2021 Symposium: Whiskey in the Courtroom

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When: March 4-5, 2021
Location: Duke Law Virtual Event

Presented by North Carolina Office Law of Indigent Defense Services, Duke Law Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, and the Wilson Center for Science and Justice

Thank you for participating in this year's Whiskey symposium. See you next year!




March 4, 2021

1:00-2:00 pm


Using Medical Evidence in Litigation
James Coleman, JD, Jamie Lau, JD and Theresa Newman, JD
Duke Law Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility 
Durham, NC

Drawing on their cases in the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic, this panel of speakers will describe their use of medical experts in proving their clients' innocence. The experts to be discussed will include forensic pathologists and trauma surgeons (examining gunshot and other injuries) and treating physicians (describing medical advances that unraveled the State's evidence at trial).

2:00-2:15 pm Break
2:15-3:45 pm

Head Trauma, Comprehension and Intoxication
Tara Godoy, BSN, RN, CFN, LNC

Certified Forensic Nurse, Godoy Medical Forensics, Inc.
San Francisco, CA

This presentation will cover the different types of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) that result from trauma to the brain to build a foundation of how trauma affects the brain, and then will dive into the application in criminal cases. Discussion will include aggressive behavior, alcohol intoxication and consent capacity after TBI. Criminal attorneys and investigators will benefit from understanding the affect that head trauma has on defendants and/or victims in criminal cases.

3:45-4:00 pm Break
4:00-5:00 pm

What a Criminal Attorney Needs to Know about Sexual Assault Nurse Examinations
Sara Jennings, DNP, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, AFN-BC

Forensic Nurse Consultant, International Association of Forensic Nurses
Richmond, VA

This presentation will provide attorneys with information to assist with interpreting forensic medical records and subsequent testimony of the SANE/Forensic Nurses in sexual assault litigation. The presentation will cover the components of a sexual assault forensic evaluation; sexual assault injuries: what they mean and don’t mean; and how to ensure testimony being provided by a SANE/Forensic Nurse is valid and evidence based..

March 5, 2021

9:00-10:15 am


Toxicology Testing Procedures and Pharmacology
Andy Ewens, PhD, DABT

Expert Witness, Ewens Toxicology Consulting, LLC
Cary, NC

This presentation will provide information on toxicology tests that are performed in various case types in District and Superior Court. Attorneys will learn about the procedures used for screening and confirmatory tests and the limitations of these tests. Discussion of specimen selection and drug metabolism will help attorneys understand which tests are most appropriate in a variety of situations.

10:15-10:30 am


10:30-12:00 pm

Forensic Pathology and Use of Expert Testimony
Victoria Jayne, JD and Christena Roberts, MD
Assistant Capital Defender, Office of the Capital Defender and Forensic Consultant, CJ Consulting of America, LLC
Asheville, NC and Black Mountain, NC 

This presentation will cover developing effective cross examination of medical experts and effective use of defense medical experts in homicide cases using several case examples.

  Continuing Education Credit:  Approved for 6.25 General CLE credits for participants and for three years of the Capital Defender's Office CLE requirements.