May 11, 2012
CAPS Law students ended their semester by debriefing the CAPS Poison Mock Trials, and completing work on their Final Projects and Expert Reflections. Some students used their role in the Mock Trial for their project. Said students returned to experts --attorneys, law enforcement officers (both federal and local), fellow CAPS students who served as jurors, and CAPS Instructors --who provided meaningful feedback and instruction. Students used the expert input and insights to rework the investigative reports, CSI lab results, opening and closing arguments, direct and cross witness examinations, and the outcomes of their trials.
A few examples of Students Final Projects include:
Comparison of the United Supreme Court and our Johnson County Office of the District Attorney; analysis of the politics behind the removal of the Iowa State Supreme Court Justices for a 2009 decision; the triangle love-murder case involving the preacher and the married couple; review and research the Shaken Baby case that students did not observe (defendant pled) with a different outcome; reform the prison system; conduct the investigation of the Florida Travon-Martin/Zimmerman situation; redesign of career path that excludes law and public safety; and many more law and public safety issues.
Continuing to spot legal issues in media and entertainment, CAPS Law students watched and provided feedback to the movies “Witness for the Prosecution” and “Win Win”. One old and classic; the other not. Both, however, provided students an atmosphere to wind down and reflect on criminal trials and unexpected witness testimony (“Witness”); and also fraud, CINC- runaway teen, elder/guardianship law, and attorney ethics.
As one CAPS Law and Public Safety Senior student stated, “My CAPS Law journey isn’t the end for me…it’s just the beginning"! Until we resume the very exciting Fall 2012 semester, the CAPS Law and Public Safety 2011-2012 is adjourned!
May 11, 2012
For the past several weeks, CAPS LEO's were investigating an alleged poisoning based on a report from CAPS Emergency Room, and results from CAPS Crime. Following up on LEO's Prosecution Summary CAPS DA's Office pressed charges of aggravated battery and issued an arrest warrant for the prime suspect. Law and Public Safety students attorneys prepared for trial, working with LEO's, witnesses, lab reports, client (defense lawyers), up until the Judge/s called CAPS Court to Order. Students were formidable and flexible as real trial experiences frustrated and altered their preparation, including missing witnesses, last-minute discovered evidence damaging to the defendant, and lawyers called away for “other business”! Experts helped prepare, submitted pre-trial feedback, observed trial/s, and shared meaningful, educational comments following the verdicts. The Experts included: Attorneys-- Mike Reed, Tim McCarthy, Paul Cramm, Shelley Diehl, and Sarah Stewart; Law Enforcement--DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Dave Mizell; Lieutenant Kelli Bailiff, Sergeant Steve Hunter, and Officer Suzie Tousey.
CAPS prosecutors and defense attorneys stated their Appearances, and began with Opening Statements. Foundations of Medicine provided not only the comprehensive Medical Records of Victim but also a competent, capable ‘Physician’ CAPS student to testify. Bioscience conducted tests on victim’s hair, coffee mug, blood, and the defendant’s eye dropper. The Bioscience PhD ‘CSI’ (Crime Scene Investigator) handled the direct and cross examination brilliantly. Jurors from 5 CAPS classes were attentive, fair and impartial. And, with different defense strategies, the accused was Guilty in AM Trial; and Not Guilty in the PM Trial.
May 4, 2012
CAPS Law Enforcement Officers continued the investigation of the 'CAPS Case of the Poisoned Director'. LEO's reported their findings and updates to Officer Suzie Tousey and Sergeant Steve Hunter. Officer Tousey and Sgt. Hunter had LEO's start at back to the beginning of the case to review the investigation in order to confirm that LEO's had the right suspect and enough evidence to convict.
LEO's obtained the Medical Records from CAPS Foundations of Medicine a/k/a CAPS Hospital where Victim went for treatment. After search warrants were issued, searches pursuant to consent were conducted, and many CAPS Instructors were interviewed, the CAPS LEO's had their suspect. Upon submitting the investigative reports to the CAPS County District Attorney's Office, the CAPS ADA's issued an arrest warrant, LEO's read suspect her Miranda warning, and the suspect was in custody. Fortunately for the suspect, CAPS County has a few great defense attorneys which the suspect promptly retained, and thus suspect was out on bail. Now that the suspect had 'lawyered-up', she would say no more to the police investigators.
LEO's continued interviewing potential suspects in order to ensure that they were not jumping to conclusions and were eliminating all others. LEO's took evidence-- blood samples, victim hair follicles, suspect's ear-dropper, and victim's coffee mug -- and, following the chain of custody, delivered evidence to the CAPS Bio-Science Crime Lab, enlisting the services of the CAPS CSI's.
