03 May 2013
Halfway Thru the CLE Season
Last Friday's CLE was the Solo & Small Firm Regional Bench-Bar Conference for the 28th, 29th, & 30th Circuits. I presented a quick half hour on Virginia case law with some new legislation thrown in. Then an AUSA did some of the same for federal matters and then Judges Dotson & Moore as well as Dean McGough from the Appalachian School of Law made some comments and the audience posed questions to the panel. Of course, this time I only knew about 10% of the people in the room and I'm pretty dang sure there were appellate court judges in there. So, my comments were a little more restrained, although I must admit that I was sorely tempted to say something snarky about the case in which in which the Court of appeals rejected an appeal because the defense attorney objected that a juror would be biased and the appellate court said the proper objection should have been that the juror would appear to be biased.
Next comes the CLE in which I travel to each of the local counties and tell the attorneys what new criminal laws passed by the General Assembly of Virginia. I comb through the new laws and put together a summary of those which will affect criminal law and procedure. Then I present it (usually over lunch). This started out as something I was doing for our county's deputies and police officers. It's always interesting to hear the questions the officers have as compared to the questions the lawyers have. The officers tend to ask questions like, "How the heck are we supposed to do that?" and I have to admit that more than once I've had to look them square in the face and shrug my shoulders. Of course, there is usually a new statute or two which leaves you shaking your head. So far, the one I've had the most fun with was the nobody can drink your beer outside your house statute. The lawyers thought it was funny, but the officers got to the meat of the matter immediately: "So, what you're telling me is that every backyard cookout has to to be BYOB? You hear that Bob? You don't get to mooch beer off me anymore. It's a law."
Author: Ken Lammers on 5/03/2013