National Seminar on the Development and Integration of Mitigation Evidence

April 9-12, 2015
Baltimore, MD

This seminar is designed for, and attendance is limited to, federal defenders, CJA panel attorneys, mitigation specialists, investigators, and attorneys interested in representing an inmate in federal collateral review, and state court practitioners who are currently appointed or seeking appointment in a capital proceeding in federal court. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) accreditation for attorneys will be sought in all applicable jurisdictions. There will be no tuition and materials will be provided to participants free of charge, but no funding is available for financial assistance to attendees for airfare and lodging expenses. Space is limited to 200 attendees.


This seminar has been held annually since the Supreme Court's decision in Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510 (2003), which recognized the need for thorough mitigation in investigation and acknowledged the importance of the non-lawyer who had compiled the mitigation in the successful post-conviction presentation. More than a decade after Wiggins, this year's seminar will address advances in neuroscience and other scientific knowledge relevant to mitigation, changes in the evolving litigation landscape, and empirical research on how jurors respond to sentencing phase evidence. The program will also include presentations on the use of narrative, finding and telling humanizing stories, the use of social history investigation in litigating Atkins claims, the importance of pleas, how to select appropriate experts and frame referral questions for mental health evaluations, and strategies for obtaining adequate time and funding. As always, the faculty will include university-based researchers as well as litigators, mitigation specialists, and mental health experts. Breakout sessions will include a  beginner's track on mitigation basics as well as advanced workshops on specialized problems.


To register, please go to You will need to log in in order to register. If you've attended a program in the past and haven't created or updated your profile, your Login ID will be the email address you've provided to us and your password will be your last name with the first letter being capitalized. Example: Login ID: Password: Smith. If you have not attended a program in the past, you will need to create a Login ID. If assistance is needed, please email Amy Stratton. You will receive an automatic confirmation email of your enrollment in the program and you will be provided information on how to make your hotel reservation. Please be sure to read the attachment in the email.

We expect the on-site registration and materials pick-up will commence at 3:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, and that the seminar will conclude by 12:00 noon on Sunday, April 12, 2015.