Richard Clem Continuing Legal Education
High quality, reasonably priced CLE opportunities
On March 24, 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court amended the Iowa CLE rules to allow Iowa attorneys to receive up to six of their required 15 credits each year with "unmoderated programs." For more information, you can view the Supreme Court's Order or the Iowa CLE Commission's Guidelines.
The course shown on this page meets the new Iowa guidelines. You may take this program at any time that is convenient for you. You can listen online or download the program to your computer or other device. On-demand CLE is a popular option in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other states, and now Iowa attorneys can take advantage of them.
To receive CLE credit, please follow these steps:
If paying online, click the "Pay Now" link below. .
Upon receipt of your affidavit, I will send you via e-mail a certificate of attendance. If you don't have an e-mail address, I can send this by U.S. Mail. I process these courses manually, so please allow time for me to respond. I will normally provide your certificate of attendance within 24 hours. You can then report your attendance online, as you would with any other CLE course.
Iowa: 6.0 "unmoderated" credits approved, including 3.0 ethics credits (Iowa activity number
234869). This program can be taken for credit until January 17, 2017.
Minnesota: Five Minnesota credits are available, including 3 ethics and 2 elimination of bias. For details regarding Minnesota credit, please visit the Minnesota course description. If you are taking the program for both Minnesota and Iowa credit, please follow the Iowa instructions and let me know that you also need Minnesota credit.
Other States: Credit may be available in other states. Please contact me for details on credit in states other than Iowa.
Conflicts of Interest. Presented by Richard Clem. This is an in-depth look at the conflict of interest rules governing lawyers in Minnesota and other states. It will cover Rule 1.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as related rules. Subjects addressed include: Joint representations in general; driver and passenger; co-defendants in criminal cases; insured and insurer; organization and individuals within organization; buyer and seller; testator and beneficiary; closely related entities; business transactions between clients; consent to conflicts; "hot potato" doctrine; and more. Lecture, 180 minutes. Originally presented on January 18, 19, and 20, 2016.
Elimination of Bias. Presented by Richard Clem. We'll start by looking at the rules governing bias within the legal profession, which is a subject covered by both the General Rules of Practice and the Rules of Professional Conduct. We will then see how well we are collectively doing as a profession and legal system in abiding by those rules. We will do so through the eyes of participants at a series of community dialogues at which community members were asked to describe their experiences and discuss ideas for advancing racial equality and fairness in the courts. All participants are welcome to share their insights.
We will begin by referencing the Minnesota Supreme Court's 1993 report on the elimination of bias in the judicial system, and we will also look at how both the Rules of Professional Conduct and the General Rules of Practice require us as lawyers to avoid bias.
Then, we will look at how well we are doing in meeting these requirements, as seen by various communities, including communities of color. In particular, we'll examine the suggestions made by members of the public at community dialogues held over the past three years by the Supreme Court's Racial Fairness Committee. Lecture, 120 minutes, originally presented on June 20, 2016.
Introduction to Professional Malpractice. This one-hour program will provide an overview of malpractice claims against health care providers. We will cover the elements of the cause of action, the necessity for expert testimony, the statute of limitations, the Minnesota requirement for an affidavit of expert review, and similar requirements in other states. Lecture, 60 minutes, originally presented on March 22, 2016.
Update to Bias Program:
This program was recorded on June 20, 2016, about two weeks prior to the death of an African-American man, Philando Castile, during a stop by police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota on July 6, 2016. In the wake of that incident, a number of police officers in St. Paul were injured during protests, and five police officers in Dallas were killed. I believe I should add some follow-up comments to the program, since it refers to a hypothetical situation which became a tragic reality. I also want to share my thoughts as a local resident, since the Castile shooting took place about a mile from my home. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota, but just a few blocks away from the small suburb of Falcon Heights. In fact, my children attend public school in Falcon Heights.
