2017 Annual Conference

Join us June 8 - 10 in Chelan for our 2017 conference, "Challenging Law Enforcement: Investigation to Trial."
When Jun 08, 2017 12:30 PM to
Jun 10, 2017 09:00 PM
Where Campbell's Resort on Lake Chelan
Contact Name
Contact Phone 206-623-1302
Attendees Attendance at WACDL seminars is limited to WACDL members and those eligible for WACDL membership. Lawyers, law students, and non-lawyers are eligible for WACDL membership if they are not now engaged full or part-time in the prosecution or law enforcement investigation of criminal cases, and if they are not engaged in a full-time judicial function.
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Registration is now open

Download the brochure or register online. See below for options for those not attending the full conference.

Location & Lodging

Our room block at  Campbell’s Resort is currently filled, but we do expect some rooms to become available later.  To get on the waiting list for these rooms, call them at 1-800-553-8225; let them know you are attending the WACDL conference and would like to be on the wait list.

You can find other lodging options in Chelan here.

Conference CLE Program: Challenging Law Enforcement - Investigation to Trial

Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10 from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm each day.

This year's conference CLE will focus on cops and challenging law Abe Huttenforcement in all stages of a case.  Our keynote speaker will be Abe Hutt of Denver, Colorado.  Among his accomplishments: successfully defending the writer Hunter S. Thompson on DUI and assault charges, being ranked as one of the top all-time best speakers by NACDL, and serving on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Crossing the Cop. Abe Hutt
  • Contempt of Cop. Lizanne Padula
  • Eyewitness ID Procedures. Kent Underwood
  • Challenging Confessions. David Allen
  • Use of Police Video and Audio Recordings in
    Motions Hearings and Trial.
    Abe Hutt
  • Mounting a Defense through Public Disclosure. Laura Shaver
  • Compelling Brady Compliance. Lenell Nussbaum & Bob Butler
  • 1983 Basics. James Bible

Preconference: Hot Topics 2017

Thursday, June 8 from 1:00 - 4:45.

We’ll be addressing three timely issues at the optional Thursday afternoon preconference.

  • Representing Protestors. Neil Fox
  • Legislative Update. Ramona Brandes
  • Immigration Issues for Defense Lawyers. Chris Black & Vanessa Gutierrez

Social Events

We’ll be taking advantage of the location and a more relaxed CLE schedule to fit in some free time and opportunities to spend time with family and colleagues.

On Thursday evening, we'll gather for an evening reception.

Friday offerings include the annual membership meeting, yoga,* our 2017 Awards Dinner and bowling.

We're organizing a Saturday afternoon pontoon boat outing* and a late afternoon chauffeured winery tour* with dinner at our last stop.

* optional events/additional charge: see brochure.

Registration Options



Conference CLE Faculty

Abe Hutt has been a trial lawyer in Denver since 1984, with primary emphasis on criminal defense. He successfully defended the writer Hunter S. Thompson on DUI and assault charges.  He has won acquittals or dismissals in cases of first degree murder, sexual assault, distribution of drugs, child abuse, embezzlement and DUI. He has negotiated favorable plea bargains in every kind of criminal case from capital murder to speeding tickets.  He is a frequent teacher on the subject of trial tactics and DUI defense, at both the University of Denver and University of Colorado Schools of Law, as a member of the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia and as a frequent lecturer at Continuing Legal Education Seminars throughout the United States. He is ranked among the top 75 all-time best speakers by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  He is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B.) and received his law degree at the University of Southern California.  He received the Colorado Bar Association Doyle Award for Excellence in CLE; is a life member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, and served as a member of the Colorado Supreme Court Rules of Criminal Procedure Committee from 1994 to 2012.

David Allen is a partner in Allen, Hansen, Maybrown and Offenbecher, P.S. and limits his practice to state and federal criminal defense, appeals, and representing lawyers and judges on ethics matters. He is a 1969 graduate of Boston University Law School and was employed at Seattle Legal Services from 1969 through 1973 and the King County Public Defender from 1973 until 1978, when he entered private practice. He has taught criminal procedure at Seattle University Law School and is a charter member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. During his 47 years of practice he has tried more than 300 jury trials in state and federal court. He was the 1995 recipient of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s William O. Douglas Award.

James Bible has been protecting the rights of those that have been accused of crimes for well over a decade. He began his career as a defense attorney with The Defender Association in Seattle, where represented well over 1,000 clients.  Since 2007, he has been in private practice focusing principally upon criminal defense and personal injury cases. In 2009 he was awarded WACDL’s Champion of Justice award, which recognizes an individual who has defended the constitutional rights of those that have been accused of crimes. He has also received several community service awards and an Alumni Award from BLSA.  He has trial at the national Public Defender Trial School at the University of Dayton and at programs in Arizona, Louisiana and Washington State.  In the personal injury realm, he is known as a fierce advocate for his clients — including clients in police misconduct law suits.  He is a graduate of the Seattle University School of Law.

