Elimination of Bias: Racial Bias Challenges in the Legal System (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
GAL for Incapacitated
Persons CE Credit
:
1.0 (GAL Information)
GAL for Children CE Credit: 1.0 (GAL Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 08/31/2024

Information

A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the August 2021 webcast, Elimination of Bias: Racial Bias Challenges in the Legal System .


Course Outline

  • 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 reviews 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.

Topics Covered:

  • 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
 
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Schedule

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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