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Virginia Indigent Defense Commission


VIDC Attorneys

The Commission provides training to its attorneys in a number of ways. Once a year, the Commission convenes a Public Defender Conference that provides six hours of training, including one hour of legal ethics. The Conference is held in Virginia and is staffed by high quality speakers and trainers who donate their time and expertise to improving the quality of Virginia’s indigent defense.

Support Staff

In order to assure the high quality of its non-attorney professional staff, the VIDC also sponsors training conferences for its office managers, investigators and sentencing advocates. Finally, the Commission provides funding each year for attorneys, investigators, and sentencing advocates to attend specialized training sponsored by agencies or organizations outside of the VIDC.

Private Bar

As a service to Virginia’s criminal defense bar, the VIDC also provides training opportunities for members of the private bar. The Commission co-sponsors with the University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law an annual Juvenile Law and Education Conference. Commission staff also assist the Criminal Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association with the planning of Virginia’s annual Capital Defense Workshop. The Chief Justice of the Supreme court of Virginia also offers at no cost advanced trial skills training for Virginia’s court appointed counsel. Finally, individual public defender offices sponsor training programs for office staff and members of local bar associations.

Training Programs and Conference Schedule

VIDC Certification Trainings

The certification training programs for 2014-15 are provided below.

2015 Certification Training Schedule

Certification Training Agenda

Registration Form

Attorney Certification Training Registration Form

Instructions: After downloading the registration form, there may be a yellow box at the top of the document stating "Protected View." If this box is present, click on the button "Enable Editing" so you can fill in the form. When filling in the form, under the heading "Select Date and Location," there are drop down boxes where the available dates will be listed. Click on "Choose an Item," then click the down arrow that appears next to the box and the dates of the training will appear. Click on the date you are requesting.

Certification Requirements

For an outline of certification requirements, please click on link below.

Certification Requirements

Lists of MCLE Approved Continuing Legal Education Programs certified by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission for Maintaining Indigent Defense Certification, per Virginia Code §19.2163.03 (D) are available for downloading in PDF format.

2015 Live/Video Courses

Online Only Available Courses

2013-2014 Course Reference Guide

VIDC Capital Certification Trainings

The new qualification standards for capital defense will become effective September 1, 2015. Initial capital certification training for defense attorneys wishing to be eligible for appointment in capital cases under the new standards must complete both days of this certification training. This training is free of charge and 10 CLE credits are expected.

Initial Capital Certification Training

Date and Times: June 18, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and June 19, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: University of Virginia School of Law, 580 Massie Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22903

Registration is now full.

Click here for waiting list.


Waiver of Initial Capital Certification Training Application

Video Replay for Initial Capital Certification Training

Date and Times: August 13, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and August 14, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, 1604 Santa Rosa Rd., Suite 200, Richmond, VA 23229
Click here to register.

Date and Times: August 17, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and August 18, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Roanoke County Courthouse/Law Library 305 East Main Street, 1st Floor, Salem, VA 24153
Click here to register.


Initial Capital Habeas Certification Training

Date and Times: July 31, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Virginia Inidigent Defense Commission 1604 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 200, Richmond VA 23219
Click here to register.

VIDC Sponsored Training

20th Annual Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. Juvenile Law and Education Conference
Defending Difference: Mental Health Challenges in Child Advocacy

Date: Friday May 15, 2015
Location: University of Richmond School of Law

For more information and to register, please click here.

Immigration Consequences of Juvenile Adjudications and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Presenters: Morgan Macdonald, Legal Fellow, Virginia Justice Program, CAIR Coalition and Mari Dorn-Lopez, Supervising Attorney, Detained Children's Program, CAIR Coalition

Date and Time: May 21, 2015 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This free, 1 hour webinar will address issues relevant to the defense of noncitizen juvenile defendants in adjudicatory proceedings. Topics discussed will include: the immigration consequences of juvenile delinquency adjudications; availability of discretionary relief for juveniles with delinquency adjudications; an overview of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS); and strategies for the defense of juvenile defendants, including screening for SIJS eligibility.

Note: This program, which is co-sponsored by the CAIR Coalition, the Virginia State Bar, and the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, has been submitted for 1.0 hour of MCLE credit. Registration is limited to attorneys and staff of Virginia public defender offices and court appointed attorneys certified by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission.

To register for this program, click here

2015 Indigent Defense Appellate Conference
This conference will be held on July 10, 2015 at the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission at 1604 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 200, Richmond, VA.

Registration is now full.

Click here to be added to the waiting list.


Evidentiary Issues on Appeals

Presenter: The Honorable Judge Robert Humphrey

Date: April 3rd, 2015 Time: 3:00 PM

Description: This late day lecture focuses on how to effectively raise evidentiary issues in the trial court in order to preserve them for appeal, as required by Rules 5:25 and 5A:18. Pre-trial evidentiary motions; objections to witness testimony and argument of counsel; challenges to sufficiency of the evidence; and commonly misunderstood evidentiary issues will be discussed. Participants will also gain an understanding of the standards of review for a variety of evidentiary issues on appeal.

Location: Virginia Indigent Defense Commission 1604 Santa Rosa Rd. Suite 200 Richmond, VA 23229

Registration is now full.

Click here to be added to the waiting list.

Other Non-VIDC Sponsored Training

11th Annual Indigent Criminal Defense Seminar
Advanced Skills for the Experienced Practitioner
Friday May 1, 2015
Space is limited! Register here.

DVD Requests

To request a copy of a DVD for viewing, please fill out the DVD Request form and return it to the VIDC attention Amy Williams.
A list of available DVDs can be found here.

For further information, please contact:

Human Resources and Training Director: Amy L. Williams

Standards of Practice Enforcement: Jae K. Davenport

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Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
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