Wednesday, April 24, 2024 - 13:00
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Representing Juveniles in Federal Court

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (EDT)

Representing a young person charged with an act of juvenile delinquency in federal court presents both unique challenges and unique opportunities for defense counsel. Juvenile cases differ markedly from adult prosecutions. The federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (JDA) provides the exclusive means for the prosecution of juveniles in federal court for violations of federal criminal law. This presentation is designed to provide federal defenders and CJA panel attorneys an overview of key provisions of the JDA, and an anatomy of a federal juvenile case from arrest through initial appearance, pretrial release and detention, speedy trial, motions hearing, disposition and transfer. 

Most juvenile delinquency cases in the federal system have historically arisen in areas beyond state jurisdiction, primarily in Indian Country. As a result, some circuits have little case law interpreting the JDA, while others, like the Ninth Circuit, have a great deal. Participants will learn that courts, prosecutors, and probation officers in most districts--including those that include Indian Country--often have relatively little experience in handling juvenile cases and even fewer resources to support the juvenile client. After this webinar, participants will understand how the lack of institutional expertise gives rise to an opportunity for prepared defense counsel to set a positive direction for the juvenile client's case from the outset.


David F. Ness began work as an Assistant Federal Defender in the Great Falls office in 2000. He was in private practice in Montana from 1991 through 1997, during which time he was a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel, then served as an Assistant Federal Defender with the Federal Defender Service for Eastern Tennessee, Inc., in Chattanooga. David was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Russell C. McDonough of the Montana Supreme Court (1989-91). Coordinator for this organization's quarterly CJA panel training sessions, he is a twice-published legal author. A 1985 graduate of Montana State University, David received his law degree (cum laude) from the University of Montana School of Law in 1989. David was honored as the Montana Trial Lawyer of the Year (1997-98). An outstanding habeas corpus litigator, David's advocacy has been praised by both the Circuit and District Courts.  In large part due to post conviction work in the Johnson cases, David was tapped as the 2017 Lawyer of the Year by the Montana Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Rachel Julagay joined the Federal Defenders of Montana in July 2018 as Assistant Federal Defender. She was selected to become the new Executive Director for the Federal Defenders of Montana and assumed that role on April 01, 2022. Rachel was formerly a senior level attorney with the Solano County (California) Public Defender's Office where she tried numerous jury, non-jury, and juvenile matters dealing with the full gamut of criminal accusations. She worked for thirteen months with the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of California trying misdemeanors, as well as researching and writing appellate briefs and trial level memoranda. Rachel attended the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, graduating with distinction.  Among her many academic honors, she was selected to the National Moot Court Team, named Top Oral Advocate, and received the Thomson Reuters sponsored Witkin Award for Academic Excellence.

CLE Information

We have applied for CLE accreditation in states that have mandatory requirements. We regret that we cannot respond to telephone inquiries regarding the status of CLE approval prior to the seminar. All information related to CLE will be emailed to attendees within 15-30 days following the program.

  • To minimize reporting fees per attorney/program, if you are barred in more than one of the following states NM, TN, PA, NE, attendance will be reported to one state only.
  • The attorney is responsible for making sure the appropriate state and bar number is on file with the DSO Training Division.
  • For applicable states, attendance will be reported using the bar number and state(s) listed on the registration form submitted for this program.
  • Failure to provide the state and bar number may result in the Training Division not being able to report your attendance.