One-Hour Ethics Experience CLE Plus a Private Screening of “The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage,” a Documentary on Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr.

MCLE Credits: 1.0
Ethics Credits Included: 1.0

Thursday, August 12: Seminar: 2:00 pm | Documentary Screening:
View any time between 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. ET

  • Online Ethics CLE Plus Documentary Film
MCLE Credit 1.0 (Ethics: 1.0) Pending
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0 Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
Registration Fee:

Documentary Film and CLE combined - $65                                       

Information

Why Attend?

  • A RARE opportunity to enjoy the impactful documentary The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage, which centers on the cases and landmark rulings of Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr. of United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Richmond – featuring some of Virginia’s finest attorneys and judges, along with appearances by four former governors and both current senators from Virginia
  • An innovative CLE program taught by top, nationally acclaimed faculty
  • Examine how legal ethics and practice of law have evolved because of the pandemic
  • Learn ethical lessons about law-related technology, communication, and confidentiality
  • Understand the importance of cybersecurity, emergency planning, and how to react to a data breach
  • Explore topics related to lawyer wellness, professionalism, competency, and working remotely

A SPECIAL AND UNIQUE Experience CLE EVENT

Featuring a private screening of an award-winning, hour-long documentary chronicling the life and career of one of Virginia’s most renowned federal jurists, Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr.: The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage

… along with a timely hour of Ethics CLE programming: Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls as the Practice of Law Evolves, featuring Sharon Nelson, Esq. and John Simek of Sensei Enterprises, Fairfax.

Following the seminar, enjoy a film screening of The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage, a documentary on Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr.’s momentous tenure on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Richmond. Judge Merhige ruled on countless impactful cases during his nearly 31 years on the federal bench and was considered “The Nation’s Go To Judge” due to his landmark rulings and perseverance to racial equality and the Rule of Law.

Watch the trailer for The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage.

This program is not eligible for discounts

CLE: Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls as the Practice of Law Evolves


Lawyers learned new ways to communicate and work remotely during the pandemic, embracing innovation and technology as never before. Without doubt, the legal profession has evolved – and many changes are likely to become permanent.

As law firms reopen but likely will retain work-from-home options in a “new normal”, we have learned a lot from the pandemic. We certainly learned that pandemics—like any other emergency or disruptor—must be anticipated and planned for. We also got painful reminders about how critical cybersecurity is as many law firms were struck by ransomware or other cyber-attacks and confidential data was compromised.

There are many ethical lessons to be learned from the pandemic, including lessons involving competency, emergency planning, communications with clients and third parties, proficiency with law related technologies, confidentiality, supervision of lawyers and non-lawyer personnel, professionalism, a lawyer’s duties following a data breach, lawyer wellness and ethical implications when working remotely. It is a good time to look at legal ethics anew in the wake of the pandemic as we move into a “new normal.”

Documentary: The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage

Narrated by Justin Theroux (“Mulholland Drive,” “The Leftovers,” “The Girl on the Train”) and directed by Robert Griffith (“Voices of Hope and Recovery,” “Lillian”), The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage is a feature length documentary film centered on Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr.’s 31-year tenure on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Richmond.

Immediately following his appointment to the U.S. District Court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967, Judge Merhige was handed a full docket of landmark cases. Thus, he embarked on what can be conservatively described as an extremely momentous tenure on the Eastern District bench.

From his first week on the job, Judge Merhige handled civil rights cases, ruling on school busing and desegregation, as well as many high-profile cases of great national significance, including Allied Chemical’s dumping of deadly Kepone into the James River and the Dalkon Shield defective intra uterine contraceptive device.

Throughout the course of U.S. history, extraordinary times have seen the rise of extraordinary people, and at a time of great social change in the U.S. Judge Merhige emerged as one of those people. As a result of the number of historically significant cases over which Judge Merhige presided during his nearly 31 years of service on the federal bench, Judge Merhige attracted attention as “The Nation’s Go To Judge.”

As a result of his courageous stands and landmark rulings he was revered by many and reviled by some. His “liberal” ruling led to a violent backlash including threats to the lives of Judge Merhige and his family, but he persevered, doing what he felt was right and fair by promoting racial equality.

