Member in the Spotlight

Peter Carini

Peter Carini

This week's member in the spotlight is Peter Carini of Medford, Oregon. Peter hails from Brooklyn, New York where he was born and raised. At age 17, he was living in his own apartment in Manhattan, New York. He started working summers at the age of 11. He chose to go to college in Manhattan, graduating in business studies from Pace University. After obtaining his degree he tried his hand at sales- which would later come in handy as a criminal defense trial lawyer. Peter sold home heating equipment, including furnaces and boilers. After a few years (with a thirst to see the world) he sold all his belongings and moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands, without knowing a soul. He soon found a job as a yacht crew member and traveled all throughout the Caribbean. When he returned to his native New York, his grandfather had passed. At the funeral, perchance, he was reintroduced to the beautiful girl who had stolen his heart at his cousin's wedding right before he had moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands. This time, not missing an opportunity, they eloped to Martha's Vineyard. It has been 26 years and counting.

Always having a natural knack for the law, he aced three law courses in his undergraduate business studies at Pace University. He took the LSAT and headed towards scenic Oregon with a 3 month daughter in tow. Peter had two more daughters before graduating from the Williamette University College of Law. Peter is a true defense lawyer through and through, having never served a day as a prosecutor. After graduation, he worked for the Public Defender's Office in Medford, Oregon. In five years, he tried 75 jury trials before opening up his own practice. Over the first six years, he and his wife sacrificed a 3.5 hour commute to make it all happen working in between Salem and Medford.


John Hunsucker

John Hunsucker

This week's member in the spotlight is John Hunsucker of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.John was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and thirty days later his military family moved to Germany. With his father in the army, he "pretty much lived all over the world." At 15, his father retired and he came back to Oklahoma. John worked many interesting jobs including as an EMT, funeral embalmer, ship hand on a 150 foot two-masted schooner which sailed all over New England, in restaurant management, a District Executive with the Boy Scouts of America, and in a juvenile rehabilitation program called Vision Quest in Pennsylvania. Through all this, he eventually obtained his Bachelor's from the University of Oklahoma, and went on to graduate from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. John originally planned on tax law, but after interning with the Public Defender's office he found his calling in criminal law. Before focusing on DUI, he served as an assistant district attorney. John has flourished as a natural businessman. He has grown his business to 4 associates (trained 5 others) and is celebrating the recent ribbon cutting of his gorgeous multimillion dollar, multilevel office building of Art Deco design which conforms to the architecture of the historic Film Row district in Oklahoma City.

Also quite the scholar, he has authored and co-authored 18 publications on DUI defense including: Oklahoma DUI Defense: The Law and Practice (Lawyers & Judges Publishing 2008), The Oklahoma DUI Survival Guide (Whitehall Publishing 2007), The Oklahoma DUI Survival Guide, 2nd Edition (Whitehall Publishing 2010), The Georgia DUI Survival Guide (Whitehall Publishing 2009), and finally The Minnesota DWI Survival Guide (Whitehall Publishing 2010). His academic prowess even earned him a stint as an adjunct professor at Northeast State University on Homeland Security and Terrorism. His credentials on DUI include training on the National Highway Safety Administration's (NHTSA) standardized field sobriety as a practitioner and an instructor. He is also an operator and maintenance specialist of the Intoxilyzer 5000 (owning 12) and has an Intoxilyzer 8000.


Manny Daskal

Manny Daskal

This week's member in the spotlight is Manny Daskal of Eureka, California. Manny is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He spent a number of years involved in community organizing. This was all part of a natural evolution from growing up in Detroit Michigan and being close to those who formed the auto unions. After graduating with his B.A. from Wayne State University, he got involved in the initial start up of a community food co-op that now numbers about 30 thousand members. He was on the original board of directors and incorporated a quite successful rural health center. In addition, he was an officer and board member of a very substantial public land trust. He describes this public service background and having gone to college in the 60's in the heart of downtown Detroit, as giving him an affinity to the "counter-culture". So he moved to far Northern California (Humboldt County in particular) which was, to many, the center of the United States marijuana culture. After spending a number of years in this rural environment he broadened his horizons by setting forth on world travel and resided in Switzerland, Spain and Morocco.

