Client Rights to Guns, Privacy, and Everything Else

Savannah, Georgia

January 15-19, 2024

12.5 CLE Hours (1 Ethics, 11.5 General)

Experience Southern charm in Savannah, where history and hospitality meet.


The DeSoto
15 East Liberty St, Savannah, GA 31401


January 15-19, 2024
CLEs take place on M-W-F



12:15 p.m.


12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“Riding Dirty,” Traffic Stops, and the 4th Amendment

Presented by: Martin G. Hilliard

The 4th Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. But it’s not a guarantee against all “reasonable” searches and seizures. This begs the question: What is an “unreasonable” search and seizure?

Almost every criminal defense lawyer will receive a call from a person in jail who was illegally detained and searched. This presentation will focus on 4th amendment violations and how to ensure that clients are protected. Strategies include analyzing the competency of the police, whether there was probable cause for a traffic stop, and the manner of seizures. This is about facts and spotting behaviors inconsistent with those facts in the very beginning, understanding our fundamental procedural rights, and being ready when your client walks into your office.

2:30 p.m.

15-minute break

2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Defending Self-Defense: Winning Strategies for Every Case

Presented by: James D. “Mitch” Vilos

This presentation offers a comprehensive exploration of the crucial elements involved in defending self-defense cases. From client intake to jury selection, through opening statements, witness examination, and closing arguments. Attendees will learn how to build a strong defense and walk through an overview of self-defense laws in all 50 states. The practical insights and strategies presented are significant and important to defending cases across the country. This presentation also includes a legislative overview to help attendees navigate self-defense cases in any jurisdiction.

Whether you’re a seasoned trial lawyer or new to the field, this presentation offers valuable tools and tactics for effectively advocating for your clients’ right to self-defense.

4:45 p.m.

15-minute break

5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Special presentation: Civility - The Litigation Climate

Presented by: Honorable R. Stan Baker

A judge’s view from the bench, history of the federal court, and the evolving climate in litigation.

6:00 p.m.

Reception with Judge Baker

9:30 a.m. OR 1:00 p.m. 

Guided Savannah Civil War History Walking Tour

Savannah’s Civil War history is one of the country’s most underrated and underappreciated.  We’ll begin with Savannah’s economy, its leaders, and the largest slave sale in American history. You’ll hear about the Secession movement and see the sites of the first flag of independence raised in the South and one of the most infamous speeches in American history. We’ll discuss the effects of the First Battle of Manassas on the city and see the church where so many of these young men attended Sunday School. You’ll learn of places like Fort Pulaski, Honey Hill, and Ebenezer Creek.
Not surprisingly, William T. Sherman makes an appearance. We’ll stand outside his headquarters and detail his time in Savannah. We’ll tie it all up with the end of the War, as well as the post-War visits of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.
7:00 a.m.


7:45 a.m.


8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Juvenile Rights at School and in Court

Presented by: Honorable Patricia P. Stone

This presentation will focus on legal entitlements under the IDEA and ADA in education. Procedures are particularly important in effecting changes to education services under a 504 plan or an IEP. This presentation will teach you actions to take and pitfalls to avoid in getting or changing special education services.

In addition, we’ll provide insight into the juvenile court system, emphasizing rehabilitation, protection of rights, and representing the client’s child in legal matters.

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Mediation Fundamentals

Presented by: Honorable Patricia P. Stone

We’ll cover mediation fundamentals and how to mediate effectively live or online. This presentation will walk through the step-by-step process from pre-mediation preparation to reaching agreements, addressing ethical concerns and obstacles to avoid that could interfere with the integrity of the mediation process.

10:00 a.m.

15-minute break

10:15 p.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Challenging Gun Restrictions in a Post-Bruen World

Presented by: Christopher Murell

The Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen drastically changed and restricted the ability to criminalize firearm possession on the federal and state levels. Laws across the country that had been in place for decades are being challenged and struck down. For example, federal courts have ruled unconstitutional prohibitions on firearm possession by persons under a domestic restraining order (18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8)), as well as persons on bond for a felony (18 U.S.C. 922(n)). 

We’ll explore and review this rapidly developing landscape of litigation and what laws have been found to pass or fail constitutional muster. Certain states like New York quickly enacted legislation attempting to solidify previous firearm laws by defining many public areas as “sensitive places.” These statutes have immediately been called into question. We’ll explore these recent decisions in detail, highlighting the ensuing confusion and uncertainty in the courts. We’ll also discuss how to inform employer and employee clients of what actions are and aren’t permissible, as well as navigating interactions with law enforcement, district attorneys, and common mistakes when determining whether a concealed carry violates state law.

