversity a key priority.  We will work to achieve diversity across our membership, activities, and ideas.  Our membership is our greatest strength; we recognize this and will work hard to promote this objective.

Second, we intend to hold subject-specific events for our members, whether online and/or in person.  Not only will this allow us to continue to serve our members and others, but it will ensure that our profile and content remains at the forefront of the broader community work at large.  For example, just this month, in coordination with the CJS’s International Committee, the Global Anti-Corruption Committee supported the program, “France’s Progress in the Fight Against Corruption and the Strengthening of Transatlantic Judicial Cooperation,” which was hosted both online as well as live at the CJS’s offices in D.C.  The event was a great success.

Third, as it has done in years past, the Committee intends to further expand its membership through a variety of means, including by hosting events and continuing to boost the LinkedIn and podcasting engagement outlined below.  We view such growth as another sign of the Committee’s vitality—and proof of the strength of the Committee’s work and the market’s recognition of that strength.  We continue to look forward to expanding our footprint with new members from throughout the world involved in the global anti-corruption community.

Fourth, and consistent with our third goal from immediately above, we will focus attention on continuing to attract young professionals to our Committee.  Our young lawyers are our future, and we want to ensure a strong pipeline of talent for the years of work that lies ahead.

Fifth, in coordination with Committee Co-Chair Markus Funk and Perkins Coie, the Committee has collaborated on a podcast series as an extension of our Committee’s work and Perkin Coie’s White Collar Briefly blog.  In years past, the podcast was named the #2 U.S. white collar podcast, blog, or website.  We intend to continue to team up with Markus and Perkins on this exciting project. 

Sixth, the Committee intends to continue to run and update the LinkedIn ABA Global Anti-Corruption Group.  This LinkedIn page is home to one of the largest anti-corruption groups of its kind, with more than 1,400 diverse members from around the world and an average of 5-10 daily entries.  

Seventh, as part of its ongoing efforts to support and help collaborate on the important work being done by the CJS and other ABA Sections, the Committee will continue to collaborate closely with other ABA and external constituents, such as the International Section and its Anti-Corruption Committee.  A good example of our cooperation and coordination efforts in this regard is the recent program with the International Section that was titled, “France’s Progress in the Fight Against Corruption and the Strengthening of Transatlantic Judicial Cooperation.” 

Visit Global Anti-Corruption Committee Page

Homeland Security, Terrorism & Treatment of Enemy Combatants Committee

Co-Chairs Arjun Sethi, Joe Whitley

This Committee serves as a resource to other ABA components, and to the public, on homeland security issues as they relate to the criminal justice system. These issues include: the legal issues associated with the prevention of terrorist attacks, the detection, apprehension and punishment of terrorists, the legal framework governing response to terrorist attacks, natural disasters or other emergencies, ensuring the continued functioning of the criminal justice system in response to terrorist attacks, natural disasters or other emergencies.

The Committee seeks to ensure that any and all policies relating to security, terrorism and treatment of enemy combatants respect the civil and human rights of all people. This is particularly important when these policies disproportionately impact communities of color. The Committee will continue to raise awareness about policies that exceed government authority and violate the spirit, even if not the black letter, of the U.S. Constitution. The Committee will pay special attention to new policies impacting undocumented immigrants at the border and inside the country, as these policies are increasingly justified on national security grounds. The Committee will continue to monitor military detention at Guantanamo Bay and urge that the United States set an example for all to follow. Finally, the Committee looks forward to collaborating with other CJS sections in their efforts to amplify diverse voices within the ABA and the field of law generally.


The Committee is committed to ensuring that policies relating to security, terrorism and treatment of enemy combatants respect the civil and human rights of all people. This is particularly important when these policies disproportionately impact communities of color and other marginalized groups. The Committee will continue to follow the latest developments in the fields of immigration, national security, and surveillance, and look for opportunities to provide thought leadership, recommendations for reform, and new imaginative possibilities. The Committee will monitor military detention at Guantanamo Bay and rising threats across the globe to civil society, NGOs and human rights defenders. The Committee hopes to use social media, online webinars, CLE accredited panels and CJS resolutions to further its agenda. Finally, the Committee looks forward to collaborating with other CJS sections in their efforts to amplify diverse voices within the ABA and the field of law generally.

Immigration Committee

Chair: Holly Cooper

Explores the interconnectedness between immigration issues and criminal law particularly in human trafficking and collateral consequences of felony convictions for non-citizens . Considers impact of immigration laws and policy on prosecution, judicial and defense functions.

International Committee

Co-Chairs: Tyler Hodgson, Bruce Zagaris

Studies developments in international criminal law, particularly as they affect the practice of law; explores methods of international cooperation through agreements and legislation; and works on projects with the ABA Section of International Law and Practice. The committee also monitors developments in international criminal tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.


1.      We will continue holding meetings on substantive issues with guest speakers.

2.      We will continue working on the Committee’s proposed resolution recommending guidance by the DOJ endorsing joint settlements for individuals.

3.      We may work on additional resolutions, such as one on calling for the U.S. government to join the UN and OAS small arms conventions.

4.      We may host a CLE program at the Midyear Meeting in Louisville, KY, or at the Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.

5.      We will continue to publish the Committee newsletter.

6.      We may author a chapter for the State of Criminal Justice.

7.      We are considering a further edition of the investigations book in 2023 or 2024.

International White Collar Committee

Co-Chairs: Mark Beardsworth, Patrick Hanes

This committee will bring together international and domestic practitioners to address the growing trend in cross-border investigations and prosecutions, as well as engage practitioners who have a practice tailored to international white collar crime, as opposed to solely domestic. The committee will go beyond the limits of anti-corruption (as addressed by the Global Anti-corruption Committee), but will have a narrower focus than the White Collar Crime Committee or the International Committee.

This committee will focus on a multitude of areas of international white collar, including cross-border money laundering and financial transactions, OFAC and ITAR compliance, corruption, international labor violations, customs fraud, offshore tax violations, corporate criminal liability, corporate human rights violations, market misconduct and manipulation, MLATs and international enforcement cooperation, and extradition. The Committee will also work in conjunction with the global white collar efforts of the Criminal Justice Section. It will also be a source of new membership, attracting international practitioners.