A Commitment To Excellence

A Passion For Justice

Defender Dinner

Appellate Defenders, Inc.
and
Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.

presents

THE 2021 ANNUAL DEFENDER DINNER

Please join us for our annual dinner to bring together the entire San Diego criminal defense community. In light of the ongoing pandemic, this event will take place at The Westin’s heated outdoor terrace, featuring warm cuisine, a cash bar, and a fun social gathering with no formal program. We will properly celebrate achievements and milestones the next time we are able to hold a full, indoor event.

 

The formal annual Defender Dinner occurs each spring. While the Board and staff of FDSDI and ADI organizations take the lead in the planning and execution of the dinner, the following organizations are co-sponsors: Criminal Defense Lawyers Club, Criminal Defense Bar Association, Office of the San Diego County Public Defender, Office of the San Diego County Alternate Public Defender, San Diego County Private Conflicts Counsel, California Appellate Defense Counsel, North County Criminal Defense Bar Association, and Criminal Defense Section of the Foothills Bar Association.

The unique purpose of the Dinner is to bring together under “one tent” all those who represent the accused. There is no other occasion like it in San Diego County. It brings together the defense bar, staff and guests to celebrate the work of all persons associated with the criminal defense work.

2021 ANNUAL DEFENDER DINNER

Date: November 19, 2021

Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location: Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, 910 Broadway Circle, San Diego

$30 per person

All  guests be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid PCR test result within 72 hours of attending the event.

 

CONANT-CLEARY AWARD

The CONANT-CLEARY AWARD for exceptional and unselfish devotion to protecting the rights of the indigent accused to Barton C. Sheela III, Alternate Public Defender

This award is named in honor of Stan Conant and John Cleary. Stan Conant was the founding Director of the Defenders Program in San Diego. He was widely respected as an advocate and tried many death penalty cases. Under his direction, that office successfully established itself in the community and paved the way for the establishment of the Office of the Public Defender in the mid-1980’s. John J. Cleary was the first Executive Director of Federal Defenders from 1971 to 1983. It was during this time, that Federal Defenders developed into a distinguished and highly respected office, where attorneys were trained extensively in federal law and trial skills, and expected to aggressively represent clients from trial and through appeal.

Past Recepients of the CONANT-CLEARY AWARD:

1980
Thomas Ryan
1981
Charles Sevilla
1982
Elisabeth Semel
1983
Steven Feldman
1984
John Mitchell
1985
John Cleary
1986
Alex Landon
1987
E. Miles Harvey
1988
John Cotsirilos
1989
Jeffrey Reilly
1990
Robert Grimes
1991
Judy Clarke
1992
Elaine Alexander
1993
Kathleen Coyne
1994
Carmela Simoncini
1995
Benjamin Rayborn
1996
Peter Hughes
1997
Mario Conte
1998
Allen Bloom and John Cotsirilos
1999
Gerald Blank
2000
Mary Ellen Attridge
2001
Steve Binder
2002
Janeen Kerper
2003
Benjamin Rayborn
2004
Chris Plourd
2005
Knut Johnson
2006
Elizabeth Missakian and John Lanahan
2007
Gary Gibson
2008
FDSDI GITMO Team -Ellis (Trip) Johnston, Shereen Charlick, Reuben Cahn, Luciano Silva, Marie Acuna, Zaki Zehawi, Heather Rogers and Stephen Demik.
2009
Linda Brown
2010
Robert Boyce
2011
C. Bradley Patton
2012
Mark Adams
2013
Knut Johnson
2014
Laura Berend
2015
Kurt Hermansen
2016
Zaki Zehawi
2017
Kara Hartzler
2018
Jami Ferrara
2019
Barton C. Sheela III

PAUL BELL AWARD

The PAUL BELL AWARD for significant achievement on appeal to Vincent J. Brunkow, Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc., Chief Appellate Attorney
The Paul Bell Award is presented in honor of excellence in representation of the indigent accused on appeal. The Award is given annually by the Board of Directors of Appellate Defenders and Federal Defenders in memory of Paul Bell, beloved Assistant Director of Appellate Defenders until his untimely passing in July 1997.

SPECIAL BOARD AWARDS

SPECIAL DIRECTOR’S AWARD to Elizbeth Missakian
SPECIAL TRIBUTES to Gerald Blank, John Cleary, and John Mitchell
SPECIAL BOARD AWARDS, When attorneys distinguish themselves for outstanding service in the legal community, the Board of Directors presents a Special Board Award to honor their achievement. Special awards are not given every year. For example: In 2005, this award was given to the legal defense team of a person who had served 21 years in prison before the team’s work lead to his eventual and long-overdue exoneration. Also in 2005, a lifetime achievement award was presented to a retiring attorney for his long career in defense of the accused.

Our

MISSION STATEMENT

Members of the Federal Defenders team share a commitment to excellence and a passion for justice in representing indigent people accused of myriad federal criminal offenses. We combine hard work, constant training and intense dedication in the defense of each of our clients.