In the meantime, CAPS attorneys worked with Experts, namely Assistant District Attorney Shelley Diehl, and Defense Attorney Paul Cramm, to prepare their cases for trial.
Throughout the excitement surrounding the CAPS Poison Case, some CAPS Lawyers, LEO's and Public Safety Officers continued their training of Elementary students with the Olathe Fire Department.
April 27, 2012
Detective Kathleen Wedel and Detective Marcus Fizer, Overland Park Police Department Special Victims Unit, instructed students about Child Abuse, Sex Crimes, Elder Abuse, and Child in Need of Care investigations. Both detectives 'called in' actual scenarios, 'presented' fact patterns; students were charged to investigate! Students needed the expertise of Detectives Wedel and Fizer since the suspects were getting away...! Students learned the complexity, pressure, and difficulty in prioritizing and conducting investigations in the SVU!
CAPS Law and Public Safety students provided service to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). CASA is moving offices and students were a tremendous help, and had great fun. CASA trained-volunteers were available to continue advocating for children as CAPS students packed and moved boxes, organized moving and prepped walls for painting.
Attorney Cheryl Reinhardt organized and led CAPS students to Lansing Correctional Facility for a tour of the East Unit (minimum security). Students were amazed as they learned about the various programs for inmates, saw how they live day-to-day, and listened to the precautions staff must take to prevent contraband or escapes. Students also met two inmates who told their personal stories, and how they are using their time in prison to change their lives for the better.
Students then toured Zephyr Products Inc, a prison work release, manufacturing company. Mr. Fred Braun, the founder, and Mr. Randy Reinhardt, President, advised students that the majority of inmates are in prison because they are unskilled, unschooled, unmotivated, and undisciplined. Thus, the goal of Zephyr is to provide an environment for inmates to develop skills and qualities required for success when they are released.
April 20, 2012
Attorney Nick Badgerow, Spencer, Fane, Britt & Browne, Ethics Expert, educated CAPS Law students of the Rules of Ethics as he led students through situations they experience in their daily lives to more “gray” issues. Mr. Badgerow instructed students of the many benefits and privileges of the legal profession along with the duties and the many constituencies to whom those duties are owed. Mr. Badgerow succeeded in bringing excitement to Civil Litigation as he shared his prized Exhibits from past trials.
Assistant District Attorney, John Fritz, of the Johnson County Office of the District Attorney, educated CAPS Law students about the DA's Office--divisions, directives and most importantly the DA's discretion. As Senior Warrant Officer, Mr. Fritz taught CAPS Law students the relevant factors in charging, or not, as led students through actual scenarios.CAPS students decided whether the fact patterns warranted a criminal charge.
Johnson County District Attorney, Steve Howe, met with students at his conference room table, inquiring as to their legal and public safety aspirations and discussed current cases, such as the Martin/Zimmerman case in FL. Students feel certain that due to the strength and leadership of DA Howe and our Johnson County Chiefs of Police, such a pre-charging situation (public outcry).
Attorney Matthew Eickman continued and deepened his work, instruction and improvement of CAPS students' thinking, analyzing and writing skills.
In the meantime, CAPS LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers) are inquiring, interviewing, and interrogating witnesses as CAPS students uncover facts and zero in on the CAPS Suspect for CAPS Crime.
April 13, 2012
Last week CAPS Law students learned disappointment as a plea agreement was entered into in Criminal Trial they were to observe. In order to learn first-hand the details of the plea agreement and the mind-set of the defendant and attorneys, CAPS Law students contacted the Defense Attorney, Paul Cramm. Mr. Cramm came to CAPS, complete with his Opening Statement and pre-trial briefs. Students reviewed, reconstructed, and analyzed documents, proposed medical evidence, weaknesses and strengths of both sides of the shaken- baby case. Students' verdicts we're well-reasoned and supported by analytical thinking.
Marie DoRego, Senior Legal Assistant for MIP, taught CAPS Law students about the Midwest Innocence Project (“MIP”). Students learned the history of Innocence Projects world-wide and our MIP, criteria for MIP to take a case, grounds for wrongful convictions; how even a wrongful conviction does not result in a automatic release from prison; success stories of Innocence Projects Exonerees; and an update on the recent MIP global Conference held at UMKC Law School. CAPS Law students were especially interested in learning from MIP in that over the last several weeks, one of our ADA’s and a CSI both shared how they were supportive of the work of MIP since they all work for justice!
