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JOIN US for a national symposium on plea bargaining after the U.S. Supreme Court's two latest decisions on the topic, Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye. These decisions recognized that a defendant has a right to the effective assistance of counsel in the process of criminal negotiations. The Court, however, expressly declined to say what remedy a defendant, whose lawyer did not perform effectively during the plea bargain, should receive. These cases raise many more questions than they answer. Do they change the plea process? How does one go about evaluating whether a lawyer has been a constitutionally competent negotiator? What remedy should lower courts apply? Do these cases portend judicial limitations on prosecutors?

The Honorable W. Louis Sands of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, a former state and federal prosecutor, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday offering his reflections from the bench. 

A series of panels, each hosted by a prominent Pittsburgh lawyer or judge, will follow on Friday to focus on implications and concerns raised by the two decisions.The day will begin with an introduction by the Honorable Frank Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and author of one of the seminal pieces on the subject.

View the symposium schedule and REGISTER today.


Thurs., Feb. 28, 2013
Keynote speech 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., followed by reception

Fri., March 1, 2013
Panel discussions 9 a.m.- Noon, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.


Duquesne University School of Law


This symposium has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for six (6) hours of substantive CLE credit.

District attorneys & staff, public defenders & staff, judicial staff seeking CLE credit - $60
General practitioners seeking CLE credit - $90
Academicians in legal education - no charge



For more information, contact Professor Wes Oliver or Colleen Derda.