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Course Descriptions

Legal Issues in the Information Age
This course includes an introduction to information age, impact on privacy rights, impact on intellectual property, electronic evidence, criminal law applications and social networking. This course will not only explore and discuss the relevant rules of evidence, but would discuss dozens of courtroom scenarios that involve accident reports, environmental reports, driving records, autopsy reports, birth certificates, breathalyzer logs, death certificates, DNA results, e-mail, investigation reports, polygraphs, maps, medical records, traffic tickets, tax returns, business records, personal documents, diaries, letters, garbage, published writings and legal documents.

 

Realities of Judging
This conference examines some of the problem areas within the judiciary.  Some of the topics that will be presented and discussed are the changing judicial environment, judicial personality, fatigue, judges in the community, self represented litigants, delays in pre and post indictment, transgender issues, domestic issues, admissibility of expert evidence, civility, and powers of contempt.  The instructors will examine political issues that may arise during a judge’s term of service.  The instructors will focus on problems dealing with listening and communication.  A look into bias gives each participant the opportunity to examine himself or herself in an effort to recognize and eliminate bias.  Every judge must deal with stress and burnout.  Participants will have a chance to discuss these problems and to select appropriate measures to deal effectively with them.  The conference concludes with in depth discussions of contempt, ethics, and trends.  There will be ample opportunity to discuss other problem areas.


Evidence
This course is designed to look at evidence from the perspective of the judge.  The judge will identify the evolution of evidence and define the types of evidence.  The judge will be able to identify best evidence and rule on objections using case studies.  They will also identify exceptions to the hearsay rule and recognize components of the competency and relevancy objections and rule on them using case studies.  They will be able to recognize components of authentication and privilege and rule on them using case studies.  Judges will identify types of nonverbal communication and determine the nonverbals' influence on evidence in the courtroom.  Judges will examine both verbal and nonverbal cues given by witnesses and will review the definition of judicial demeanor and determine their individual styles of demeanor.

 

Advanced Evidence

This conference offers in depth study on evidence and litigation topics including judicial notice, presumptions, authentication, character evidence, admissibility of electronic evidence, expert testimony,  competency, and privileges.  The instructors will present the Federal Rules of Evidence in a way to help judges regulate the evidence that the jury may use to reach a verdict.  This conference offers participants the necessary skills to rule on evidentiary issues with greater accuracy and greater confidence.  Specific case studies will be presented and discussed that deal with individual aspects of the Federal Rules of Evidence.  Our instructors have developed an interactive competition that will serve to review some of the main points that were presented.  The conference will conclude with domestic issues and judicial ethics. 

  

Judicial Logic & Reasoning

This seminar offers guidance in good reasoning, in constructing and evaluating deductive and inductive arguments in accordance with general principles of logic.  Participants will review basic concepts of logic, master the Venn-diagram test for validity,  practice identifying common valid and invalid argument forms, practice recognizing common fallacies in legal and non-legal literature, and practice evaluating analogical and other inductive arguments.  Integrated with the logic review is an introduction to ethical theory, culminating in a discussion of whether judicial reasoning is ever "moral reasoning".  This seminar is designed for persons who have never studied logic, those seeking review of some basic technique of logic, and those judges who routinely write opinions.

 
Technology and the Courts

Join us to discuss how technology tools and techniques can be used to leverage your abilities inside and outside the courtroom. Learn how technology can change the way you do business and discuss the ethical challenges technology can solve (and sometimes cause) in practical terms that will apply to everyone. Everyone from a Microsoft Certified Professional to the technology-challenged will find this course useful, no prerequisites required! Topics include Powerpoint, Case Management software, cloud storage, key hardware and software needs and much more.

 

Fact Finding and Decision Making
This program will deal with aspects of the judicial fact finding process.  Areas that will be explored include self- represented litigants, domestic violence, expert witnesses and electronic evidence.  It will delve into personality, communication and psychological issues.  Judicial ethics will also be discussed.  This seminar is aimed toward assisting judges to improve their on the bench decisions.

 

Law, Science & Ethics
This course examines legal and ethical issues arising from emerging biomedical research and scientific advances. The focus is upon those judicial problems created by assisted reproduction technology, frozen embryos, stem cell research, prediction of genetic predisposition to certain diseases, genetic engineering to treat diseases, genetic discrimination, genetic enhancement, cloning, and other recent scientific developments. The course will also examine questions about the morality and legality of end-of-life decisions made by or on behalf of the elderly and the court's role in those decisions.



Current Issues
This conference looks at current trends in our court system. The instructors will cover topics including digital search and seizure, judicial bias, contemporary family issues, and problems facing judges.   Specific case studies will be presented and discussed including Crawford v Washington.  The Evidence topic will be presented with an emphasis on gatekeeping and expert witnesses.  Trends in free speech and federalism will be analyzed.  Current issues in criminal law and international law will be examined.  Changes within the courts, privacy, social media and new technology issues will be studied.  The discussion will focus on innovation within the court system and changes from conventional practices.  The conference includes ethical issues for judges.


New Problems Facing Trial Judges

This conference will explore new problems facing trial judges in the current legal environment.  Digital evidence challenges will be discussed.  Other cutting edge topics including contemporary issues in search and seizure, immigration law, and privacy issues will be examined.  Present day ethical issues, vital case law, bias, expert issues and current trends will be covered.  These topics are used to enhance the various skills that judges must develop in order to conduct fair and efficient trials in today’s judiciary. 

 

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