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New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - NYSACDL

New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - NYSACDL
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“You may be 38 years old as I happen to be, and one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause--and you refuse to do it because you are afraid; you refuse to do it because you want to live longer; you\'re afraid that you will lose your job, or you\'re afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity or you\'re afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house, and so you refuse to take the stand. Well you may go on and live until you are 90, but you\'re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90! And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right, you died when you refused to stand up for truth, you died when you refused to stand up for justice.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Mission

NYSACDL is dedicated to protecting the rights of criminal defendants through a strong, unified, and well-trained criminal defense bar.  Our guiding principle is that vigorous defense is the strongest bulwark against error and injustice in the criminal justice system.  In an era when the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, we expand on the question most often posed to our members and ask “how can we defend those people most effectively?”


NYSACDL’s goals are to:


  • Serve as a leader and partner in advancing humane criminal justice policy and legislation.


  • Promote the rights of criminal defendants through the adoption of policy positions, targeted concerted action, and the submission of amicus briefs on issues of significance to the fair administration of criminal justice and the protection of civil liberties.


  • Advocate for individual and systemic accountability in the criminal justice system, with a particular emphasis on instances of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.


  • Develop a broad, inclusive and vibrant membership of private criminal defense practitioners and public defenders throughout New York State.


  • Provide a forum for our members to exchange ideas and information, with a particular emphasis on mentoring those who are new to the profession.


  • Provide quality continuing legal education to our members through live programs, a comprehensive and easily-accessible briefs and motions bank, e-alerts and website updates with new developments, and articles in our quarterly publication, Atticus.


  • Defend our members in professional emergencies and honor their achievements through articles on our website and in Atticus, and awards at our annual dinner.