He chose to earn his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, which allowed him on the job experience. He worked for the Massachusetts Public Defenders office at both the Boston and Roxbury locations, handling his own arraignment calendar. By the time he graduated, he represented over 100 clients at arraignments. After graduation, he dove right in by opening a solo practice in Boston handling primarily Federal drug cases. With a little experience under his belt, he returned to California where he practiced with and took over Robert Cogen's practice. Robert then held a reputation as one of the best marijuana defense lawyers in the country. Manny started out successfully defending the first marijuana cases in a number of California counties. His success grew into some of the largest marijuana cases, ranging from 13,000 plants (the largest grow at the time in California) to most recently suppressing the evidence in a 600 plant case. Manny states, "I believe that marijuana growers and people charged with DUIs aren't criminals as neither wants to intentionally harm people". So, it was a natural transition for Manny to expand his practice to representing people charged with DUIs.


John Menzel

John Menzel

This week's Member in the Spotlight is John Menzel of Point Pleasant, New Jersey. After graduating with his B.A. from Monmouth College, John was working for an investment firm on Madison Avenue in New York City when he decided to go to law school at nights. He graduated with his Juris Doctorate from New York Law School in 1984. After winning his first drunk driving case in 1987, John decided to concentrate his practice of law exclusively to drunk driving defense. Early on, he earned the nickname "Motion Menzel" by the judges he practiced before, as well as their respect. John's work ethic is ferocious. On top of a very demanding practice (of which he has appeared in more than 300 courts in all of New Jersey's 21 counties) he has argued over 100 appeals and has lectured on DWI at 153 seminars across the country. His technical writing background also lends expertise to his writings, including in the New Jersey Law Journal.

John's cases boast immense legal capital. The famous Chun (2008) case established necessary conditions before a breath test can be admitted. In Cummings (2005), the Court declared "preponderance of the evidence" in a specimen refusal case unconstitutional. Farrell (1999) still exists as the leading case in New Jersey on speedy trial and DWIs. John's eloquence in brilliantly arguing the law on Chun can be seen here: http://www.dwi1dwi.com/StateVsJaneChun.wmv


Tracey Wood

Tracey Wood

This week's member in the spotlight is Tracey Wood from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tracey graduated with a B.A. from Marquette University in 1988. She earned her J.D. at the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1992. Before Tracey decided on a career in law, she wanted to be a doctor. When she scored better on the LSAT than the MCAT; the decision was made. Being in the spotlight always appealed to her from a young age, so choosing a career in courtroom litigation was a natural fit. When Tracey was in the seventh grade she starred as Patty in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.

"I got to wear the pretty pink dress and cute pigtails, and I got to sing… stuck with it." What also stuck was a natural gift to entertain, persuade, and delight her captive audiences- her jurors!

Tracey is a seven time recipient of the distinguishing Wisconsin Super Lawyers award, and has been named to the "Top 25 Women in Law" by Super Lawyers. She has a perfect 5/5 on the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Rating Scale. She is past president of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL). Tracey is a sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) since 2001, and also formerly served as a Regent. Her other professional memberships include the American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Wisconsin State Bar. Tracey is the author of several articles regarding drunk driving, including "Challenging Prior Under the Influence Convictions," and is a contributing author of "Drunk Driving Defense" by Lawrence Taylor and Stephen Oberman. She frequently serves as a criminal law commentator and legal analyst to local media and has lectured on intoxicated driving nationwide.


James Bickford

James Bickford

This week's member in the spotlight is James V. Bickford IV of San Diego, California. James earned his Juris Doctorate from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Hamden Sydney College, majoring in psychology. He also attended Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for two years and takes great pride in being a 4th generation Cadet. James comes from a long line of attorneys and an Appellate Judge. One of 4 boys, he knew at the age of six that he wanted to be a trial attorney. While his brothers grew up watching Bugs Bunny, he watched Perry Mason. James' idyllic life came to a crashing halt when at age 20, he suffered from a near fatal car accident. In the middle of his college career, it suddenly became questionable whether or not he would ever be able to read again. With massive brain injuries accompanied by an iron will, honed from his VMI disciplinary training and his indomitable spirit, he conquered the odds. Prior to engaging in law school, James took his natural gift of persuasion with people and academic psychology prowess to try his hand at sales. He was "schlepping everything from cars to vacation rental properties." What he discovered was "Training on sales is the best education you will get for being a trial lawyer".

