Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The DWI Wet Lab: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

I just got back from Las Vegas. Oh the pain and pleasure of being a lawyer who loves to learn. It seems that going to places with gambling, drinking, and a huge party atmosphere is more conducive to continuing legal education, yeah right? This year the conference was held at Caesar's Palace.

Lectures are Boring but Wet Labs are FUN

The NCDD (National College of DUI Defense) and the NACDL (National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers) did a dual program, alcohol and marijuana sessions in the morning, and drugs in the afternoon. In fact, they began with a Wet Lab where volunteers were dosed with drinks, and then sobriety tested. It was fun, and most of all educational. Having the audience play cop, and guess BAC levels as they went through the eye test, balance test, and breath testing. Starting this party up at 9:00am with dosing every 20 minutes till 12:00 must have been painful to the participants who still had an entire day's workshops to get through. The sacrifices that some lawyers make for their friends.

Anthony Palacios, a former police officer and trainer/instructor of DWI breath testing ran the show. I've seen Tony many times before and he is a great teacher. What I got from the Wet Lab is people respond and react so differently to alcohol. Sometimes it has less to do with their BAC (blood alcohol content), and more to do with just who they are AND how the are being tested.

Are they coordinated, are they clumsy, and are the people playing cop being fair and attentive to the process and procedures. As experienced DUI audience members playing law enforcement officers greatly differed in their estimations and assessments.

Ted Simon, Esq. (president of the NACDL)
and Larry Newman

Anyway, my wife and I did enjoy the Michael Jackson ONE show, and the Cirque d' Soleil Beatles shows, the word spectacular comes to mind because they so filled up their respective auditoriums with non-stop action and music.

The lectures on Marijuana, Extrapolation in DWI defense, Challenging Blood Evidence, and Closing Arguments were amazing. One of my favorite programs was put on by Attorney Scott Grossberg from California, he is the iPad lawyer. Explaining how he uses his iPad for trials, preparing and managing a huge law practice was inspiring. He went through the Apps he uses daily for running his life and practice. This year I am committed to being even more tech savvy, and bringing more efficiency to my life/practice.

One of the main things I learned, and I learned a great many things but this needed to be repeated is
What You Name Something is IMPORTANT in the world of DUI Defense.

A breath or blood test result is NOT a Result but an ESTIMATE!
The police don't ask questions of people, they INTERROGATE THEM!

The ideas go on and on but the take aways are truly priceless to me and my practice.

Always remember to consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.


Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers