Dean's Message

The State of the College is good. We have well over 2,000 members in all fifty states and are welcoming more Canadian members than ever before. Public Defenders are truly becoming an integral part of our membership. Expert witnesses from all corners of the country are willing to give us their time and lend us their expertise in all DUI forensic matters. There are so many great aspects of the College that deserve recognition. Here are just a few:


Board Certification continues to be the NCDD’s crowning achievement. Accredited by the American Bar Association, Board Certification in DUI Law is the most difficult designation to obtain. Most attorneys do not pass on the first try, which is why there are less than 60 Board Certified attorneys in the United States. Being able to claim the status of Board Certified by the National College for DUI Defense truly shows your dedication, knowledge and perseverance.


The NCDD is also proud to offer a Certificate of Completion of the NCDD Advanced Curriculum in Forensic Science and Trial Advocacy. The requirement is the completion of the four following science-based seminars, in any order: Mastering Scientific Evidence; Metrology; The NCDD Advanced Course on Blood Alcohol Analysis and Trial Advocacy, and; Serious Science Blood Drug Analysis.


New for 2017 is the NCDD’s cooperation with the Mississippi College School of Law to create: Mastering DUI Trial Skills. The Mississippi Commission on Continuing Legal Education has approved this course for 18 CLE hours and also for 2 credit hours toward the LL.M. Trial Advocacy Program at Mississippi College School of Law.


The DWI Means Defend with Ingenuity Seminar in Las Vegas continues to be an overwhelming favorite with its wide-range of available topics and great format. Together, the NCDD and NACDL continue to present relevant and interesting topics year-after-year in Sin City. There’s no better place to be than in Las Vegas on September 21-24, 2016.


The NCDD Winter Seminar will, once again, bring us back to Arizona for DUI in the Desert. It has been ten years since the NCDD descended on Tucson—hopefully this time there will be no snow! The seminar will be held at the Tucson Marriott University Park, just outside the main gates of the University of Arizona. There are 32 restaurants, 4 museums and a countless array of shops and boutiques within steps of the hotel’s front door. A spectacular line-up of speakers, creative topics and a city like no other will make for an unforgettable seminar in Tucson on January 18-21, 2017.


Our partnership with the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association has never been stronger, and we look forward to many more years of co-sponsoring Mastering Scientific Evidence in New Orleans. With the help of our friends in Texas, MSE has become the largest and most prestigious national science seminar in the USA. Join us in The French Quarter in the Spring of 2017.

Each summer, Harvard Law School is kind enough to open its doors to the NCDD to allow us to use their facilities for a one-of-a-kind, limited enrollment trial college. Talented speakers, in-depth discussions, small workshops, and inspiring lectures all on the campus of one of America’s most famous law schools are what makes the NCDD Summer Session the premier national DUI Defense seminar. No other organization can match the knowledge of the speakers and camaraderie among attorneys of the Summer Session. Be sure to register early for the Summer Session that will be held July 20-22, 2017. I look forward to having a drink and sharing a few stories on the porch at the Charles with all of you.


The NCDD’s commitment to Public Defender Education is real, it is strong, and it is free! Public Defenders are probably the most underappreciated group within our ranks. Hard work, long hours and low pay go largely unnoticed by the public. But, we at the NCDD know how hard PD’s work and we are doing our best to give them the tools to succeed by providing free DUI seminars, in their hometowns. All for one, and one for all.


Perhaps no other branch of the NCDD has more of an overall impact on the profession than the Amicus Committee. We live and die by the rule of law. The hard-working and brilliant members of the Amicus Committee have participated in Illinois v. Lidster, Melendez Diaz v. Massachusetts, Bullcoming v. New Mexico, Missouri v. McNeely, Beylund v. Levi, Bernard v. Minnesota, and in Birchfield v. North Dakota. The Amicus Committee has also filed in support of petitions for cert in Napier v. Indiana and O'Maley v. New Hampshire.


Our Website and Virtual Library are second-to-none. No other DUI Defense organization can match the breadth and depth of our library. On our website, members can post in-depth questions and receive answers within minutes. Referrals and networking among more than 2,000 members means that we can give our clients top-notch advice and explore advanced defense strategies.


The State Delegate Program is has never been in better shape. State Delegates are the first point of contact for attorneys from other states and are responsible for keeping the rest of the College up-to-date on new laws and consequences in their respective states.


Our members are the reason we exist. Members in the Spotlight articles remind us of who we are and why we choose this profession. But, more importantly, the articles let us know that we are more than attorneys. We are family. I continually find that our members are the best and the brightest of the criminal defense world.


I always look forward to receiving the NCDD Journal in the mail. The member stories, articles, practice tips and information are so valuable that, like many members, I hole-punch the Journals and keep then in a binder for future reference. Print media is not dead—the NCDD Journal is proof of that!


With over 2,000 members, I regret that I will never get the chance to meet everyone. Yet, I balance that with the fact that with over 2,000 members, the College is strong and healthy. The College was much smaller when I joined it in 1998. Back then it was easier to get to know a substantial number of the members. We’ve lost some good friends along the way. We’ve also seen our friends welcome children into their families, watched them grow up and graduate from college and law school. And, we’ve even seen children of our members join the NCDD!


I hope that you will all join me in continuing the mission of the National College for DUI Defense to educate our members and the public. No doubt, with the resolve and determination of our members, the NCDD will remain the premier DUI Defense attorney organization in the world.



James Nesci
Dean of the National College for DUI Defense