7:00 p.m.

Savannah Dark History Tour

Savannah True History Tours prides itself on fact-based history. This is not a ghost tour. Savannah has so much dark history that we don't need to make up any! This tour begins with a brutal duel that took place in a bar that still exists to this day. We'll move on to discuss Savannah's first murder. You'll learn of the colony's first cemetery and hear of a Native who was crucial to Georgia's success. We'll visit the location where a more recent serial killer met a victim, then discuss Colonial Park Cemetery's past and present. Savannah saw a great deal of tragedy during the Revolution, and you'll learn about the toll it took. We'll tie things up at the site of a killing that ironically put Savannah on the pop culture map and helped lead to its booming tourist industry today. Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't take some time to debunk a number of Savannah's most popular "ghost" stories!

1:00 p.m.

Old Town Trolley Tour of Savannah and Prohibition Museum

All aboard Savannah’s Best Tour! Experience over 270 years of history as the expert tour conductors relate the stories, sights and landmarks of Georgia’s First City! Join them as they turn back the pages of time and relive the rich legacy of a charming and alluring southern town.

Afterwards, we will walk through the doors of the American Prohibition Museum, where you’ll step back in time to the turn of the 20th century. Learn how an unprecedented social movement twice altered the Constitution of the United States and thrust the nation into a turbulent time known as National Prohibition. Experience the story through artifacts, audio & video, and interaction with live costumed docents jazzed to share this exciting American saga with you. There’s hatchet-wielding crusaders, machine gunning gangsters, footloose flappers and liquor running moonshiners all in one fascinating, state-of-the-art exhibit space. You’ll finish your tour exercising your “21st Amendment rights” in an authentically reproduced speakeasy serving cocktails, shaken and stirred with recipes from before 1930 to get one last taste of history before you depart.

7:00 a.m.


7:45 a.m.


8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Privacy Rights in the Workplace

Presented by: Presented by: Sarah H. Lamar

This presentation will provide practical guidance on how to proactively address privacy issues at work and protect employees’ privacy rights. We’ll cover essential topics, including the ADA, FMLA, PWFA/new lactation law, and GINA. We’ll also discuss how employers can reduce exposure to privacy-related liability by using certain preventative measures, risk management strategies, and proactive policies. We’ll offer guidance on early intervention and mitigation strategies for when a privacy issue does arise. By assisting employers in adopting these approaches and staying up-to-date with regulatory laws, an employer client can then be ensured of their ongoing compliance and potentially avoid costly legal disputes.

10:00 a.m.

15-minute break

10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

What To Do When a Client Calls with a Civil Rights Claim

Presented by: Will Claiborne & David Utter

The U.S. has over 1.2 million people in our prisons, over 500,000 in local jails, and a rich history of underfunding both. It’s no surprise that those in the system call law offices seeking representation for civil rights claims.  This presentation will help lawyers field and analyze calls from potential clients for injuries and death that occurred as a result of alleged unconstitutional prison and jail conditions. Law enforcement interactions on our roads can involve illegal arrests, use of force, and malicious prosecution. We’ll discuss what to do when a victim calls you.

We’ll also discuss ethical considerations in these cases. Clients in these cases have often been traumatized, making some communications particularly difficult. We’ll cover a range of ethical issues that arise and discuss the importance of clear communications, candor in managing expectations, and interactions with law enforcement. 


Judge Patricia Stone - Featured Speaker
Honorable Patricia P. Stone

The Honorable Patricia Parker Stone, currently serves as a Senior Juvenile Court Judge, appointed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in 2015. Judge Stone, also known as Tricia Stone, is a highly experienced attorney, mediator, and arbitrator, specializing in family law, education, juvenile, criminal and general civil litigation. With her expertise in various areas of law, she has been successful in helping her clients resolve complex legal disputes. Judge Stone also served as a Judge of the Juvenile Court of Chatham County for 12 years, during which she created and presided over the nationally recognized Chatham County Family Dependency Treatment Court (FDTC). Her exceptional work in the Chatham County community has been widely recognized, earning her the 2009 Georgia Leadership Award, WJCL Television’s Champion for Change, and a National Award of Excellence for three consecutive years. Judge Stone graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication in 1991 and received her Juris Doctor from the Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University in 1995. She is a respected member of the Savannah Bar Association and Isle of Hope United Methodist Church, and has taught courses in criminal law, counter-terrorism, and courtroom advocacy at Saint Leo University. With her dedication to the law and community, Judge Stone is a true asset to the legal profession.

