Sponsored by Nave DWI Defense Attorneys

When: April 1, 2016
Where: Albany Law School, Matthew Bender Room
Duration: 12:00 to 4:00PM
Parking: Passes will be provided

We have invited a diverse group of practitioners and academics to speak at the first Criminal Law Symposium sponsored by Nave DWI Defense Attorneys. Please mark your calendars accordingly to ensure a good turnout. The presenters, experts in the area they are speaking about, have graciously agreed to do this gratis. Their commendable common goal is to help improve the skills of the defense bar, particularly younger attorneys breaking into trial work, but also more seasoned attorneys looking to hone skills. Thank you for your interest and support and we look forward to seeing you on April 1st. Below are the bios of our presenters.

Vincent M. Bonventre

Professor of law
(Constitutional Issues)

B.S., Union College
J.D., Brooklyn Law School
M.A.P.A., University of Virginia
Ph.D., University of Virginia

Clerked for Judges Matthew J. Jasen and Stewart F. Hancock Jr. of the New York State Court of Appeals. Held U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellowship. Served in U.S. Army Military Intelligence and Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Joined Albany Law School in 1990. Has taught as a visiting professor at Syracuse University College of Law and the Maxwell School of Public Affairs. Author of “Streams of Tendency” on the New York Court: Ideological and Jurisprudential Patterns in the Judges’ Voting and Opinions (W.S. Hein). Published recent articles on judicial decision making, state constitutional law, criminal and civil rights, legal ethics, and New York Court of Appeals. Founding editor-in-chief, Government, Law, & Policy Journal (New York State Bar Association). Editor, State Constitutional Commentary and director, The Center for Judicial Process.

Prof. Bonventre is also the author of New York Court Watcher, a blog devoted to commentary on developments at the Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals, and other state supreme courts nationwide. And he is the founder and Director of the Center for Judicial Process.

Many of his publications can be accessed at SSRN.​

Robert G. Wells, Esq.


Robert G. Wells is a federal criminal defense practitioner with over thirty-eight years of experience in the United States District Courts and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as in all levels of State Courts. He was trained at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. He is First Vice-President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a member of the NYSACDL Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and the CLE Committee. He is a member of NACDL. He has acted as an instructor for the United States Courts teaching lawyers in San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago and Atlanta. He has taught for the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on matters ranging from Sentencing, Direct Examination and Cross Examination, Voir Dire, along with Electronic Evidence Presentation. He has instructed for the FBI and the Board of Certified Fraud Examiners. He has delivered the only acquittal in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York on an indicted environmental case in the last thirty years. Mr. Wells is also published in Atticus Magazine.

Mitch Kessler, Esq.

(Appellate Practice-Preserving issues for appeal)

Mitch Kessler received his Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School in 1989. For the first five years of his legal career, he was a staff attorney in the Bronx office of the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division, where he represented children in child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency and persons in need of supervision (PINS) cases in Family Court.

Since the beginning of 1995, Mr. Kessler has been in private practice as a sole practitioner. He has extensive experience litigating criminal cases in trial and appellate courts at the state and federal levels.

During his career, Mr. Kessler has litigated approximately 300 cases in appellate courts. He has briefed and argued more than 100 appeals from trial verdicts in criminal cases, about two dozen of which have been murder cases. He has been a lecturer in continuing legal education programs on appellate practice and juvenile delinquency practice.