The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers plans to hold a fundraiser to benefit its Foundation for Criminal Justice in the Atlanta area on the evening of April 11.
Atlanta attorney Drew Findling, current NACDL president, will host the event along with his wife, Beth Findling, at their home just north of Buckhead in Sandy Springs. Findling is founder of the Findling Firm in Buckhead and has become nationally known for representing musicians and reality television stars from Atlanta’s rap and hip-hop industry.
“The NFCJ provides critical support for the nation’s criminal defense bar—the constitutionally-ordained guardians of individual liberty,” Findling said in an announcement of the event. “The criminal defense function is the ultimate brake on governmental power versus the individual, and the NFCJ ensures that the defense bar is robust in defense of the individual and pursuit of criminal justice reform. Whether assuring the government needs a warrant to search a cellphone, advocating for Brady reform, or training and ensuring that everyone has an effective lawyer, the NFCJ is the most important charity I can think of to fix America’s criminal justice system.”
Foundation president Lisa Monet Wayne called her group and the NACDL “liberty’s last champions.”
“From historic work ensuring the guiding hand of counsel at Wounded Knee to support for the John Adams Project and Clemency Project 2014, they are constantly working to protect people’s rights and ensure a fairer criminal justice system for all,” Wayne said in the event announcement. “They protect the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments, through myriad projects that promote resources, skills, training, and effective policy. The NFCJ helps the defense bar in a united effort to being the voice of real criminal justice reform.”
The event—“From Legal Aid to Legal Stars: Barry Scheck and David Rudolf”—is being promoted as “an evening with two all-star lawyers and their legal journey from the South Bronx to streaming superstardom.”
Scheck, along with Neufeld, Scheck & Brustin partner Peter Neufeld, cofounded The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Innocence Project has been responsible in whole or in part for exonerating most of the over 300 men and women to be cleared through post-conviction DNA testing. Scheck is a former legal aid lawyer from the Bronx. He was a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team.
Rudolf defended Michael Peterson in a murder trial chronicled in a Netflix television series called “The Staircase.” Peterson was accused of killing his wife, who was found at the bottom of their home’s staircase. He was convicted, then granted a new trial, then eventually freed with Rudolf’s help. Rudolf has taught Trial Advocacy at the UNC School of Law and for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and Criminal Litigation at Duke University School of Law.
Tickets start at $500 a pair and can be purchased on the NACDL website. The event starts at 7 p.m.