After graduating law school, he began his career as an intern at the San Diego County Public Defender's Office. His first jury trial was defending a woman accused of DUI with a BAC of .16 and .17. After a 3 day trial, she was found not guilty of all charges. He went on to pursue DUI specialized training in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standardized field sobriety tests as a practitioner and instructor, Intoxilyzer 5000 for breath test operators and the Robert F. Borkenstein Course on Alcohol and Highway Safety for government toxicologists. As founder of The Law Office of James Bickford, he has dedicated his practice solely to defending DUI cases. He is both proud and dedicated to be a DUI defender of the National College of DUI Defense. Since becoming licensed in 2000, he has attended 13 summer NCDD sessions at Harvard, possibly holding the record of most attendances for years practiced.


Allen Trapp

Allen Trapp

This week's member in the spotlight is Allen Trapp of Carrollton, GA. Allen graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee and magna cum laude from the Georgia State University College of Law. When asked why he became a lawyer, Allen responded, "I did not have the talent to play first base for the Baltimore Orioles (or any other MLB team)." Seriously, Allen was so impressive at debate at 14 years of age. His coach encouraged him to pursue law for which we all can be grateful!

Allen has completed the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration 24-hour Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course, a Drug Recognition Expert course, and owns an Intoxilyzer 5000. He is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense. He is author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide (3rd edition), Georgia Criminal Law Survival Guide, and co-author of the Tennessee Criminal Law: Handbook for Citizens, in addition to several articles published in The Champion and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has lectured on DUI/DWI in Georgia, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Florida, Wyoming, and Arizona. Allen is a member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (serving as Vice President from 2009-2012), Georgia Defense Of Drinking Drivers Group, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and has served as the Georgia Delegate to the NCDD from 2008-2014.


Our NCDD Founding Father

Our NCDD Founding Father

Back to the beginning, "Honestly, I can't recall who came up with the idea of the College. My best recollection is that it was initially three or four of us, and we contacted those we felt to be the leaders in the field to meet in Chicago to form some sort of national organization. I do recall that we focused primarily on education …as a former law professor, I approached the administration at Harvard."

Larry Taylor has led the fight in the United States against the erosion of the Constitution when it comes to DWI. He started the NCDD. He served as the first NCDD Dean. He has written 13 books and 35 legal articles. He has given over 200 lectures on DWI in 38 states. He wrote the most relied upon and preeminent DWI textbook (Drunk Driving Defense, now in its 7th edition after 33 years), recently recognized as leading authority in the United States Supreme Court's recent landmark case of Missouri v. McNeely by Chief Justice Roberts. What drives such a leader? Where did the passion come from? From a true and pure heart, in Larry's own poignant words, "I liked my clients. I liked wearing the "white hat". I learned the science being used to prosecute my clients was bogus: the prosecutor was offering false evidence and, unlike in most criminal cases, I was the guy who was trying to present the truth to the jury. I felt like I was the guardian at the gate of the assault on the Constitution. Because of the increasingly politically incorrect nature of DUI- akin in the public's eyes to child molesting- constitutional rights were increasingly being ignored, both in the courts and in the legislatures. Legislators, bureaucrats, prosecutors, and judges were stumbling over themselves to appear tough on drunk drivers."


Willard Hall

Willard Hall

This week's member in the spotlight is Willard Hall from Beaumont, TX. He graduated with his B.S. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and immediately set out writing for two of his hometown newspapers back in Beaumont: the Port Arthur News and the Beaumont Enterprise. After being assigned to the courthouse beat, Willard realized that was where he truly belonged. (How is that for having the perfect perspective when dealing with the media?) On a mission, Willard went back to law school graduating with his J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law. With the spotlight always attracting him, he secured a job with Beaumont's illustrious criminal defense lawyer Joe Goodwin, who couldn't be bothered handling the minor DWIs that walked in the door. Like the perfect storm, it was at this very time in 1983 that Texas changed DWI from a traffic offense into a criminal act. Willard ran with it, fighting his "traffic offenses" like hell and earned a reputation of being a DWI trailblazer, way ahead of his time-never letting up. Willard's professional efforts mirror the no holds barred daredevil adventurer in him. Growing up at the local airport gassing up planes, he flew his first solo flight at the age of 16. After obtaining his pilot license, but became a F.A.A. licensed certified flight instructor at the age of 19, teaching flying lessons to put himself through college.


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