Criminals in our Midst: Do New Laws Make a Difference

May 26, 2016
Hosted by Mitchel Winick and Stephen Wagner, with Michael Cohen

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Episode Description

Co-host Stephen Wagner is a former prosecutor. Our program guest, Jennifer Alton, is a former public defender. Criminal laws, sentencing guidelines, and early release programs are changing . . . but are the changes resulting in positive or negative results in our communities? Co-host Mitchel Winick will serve as the moderator between two experienced criminal law attorneys with very different professional backgrounds. Prosecutor vs. Defender . . . listen in to better understand the perspective from both sides of the criminal justice system.

Wagner and Winick On the Law

Wagner and Winick On the Law

Thursday at 6 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel

Wagner and Winick On the Law is the talk radio program for individuals interested in contemporary legal issues, social policy, and the protection of personal rights within our legal system. Co-hosted by law school President and Dean Mitchel Winick and law professor and trial attorney Stephen Wagner, the program features live interviews with lawyers, judges, business professionals, and policy experts discussing legal issues that affect our daily lives. Guest co-host law professor and attorney Michael Cohen adds an international law dimension in his bi-weekly program segment “International Crossroads”. As the hosts remind listeners every week, "If you don’t know the law, know a lawyer!"

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Mitchel Winick and Stephen Wagner, with Michael Cohen

Mitchel Winick and Stephen Wagner, with Michael Cohen

Stephen Wagner and Mitchel Winick have broadcast together as co-hosts since Wagner and Winick On the Law began broadcasting in 2014 on KSCO AM 1080, one of the nation’s leading independent talk radio stations. Michael Cohen has joined the program as a regular guest co-host and as producer of the special segment, “International Crossroads”.

Mitchel L. Winick is the President and Dean of Monterey and San Luis Obispo Colleges of Law. Winick’s thirty-year career has included legal education, law, and business. A former Assistant Attorney General of Texas, Winick has served as V.P. of a publicly traded company, senior partner in a management consulting firm, and co-founder of a venture capital firm.

Stephen Wagner serves as a law professor at San Luis Obispo College of Law and as a trial deputy, specializing in vehicular homicide cases, with the San Luis Obispo County DA's Office. As a law professor, Wagner teaches Criminal Law and Evidence. He is a former prosecutor with the California District Attorney’s Association and the San Benito DA’s Office.

Michael Cohen is a law professor and a partner with Sheppard Mullin's Antitrust and International Competition Practice Group. Cohen hosts the bi-weekly “International Crossroads”. Starting in law enforcement as an Assistant Special Prosecutor, Cohen has spent more than two decades defending multinational clients across the globe. Cohen teaches Constitutional Law and Business Organizations at Monterey College of Law.

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Episode Directory

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

Jennifer Alton

Jennifer Alton is a practicing attorney and the senior partner at Alton & Allen, Inc. She concentrates on criminal law. After passing the bar examination, she worked for the San Luis Obispo County Public Defender's Office. In that capacity her annual work-load included thousands of criminal cases. Currently, Jennifer Alton handles private criminal cases and appointed criminal and juvenile matters. In addition, she is a law professor at San Luis Obispo College of Law.
Alton is also a writer and documentary filmmaker and has a love of history and humanity.
For more information, go to View Guest page

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David Awerbuck, MD.

Dr. David Awerbuck is an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) in Monterey, California. He completed both medical school and residency training at the University of Toronto. He completed a research fellowship and Masters Degree in neurophysiology and also recently completed his Masters in Medical Management at the University of Southern California. He is one of the medical specialists at the Monterey Peninsula Surgery Center. MPSC was founded in 1982 by local surgeons desiring to offer an outpatient surgical experience featuring excellent service, superior quality and lower transparent pricing. Today, MPSC partners include over 200 of the area's finest surgeons, performing a wide variety of surgeries at five California Central Coast locations. Dr. Awerbuck lives in Monterey, CA with his wife Astrid, a practicing pediatrician and native Californian. For more information, go to View Guest page

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Michael Belter

Michael Belter is a criminal defense attorney with more than 30 years experience. He currently serves as a public defender with the Monterey County Public Defenders Office. Belter is a graduate of Western State University Law School. View Guest page

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Paul Bieber

Paul Bieber is the founder and director of the Arson Research Project and an experienced criminal and forensic investigator. As a certified fire and explosion investigator, he consults with innocence projects, public defender offices, and other defense advocates on cases involving arson and fire investigation. He speaks nationally with a focus on the reliability of forensic methodologies, the influence of cognitive bias and the application of the scientific method in fire investigation. View Guest page

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Greg Brandes

Greg Brandes is the former executive dean of San Francisco Law School and former dean of Concord Law School. He is currently a Management Consultant, Speaker and Author on higher education leadership and innovation, law school and graduate school curriculum, and distance education program development. View Guest page

