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The Pursuit of Equal Justice (2021 Criminal Justice Section CLE)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Federal Sentencing Advocacy

William R. "Rob" Heroy, Goodman Carr Laughrun Levine & Greene PLLC, Charlotte
Judge Richard E. Myers II, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Wilmington
Jim Melo, Tin Fulton Walker & Owen PLLC, Raleigh

Start the day off with a discussion on effective advocacy for compassionate relief and sentencing arguments based on COVID-19.

10:00      Break

10:10      Dynamics of Diversity*

Chief Judge J.H. Corpening II, North Carolina District Court, Wilmington
Kendra A. Montgomery-Blinn, Durham County District Attorney's Office, Durham
Deonte' L. Thomas, Wake County Public Defender's Office, Raleigh

With an experienced panel, explore what judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys should know about competent communications with people from different backgrounds and experiences. Learn how to use supportive and compassionate language to engage with a diverse population and communities impacted by inequity.

11:10      Break

11:20      Do We Need to Try This Case Again?

G. Glenn Gerding, Office of the Appellate Defender, Durham

Review key points that prosecutors and defense attorneys must remember in protecting the record.

12:20      Lunch Break

12:50      Protest Cases, Police Encounters and Racial Justice

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Paul C. Ridgeway, North Carolina Superior Court, Raleigh
Jeffrey L. "Jeff" Nieman, North Carolina 15B District Attorney's Office, Chapel Hill
James E. Quander, Quander & Rubain PA, Winston-Salem

As we strive each day to ensure equal justice for all, a judge, an assistant district attorney and a criminal defense attorney share their experiences on this important topic.

1:50        Break

2:00        Making Connections in a Digital World‡

David Ball, Malekpour & Ball, Chapel Hill

Gain insight on how attorneys can strengthen their ability to connect with jurors, opposing counsel and others in this digital world.

3:00        Break

3:10        Should We File a Motion to Suppress?

Kelly M. Dagger, Ellis & Winters, Raleigh

Receive an overview of the important developments in federal and state case law regarding traffic stops.

4:10        Adjourn

*Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for The Pursuit of Equal Justice (2021 Criminal Justice Section CLE).


  • David Ball, Ph.D.

    David Ball, Ph.D., who wrote trial advocacy's best-selling strategy book – David Ball on Damages – is a litigation researcher and strategist with North Carolina's Malekpour & Ball Consulting (JuryWatch, Inc.). He is the nation's most influential jury consultant, communications expert, and advocacy teacher. His training is in science, engineering, and small-group communications, and he is a 30-year veteran of the professional theater.

    Dr. Ball and his partner, lawyer/consultant Artemis Malekpour, consult on civil and criminal cases across the country. They are routinely credited with turning the most difficult cases into significant victories. They are the nation's only trial consultants qualified to safely and comprehensively guide attorneys with Reptilian, David Ball on Damages, and David Ball on Criminal Defense methods and strategy. Their hundreds of brainstorming sessions – "WorkDays" – have become the gold standard for case-strategy development.

    Dr. Ball has taught law students at North Carolina, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Roger Williams, Loyola, and Campbell schools of law, and at Duke Law as Senior Lecturer. He's an award-winning teacher for the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and the American Association for Justice's National College of Advocacy. He has long been among the nation's most in-demand of CLE speakers. His favorite job was taxi driver in the 1970s in Stamford, CT, and his Daddy was a Catskill Mountains bootlegger during Prohibition.

    Click here for more information about David.

  • Chief Judge J.H. Corpening II

    Chief Judge J.H. Corpening II began practicing law in Wilmington in 1979 after graduating from Wake Forest University Undergraduate and Law Schools, and spent 12 years practicing law with Carlton Prickett. He has served as a judge in New Hanover and Pender Counties since 1991, and as Chief District Court Judge for more than 10 years. He has served as one of the full time judges in Family Court in New Hanover County since 2000, and in December 2014 transitioned to Juvenile Court full time, hearing all delinquency, abuse/neglect/dependency, and termination of parental rights issues in New Hanover County. In 2018 he completed Juvenile Judge Certification for the second time in his career.

    Judge Corpening has served as an instructor at the UNC School of Government on a variety of court related topics for many years. He also has extensive experience in motivational speaking and in developing and delivering leadership development programs, particularly for the Boy Scouts of America at the state, region, and national levels.

    Judge Corpening currently chairs the N.C. Child Custody Mediation Advisory Committee, the New Hanover County Child Protection Team, the New Hanover County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, and serves on the N.C. Court Improvement Program Advisory Committee, the Dropout Prevention Coalition of UNCW, the JCPC for Pender County, the Tri-County Community Collaborative, the New Hanover County Partnership for Fatherhood, the Southeast Area Health Education Center Health Leadership Council on the opioid crisis, the New Hanover County Criminal Justice Advisory Group, the North Carolina Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee on which he chairs the School Justice Partnership and Minimum Age Study Subcommittees, the Chief Justice';s Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative, the New Hanover County Resilience Task Force Steering Committee, and the Governor's Crime Commission. Judge Corpening currently serves as the co-chair of the NC Chief Justice's COVID-19 Task Force.

