Access to Justice Confessions, Ethics, and High Publicity in Making a Murderer- C03

Diversity and Inclusion Track
Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Session C: 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

About the Program
The hit Netflix docuseries Making a Murderer introduced millions to the prosecutions of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Both were charged, tried, and convicted of killing freelance photographer Teresa Halbach in northeastern Wisconsin in 2005. Aaron Keller, a journalist who covered the cases, is now a Connecticut attorney. Keller analyzes the case from the legal perspective of someone who was there to witness the events first-hand.

You Will Learn

  • How attorneys struggled with—and sometimes exploited—professional conduct scenarios (The review will include a comparison of state rules)
  • How the questionable confession of an intellectually-challenged minor was sold to the public as foolproof, and how the appeals courts have struggled to interpret it
  • How Wisconsin law led to the introduction of evidence that in other states would never have made it before the jury
  • How publicity impacted the cases, and what can (and cannot) be done to remedy it


Aaron Keller, Law & Crime Network, Abrams Media, New York, NY

Attorney Keller is a live, streaming trial host at the Law&Crime Network and an editor for based in New York City.  The network and Web site were launched by ABC News chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams.  They provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of trials and hearings across the country and legal analysis on major news stories.  Keller was the first journalist to reveal the depth of police conflicts of interest and the first to question prosecutorial ethics in the 2007 cases of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey in Wisconsin.  Those cases were later explored by, and Keller’s reporting was later featured in, the hit Netflix film Making a Murderer.  By some estimates, 19 million people worldwide viewed the film within five weeks of its release.  Keller’s investigative reporting on other matters has resulted in arrests, bills in several state legislatures, changes to administrative regulations, multi-million-dollar civil settlements, and an Emmy nomination.  He holds a 2001 broadcast journalism degree from the prestigious Newhouse School at Syracuse University and a 2013 law degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.  He is licensed to practice in Connecticut (active) and New Hampshire (inactive).  Prior to attending law school, Keller worked at network affiliated television stations in New York State and in the Midwest, mostly as an evening news anchor and investigative reporter.  He and his wife live in southern Connecticut.


1.0 CLE Credits (CT: 1.0 Ethics; NY: 1.0 Diversity and Inclusion)