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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 2003 he joined the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan as the Director of the Violence Against Women Project. In September of 2016 Mr. Tanner left PAAM to create HR Tanner Consulting LLC.

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.

In September of 2002 Mr. Tanner was selected as the inaugural Prosecutor Fellow by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As Prosecutor Fellow he worked closely with the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators as a liaison between prosecutors and NHTSA. He trained across the country for NHTSA and the National Traffic Law Center in seminars about drunk driving issues. In 2003 the National Traffic Law Center published his Overcoming Impaired Driving Defenses as part of its Special Topic Series on Targeting Hardcore Impaired Drivers. 

Prior to joining the PAAM staff he was an active member, serving on the Association’s DNA Committee. He was a frequent lecturer and instructor for PAAM, where he has presented on basic trial 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 defense tactics in the drunk/drugged driving case. In 2003 he received the Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award. 

Under his leadership the Violence Against Women Project took a leading role in several statewide projects to improve the response to domestic and sexual violence. Mr. Tanner co-lead the 400 Project, the first analysis of 400 randomly selected Sexual Assault Kits from the over 10,000 previously unsubmitted SAKs in the City of Detroit. The VAW Project created and piloted an intensive, comprehensive curriculum for law enforcement agencies titled Jurisdictions of Excellence: A Neurobiological Approach to Improving the Response to Sexual Assault. The curriculum is grounded in the latest research on the neurobiology of trauma and teaches the trauma informed interview technique. Mr. Tanner prepared the first draft of theJEP curriculum for prosecuting attorneys prior to leaving the Project.

In 2004 the VAW Project published his Domestic Violence Trial Manual. In 2013 the VAW Project produced the Michigan Prosecutor Sexual Assault Manual. Mr.Tanner’s articles have been published in The Georgia Prosecutor, American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Newsletter, the Michigan Bar Family Law Journal, NDAA’s Prosecutor magazine, and the Sexual Assault Report. He’s written two Training Bulletins for End Violence Against Women International, available on its website.

He has lectured for other state’s prosecutor and law enforcement organizations on topics including the impact of the Crawford case, ethics, domestic violence prosecutions, sexual assault and the impact of trauma on investigation and prosecution, and visual trials. He has served as faculty several times for the National District Attorney's Association lecturing on defense tactics in the drugged driver case, DUI Homicide, Sexual Assault Trial Advocacy, Ethics, and Evidenced Based Domestic Violence Prosecutions. 

He has been invited to present for national organizations including the Battered Women’s Justice Project, End Violence Against Women International, at its regional trainings and International Conference. He worked with APRI and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape on the committee to develop the National Institute for the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, and has been part of the faculty for the Institute. 

He frequently consulted with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, presenting at its International Conference, and working as faculty for its Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, Campus Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, and its Train-the-Trainer Program. A highlight of his partnership with IACP was his role as a leading consultant for IACP’s Integrity, Action, And Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence National Demonstration Initiative, working closely with six diverse law enforcement agencies across the nation on assessment, training, and policies to strengthen each agencies response to domestic and sexual violence. 

In 2019 he spent several days in Puerto Rico, training judges and prosecutors, and presenting the opening and closing plenary sessions at the 2nd Simposio sobre Violencia Sexual, presented by the Centro Salud Justicia de Puerto Rico. He fell in love with the island and its people, and looks forward to returning when in-person training once again becomes the norm. During this time of virtual training, he delivered webinars to the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys Council and the Louisiana District Attorneys Association. He was on the consultant team for LDAA to create its recently published Human Trafficking Manual. 

A highlight of his “virtual” career was conducting a webinar for the Congreso Judicial: Justicia con Perspectiva de Género for the Academia Judicial Puertorriqueña (Judicial Congress: Justice with a Gender Perspective presented by the Puerto Rican Judicial Academy). Almost 400 judges and other criminal justice professionals form Puerto Rico, Central and South America, and Spain attended training. 

He lives on the banks of the Grand River near Portland, Michigan, with his wife and, on occasion, his two sons. When not in his home office, Mr. Tanner enjoys the outdoors with his family, hunting and fishing. He is a decent musician, spending as much time as he can in his home studio, and performing live when he can. He designs and builds electric guitars, and what he calls “studio furniture” for musicians. His woodworking interests include custom walking canes, Arts & Crafts, Craftsman, and Art Deco style furniture and decoration. He has begun to experiment with metal casting for instrument inlay and jewelry. He is also an avid reader of mystery and detective novels, especially British and Scottish police procedurals, and Scandinavian Noir.

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What People are Saying about Herb's Trainings 

"Again, thank you for your time, knowledge, and efforts to share your experiences.  It was a great 2-days and I wish to learn much more."
Program Specialist assisting in Title IX investigations

"I just wanted to say thank you for such an excellent lecture. It was extremely insightful and definitely had me thinking about how I would begin to form how I would conduct interviews on such a difficult topic. It was nice for me (someone who's never interviewed a victim like that) to go in with no knowledge or bias and be able to completely absorb what you were teaching."
Law enforcement intern and future Law Enforcement Office

"Thank you so much for the really excellent presentation on Tuesday! Our entire team thought it was spot-on content-wise, and you offered it to the participants in a way that was easy for them to understand."
Program director, national TA provider