Olathe Fire Department, under the leadership of Chief Jeff Degraffenreid, and the instruction and training of Captain Derek Sobelman and Captain Dan Crall, and the many additional, stupendous OFD Captains trained and ‘entertained’ CAPS Law students for an all-day Public Safety Training! Students learned the basic principles of Fire Marshalls; Fire Behavior-Scene Size-Up; Medications, CCR, and EMT’s work; Delsar Listening Devices and Code Blue Scenarios. From last semester, the Olathe Fire Department added a Train-the-Trainer section to the experience in order to expand the Level 2-students’ education. Thus CAPS Students who were trained last semester, received advanced instruction in a particular fire safety topic, and then trained their peers.
Some CAPS Law students continue their work on special legal assignments from Attorneys, Melissa Hillman of Norris & Keplinger, LLC; Paul Cramm, Paul D. Cramm, Chtd.; Ryan Cook, Polsinelli Shughart, PC; and a educational/advocacy assignment from Development Director, Sarah Fox of the ACLU.
April 6, 2012
CAPS Law students learned from Criminal and Forensic Psychologists, Dr. Dan Claiborn and Mr. Pat Hinkle. Dr. Claiborn and Mr. Hinkle shared the kind of experiences they deal with including: (i) psychological testing for hiring law enforcement officers, (ii) working with LEO’s following traumatic incidents, (iii) criminal profiling, and (iv) preparing court documents and testifying for cases, including but not limited to mental capacity of defendants, guardianship, child custody and mental evaluation for parents. Students were reminded of the intense and stressful nature of law and public safety careers.
CAPS Law students learned and experienced disappointment, flexibility, and the practical aspects of working a criminal case. The issue is not how much work the prosecutors or defense attorneys prepared for a trial, or how a judge cleared his/her docket to hear the case, or how experts and witnesses rearranged schedules and set time to testify, but rather does a defendant have the will, strength and/or conscience to have his day in court and tell his story, and risk a jury of his peers deciding his guilt or not. In the case planned for CAPS Law students to observe, the defendant, who was charged with felony murder for abusing his child who later died, decided—during the selection of jurors—to plead guilty to a lesser charge, for a shorter term in prison rather than risking a 20 years minimum (to life) sentence.
Some CAPs students committed to a great community service project for CASA (“Court Appointed Special Advocates”). CAPS Law & Public Safety students prepared the annual CASA fundraising luncheon. Students not only quietly tabbed and organized the table-prize-cookbooks in the CAPS Law Office, but also worked at the Ritz Charles to set-up tables and registration, greet and direct the luncheon guests.
CAPS students have heard ‘rumors’ of ‘CAPS possible criminal activity!’ Thus, CAPS Law & Public Safety students are set and ready—the law enforcement officers to investigate; the prosecutors to either charge possible suspect/s or not; defense attorneys to represent even the most heinous, deceptive or completely innocent accused; judges to fairly and impartially conduct a trial; and social workers from the victims assistance unit to provide services and support through the process for victims; and whatever else their great CAPS Law & Public Safety experts lead and educate students.
March 30, 2012
Expert Greg Musil, attorney of Polsinelli Shughart, instructed students as to the selection of jurors. Mr. Musil led students through perceptions, impressions, stereo-types of any profession, any person, thus any potential juror any professions, and how perceptions are often misperceptions! Mr. Musil reviewed his homework assignment--a wrongful death case filed by the family of the deceased child, who used the drug to treat a serious condition, against the pharmaceutical company, who manufactured the drug. Students then were assigned positions and designed questions to ask potential jurors in order to select the jury the students thought would render hopefully the best possible verdict for either the plaintiff or defense counsel. Students learned some different techniques that attorneys use to illicit information from persons not forthcoming and within the confines of the Judge's pre-trial rulings. Students learned from Mr. Musil at the impressive, large conference room table that was once used by the NCAA.
Some CAPS Law students assisted with Jury Assembly project of Johnson County Court Services. Shala Bloomberg, CRT, directed student who in turn checked-in, guided, advised of the restricted items, and led potential jurors to their assigned Courtrooms at Johnson County Courthouse.
Under the leadership and guidance of Officer Suzie Tousey, BV Campus Police/BVW, CAPS Law and Public Safety students tested their mental and physical strength, agility, and leadership as they participated in the Regional Police Academy Training Course! Dressed in workout gear, students exited the police car, ran around cars in a parking lot, through gravel, under obstacles over a fence, up and down stairs (touching each one or being disqualified ("DQ"), and finally dragged a 150lb 'dummy about 6ft! Students were great sports, and better athletes! Students not only ran the course for her/his individual best time--4 CAPS Law students were only 3 seconds off the course record--but also ran the course in relays to provide a successful completion of the course for students whose strengths lie elsewhere in the great law and public safety program! "Coach Tousey" timed and cheered students while also instructing them about the importance of preparation, adrenaline, fear, discipline, breathing and endurance!
