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Federal Criminal Defense Journal

Dedicated to Producing Cutting Edge Practical Scholarship in the Area of Federal Criminal Defense Law

The articles in the FCDJ are authored by students enrolled in California Western School of Law’s Trial Advocacy Specializing in Federal Criminal Defense. Each article is designed to offer practitioners insight into the latest issues in federal criminal law. The authors will examine the application of a rule of evidence or analyze a recent case opinion and its potential impact on courtroom litigation.

Our LL.M. degree program is the only program in the country exclusively devoted to federal criminal defense. Lawyers in the program spend one semester at the law school taking courses on substantive federal criminal law, applied federal evidence, federal motions practice, and federal trial practice, and then spend one semester working in a federal defender office. After completing the program, our graduates are well prepared to appear in court and litigate a case. For more information on the program go to:

Justin Brooks and Mario Conte

Federal Criminal Defense Journal

Co-Editors in Chief


Current Issue


Table of Contents

Context Evidence: Offered for the Truth of the Background Evidence Offered

By Amy Broderick

Using Rule 806 in Trial or Beware of Avatars

By Olesea Collins

A Crack in the Re-entry Guideline: Kimbrough and § 2L.1.2's Sixteen Level Enhancement

By Jaime Longoria

Forming and Maintaining Productive Client Relations with Al Qaeda Members and Their Supporters

By Travis Owens


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  • Recognized by the Judges Advocate General Corps (JAG)
  • Offers Exclusive Training by SD Federal Defenders Inc.
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Program Highlights
  • San Diego Federal Defenders Clinical Placement
  • All Faculty are Federal Defenders
  • Longest Established Trial Advocacy Program
  • Study on the beach!