2016 Speakers


George Castelle


George Castelle served as Chief Public Defender in Kanawha County for 25 years.  He continues to work in the Kanawha County office as senior counsel, part-time.

George also served as Senior Visiting Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law and as Adjunct Lecturer at WVU College of Law. 
During his years as Chief Defender, George has spoken on various criminal law topics at over 200 CLE conferences in 35 states and at numerous law schools across the country.  He received the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Reginald Heber Smith Award for his role in exposing fraud in the State Police Crime Lab and freeing innocent prisoners convicted by false forensic science. 
George also served as a consultant to the New York Innocence Project in the case of Buffey v. Ballard, the subject of his presentation at this year's Indigent Defense Conference.

Joey Garcia

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Joseph D. Garcia was appointed as Director of Legislative Affairs in October 2014. Prior to his appointment, Garcia served as Deputy General Counsel to Governor Tomblin.
The Fairmont native has also advised Governor Tomblin on policy issues relating to criminal justice reform, represented the Governor as his designee on the Consolidated Public Retirement Board, and, most recently, was appointed by Governor Tomblin to serve as Chair of the West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force on Juvenile Justice.
Before serving in state government, Garcia practiced law at Spilman, Thomas and Battle, PLLC in Charleston. ​

  Richard S. Jaffe

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Richard S. Jaffe is the founding partner of the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight P.C. He has been certified as an NBTA Criminal Trial Specialist since 1984. He was lead counsel in 3 of the 5 Alabama Death Row exonerees at new trials.
In 2014, Super Lawyers listed him as one of the top 10 super lawyers in Alabama. Since 2010, Best Lawyers of America has listed him 3 times as “Lawyer of the Year” for Birmingham in White-Collar or Non- White-Collar criminal law.
Mr. Jaffe is serving his 4th term as a member of the NACDL Board of Directors. He presents throughout the U.S. on issues involving criminal defense and has published numerous articles on criminal law. He has presented the topic of storytelling in jury persuasion at seminars throughout the U. S.
He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and author of “Quest for Justice; Defending the Damned.” 

Shamieka Johnson

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Shamieka Johnson is a 2000 graduate of Kentucky State University and a 2003 West Virginia College of Law alum. 
Ms. Johnson has made it a lifetime career to serve the public at all levels of government.  Upon graduation Ms. Johnson served in the Kanawha County Public Defender’s Office and with the City of South Charleston.  
In 2007 Ms. Johnson relocated to Columbus, Ohio and served in several positions with the Nursing Home Administrators Board and the Ohio Department of Education.  Additionally, she was active in becoming a certified mediator and volunteering with several mentoring organizations within the community.
In 2015 Ms. Johnson returned to her West Virginia roots, resuming her career with the Kanawha County Public Defender’s Office doing juvenile representation.

 Scott Johnson

Scott picScott E. Johnson graduated from Washington and Jefferson College magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1990. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 1993 from the West Virginia University College of Law where he was an Executive Editor of the West Virginia Law Review and winner of the Law School Association Award.  He has also studied at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio as an Alford Scholar.

Licensed to practice law in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Third Circuit, Fourth Circuit, and Armed Forces as well as the Northern and Southern Federal District Courts in West Virginia, he has been in private practice in a plaintiff’s law firm and also in a large civil defense firm. He was a law clerk for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and practiced for over fifteen years in the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, serving in the Tax and Revenue Division, the Administrative Law Division, and the Appellate Division.

In 1998, he was a United States Supreme Court Fellow at the National Association of Attorneys General where he extensively studied United States Supreme Court practice. He was co-counsel for the State in Buckhannon Board and Care Home v. West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001) (Rehnquist, C.J.) where he helped convince the United States Supreme Court to reject the catalyst theory of awarding attorneys’ fees.
He has taught appellate advocacy at the West Virginia University College of Law and Legal Research and Writing for paralegal students at the Marshall University Community College.  He is currently an appellate counsel with Public Defender Services for the State of West Virginia.

In 2007, the West Virginia State Journal named him a “40 under 40” Generation Next Leadership award winner. He received the West Virginia State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Meritorious Service Medal in 2010. A United States Army Veteran, he received the West Virginia State Bar’s James Madison Cutts Jr. Citizen Soldier Award in 2010.

 Katherine Kessell

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Katherine Kessell is a Deputy Public Defender working out of the Charleston, West Virginia, office for the past eight years. 

Before turning to public service she worked in private litigation for two years.  She is a 2006 graduate of the WVU College of Law.  She primarily litigates DUIs and other misdemeanors and is a member of the West Virginia DUI Defense Association.      


Mike Klinkosum

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Mike Klinkosum’s standard for being a defense lawyer is simple: “A good lawyer represents clients, but a great lawyer fights for people.” With 20 years of experience as a criminal defense trial lawyer, Mike has defended thousands of people, charged with crimes ranging from minor infractions to capital murder. He has fought for the accused in numerous trials and hearings as lead counsel. He has fought on behalf of those with the means to defend themselves, as well as the indigent. He has waged battles for people in high-profile cases and, more often, for the accused who received no media attention.
He has been certified as a Specialist in State Criminal Law by the NC Bar Board of Legal Specialization since 2004 and a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 2007. His practice at the Raleigh, NC office of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC focuses on defending the accused charged with high-level felonies, particularly white-collar crimes, sex offenses, controlled substance offenses, and violent felonies.
Mike’s career and role in the criminal justice system has always been that of a trial lawyer for the accused. Prior to entering private practice, he spent several years as an Assistant Public Defender, both in Chicago, IL and Raleigh, NC. He has also represented people charged with first-degree murder as an Assistant Capital Defender with the NC Office of the Capital
Defender. Among his many hard fought victories, Mike was instrumental in securing the release of Floyd Brown, a man with significant intellectual disabilities who was wrongfully charged with murder in 1993 and held without a trial in a state mental hospital for 14 years. He was also instrumental in the exoneration of Greg Taylor in 2010 by a three-judge panel convened by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission. Taylor’s exoneration resulted in an in-depth review and reform of the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory.
Mike is the only two-time recipient of the Kellie Crabtree Award from the NC Advocates for Justice and is also the recipient of the ACLU of North Carolina Award. He has been recognized on multiple occasions as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in North Carolina by North Carolina Super Lawyers (2009, 2012 – 2016), Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” (2012 – 2013), The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers (2012 – 2015), and Best Lawyers in America (2016). He maintains an AV® Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
He is the author of Klinkosum on Criminal Defense Motions, now in its 3rd edition, and is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law where he teaches Criminal Procedure Litigation Skills. Mike obtained his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992 and his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 1995.

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Steve is a graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina where he graduated with Honors in Criminal Justice. Attending on both a football and baseball scholarship, Steve was also the recipient of a Dana Scholarship for academic excellence. Steve attended law school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he graduated with Honors. While in law school, Steve was a member of the Holderness Moot Court and was one of the directors of the Braxton Craven National Moot Court Competition.

Steve began his law career as an associate with the law firm of Elmore and Powell in Asheville where he lasted an incredible 10 months. With a handful of cases, and a positive attitude, Steve started his own law firm and has been running things that way ever since. He is presently in practice with Kerry Sutton and they have offices in Durham and Asheville, North Carolina.

Steve has been involved in several noteworthy cases over the years. Prior to law school he worked with lawyers in Raleigh on US v. McDonald, a well-known case concerning a military doctor who was convicted of murdering his wife and children. Not long after that, Steve worked in the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office while the Klan/Nazi trial was going on. This involved a march in the streets of Greensboro that erupted into a violent gun battle. In one of his earliest cases, Steve was trial and appellate counsel in United States v. Ross & Silvers, 844 F.2d 187 (4th Cir. 1988), used as Key Case for "What Constitutes 'Counterfeit' Obligation or Security of United States Within Statutory Provisions Setting Forth Criminal Penalty for Uttering or Dealing in Counterfeit Obligations or Securities," 99 A.L.R. Fed. 243 (1990).
In more recent years, Steve has handled several high-profile murder cases. State v. Lippard involved two young men who murdered six people including two grandparents, two parents and a young child. Through the efforts of Steve and his co-counsel, Mr. Lippard avoided death sentences. Steve worked with Judy Clark on the Eric Rudolph case involving multiple bombings in the southeast, with Kerry Sutton on the Mike Peterson murder case in Durham (an author accused of bludgeoning his wife to death), and on US v. Locust, a federal trial in which the defendant was tried for the murder of a Park Ranger (government sought death but withdrew request at sentencing phase). Steve and Kerry Sutton successfully argued for the removal of the elected District Attorney in Durham, North Carolina. Tracy Kline, who replaced Mike Nifong of the infamous Duke Lacrosse cases, made numerous disparaging remarks about a local judge which triggered the action. Only once before in North Carolina history has an elected district attorney been ordered out of office.

