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Professor John Korzen addresses criminal defense attorneys

Professor John Korzen spoke to more than 100 criminal defense attorneys from North Carolina and South Carolina on April 5  in Asheville, N.C., at the annual Criminal Practice Seminar sponsored by the Federal Public Defender of the Middle District of North Carolina.  Korzen is the director of the Appellate Advocacy Clinic and an Associate Professor of Legal Writing.

Korzen’s talk included both a review of the Fourth Circuit’s criminal law decisions of the past year and practical advice for handling an appeal in the Fourth Circuit.  Korzen summarized several decisions from the past year and how they could affect various stages of the criminal defense process, from possible plea agreements through trial, sentencing, and appeal.

For appearing before the court, Korzen included general information about the court, advice on oral argument, advice on brief writing, and changes in the court over the past year.  One of the themes of his talk was that the Fourth Circuit has become much more moderate during the Obama Administration than it was before, when it had the reputation as one of the most conservative appellate courts in the country.  Six of the 14 full-time judges (and soon to be seven of 15) on the court are appointees of President Obama.