Judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors - including Niagara County District Attorney Michael J. Violante - assembled at Niagara University this month for a criminal procedure practicum seminar.
Designed to educate criminal law practitioners, the "Criminal Procedure Practicum: From Arraignment to Appeal" was the inaugural continuing legal education, or CLE, course hosted by the newly formed Niagara Law Center.
Attendees learned everything from discovery issues with litigator Joseph Leone, to appellate practice with Legal Aid Chief Attorney Timothy Murphy. Lawyer John Nuchereno taught ethics, and there was even a mock trial that invoked "My Cousin Vinny" references from defense attorney Rodney Personius and the judge, Hon. Matthew Murphy.
"The course was especially beneficial for young attorneys who are just starting out in the criminal courts, or for an experienced practitioner who may not fully concentrate on criminal law," said Niagara University CLE program director Ryan Thompson, Esq. "I think that will be typical for Niagara Law Center CLEs; both young and experienced attorneys will walk away with useful knowledge and practical know-how."
The NLC was formed earlier this year as a collaboration between Niagara University CLE and the Bar Association of Niagara County, with the mission to provide high-quality legal education to lawyers and business professionals in both Niagara and Erie counties.
"We are beginning to see more Erie County lawyers attending our seminars," Thompson said. "They are starting to see that Niagara University is only 25 minutes away from downtown Buffalo."
Thompson indicated NU CLE will bring seminars to Buffalo April 16, when it hosts a human trafficking CLE at the U.S. District courthouse in conjunction with the local Women's Bar Association.
On the Niagara Law Center's calendar, a collaborative matrimonial law CLE will offer attorneys 13 CLE credits in two days (May 8-9). Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon will present two veterans court CLEs at the Como Restaurant and Danny Sheehan's Steakhouse (May 12 and 20).
For more information, call Thompson at 716-286-8324, visit www.niagara.edu/cle, or call BANC Vice President Patricia McGrath at 716-438-7575.