Introducing Expert Testimony in Sexual Violence Cases

Experienced professionals familiar with the dynamics of sexual violence understand that victims have individual responses to trauma that are often counterintuitive to public expectations. Without the benefit of a proper explanation, however, jurors may wrongly interpret a victim’s actions during and after an assault as reasons not to believe the victim’s testimony. Expert testimony to explain victim behavior is often the best way to dispel myths and educate the jury to make an informed decision based on a view of the evidence within an accurate context. This webinar describes the impact of trauma on victims, including cognitive and behavioral reactions, and discusses the effect of common victim behaviors on factfinders’ assessments of victim credibility. It discusses the law related to the prosecution’s introduction of expert testimony on victim behavior, how to identify experts qualified to testify on this subject, and what the parameters of such testimony should be.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Introducing Expert Testimony in Domestic Violence Cases

Popular perceptions of how victims should respond to physical and emotional trauma often conflict with the way victims actually behave; these misconceptions can severely affect the fact finders’ assessment of victim credibility and, ultimately, the case outcome. Introducing expert testimony to explain victim behavior is a way to dispel myths and assist the jury in making an informed decision based on the evidence. This webinar describes common victim behaviors and dynamics in intimate partner violence cases, as well as their impact on fact finders’ assessments of victim credibility. The presenter discusses the law related to the admission of expert testimony to explain victim behavior and suggests ways to identify qualified experts. The presentation highlights the importance of deciding whether to introduce expert testimony in a case and explains the value of consulting with experts during trial preparation regardless of whether such testimony will be introduced.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Interviewing Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation: Techniques and Tactics

Trafficking victims are difficult to interview for the same reasons they are difficult to identify. Traffickers manipulate, coerce, threaten, and commit acts of violence against victims, which may result in their inability or unwillingness to self-identify, report to law enforcement, or participate in the criminal justice process. Therefore, the ability to expediently and appropriately identify a victim of trafficking or exploitation is crucial, and often can be accomplished only through effective interviewing. This webinar highlights the importance of preparing for an interview by collaborating with community-based service providers and also explores a variety of interview techniques. The presenters discuss tools for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to use when developing their own questions and protocols for interviewing trafficking victims.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Integrating a Trauma-Informed Response

Short- and long-term reactions to trauma manifest in a variety of behaviors that may have an impact on a victim’s ability to participate in the criminal justice process. In order to keep victims safe and engaged throughout the process, allied professionals must ensure that their interaction with victims and their decision-making take into account the wide-ranging effects of trauma. This webinar addresses how to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma following a crime of violence. The presenters discuss strategies for conducting thoughtful and effective victim interviews, collaborating with allied professionals to achieve a fully integrated trauma-informed approach, and explaining victim behavior at trial.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Higher Education: Dispelling Myths to More Effectively Prosecute Campus Rape

Research shows the vast majority of sex offenders are non-stranger rapists and serial offenders. These offenders are often overlooked because they benefit from the common misconceptions and false expectations about a rapist’s relationship to their victim and the frequency of their offending. To more effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute non-stranger rapists on campus, prosecutors must overcome common myths and misconceptions about sexual violence, especially if judges and juries believe them. This webinar provides a comprehensive overview of sex offenders with an emphasis on non-stranger rapists and focuses on strategies for overcoming the unique challenges these offenders present on campus.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

From Barriers to Solutions: Investigating and Prosecuting Human Trafficking

Human trafficking thrives in rural, suburban, and urban jurisdictions across the country because it is routinely undetected, overlooked, or misidentified. Further, a lack of coordination between the criminal justice system and community-based programs results in a lack of victim identification and offender accountability. This webinar recording highlights key findings from an Urban Institute/Northeastern University report: “Identifying Challenges to Improve the Investigation and Prosecution of State and Local Human Trafficking Cases.” The presenter offers solutions for enhancing victim identification and safety and increasing offender accountability through the effective investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Following the Digital Breadcrumbs: Utilizing Technology in Sex Trafficking Prosecutions

The Internet is a haven for sex traffickers to recruit, advertise, and communicate with their victims. At the same time, these activities leave “digital breadcrumbs” to follow during an investigation. Investigators and prosecutors should work together to use the latest available resources to preserve valuable evidence that can strengthen the prosecution’s case at trial. This webinar provides practical information and investigative strategies that will assist in the identification, investigation, and successful prosecution of traffickers. It addresses how digital evidence can corroborate victim and witness testimony, support charging decisions, and reinforce evidence-based trial strategies that do not rely entirely upon victim testimony.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Ethical Considerations for Prosecutors in Sexual Violence Cases

Ensuring victim privacy and achieving justice in sexual violence cases requires prosecutors to have a firm grasp of their legal obligations as well as their ethical responsibilities throughout each stage of the criminal justice process. In addition to complex victim privacy issues, sexual violence cases present unique ethical challenges related to prosecutorial discretion, recantation, and disclosure of evidence. This webinar addresses these ethical considerations as well as charging decisions, immunity, the investigate function of a prosecutor, and trial publicity. The presenters use hypothetical case scenarios to challenge prosecutors to evaluate their decision-making in the context of ethical rules and principles.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Ethical Considerations for Prosecutors in Intimate Partner Violence Cases

Intimate partner violence cases present unique ethical challenges related to victim privacy and confidentiality, prosecutorial discretion, recantation, and disclosure of evidence. Achieving justice in intimate partner violence cases requires prosecutors to have a firm grasp of their legal obligations as well as their ethical responsibilities throughout each stage of the criminal justice process. This recording addresses ethical considerations in the context of charging decisions, immunity, compulsion of victim testimony, Crawford, and the investigative function of a prosecutor. The presenter uses hypothetical case scenarios to challenge prosecutors to evaluate their decision-making in the context of ethical rules and principles.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Criminal Meets Civil: Coordinating Our Response

Prosecutors know that a coordinated response to intimate partner violence provides maximum support to victims. Prosecutors and attorneys representing victims in civil proceedings are equally dedicated to victim safety, but may not always fully appreciate the value and limitations of each other’s role in the process. This presentation highlights the importance of coordination between prosecutors and victims’ civil attorneys and suggests ways they can work together to identify helpful evidence that will be admissible in the criminal case. The presenter also explores ways in which civil proceedings in family or other civil courts can support the victim while the criminal case is pending.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.