The Year Ahead, from Your New Criminal Justice Section Chair

By George P. Doyle

When I think of those who came before me, I must say that it is a great honor for me to serve as this year’s Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the NCBA. Other Officers serving you this year are Vice-Chair Sherri Lawrence, a special Deputy Attorney General in the AG’s Office; Secretary Jennifer Martin, chief assistant District Attorney in Forsyth County; and Treasurer Kathleen Gleason, an assistant Federal Public Defender in the Middle District.

Immediate Past Chair Patrick Weede and Rob Heroy, co-Chairs of the CLE Committee, are already working hard to prepare for our annual meeting/CLE, which will be held on January 24, 2020 at the Bar Center in Cary. The topics will cover areas that impact your practice. The evening before is the Smith/Gilchrist Awards Dinner. I strongly urge you to attend this event. I promise you will leave the evening reminded of our noble calling and re-energized for the work ahead.

The CLE Committee is also seeking to address the needs of young and new lawyers who may be new to the practice of criminal law.  Plans are being made for a so-called “Boot Camp” for new criminal lawyers, to be held next Spring at the Elon Law School.

The Haiti Initiative, under the leadership of past Chair and past NCBA President Kearns Davis and David Garrett, Chair of the International Law Section, is planning for additional attorney exchanges with Haiti.  Plans include a prosecutor exchange in partnership with Haiti’s Minister of Justice (equivalent of the attorney general), to help Haitian prosecutors and judges learn how our prosecutors deal with public corruption matters. Several NCBA members have already visited Haiti, and our Young Lawyers Division recently was recognized with an award from the American Bar Association for its exchange with Haiti.

The goal of your Section leadership is to do all we can to support all of us, prosecutors and defense lawyers, who work in the criminal justice system in North Carolina. Please let me know your ideas and your concerns, especially if you work in indigent defense. We are here to serve you and advocate for you!