    Click here for more information about Judge Corpening.

  • Kelly M. Dagger

    Kelly M. Dagger is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on business litigation, employment litigation, higher education, and criminal defense at Ellis & Winters LLP in Raleigh. She has tried cases in North Carolina state and federal courts, including civil and criminal matters. Kelly regularly appears in federal district court, the North Carolina Business Court, and other North Carolina state trial courts, where she represents clients in a wide range of pre- and post-trial matters. She also represents clients on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and the North Carolina Supreme Court. Her civil practice includes higher education litigation, contract disputes, antitrust and unfair competition claims, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and other departing employee litigation, as well as wrongful termination and related employment law claims. Kelly also defends clients in federal criminal cases and serves on the Criminal Justice Act panels for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit.

    Kelly joined Ellis & Winters after receiving her J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as an editor of California Law Review. While in law school, she also served as the president of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and continues to take an active interest in animal welfare issues. Kelly earned her undergraduate degree in religious studies, with highest distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Kelly.

  • G. Glenn Gerding

    G. Glenn Gerding is the North Carolina Appellate Defender. The Office of the Appellate Defender, located in Durham, represents people from across North Carolina in the appellate courts after a criminal conviction.

    Before becoming the Appellate Defender in 2015, Glenn was in private practice for ten years, primarily representing people at trial and on appeal in criminal cases. He also served as an assistant public defender in Orange County for two years, and for six years on active duty in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps. Glenn still serves in the Navy Reserves.

    Glenn is also a part-time Adjunct Professor Of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Glenn.

  • William R. "Rob" Heroy

    William R. "Rob" Heroy is a member of Goodman Carr Laughrun Levine & Greene PLLC in Charlotte. He represents clients in criminal matters in state and federal courts. He handles high stakes criminal matters such as white collar criminal charges and investigations, often involving millions or billions of dollars, large-scale drug trafficking conspiracies, weapons violations, serious assaults, and homicides. He has tried dozens of jury trials and does not shy away from trying a case if it is necessary.

    Rob is experienced in state and federal criminal appeals, and in post-conviction relief. He has had success overturning decades-long sentences for clients. He also litigates immigration matters in federal district court and federal courts of appeal.

    Rob is the president of the Mecklenburg Country Criminal Defense Bar. He is on the Board of Directors for the Mecklenburg County Bar Foundation and an executive committee member. He previously taught advanced criminal law at the Charlotte School of Law. He also puts on the annual criminal law CLE for the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received pro bono awards and recognition over the last several years.

    Click here for more information about Rob.

  • Jim Melo

    Jim Melo is a criminal defense and immigration attorney with Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in Raleigh. After many years of managing his own successful firm, he joined the firm in 2018.

    Jim is a NC bar-certified Federal and State criminal defense specialist. He also practices immigration law. He has done both for over 10 years. Jim has represented clients in various courts throughout North Carolina and across the country. He has appeared in Federal Court in the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina as well as the Southern District of Florida. Jim has also represented clients in N.C. Court of Appeals and the 4th and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States. He is also licensed to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Jim received his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and then attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jim.

  • Kendra A. Montgomery-Blinn

    Kendra A. Montgomery-Blinn is an assistant district attorney in Durham, North Carolina. She is the leader of the Special Victims Unit and prosecutes homicide cases and other violent felonies. Kendra is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Purdue University and a cum laude graduate of Duke University School of Law.

    Kendra has served with the Durham DA's Office twice. She was an Assistant District Attorney from 2004 through 2007. She was proud to return to the Office in August of 2015 and finds working with survivors of violence as rewarding as it is challenging.

    From 2007 through 2015, Kendra was the Executive Director of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission (Commission). Kendra represented the Commission through eight exonerations. In each of those cases, the Exoneree was declared innocent and released from prison.

    In the spring of 2018, Kendra was the Assistant District Attorney for a landmark case that was the first major felony to move through a formal restorative justice process in North Carolina. Kendra was proud to have identified this case as ripe for restorative justice and to have been part of an outcome that brought healing to the victims, the offender, and the community. Since then, Kendra has successfully worked to grow the restorative justice program in Durham.

    Kendra lives in Durham with her husband and two children. They like to travel, try new foods, and join efforts to support public education

    Click here for more information about Kendra.

  • Judge Richard E. Myers II

    Judge Richard E. Myers II is Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina sitting in Wilmington. He was confirmed on December 5, 2019, filling what was at the time the longest standing vacancy in the federal courts.

