In 2009, four Anchorage defense lawyers – Darrel Gardner, Rich Curtner, Andrew Lambert, and Steve Wells – decided to create a new professional association to serve the needs of criminal defense attorneys in Alaska. The Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was incorporated on November 30, 2009. In its first year of existence, a number of “Founding Members” helped to grow the association by making a special $500 dues payment. With more than 200 members having since joined, AKACDL is Alaska’s preeminent criminal defense organization.

First and foremost, AKACDL’s goal is continuing legal education, for new attorneys as well as seasoned practitioners, and for public defenders as well as private practitioners. AKACDL presents an annual “All*Stars Conference” featuring numerous nationally-recognized speakers at a grand two-day event in Girdwood. Throughout the year AKACDL also offer half-day educational seminars, as well as luncheon meetings, all free of charge, or very reasonably priced. AKACDL works with other defense organizations to promote CLE opportunities for its members. AKACDL presents an annual “Champion of Liberty Award” to an outstanding criminal defense practitioner in Alaska.

Our website ( includes members-only access to legal resources such as briefs, motions and memoranda, as well as important legal links and news. Our members have access to our confidential electronic listserve, providing a daily resource for exchanging knowledge and communications via email. AKACDL is an official Affiliate Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. AKACDL will actively lobby against the death penalty, and on behalf of legislative changes that benefit our practice, our clients, and the criminal justice system in Alaska, in both state and federal court.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Amanda Harber, President – (907) 420 4290,

Bylaws of the Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Under authority of AS 10.20.056 and the Articles of Incorporation of the nonprofit corporation, and to assist the nonprofit corporation in fulfilling its corporate purpose, the Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, an Alaska nonprofit corporation, makes and adopts the following Bylaws.

Board Members & Officers of AKACDL

Current Board
Amanda Harber, President
Andrew Dunmire, Vice President & Technology Director
Ariel Toft, Secretary
Matthew Widmer, Treasurer
Darrel Gardner, Treasurer Emeritus
CLE Coordinator – Kimberly Tsaousis
Directors: Matt Widmer, Gretchen Staft, Lyle Stohler, and Ben Muse.

Retired Board
Cherot, Samantha: Board, 2015 ‐ 2017; Vice‐President, 2016.
Christie, James: Board, 2010 ‐ 2016.
Curtner, Rich: Board (Founder), 2009 ‐ 2014.
Goodnight, Brittany: Board, 2015 ‐ 2020.
Lambert, Andrew: Board (Founder), 2009 ‐ 2014; Vice‐President, 2009 ‐ 2011; President, 2013.
Robinson, Jeff: Board, 2017 – 2019; President, 2018‐2019.
Schwaiger, Mike: Board, 2013 – 2018; Secretary, 2015 ‐ 2016.
Shanahan, Philip: Board, 2016 ‐ 2019; Secretary, 2017.
Strout, Cindy: Board, 2010 – 2018; President, 2015 ‐ 2017; Vice‐President, 2014.
Swayne, Nikki: Board, 2011 ‐ 2013; Vice‐President, 2012; Secretary, 2013.
Tetlow, Wally: Board, 2010 ‐ 2016; Vice‐President, 2011; President, 2012; Secretary, 2014.
Trimmer, Beth: Board, 2010.
Wells, Steve: Board (Founder), 2009 ‐ 2015; President, 2009 ‐ 2011.
White, Morgan: Board, 2010 ‐ 2016.