Robert D. Butler has been in private practice in Bellingham for over twenty years and focuses his practice on criminal defense, employment law, and civil rights litigation. He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Puget Sound School of Law and is a member of the WACDL Board of Governors.

Lenell Nussbaum represents individuals in criminal investigations, trials, appeals, and post-conviction efforts. She is counsel in more than 70 published appellate opinions. She is a past president of WACDL and a recipient of its William O. Douglas award for “extraordinary courage and dedication to the practice of criminal law.” She is a long-ago graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Lizanne Padula has been a Criminal Lawyer since 1994.  She was a prosecutor for five years and has been a private criminal defense attorney for the remaining 18 years of her legal career.  Lizanne also handles police misconduct cases.  Given that her legal life has been all about police officers; what they do, how they do it and the results of what they do, she was ready when tapped to talk about “Contempt of Cop”.  Lizanne is a graduate of the Cincinnati School of Law, a Super Lawyer® and a perfect 10 (AVVO®).  Lizanne has offices in both Seattle and Bellevue Washington.

Laura Shaver has been practicing law since 2011, representing individuals from the pre-charging stages to verdict or resolution in criminal cases, and post-conviction efforts such as appeals, relief from sex offender registration, pardons, and clemency petitions.  She began her legal career in the San Diego Public Defender’s Office where she worked closely on several homicide cases before transferring to the Major Felony Unit where the majority of her caseload consisted of three-strike cases. During this time, she also dedicated her free time to the California Innocence Project where she assisted staff attorneys in proving factual innocence for the wrongfully accused and incarcerated.  She has worked for a solo practitioner in the Pierce County area, as a Public Defender at the Yakima County Department of Assigned Counsel, and is currently in private practice with an office in Lynnwood.  She has a Certificate of Study in Human Rights from the University of Oxford, New College and received her JD at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Kent Underwood graduated from California State University in Sacramento with a B.A in philosophy and Chinese studies in 1990, a M.A. in philosophy with an emphasis in epistemology and ethics from the University of Utah in 1994, and from Seattle University Law School in 1997. He has been practicing primarily criminal defense since 1999. He promoted passage of proposed CrR 4.11 (recording). He is co-chair of WACDL’s Court Rules Committee, which assisted in helping defeat proposed modifications to ER 803 and 902 that would have benefited large civil firms but at the cost of an accused’s constitutional confrontation rights.  The committee is currently working on eyewitness identification reform in Washington.  He was the first person in Washington to challenge law enforcements use of the Stingray (cell site simulators) in a criminal case.  He has testified in Olympia on issues related to requiring a warrant for use of cell site simulators, medical cannabis, and the release of booking photos and the potential impact on eyewitness identification. He was counsel in State v. Mankin, and State v. D. Davis, who was acquitted of rendering criminal assistance to Maurice Clemmons.

Preconference Faculty

Chris Black handles cases at both the trial and appellate levels in federal, state and local courts. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics, with honors, from the Johns Hopkins University in 1997 and is a 2001 graduate of the UW Law School. He has practiced exclusively criminal defense since graduating law school, and opened his own firm in 2009. He was selected as a Super Lawyer in 2014-2016. Chris serves on the WACDL Board of Governors, where he is currently the board treasurer. He also served as president of the Board of Directors of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project from 2009 to 2011. He spends his time away from work trying to keep up with his three young sons.

Ramona Brandes is a senior attorney at the King County Department of Public Defense. She has been a public defender for 19 years and is one of only 11 women currently certified by the Washington Supreme Court to defend clients at trial in capital proceedings.  She has been active in the WDA/WACDL Legislative Committee since 2004 and has served as its co-chair since 2012. Ms. Brandes testifies regularly before the state Legislature on criminal defense issues, and was recognized by the Washington Defender Association in 2011 and by WACDL in 2005 and 2014 for her policy work and efforts to improve public defense statewide. In her rarely-existent free time she enjoys sailing, scuba diving, and snow skiing.

Neil Fox is in private practice in Seattle, focusing on criminal defense and human rights cases. Prior to entering private practice, he was a staff attorney at Washington Appellate Defender Association (1985-1989), and a staff attorney and supervisor at the Seattle-King County Public Defender Association (1989-2002). He received a President’s Award from WACDL in 2002 and WACDL’s William O. Douglas Award in 2016, and was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Mothers for Police Accountability in 2003. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Illinois School of Law.

Vanessa Gutierrez is the Directing Attorney in the Wenatchee office of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Office. Advocating for access to legal services in rural areas is particularly important to Vanessa, and she has worked in many capacities in under-served areas of Washington. She has been a part of NWIRP since 2010, and has previously worked in the Moses Lake and Seattle offices of NWIRP. Her practice spans a broad range of immigration relief, with a focus on Family, U Visa, VAWA and removal defense.

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