    Prior to his service on the bench, Judge Myers joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2004 and served as the Henry Brandis Distinguished Professor of Law. While at Carolina Law, his teaching and research interests included criminal law and procedure, evidence, trial practice and legal ethics. Judge Myers is the author of numerous book chapters, articles, and essays on constitutional criminal procedure, comparative criminal law and accuracy-increasing innovations. His work has appeared in the University of Chicago Legal Forum, the University of North Carolina Law Review, the Cornell Law Review and the Duke Journal of International Law, among others. He is a co-author of Brandis & Broun on North Carolina Evidence. Judge Myers also served as Director of Trial Advocacy for the law school.

    Judge Myers attended the UNC School of Law where he was an Articles Editor for the University of North Carolina Law Review and graduated with high honors. He holds a M.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. After law school, Judge Myers clerked for Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He practiced law at O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, then served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California and the Eastern District of North Carolina prior to joining Carolina Law. Judge Myers worked as a newspaper reporter in Wilmington, North Carolina, prior to law school.

    Click here for more information about Judge Myers.

  • Jeffrey L. "Jeff" Nieman

    Jeffrey L. "Jeff" Nieman is a career prosecutor with the Orange County District Attorney's Office. He has prosecuted the full spectrum of criminal cases, but is known throughout the state for his community involvement, including his work with local law schools to set up a driver's license restoration project. As an ADA in Orange County, he has had courtside seat for many of the more significant protest cases that have taken place in North Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Jeff.

  • James E. Quander

    James E. Quander is a partner with Quander & Rubain PA firm in Winston-Salem. Regarded as one of North Carolina's elite criminal defense attorneys, James has enjoyed a successful practice focusing on complex criminal litigation and elite athlete representation. James has been one of North Carolina's busiest trial lawyers over the past 10 years. He has tried over 100 cases to jury during that period of time, earning a number of dismissals and acquittals in numerous state courts and multiple federal districts. James appears regularly in courts throughout the southeast and has developed the reputation as a fierce litigator. James has also gained the distinction of being one of the best trial lawyers in the south. In 2019, he appeared twice before criminal juries in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina and obtained two acquittals. James has received recognition as one of the nation's top criminal defense attorneys by North Carolina Super Lawyers.

    James received his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University. Recently, James was certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law.

    Click here for more information about James.

  • Judge Paul C. Ridgeway

    Judge Paul C. Ridgeway is Senior Resident Superior Court Judge of the 10th Judicial District (Wake County), North Carolina.

    Judge Ridgeway received his B.S. ('82) and M.P.A. ('90) from N.C. State University, and his J.D. from Campbell School of Law ('86), where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the law review. Following law school, Judge Ridgeway received a post-graduate degree from the University of Amsterdam in the law of the European Community.

    Prior to becoming a judge in 2007, Judge Ridgeway was engaged in the private practice of law for 20 years, primarily in the fields of commercial litigation and transactions. Judge Ridgeway has served as President of the Wake County Bar Association and as a Vice President of the NCBA.

    For 25 years, Judge Ridgeway has also been an adjunct professor of law at Campbell School of Law, where he teaches seminars in International Litigation and Law & Public Policy.

    Click here for more information about Judge Ridgeway.

  • Deonte' L. Thomas

    Deonte' L. Thomas graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2000 and UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2005. He has spent his entire career doing indigent criminal defense and in October 2020 he was appointed to be the 3rd Chief Public Defender of Wake County.

    When not in the courtroom he tries to keep up with his 3 year old son and 1 year old daughter, and is active in the community and with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Wake County.

  • Patrick B. Weede

    Patrick B. Weede is owner of Weede Law PLLC in Raleigh. His principal area of practice is criminal law. Patrick served as a prosecutor for almost ten years and handled cases in both state and federal court. Patrick has prosecuted almost every type of case, including traffic, DWI, drugs, fraud, property crimes, firearm offenses, common law/armed robbery, and murder.

    Patrick has extensive jury trial experience, including five first-degree murder trials. He has also handled hundreds of other cases that resulted in non-trial dispositions.

    In 2019, Governor Cooper appointed Patrick to a two-year term on the NC Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission (as the NC Bar Association representative). In 2021, Patrick was elected to a three-year term on the NC Bar Association Board of Governors.

    In addition, Patrick is a member of the Susie Sharp Inn of Court and the Bench-Bar Committee for the Wake County Bar Association/Tenth Judicial District Bar. He has also served as Chair of the NC Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section Council and was a member of the Judicial Branch COVID-19 Task Force (NC Bar Association appointee).

    He received his B.A. degree in Political Science and graduated with honors and highest distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Patrick.

February 12, 2021
Fri 8:55 AM EST

Duration 7H 15M

This live web event has ended.