Steve devotes between six and eight weeks a year to training programs, lectures and keynote addresses. He is a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College (since 1996), at the Defender Advocacy Institute (University of Dayton Law School since 1998), at the Federal Defender Trial Skills Institute (Case Western Law School since 2008), at the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy, and for Bill Daniels Trial Skills College (annual training for Georgia Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys). Steve has published several articles including “Cross Examination in Capital Cases: May I have some ... uh ... sprinkles. Yes, some sprinkles,” THE CHAMPION (April 2001); “Storytelling: Why We Do It and How To Do It Better,” THE CHAMPION (December 1999); “Do You Hear What I Hear? Demonstrative Evidence Makes A Difference,” THE CHAMPION (June 1998); and "Prosecutorial Abuse of Peremptory Challenges in Death Penalty Cases," Campbell University Law Review, Fall, 1985 (cited by United States Supreme Court in Gray v. Mississippi, 481 U.S. 648, n. 19 (1987)).

Steve and his law partner are presently working on a book that focuses on the representation of college students accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX. They hope to publish this book in the near future.

Steve is a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL); and a Life Member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (GACDL). He is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and the North Carolina Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in North Carolina, in the United States District Courts for Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

A father of three (Nicholas age 29, Harper age 17 and Carter who is 13), Steve enjoys spending his spare time being a good father/mother, reading good books, fishing, listening to good music, watching good movies, and cooking good meals.

 Heather McDaniel

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 Heather McDaniel, Program Director for Help4WV, has a background in Psychology and Nursing.  She worked as a nurse for many years before furthering her education in Psychology. 

Heather previously was the Director of Tobacco Cessation Services for beBetter Health and managed the West Virginia Tobacco Quitline.  Heather began working for First Choice Services in August 2015 and helped launch HELP4WV, the statewide substance abuse and behavioral health helpline.

Heather is passionate about the work of HELP4WV and helping the citizens of West Virginia get the substance abuse and behavioral health help that they need.

Todd Mount

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Todd Mount is a member of Shaffer & Shaffer, PLLC. He is a litigation attorney whose practice primarily focuses on automobile accidents, personal injury litigation, insurance coverage disputes, and employment law litigation. Todd received his B.A. from West Virginia University in 1992, and earned his law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1995.

He is admitted to practice before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia and the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. He is the Volunteer Coordinator of the West Virginia Lawyers Assistance Program, the President of the Boone County Bar, Secretary of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, President of the Boone County Chapter of the WVU Alumni, and a Board Member of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia.


Catherine Munster

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Catherine D. Munster, of counsel with the law firm of McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner, has worked in the area of child abuse and neglect for over 40 years. 

She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her advocacy and system reform efforts, including: admission as a West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow; recipient of West Virginia Children's Justice Task Force's Extra Mile Award; West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Purple Ribbon Award; West Virginia Bar Foundation's Lawyer Citizen of the Year Award; the National Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner's Award (For outstanding achievement and contributions to the field of child abuse and neglect); the West Virginia Child Care Association's “Champion For Children” Award, the Legal Aid of West Virginia's Regina Charon Zealous Advocate Award; and the West Virginia State Supreme Court's Polar Star Award. 