When I present this program, I sometimes refer to a hypothetical where I, a white person, am driving with a burnt out tail light; I contrast the situation with that of an African American engaging in the same behavior; and I then try to explain my theory of why the outcomes could be so different. That hypothetical hit very close to home on July 6. In my mind's eye when I recite that hypothetical, I'm driving the car with the burnt out tail light on Larpenteur Avenue, the very street where Mr. Castile was driving. In my hypothetical, I do so with impunity, but an African-American engaging in the same behavior is stopped. According to some accounts, the initial stop of Castile's vehicle was in response to a burnt out tail light.
I don't believe that the word "racism" is particularly helpful to our discussion. In this program, I am forced to conclude that the result of my hypothetical of a kind of racism. But I conclude that it's exactly the same kind of racism of which I am guilty, and the kind of racism which all of us--no matter how enlightened we believe ourselves to be--also bear.
As I write this, not all of the facts of the Castile case have been made public. As attorneys, we should be especially mindful that what really happened probably differs--perhaps significantly--from what has become the accepted narrative. But one very possible scenario is that Mr. Castile did nothing that would warrant the use of lethal force. If that is the case, then his death was probably the result of fear on the part of the officer. And in retrospect, that fear was quite possibly unwarranted. It is thus easy to conclude that his death was the result of racism. But it would be dangerous to stop there in our analysis: Because if this death was the result of racism, then it was probably the exact same kind of racism that you and I also share.
As I explain in more detail in the audio program, we all make judgments about people based on many factors. I can't deny that one of the factors I unconsciously consider is the person's race. The color of a person's skin might make me more fearful of someone than I would be otherwise. I recognize this in myself, and I try to counteract it, because I know it's wrong. But I also know that I can't counteract it perfectly. If it turns out that this is what happened in this case, then we should be very hesitant to simply categorize the case as being one of racism; for it is the same kind of racism that both you and I share, no matter how enlightened we believe we are.
Even though this program is entitled "Elimination of Bias," I concede that this bias is not something that is possible to eliminate. I think that the best we can do is recognize and confront our biases. And if we do that, then perhaps we can eliminate the fear.
By all accounts, Mr. Castile was a good man. As attorneys, we have an obligation to see to it that justice is served for him and his family. But by all accounts, the police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, is also a good man. And as attorneys, we have an obligation to the principle that the he is entitled to Due Process and the Presumption of Innocence. I have faith in the Minnesota Court System, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Ramsey County Attorney's office to see to it that justice is served, with due regard to the rights of the accused. For a quarter century, the Minnesota court system has proactively addressed bias in the justice system. Our profession is rooted in the assumption that the system is up to the task of delivering individual justice in this individual case. And I believe that it is.
Even though I happen to lecture on the topic of elimination of bias, I also concede that I'm no more of an expert on the subject than you are. I take pains not to be accusatory in the lecture, because I am guilty of the same accusations--no matter how enlightened I think myself to be. One of the reasons I find the case so troubling is because I realize that I'm probably not very different from Officer Yanez. I don't recall ever meeting him personally, but I might have. I've almost certainly driven past his squad car more than once. He's probably a good man, just as I am a good man. A horrible situation like the one that he now confronts could have just as easily happened to me--or to you. Because if he is a racist, I have to recognize that you and I are probably the same kind of racist. In short, merely using the word "racism" doesn't add much to the discussion. We need to look deeper than that.
This case took place in my neighborhood, and I also feel compelled to defend my neighborhood. I'm reminded every time I see the student body of my children's school that Falcon Heights is a diverse community where the values of equality and justice are practiced and cherished. And the St. Anthony-Lauderdale-Falcon Heights Police Department has a good reputation for professionalism. Justice must be served in this case, but as a resident of the area, I want to remind everyone that this is a caring community which has been shocked by this incident.
Finally, as a person of faith, I believe that it is appropriate for people of faith to pray for peace and justice, and for Mr. Castile and his family. I also believe that it is appropriate for people of faith to pray for forgiveness and reconciliation, and for Officer Yanez and his family.
Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991). You can visit his web pages at RichardClem.com and w0is.com and his blog at OneTubeRadio.com.
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Copyright 2016, Richard P. Clem Continuing Legal Education
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Minneapolis, MN 55414