Assistant District Attorney, Megan Fisher, did a dynamic, educational lesson on Domestic Violence ("DV") in Johnson County. Since Ms. Fisher is licensed and has practiced in 4 states, she compared and contrasted some of the laws of the states where she has prosecuted DV cases; reminding students how the wording of the laws and the philosophies of the District Attorneys (County Attorneys, in some jurisdictions) determines the enforcement of police officers and the work of the prosecutors. Ms Fisher emphasized to students that DV is not a crime in itself; rather DV describes the relationship between the accused offender and victim. Dv crimes involve property and persons, misdemeanors and felonies, thefts, criminal destruction of property, rapes and murders. Of the 9 homicides in Johnson County in 2011, 5 involved DV crimes.
Some CAPS Law students participated in the Train-the-Trainer course with the Olathe Fire Department ("OFD") team. OFD Officers and CAPS Law students will co-train over 2,000 2nd-graders over the next several weeks through the Fire Department's Safe House Program! CAPS students learned the Fire Safe basics out of components from a training trailer, 'made-up-home' to teach young elementary students to be safety heroes in their personal lives, whether at home, school, or somewhere in between---fires know no boundaries.
Director Bruce Rider, Johnson County Youth & Family Services Center, taught students about the Juvenile Justice Process. CAPS students experienced the same training that Director Rider's new staff receive. Director Rider emphasized the number one indicator for whether juvenile offenders ("JO") will experience success--that is not re-offend, and live productive, meaningful lives--is attitude. Attitude --not mental illness, drugs or alcohol, not parents, or friends, or school, money or lack thereof--of a juvenile is most important, thus our Johnson County Detention Center provides unique and positive evidence-based-practices for our young people. Director Rider is also involved thus brought expertise and research in the national Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative ("JDAI") for which Kansas is undergoing at present. A few CAPS Law students submitted their own research, opinions and feasible idea for an alternative facility to detention centers for various JO's--another illustration of the relevance and importance of CAPS students' work!
Norris & Keplinger, LLC law firm continued to coach and mentor a few CAPS Law students through an invaluable, experiential externship. Students furthered their understanding of what it is like to work in a law firm and support all team members. Lenexa Police Department continued its exceptional, meaningful experiences for a future law enforcement officer ("LEO") --one of our CAPS Law and Public Safety students.
March 23, 2012
Students returned from Spring Break to report and analyze issues pertaining to law and public safety. From the Mexican police arresting American teens without probable cause or any noted crime but rather a hefty fee in American dollars to be released from jail; to Costa Rica, with no military, yet many plants, stores and kiosks advertising and selling-- legally --marijuana; to a dead body washed up on a Florida beach; to accidents and ambulances on our Overland Park streets, and arrests at a local shops.
CAPS Law students began work on one of their service projects, the DEA Take Back Program. The DEA Program, in collaboration with local law enforcement, collects --with no questions asked-- unused and expired prescription drugs for proper and safe disposal. Goals of the DEA Take Back Program are to prevent drug abuse or misuse and protect our environment. Students packed and wrapped boxes for DEA to deliver and mail to local law enforcement departments. For their service, CAPS Law Students were rewarded with a DEA Headquarters tour and honored with an official, meaningful DEA Pin!
Johnson County Crime Lab sent the Sheriff's Van and two Crime Scene Investigators (CSI's), Experts Ashley Vogelaar and Jess Van Ackeren to CAPS this week. CAPS Bio-Science, Foundations of Medicine, and Law & Public Safety students learned all about CSI's work in both Johnson County and in their former positions with the KCMO-PD.
All students learned HR value of a science, biology and/or chemistry educational background; along with strong communication skills, especially report writing! In addition, students learned that CSI's are trained in a variety of scene-investigation techniques, including calculus, trigonometry, photography (cameras and lighting), and much more. CSI's learn not only what to look for but also what is missing!! Learning directly from CSI's Vogelaar and Van Ackeren brought to life and added meaning to the tour Bio-Science and Law students experienced a few weeks ago of our new Johnson County Crime Lab.
Expert Dr. Dolores Furtado, Community Leader, former Kansas House of Representatives, County Commissioner, and President of League of Women Voters, instructed CAPS students about evaluating our system of government. Dr. Furtado shared her wealth of education, experiences and advocacy. She challenged and encouraged students to question, understand, and get involved in our representative governing bodies through examples.