Among many other things, she co-authored the West Virginia Rules of Procedure for Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings, pioneered the first “Child Protection and the Law” class at the WVU College of Law, was a founding member of the State Supreme Court’s Court Improvement Board, and is the trainer of co-professionals in this area of the law, both nationally and statewide.  She is considered by many to be one of the state’s leading experts on child maltreatment law.

Jason Nicholas

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My name is Jason Nicholas. I am an attorney with the Kanawha County Public Defender Office. I graduated from the Appalachian School of Law in May of 2011 and was able to sit for and pass the West Virginia Bar in the fall of 2011.
I began working for the Kanawha County Public Defender Office in November of 2011 in the Mental Hygiene Division. After almost a year as the Mental Hygiene Attorney, I was transferred to the Juvenile Division. I spent around three years working in the Juvenile Division before I was appointed to be the Division Supervisor for the Mental Hygiene and Juvenile Divisions, as well as handling a felony caseload. 
In addition to my work in the office, I am on the Board for the Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center under the umbrella of the National Juvenile Defender Center. I am a nationally certified Juvenile attorney trainer and have helped present and train at numerous conferences.

Michael Nogay

Nogay picMike Nogay practices in the litigation firm of Sellitti, Nogay & McCune, PLLC. Licensed to practice law in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, he has extensive civil and criminal litigation experience having successfully tried jury cases in three states. A skilled appellate advocate, he has successfully argued complex issues to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. He received his law degree in 1983 from Washington & Lee University where he was a Benedum Scholar. He earned his undergraduate degree from West Virginia University, magna cum laude, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Mr. Nogay has been a guest faculty lecturer at a West Virginia University College of Law continuing legal education program concerning his involvement in the Steubenville rape case. He has also lectured on "You Can't Win if You Can't Cross Examine" for the West Virginia Bar Continuing Legal Education program.
An on-air legal analyst for his local NBC/FOX TV affiliate on a range of legal issues, Mr. Nogay served as Special Disciplinary Counsel for the West Virginia State Bar Office of Disciplinary Counsel. He has been recognized as an expert in federal court on matters of legal ethics.  
The West Virginia Supreme Court appointed him as a special hearing examiner for the West Virginia Human Rights Commission and former Governor Gaston Caperton appointed him to the West Virginia Ethics Commission where he served as the Commission’s first secretary. He has also served as an elected member of the Hancock County Board of Education.  
The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys recognized Mr. Nogay for its "Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of West Virginia" in 2014.

Drew Northrup

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Andrew Northrup has been an attorney in the Forensics Division of the Maryland Public Defender's Office since August 2010.
Before that, he handled complex cases throughout Minnesota on the Board of Public Defense's trial team. He was also a founding member of the Cook County Public Defender's Forensic Science Division in 2000.
He received his law degree from the College of William and Mary, and his undergraduate degree in German and International Studies from Earlham College. Mr. Northrup is a frequent lecturer on forensic and trial advocacy issues.

 David Pence

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After graduating in 2005 from West Virginia University College of Law, David Pence worked with Carter Zerbe defending DUI cases throughout the State of West Virginia. 
In 2009 David Pence became partner at the firm of Zerbe & Pence PLLC. 
David Pence is a member of the National College of DUI Defense as well as a member of the West Virginia DUI Defense Association.  
He has successfully argued numerous DUI cases before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and has been recognized as a top DUI defense attorney in West Virginia. 

Lonnie Simmons

Coming Soon

Dr. Carl Sullivan

sullivan picCarl R. Sullivan, MD, FACP, FAPA (Rolly) is professor and vice-chair with the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He serves as Medical Director of Substance Abuse Programs for West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc. He is board certified in psychiatry, internal medicine and addiction psychiatry. He is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and in 2008 was elected to the American College of Psychiatrists. In 2011 he was invited by Governor Tomblin to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse (GACSA) regarding addiction policy in the State of West Virginia. Dr. Sullivan also serves on the Board of Directors of the WV Physician Health Program.
Dr. Sullivan’s practice of 31 years includes teaching, clinical work and research in several areas of addiction medicine. He directs the largest office-based opioid treatment clinic in West Virginia. He has participated in more than two-dozen smoking cessation clinical trials. He has served as Director of the West Virginia Addiction Training Institute for 27 years.
Sullivan has presented numerous workshops and plenary sessions and consulted with treatment programs internationally, nationally and statewide on the subject of substance abuse. He has testified before the House of Representatives Appropriations Sub-Committee on prescription opioid abuse in Appalachia. At the SAMHSA/NIDA 2014 Buprenorphine Summit he presented on Access to Buprenorphine: Patient Capacity and Quality of Care.

