2017 Law Review Symposium on Disruptive Innovation in Criminal Defense


The 2017 Law Review Symposium to be held on Friday, Oct. 6, will focus on “Disruptive Innovation in Criminal Defense.” It is sponsored by the Law Review, Mercer School of Law, and the Southeastern Association of Law Schools. The symposium will take place in the first-floor moot courtroom of Mercer Law School from 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The symposium has been approved for 6 CLE hours, including 1 ethics hour. Registration for the CLE will begin at 8 a.m. The cost is $75 and must be paid by check or money order.

The symposium explores existing and imaginable innovations in criminal defense that would depart from, and ideally disrupt, conventional ways of doing things. The speakers were invited to examine and propose innovations in individual representations, in the broad-scale delivery of legal services, and at other levels. In other words, this Symposium asks what can be done differently that will make a difference in criminal defense. Additionally, it explores the legal, political and other barriers to innovation. Finally, the Symposium considers the implications of this inquiry for teaching and scholarship.

According to the Mercer faculty liaison for the Symposium, Gary Simson, Senior Vice Provost for Scholarship and Macon Chair in Law, “The speakers are an all-star lineup of criminal procedure and legal ethics scholars, with a wealth of practice experience between them in criminal justice. At this year's Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference, I heard the speakers give a preview of the talks they will be delivering here. They were outstanding, and I am confident that the Symposium will be among the very best the Law Review has ever done.”

The day begins with a welcome from Dean Cathy Cox at 9 a.m. followed by first session of the symposium, 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., featuring two speakers: Bruce Green, “The Right to Two Criminal Defense Lawyer” and Steven Zeidman, “Raising the Bar: Indigent Defense and The Right to a Partisan Lawyer.”

Green is the Louis Stein Chair at Fordham Law School, where he directs the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics. Zeidman is a Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law where he is director of the Criminal Defense Clinic.

The second session, from 10:45 a.m. – Noon, includes Ellen Podgor on “Disruptive Innovation in Criminal Defense: Demanding Corporate Criminal Trials” and David Singleton on “Serving Two Masters: The Role Defense Counsel Can Play in Pursuing Restorative Justice Remedies That Serve Both the Wrongdoer and the Crime Survivor.”

Podgor is the Gary R. Trombley Family and White Collar Crime Research Professor at Stetson School of Law where she teaches in the areas of white collar crime, criminal law and international criminal law. Singleton is a professor at Northern Kentucky School of Law where he is Director of Constitutional Litigation Clinic.

Following a break for lunch is the third session, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m, featuring Laurie Levenson on “Politics of Ethics” and Janet Moore on “Cone of Silence: Ethics and Empirical Research on Public Defense.”

Levenson is the David W. Burcham Chair in Ethical Advocacy at Loyola School of Law. Moore is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

The closing session, from 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., will feature Susan Klein and Elissa Steglich, “The Impropriety of Federal Immigration Waivers in Plea Agreements: A Caution to Defense Attorneys” and Donald Tibbs, “Let Them Speak: Paradigms from the Black Power Era as Disruptive Innovation in Criminal Defense.”

Klein is the Alice McKean Young Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, and Steglich is a professor in the Immigration Clinic there. Tibbs is a professor at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

Additional experts in their respective fields of criminal law will serve as commentators to the speakers and their presentations. Commentators include Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore, David Chaiken, Professor Jim Fleissner and Judge Verda Colvin.

Read more about the speakers here:

Professor Bruce Green

Fordham University School of Law

Susan Klein

University of Texas School of Law

Laurie Levenson

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

Janet Moore

University of Cincinnati College of Law

Ellen Podgor

Stetson University College of Law

David Singleton

NKU Chase College of Law

Elissa Steglich

University of Texas School of Law

Donald Tibbs

Drexe; University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Steven Zeidman

CUNY School of Law