March 12, 2012
The Honorable Judge Kathleen Sloan, and Pro Tem Judge Dennis Stanchik, guided CAPS Law students to another level of the Child In Need of Care ("CINC") law from Assistant District Attorney Don Hymer's previous lesson. Judge Sloan and Pro Tem Judge Stanchik prepared students of the docket for the day, sought approval from attorneys and parties, and then opened their Courtrooms to actual proceedings. (Students were asked to step out of the Courtroom for minutes while a confidential matter was heard.). Judge Sloan's and Pro Tem Judge Stanchik's commitment to meaningful, impacting education is evident through their instruction and advocating for CAPS Law & Public Safety students to learn through observation of actual cases. One CINC expert noted that the CAPS students' presence and professionalism --knowing the impact on CAPS students--brought more meaning and depth to all in the Courtroom.
The Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") by and through Special Agent-in-Charge Dave Mizell, taught CAPS Law students about the DEA through actual experiences including the rigors of Quantico training; the daily desk work, to the airport to Mexico; the undercover work abroad and in Overland Park; the collaboration and relationships with local law enforcement; the most troublesome, dangerous, expensive drugs; and the difficulty in depositing $200,000.00 in cash! DEA Special Agents catch many drug dealers by following and stopping the money exchanges which has the primary and major negative impact on dealers lives.
CAPS Law & Public Safety students headed off to Spring Break with lessons of remorse, repentance and Reaching Out From Within ("ROFW"). Jason, Sam, Andre and Brad taught students the most solemn lesson of living with and through the consequences of our actions, associations, and decisions as each shared his story through respective childhood experiences, characters each hung-out with, crimes each committed, and "time" each served. Far more important and valuable, ROFW Experts taught students of their ongoing journey of growing up and developing relationships from growing within! SuEllen Fried, co-founder of ROFW/founder of BullySafe USA, added to the rich instruction as she advised CAPS students of the community responsibility and impact through law, education, public safety, and human services. SuEllen taught through her story of her dream (to dance professionally in NYC); to change of direction and talents (teaching the Cha-Cha dance to residents in Osawatomie Mental Institution); to joy (meeting, bonding and growing with the inmates who are reaching out from within).
March 2, 2012
Expert Don Hymer, Senior Assistant District Attorney for Juvenile Section, Johnson County Office of the District Attorney, led CAPS Law students through the identification of a child in need of care (CINC) through the investigation, proceedings (possible reintegration plans or termination), and permanency. Mr. Hymer taught through cases that he has handled. Since most CINC cases are tragic, ADA Hymer reminded students of the delight of the CINC docket wherein the biological parents are successfully reintegrated with their children and adoption of a permanent home for a child.
Overland Park Police Department Detective Schreiber provided expert instruction on Computer Forensics. Detective Schreiber guided students as to the new and growing area of computer forensics, including securing, reviewing and analyzing deleted information from (his) cell phone! Detective Schreiber guided students through the most famous computer forensics cases, including the BTK from Wichita. Of particular interest was a case involving multiple victims, including a CAPS Law student whose credit card number was stolen from a Missouri establishment, and computer forensics solved the case!
Expert Bob Lambrechts, Lathrop & Gage patent attorney, impressed and instructed not only CAPS Law students but also a few Engineers of the many complex components of patent work. He educated students of the history of patent law and the September 2011 change in the law which will go into effect in March 2013. Mr. Lambrechts, too, shared that lawsuits involving patent infringements are one of, if not the, most expensive type of litigation.
The Externship program with Norris & Keplinger, LLC, under the leadership of Michael Norris, continues; the legal experience has enhanced the two CAPS students’ understandings of the workings and atmosphere of the law firm.
CAPS Law added Extern experiences; (1) Lenexa Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Ellen Hanson, and the training of Captain Tom Hongslo, added an educational experience for a young, law enforcement officer-to-be; and (2) Expert Mike Reed, Attorney at Law, provides a path for students from crime to sentencing or acquittal, to a plea bargain, including the many phases of criminal defense work.
February 24, 2012
Olathe Police Department, under the leadership of Captain Kathy Tytla, instructed CAPS Law students on the Hiring Process, Legal Use of Force and MILO training. Captain Greg O'Halloran, Sergeant Jeff Bragg and Officer James Fredrickson "(Officer Freddie") impressed, taught and trained students that the OPD hires Law Enforcement Officers ("LEO's") who are not only qualified but also the 'Best of the Best'! Sgt. Grant Allen met with students to scope the future LEOs and add insights of additional programs of Olathe PD. One program, of particular interest to CAPS Law & Public Safety students is the partnership between the OPD and Johnson County Mental Health Liaison wherein mental health professionals work directly on-site with police officers. The program allows law enforcement officers to focus on public safety and crime prevention while mental health professionals provide services for those in need.
