Published on: Friday, October 20, 2023

Rene Valladares, the Federal Public Defender for the District of Nevada and the acclaimed author of A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence, was surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues yesterday evening as he received the prestigious Champion of Justice award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). This esteemed recognition was conferred during a ceremony held at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Throughout his remarkable career, Rene has demonstrated unwavering dedication to championing the rights of the underprivileged, the incarcerated, and those facing capital punishment. His contributions extend beyond the courtroom, as he frequently imparts his expertise on Evidence, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure to audiences nationwide. His lectures encompass a diverse array of topics, including conspiracy law, search and seizure regulations, and the profound influence of culture on the workings of the criminal justice system. Furthermore, Rene actively participates in multiple committees and working groups within the Federal Defender system.

Rene was honored alongside Jeffery Robinson, executive director of The Who We Are Project and former ACLU deputy legal director, and director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality, overseeing the organization's impactful work on criminal justice, racial justice, and reform issues.

Also honored was the Last Prisoner Project, a group of justice-impacted individuals, policy and education experts, and leaders in the worlds of criminal justice and drug policy reform working to end the fundamental injustice that is America's policy of cannabis prohibition.

Champion of Justice Awards are bestowed upon those individuals who – through legislative, journalistic, philanthropic, or humanitarian pursuits – have staunchly preserved or defended the constitutional rights of individuals in the United States and have endeavored to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime.