November 16 - 17, 2023

Death Penalty Seminar - REGISTRATION IS OPEN

Lewis Center, OH


Notice from the Supreme Court of Ohio:

On February 17, 2023, the Capital Commission determined that it will no longer allow live webcasts as an approved format for death penalty trainings.  The Commission determined that live webinars do not offer the same interaction and learning experience as a live in-person activity, and with the pandemic being over, attorneys can now attend death penalty trainings in-person to comply with the certification requirements for appointment as counsel in capital cases.  For these reasons, the Commission will only grant death penalty training credit for those programs that are held live in-person in 2023.   

Seminar Dates & Location

November 16 & 17th at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, OH 

Register Now!

Thursday, November 16
8:00a - 8:30a  Registration  - Outside Ballroom Doors
8:30a - 8:45a  Introduction: Recent Death Penalty and Method of Execution Litigation Developments David Stebbins – Columbus
8:45a – 9:45 am Caselaw Update – Ohio and US Supreme Courts Russ Bensing - Cleveland  
9:45a - 10:45a A View From the Trial Bench

Judge Amy Corrigall-Jones, Retired, Summit County Court of Common Pleas

10:45a - 11a  BREAK 
11a - 12:30p Investigating and Proving Intellectual Disability Claims: Record Collection; Testing; Adaptive Deficits

Bob Stinson, Psy.D., J.D., LICDC-CS, ABPP – Columbus

Rivka (Randy) Olley, PhD. – Baltimore, Maryland

James Crates - Columbus

12:30p - 1:30p  LUNCH - Provided On-Site Dining Room 
1:30p - 2:30p Death Penalty 101 - Review & Revisit the Basics Paul Kuzmins, Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s Office - Cleveland
2:30p - 2:45p BREAK
2:45p - 3:45p Effective Brief Writing and Oral Argument in the Supreme Court of Ohio in Capital Cases

Jeff Gamso – Cleveland

Kim Rigby – Office of the Ohio Public Defender – (OPD) Columbus

3:45p - 4:45p

State v Bethel and other Developments in Litigating Post-Conviction Claims in State Court

Melissa Jackson – OPD – Columbus

Justin Thompson – Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) - Columbus

2:45p - 3:45p Aggressive and Meaningful Motion Practice at Trial

Richard Cline –OPD Columbus

Don Malarcik – Akron

Noah Munyer - Akron 
3:45p - 4:45p 

Best Practices for Capital Trials: the ABA Guidelines and Supplemental Guidelines; and as Adopted by Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Appointment of Counsel in Criminal Cases

Natalie Olmstead – CHU – Columbus

Adam Rusnak – CHU - Columbus

5p - 7p  Reception- On site in Foyer 
Friday, November 17th 
8:30a - 9:30 a

Integrating the Mitigation Theme Into Counsel's Arguments at Trial

Diane Menashe - Columbus  Freidman, Menashe, Nemecek, and Long LLC

9:30 - 9:45a BREAK
9:45a - 10:45a 

Using Pretrial Motion Practice to Recognize, Fight and Eliminate Racial Bias and Make a Record

Lisa Lagos – Capital Habeas Unit - Columbus

Bridget Kennedy – Capital Habeas Unit - Columbus

10:45a - 11:45p

Representing Veterans:  Unique Challenges and Record Collection          

Art Cody USN (Retired) Director of the Center for Veteran Criminal Advocacy


12:00p - 1:00p LUNCH - Provided On Site in Event Space
1p - 2p 

His Journey from Death Row to Freedom: Why We Do This Work

Lamont Hunter – Cincinnati

Erin Barnhart – CHU – Columbus

Justin Thompson – CHU - Columbus

2p – 3:15p

Ohio’s Serious Mental Illness Exemption: Litigation Strategies; Additional Evaluations, Discovery, Preparing for and Conducting an Evidentiary Hearing; Negotiations; Appeals 

Tim Sweeney – Cleveland

Lisa Lagos – CHU - Columbus

3:15p - 3:30p BREAK
3:30p - 4:30p  What’s Race Got to Do With It? Voir Dire and Trial Strategy in Today’s Political Atmosphere Fred Benton, Jr. –Columbus

Agenda (Printable)

Hotel and Event Site Information

Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center
100 Green Meadows Drive
Lewis Center, OH

The OACDL Room Block rate is $143 +tax per night. 

Reserve a Room

Register Now!

Registration Form (Non-Scholarship)



The Ohio Public Defender Office has generously provided twenty-five scholarships this year for Pro Bono and Public Defenders.  Space is extremely limited this year.  You will receive notification via email if you receive a scholarship. 

Scholarship Application


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