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Criminal Defense PACDL: Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Gavel and Bill of Rights
Defending your rights in Pennsylvania since 1988

Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events

Young Lawyer – Business of Defense Seminar
Dauphin County Bar Association
January 25, 2016
Click here to download the PDF

DUI and Motor Vehicles
6 credit hours
Friday, February 5, 2016
Hotel Monaco, Pittsburgh
Click here to download the PDF

2016 Annual Meeting
12 credit hours
Thursday and Friday, April 28 & 29, 2016
Elections and Board of Director's Meeting on
Friday, April 29, 2016
The Harrisburg Hilton
1 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA






New Members Only Section: U.S. District Court addresses and counties of jurisdiction in Pennsylvania.

PACDL now accepts credit cards.

An Affiliate of NACDL: The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers website.

The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is a group comprised of law students and attorneys admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and who are actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases.

To learn more about the benefits of a membership with the PACDL, click here.


PACDL Applauds Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold Death Penalty Moratorium

Harrisburg, PA (December 21, 2015) -- The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers applauds today's decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Williams which upheld Governor Wolf’s temporary reprieve to a death row inmate as a "valid exercise of constitutional authority." The Court noted that the reprieve will remain in effect pending receipt of the forthcoming report of the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment and until the concerns raised by the Task Force are satisfactorily addressed. Click here to read more.


The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has announced that it is realigning its print publication to an exclusive members-only, digital publication. "The criminal defense practice continues to evolve and the association is expanding what services we offer, how we communicate to our members, and the manner in which provide leadership to all segments of the criminal defense community," said Philip Gelso, President of PACDL. "This flagship issue will incorporate practical thought leadership in a variety of issue areas relevant to public defenders, court-appointed counsel, and private criminal defense lawyers in Pennsylvania."

Initially, the publication will issue on a semi-annual basis, but increased frequency is anticipated in the near-term. The digital content will make full use of the multimedia opportunities presented by digital publications. The editorial board members are led by Steven Breit as editor-in-chief and Peter Kratsa as editor-at-large. Authors interested in submitting manuscripts can do so at Details about advertising opportunities are also available.

Interested Candidates Invited to Seek Nomination to Board

The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is seeking candidates for a three (3) year term as members of its Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is the governing body of PACDL, which meets at least four (4) times throughout the year at various locations across the Commonwealth. In addition to active participation in meeting, board members are expected to serve on board committees and vigorously support PACDL events and other initiatives. A candidate seeking consideration should be an active member of PACDL in good standing and a practicing criminal defense attorney in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Candidates should submit to the executive director his or her resume along with a brief statement indicating the areas of expertise/contributions that the candidate feels he or she can make as a board member of PACDL. The deadline for submission of candidates for consideration by the Nominating Committee is February 12, 2016 with elections being held at the Annual Meeting on April 29, 2016.


Nominations are now open for four prestigious awards to members of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The awards are made annually for outstanding contributions.

a. The Liberty Award - Presented to an individual, group or organization in recognition of a continuing commitment to the principles of liberty and equal justice under the law. The deserving recipient is selected by the President after consultation with the other officers.

b. The Charles P. Gelso President's Award - Presented to a member in special appreciation of outstanding contributions to the Association. The award recipient is chosen by the president.

c. President's and Directors' Commendation(s) - Presented at the discretion of the President and Directors to a member or members in recognition of special contributions to the Association during the previous year. Recipient(s) are determined be chosen by the officers and a member of the Board of Directors designated by the officers.

d. The Alan Jay Josel Advocacy Award - Presented to a member in recognition of extraordinary advocacy in one or more cases, causes or issues during the previous year. The award recipient is selected by the President after consultation with the association officers.

Nominations for the awards will close at 4:00 p.m. on February 15, 2016 and will be circulated for review and consideration. A nomination form can be downloaded and submitted to




Read all the 2015 issues of PACDL NEWS




Read all the 2015 President's Messages


For a full listing of our 2015 - 2016 Officers and Directors, click here.



Member Services

The MEMBERS-ONLY section is password-protected and limited to members of PACDL. If you are a member of PACDL and would like to obtain a password, please contact us.

Brief Bank

One of the valuable benefits of membership to PACDL is access to our extensive Brief Bank, a digital library of briefs written and submitted by our members.

PACDL Listserv

The PACDL Listserv is a private email-based discussion group for members of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.



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We are pleased to offer a searchable database of criminal defense lawyers in Pennsylvania. Click here to search our membership by name or county.

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