Welcome to the Wisconsin State Public Defenders' on-demand training website.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are offering all on-demand courses FREE OF CHARGE until December 31, 2020. Please disregard payment instructions when you enroll in courses. 

If you have any problems with the site please contact Chris Lang (langc@opd.wi.gov) or Justin Heim (heimj@opd.wi.gov

If you are new to the site and not logged in you will see a list below of the courses currently available including descriptions of the courses, CLE approval (including course expiration dates), course fees and enrollment instructions. You will need to click on the "Create new account” link (see box to the right) in order to create an account, enter the site and enroll in a course.

Once you have created an account and logged into the site, use the "Continuing Legal Education Courses” link just below this box or the "All Courses" button at the bottom of the page to navigate to complete information about all of the courses currently available. Enrolling yourself in a course constitutes agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees. Registration fee payment information (credit card or check) is included once you have enrolled in a course.

If you have any questions about course content, fees, CLE credits, etc. please contact Justin Heim (heimj@opd.wi.gov) in the SPD Training Division before enrolling in the course.

If you enroll yourself in a course in error and wish to cancel, please contact Justin or Chris immediately. Also, we welcome your suggestions to make this site easier to use and your ideas for future course topics. 

If you attempt to register and receive a confirmation email error, please contact Chris Lang (langc@opd.wi.govto confirm your enrollment.

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Available courses

This course focuses on the ways SPD staff and supervisors can maintain a respectful workplace. The course also refers SPD staff to the agency's recently revised policies, procedures and resources related to a respectful workplace. All agency staff are required to complete this course.


How Race Impacts the Government's Decision to Pursue Chapter 51 Proceedings

Presented by Matt Giesfeldt

Note: This course was held live (via Zoom) in Madison on July 2nd, 2020.

Time: 57 Minutes

CLE Credits: 1.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2021. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are offering all on-demand courses FREE OF CHARGE until December 31, 2020. Please disregard payment instructions when you enroll in the course. 

If you have questions regarding the course content or viewing the course contact Chris Lang (langc@opd.wi.govin the SPD Training Division.

Course Description: More than 50 years after the Supreme Court guaranteed youth the right to counsel and other due process protections in In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), youth of color continue to face persistent injustices in the juvenile and criminal legal systems. Join the National Juvenile Defender Center's Sherika Shnider as she walks through training, resources, and information necessary to fight the over-policing, over-criminalization, and school exclusion of youth of color to help juvenile defenders view racial justice advocacy as an integral and essential component of their youth advocacy.

 

Course Instructor: Sherika Shnider joined NJDC as a Staff Attorney in August 2019 where she works on legal and policy initiatives related to juvenile defense, including reducing and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile legal system. Sherika is currently leading NJDC's Juvenile Cash Bail Reform efforts. She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law where she was the recipient of the William P. Cunningham Award for exceptional achievement and service to the law school, as well as the Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Team Award for her representation of youth who were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and students in school disciplinary proceedings.

Course Description: This course is a three-part series starting with an overview of implicit bias--what it is, where it comes from and how we can interrupt the effect our implicit biases have on our behavior and decision-making. Part two focuses on how implicit bias can affect our interactions with clients including the assumption and judgements we make about clients and our decisions about how much time and resources to devote to clients' cases. Part three (coming June 30) will focuson "racial anxiety" which refers to the heightened levels of stress and emotion that we confront when interacting with people of other races.  

Course Instructor: Margaret Johnson is dedicated to justice for all. Margaret is the Racial Disparity Practice Coordinator for the Wisconsin Public Defender's Office (SPD). Margaret assesses the presence of racial disparity in criminal justice systems and puts together the plan for addressing the disparity. Margaret has presented around the country on issues related to racial justice and equity. Margaret has been published in the Wisconsin State Bar Association's Juvenile Law Handbook. She has been honored as a Top Up-And-Coming WI Attorney in Super Lawyers and Milwaukee Magazine and as a member of the Rubin Society of the SPD for her work with children. Margaret is currently in dissertator status working towards a PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. At Marquette University, Margaret completed her Jurist Doctor and Master of Arts in Public Service with an Administration of Justice Specialization. She is currently a staff lawyer in the Milwaukee Trial Office. Prior to that, she was Attorney Manager for the Racine Trial Office, where she was also a member of the Second Judicial District's Veterans Court. Margaret enjoys coaching the Marquette University Undergraduate Mock Trial Team and is a Master Rated Figure Skating coach.   