 John Temple

 temple picJohn Temple is the author of American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic, which chronicles how two young felons built the largest painkiller distribution ring in the United States and also explores the massive rise in the use and abuse of narcotic painkillers over the past two decades. American Pain was named a New York Post “Favorite Book of 2015” and is a 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee in the Fact Crime category.
Temple also wrote two previous nonfiction books: The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates (2009) and Deadhouse: Life in a Coroner’s Office (2005). In 2010, The Last Lawyer won the Scribes Book Award from the American Society of Legal Writers. More information about Temple’s books can be found at www.johntemplebooks.com.
Temple is an associate professor of journalism in the WVU Reed College of Media. In Fall 2008, Temple founded the “West Virginia Uncovered” project. In the project, students and faculty provided multimedia training and content for small rural newspapers around the state. The McCormick Foundation, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Ford Foundation have all supported the project.
Prior to teaching at WVU, Temple taught and studied creative nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned an M.F.A. Temple worked in the newspaper business for six years. He was the health/education reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a general assignment reporter for the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., and a government and politics reporter for the Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Fla.

Harley Wagner

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Harley is the owner of The Wagner Law Firm, West Virginia’s only exclusive DUI defense firm. He has appeared in DUI cases in 41 of West Virginia’s 55 counties and represented over 1,800 citizens throughout West Virginia over the past 17 years.
Harley is the author of West Virginia DUI Defense, The Law and Practice (Lawyers & Judges Publishing). He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and sits on the faculty for the National College for DUI Defense. He is co-founder of the West Virginia DUI Defense Lawyers Association. He is a trained breath test operator of the Intoximeter EC-IR II, West Virginia’s designated breath machine. He is a qualified Instructor of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Field Sobriety Test protocol and has also been trained in both ARIDE and Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) protocols.
Harley has also received gas chromatography training at Axion Labs in Chicago, Illinois by the pioneer of GC testing, Dr. Harold McNair. In addition to having attended and participated in over 50 national criminal/DUI defense seminars throughout the country, Harley has also attended Roger Dodd’s Trial Skills Clinic in Park City, Utah and twice attended Terry McCarthy’s Cross Examination clinic.  


Lori Waller

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Lori M. (Peters) Waller is an attorney in the Appellate Advocacy Division of Public Defender Services. 
She graduated in 2001 from the Villanova University School of Law.  Her education includes a masters degree in clinical and forensic psychology from Drexel University, including substantial coursework toward a doctorate degree. 
Her legal experience has been primarily in public interest law.  She has served as an assistant public defender in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  She also served as an attorney for Mental Hygiene Legal Services in Poughkeepsie, New York.  She has worked extensively on legal issues related to sex offenders, sex offender civil commitment, and sex offender extended supervision.  She has also worked extensively on legal issues relating to juveniles and mental health.

Joyce Yedlosky

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Joyce Yedlosky is one of two Team Coordinators with the WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Joyce has 25 years of advocacy experience that includes institutional and community mental health, foster care social work, foster parent, and domestic violence advocacy.  Her domestic violence advocacy has included direct service provision in a shelter-based domestic violence program, court advocacy and shelter management.
In 1999 she transitioned into system advocacy with the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence where she coordinated statewide, multidisciplinary development of policy, training, practice and systemic intervention for families experiencing domestic violence.
Joyce has provided numerous state and national trainings with partners including the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, the WV Supreme Court Improvement Project, WV Children’s Law Symposium, WVU College of Law, National Summit on the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Victimization, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the WV Sheriff’s Association, the Office on Violence Against Women, and the National Adult Protective Services Association. Joyce earned a BS in Psychology from the University of South Carolina and lives in Fairmont WV.