I have been attending this DUI / OVI seminar since its modern inception in 2002. For five years before that, I practiced all varieties of criminal defense, with a focus on serious felonies. I didn’t think OVI defense was as complex as cases like murder, robbery and burglary. The seminar in 2002 showed me I was wrong. Shortly after that seminar, I decided to make OVI the focus of my practice. Fast forward 16 years, and I co-chaired this year’s two-day seminar presented by the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (OACDL). I was primarily responsible for the first day, which means my job was to introduce the speakers without drooling or stuttering.
The seminar got off to a great start with a presentation by Mimi Coffey from Texas. Mimi is board certified in DUI Defense, has twice completed the Borkenstein course at Indiana University, and is a regent with the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). She discussed how to win an OVI case involving a breath test. Her discussion included favorable case law, important scientific principles and helpful litigation strategies.
The next speaker was Lauren Stuckert from Wisconsin. Lauren is the nation’s youngest lawyer to become board certified in DUI Defense. She discussed the analysis of blood and urine. The first part of her lecture focused on the analysis of alcohol, and the second part focused on the analysis of other drugs. Lauren included a spotlight on marijuana, as there is a growing number of Ohio OVI cases involving marijuana which will only increase with the legalization of medical marijuana.
The third speaker was Virginia Landry, who came from sunny southern California cold Columbus, Ohio. Virginia is board certified in DUI defense, holds a certification as an instructor for field sobriety testing, and sits on the board of regents for the National College for DUI Defense. She discussed how to connect with a jury so they hear you. The essence of her message was ‘don’t be boring’, and she provided many valuable recommendations for how to gain the attention and respect of the jury.
The final speaker was Michael Hawkins from Georgia. Michael is board certified in DUI defense and is currently the Dean (the head of the board of regents) for the National College for DUI Defense. He discussed cross-examining a police officer in a typical OVI case with a breath test. Following the discussion, Hawkins demonstrated a cross examination with OVI/DUI expert (and former DUI task force officer) Joshua Ott playing the role of the officer.
The presentations were outstanding. DUI / OVI lawyers from all across Ohio (and beyond) were treated to lectures by some of the nation’s great DUI lawyers. Although this article discusses only the first day of the seminar, the second day of the seminar also featured some incredible presentations.
It is an honor to serve in the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and I really enjoyed being part of this seminar. The speakers were great, the seminar ran smoothly, and I didn’t drool during the introductions, so I’m counting the seminar as a success.