Keep Calm and Understand Elonis v. U.S.
Presented by Teresa M. Garvey, AEquitas Attorney Advisor, and Joan Meier, Legal Director, Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP)
The recent decision of Elonis v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2001 (2015), in which the United States Supreme Court reversed the defendant’s conviction for posting on his Facebook page threats to harm his wife and others, has caused a good deal of concern among prosecutors, civil attorneys representing victims in protective order proceedings, law enforcement, and advocates. Will the decision make it harder to prosecute those who threaten and stalk their victims over the Internet? Will it make it harder for victims to obtain protective orders based on such conduct? Will the ability to protect victims and hold offenders accountable be compromised by the expedient of a defendant’s invoking the First Amendment?
This recording will explain, through analysis of the Court’s opinion, what the opinion means for victims and for the allied professionals who support them and why the Elonis decision is not cause for alarm. The webinar will also suggest strategies in charging and presenting evidence in cases involving threats or stalking on public forums such as Facebook, to maximize the likelihood of a conviction that will stand up on appeal.
Both presenters have extensive appellate backgrounds, and Joan Meier, a professor of Clinical Law at George Washington University, authored an amicus brief in the Elonis case.
Allied justice system professionals including but not limited to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, medical and mental health practitioners, probation and parole officers, judges, etc. are encouraged to view the recording.
This recording should qualify prosecutors for one and one-quarter (1.25) hours of continuing legal education credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.
Click here to view the recording of the August 14, 2015 webinar.
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