National Federal Habeas Corpus Seminar

Twenty-Fourth Annual National Federal Habeas Corpus Seminar
August 8-11, 2019

Pittsburgh, PA

The seminar will be held on August 8-11, 2019 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. Lodging rate at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center is $125. This seminar is designed for, and attendance is limited to: federal defenders; Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel attorneys; attorneys interested in representing a death-sentenced inmate in federal collateral review; state court practitioners who are currently appointed or seeking appointment in a federal capital habeas corpus proceeding; attorneys in state capital post-conviction defender offices, mitigation specialists and investigators providing services pursuant to the CJA. There will be no tuition, and materials will be provided to participants free of charge. The AO also will make available, to a limited number of applicants, funding to cover travel expenses (airfare and/or lodging only).  Continuing Legal Education (CLE) accreditation for this program will be sought in all applicable jurisdictions.

This nationally-recognized program, the only one of its kind, focuses on representation in capital habeas cases in toto. Among other topics, experienced capital habeas litigators will address claim identification, various aspects of capital post-conviction mitigation and mental health experts, the litigation of issues related to intellectual disability, mental illness, race and methods of execution, substantive and procedural habeas corpus jurisprudence and clemency practice. The program will also have a number of focused sessions devoted to providing attendees with information regarding the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions (and cases currently pending in the Court) on capital post-conviction practice, as well as sessions addressing new developments and trends in the federal courts of appeal and other state and federal courts. The program will also address new legislative initiatives and administrative actions that may affect capital habeas representation. Individual case consultations will also be available, upon request, to persons attending the seminar.

In addition to HAT counsel John Blume, Mark Olive, Wendy Peoples, Keir Weyble and Emily Paavola, and national mitigation coordinator Russ Stetler, we will be joined in Pittsburgh by many nationally-recognized experts on federal habeas corpus and other areas of capital litigation. In the past, the faculty has included Bryan Stevenson, Tony Amsterdam, Don Verilli, George Kendal, Sandra Babcock, Julie Brain, Steve Bright, David Bruck, Dick Burr, Jerome Delpino, Robert Dunham, Tim Ford, Brad Wendel, Wilbert Rideau, Ruth Friedman, Sheri Johnson, Denny LeBoeuf, Maurie Levin, Rob Lee, James Liebman, Jim Marcus, Robin Maher, Jenny Merrigan, Teresa Norris, Sean O’Brien, Rob Owen, Cathleen Price, Barry Scheck, Christina Swarns, Lindsey Vann and Kathy Wayland.

We are now using a new registration system which does not require a log-in and password to register for our events. We ask that you use your work email address for registration purposes and to help eliminate duplication. For registration, please REGISTER HERE. If assistance is needed with registration, please email Lauren Billups at

Onsite registration materials pick-up will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 8, and the program will begin at 5:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. The seminar is scheduled to conclude around 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, 2019.

Limited funds are available to cover airfare and/or lodging costs for individuals who require financial assistance to attend this seminar. You must be currently appointed to, or expect to soon be appointed to, a federal capital habeas case to be eligible for payment of your travel costs. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email which includes the link to the financial assistance application. Requests will be prioritized by financial need and the extent of the applicant’s involvement in federal capital habeas corpus representation. Please be sure you provide all required information and your application reaches us by the indicated due date. Incomplete requests and those received after the deadline will not be considered. If you apply for financial assistance, please do not make airline reservations until you are notified about a decision on your application and furnished with information on how to secure those reservations. Individuals who apply for scholarships will be notified whether they have been granted a requested financial assistance award by June 24, 2019 along with instructions on how to make airline reservations. Those in Federal Defender offices cannot apply for financial assistance.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Chastain Smith via email at sends e-mail).

PLEASE NOTE: A hotel room block is secured for all training events listed. However, the room block is limited and not guaranteed until the room block cut-off date.  Those details are provided in the confirmation email you receive after registering for the conference.  We suggest that you make your hotel reservations as soon as you receive confirmation of your attendance. Please be aware that if you elect to Opt-Out of email communication from us in the registration system, you will not receive the confirmation email or any other emails from us.  We highly advise against Opting Out.