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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 seminar examines examine some of the problem areas that judges may confront. The participants examine political issues that may arise while in office.  Participants then focus upon problems dealing with listening and communication.  An examination of bias gives each judge 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 seminar concludes with in depth discussions of contempt and ethics.  Ample opportunity to discuss other problem areas is provided.

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 course examines the Federal Rules of Evidence to help judges regulate the evidence that the jury may use to reach a verdict. This course offers participants the necessary skills to rule on evidentiary issues with greater accuracy and greater confidence. The articles of the Federal Rules of Evidence will be explored including judicial notice, authentication, writings, competency, hearsay, privileges, opinions, relevancy and presumption. Specific case studies will be presented and discussed that deal with individual aspects of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Daubert standard will be covered as well.


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.

What They Don't Teach Anywhere Else:  Drafting Orders, Statutory Interpretation, Administrative Appeals & Judicial Administration

This course examines drafting court orders, statutory interpretations, administrative appeals and judicial administration.  Mechanics versus the art of drafting orders, the required elements of an acceptable draft order, special situations of drafting orders and the art of drafting orders will be reviewed.  This will include brief in-class drafting exercises.  Developing techniques in statutory interpretation will be discussed.  Administrative appeals and techniques for review of decisions by non-jurists will be examined.  Finally, judicial administration and strategies for success rather than stress will be explored.

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, 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.

Current Trends

This seminar looks at current trends in our court system.  Evidence will be discussed with an emphasis on gatekeeping and expert witnesses.  Current issues in criminal law, particularly search and seizure, will be discussed.  Current issues in family law will also be examined, including gay marriage. 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 technology issues will be discussed.  The seminar will end with a discussion on judicial ethics.  

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.

Court Technology and Effective Legal Writing for Judges

This course examines drafting court orders, statutory interpretations, administrative appeals and judicial administration.  Mechanics versus the art of drafting orders, the required elements of an acceptable draft order, special situations of drafting orders and the art of drafting orders will be reviewed.  This will include brief in-class drafting exercises. Information on how technology tools and techniques can be used to leverage your abilities inside and outside the courtroom will be discussed.  Topics include Powerpoint, Case Management software, cloud storage, key hardware and software needs.


 





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