Essentials of Handling Drug Cases in Virginia (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
VIDC Re-Certification Credit: 2.0 (VIDC Information)
Price: $140 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 07/31/2022

Information

A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the July 2019 webcast, Essentials of Handling Drug Cases in Virginia.


Topics Covered

  • Examine the typical drug case, from its inception to conclusion
  • Discover special laws and applicable procedures unique to drug cases
  • Learn the latest law and cases involving drug offenses
  • Examine the challenges and opportunities unique to drug offenses
  • Share tips and best practices from the government and defense perspectives
  • Develop trial strategies for either side of a drug distribution case
  • Explore new rules of discovery and how they apply to prosecutors and defense attorneys

This Essentials program will be a benefit to both defense counsel and prosecutors. It will be a complete survey of the prosecution and defense of drug cases in Virginia. From investigation to conclusion, every aspect of criminal drug cases will be covered, including: investigative techniques; charging decisions; confidential informants; exculpatory information; motions to suppress; laboratory analysis; search and seizure; conspiracy; drug slang, weights and measurements; money laundering and forfeitures; and sentencing issues.

The presentation features an experienced prosecutor and defense attorney who will discuss each aspect of the material. Demonstrations of direct and cross-examination techniques will be used to illustrate the most frequent and important techniques of drug prosecution and defense. The presentation includes an outline, case law, slang and measurements of use in the drug trade, including several of the more popular recent narcotics in Virginia. Also included in the written materials are forms for motions to force the production of exculpatory evidence, to sever or join trials, and others. This course is ideal for an attorney just beginning a drug defense practice or a seasoned trial prosecutor looking for new ideas. The back-and-forth between a prosecutor and defense attorney will make sure that no stone goes unturned in teasing out the intricacies of each issue.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Getting the most out of your discovery
  • Proving the nature of the controlled substance
  • Putting the drugs in the possession of the defendant
  • Calling the expert
  • Prior distribution evidence and impeachment
  • Drug buys with confidential informants
  • Conspiracy
  • Sentencing issues
  • Accommodation
  • Bond issues
  • Top 10 tricks and pitfalls
 
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Schedule

Faculty

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Brendan U. Dunning, The Law Office of Brendan U. Dunning / Halifax
Brendan U. Dunning has tried cases as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and civil litigator. He worked as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for seven years in the County of Halifax. From 2004–2008, he served as the Regional Drug Prosecutor for seven Virginia counties. In addition, he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Virginia. In 2003, he became the first and only prosecutor to obtain a conviction by jury trial under the Virginia Drug Kingpin Statute, a life sentence that was affirmed on appeal in Dunaway v. Commonwealth, 52 Va. App. 281. Mr. Dunning has taught trial practice, impeachment, criminal law, and other legal subjects since 2001. He has taught for the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council, the National District Attorneys Association, Virginia CLE®, and several local organizations training attorneys and law enforcement personnel. In 2008, he taught drug prosecution at a national meeting of prosecutors in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has tried several high-profile jury trials in Southside Virginia. He also maintains a busy appellate practice. Recent cases include White v. Commonwealth, a dismissal based on a speedy trial violation that was upheld by the Virginia Court of Appeals in 2016. He has been a contributor to National Public Radio, and has been published in The Economist and the Wall Street Journal.

Todd M. Shockley, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, County of Fluvanna / Palmyra
Todd Shockley prosecuted his first drug distribution case as a third-year law student intern with the Campbell County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, where he successfully tried the case to a jury. Soon after that sortie, he graduated from Liberty University School of Law and began to cut his teeth—and occasionally his thumb—working with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in Halifax, where he prosecuted all species of crimes and honed the necessary skills to present drug distribution cases for the government. He worked with the Halifax team until 2017 when he joined the Fluvanna Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, where he serves as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney with a specialization in prosecuting cases involving child abuse, sexual assaults, domestic violence, and drug distribution. He has been selected to serve as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Virginia.

When not representing the Commonwealth in its trial courts, Mr. Shockley spends his time hunting, fishing, hiking, and writing fiction—for which he hopes to win an award posthumously. He can recite Lord of the Rings from memory, almost learned Latin one time, and can do twenty push-ups in five minutes. A true Renaissance man.

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