FACDL Training Symposium Webinar:

Using Diversity and Inclusion to be the Best Advocate in the Courtroom

(This webinar will not be recorded)


This Webinar is FREE to all attendees (space is limited on a first come first serve registration basis!)


Date: June 9, 2022 from 1 pm - 5 pm

This event will not be recorded so make sure to register as soon as possible if you would like to attend!

*Must register before 5 pm on June 7, 2022*

Agenda: June 9, 2022

1:00pm Announcements/Introductions

1:05pm "Naming the Elephant in the Room" - In order to effectively and zealously represent our clients, at times, defense attorneys must directly address issues related to racial injustice. In this session we will discuss concerns about raising issues of race in criminal court, consider the ways in which directly addressing race can serve a client’s best interests, and provide some practical advocacy approaches by Tara Allen   

1:55pm short break

2:00pm Announcements/Introductions

2:05pm “Saying Bye- Bye to the Haters- Deselection Checklist” (Voir Dire) by Martin Sabelli 

2:55pm short break

3:00pm Announcements/Introductions

3:05pm "5 Pillars of Mitigation - 5 Step Organizer on Tackling Mitigation" by Carmen Vizcaino and Melissa Ortiz

3:55pm short break

4:00pm “Implicit Bias Using Science to Understand the Decision Making Process” by The Honorable Scott Bernstein, Circuit Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit, The Honorable Peter F. Estrada, Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, and Khurrum Wahid.

4:50pm Conclusion/Thank You


  • Tara Allen

    An Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Criminal Trial Practice. Prior to joining the law school faculty, Tara served as a Federal Public Defender in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and California. She is on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College’s (NCDC) Trial Practice Institute, the nationally recognized trial skills program for criminal defense lawyers. She is an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Black Public Defenders Association (BPDA). Tara is a frequent a panelist, presenter and instructor for legal skills workshops and is often sought out for expertise in addressing issues of race in federal courts. Prior to joining the federal defender organizations, Tara was a supervising staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and a judicial intern in the Federal District of Massachusetts. Tara received her JD from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, MA and her BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

