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New book explores how integrated criminal defense teams can be more successful


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New book explores how integrated criminal defense teams can be more successful

By John Glynn

CHICAGO, April 1, 2014 — Good criminal defense work is no accident. It typically comes about because a team of lawyers and investigators work well together, approaching their work with an open mind and a willingness to do what’s necessary for their clients.

Now, a new book from the American Bar Association, “Team Defense in Criminal Cases,” provides the dual perspective of a defense lawyer and an investigator offering guidance on being better defense advocates within a team approach. The book outlines those skills and knowledge essential to help any team of defense lawyers be more successful. It also provides insights for team success on an array of topics, including handling and understanding the players and clients; effective communication; investigation and preparation; preparing for trial; and the trial itself.

Written by two seasoned veterans of criminal cases, “Team Defense” is filled with practical advice and anecdotal illustrations. It features special guidance on doing your best for your clients, leaving no stone unturned and taking good care of yourself and your team so that the work gets done. A bonus for lawyers is that “Team Defense” provides forms and worksheets designed to make their jobs easier and more productive.

Co-author Andrea Lyon of Chicago is a criminal defense attorney, a death penalty expert, an author and a professor. She has tried more than 130 homicide cases, more than 30 of which were potential capital cases. A former president of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, she has been honored by numerous national and Illinois groups for her work. She also has written extensively on the death penalty and has appeared on various media shows, such as Fox’s “On the Record,” hosted by Greta Van Susteren, ABC’s “20/20” and CBS’ “60 Minutes.” She was referred to in a Chicago Tribune article as the “angel of death row” for her work in defending prisoners facing execution.

Mort Smith, the second author, is a criminal defense and civil rights investigative specialist. He is the former chief homicide investigator for the Murder Task Force Unit of the Cook County Public Defender’s office and former chief investigator for Illinois Capital Resource Center of the Office of the State Appellate Defender. He is co-founder of the Criminal Defense Investigation Certification Program at the DePaul College of Continuing and Professional Education in Chicago and a member of the faculty of the Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College. He is also the staff investigator for Loevy & Loevy, a civil rights law firm in Chicago.

Title:                “Team Defense in Criminal Cases”
Publisher:        ABA Publishing
Pages:             177
Product Code: 1620604
ISBN:               978-1-62722-472-7
Size:                6 x 9
Price:               $99.95
Orders:            800-285-2221

Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies are available by sending an email to Neal Cox at If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Neal Cox c/o ABA Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. To review our privacy statement, click here. Follow the latest ABA news here and on Twitter @ABANews.

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