Article Index

Including ... Continuing Legal Education Announcement • Tom Givens on Threat Assessment • President’s Message: Incident Response Plan and Network Attorneys • Vice President’s Message: A Trip to the NRA Meeting • New Educational DVD Sent to Members • Network Affiliated Attorney Question: Brandishing (continued) • Book Review: The Art of Modern Gun Fighting • Networking Column • Editorial: New Gun Owners
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Network Introduces Continuing Legal Education

Representing innocent men and women who face criminal charges or civil suit for damages after defending themselves against criminal attack is a rare occurrence for attorneys who more commonly are asked to defend criminal behavior. Knowing this, legal education programs generally give short shrift to justifiable use of force in self defense, knowing that their graduates’ work will be more heavily weighted toward defense of those who have committed a crime.

Advances in legislation allowing concealed carry combined with increases in the numbers of gun owners (details at, give reason to predict that incidences of legitimate self defense must surely increase in the months and years ahead. Those in the legal profession can expect more and more opportunities to defend legitimate and justifiable self-defense acts, and this means a new and growing need to understand the legal justifications for using force in defense, the dynamics of violent attacks and defenses against the same, along with a host of related concerns.

CLE Faculty: James Fleming

Who better to fill a need for continuing legal education (CLE) on these topics than the experts at the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.? Two years ago, Network President Marty Hayes and Advisory Board members Massad Ayoob and James Fleming began developing an in-depth use of deadly force curriculum for attorneys. The result is a two-day legal education seminar, four of which have been scheduled across the nation in 2012. The first offering of Understanding Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense is scheduled for June 19-20, 2012 in the Minneapolis, MN suburb of Eden Prairie.

Although the program is designed to provide useful and meaningful continuing legal education for attorneys and professionals who work in the criminal justice system, the seminars will also be open to firearms instructors, professional investigators, members of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. and others who desire a deeper understanding of issues bearing on the legal defense of  individuals who have had to use force to prevent or stop criminal assault.

Among topics in the two-day program’s curriculum are understanding the issues in self-defense cases with an overview of the classic self-defense case, understanding firearms, ammunition and ballistics as they relate to deadly force cases, crime scene reconstruction issues, deadly force defense with knives and other weapons, use of force considerations in non-deadly force self-defense cases, the law of self defense and justifiable homicide, decision making in self-defense cases, understanding the AOJ Standard (ability, opportunity, jeopardy) and its applications, understanding the physiological and psychological aspects of violent encounters, distortion of witness perception of events, understanding witness dynamics in deadly force, and witness issues for the prosecution and defense.

[Photos–Left: James Fleming, Above: Massad Ayoob, right: Marty Hayes.]