The Board of Directors of Appellate Defenders

The Board of Directors of Federal Defenders



2023 Annual Defender Dinner


Friday, APRIL 28, 2023

No host cocktails at 5:00 p.m.; Dinner at 6:00 p.m.

Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, 910 Broadway Circle, 4th Floor Ballroom San Diego

Please join us for our annual dinner to bring together the entire San Diego criminal defense community.


Lisa Monet Wayne, Esq.

Executive Director
National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys &
National Foundation for Criminal Justice


Cost: $75. Invitations here.

For attorneys admitted to the ADI Fourth Appellate District panel, click here for the invitation.

Presentation of the following awards will be made

CONANT-CLEARY AWARD1 for exceptional and unselfish devotion to protecting the rights of the indigent accused to Barton C. Sheela III, Alternate Public Defender

PAUL BELL AWARD2 for significant achievement on appeal to Vincent J. Brunkow, Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., Chief Appellate Attorney

Past Speakers include:

2019: Cecillia Wang
Scott Sanders
David Bruck
Goodwin Liu
2015: Jeffrey L. Fisher
2014: Hon. Irma E. Gonzalez
2013: Justice Cynthia Aaron
2012: Donald Specter , Executive Director of the Prison Law Office
2011: Wilbert Rideau
2010: Honorable Carlos Moreno
2009: Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift and Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer , Counsel for Guantanamo detainees
in the Federal Courts
2008: Bryan Stevenson , Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama
2007: Sister Helen Prejean

1. The CONANT-CLEARY AWARD for exceptional and unselfish devotion to protecting the rights of the indigent accused. 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.

2. The PAUL BELL AWARD is presented in honor of significant achievement 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.


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