The Florida Keys may seem like a tantalizing destination for a well-earned vacation. Instead of sipping Mai Tais on the beach, however, I'll be holed up in a conference room attending the 12th annual Diving into a DUI seminar given by the Trial Skills University. Held each year in the Florida Keys, this seminar brings together the best DUI attorneys in the nation for two days of advanced topics related to DUI Defense strategies. This year it will take place on February 22nd through the 23rd.
Several speakers will cover important topics related to DUI Defense. Many lawyers feel you win or lose a trial before it ever begins; hence, the importance of a well-crafted opening statement. Voir Dire, or the preliminary examination of a witness or juror by a judge or counsel, can determine the ultimate outcome of any DUI trial, so it's important to know what to look out for. The seminar will also review how to create pretrial motions that frame the key issues clearly and concisely while excluding statements that may show prejudice, seem duplicative, or appear inflammatory. A proper pretrial motion with affirmative language can help earn the sympathy of both judge and jury.
One of my favorite areas of DUI Defense focuses on breath and blood analysis. The most common method for testing Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) converts the breath sample to grams per 210 liters of air. This is presumed, almost always incorrectly, to be the blood alcohol content. It is really more of an estimate. Breath testing will be taught by one of the foremost experts in the field.
Seminars like this one play an important role in my continuing development as a trial defense lawyer. It gives me a chance to share and learn from the valuable experiences of my peers and learn from the best legal minds in the profession. I've met attorneys who've been practicing DUI Defense for over 15 years and they all say the same thing: you can never stop learning from the best in the profession.
Note: The definition of Voir Dire was provided by the Oxford Dictionary © Oxford University Press.