Florida Criminal Defense and DUI Defense Blog

13Aug, 14

Stephen Jones is the current dean of the National College DUI Defense. He also serves as chairperson of the curriculum committee.

About a year ago, Jones invited me to lecture at the 2015 winter session in Orlando, and I accepted his invitation. We agreed that my presentation would be on ethics.

Frankly, I was surprised when he invited me. While I have been a frequent lecturer at DUI Defense seminars around the country for many years, I have also been a critic of the governing body of the NCDD and its practices.

The secrecy, the lack of democracy, the cronyism, the lack of criteria for selection of leadership, and the petty personal grudges held by several Board members have created and fueled the growing dissatisfaction of NCDD by many current and former members. Attempts at reasonable reforms from within have been flatly rejected by the folks who benefit from the status quo.

I have not been shy about airing my concerns, and have done so regularly since at least 2010. Jones’ invitation surprised me when he made it, and I have always expected that he would eventually rescind it. In fact, several of my colleagues and I even placed bets on when he would do so. The over and under was the summer session three weeks ago.

I now see from the published agenda for the winter session that my lecture is not included.

I wondered whether this was an oversight that would be corrected, or whether Jones had already rescinded the invitation and just had not bothered to notify me, so I asked him. I now know that it was the latter.

“Given the negative comments that you have made about the NCDD since my invitation, I assumed that you would not be comfortable participating in the Winter Session. I am sorry that I forgot to discuss this with you before now.”

Lecturing about ethics as part of a distinguished faculty before a group of my peers would not have made me uncomfortable. My lecturing about ethics would have made Jones and several of his cronies uncomfortable.

This is exactly the kind of petty, cowardly and disingenuous decision making that has become the hallmark of the NCDD Board over the past several years.

With this guy at the helm, nobody should expect any different.

Attorney Mike Kessler
Written by: Attorney Mike Kessler

Attorney Kessler has been practicing criminal law in Florida for 30 years. He is recognized as is a leading authority on drunk-driving defense as well as a founding member of the Saint Lucie County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and co-author of The DUI Book: Florida Edition, the definitive resource on DUI in Florida.

To speak with Mike, call 772-466-4900 or click here for a free consultation.

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