Event Calendar

Friday, June 30, 2023

On Demand: 35th Annual Conference and Criminal Defense Seminar

Start Date: 11/3/2022 7:44 PM EDT
End Date: 6/30/2023 7:45 PM EDT

Venue Name: Virtual - via Zoom

Organization Name: KACDL

Donna Brown
Email: director@kacdl.net
Phone: (502) 594-1375

*******Attention! This is an On Demand video presentation************
NOTICE: Access to KACDL’s on-demand video seminar program ("the program") is granted to the purchaser and/or KACDL member only,  and such access is not transferable. The program is to be viewed by the purchaser only, and not shared with or conveyed to others. 

Please note: If you attended and participated in our "Live" program on Nov 3, 2022 YOU ARE VIEWING THE SAME MATERIALS.  This On Demand offering is intended to meet educational needs of members who were unable to attend the "live" program.   "Live" attendees receive an after event follow up email that includes links to the videos and presenter material. If you did not receive the email, please call 502-594-1375 or email our education committee at education@kacdl.net. 

35th Annual Conference & Criminal Defense Seminar
Virtual Event via Zoom held on Thursday, November 3, 2022

6.5 CLE Total Credit; 1.0 Ethics Credit
KBA Approved for On Demand

Welcome/Opening Remarks 
Rachael O'Hearen, KACDL President

Rachael O'Hearen graduated Cum Laude from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase Law School in 2011. Since opening her solo practice in 2012 she has focused on representing clients in the areas of Domestic Relations and Criminal Defense. She currently serves as a Board Member for the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is the Chair of the organization's DUI Committee. In 2017 Rachael received the Public Advocate Award from the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy for her work as a Conflict Trial Attorney and in 2020 was selected as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Magazine for her work as a family law practitioner. Rachael is a lifelong resident of Northern Kentucky and lives in the Wallace Woods neighborhood of Covington, Kentucky. She enjoys all things outdoors and when not at the office, can most often be found running or hiking nature trails with her dog, Jon, while listening to true crime podcasts. 

You may reach Rachael at president@kacdl.net.

Criminal Representation Post Dobbs
Presenter: B. Scott West
B. Scott West is Deputy Public Advocate for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in Frankfort, Kentucky; prior to that, Scott was General Counsel for the agency for six years.  Scott has also served as the Bluegrass Regional Manager in the Richmond, Kentucky Field Office, the Directing Attorney for Murray, Kentucky Field Office, and a staff attorney in the Hazard, Kentucky Field Office.  He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School (1988), and Vanderbilt University (1985).  He is the editor of the Kentucky Pretrial Release Manual, published in July 2013 and leads the agency’s efforts in pretrial release advocacy.  Currently, he is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association’s (KBA) Ethics Committee and is Education Chair and of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL).  He is a past Chair and current member of the KBA Criminal Law Section. In 2017, he received the KBA Thomas B. Spain CLE Award for presenting the Criminal Law Update in several Kentucky Law Update seminars and in 2015 he received the Bruce K. Davis Bar Service Award for representing the KBA against the United States in the Kentucky Supreme Court.  He received KACDL’s Frank E. Haddad, Jr. Award in 2014, DPA’s Gideon Award in 2011, and the Texaco General Counsel’s Litigation Award in 1993.  Scott is married to Beverley, a social worker, and father to Hannah, a student at the University of Kentucky and a member of the varsity Mock Trial Team.  They live in Richmond.

Collateral Consequences Series:

As confirmed in Padilla, the ethical obligations of an attorney exceed the scope of simply zealous representation.  We must also be informed of collateral consequences which may result from the entry of a guilty plea – and properly advise our clients as to such collateral consequences.

Part 1:
Policing for Profit: The Nuts and Bolts of Defending Forfeiture Actions in Kentucky.

Presenter: Ben Allen, Gess Mattingly & Atchison, P.S.C., in Lexington, Kentucky

This presentation will touch on a broad overview of the basics of forfeiture laws in Kentucky and in federal courts as well as strategies litigants may use in defending against those actions.

 Ben is currently a shareholder with Gess Mattingly & Atchison, P.S.C., in Lexington, Kentucky, where he has been representing clients in state and federal courts for over a decade. His practice focuses primarily on representing the accused in state and federal criminal proceedings. He is currently a member of the Criminal Justice Act panels before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. His previous legal experience includes serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice William S. Cooper of the Kentucky Supreme Court and as an intern for the Honorable James Todd, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Ben lives in Lexington with his wife, Jennifer, and his two sons: William and Henry.

Part 2:

Guns: Protecting and Restoring Your Client's Second Amendment Rights
Presenter: Brad Clark, Suhre & Associates, LLC in Lexington, Kentucky

This session explores state and federal firearm rights in the context of criminal convictions. We will cover the different ways an offense can disqualify someone from possessing a firearm, alternative plea agreements to maintain firearm eligibility, and how to restore firearm rights for someone that has had them taken away. We also will discuss changes to federal law that close the “boyfriend loophole”, and how to properly advise a client in light of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

For eleven years, Brad Clark has focused on advocating for the accused in the Bluegrass state. He started as a state court public defender in Lexington, KY, then transitioned as an appointed counsel in death penalty cases and was recently in private practice. He joined the Suhre & Associates team in 2020 and provides great service to our clients.
Brad received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and attended law school at the University of Kentucky. Brad has tried over thirty cases to juries, on charges ranging from misdemeanors to murder. Practicing law isn’t the only venture he’s pursued. In 2016, he created an app that has helped over 10,000 Kentuckians in the criminal expungement process.
His work on the app, Unconvicted.com, has been featured in USA Today, the Atlantic’s City Beat and the Wall Street Journal. Brad is the recipient of the 2018 Kentucky Bar Association YLD Outstanding Young Lawyer Award and the 2017 UK College of Law Young Professional Award.  He also served as the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL) President (2021).
When Brad is not representing our clients with the best possible defense, he enjoys outdoor activities like running, hiking, and biking. You can also find him building the latest LEGO design with his kids.

Part 3:

Professional Licenses: Protecting Your License by Protecting Your Client’s, includes 1.0 hrs of Ethics CLE, pending approval  Presenter:  Whitney True Lawson, True Guarnieri Ayer, LLP in Frankfort, Kentucky

This session explores the effect that a guilty plea can have on individuals holding professional licenses necessary for their career and how to educate ourselves on those possible consequences.

Whitney True Lawson was born in Frankfort, Kentucky and attended Franklin County Public Schools until she graduated from Western Hills High School with a 4.0 GPA.  Thereafter, she attended Transylvania University and graduated, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in German.  While at Transylvania University, she was an active member of her sorority, Phi Mu. Between her junior and senior year at Transylvania University, she interned with former United States Representative, A.B. Chandler, in his Washington, D.C. office.  Witnessing the legislative process up-close encouraged her to pursue a law degree.
After Transylvania University, she attended the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, where she obtained her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) While studying at University of Louisville, Whitney was a member of University of Louisville Law Review and University of Louisville Moot Court Board.  She participated in several moot court competitions, including two prestigious Moot Court Competitions involving Trademark Law.  She was a semi-finalist at the Pirtle-Washer Oral Argument Trademark Competition in 2011.  Also, Whitney and her partner won the national Saul Lefkowitz Trademark Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., where they competed against law schools from across the United States.
After law school, Whitney moved to Frankfort with her husband, Philip C. Lawson, where she began practicing with the firm and her father, J. Guthrie True.  Whitney specializes in cases involving state criminal law, federal criminal law, domestic relations, disability law, and administrative law.  She has represented clients throughout the judicial process, including and through jury trial.  Her most recent high-profile case involved her representation of Toby Curtsinger, the main defendant involved with the “Pappy-gate” case before the Franklin Circuit Court.  She has also represented clients before the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Additionally, Whitney has been appointed as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, which is a small panel of private lawyers appointed by the court to represent indigent clients in criminal cases before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Outside of her law practice, Whitney is a member of First United Methodist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, where she serves as the chairman of the Wesley Center Day School Committee. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their son, exercising, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.
As the 2022 President Elect, Whitney will serve as the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL) 2023 President.

Part 4:

Presenter: Duffy B. Trager, Partner at the Russell Immigration Law Firm in Louisville, Kentucky

Immigration is a specialty practice outside the expertise of most criminal defense lawyers. It is essential to effective representation that Criminal defense lawyers have a working knowledge of the collateral consequences that may impact their clients. This presentation will provide guidance for criminal defense practitioners representing clients impacted by Immigration law.


Duffy B. Trager is a Partner at the Russell Immigration Law Firm in Louisville, Kentucky. He represents detained and non-detained clients before the Immigration Courts, USCIS, ICE, and various U.S. consulates abroad in a wide variety of immigration cases including asylum, cancellation of removal, naturalization, adjustment of status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status as well as immigrant and non-immigrant visas. He is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Prior to focusing exclusively on immigration law, Duffy practiced criminal defense as a Louisville Metro Public Defender where he received the Walker Award for excellence in advocacy. He has consulted on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and has presented on this and other immigration topics on Kentucky Tonight on PBS (2018 and 2019), the Kentucky Bar Association Annual Conference (2019), the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Conference (2017), the AILA National Conference (2017), and the Public Defender Education Conference (2017). 

Case Law Review Series:

Part 1

KY Supreme Court Cases and Implications for Practice
Presenters: Kathleen Kallaher Schmidt, Manager, Appeals, DPA

This session will discuss significant criminal law opinions rendered by the Kentucky Supreme Court since June 2020.  We will  identify trends that attorneys should be aware of, as well as, discuss how recent holdings relate to our practice.

Kathleen Kallaher Schmidt is a 1983 graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School. She attended Vanderbilt University as an undergrad. She worked for the Department of Public Advocacy from 19831992, first in the Appeals Branch, then as Assistant Director of the Capital Resource Center. She practiced law in Shepherdsville from 1992 to 2008. She rejoined DPA as Appeals Branch Manager. She has a new grandson which makes life grand.


