The Role of Cognitive Bias on Lawyers & the Practice of Law |

The Role of Cognitive Bias on Lawyers and the Practice of Law

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Professionalism (Ethics, etc.): 0.25
15 minutes
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: 1.0
1 hour
Sonya Pfeiffer
David Rudolf
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
75 minutes
$129.00 plus tax
Includes Handouts

How do wrongful convictions really occur? How do opposing counsel have such opposing views of a matter? And why does the truth sometimes seem so difficult to distill? Answer: cognitive biases.

We are designed to organize patterns in our complex, information-filled world, allowing us to be efficient and make rapid decisions with little mental effort. Relying on these has the potential to skew or undermine criminal investigations and lead to wrongful convictions, and it even has the power to blind us from objectivity and fact.

This TLA special presentation will be led by David Rudolf, criminal defense and civil rights lawyer featured in Netflix’s hit The Staircase and civil rights and criminal defense lawyer Sonya Pfeiffer. Sonya is also an award-winning journalist who covered the real-life trial behind The Staircase. The husband-wife duo will use a real-life case study from the trial of Michael Peterson (as depicted in The Staircase) to demonstrate how unconscious bias plays out in a complex and high-profile criminal trial. Throughout this hybrid program, David and Sonya will engage the audience by asking questions and conducting polls. Participants are also encouraged to ask questions.

This unique and fascinating presentation will appeal to all lawyers, regardless of practice area.


Sonya Pfeiffer

David Rudolf

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