Law Over Lunch

The Carrico Center for Pro Bono and Public Service Law Over Lunch series provides workshops and CLE trainings to lawyers in the Richmond area on topical issues at no cost.

Upcoming Event: Criminal Legal Reform with an LGBTQ+ Lens

December 8, 2021 / 12-1:30 p.m. / Offered Virtually Via Zoom / 1.5 CLE Credits Approved
Register Here

The Carrico Center continues its popular Law Over Lunch CLE series with a program that unpacks two new developments in Virginia criminal law and practice, with an eye toward their effect upon members of the LGBTQ+ community.

During the 2021 Virginia General Assembly session, Virginia became the first Southern state and the 13th state in the US to ban the LGBTQ+ “panic defense” to defendants charged with a violent crime. Previously, defendants could use the LGBTQ “panic” defense in court to excuse this violence as acceptable because someone’s LGBTQ identity, often the victim’s, was perceived as threatening. The enactment of this ban could not have been more timely with the tragic killing of Jerry Smith in Blacksburg this past June.

Also in 2021, Virginia updated its HIV exposure laws in an effort to end the stigma around the virus. Specifically, the new Virginia law places a heavier burden upon prosecutors to prove “infected sexual battery” and the requisite intent to transmit HIV. However, it is still a felony, in spite of public health experts and advocates arguing that HIV should be seen as a public health issue, not a crime.

Join the Carrico Center as we welcome Wesley Bizzell, Senior Assistant General Counsel for Altria Client Services, Commissioner for the American Bar Association’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Commission; and Immediate Past President of the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association; and Breanna Diaz, Policy Director for the Positive Women’s Network, as we learn more about these changes to criminal law and practice, especially their effect upon the LBGTQ+ community.