Elimination of Bias: Racial Bias Challenges in the Legal System

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

Thursday, August 19, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Live Webcast
  • Live Telephone
Learn more about Virginia CLE webcast format
Learn more about Virginia CLE telephone format
Friday, August 27, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Webcast with Live Q&A
  • Telephone with Live Q&A
MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 2.0 (all dates, all formats) Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
GAL for Incapacitated
Persons CE Credit
:
1.0 (GAL Information)
GAL for Children CE Credit: 1.0 (GAL Information)
Registration Fee: $159

Information

Why Attend?

  • Learn what implicit bias, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias are and how they subconsciously affect decision-making
  • Review data showing racial disparities in arrests, sentencing, and criminal and civil jury verdicts, and learn ways to reduce these disparities
  • Discover how bias affects entry into and advancement within the legal profession, and learn strategies to interrupt this bias
  • Examine concerns about racial bias in the court system and ways to address these issues
  • Learn what to do if racism affects jury deliberations
  • Consider strategies for addressing race issues in voir dire questioning
  • Review studies on the racially based use of peremptory strikes and illegal racial discrimination in jury selection
  • Find out what the procedure is for challenging the strike of a potential juror based on race
  • Explore strategies for jury selection and proposals to address concerns in this area

The Declaration of Independence states that all people are created equal. The Virginia State Bar Professional Guidelines Principles of Professionalism state that attorneys are to “Avoid all bigotry, discrimination, or prejudice.” How are we doing? Where can we do more?

This two-hour program will review studies on racial bias in the court system and the legal community; discuss implicit bias, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias; and make recommendations going forward. Our presenters are:

  • Victor Cardwell, Principal and Chairman of the Board at Woods Rogers. Mr. Cardwell is Chair of the Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar’s Board of Governors for its Diversity Conference;
  • Betty Dunkum, the CEO of Victory Trial Consulting (www.victorytrial.com). Ms. Dunkum is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School and a jury consultant advisor to the New York University School of Law Civil Jury Project;
  • Donald Gee, Managing Partner of the Gee Law Firm. Mr. Gee has over 30 years’ experience litigating personal injury cases; and
  • Monica Patterson, Director of Litigated Liability Claims at Dollar Tree Stores.

This program will:

  • Look at implicit bias, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias and how they subconsciously affect decision-making
  • Review national data and Virginia data (where available) on disparities in arrests, sentencing, and criminal and civil jury verdicts and discuss ways to reduce these disparities
  • Examine data on diversity in the legal profession; discuss areas of bias that affect entry into and advancement within the legal profession; consider recommendations to interrupt this bias
  • Explore concerns about racial bias in the court system, such as incidents of racial bias among court officers and staff, and recommendations to address these issues
  • Examine incidents of racism during jury deliberations and strategies for what can be done
  • Consider strategies for addressing race issues in voir dire questioning
  • Review studies on the racially based use of peremptory strikes and illegal racial discrimination in jury selection; review the procedure for challenging the strike of a potential juror based on race; discuss strategies for jury selection and proposals to address concerns in this area
 

Discounts available for Virginia CLE webcast-telephone-live seminars Follow link to learn about the Virginia CLE Online Bundle with savings up to 45% Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about discount for New Virginia Lawyers (first 3 years) Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Registration Deadlines:
Webcast: 10 minutes prior to seminar. If you register for a webcast the day of the seminar, your e-mail receipt will include a link to launch the seminar and download the materials.
Telephone: Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. the day preceding the seminar
Call (800) 979-8253 to register up to one hour prior to the seminar

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored until 5:00 p.m. the day preceding the seminar. You will, however, be charged $40 if you cancel or transfer your registration to a different seminar after the link to the materials has been e-mailed by Virginia CLE.

Full refunds or transfers are available up to two days after a webcast in the unlikely event that you experience technical difficulties.

