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Just Defense™ and the Law


Just Defense™ and the Law

Covering Justified Self-Defense in Pennsylvania

This course is normally scheduled for one day.  It is an intensive eight hours covering justified self-defense in Pennsylvania. Instructors typically include two criminal defense attorneys, a forensic and police psychologist, and a veteran patrol officer for a comprehensive view of justified self-defense.  Topics include the following:

  • Using force ethically and consistently with legal requirements of self-defense laws through understanding general aspects of self-defense applicable to most jurisdictions. A specific examination of Pennsylvania’s Justification (“self-defense”) statute with examples from relevant case law interpreting statute by appellate courts, including a look at Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine, Stand Your Ground, defense of others, and defense of property.
  • Psychological, physiological, and biomechanical aspects of a lethal force encounter that impact performance, perception and memory of the event. Topics include Body Alarm Reaction (BAR), Fight/Flight/Freeze/Dissociate, short and long term effects of BAR, OODA Loop, Action v. Reaction, and the Tueller “Rule.”
  • Managing the aftermath of a self-defense shooting including psychological and social aspects, contact with responding law enforcement, formal statements to authorities, and what to expect in the event you are criminally charged.

This class is the companion class to Just Defense – Concealed Fundamentals. There is no pre-requisite for this class. This is a non-shooting class meant as mindset preparation on the “when, where, why, who” for the “how” to defend yourself you learn in Concealed Fundamentals (or any basic shooting class). Heavy note-taking is recommended and collaboration with your classmates through e-mail is suggested in the weeks following class.


Note: I will offer this class in jurisdictions outside of Pennsylvania upon request, but I will not simply teach the general concepts of justified use of force. Teaching in your state will require me to review your state’s self-defense statute and at least a few dozen, if not closer to 100 appellate court cases, so I understand how the courts view the varying aspects of self-defense where you live.

If you have any questions give us a call at: (717) 683-0090