Course Description: We all use Google as our standard search engine, but do we know how powerful Google really is? This dynamic powerpoint will walk you through the secret techniques that open source intelligence analysts use. You will learn how to search for people, places, documents and reports. This is a MUST SEE for anyone who has ever used Google.


Course Instructor: Kevin W. McClain is a licensed private investigator in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri.  He is a Board-Certified Criminal Defense Investigator, a Board Accredited Investigator and President of Kevin W. McClain Investigations Ltd., which is a multi-state investigative firm (Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky) with 20 investigators that have over 200 years of investigative experience. 

Course Description: In this course, we will focus on how trauma research can be used by defense counsel and Client Services Specialists in CHIPS and TPR cases to prevent removal, advocate for increased visitation and achieve reunification. The course will also address how defense counsel and social workers can use "trauma-informed" approaches with parents working toward reunification

Course Instructor: Attorney Shawna Geiger is the Director of Engagment from the Colorado Office of Respondent Parents' Counsel. Her entire legal career has been in public defense. She trains around the country for public defender offices and national organizations committed to public defense work.

Course Description: Winning on appeal requires you to convince the Court that your client was unjustly convicted or sentenced.  Using graphics can help you tell your client's story of injustice in a more convincing and persuasive way. During this presentation, you will learn why visually appealing briefs are credible, memorable and persuasive.  We will discuss different types of graphics to use in your brief, considerations of when and how to include them, and reminders about compliance with your Court's rules.

Course Instructor: Melinda Pendergraph has been the Training Director for the Missouri State Public Defender's Office since 2011. Melinda is a career public defender, representing clients in circuit courts and all appellate courts in Missouri. Most of her practice focused on death penalty postconviction and appellate cases. Melinda has served as faculty for state and national training programs, including NLADA's Appellate Defender Training, the Federal Court's Persuasive Writing Workshops, NLADA Life in the Balance, NAACP Legal Defense Fund's Airlie Death Penalty Conference, the Missouri Bar, Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL), and various State Public Defender organizations. She has taught a death penalty seminar at University of Missouri - Columbia School of Law. In 2006, Melinda received NLADA's "Kutak-Dodd's Prize” awarded annually to one public defender nationally for their dedication to equal justice. MACDL awarded Melinda their "Lew Kollias Award” for her appellate advocacy. In 1993, MSPD designated Melinda as their Defender of Distinction.

Course Description: This course is a general overview of reverse waiver proceedings and includes a review of the statutes, the caselaw, and some specific strategies around litigating reverse waiver hearings. 


Course Instructor:Samuel W. Benedict is a 1979 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Law.  He was a staff attorney with the State Public Defender in Waukesha beginning in 1979 and served as the Regional Attorney Manager in that office.  He has tried numerous cases to a jury for clients accused of felonies and misdemeanors including homicide, sexual assault and drug delivery.  He has taught juvenile law at Marquette University Law School and is a frequent lecturer at SPD training programs.  He is a past president of the Waukesha Bar Association and has represented Waukesha on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin.  He retired from the SPD in 2019. 

Presented by: 

Geoffrey Heeren (UW Law Immigration Professor)

Aissa Olivarez (CILC immigration lawyer)

Mindy Nolan (SPD immigration practice coordinator- Racine)

Marc Christopher (Christopher & De Leon Law Office, LLC)


Note: This course was held live in Steven's Point on February 2, 2018. 

Run Time: 3 Hours, 20 Minutes

CLE Credits: 4.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2019. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$80 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$160 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

If you would like to enroll in this course click on the course title. At the next screen click on the enroll me button. Once you have enrolled in the course, fee payment instructions are included in the course information. Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

If you have questions regarding the course content or viewing the course contact Chris Lang (langc@opd.wi.gov) in the SPD Training Division.

This presentation will go over the basics of cell phone evidence. Areas discussed include: reasons cell phone evidence may be important; sources of cell phone information; how to obtain and interpret carrier records; the basics of cell tower technology and location information; and other considerations related to the use of cell phones.

Presenter: Evan Weitz, Wisconsin Public Defender, Milwaukee Trial Office

Note: This course was held live in Milwaukee on May 4, 2017.