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Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen is a law professor and international lawyer with Sheppard Mullin's Antitrust and International Competition Practice Group. Cohen hosts the regular “International Crossroads” segment on Wagner and Winick On the Law. Starting in law enforcement as an Assistant Special Prosecutor, Cohen has spent more than two decades defending multinational clients across the globe. Cohen teaches Constitutional Law and Business Organizations at Monterey College of Law. For more information about "International Crossroads" please go to: View Guest page

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Jordan Cunningham - Assembly Member

Assembly Member Jordan Cunningham serves the 35th Assembly district in San Luis Obispo County California. He is a small business owner, a proud husband and father of four. He was born in San Luis Obispo, and his family has been on the Central Coast for three generations. Jordan previously served as a Deputy District Attorney in the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted a wide variety of crimes – including fraud, assault, domestic violence, and environmental crimes. He later started his own small firm -- the Cunningham Law Group -- which represents individuals, families, public entities, and local businesses. Contact: View Guest page

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Chris Halsor

Chris Halsor is a Colorado attorney, former 14-year prosecutor, and founder of Understanding Legal Marijuana, LLC. Mr. Halsor spent 8 years as a prosecutor in a large Denver area DA’s Office and then spent six years working for the Colorado District Attorney’s Council as Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP) providing training and technical assistance to Colorado law enforcement and prosecutors on all facets of impaired driving. He is one of the country’s foremost experts on marijuana impaired driving. He also has been on the front lines of Colorado’s trailblazing foray into legal marijuana. Halsor provides consulting to state and local governments on marijuana policy. His approach is to provide objective information and assessments on the subject without taking an advocacy position in favor of or against legalization. Contact information: View Guest page

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Susan S Jackson

Susan S. Jackson, President and member of the Board of Directors of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), has led the organization from its inception in 2008, having facilitated both its legal formation and its substantial growth. Today, the organization boasts 25 participating companies, representing approximately 75 percent of annual canned tuna production.
Jackson has been a featured speaker on sustainability at such prominent events and conferences as Rio+20; Global Environmental Facility (GEF) meetings in Washington DC, Rome and Mexico; the University of Washington Bevan Lecture Series; and the European Union’s Fishing Capacity: Less is More ministerial conference. Further, she has presented before the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Senate Oceans Conference, and the Global Partnership for Oceans, among others.
Contact the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation at: View Guest page

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Nancy Koch

For over twenty years, Nancy Koch has provided legal support to scientists and their organizations, from start-ups to multi-national corporations. Between 2012 through 2016, Nancy served as General Counsel to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, one of the largest private funders of basic research. While representing the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Ms. Koch helped design intellectual property regulations that govern State funded stem cell research. As a Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for both Chiron Corporation and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, she handled intellectual property, licensing and scientific collaboration matters. View Guest page

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Daniel Lamb

Daniel Lamb is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer with forty years experience representing companies and financial institutions in federal and state courts in a broad mix of litigation including unfair competition and trade regulation, consumer class actions, trademark and copyright infringement, fiduciary liability, environmental cost recovery, fraud, breach of contract and other business-related litigation. He received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law and his B.A. from Wake Forest University. View Guest page

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F. David LaRiviere

Dave LaRiviere is an intellectual property specialist who handles all aspects of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and unfair competition. His law firm LaRiviere Grubman PC provides prosecution of patent applications, preparation and administration of trademark and copyright registrations, maintenance of patent rights, enforcement and alternative dispute resolution, and litigation. They also prepare and negotiate contracts and licenses while ensuring tailored protection of IP portfolios and other business interests appropriate to the circumstances, and provide due diligence investigations and business counseling, always tailored to the specific needs of each client and their business goals.
The firm's attorneys and patent agents bring exceptional depth, scope and creativity to their domestic and international law practice. View Guest page

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Cheryll Manley

Cheryll Manley is Senior Deputy District Attorney in the San Luis Obispo, California District Attorney's office. She has extensive experience in the field of juvenile justice. She holds a BA from San Jose State University and a JD from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, CA. View Guest page

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Tom Page

Thomas E. Page, a former Officer in Charge of the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Unit, began his law enforcement career with the Detroit Police Department. Before undertaking a law enforcement career, Mr. Page served the Wayne County, Michigan Health Department for five years as a public health worker.
Mr. Page assisted in the coordination of the 1985 Los Angeles Field Validation Test (173 case study) of the DRE Procedure. This study validated the effectiveness and reliability of a standardized and systematic approach to drug influence recognition. Mr. Page was also a member of the initial DRE curriculum development cadre. This cadre created the first formal DRE course curricula.
Mr. Page has taught drug influence recognition and criminal justice topics to a wide range of audiences and has authored numerous articles. He received his BA degree in Psychology, and his Master of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the University of Detroit. View Guest page

