True Crime from Murder to Verdict: Lessons for Lawyers Today

Date: May 30, 2024 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Online

Member Price: $187

Non-Member Price: $234

Event Code: I148124

Areas of Law: Criminal Law

Earn up to 4.5 credits, including 1.2 in Ethics! (More Information)





Joel Oster, Esq.
Comedian of Law, LLC, Shawnee

Murder trials capture America’s attention like nothing else. They are the original reality TV. From gruesome murder scenes to the search for who is responsible, society is consumed with the process, as evident from the plethora of crime shows and podcasts that dominate streaming services. For lawyers, the murder trial is a crowning achievement of the profession. It provides an orderly process to hold those who commit these heinous acts responsible. But does the process always work? Do the innocent get convicted? Do the guilty go free?

Join Joel Oster for a riveting program as he examines three true crimes:

  • Lincoln’s Last Murder Trial: State of Illinois v. Peachy Quinn Harrison
    The victim was one of Lincoln's former law clerks. The accused, who Lincoln defended, was the son of one of his prominent political supporters. It was complicated.

    Even by today’s standards, The State of Illinois v. “Peachy” Quinn Harrison would be considered newsworthy. The prerequisite elements for a “high-profile” trial were all there: a well-liked and promising young man stabbed to death by a neighbor with whom he had grown up; a struggle and claim of self-defense; eyewitness testimony, including from the victim’s own brother; an alleged deathbed admission; a critical celebrity witness; and a community fiercely divided. That division stemmed, in part, from the fact that this was one of those close ones where the lawyering could absolutely impact the outcome.
  • Ethical Violations that Led to Murder: The Trial of Alex Murdaugh
    The story of the Alex Murdaugh Murder Trial is a story of substance abuse, disregard for lawyer ethics, and murder. And yes, the three are related. From small town USA, the Murdaugh family has controlled the law in Hampton County for almost 100 years. Corners were cut. Misdeeds ignored. Could this include murder? A jury, after hearing about Alex Murdaugh’s ethical violations and the facts surrounding the murder of his wife and son, convicted him of first-degree murder in less than 3 hours. This amazing story, that grabbed America’s attention like no other recent case save People v. OJ, is a cautionary tale about the dangerous lures of power, greed and substance abuse in the practice of law.

  • Cold Case Files: Prosecuting the Murder of David Harmon after 20 years
    David Harmon was bludgeoned to death on Feb. 28, 1982, while lying in bed next to his wife in Olathe, Kan. The murder, which shocked this quiet, peaceful town, went unsolved for more than two decades. Police had their suspicions in the case. They questioned the victim's wife and a friend of the couple. In the end, the investigation went nowhere. However, a fresh look at old evidence and a knock on a door would change everything.

Joel will guide you through the grisly details of the murder scenes, the twists and turns of the investigations, the decision to indict, the trial, and finally, the verdict.

CLE Credits
NJ CLE:NJ CLE information: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 4.5 hours of total CLE credit, including 1.2 in Ethics (Full Credits Available: NJ Criminal Trial Attorney Credit: 4.5, NJ Ethics: 1.2, NJ General: 3.3).
NY CLE (t&nt):NY Ethics Non-Transitional: 1.0, NY Professional Practice Non-Transitional: 3.0
PA CLE:PA Ethics Credit: 1.0, PA Substantive Credit: 2.5
New: No PACLE fee is required for this program. To earn PA CLE credits, a valid PA Bar ID number must be entered into the CLE form provided after attending the program.

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