MISSION: WACDL is committed to promoting the proper administration of criminal justice; fostering and maintaining the integrity, independence and expertise of the defense lawyer in criminal cases; and encouraging an unyielding concern for the protection of individual rights and due process.
Membership is restricted to attorneys who practice criminal defense law; those who are full or part time prosecutors or judges may not join WACDL. Currently we have more than 400 members from across Wisconsin, representing both large firms and solo practitioners.
We administer a very active list serve on which our members exchange practice pointers, insights into judges, prosecutors and law enforcement, legal strategies, war stories, successes and failures, and sample motions and briefs. Members are expected to respect the confidentiality of the list serve and may not share or forward messages to persons outside their firms. WACDL members also have access to an on-line library of sample briefs and pleadings ("Brief Bank"), a directory of experts, and a defense resource library. New materials is added to the website frequently.
In order to be a member of WACDL, an attorney is expected to sign the following attestation:
I am a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and I am engaged in the practice of criminal defense law. I am committed to the fair administration of justice and the defense of individuals accused of crime; I am not a member on a regular or full-time basis of any law enforcement agency or any local, state or federal agency engaged in the prosecution of criminal matters. I will hold in confidence and will not disclose or publish content of the list serve administered by WACDL to anyone who, on a full-time basis, is a member, as a state or federal lawyer or staff person, or a judge, of an organization that prosecutes criminal matters.
SIGNATURE: _________________________________________ DATE: ___________________________
WACDL sponsors two or three criminal law seminars annually, including one devoted strictly to the ethical issues that criminal defense lawyers see in their practices. WACDL also works to arrange mentoring relationships for new lawyers who want to have the benefit of a one-on-one relationship with an experienced practitioner.
We regularly recognize exceptional criminal defense lawyers with awards for successful defense at trail of homicides, exceptional service to persons unable to pay for an attorney, and outstandingl contributions to the practice of criminal law. Click to view award recipients
Annual dues for new lawyers (those who have been practicing for less than three years) are $30.00. Regular membership is $100.00/year, a Sustaining Membership is $250.00, and members of the President's Club support WACDL at $500.00 annually. There is no charge for law students, but they are not eligible to subscribe to our confidential list serve. Our membership year runs from July 1 to June 30 and is renewed annually upon payment of dues.
New Lawyer ($30) and Regular Membership: ($100)
* Access to the WACDL web site and brief and pleadings bank.
* Listing in the searchable online membership directory
* Listing in the "Find a Lawyer" search tool
* Reduced fees at WACDL seminars
* Access to the WACDL list serve
* Access to the services of the Lawyer Strike Force
* Reduced fees for CourtTracker®
Sustaining Membership ($250) View list of Sustainer Members
* All benefits of regular membership
* Listing in the Sustainers section of the on-line WACDL directory
* Recognition in seminar outlines and materials
* $50 off certificate good for any WACDL seminar
President's Club Membership ($500) View list of Presidents Members
* All benefits of regular and sustaining membership
* Separate listing on the WACDL website
* Two certificates each worth $50 off the member price of any WACDL seminar.
Click here for a hard copy paper membership application if you prefer to apply by mail: Click here to view our membership brochure
Our mailing address is PO Box 6706, Monona, WI 53716. Telephone 608-223-1275, Fax 608-223-9329
The email address for general inquiries regarding membership, the list serves, the brief bank, and other website and WACDL issues is wacdl at wacdl.com.
Photo credit: Attorney Christopher Van Wagoner
Below is a listing of the current board of directors for WACDL.