Upcoming Seminars

Upcoming HAT Seminars 

The Anthony G. Amsterdam Capital Post-Conviction Skills Seminar
July 12-15, 2018
Loyola Law School
Los Angeles, CA

This is an intensive learning by doing seminar designed to teach the skills necessary to prepare and conduct a post-conviction hearing in a capital case. This program is offered to federal defenders, CJA panel attorneys, and other attorneys who either represent or are interested in representing a death-sentenced inmate in post-conviction proceedings. A National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) case file containing materials from the state court record in a capital case, together with evidence and information discovered after conviction, provides the program’s backdrop. Participants will brainstorm issues, interview and prepare witnesses, determine how to present proof, and conduct direct and cross-examinations of witnesses. This program will complement existing continuing legal education programs and ensure that the profession provides competent post-conviction representation in capital cases.

Program Dates and Location

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - Sunday, July 15, 2018 Loyola Law School
919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015


Enrollment is limited to forty-eight licensed attorneys either currently representing or interested in representing a death-sentenced inmate in collateral review. Attorneys from Federal Defender Offices’ Capital Habeas Units will be given priority in acceptance if this program goes to waitlist. However, there are plenty of slots for all who are interested. To register, please click REGISTER HERE. If assistance is needed, please email Lauren Billups, Lauren_Billups@ao.uscourts.gov.


A group block of sleeping rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Checkers, 535 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA. Details regarding how to make reservations can be found in the confirmation email.


Check in for the seminar is 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Thursday, July 12, 2018. The program will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 12:00 noon. The Post-Conviction Skills Seminar employs the highly effective learning-by doing method in which small groups of participants are teamed with one or two faculty members and perform skills exercises. The program schedule and course materials will be mailed to registered participants approximately ten days prior to the start date. All participants are expected to prepare in advance for the seminar.


Twenty-Third Annual National Federal Habeas Corpus Seminar
August 9-12, 2018
Baltimore, MD

The seminar will be held on August 9-12, 2018 at the Hilton Baltimore. Lodging rate at the Hilton Baltimore is $140. This seminar is designed for, and attendance is limited to: federal defenders; Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel attorneys; attorneys interested in representing a death- sentenced inmate in federal collateral review; state court practitioners who are currently appointed or seeking appointment in a federal capital habeas corpus proceeding; attorneys in state capital post-conviction defender offices, mitigation specialists and investigators providing services pursuant to the CJA. There will be no tuition, and materials will be provided to participants free of charge. The the Defender Services Office Training Division of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts also will make available, to a limited number of applicants, funding to cover travel expenses (airfare and/or lodging only) as detailed below. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) accreditation for this program will be sought in all applicable jurisdictions.


This nationally-recognized program, the only one of its kind, focuses on representation in capital habeas cases in toto. Among other topics, experienced capital habeas litigators will address claim identification, various aspects of capital post-conviction investigation, factual and legal development and presentation of claims, the use of mitigation and mental health experts, the litigation of issues related to intellectual disability, mental illness, race and methods of execution, substantive and procedural habeas corpus jurisprudence and clemency practice. The program will also have a number of focused sessions devoted to providing attendees with information regarding the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions (and cases currently pending in the Court) on capital post- conviction practice, as well as sessions addressing new developments and trends in the federal courts of appeal and other state and federal courts. The program will also address new legislative initiatives and administrative actions that may affect capital habeas representation. Individual case consultations will also be available, upon request, to persons attending the seminar.


The new registration system does not require a log-in and password to register for our events. We ask that you use your work email address for registration purposes and to help eliminate duplication. For registration, please REGISTER HERE. If assistance is needed with registration, please email Lauren Billups at Lauren_Billups@ao.uscourts.gov.


Onsite registration materials pick-up will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 9, and the program will begin at 5:00 p.m and end at 8:00 p.m. The seminar is scheduled to conclude around 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 12, 2018.


Limited funds are available to cover airfare and/or lodging costs for individuals who require financial assistance to attend this seminar. You must be currently appointed to, or expect to soon be appointed to, a federal capital habeas case to be eligible for payment of your travel costs. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email which includes the link to the financial assistance application. Requests will be prioritized by financial need and the extent of the applicant’s involvement in federal capital habeas corpus representation. Please be sure you provide all required information and your application reaches us by the indicated due date. Incomplete requests and those received after the deadline will not be considered. If you apply for financial assistance, please do not make airline reservations until you are notified about a decision on your application and furnished with information on how to secure those reservations. Individuals who apply for scholarships will be notified whether they have been granted a requested financial assistance award by June 27, 2018 along with instructions on how to make airline and hotel reservations. Those in Federal Defender offices cannot apply for financial assistance

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Chastain Smith via email at Chastain_Smith@ao.uscourts.gov.