  • Martin Sabelli

    Organizational Experience:I serve as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and serve as the Chair of NACDL’s Ninth Circuit Lawyer’s Assistance Strike Force, Trial Penalty Task Force, and Full Disclosure (Police) Accountability Committee. I also serve on numerous NACDL committees including its Executive, Budget, Conflicts, Diversity, Ethics Advisory, Investment, and Public Defense Committees. In 2019, I received NACDL’s Champion of Justice Award. I serve as a Regent of the Board of Regents of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) and Chair of NCDC’s Strategic Planning Committee. I have served on its faculty since 2001. I am a Member of the Board of Directors of the Asociación Argentina de Juicios Por Jurados (Argentine Association of Jury Trials). In 2012, with the support of the Instituto de Estudios Comparados en Ciencias Penales y Sociales (INECIP), I established the Escuela de Defensores Latinoamericanos (ELDP) in Buenos Aires for defenders from South and Central America. The ELDP trains approximately 120-160 defenders every year and has developed over 30 trainers to continue the work in their home countries. I also served as the Director of the Mexico Transition Program for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) (2005-2009) which trained thousands of defenders, judges, prosecutors, and lawyers in the transition from inquisitorial systems to adversarial systems under grants from the United States Agency for International Development. Legal Practice: I have represented individuals and tried cases in state and federal courts since 1993 in a wide range of criminal matters including complex federal “gang” death penalty prosecutions under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), federal white collar criminal prosecutions, multi-defendant federal conspiracy prosecutions, federal and state death-penalty homicide prosecutions, death penalty habeas corpus matters, and corporate internal investigations. I have also represented individuals in a wide range of civil matters including civil and quasi-criminal investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Since 2008 I have been in private practice focused primarily on federal “gang” RICO death penalty defense work which often requires supervising teams of associates, paralegals, and investigators operating in multiple jurisdictions as well as the preparation of complex case budgets and preparation and litigation of complex motions. Before entering private practice, I served as a federal public defender in the Northern District of California (San Francisco), as the (first) Director of Training for the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, and as a law clerk to the late Honorable Robert F. Peckham, United States District Judge. As Director of Training of the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, I trained and supervised approximately 90 attorneys. Teaching and Lecturing: I often lecture on comparative criminal justice issues (including synergies between jury trials and the consolidation of democracy) and train public defenders, judges, prosecutors, and lawyers in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and numerous other countries. I have also trained judges, prosecutors, and lawyers in numerous other countries including Nicaragua, Tunisia, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority (West Bank). I have conducted over 300 trainings and lectures for prosecutors, defenders, and judges in Argentina including delivering the keynote address for the annual meetings of both the National Defenders Association and the National Prosecutors Association in 2018. I am often asked to teach trial advocacy to trial lawyers in the United States. I have taught for the Trial Advocacy Workshop for Harvard Law School, the National Criminal Defense College, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as well as numerous other criminal defense and public defense programs around the country and abroad. I have taught every aspect of litigation and trial practice to lawyers in the United States and many other countries. I have consulted on building capacity for strategic litigation for the Public Defender’s Office of Río de Janeiro and numerous defender organizations in Argentina. I have also trained law enforcement officers in bias free policing pursuant to an injunction issued by the Honorable Murray Snow in the Melendrez v. Arpaio litigation in Maricopa County, Arizona. I have authored law review articles and practice guides on the dangers of self-representation, evidence, expert witnesses, and prosecutorial discretion. In 2014, I trained defenders in Liberia pursuant to a project funded by the United Nations. In 1987 and 1988, I served on the Council for Consolidation of Democracy in Argentina under Professor Carlos Nino and President Raúl Alfonsín. Education: I received my degrees from Harvard College (1985), the London School of Economics and Political Science (1987), and Yale Law School (1990). Yale Law School, J.D. (1990).  Senior Editor, Yale Law Journal (1988-1990). Concentration in international human rights and comparative law.  Director, Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Project (1988-1990). Coker Teaching Fellow, Yale Law School (1989). Prize Teaching Fellow, Yale College (1990). The London School of Economics, M.Sc., Economic History of Latin America (1987). Economic History Fellowship (1985-1986). Harvard University, B.A., History and Literature, magna cum laude (1985). Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard College. John Harvard Scholar, Harvard College. Employment: 2008 to Present Law Offices of Martín Antonio Sabelli 2007 to 2008 Partner, Winston & Strawn, San Francisco 2003 to 2007 Director of Training, San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. 2000 to 2003 Partner, Hallinan, Wine & Sabelli. 1992 to 2000 Assistant Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California. 1991 to 1992 Clerk, The Honorable Robert F. Peckham, United States District Judge 1990 to 1991 Lecturer, Yale College, History Department

  • Carmen Vizcaino

    Carmen M. Vizcaino has been a criminal defense attorney for over 20 years working in both State and Federal Courts. She is also a mitigation specialist and has worked on death penalty cases as phase II counsel and as a mitigation specialist. Early in her career she was county mental health attorney at the public defender's office in Miami and has been in private practice for the last 18 years. Her practice is located in Miami.

  • Melissa Ortiz

    Melissa Ortiz has been an attorney and mitigation specialist for over 10 years specializing in death penalty mitigation. She has tried several Death Penalty trials and has complied waiver packages and second phase mitigation on countless others.  Her practice is in Miami but she has worked throughout the State.

