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2021 Racial Bias Challenges in the Legal System

Total Credits: 2.4 MCLE, 2.4 Ethics, 2.4 Elimination of Bias, 2.0 Kansas Credit, 2.0 Kansas Ethics

Practice Area:
Elimination of Bias |  Ethics
Audio and Video
Access for 1 year(s) after program date.



North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley addressed the intersection of the justice system and recent protests. She said, “We must come together to firmly and loudly commit to the declaration that all people are created equal, and we must do more than just speak that truth. We must live it every day in our courtrooms. . . . Communities are crying out for justice and demanding real, meaningful change.” One place where “real, meaningful change” needs to occur is in our legal system — where studies show illegal racial discrimination in jury selection, discrimination in civil jury verdicts, racial bias in jury deliberations, and racial disparities in arrests and criminal sentencing continue to persist.  In addition, implicit barriers make it difficult to enter into and advance within the field of law.  This program will review studies on racial bias in the court system and the legal community; discuss implicit bias, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias; and make recommendations going forward. 

Speakers:  Betty L. Dunkum, CEO, Victory Trial Consulting, LLC, West Palm Beach, FL; Shayla Marshall, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, District Defender, St. Joseph; Cecilia D. Appleberry, Missouri State Public Defender’s Office, St. Louis 

APR 22 | Shayla Marshall
JUN 23 | Cecilia Appleberry


Speaker Bio

Cecilia Appleberry's Profile

Cecilia Appleberry Related seminars and products

Cecilia Appleberry is an Assistant Public Defender with Missouri State Public Defender. She recently started with the St. Louis City Children's Defense Team, and previously, she worked in the St. Louis City Trial Division. Cecilia has represented numerous clients on cases ranging from misdemeanors to high-level felonies, and she has successfully tried multiple felony cases. Cecilia frequently litigates issues of race and class in bond hearings, trials, and sentencing hearings to help judges take a more holistic view of her clients.

Betty Dunkum's Profile

Betty Dunkum Related seminars and products

Victory Trial Consulting, LLC

Betty L. Dunkum is the Chief Executive Officer of Victory Trial Consulting, LLC (, a full-service national trial consulting firm providing assistance to attorneys in case evaluation, jury research, trial strategy, thematic development, jury selection, trial communication, and witness evaluation. Among its services, Victory Trial Consulting provides consultation for trial and jury selection and conducts case analysis, witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials. 

Ms. Dunkum advises litigants on major lawsuits around the country. She received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and her bachelor’s degree, from Williams College.  She has over twenty-five years of experience in complex litigation, including federal and state civil, commercial, employment, construction, personal injury, medical malpractice, eminent domain, constitutional and religious liberties, criminal, antitrust, copyright, and trademark litigation. She has been the lead trial consultant on a number of cases of regional and national significance. Her clients have over $1 billion in jury verdicts and settlements during trial.

Ms. Dunkum is currently serving as a jury consultant advisor to the New York University School of Law Civil Jury Project, which is working with thought leaders around the country to develop ways jury trials need to change. 

Shayla Marshall's Profile

Shayla Marshall Related seminars and products

Missouri State Public Defender

Shayla Marshall is the District Defender of the Missouri State Public Defender's St. Joseph Office where she leads a staff of high-level criminal defense lawyers and legal assistants in pursuit of justice on behalf of the accused. Additionally, Ms. Marshall is the Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Missouri State Public Defender System where she leads the diversity, equity and inclusion strategy in the areas of recruitment, hiring, training and employee relations. Ms. Marshall has tried cases from misdemeanors to murder in the first degree, and frequently presents on litigating race, racial justice and antibias in the workplace. Ms. Marshall is on the board of directors for the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers,  a member the National Association of Public Defense Racial Justice Litigation Committee, and Racial Justice Policy Committee, and is also a member of Jackson County Bar Association and Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.



Wed, Jun 23, 2021 - 12:00pm to 02:01pm CDT

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