Breaking News

Not Clearly Erroneous for Court to Rely on Dashcam Over Officer’s Testimony Re Stop,, Jan. 5, 2018

Sessions Rescinds Obama-Era Marijuana Enforcement Policies, Paper Chase (Jurist), Jan. 4, 2018

Governor Cuomo Unveils 22nd Proposal of 2018 State of the State: Restoring Fairness in New York's Criminal Justice System, NY Gov. News, Jan. 3, 2018

Is “Big Data” Racist? Why Policing by Data Isn’t Necessarily Objective, Ars Technica, Dec. 29, 2017

Governor Cuomo Grants Clemency to 61 Individuals, NY Gov. News, Dec. 27, 2017


NYSDA Under New Leadership. Since July 1, when Charlie O'Brien took over as Executive Director, the Backup Center has continued work in support of its mission to improve the quality and scope of public defense services in New York. This work includes providing high-quality training and launching a Statewide Public Defense Training Calendar, providing regular updates to members and others in the public defense community through News Picks from NYSDA Staff, and responding to requests for assistance from public defenders around the state.

Celebrating 50 Years. NYSDA's observance of its 50th anniversary kicked off at the Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs July 23-25. The conference featured NYSDA's high quality continuing legal education (CLE); recognition of public defense luminaries; and opportunities to discuss issues, plans, and changes affecting public defense cases and clients. NYSDA's role in securing systemic change was an underlying theme throughout conference activities.

NYSDA presented its 2017 Wilfred R. O'Connor award to Jill Paperno, First Assistant Monroe County Public Defender, for providing the high quality client-centered representation that NYSDA works to advance and for sharing her expertise with others through training. The Genesee County Public Defender Office presented Renee Seman, Senior Staff Attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services, with the 2017 Kevin M. Andersen Memorial Award, for refusing to give up on clients' cases, bringing to her office fresh ideas about best serving all clients, and inspiring those around her.


The 2017 Service of Justice Award, along with many "thank yous" and memories, went to Jonathan E. Gradess for his innumerable accomplishments as NYSDA's long-time Executive Director. O'Brien presented the award in a speech that gave those attending an overview of NYSDA's history and a glimpse of its new leadership style. This portion of the Annual Conference served as prelude to the Sept. 28 Jonathan E. Gradess Gala Retirement Reception, where Gradess was lauded by speakers from across New York and beyond.

Anyone wishing to commemorate NYSDA's 50th year is encouraged to contribute to the newly created Jonathan E. Gradess Peace and Justice Fund, which was unveiled as part of the Gala celebration.

Improving Representation of Parents in Family Law Matters. As part of its effort to impart practical, relevant information that will improve mandated representation of parents in family court matters, NYSDA co-sponsored, with local public defense organizations including assigned counsel programs, full-day CLE events in Rochester and Syracuse during September. The events were tailored to address issues particular to local family courts. Attorneys seeking information and assistance regarding parent representation or who would like to request specific CLE training can contact Family Court Staff Attorney Lucy McCarthy at the Backup Center: 518-465-3524 x24 or

Improving Representation of Parents in Family Law Matters.
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1/1/2018 » 12/31/2018
For NYSDA Training Programs, see the Statewide PD Training Calendar




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