MCLE Credit Caveat: The MCLE Board measures credits by the time you spend in attendance. If you enter a seminar late or leave it early, or both, you must reflect those adjustments accurately in the credits you report on your credit reporting form. A code will be given at the end of the seminar, which must be written on your MCLE form.


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Schedule

COURSE SCHEDULE (August 19) (Eastern Time)

11:00 Elimination of Bias: Racial Bias Challenges in the Legal System
1:00 Adjourn
  • Q&A will be handled via chat room for Webcast attendees.
  • Q&A will be handled via e-mail for telephone seminar attendees.

COURSE SCHEDULE (August 27) (Eastern Time)

11:00 Elimination of Bias: Racial Bias Challenges in the Legal System
1:00 Adjourn
  • Q&A will be handled via chat room for Webcast attendees.
  • Q&A will be handled via e-mail for telephone seminar attendees.

Faculty

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS


Victor Cardwell,
Woods Rogers / Roanoke

Victor Cardwell is Co-Chair of Woods Rogers’ Labor and Employment Law Section and is Chairman of the Woods Rogers Board of Directors. He practices labor and employment law throughout the U.S., focusing on diversity, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and labor/management relations—including union-organizing campaigns and union-avoidance techniques, and workplace violence.

Mr. Cardwell has significant experience before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board. He offers counsel to executive and human resources managers on a wide range of employer concerns—from harassment, sexual orientation/transgender, retaliation, and discrimination, to workforce reductions, handbooks and agreements, unfair competition, wage/hour compliance, health and disability, discipline/discharge, and employee leave. He is Chair of the Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar’s Board of Governors for its Diversity Conference. He also was named to the Roanoke Law Foundation Fellows Program in 2018.

Betty L. Dunkum, Victory Trial Consulting, LLC / West Palm Beach, FL

Betty L. Dunkum is the Chief Executive Officer of Victory Trial Consulting, LLC (www.victorytrial.com), a full-service national trial consulting firm providing assistance to attorneys in case evaluation, jury research, trial strategy, thematic development, jury selection, trial communication, and witness evaluation. Among its services, Victory Trial Consulting provides consultation for trial and jury selection and conducts case analysis, witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.

Ms. Dunkum advises litigants on major lawsuits around the country. She was raised in Buckingham County, Virginia. She received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and her bachelor’s degree, from Williams College. She has over twenty-five years of experience in complex litigation, including federal and state civil, commercial, employment, construction, personal injury, medical malpractice, eminent domain, constitutional and religious liberties, criminal, antitrust, copyright, and trademark litigation. She has been the lead trial consultant on a number of cases of regional and national significance. Her clients have over $1 billion in jury verdicts and settlements during trial.

Ms. Dunkum is currently serving as a jury consultant advisor to the New York University School of Law Civil Jury Project, which is working with thought leaders around the country to develop ways jury trials need to change.

Donald Gee, The Gee Law Firm / Henrico

Donald Gee is the Managing Partner of the Gee Law Firm and has been practicing law for over 30 years. He is passionate about helping those injured due to someone else’s negligence, and has had extensive experience handling various types of personal injury cases including car crashes, tractor trailer accidents, defective products, and wrongful death cases.

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Gee has handled a variety of personal injury cases, making recoveries for his clients ranging from a few thousand dollars to multi-million dollars. He handles cases throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mr. Gee attended Central High School of Lunenburg in Victoria, Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, and received his Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law.

Monica Patterson, Dollar Tree / Chesapeake

Monica Patterson joined Dollar Tree as the Director of Litigated Liability Claims in 2018. A seasoned legal professional with more than 20 years of experience as outside and in-house counsel, she oversees the management of general liability claims and lawsuits nationwide, provides support for the company’s business objectives, and mitigates legal and reputational risk. Prior to joining Dollar Tree, Ms. Patterson was a member of The Home Depot’s legal team, where she served as Senior Corporate Counsel for over a decade.

Ms. Patterson is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law and Duke University. She resides in Chesapeake, Virginia.

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