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2024 Spring Public Defender Conference

May 8 - May 10

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2024 Spring Public Defender Conference is now available. Click here to access the course webpage. The agenda will be posted soon.  This conference is cosponsored by the UNC School of Government, the Office of Indigent Defense Services, and the NC Association of Public Defenders. This year’s conference will be held in person on May 8-10, 2024, at the Winston-Salem Benton Convention Center (301 W 5th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101). 

Conference topics will include emerging Fourth Amendment issues, prosecutor misconduct, forensics, client-centered advocacy, driving while impaired, evidence, satellite-based monitoring, calendaring authority, and more.

Click HERE for the agenda.

Participants: The Spring Public Defender Conference is open to public defenders, public defender investigators, private investigators, appellate defenders, capital defenders, special counsel, IDS legal staff, and attorneys from the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc.

This year’s conference will not include a separate track for investigators; however, investigators may find the sessions helpful to their work and are welcome to attend.

Registration and Fees: To register and find other program information, click here to visit the course page. Pre-registration is required.

The registration fee for IDS employees—public defenders, public defender investigators, appellate defenders, capital defenders, special counsel, and IDS legal staff—is $90.

The registration fee for attorneys from the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. is $425. Due to space constraints, we cannot accommodate private attorneys at this conference.

The registration fee for non-IDS investigators—federal public defender investigators, private investigators, and CDPL and PLS investigators—is $350.

The registration deadline is 5:00 p.m. on April 26. There is no on-site registration.

Hotel Information: Hotel accommodations are available from May 7 – May 10 at $149 per night plus tax at the Winston-Salem Marriott Downtown (425 North Cherry Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101). Please note that limited rooms are available for May 7.

To make a hotel reservation, you must book here. The group rate is available until April 8. After this date, accommodations depend on availability, and the room rate is subject to increase. To modify or cancel a hotel reservation, you must call central reservations at 1-800-228-9290. If you need to cancel, please do so as soon as possible.

The hotel only offers valet parking at $28 a day. Please see the attached parking map for additional parking options near the convention center and hotel.

Travel and Reimbursement (State Employees Only): Your eligibility for travel reimbursement at the state rate is contingent on state rules and regulations.  A customized travel expense allowance sheet, as well as a mileage chart from county seats to Winston-Salem, is available on the conference website.  As an IDS employee, your lodging is reimbursable at the state rate for Wednesday and Thursday nights if you must drive more than 35 miles to the conference from your home or office, whichever is closer. Lodging is not reimbursable for Tuesday night unless you drive more than 185 miles. Breakfast will be provided at no charge on Thursday and Friday; state employees may not claim reimbursement for breakfast.

The mileage reimbursement rate is $0.625 per mile for those participants with overnight status who carpool to and from the program. (Those who are not eligible to stay overnight are not required to carpool and will be reimbursed at $0.625 per mile.) If carpool passenger names are not provided, or if you choose to drive alone, you will receive $0.33 per mile. All exceptions to the carpool policy must be pre-approved by IDS CFO Aaron Gallagher:  Aaron.M.Gallagher@nccourts.org.  Carpool exceptions must be made via email and the approval email must accompany the travel reimbursement forms.  Please review the travel expense allowance sheet for further information.

Participants are encouraged to use their office’s state cars if feasible and if they are more than 150 miles from the site, to consider use of a rental under the state contract with Enterprise. For preapproval of the rental car and other information, contact Amy Ferrell at 919-890-2188 or Aaron.M.Gallagher@nccourts.org.

Credit: The 2024 Spring Public Defender Conference will offer approximately 13.75 hours of attorney CLE credit and qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit. Credits will include two ethics hours, one technology hour, and one substance abuse/mental health hour, which we will report to the State Bar on your behalf. If you are unable to attend the entire program, you will need to complete a partial credit form. Email partial credit forms to kfowler@sog.unc.edu by May 24.

Final credit hours are subject to change in accordance with approval from the NC State Bar.

Additional Information: We look forward to seeing you in May. If you need further information, contact Program Manager Kayla Fowler at kfowler@sog.unc.edu. If you have content questions, contact Director of Public Defender Education, Phil Dixon, Jr. at dixon@sog.unc.edu or Teaching Assistant Professor, Timothy Heinle at heinle@sog.unc.edu.


May 8
May 10
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