Time: 53 Minutes

CLE Credits: 1.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2018. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$20 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$40 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

If you would like to enroll in this course click on the course title. At the next screen click on the "Enroll me" button. Once you have enrolled in the course, fee payment instructions are included in the course information. Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

Many of our cases are now relying on DNA evidence.  Jerry Buting gives a detailed presentation on using DNA effectively.  

Topics include: Common trial defenses, DNA science, transfer and collection;  Working with labs- extraction, contamination, chain of custody, reading lab reports

Jerry Buting has worked for more than 35 years as a criminal defense lawyer in the state of Wisconsin. He was a founding member of the law firm Buting, Williams & Stilling, S.C. Since 1993, his criminal defense law practice focuses on the defense of serious and complex criminal offenses, both state and federal, trial and appeal. 

Over the course of his career, Jerry has worked on many high profile cases while also serving as a frequent lecturer on DNA, computer crimes and other forensic evidence. His reputation as a tenacious, talented defense attorney preceded his role as the co-defense attorney in the State v. Steven Avery murder trial in 2007. His performance throughout the trial and his efforts toward exposing both the shaky integrity of law enforcement and inherent flaws in the justice system came to national attention following Netflix's popular documentary Making a Murderer.

Note: This course was held live in Madison on March 22, 2018.

Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

CLE Credits: 1.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2019. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$20 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$40 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

Pay by Credit Card

Pay by Check or Money Order

Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

If you have questions regarding the course content or viewing the course contact Michelle McGillivary (mcgillivarym@opd.wi.gov) in the SPD Training Division.

Mistaken identifications are a leading cause of wrongful convictions. In this video, identification expert and research psychologist Larry White presents 13 questions that defense attorneys should ask when they have an eyewitness ID case.

Note: This course was held live in Madison on June 29, 2017.

Time: 1 Hour

CLE Credits: 1.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2018. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$20 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$40 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

Pay by Credit Card

Pay by Check or Money Order

Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

If you have questions regarding the course content or viewing the course contact Michelle McGillivary (mcgillivarym@opd.wi.gov) in the SPD Training Division.

This video discusses forensic issues that are present in many routine blood-test evidence cases. [We] discuss ways to collect the information needed to evaluate the forensic issues present during the collection, transfer, storage and testing of the blood test evidence and how to cross examine witnesses as to these issues.

Note: This course was held live in Madison on June 29, 2017.

Time: 58 Minutes

CLE Credits: 1.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2018. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$20 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$40 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

Pay by Credit Card

Pay by Check or Money Order

Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

If you have questions regarding the course content or viewing the course contact Michelle McGillivary (mcgillivarym@opd.wi.gov) in the SPD Training Division.

This is an overview of digital assets that you may encounter in our cases.  Topics include: Media types, Metadata, Computers, Phones, Networks, and the lifestyle of digital evidence (acquisition, preservation, analysis, and presentation).

Note: This course was held live in Madison on April 7, 2017.

Time: 1 hour 12 minutes

CLE Credits: 1.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2018. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$20 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$40 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

Pay by Credit Card

Pay by Check or Money Order

Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

If you have questions regarding the course content or viewing the course contact Michelle McGillivary (mcgillivarym@opd.wi.gov) in the SPD Training Division.

This course provides an introduction to handling an SPD-appointed appeal through sixteen short videos and three bonus content videos. The videos proceed chronologically through the phases of an appellate appointment, with each video focusing on a particular component of the post-conviction and appellate process. The videos discuss everything from your deadlines to tips on interactions with your client to suggestions for effective brief-writing. The bonus content videos discuss common post-conviction and appellate issues. The videos are designed to work hand-in-hand with the Appellate Handbook (available on the SPD's website and at the link below) to provide you with the footing you will need to enter the world of Wisconsin appeals. The short video format is designed to make it easy for you to re-watch content specific to questions you may have in your practice. We hope you find the videos useful, and thank you for watching.

THIS COURSE IS NO LONGER BE ELIGIBLE FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION CREDITS WITH THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT'S BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS TO MAINTAIN YOUR LAW LICENSE. THE COURSE  IS AVAILABLE FOR CERTIFICATION TO TAKE SPD APPELLATE CASES AND FOR THE EDUCATION CREDITS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN YOUR ELIGIBILITY TO TAKE PUBLIC DEFENDER CASES ONLY.

Completion of this course will satisfy the training component required for SPD certification in appellate cases. 