Sgt Bragg and Officer Freddie trained CAPS Law students with handguns and tasers; from the shooting range to actual training scenarios. Students amazed themselves and each other as some froze and could not shoot the 'bad guys' (criminals) while others accidentally and vigilantly shot the 'good guys' (victims, hostages) with their guns instead of using their LEO-voice, direct combat or tasers. Quite obvious to CAPS Law, OPD hiring process works--Olathe PD Chief Steve Menke does hire the 'Best of the Best'!
Expert Tim McCarthy, Gilliland & Hayes, P.A., taught students the components of a Civil Trial, with emphasis and examples from medical malpractice cases. Mr. McCarthy compared the fundamentals of a Criminal Trial, and Administrative proceedings, namely Mediation and Arbitration. Students learned about duty, breach, causation and damages; and negligence and comparative fault; and plaintiffs as opposed to prosecutors. Mr. McCarthy also plans to expose some CAPS Law students to depositions, pleading review and oral court hearings.
CASA ("Court Appointed Special Advocates") Experts, Nina Kimbrough-Smith, Volunteer Recruitment & Training Director, and Kathy Bussing, CASA Volunteer and lawyer with Husch Blackwell, LLP, educated students on the solemn, tragic lives of children in State custody (CINC- Child in Need of Care). Experts, Nina and Kathy shared story after story of children who spend more time in Court then at birthday parties or playful moments at or eating family meals. CASA instructed students about the requirements and responsibilities of CASA volunteers throughout Johnson, Wyandotte KS and Jackson County MO. With CINC cases in Johnson and Jackson counties increasing over 38% in the last few years, CASA provided ideas and motivation for Service Projects for CAPS Law students.
Level 2 students continued their meaningful and educational externships with Attorneys Mike Norris and Melissa Hillman of Norris & Keplinger, LLC; Judge Kathleen Sloan's CINC Courtroom; and School Resource Officer Suzie Tousey's 'Rookie-LEO' project. CAPS Law students are growing their minds and network.
February 17, 2012
Expert Matthew Eickman, Attorney of Utz & Miller, worked with CAPS Law students in their review and analysis of United States Supreme Court cases addressing Constitutional issues, namely Search & Seizure, 1st Amendment, Death Penalty (of juveniles), and Prisoner Rights (to marry a fellow prisoner). Mr. Eickman assisted students as they prepared for their lesson with the ACLU.
The American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU"), Gary Brunk, Executive Director, and Doug Bonney, Legal Director, led students through two actual scenarios dealing with search and seizure and student blogs, both in school settings. Mr. Bonney taught students about Constitutional issues and limitations on civil liberties as he assigned students a 'client' (whether they liked their client and agreed with the position, or loathed their client and were offended by the issue). CAPS Law students argued their assigned position, and educated each other and the ACLU of the strong points, the weak points, and the invisible 'line' in distinguishing between lawful speech, and searches and seizures.
Victims Assistance Unit ("VAU")of Johnson County Office of the District Attorney--Experts Colleen Abraham and Brian Porch--instructed students on the services offered for victims of abuse, stalking and domestic violence. The professionals with our Victims Assistance Unit support and assist victims of all crimes from moral support to form completion to the filing and court process. Judge Phelan worked with CAPS Law students in that he had a light docket, and a few of the victims did not show-up for their Motion for Protection from Abuse. Thus, he dedicated his time and expertise during the gaps in his docket. In addition, students met an expert from Safehome who partner with the VAU in Court to provide resources and services.
Experts Special Agent Harry Letts, Special Agent (Dog Handler) Randy O'Dell, Special Agent Trista Frederick (Public Information Officer), and Explosives Enforcement Officer, Jed Bradford, the Department of Justice: Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives ("ATF") educated CAPS Law students about the important, exciting, dangerous, intense, rewarding Federal Agency work! "Roxie", Expert Explosives Canine impressed all, and found two 'hits' (planted, of course), thus earned two portions of her daily food. That is, Roxie eats her entire day's rations through the hand of Special Agent O'Dell and only when Roxie successfully trains! EEO Bradford educated students on the recovery and handling of explosive devices, to include the use of the bomb robot!
February 10, 2012
Expert Sergeant Steve Hunter brought his many years of law enforcement and military training and experience to educate students about the criminal justice system. Sgt Hunter worked with both Prairie Village and Overland Park departments, and continues to 'work' for family and justice even though retired from the force. Reworking with students the investigations of two highly visible Johnson County murder cases, Sgt .Hunter gave students the roles and impacts of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, federal agents, and fellow, local law enforcement officers which enriched students' law enforcement education.
