Delaware Trainings

Juvenile Continuing Legal Education Programs

“Overview of Special Court Programs for Juveniles in Family Court”
In 2014, the Office of the Public Defender offered an in house training that discussed all court and diversion programs statewide that can be offered to resolve juvenile delinquency cases. The presentation explained each of the programs and their requirements as well as the pros and cons of these resolutions from the defense perspective. Participants received power points summarizing each of these programs for use in Court.

“Litigating a Juvenile Sex Offender Case”
In 2014, the Office of the Public Defender offered an in house training that discussed pre-trial, trial, and post disposition representation of juveniles charged with sex offenses. Through interactive hypothetical cases, participants were asked to work through various legal and ethical issues that arise in these cases. The presentation also focused on 11 Del. C. §§ 4120-4123 which address registration for juvenile offenders. Passed in 2013, Section 4123 allows certain juveniles adjudicated of a sex offense to move the court to relieve them from registration requirements. It also allows certain juveniles already on the registry to move for removal from or modification of the registration requirements. Participants were educated on all provisions of this new law as well as how to litigate this statute during a relief/removal/modification hearing. Participants received practical tools such as litigation check lists, sample motions, and power points outlining the new law.

“On their Own — Waiver of Counsel”
In 2013, the Office of the Public Defender hosted a continuing legal education program on Juvenile Waiver of Counsel. Marsha Levick, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the Juvenile Law Center, was the keynote speaker. This presentation was open to the defense bar, prosecutors, and the judiciary. This program outlined the necessity of counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings, how waiver of counsel issued should be addressed and discussed the recent Pennsylvania court rule prohibiting waiver of counsel which was drafted as a result of the “Cash for Kids” scandal in Luzerne County, PA. Through a grant by NJDC, the program was broadcast by webinar and available to all Northeast Regional Juvenile Defenders.

“The Impact of ADHD”
In 2014, the Office of the Public Defender hosted a continuing legal education program with attorney, Robert M. Tedesco. Mr. Tedesco spoke on the impact of ADHD on clients involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Mr. Tedesco discussed his experiences in representing juveniles with ADHD and its impact on disposition, client behavior, and sentencing. His presentation also summarized education law and it intersection with delinquency.

“Factoring in Youth: Updates in Recent Case Law and Legislation”
In February 2014, Lisa Minutola, Chief of Legal Services for the Public Defender’s Office presented on significant legislation that affected juvenile cases in both Family Court and Superior Court.
First, on the heels of the decision in Miller v. Alabama, legislation was passed that abolished the mandatory sentence of life without parole for juveniles convicted of Murder in the First Degree and
allows for relief from life or virtual life sentences for any juveniles prosecuted in Superior Court. Second, legislation was passed that allows Family Court discretion to modify the sex offender registration requirements for certain juvenile offenses.

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Legislative and Case Law Update for 2014.”
In September 2014, the Office of the Public Defender (Lisa Minutola, Chief of Legal Services, Dawn Williams, Director of Training and Development, and Nicole Walker, Appellate Attorney) presented its annual case law and legislative update which highlights any legislation and case law from the 2014 session that impacts juvenile justice.

Juvenile Training Immersion Program

In July 2014, Dawn Williams, Director of Training and Development, from the Office of the Public Defender became a JTIP certified trainer. Currently, there are two JTIP certified trainers in Delaware as Lisa Minutola, Chief of Legal Services became a JTIP certified trainer in July 2013.

In July 2014, two attorneys, Natalie Haskins and Heather Lingo, from the Office of the Public Defender completed the Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) Summer Academy.

On September 26, 2014, a Juvenile Immersion Training will be offered to all PD and OCC attorneys representing juveniles. Through the use of national and local trainers attorneys will engage in interactive training on the role of defense counsel, suppression of juvenile statements, and effective interviewing techniques for juvenile clients.