  • Honorable Scott M. Bernstein

    Judge Bernstein received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1981. He received his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1983 (with honors), where he wrote for the Law Review. Judge Bernstein went into private practice upon graduation, concentrating in commercial litigation and appeals. He was elected to the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida in 1998. Judge Bernstein is a Past statewide Chair of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges. He served as Chair from 2016-2018, where he created the Judicial Wellness Program to benefit every Judge in the State of Florida; he was Secretary from 2012-21014; he was Chair-elect from 2014-2016. He was Education Chair from 2007 through 2012, where he oversaw continuing judicial education needs of Circuit Judges in the State of Florida. He also serves on the Florida Court Education Council, he is the co-Chair of the Universal Planning Committee, and he teaches the Faculty Training course, a prerequisite before any Florida Judge can teach to other Florida Judges. Judge Bernstein was Chair of the Florida Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity from 2007-2016; he continues to serve on that Committee. He was appointed Chair by 6 different Chief Justices of the Florida Supreme Court. This Committee promotes the perceptions of fairness in the court system statewide and has implemented hundreds of diversity trainings for all Judges and many court personnel in the State. Judge Bernstein was born and raised in Miami.  He founded the first volunteer support group for The New World Symphony and established a program providing music lessons to inner-city children.  He volunteered his time extensively in many community and social programs. Judge Bernstein asked to be assigned to Juvenile Court upon his election so he could dedicate his judicial career to the needs of children.  Judge Bernstein was the Chair of the 100th Anniversary Committee which celebrated the founding of the first Juvenile Court in the United States.  To honor the occasion, over 500 children, working with a local artist, created drawings and poems for an enormous five - canvass mural.  The centerpiece of the mural was then reproduced in glass mosaic tiles, enlarged two stories tall and mounted on the front the Juvenile Courthouse. Judge Bernstein was also the Chair of the Delinquency Case Management project for the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court which significantly restructured the way Delinquency cases are processed and greatly reduced the time delay in providing services for children. Judge Bernstein was appointed to coordinate and manage the Unified Family Court Pilot Project for the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court in 2002. He was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court to the Standing Committee on Families and Children in the Courts and he chaired the Delinquency Subcommittee from 2004-2008. He was appointed again to this statewide Committee from 2010 until 2018. In 2002 and 2003 Judge Bernstein presided over Dependency Drug Court, the nation’s first treatment-based specialty court dealing with issues of abuse, abandonment and neglect. Judge Bernstein served in the Criminal Division presiding over adult felony cases in 2003 and 2004.  Judge Bernstein served in the Family Division presiding over dissolution of marriage, custody, paternity and adoption cases in 2005. Judge Bernstein served in the Civil Division in 2006. In 2007, Judge Bernstein returned to the Family Division, where he served as the Administrative Judge for many, many years. Judge Bernstein also served as a Traffic Magistrate from 1996 to 1997.  Judge Bernstein recognized that court delays are particularly devastating for families in crisis, so he instituted a case management system in the Family Division to shorten the time between initial filing and final judgment. This included an electronic case management system providing for the filing, execution, and service of pleadings and court orders and scheduling of hearings as well as the regular use of dedicated case management hearings. The National Center for State Courts recognized this system as a national model. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Bernstein established procedures for remote court operations, including video conferencing, electronic submission of evidence, and safety protocols. He also established regular Town Hall meetings with the Bar (weekly at first, then monthly, for almost a full year) to address concerns and adapt new court procedures to the needs of the parties and attorneys who practice in Family Court. This allowed the Family Division to continue resolving disputes for families and children in South Florida almost immediately. While the Florida Supreme Court established detailed protocols for resuming court operations over several months, Judge Bernstein got the Family Division in Miami running at full capacity within two weeks – faster than almost any other court, or any other court division, in the State. Judge Bernstein teaches frequently on topics such as case management, criminal law, civil law, family law, juvenile law, the perceptions of fairness, and diversity. He is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instructor. He has taught at the Florida Judicial College, the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, the Conference of Circuit Court Judges, the Conference of County Court Judges, the Judicial College of Pennsylvania, and the National Judicial College. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Florida International University College of Law, teaching Family Law. He is invited frequently to speak to Judges and Lawyers around the nation. Judge Bernstein was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2015.

  • Honorable Peter F. Estrada

    The Honorable Peter F. Estrada currently serves is a Circuit Judge in the 10th Judicial Circuit Court Florida. The 10th Circuit is composed of three counties Polk Highlands and Hardee Counties.  Judge Estrada was the first Hispanic Circuit Judge in the history of the 10th Circuit when Governor Jeb Bush appointed him in 2005.  Prior to this appointment to the Circuit Bench, Judge Estrada served as the County Judge of Highlands County Florida from 2003-2005. Judge Estrada appointment to this position by Governor Jeb Bush was also historical since Judge Estrada was first Hispanic County Judge in history of Highlands County. Judge Estrada currently serves in the Felony Criminal Division in Highlands County Florida. Judge Estrada also served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 10th Circuit from 1988-2002.  Judge Estrada is a native of Tampa Florida. Judge Estrada received his B.A. from the University South Florida (History; Minor American Studies), 1983. He is proud graduate of South Texas College of Law obtaining his Juris Doctrine (J.D.) in 1988. He is a member of the Florida Bar Association, United States Middle District Court Florida, Highland Bar Association; The Tenth Judicial Circuit Representative Select Committee Justice Teaching, South Florida State College Foundation Board of Directors, 10th Judicial Circuit Wilson Inns of Court along with numerous civic and community organizations. Judge Estrada has received the following awards, Highlands Law Day award for his service from the Highlands County Bar, the 10th Judicial Circuit, Judge Kara Foreman Wright Award for professionalism by the Polk County Trial Lawyers Association. Judge Estrada has served on the Full Florida Supreme Court Committee on Fairness and Diversity since 2008. On July 1, 2016, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga of the Florida Supreme Court appointed Judge Estrada to serve as the Chair of Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity. Judge Estrada was very instrumental with the development of the Fairness and Diversity Best Practices Guide that is currently in use by judges and courts staff throughout the State of Florida. Judge Estrada along with the Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity have created judicial educational resources for the courts regarding Fairness and Diversity.  Judge Estrada has along with the Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity have created and presented educational programs throughout the State of Florida to Judges, Court Staff, and Attorneys on Fairness and Diversity issues.  Judge Estrada has presented diversity training at law schools throughout the State of Florida such as the University of Miami, University of Florida, Nova Southeastern, and Florida A & M University just to name a few. This diversity training involved faculty and students.

