Past Events and Materials
ABA Public Defense Summit
Day 1: January 21, 2021
Day 2: January 22, 2021
View Summit Agenda >>
OVERALL DESCRIPTION: This year’s ABA Public Defense Summit focused on misdemeanor courts, and the role public defenders should play in effectively representing misdemeanor defendants and ensuring that the procedures in these courts protect those who are not entitled to counsel.
DAY ONE DESCRIPTION: Most people have their first experiences with the criminal justice system in Misdemeanor Court. Misdemeanor convictions, while often considered minor, can result not only in incarceration, but also extreme collateral consequences and crippling fines and fees. Despite the significant impact misdemeanor convictions have on accused individuals and their loved ones, the 6th Amendment right to counsel in misdemeanor court is limited to those who face potential incarceration. Day One of the Public Defense Summit focused on issues of the monetary cost of misdemeanor courts, as well as when there is a right to counsel. The Sessions covered Fines and Fees, No Counsel Courts, and Bail Reform.
DAY TWO DESCRIPTION: Day Two of the Summit focused on efforts to reform aspects of Misdemeanor Courts. Topics included Ethical Obligations in Misdemeanor Courts, Counsel at First Appearance, and Criminalization of Homelessness and Mental Health Issues.