Part 2

KY Court of Appeals Cases and Implications for Practice
Presenters: William E. Sharp, Beth McMahon, and Amy Hannah of the Jefferson Co Public Defender

Bill, Beth and Amy will discuss some of the significant criminal law opinions rendered in the past year.  They will discuss how recent holdings relate to your day-to-day practice.

Beth McMahon is the Deputy Chief Public Defender of the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office. She graduated summa cum laude from Transylvania University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where she served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law. Ms. McMahon began her career at the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office in 1994 and has served as an attorney in the Juvenile Trial Division, Mental Health Docket, and Appellate Division as well as Chief of the Juvenile Trial Division. Ms. McMahon is the recipient of the 2014 In re: Gault Award, presented by the Department of Public Advocacy for advancing the quality of justice for juveniles in Kentucky, and the 2015 Gail Robinson Juvenile Justice Award, presented by the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of her contributions to and achievement in the development of juvenile law and her representation of children. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Clarence Earl Gideon Award, presented by the Department of Public Advocacy for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to equal justice and advancing the right to counsel for the poor in Kentucky. Ms. McMahon is a member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Kentucky Bar Association’s Committee on Child Protection and Domestic Violence. Ms. McMahon serves as Chair of the Jefferson County Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee.

William E. Sharp Prior to rejoining the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office as an appellate attorney in August, 2022, Mr. Sharp practiced in the areas of criminal defense, federal civil rights litigation, insurance defense, and appellate litigation over the course of more than 20 years. During that time, he worked as a trial-level public defender and supervisor for the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office, the Directing Attorney for the Dept. of Public Advocacy’s Elizabethtown office, the Legal Director for the ACLU of Kentucky, and in private practice. He has represented a broad spectrum of clients in complex criminal defense and civil rights cases in state and federal courts throughout Kentucky. And he has also successfully represented clients in appellate matters at all levels of the federal and state court systems, which includes his having served as lead counsel in cases seeking and opposing certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court, and having briefed and argued complex civil rights issues before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Kentucky Supreme Court, and Kentucky Court of Appeals. Mr. Sharp is also a U.S. Navy veteran having served aboard the USS San Jacinto as a Gas Turbine Electrician between earning his undergraduate and law school degrees.
Kentucky (including all Federal District Courts in Kentucky); U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court
Law School
Washington & Lee University, J.D., 1999
Transylvania University, B.A., 1992

Amy I. Hannah - currently serves as the KACDL Education CoChair and Director of Training and Performance Evaluation at the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ms. Hannah attended American University in Washington, D.C., receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1996.  After a stint in the restaurant business, Ms. Hannah graduated from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2004. She has practiced in the Adult Trial Division, serving as an Adult Trial Division Chief, Division Chief of the Major Litigation Division and a Litigation Director.  Ms. Hannah also spent three years in the Capital Trial Division, successfully representing each of her clients against the death penalty. In 2009, the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL) awarded Ms. Hannah the Clarence Darrow Prodigy Award.  Ms. Hannah has also received the 2017 Professionalism & Excellence Award, co-sponsored and presented by the Kentucky Bar Association at the Annual Kentucky Public Defender Conference.  Ms. Hannah is also a past president of KACDL. 

Pleading Out – How Plea Bargaining Creates A Permanent Criminal Class

Presenter: Dan Canon, Louisville, KY

Dan Canon will join us to discuss his book about how plea bargaining has created an unjust system and his recommendations for meaningful change. 

Dan Canon is a civil rights lawyer and a Professor of Law at the University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. He served as lead counsel for the Kentucky plaintiffs in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which established marriage equality in all 50 states, and has been involved in many other high-profile cases. He writes on civil and criminal justice issues for a variety of regional and national publications. His book entitled PLEADING OUT: How Plea Bargaining Creates a Permanent Criminal Class was released earlier this year

Want to order Dan's book? Go here

4:30 - 5:00 pm Awards Reception presented by KACDL President, Rachael O'Hearen

Registration Fees



Private Defense Attorney Member*

Private Defense Attorney Non Member*

Public Defense Attorney Member

Public Defense Attorney Non member

Private Defense Associate Member

Law Student Member*

Student Non Member

Life or Sustaining Member***




$No Charge to Attendee






Mission Focused Offering!

KACDL is pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with DPA and LMPD that brings this full day of education at no cost to attendee to All DPA and Louisville Metro Public Defender Employees who are KACDL Members. 

Registration Required. KACDL Membership required. No promocode necessary.

*If you are a DPA/LMPD active, listed Conflict Attorney, use code "CONFLICTANNUAL" to receive $100 off registration. 

Registration Required. KACDL Membership not required. Promocode necessary. You must be an active conflict attorney of record to use. Unauthorized/Unsubstantiated use of code will result in a chargeback of $100 to registeree.

**If you are a Life/Sustaining Member and also a Public Defender, please contact us to process your registration. There will be no charge to you.


Handouts:Immediately Available Upon Payment/Registration

CLE: KBA approved for On Demand for 6.5 hours of CLE credit, including 1.0 hours of Ethics.

Conference Brochure: 2022 - 35th Annual KACDL Conference and Awards Reception

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