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Criminal Justice, Race, the Media and the Trayvon Martin Case

The Duquesne University School of Law's Criminal Justice Program will host a discussion about criminal justice, race and the media in America at Conversations with George Zimmerman's Lawyer: Race, the Media and the Trayvon Martin Case on Monday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom.  

"As lawyers, we are often called to represent unpopular clients but such representation is by its nature controversial," said Associate Law Professor Wes Oliver, who coordinated the program. "This forum will provide an opportunity for Mark O'Mara to address some of the most thoughtful criticisms of his representation of George Zimmerman and address the broader implications that the case has for the criminal justice system generally."

The event will begin with Lawyers, the Media and High-Profile Criminal Cases, a panel discussion that will examine the extensive media coverage of the Zimmerman defense of the Trayvon Martin case and will explore the ethical and practical considerations of engaging the press in criminal cases. The panel will feature:


  • The Hon. Thomas M. Hardiman, judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Letrell D. Crittenden, assistant professor of communications, Robert Morris University, and member, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation.


  • Mark O'Mara, defense attorney for George Zimmerman and trial consultant
  • Shawn Vincent, trial consultant, O'Mara Law Group, and administrator for TalkingRace Project.  

At 4 p.m., Tracey McCants Lewis, assistant clinical professor of law, will introduce a session featuring O'Mara and Montré D. Carodine, a legal analyst and professor from the University of Alabama School of Law. Race and Justice will feature a wide-ranging discussion about racial inequity in the criminal justice system and what can be done to balance the scales.

Both the 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. segments will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The event will conclude with the TalkingRace Project, a forum for audience members to share stories about how racism affects American society.  

Admission to the event is free. The program offers up to two hours of substantive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit for the 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. segments. CLE cost is $60 for private attorneys and $45 for attorneys working in the public sector or for nonprofits. For more information, visit www.duq.edu/law/omara or call 412.396.6300. 

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.