Sgt. Hunter added to students' growth as he shared his recent realization of his dream to become a pilot! Beyond law and public safety, Sgt Hunter reminded students to dismiss anyone who tells them that they are too young or too old to accomplish or achieve their goals, their dreams.
CAPS Law students headed back to the Courthouse to learn about the basic components of a criminal trial. Expert Shelley Diehl, Johnson County Assistant District Attorney, instructed students about charging, based on law enforcement officers' investigations and reports; jury selection and jury duty; and the role of the prosecutor and defense attorney. ADA Diehl called upon the assistance of her 'externs' for a direct and cross examination demonstration. Throughout the semester, CAPS Law students continue to observe different parts, thus ADA Diehl provided students' the criminal trial outline along with exciting examples.
CAPS Law students brought questions to ADA Diehl from their lesson with Sgt Hunter. Some students were troubled by the disparity in the sentences, and parole, of the murderers in the two case studies which Sgt Hunter used in his instruction. Thus, ADA Diehl gave students the first 'chapter' of their future study of sentencing guidelines. CAPS Law students are making the connections and spotting legal issues--important to developing analytical legal minds.
Expert Gary Brunk, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") for Kansas and Western Missouri, provided CAPS Law students with an overview and historical background of the ACLU through the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Mr. Brunk provided students background and preparation for their upcoming lesson with ACLU's General Counsel. Students have research assignments which they will use in deciding whether or not to 'defend' some of the bad characters who the ACLU has represented; or is a Constitutional right at issue...CAPS Law students will have the opportunity to ask questions and articulate and argue their positions through case studies with the ACLU experts.
The Office of the Johnson County District Attorney, the law firm of Norris & Keplinger, LLC, and BVW SRO Suzie Tousey continue to provide some CAPS Law students with meaningful, invaluable 'on the job' experiences!
February 3, 2012
Deputy City Attorney Ron Shaver, City of Olathe, instructed CAPS Law students about local, municipal law. Mr. Shaver and his legal department report to City Council, thus his departments' clients are the citizens of Olathe. Mr. Shaver delights in never working with criminals; and never going to court. He shared his expertise and experiences in planning, business development, tax abatements and assessments, bonds, permits, collaborations, negotiating, and innumerable projects. Mr. Shaver's lesson gave CAPS Law students both confirmation of interest and not! Regardless, all students remarked and admired Mr. Shaver's competence and conscientiousness to his profession, and commitment to people.
Back to the streets, where characters roam and drive; and attempt to, and/or do, commit crimes...not for long! Lieutenant Kelli Bailiff, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department, impressed and challenged students to think fast and just! Lt Bailiff brought to CAPS Law & Public Safety students her years of varied and exciting experiences from fashion design, EMT, local law enforcement, highway patrol to the Unified City Government. She taught law as black and white; offend and you will be caught and punished. When in pursuit of an alleged offender, she drives fast, chases hard, and then speaks with professionalism and poise as Lt Bailiff serves as Public Information Officer for Wyandotte County's Sheriff.
Throughout the week, Expert Matthew Eickman's (Attorney, Utz, Miller & Eickman) influence and superb legal analysis and writing remains in the minds, and permeates the work of, CAPS Law students. Mr. Eickman's assignments continue to enrich and deepen CAPS Law students' thoughts and improve their writing. Mr Eickman challenges students to pick a side--prosecution or defense, argue the facts, and then switch sides.
Level 2 CAPS Law students value and appreciate their experts and experiences with their Externships: Norris & Keplinger, LLC, law firm teaches two CAPS Law students each week; our District Attorney's Office works with three students; and our BVW SRO Tousey continues to grow four Rookies in law enforcement.
January 27, 2012
CAPS Law students spent two days at our Johnson County Courthouse--Mr. Mike McLain, JoCo Court Administrator, instructed students about the history, architecture, staff, and functions of the Courthouse. Mr. McLain gave each CAPS Law student a pocket-copy of the Constitution of our great United States. Never again will a CAPS Law & Public Safety student be without!
Judge Tom Foster and Judge Allan Slater met with CAPS Law students, and Judge Slater invited students into his courtroom as he finalized and entered orders finalizing Divorces and Parenting Plans. Students observed attorneys, in the presence of their clients and without the divorcing parties present , agree to visitation of children, support payments, and claiming children for tax purposes.
