Continuing Legal Education

Criminal Law: Back to Basics (BLOOMINGTON)

June 7, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
5.75 MCLE hours

Double Tree by Hilton
10 Brickyard Drive
(map and directions)

Keep abreast of the most common issues arising in the criminal courts today, as well as the case law and legislative updates that can affect you in the courtroom!

Don’t miss this opportunity to update your knowledge on a number of key criminal law areas, including pre-trial motions, pleas of guilty, jury selection, and more. Criminal defense attorneys, general practitioners, assistant state’s attorneys, and assistant public defenders with all levels of practice who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • Which recent U.S. Supreme Court cases have affected the criminal courts;
  • The new amendments that are heading through Illinois legislature;
  • The pre-trial issues that can arise in criminal court;
  • How to properly present plea agreements;
  • Hearsay and how 6th Amendment law has continued to be impacted by specific U.S. Supreme Court cases;
  • How to develop a good relationship with your client;
  • The importance of successful jury selection;
  • How to properly preserve your trial or hearing for appeal; and
  • Much more!
Please Note: Prior to the program, you will receive a weblink via email allowing you to access the course materials prior to the program. You will also receive a copy of the course materials (for no additional charge) when you arrive at the program, but will need to check the appropriate box on the registration page letting us know if you prefer a flash drive or printed course book.


Program Coordinator/Moderator:
Hon. Donald D. Bernardi
, Circuit Court Judge (Ret.), Normal



9:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Case Law Update
Join us for a review of current cases from the Illinois Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court that are affecting the criminal courts.
Hon. Patrick J. Quinn, Appellate Court Justice, 1st Dist., Chicago

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.  Legislative Update
This presentation examines the most recent amendments to the criminal laws that are making their way through the legislature in Springfield.
Stephen W. Baker, Cook County Public Defender, Chicago

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.  Pre-Trial Motions
Don’t miss this discussion on the pre-trial issues that can arise in Illinois criminal courts, especially those related to discovery, suppression, and compliance with Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Hon. John A. Wasilewski, Circuit Court Judge (Ret.), Palos Heights

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  The Plea of Guilty
The most common hearing faced by the criminal attorney is the plea of guilty. This segment discusses the proper way to present plea agreements, as well as the issues that often cause problems, including ineffective assistance of counsel issues. Additional topics include: stipulated bench trials and the implications of two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper. The Chicago program also examines mitigation in sentencing.
Hon. Donald D. Bernardi, Circuit Court Judge (Ret.), Normal

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch (on your own)

1:00 – 1:45 p.m.  Hearsay and 6th Amendment Issues
This informative session gives you the information you need about issues relating to hearsay, including the continuing impact on 6th Amendment law as a result of Crawford v. Washington.
Mark K. Wykoff, Sr., Wykoff Law Office, LLC, Springfield

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.  Retainers and Client Relations
Get the tips you need to enhance your practice and help you develop a good relationship with your clients, while garnering advice on the practical day-to-day issues involving clients that may arise throughout your practice of criminal law.
John J. Rekowski, Madison County Public Defender, Edwardsville

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.  Break (refreshments provided)

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.  Jury Selection
Jury selection is an important part of the criminal law process and can substantially affect the outcome of a trial. Join us for a look at proven techniques and practical tips for successful jury selection from the perspective of an experience practitioner.
John J. O’Gara, Jr., O’Gara and Gomric, P.C., Belleville

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.  Preserving the Record for Appeal
This segment discusses the necessary steps for insuring that your trial or hearing is properly preserved for an appeal. Tips from an experienced trial attorney and suggestions from a former Appellate Court Justice are included.
Ronald L. Lewis, First Assistant Public Defender, Bloomington
Hon. Michael P. McCuskey, U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, Urbana