Judge R Stan Baker - Featured Speaker
Honorable R. Stan Baker

Judge R. Stan Baker is a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Georgia in Savannah. Previously, Judge Baker served the Southern District as a United States Magistrate Judge. Before joining the bench, Judge Baker practiced as a civil and criminal litigation attorney on St. Simons Island, Georgia, and prior thereto here in Athens, Georgia. At the beginning of his legal career, Judge Baker served as a law clerk to District Judge William T. Moore, Jr., in the Southern District of Georgia. Judge Baker received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College and then graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law. While at UGA Law, he was active on the moot court and mock trial teams. Judge Baker is a native of Athens, graduating from Clarke Central High School, and he lives in Savannah with his wife Crystal, who is also a graduate of UGA Law School, and their two daughters, Anna Beth and Bella Grace.

Martin G Hilliard - Featured Speaker
Martin G. Hilliard

Attorney Martin Hilliard is a highly skilled trial attorney whose main focus is to seek justice for all of his clients, no matter how complicated their situation may be. Martin possesses both dedication and experience in his Criminal Law Practice. With search and seizure, Martin believes it is probably the most hotly contested area of criminal law today. Martin works through each of his client’s cases to give every client the personal attention that their case requires and assists clients to understand the law and charges. Martin identifies important pretrial issues and knows how to bring appropriate motions to significantly improve a defendant’s situation.
Martin graduated from University of Georgia in 1992 and Quinnippiac College School of Law in 1996. Martin was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1996. He’s been practicing law for 27 years. Martin is also a member of Georgia Association of Criminal Defense lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has Argued before the Supreme Court of Georgia, the United States Supreme Court, and the Georgia Court of Appeals on behalf of his clients. He has fought diligently for his clients in all Courts in the State of Georgia.

James D "Mitch" Vilos - Featured Speaker
James D. “Mitch” Vilos

Mitch is a highly experienced trial lawyer with over 40 years of experience in personal injury and weapons law. He graduated cum laude from Utah State University in 1973 and earned his Juris Doctor from J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University in 1978. Mitch is licensed to practice law in Utah and has successfully represented numerous clients in a variety of personal injury lawsuits.
In 1998, Mitch expanded his practice to include representing clients charged with weapons offenses, which led to representing gun dealers and FFL license holders in criminal cases, forfeitures, and license revocations brought by ATF. Due to his belief that the weapon laws had become too numerous and complicated, he started writing books to educate citizens and help them avoid inadvertently violating these laws. His simple writing style has helped tens of thousands better understand the weapons laws and avoid making costly mistakes. Mitch has authored several books, including Self-Defense Law of All 50 States and Utah Gun Law, which is currently in its 5th edition. 
In addition to his legal practice, Mitch is a volunteer consultant to the Utah Legislature on weapons issues. Mitch also holds a Federal Firearms License and was a certified concealed weapons instructor from 1999 to 2020. Mitch lives in Centerville, Utah with his wife and they enjoy spending time with their 5 children and 9 grandchildren.

Chris Murell - Featured Speaker
Christopher Murell

Christopher Murell is a highly accomplished litigator who has been advocating for clients at jury trial and on appeal for more than sixteen years. He has secured acquittals before juries on all levels of felonies ranging from gun possession to murder, as well as won multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements. He represents individuals in high-profile civil rights lawsuits across the South. In his appellate practice, he has prevailed in civil and criminal appeals in the state and federal system including having a death sentence overturned, convictions vacated, and defeating defense motions in civil rights cases. Chris presently owns and operates the Murell Law Firm in New Orleans. He routinely partners on civil rights litigation throughout the Southeast with the Fair Fight Initiative, which is based here in Savannah. Chris previously worked as a senior trial attorney at a boutique plaintiff firm in Louisiana, Executive Director of death penalty appellate and civil rights non-profits, and founded the Capital Trial Division at the Orleans Public Defenders. Chris graduated summa cum laude from Emory University with a B.A. in philosophy. He attended New York University School of Law, where he was awarded the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellowship and was a research assistant for civil rights luminary Professor Anthony G. Amsterdam.