This course qualifies for up to 5.0 credits of the SPD's requirement of six credits per year.

Total course length: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Tuition for this course***:
No charge - Private attorneys certified for SPD appeals as of January 25, 2016.
$100 - Private attorneys taking SPD cases but not certified for appeals.
$200 - Private attorneys taking any SPD cases.

***This course is available at NO CHARGE to all attorneys, regardless of whether they are taking SPD cases, until December 31, 2019. 

If you would like to enroll in this course click on the course title. At the next screen click on the enroll me button. Once you have enrolled in the course, fee payment instructions are included in the course information.

Enrolling yourself in a course constitutes agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

A discussion of recent developments in Wisconsin's Daubert standard and practical applications for SPD practice. Tips to on how to prepare, direct or cross examine expert witnesses regarding forensic issues.

Note: This course was held live in Madison on May 5, 2017.

Time: 55 Minutes

CLE Credits: 1.0 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2018. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$20 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$40 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

Pay by Credit Card

Pay by Check or Money Order

Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

If you have questions regarding the course content or viewing the course contact Michelle McGillivary (mcgillivarym@opd.wi.gov) in the SPD Training Division.

This presentation is designed to help lawyers think through complicated scientific cases and present scientific evidence clearly to a jury or judge. This training focuses on using the tools all lawyers already have (investigation, statutory analysis, narrative creation) to make sense of complicated scientific evidence. While the presentation uses Shaken Baby Syndrome cases as an illustration of a science-dependent case, the principles discussed can be applied to many other cases where forensic science or medical evidence is at issue.

Note: This course was held live in Madison on March 10, 2017.

Time: 84 Minutes

CLE Credits: 1.5 CLE Credits: 0 Ethics Credits (no ethics credits for on-demand training)

This course will no longer be eligible for CLE credits with the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) as of December 31, 2018. This course will qualify for SPD credits for as long as the course remains available on the site.

Tuition for this course:

$20 Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.

$40 Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

If you would like to enroll in this course click on the course title. At the next screen click on the "Enroll me" button. Once you have enrolled in the course, fee payment instructions are included in the course information. Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

Completion of this course will satisfy the training component required for SPD certification in Chapter 51 cases.

Course length: 2 hours, 34 minutes

CLE Credits: 0 CLE, 0  Ethics Credits - This course is not approved for Continuing Legal Education Credits required by the WI Board of Bar Examiners.

This course will qualify for up to 3.0 credits of the State Public Defenders' six credit annual coursework requirement.

Tuition for this course:
$50 - Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.
$100 - Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

If you would like to enroll in this course click on the course title. At the next screen click on the enroll me button. Once you have enrolled in the course, fee payment instructions are included in the course information. Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.

Private Bar Specialty Certification Training:Probation, Parole and Extended Supervision Revocation Cases - Completion of this course will satisfy the training component required for SPD certification in revocation cases.

CLE Credits: 0 CLE, 0  Ethics Credits - This course is not approved for Continuing Legal Education Credits required by the WI Board of Bar Examiners.

This course will qualify for up to 1.5 credits of the State Public Defenders' six credit annual coursework requirement.

Tuition for this course:
$50 - Private attorneys actively taking Public Defender cases.
$100 - Private attorneys not actively taking Public Defender cases.

If you would like to enroll in this course click on the course title. At the next screen click on the enroll me button. Once you have enrolled in the course, fee payment instructions are included in the course information. Enrolling in this course constitutes an agreement to pay the applicable course registration fees.





Student Expulsion Prevention Program (StEPP) Follow-Up Training

Note this program was held live in Madison on Friday August 7, 2015

Note this program is available only to lawyers who have volunteered for the StEPP Program, a pilot project funded by a grant from the State Bar of Wisconsin and focused on expulsions in the Madison Metropolitan School District. If you practice in Dane county and would like information about volunteering for StEPP, please contact Diane Rondini at rondinid@opd.wi.gov


Student Expulsion Prevention Program (StEPP) Training

Presented live on January 30, 2015 at the American Family Insurance Headquarters in Madison.

Note this program is available only to lawyers who have volunteered for the StEPP Program, a pilot project funded by a grant from the State Bar of Wisconsin and focused on expulsions in the Madison Metropolitan School District. If you practice in Dane county and would like information about volunteering for StEPP, please contact Diane Rondini at rondinid@opd.wi.gov


Videos for the StEPP training