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Monika Parikh

Founder and Executive Director, Partnerships for Trauma Recovery. Combining her experience in human rights and international development, with clinical training in trauma-informed psychotherapy, Ms. Parikh launched Partnerships for Trauma Recovery in 2015. Her professional career includes human rights program development, with on-the-ground work in South Asia, West Africa and Latin America, as well as psychosocial treatment for refugees and immigrants in the United States. As the Director of Partnerships for Free the Slaves, Ms. Parikh led the development of the organization’s global partnerships program. She has also conducted policy research and advocacy on a variety of human rights issues including armed conflict, United States foreign policy, modern slavery and multinational financial institution accountability, for organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for International Policy and Humanity United.
Contact information: View Guest page

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Bill Purdy

William "Bill" Purdy has been serving clients with IRS and Tax problems for more than 30 years.
A Stanford Law School graduate, Mr. Purdy obtained his tax law training at New York University School of Law where he received a Masters in Taxation. For the past 20 years he has taught several courses at Lincoln Law School in San Jose, California.
He can be reached at the law firm of Simmons and Purdy at or View Guest page

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Kathleen Reagan

Kathleen Reagan is an accomplished rider and trainer of horses. Formerly a member of the United States Polo Association and a member of the Westchester Polo Club in Portsmouth, R.I., she is also a co-founder and vice president of QueryHorse LLC (, the powerful search engine focused on all things horses.
Reagan developed her experience growing up on her ranch in Missouri breeding, raising, training, and selling horses in a variety of disciplines and breeds, including Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Arabians, Saddlebreds, and Tennessee Walkers. Reagan has broad experience in a wide range of equine legal matters and with the horse industry.
Reagan developed and is teaching a course in equine law for Concord Law School, where she is a Professor of Law. She is also an adjunct professor at Albany Law School teaching equine law. Reagan is a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Equine Attorneys. View Guest page

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Bill Schrier

Bill Schrier is a teacher at Carmel High School, in Carmel, California, where he teaches courses in government & politics, economics, and human geography and coaches the school’s mock trial team. Prior to joining the Carmel High School faculty, Bill was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, a civil litigator for the international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke, and a judge advocate in the United States Navy. Bill received his J.D. magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law where he edited the Law Review. He also holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Miami and worked as an industrial chemist before studying law. Bill and his wife, Micheen reside on the Monterey Peninsula. View Guest page

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Lida Sideris

Like her heroine, Corrie Locke, Lida Sideris worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. Unlike her heroine, she did not get blackmailed into investigating a mysterious death. Lida has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles, a poem or two, and a teleplay. She shares her home with her family and an assortment of rescue dogs and uppity chickens.
Lida can be reached at: View Guest page

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Christopher Soriano

As a gaming lawyer, Christopher Soriano represents a wide range of stakeholders in the gaming industry—casinos, private equity and hedge funds, lottery companies, gaming technology manufacturers and equipment suppliers. He also focuses on the legal implications of cutting edge issues such as internet gaming, internet lottery, sports betting, and real-money fantasy sports. He has practiced before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, New Jersey Casino Control Commission, and numerous other gaming regulatory bodies. He is a regular contributor to the Duane Morris LLP Gaming Law Blog and is regularly featured in various mainstream and gaming industry publications commenting on developing issues in gaming law. He can be contacted at View Guest page

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Annika Sridharan

A clinical psychologist and social worker, Dr. Sridharan has 20 years of experience in the field of global mental health with international survivors of human rights abuses. Dr. Sridharan is an immigrant, and has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America, providing psychosocial care for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war, torture, gender-based violence and other forms of persecution. She developed and managed mental health care for refugees and a clinical training program at the International Rescue Committee in Oakland; and provided psychological care and clinical training at Survivors International in San Francisco. Her experience includes working with victims at the Center for Victims of Torture international project in Yaoundé, Cameroon and the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, South Africa. Contact Info: View Guest page

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Ross Veltman

Ross Veltman is executive director for the Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel, a business league of chief legal officers for 100+ leading technology and life science companies. He is also a principal of Ivy Associates (, Silicon Valley’s oldest consulting firm specializing in the professional development of in-house corporate legal departments. Ivy Associates and SVAGC produce the world’s largest continuing education conference devoted solely to general and staff legal counsel at technology and life science companies, the annual All Hands Meeting ( Previously, Mr. Veltman served as general counsel and operating subsidiary president for a U.S.-based group of intermodal transportation companies, and directed the in-house legal function for a multinational innovator of plastic packaging technologies. Mr. Veltman received a JD-MBA degree from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton University. View Guest page

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Dustin Vereker

Dustin Vereker is one of the founders of and currently Chief Beer Ambassador at Discretion Brewing. One of his many roles at Discretion is regulatory compliance, ensuring Discretion is operating within the confines of the law in the very complex world of Alcohol manufacturing, distribution, and sales. Dustin is also one of the first committee members to serve on the California Craft Brewers Association's Government Affairs Committee formed in March of 2015. View Guest page

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