Learning And Lounging At The Sunshine Seminar

Myrtle-Beach-2019-300x206It turns out the criminal defense lawyers were not the only group gathering in Myrtle Beach. It was bike week. Harley Davidson bike week to be precise. Thousands of bikers rolled in to cruise the strip, and a small percentage participated in drag racing, drunk driving and disorderly conduct. While some people were in the tourist town breaking the law, others were there learning about the law. I was in the latter group.


I was there for the Sunshine Seminar presented by the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (OACDL). This is an annual continuing education seminar and retreat for OACDL members. The seminar portion of the event is held in the mornings on Thursday and Friday (in a meeting room overlooking the beach), and the remainder of the time is the ‘retreat’.

Cyber Security And Client Competency
The seminar included an interesting presentation on cyber security. I, like many others, believed small business owners need not be especially concerned about being the victim of cyber crimes. However, the speaker explained small businesses, including law firms, are, in fact, targeted by hackers. He also discussed some relatively simple ways to avoid being a victim. A wildebeest does not have the be the fastest in the herd; just not the slowest. Similarly, a small law firm does not need to be super cyber secure; it just needs to not be the low-hanging fruit for cyber criminals.

Last year, there was a presentation about lawyers’ competency. This year, there was a presentation about clients’ competency. The speaker shared the nuts and bolts of competency proceedings, as well as some valuable tips on representing a client who may be incompetent to stand trial. There was also what became a lively round-table discussion about dealing with unique discovery issues.

DUI/OVI And Negotiation Tips
Following that presentation, I gave a quick update on developments in the area of DUI / OVI defense. That update included discussion of Intoxilyzer 8000 litigation, destruction of evidence by the government, and appellate cases demonstrating trial judges do not have to believe police officer testimony. In addition, Bryan Hawkins explained the issues, positions, and oral arguments in the case of Mitchell v. Wisconsin pending in the United States Supreme Court.,

One noteworthy presentation came from a former prosecutor. He discussed his experience dealing with defense attorneys, provided insight about what he found persuasive, and gave tips on negotiating with prosecutors. I always enjoy hearing from former prosecutors on this issue.

Camaraderie In The Sun
I also enjoy retreating. It was good to get away, decompress, and spend time with colleagues and friends. The attendees shared some good times together at receptions and dinners. We also had plenty of ‘on your own’ time.

I spent much of that time by the pool. Somehow, I managed to get burned in random places. For next year’s Sunshine Seminar, I will be the president of OACDL, so I’m proposing a presentation on the even application of sunscreen.

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