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The Office of
Defense Services

Speakers’ Bureau


The Office of Defense Services has a roster of lawyers, paraprofessionals, and staffers who are available to speak to community groups about the work we do.

Office of Defense Services speakers are available statewide at no cost to speak at community organizations, church groups, school meetings, etc. If you are interested in having a representative of the Office of Defense Services speak to your group, call Donna Thomas at (302) 577-5136 or e-mail her at donna.thomas@state.de.us to schedule a speaker. Two weeks lead time is preferred.

RECENT ENGAGEMENTS


Lisa Schwind, head of ODS’s Forensic Services Unit, recently spoke at two events: the New Jersey Association Directors of Nursing Administration / Long Term Care. Oh The Places You’ll Go: Passport to Excellence, Oh Me Oh My: Is it Accident or Abuse, in Atlantic City, and at Christiana Care Health System’s FNE Spring Education Day, where she was a co-presenter with Gordon Reed MD, Legal Aspects of Forensic Nursing.


Attorneys Misty Seemans, Bill Deely, and Anne Podczasy from the Office of Defense Services judged mock trial events across the state on February 24th and February 25th.


Several members of the Office of Defense Services attended and presented at a community forum co-hosted by ODS and the Delaware Center for Justice. The forum, entitled, ‘Community Day: Preparing Our Children For Success’, dealt with ongoing juvenile justice reforms and strategies for keeping kids out of trouble during the summer.


Attorney Brian Bartley and ODS Forensic Unit Supervisor Lisa Schwind were among five speakers at an April symposium at Delaware Law School that was titled, “Women in the Criminal Justice System: The Crime of Being A Woman.”


ODS Sussex County Division head Rob Robinson presented to 4-H students in April during a mock trial event in Sussex County.


Assistant Public Defender Brian Bartley, Videophone Unit Head, spoke at the League of Women Voters’ Annual League Day in Dover on March 23, 2016, which addressed criminal justice issues. Mr. Bartley discussed pre-trial detention with the non-partisan group.


Director of Training and Development, Dawn Williams, and homicide unit supervisor Kathryn van Amerongen took part in a mock trial program with the students from Hanby Elementary School on March 15th and 16th, 2016.


Assistant Public Defenders Amy Coogan and Martha Claverie were part of a panel presentation in Judge Robert Coonin’s class at the Delaware Law School in January 2016.

PAST ENGAGEMENTS


On October 14, 2015, Chief Defender Brendan O’Neill spoke at a meeting of the Inns of the Court.


On October, 8, 2015, Nativity Preparatory School of Wilmington held its second annual career panel day. The event was organized by Dawn Williams, Director of Training and Development. Panelist included Lisa Minutola, Chief of Legal Services and Kerry Ferriter, Psycho-Forensic Evaluator. Panelist shared information about their career paths, education and life experiences with the middle school aged boys and joined them for lunch after the panels.


On October 7, 2015, Brian Bartley, Assistant Public Defender, Videophone Unit Head, presented at the 2015 Annual NAMI Delaware Conference. Mr. Bartley participated in a breakout session as a panelist for: Criminal Justice/CIT: Case Study and Panel Discussion.


On September 29, 2015, Beth Savitz, Assistant Public Defender, presented at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) meeting. Many of the members, mostly retired employees from various Federal agencies, highly anticipated the visit. They enjoyed hearing the explanation of the organizational setup of the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) and the roles of its employees. The explanation of her particular responsibilities and her experiences as an attorney in the PDO office were particularly enlightening. The members came away with a better understanding of how the agency preserves the rights of indigent defendants.


On June 2, 2015, In Her Shoes held their annual graduation ceremony. Brian Bartley, Assistant Public Defender, Videophone Unit Head, was the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. In Her Shoes is a non-profit organization established to help previously incarcerated women that encounter re-entry challenges and fall into women at risk categories. This organization provides women, coming out of incarceration, with peer leaders to help them through this transition and assimilate back into everyday life. The program’s role models provide guidance to help these women with any struggles and or barriers that society sets upon reentry. Each year, In Her Shoes has a graduation to celebrate the successes women in their program with a full year of acclimation into everyday life. On Many thanks for your presentation this morning at our National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) meeting.


On May 11 2015, Brian Bartley, Assistant Public Defender, Videophone Unit Head, moderated a panel at the Third Annual Sisters in Success Conference at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution. The panel was titled, “Breaking From the Brink, Finding Your Flight Path; the Shiver Report Explored.” The presenter was Rosemary Madl-Young, Ph.D, who explored issues facing women in the workforce and motherhood.


On April 15, 2015, Andrew Rosen, Assistant Public Defender, NCC Superior Court Trial Unit, addressed a literacy class at Phyllis Wheaton Elementary School in Bridgeville. This program provides literacy classes for adults with classes for their children at the same time. The topic of discussion was bullying. Corporal Chrysti Davis of the Delaware State Police also presented. They showed a 15 minute excerpt from a video called “Strings of Fear” that was produced by the Delaware Department of Justice and Cab Calloway School of the Arts. The excerpts showed examples of bullying that spark discussions. They discussed what to do if a child is being bullied and what to do if you are being bullied as an adult. They also discussed possible criminal charges that could arise from bullying. Individuals related issues from their own or their children’s experiences.


On March 7, 2015, Brian Bartley, Assistant Public Defender, Videophone Unit Head, participated the YMCA’s Youth in Government Training and Elections conference in Dover, Delaware. Youth Attorneys met with 1-on-1 with actual attorneys to discuss the case their briefs and oral arguments in preparation for a three day competition.


On February 27 and 28, 2015, the annual High School Mock Trial Competition was held at the New Castle County Courthouse. Many Assistant Public Defenders (APDs) participated as scoring judges and presiding judges in all rounds of the competition from the preliminary rounds to the finals. APDs who participated as judges were Amy Coogan, William Deely, Robert Goff, David Lukoff, Lisa Minutola, Misty Seemans and J’Aime Walker. Special recognition goes out to Stephanie Volturo, Chief Conflicts Counsel, who coached the Newark Charter High School’s team.


On January 22, 2015, Misty Seemans, Assistant Public Defender, spoke to a group of women at Brandywine Counseling as part of the Delaware Center for Justice’s Women In Support of Health (WISH) Program. The lively discussion centered around constitutional rights and what to do – and not do – when stopped by a police officer.


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