Sarah H. Lamar

Sarah Lamar is a partner at HunterMaclean law firm’s Savannah office, specializing in employment law. She has extensive experience representing employers in federal and state courts for discrimination and employment law cases. She is also experienced in breach of contract actions, agency investigations, conducts in-house training for employers, advising clients on human resource issues, and affirmative action matters. Sarah has been recognized for her expertise in labor and employment law by being named a Georgia Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America. She was named Lawyer of the Year in The Best Lawyers in America for her work in employment law. Additionally, she has been highlighted in the Chambers USA legal directory for her work in Georgia Employment Law rankings. She is actively involved in various legal and professional organizations including ALFA International and the Georgia Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management where she speaks on legislative and employment issues affecting the workplace. She received her B.A. in History from Yale University and her J.D. from Emory University. Sarah was a law clerk from 1991 to 1992 for the Honorable Richard B. Kellam, Judge, U.S. District, Eastern District of Virginia.

Will Claiborne and David Utter - Featured Speaker
William R. Claiborne & David J. Utter

William R. Claiborne, the managing attorney of The Claiborne Firm, P.C., is a well-respected litigator with a focus on catastrophic personal injuries, high stakes family law matters, civil rights litigation, and public corruption. He has litigated cases across the Southeastern United States, including jury trials in State and Federal Courts, and has successfully recovered tens of millions of dollars for clients.
Mr. Claiborne is also committed to effecting positive change in the systems and institutions responsible for causing harm. He has played a direct role in attacking injustice and forcing reform by exposing wrongdoers in cases that have received local, national, and even international news media coverage. Mr. Claiborne is a graduate of Emory University and an active member of the State Bar of Georgia, Savannah Bar Association, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and Family Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia.
David Utter is a partner with The Claiborne Firm, P.C. who represents individuals in a diverse litigation practice, including Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and Civil Rights. Prior to his private practice, David was a prominent advocate for juvenile and criminal justice reform. He led class action civil rights cases in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, defended individuals facing the racially biased justice system in Louisiana, and co-founded the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana to address the crisis in the defense of indigent persons facing the death penalty in the state.
With over 25 years of experience in public interest law, David brings his expertise to Savannah, providing individualized representation for those injured due to negligence, those whose civil rights have been violated, and individuals unfairly treated by police and prosecutors. He finished his public interest career as a leader in the legal department of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The DeSoto

The DeSoto blends the elegance, history, and charm of one of America’s oldest cities with a playful dose of Southern spirit



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If you register less than 45 days before the conference we'll instruct you on how to secure credit yourself.


Qualifies for 12.5 CLE Credit Hours (1 Ethics & 11.5 General Credits).

According to Rule 4.03… an Arkansas attorney who attends an out-of-state CLE program… is entitled to Arkansas CLE credit for the program.

A California attorney may earn credit for out-of-state CLE activities approved by an approved jurisdiction… more

Any CLE program that has been properly approved by another jurisdiction is automatically approved.
The Florida Bar generally accepts CLE courses that have been approved by other state bars. Attorneys must submit.
May claim credit for courses attended outside of Hawaii and approved by approved jurisdictions.

Qualifies for 12.5 CLE Credit Hours (1 Ethics & 11.5 General Credits).


Members use their best judgement to determine if the course meets the provisions of Rule 53 and enters the course into his/her ART account.


Qualifies for 12.5 CLE Credit Hours (1 Ethics & 11.5 General Credits).


Qualifies for 15 CLE Credit Hours (1.2 Ethics & 13.8 General Credits).


Qualifies for 12.5 CLE Credit Hours (1 Ethics & 11.5 General Credits).


Qualifies for 12.5 CLE Credit Hours (1 Ethics & 11.5 General Credits).


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This is an event you don't want to miss!

Attorney +1 Guest

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Hotel Room for 2
(January 14-19, total of 5 nights)

CLE Sessions for 1

All Tours for 2

Reception for 2

Attorney Only

We prep all arrangements


Hotel Room for 1
(January 14-19, total of 5 nights)

CLE Sessions for 1

All Tours for 1

Reception for 1

Georgia Attorney

Must be licensed and based in GA
(No exceptions)


CLE Sessions for 1

Meals & Reception for 1

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