From tours to divorces, CAPS Law students moved to our Johnson County Court Trustees Hearings. Hearing Officer, Melanie Busse, spent time educating students of the procedures, resources, and consequences for persons not abiding by Judges Slater's or Foster's Court Orders, especially as orders pertain to child support. Hearing Officer Busse provided CAPS Law students a redacted copy of one of her docket sheets, thus students could follow her Court hearing. Although not glamorous or exciting, Hearing Officer Busse shared the importance and seriousness of the thousands of cases that the Court Trustees Office handles each year. Expert Busse provided students with a redacted copy of one of her docket sheets...
CAPS Students hustled to Judge Bennett's courtroom as they supported Assistant District Attorney Shelley Diehl (some Level 2 CAPS students had assisted in the preparation of the trial) as she prosecuted the defendant who allegedly battered "LEO", Law Enforcement Officer. he Law Enforcement Officer was in the line of duty as the defendant was racing through--via car and foot--police barricades and fire department vehicles to get to his burning home and pet. Watching the several minute...CAPS Level 2 students, working with ADA Diehl, had additional, relevant, interesting facts for which to form an opinion.
Judge Steve Tatum presided over Mistreatment of a Dependent Adult case. Students listened to the tragic testimony of the treating physician, attending physical therapist, case worker and hospital nurse describe the victim, and the difficult work of caring for an elderly adult, who is failing in health, confidence, and mental capacities. Prosecution powerfully asked each witness if they treated the victim as the defendant had! None had, thus did non-family-member defendant commit a crime or merely fail to provide expert treatment? Ask your CAPS Law student; s/he will have an analytical response and reason for his/her decision!
CAPS Law Students will analyze and logically articulate their opinions due primarily, and thanks to, Expert Attorney Matthew Eickman! Mr Eickman has students making deals, picking sides, slanting the facts for one side or the other!!
Campus Police Officer Suzie Tousey and SRO Jimmy Neal challenged students and worked them through real scenarios as they applied the Constitution and street-wise training.
January 20, 2012
CAPS Law students reviewed and reflected and wrote about Martin Luther King, Jr. and other great legal minds, and visionaries.
Several CAPS Law II Students began their field experiences:
 Norris & Keplinger, LLC law firm, under the leadership and expertise of Mike Norris, will guide two CAPS Law II students as they work with and learn from, and assist their legal team.
 The Office of the Johnson County District Attorney, under the leadership and expertise of Assistant District Attorney Shelley Diehl, is coaching 5 CAPS Law students as they learn their way around the Courthouse in general and the DA's Office in particular.
 Blue Valley Schools School Resource Officers, under the leadership and expertise of Officer Suzie Tousey, BVW, appointed four CAPS Law II Students as CAPS Rookies. CAPS Rookies will learn all aspects of Law Enforcement.
Attorney Carly Farrell, Law Office of Carly E. Farrell, taught students about Domestic Violence and Date Violence from her Prosecution background in Wyandotte County. In addition, Expert Farrell instructed about Safehome and other domestic violence shelters, and the resources and services they provide.
Executive Director Karen Wulfkuhle, United Community Services ("UCS"), instructed students on the policies, strategies and priorities of Johnson County. Ms Wulfkuhle shared data, statistics and proposed legislation that stimulated and provoked deep and meaningful dialogue and debate among CAPS Law students.
Attorney Matthew Eickman, Utz Miller & Eickman, L.L.C., returned to work with CAPS Law students as they analyzed United States Supreme Court cases, and used the USSC as a resource for their defense of Dealing David and Angry Andy.
January 13, 2012
CAPS Law & Public Safety began the semester with Legal Analysis, and Research and Writing! Students have the great fortune to learn from Expert Attorney Matthew Eickman. Mr. Eickman led CAPS Law students through hypothetical deals as he challenged and grew their minds. Students analyzed and discussed outside their comfort zones and appreciated language and words! CAPS Law students are learning and understanding the value of writing in all areas of law and public safety: general/civil, criminal, public safety, social services, and public policy! Mr. Eickman will regularly lead students as they make and analyze deals in all aspects of life and law.
Expert Criminal Defense Attorney Tom Bath taught CAPS Law and Bio-Science students the value of collaborative learning! Bio-Science and Law students together reviewed and analyzed "Forensics: You Decide", a documentary about the murder trial/s of David Staggs (victim: Bill Jennings.) Among his many highly-visible and complex lawsuits, Tom Bath handled the defense for defendant David Staggs in not one, but 2 hung jury trials! Following the 2nd hung jury, the judge acquitted the defendant. Mr. Bath taught students about the forensics of science, computers and psychology!! CAPS Law students' growth and education was highlighted by both Mr. Bath's great instruction and experiences, and the Bio-Science students questions and depth of understanding forensics issues!