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Mid-Winter Meeting Highlights Importance of Continuing Education

February 6, 2017

By Mike Piecuch

The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA) Annual Mid-Winter Meeting takes place this week in Pittsburgh.  Our training and education committee has planned a full range of training sessions focused on trial advocacy and ethics.  Every prosecutor has sworn an oath to uphold the high ethical and professional standards required of the office, so the training and support this conference provides is an essential component to ensuring justice is always served.

The quickly evolving state of criminal law will be at the front of the minds for both our trainers and our attendees.  Our exciting conference agenda is designed to fill the continuing education needs of Pennsylvania’s prosecutors so that we can most effectively serve our communities.  Our mission is simple and straightforward: keep our communities safe and deliver justice for victims of crime.

The educational focus at this year’s conference will be Advanced Trial Advocacy.  The track will provide insights and educational opportunities for even the most seasoned trial prosecutors. In any profession, the need for learning never ends, and our goal is to provide timely and relevant topics for prosecutors of all experience levels and who represent the dynamically different jurisdictions of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

This week’s sessions will dive into trial skills, including pre-trial preparation, jury selection, and closing arguments.  There will be a specific focus on effectively translating prosecution theory to the jury throughout the life of a trial.  Various ethical considerations arising before and during trial will be explored.  And to help prosecutors face the ever-changing legal and social landscape of our work, we will provide legislative, case law, and traffic safety updates.

We’ve selected national experts to teach our courses and not surprisingly, many of them come from right here in Pennsylvania.  In all of our sessions we aim to promote prosecutors’ culture of integrity, and to equip them with the best skills and knowledge to serve their communities and make sure the justice system works for all.

An emphasis on integrity in the system has always been important, but as specific law enforcement events and practices come to the forefront of national media coverage and political debate, we must be ever vigilant in fulfilling our duties.  Evolving criminal justice trends call for new skills and new innovations, with a focus on technology and best practices that can change with the times.

Our mission as prosecutors is to deliver justice to and ensure the safety of our communities.  Professional development is key to doing this effectively.  This week our attendees will learn, evolve, respond, and support one another.  On behalf of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute and our trainers, we look forward to welcoming prosecutors from all over the state and fulfilling our duty to serve.

Reservations for the Mid-Winter Meeting are currently closed. Are you interested in attending our other conferences in 2017? Please see our Training Calendar and RSVP.

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