8:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CLE Training
“The Staircase” Post-Mortem: Lessons Learned from a Hard-Fought Case
Join us for an informative and entertaining CLE program (including one hour of ethics) that takes you behind the scenes of one of the most acclaimed true-crime documentary series ever made: “The Staircase.”
In 2003, North Carolina author Michael Peterson stood trial for the murder of his wife. He said she fell down the stairs. The state had quite a different theory. Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Jean-Xavier de L’Estrade chronicled the sensational trial with full access to Peterson’s lawyers, his family, and the prosecution as they investigated and tried the case.
Charlotte attorney David Rudolf was lead criminal defense counsel in the Peterson case. Using clips from the film, including never-before-seen footage, Rudolf appears with an all-star panel to dissect the highs and lows of the litigation, and to illuminate lessons from which every practitioner – both civil and criminal – can learn.
David Rudolf | Charlotte, NC
Mr. Rudolf is a partner at Rudolf Widenhouse in Charlotte, NC. Rudolf founded his law firm in 1982 to represent the rights of people, and the firm has never wavered from that mission. Prior to that, he fought as a public defender and federal defender in the Bronx and Brooklyn. He also started the Criminal Law Clinic at the University of North Carolina Law School.
Timothy Palmbach | New Haven, CT
In 2004, Timothy Palmbach joined the faculty of the University of New Haven as an Associate Professor and Chair of the Forensic Science Department. He has been associated with the faculty of that university since 1984 and is Executive Director of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science and Center for Forensic Investigation of Trafficking in Persons. In his role with the Lee Institute he has provided capacity building and training to law enforcement personnel throughout the world.
Lisa M. Wayne | Denver/Boulder, CO
Lisa Wayne is a Colorado-based criminal defense lawyer who has practiced for more than thirty years. She is a national lecturer and professor at the University of Colorado, Cardozo Law and Harvard Law Schools. Wayne is also a national television legal analyst for ABC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. She is a past-president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and currently represents clients in across the United States.
Karen C. Clark | Phoenix, AZ
Karen Clark is a founding partner at Adams & Clark, PC. Clark has been practicing law for twenty years and focuses her practice on advising and representing lawyers and judges in discipline matters, bar admissions, reinstatements, fee disputes and expert witness issues. Clark is a former law clerk for the Arizona Court of Appeals and a former state public defender. She also served in the lawyer regulation department of the Arizona State Bar for eight years, arguing significant lawyer discipline cases before the Arizona Supreme Court. Clark has taught hundreds of seminars on legal ethics and professional responsibility before numerous organizations, associations, and committees. She is a member of the State Bar of Hawaii and the State Bar of Arizona.
Moderator | Sonya Pfeiffer | Charlotte, NC
Sonya Pfeiffer covered the case of State of North Carolina vs. Michael Peterson in 2003 while reporting for WTVD, the ABC affiliate in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Pfeiffer then reported and anchored at WCVB, the ABC affiliate in Boston, Massachusetts. She later produced an award-winning documentary film, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Social Justice, attended law school at UNC-Chapel Hill and is now a practicing criminal defense and civil rights attorney in Charlotte, NC, at Rudolf Widenhouse. In addition to her trial work, Pfeiffer regularly moderates discussions and panels on a variety of topics; through her background in journalism, filmmaking and law, Pfeiffer brings a unique perspective to conversations around The Staircase.
8:30 a.m. Welcome and “The Staircase” Overview. Introduction of the case and the major legal issues.
8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Moderated discussion with David Rudolf and Timothy Palmbach, a one-hour general CLE on the topic of Junk Science. Rudolf will address the role junk science played in the trial and Palmbach will discuss current developments in forensics.
9:50 – 10:00 break
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Moderated discussion with David Rudolf and Lisa Wayne, a one-hour general CLE panel discussion on the topic of 404(b), or “other acts” evidence. Rudolf and Wayne will focus on the predominant prior bad act evidence in the case, and offer practical tips for lawyers confronting such evidence.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Moderated discussion on ethics with David Rudolf and Karen Clark. The primary issues will be a lawyers’ duty to disclose evidence to the prosecution and plea bargaining.
The views and opinions of MCB CLEs are not necessarily those of the 26th Judicial District Bar.
222 East 3rd Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Cosmetic Changes Approved by Executive Committee April 23, 2015
Approved by Board of Directors January 24, 2013
Registration refunds are 1) 100% refundable for requests made 8 or more days before the event; 2) 75% refundable for requests made 7 to 4 days before the event (a 25% processing fee will be incurred); and 3) non-refundable for requests made 3 days or less before the event. Registrants requesting refunds 3 days or less before the event may be offered the option to transfer the registration to a substitute attendee. Payment is due in full if no cancellation is received or if cancellation is received 3 days or less in advance of event.
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