Gain Insights Into Handling DWI Trials at Two-Day Event

By Brandon Vogel

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“This CLE is always the best!”

“One of the most informative and entertaining presentations.”

“I want to start a trial tomorrow.”

These are just a handful of the superlatives given to one of NYSBA’s longest-running CLE programs, “DWI on Trial: The Big Apple XX – 20th Anniversary,” held October 28-29 virtually from Albany. Attendees can ask questions in real time.

Program chair Peter Gerstenzang of Albany (Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang) has been involved with the program since its inception.

At the time, NYSBA had rarely brought in nationally recognized speakers from other states. Terry Brooks, NYSBA’s former director of Continuing Legal Education, was willing to try the innovation and pay the additional expenses that this would involve. The “experiment” worked with a “great turnout year after year,” said Gerstenzang.

“We try to present information that is vital to anyone handling DWI cases,” he said.

Program highlights include a session, “Death Is Different – Handling the Vehicular Homicide,” presented by Gerstenzang. “Vehicular homicides are very different,” said Gerstenzang. “There are considerations that simply do not arise in most other criminal cases.”

Edward Fiandach of Rochester (Fiandach & Fiandach) will speak on “Using Expanded Discovery to Challenge the Test.” Gerstenzang said that defense lawyers now receive a lot more documents during discovery and need to know how to use them effectively.

Joseph Gerstenzang will deal with: “Handling the Test Refusal in the Criminal Case.” “If she wasn’t guilty, why did she refuse the test?” He explains how to handle this difficult issue during a trial.

DWAI Drug cases (Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs) are becoming more common. They have unique aspects with which relatively few attorneys are familiar.  Jonathan D. Cohn of Albany (Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang) and John Sandle of Canandaigua (Sand Investigations) will be the presenters.

“One of the most creative and imaginative defense attorneys in DWI,” John Leonard of Rome (John Leonard Law Firm), will discuss unique and different approaches to cross – examination on “Challenging the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.”

Matthew Simone (Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang) will discuss some of the more critical ethical issues that can arise in DWI defense including the ethics of advising a client to refuse a chemical test.

Finally, Doug Murphy, the dean of the National College for DUI Defense, will conclude the two-day program with a lecture on trial tactics in breath test cases.

The program carries 7.5 MCLE Credits (2.0 in Professional Practice; 1.0 in Ethics and Professionalism; and 4.5 in Skills). It is $395 for members ($295 for Criminal Justice Section members). Register here.

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