Herb R. Tanner, Jr
A 1986 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, Mr. Tanner began his career in private practice where he successfully defended felony and misdemeanor cases. He joined the Prosecutor's Office in Montcalm County, Michigan, in 1994 and was made Chief Assistant in 1999. He was primarily responsible for prosecuting felony cases. In April of 2003 he joined the Prosecuting Attorney's Association of Michigan as the Violence Against Women Training Attorney.
While still in private practice Mr. Tanner was named 1990 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year by the State Bar of Michigan. In 1996 he was recognized by the Michigan State Police Fire Marshal for excellence in prosecution of a serial arsonist.
Prior to joining the PAAM staff he was a frequent lecturer and instructor for PAAM, where he presented on basic trail advocacy, presentation of expert testimony in Domestic Violence cases, cross examination of experts, presentation of demonstrative evidence and the visual trial, DNA evidence, effective opening statements and the defense tactics in the drunk/drugged driving case. In February of 2003, he received the Association's Distinguished Faculty Award.
Herb's expertise and training is in demand nationwide. He has worked with many other state and national organizations. He has served as faculty several times for the National District Attorney's Association and for statewide prosecutor or law enforcement associations, including in Missouri, Mississippi, Indiana, Delaware, Oregon, Idaho and North Carolina. He works with the International Association of Chiefs of Police for its Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, campus Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, and its Train-the Trainer Program.
His articles have been published in The Georgia Prosecutor, American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section Newsletter, the Michigan Bar Family Law Journal, NDAA's the Sexual Assault Report, and NDAA's Prosecutor.
Deirdre “Dede” Ford graduated cum laude from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1995. She spent 12 years with the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office as a Senior Assistant Trial Prosecutor. She gained extensive experience conducting felony trials, including high profile cases and Special Prosecutions in Kalamazoo, Branch and St. Joseph Counties. Her trial load consistently included criminal sexual conduct cases, other assaultive crimes and narcotics cases. She served as the primary on-call Prosecutor for the Special Investigations Unit (undercover narcotics) of the Battle Creek Police Department. She developed a training manual and taught search warrant affidavit training to state and local law enforcement agencies.
Dede has won recognition for her commitment to victims and her service to the community, including her selection as the 2003 Outstanding Community Advocate, by Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County. She received the Dedication Award from the Substance Abuse Council of Calhoun County and a Professional Excellence Citation from the Battle Creek Police Department that same year. In 2002 she was awarded the Community Commitment Award from the St. Philip Advocates Juvenile Program. More recently, Dede served as President of the Board of Directors of S.A.F.E. Place, the domestic violence shelter in Calhoun County.
Dede is working on many new projects and will expand the Project's capacity to provide high quality training and technical assistance.