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LawNext is a weekly podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi, who is internationally known for his writing and speaking on legal technology and innovation. Each week, Bob interviews the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving what’s next in the legal industry. From legal technology startups to new law firm business models to enhancing access to justice, Bob and his guests explore the future of law and legal practice.

Oct 23, 2023

This week, LawNext veers slightly off-topic for a conversation about wrongful convictions. But, as you’ll hear from our guests, there is a legal tech angle, even to this. 

At the recent Clio Cloud Conference, LawNext host Bob Ambrogi had the opportunity to sit down for a live conversation with one of the keynote speakers, Brian Banks, whose aspirations for a career in the NFL were sidetracked when, at age 16, he was falsely accused of sexual assault, resulting in his accepting a plea bargain that put him in prison for five years. It was an experience that has made Banks a powerful advocate for criminal justice reform. 

Joining Banks for that conversation was Michael Semanchik, the lawyer who helped clear Banks’ name while working as managing attorney of the California Innocence Project. Recently, Semanchik launched a new project, The Innocence Center, where he is executive director. He also hosts one of the best new podcasts of 2023, the soon-to-be-renamed California Innocence Center Podcast

For Banks, there was a happy ending to the story, in that he did clear his name and he even got to play in the NFL. But wrongful convictions continue to plague the criminal justice system. Today we’ll hear Banks’ story and explore what the system can do to keep other innocent people out of prison. 


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