Mar 232016

Criminal Advocacy – Experts

Are you interested in learning how to face complex trials using expert evidence? If so, Criminal Advocacy – Experts has plenty to offer!

At this program, you’ll discover important insights from the various perspectives of the Crown, the Defence, and the Bench – all of which will help you refine your own practice, whether you are crown prosecutor or a defence lawyer.

You’ll hear from seminar chair Karen E. Hewitt QC as well as other program faculty:

Hon. Justice T.D. Clackson

Dino Bottos

Peter Royal QC

Inspector Dan Jones

Today’s blog passes on insights that Karen recently shared with us about the program to give you a sense of what you’ll gain from this seminar.

Who Should Attend?

As Karen explains, this full day, intensive program addresses crucial CPD requirements laid out by the Law Society of Alberta, touching on the areas of ethics and professionalism, substantive legal knowledge, oral and written advocacy, and more. Since every lawyer’s CPD Plan needs to address these competencies, attending this program is a great way to start fulfilling your 2016 CPD requirements.

Because this program goes beyond the basics to discuss more intermediate-level topics, it is targeted to practitioners with 5+ years of experience in criminal law. However, Karen notes that there are benefits for anyone working through a complex court case.

It will be good for juniors as well, because … junior practitioners are increasingly facing complex trials where expert evidence is part of the trial itself.”

Seminar Goals

According to Karen, Criminal Advocacy – Experts will be “packed with information, discussion, demonstration, and panel review.” Karen sums up the value of the program in this way:

This course is … going to provide a strong foundation for the evolution of expert evidence, the current issues in approaching the evidence, and the substantive procedural considerations. … [It’s also] going to talk about strategic use of this evidence in structuring the trial and being effective with the trier fact. That’s the key here.”

Karen laid out the key program goals and learning outcomes that you’ll take away from the seminar:

  1. Evaluate the evidence. Learn to “determine when expert evidence is an appropriate evidentiary consideration in a criminal case.”
  2. Prepare your case. Discover how prepare in anticipation of both “calling the evidence and challenging it, if and when, called by the opposing council.”
  3. Set the scope. Determine how to set the scope of the evidence “in terms of issues to be addressed and qualifications of the expert.”
  4. Understand shifting judicial roles. Explore the “potential shift of the role of the trial judge and issues that must now be considered as a result of the White decision.”
  5. Lay a factual foundation. Recognize how to prepare your case and lay a foundation “from which the expert will offer the opinion evidence” – including a discussion of “preservation of evidence, the potential for spoliation, and the impact of the evidence in terms of the expert and the case itself.”
Demonstration Voir Dire

While you’ll benefit from hearing the discussion from each presenter, you’ll also take away tips and tricks from an in-course demonstration of a voir dire.

Here’s what Karen had to say about this unique program component that brings in the expertise of Inspector Dan Jones of the Edmonton Police Service.

Dan Jones … has been qualified in court a number of times as an expert. He will be participating in the demonstration voir dire, in which we will be addressing the issue of scope, use of evidence, and potential for bias. He will be offering a perspective … into what the expectations are of the expert both in pre-trial preparation as well as what happens on the stand and how to give a balanced, fair, and truthful opinion.”

Register Online

For more information on Criminal Advocacy – Experts, check out the program brochure.

To take advantage of early bird prices, register by April 12 to attend in Calgary (May 14) or Edmonton (May 28).

We look forward to seeing you!