Judge Merhige’s absolute love for the law, great personal courage and unfailing fair mindedness saw him through some very trying times and allowed him to do what he simply referred to as “his job.” He was a man who believed in the “Magic of America,” as depicted in Frank Capra’s movies of the 1930s and the 1940s.


FEATURED IN THE DOCUMENTARY

Eastern District Court Judges in the Film:

  • Judge Merhige’s former colleagues on the Bench
  • The Honorable James R. Spencer (Ret.)
  • The Honorable Judge Robert E. Payne

Judges of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Film:

  • The Honorable Roger L. Gregory (Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit)
  • The Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson, III (Judge of the United States Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit)

Former Governors of Virginia in the Film:

  • The Honorable A. Linwood Holton (the 61st Governor of Virginia)
  • The Honorable Gerald L. Baliles (the 65th Governor of Virginia)
  • United States Senator Tim Kaine (the 70th Governor of Virginia)
  • United States Senator Mark Warner (the 69th Governor of Virginia)

Judge Merhige’s Former Law Clerks in the Film:

  • Anne Holton, Esquire, Virginia’s former Secretary of Education and past interim President of George Mason University
  • Rita Ruby, Esquire, Partner at Hunton, Andrews, Kurth, LLP (Hunton & Williams as of date of filming),
  • Lewis F. Powell III, Esquire, Partner at Hunton, Andrews, Kurth, LLP (Hunton & Williams as of date of filming)
  • Michael W. Smith, Esquire, a partner and serves as chairman of the firm, head of the executive committee, and heads the litigation section at Christian & Barton, LLP.

Other Lawyers in the Film:

  • Rodney A. Smolla, Esquire, Dean of Widener University’s Delaware Law School and previous Dean of the University of Richmond School of Law, Dean of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, and president of Furman University.
  • Philip J. Hirschkop, Esquire, one of Virginia’s leading civil rights attorneys

Narrator:

  • Justin Theroux, noted actor (Mulholland Drive, John Adams, The Leftovers, The Mosquito Coast) producer, director, and screen writer (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2)
 

Registration Deadline: 10 minutes prior to seminar. If you register for this seminar the day of the seminar, your e-mail receipt will include a link to launch the seminar and download the materials.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation requests will be honored through midnight of August 9. Full refunds may be requested through August 16 if 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.


Schedule

DOCUMENTARY SCREENING AND CLE SCHEDULE (August 12) (Eastern Time)

2:00 Online Ethics CLE: Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls as the Practice of Law Evolves
3:00-8:00 Documentary Screening: The Judge – Character, Cases, Courage (View any time between 3:00 and 8:00 p.m.)

Faculty

CLE FACULTY

Sharon D. Nelson, Sensei Enterprises, Inc. / Fairfax

John W. Simek, Sensei Enterprises, Inc. / Fairfax

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., is the President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., a digital forensics, cybersecurity, and information technology firm in Fairfax, Virginia.

Ms. Nelson is the author of the noted electronic evidence blog Ride the Lightning and is a co-host of the Legal Talk Network podcast series called “The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology” as well as “Digital Detectives.”

Ms. Nelson is a frequent author (eighteen books published by the ABA and hundreds of articles) and speaker on legal technology, cybersecurity, and electronic evidence topics. She was the President of the Virginia State Bar June 2013–June 2014 and a past President of the Fairfax Law Foundation and the Fairfax Bar Association.

John Simek is the Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., an information technology, digital forensics, and cybersecurity firm located in Fairfax, Virginia. He has a national reputation as a digital forensics technologist and has testified as an expert witness throughout the United States. He holds a degree in engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an MBA in finance from Saint Joseph’s University.

Mr. Simek holds the prestigious CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) and the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) certifications in addition to multiple other technical certifications. He is a past chair of ABA TECHSHOW and a co-host of the Legal Talk Network podcast Digital Detectives. He is a frequent author (eighteen books published by the ABA and hundreds of articles) and speaker on legal technology, cybersecurity, and electronic evidence topics.

Locations, Dates and Fees

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