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NACDL - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Jul 26, 2021

San Francisco, CA, Lawyer Martín Antonio Sabelli Sworn In as President of Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar — 

Washington, DC (July 26, 2021) — Martín Antonio Sabelli was sworn in as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association's annual meeting held on July 24. The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson (Ret.) administered the oath of office.

Sabelli practices in federal and state courts and previously served as a Federal Public Defender, a partner at Winston & Strawn, the Director of Training for the Office of the San Francisco Public Defender, and as a law clerk to the late Honorable Robert F. Peckham, United States District Judge. He teaches regularly for NACDL and the National Criminal Defense College, taught Latin American History at Yale College, and has taught for many trial advocacy programs including the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He often lectures and trains defense counsel on criminal defense and constitutional and systemic issues including jury selection, cross examination, and systemic racism and implicit bias generally and, in particular, on race conscious jury selection. He serves on the Board of Regents and Faculty for the National Criminal Defense College and has served as a Lawyer-Representative from the Northern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Argentina Association for Jury Trials.

Sabelli is a Life Member of NACDL, previously served on the Board of Directors, and, in 2019, received NACDL’s Champion of Justice Legal Award. He currently serves on NACDL’s Executive, Budget, Diversity, Ethics Advisory, Membership, and Public Defense Committees and its Lawyers Assistance Strike Force. He serves as Chair of NACDL’s Full Disclosure Advisory (Police Accountability) Committee and as a member of NACDL’s working groups on the California Trial Penalty and its 2021 Presidential Summit on the Trial Penalty. He co-authored NACDL’s highly influential Reports on the Trial Penalty (2018) and Report on Court Reopening (2020). Sabelli is also the Ninth Circuit Representative to NACDL’s Lawyers Assistance Strike Force. He previously served as Co-Chair of the Trial Penalty Recommendation Task Force, Body Camera Task Force, and Trial Penalty Committee. This past year, he served as NACDL’s President Elect.

In 2013, Sabelli established an annual criminal defense college, based in Argentina, for defenders across Latin America which trains approximately 160 public and private defenders every year from the Spanish-speaking Americas and Brazil. He regularly lectures on comparative criminal justice issues and trains judges and defenders in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay, all countries transitioning from inquisitorial to adversarial systems. He has also participated in legal reform efforts in numerous countries including Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Liberia, Mexico, and Tunisia. Sabelli served as the Director of the Mexico Program for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy from 2005 to 2008.

Sabelli received his bachelor’s degree in 1985 from Harvard College, where he was a John Harvard Scholar, and his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1987. Sabelli graduated from Yale Law School in 1990 where he served as Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal.


Kate Holden, NACDL Public Affairs and Communications Associated, (202) 465-7624 or kholden@nacdl.org

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.

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NACDL - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges.