January 28, 2021 RAPID RESPONSE

Pandemic Trials: Defending Criminal Clients During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed criminal court operations. This webinar explores these changes, with a focus on how they are impacting public defenders and defendants. We examine the use of video, hybrid and in-person trials with pandemic conditions. Topics include masking issues for defendants, witnesses and jurors, identification issues, courtroom set-up, the impact of maintaining social distancing, and jury composition challenges.


  • Alicia Bannon, Managing Director, Democracy, Brennan Center for Justice
  • Zac Hlavaty, Metropolitan Public Defender, Portland, OR
  • Kelly Villanueva, Metro Division Managing Attorney, Law Office of the Public Defender, State of New Mexico
  • Loren Williams, Deputy Public Defender, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, California


  • Malia Brink, Counsel for Indigent Defense, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense

Joint Sponsor: ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense


ABA Attorney Panel Discusses Good and Bad of COVID-19 on Future of Court Proceedings

Criminal Jury Trials in a Global Pandemic: Safeguarding the Constitutional Rights of the Accused

Example Motion to Identify In Person Trial Procedures

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