  • Khurrum Wahid

    Khurrum Wahid is a partner at Wahid Vizcaino LLP. He has over 100 jury trials in a wide range of federal and state matters in civil, administrative, and criminal fields. He was recognized by New Times Magazine as lawyer of the year in 2007 and has been recognized as one of Florida Trend Magazines Legal Elite in the area of criminal law since 2011 as well as Superlaywers since 2018. His practice focuses on white collar crime, complex fraud matters, and national security cases. Khurrum also has focused on representing those accused of internet and technology based offenses which include money laundering, structuring, and sex offenses. Khurrum sits on the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ National Security Committee. He frequently is invited to speak at conferences, community meetings, and professional forums.  Currently Khurrum sits on the professional boards of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Miami chapter and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Security Committee. Before entering private practice, Khurrum served several years as a Senior Trial Attorney at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. Prior to working at NDS, Khurrum gained extensive trial experience as an Assistant Public Defender in Miami, Florida. Khurrum received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California. He is actively licensed in Florida, New York, Federal trial and appeals courts. Khurrum is admitted to practice law in Florida, New York, and various Federal Courts. A devoted advocate for human and civil rights, Khurrum has fought tirelessly to protect civil liberties from unwarranted government encroachment and to educate the public about the importance of safeguarding our constitutional protections. Khurrum has testified on civil rights issues several times before various government organizations, including once before the New York City Council and twice before the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  Khurrum believes in the adherence to the U.S. Constitution even when such action means representing the unpopular or the pariahs of our society. He has represented individuals in national security matters and challenged the overreach of the government. Khurrum has been appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to their Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity since 2015. He was also a founding member of the Florida Bar’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion which was formed in 2010. In 2017 he was awarded the Henry Latimer Award by the Florida Bar for his work towards diversity and inclusion. He has been a key organizer or speaker in several diversity seminars and events over the past five years many of them focused on law students and newly admitted attorneys. Khurrum is a pivotal founding member and current National Co-Chair of Emgage USA, a national non- profit civic engagement organization with chapters in Florida, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia. Emgage works to empower “emerging majority” communities, with a focus on Muslim Americans, to participate more in public and community and public service. Khurrum is also a founding member of the Florida Muslim Bar Association. This organization has worked toward championing diversity in the legal profession since 2006. Khurrum has sat on the board of MCCJ since 2010. MCCJ works to insure every person has the right to live in dignity and enjoy respect, regardless of race, gender, faith, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability or socioeconomic status. Khurrum received the MCCJ Silver Medallion Humanitarian Award in 2017. Khurrum is featured in the book “True American” for work he did to stop the execution of a Texan who shot and killed a Sikh and a Muslim in the days following 9-11. He is also featured as the defense attorney in the A&E special “Miami Manhunt”. Khurrum recently appeared in the HBO documentary “Homegrown” where he commented on his work in the case of the United States v. Ehsanul Siddiqui. He has appeared as a guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, National Public Radio, and various other television and radio shows across the nation.


The Florida Bar has approved this Webinar for 4 General, 1 Bias Elimination, and 1 Professionalism CLE Credit. (EXPIRES: 12/31/23)