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Super CLE Week XXXI: March 10-19, 2011

Register Now graphic University of Minnesota Law School faculty members are, for the 31st time, using spring break to offer continuing legal education opportunities on a range of relevant topics.

A total of 57 CLE credits have been approved (including 3 ethics and 2 bias).

All courses will be held in Room 25. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.; seminars start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. (Except Saturday, March 19, when the seminar begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m.

Individual courses cost $225 each. For those attending multiple courses, a six-course SuperPass is available for $795, with additional courses for only $75.

For more continuing-education information, contact Law School CLE at LSCLE@umn.edu.


Thursday, March 10
Legal Issues Arising from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151611

Professor Hari M. Osofsky
University of Minnesota
Law School


The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil spill and its aftermath have raised important questions about legal regulation of offshore drilling and oil spills. This Super CLE session will explore these concerns in depth. It will begin by providing background on offshore drilling, the factors driving it deeper, and the technological complexities facing deepwater oil exploration. The session will next turn to the core legal regimes relevant to the spill and examine the intersecting laws and regulations that address offshore activity and oil spills. It will then focus on specific topics that pose difficult legal questions, such as the deepwater drilling moratorium and subsequent enhanced regulatory regime and the federalism debates over the appropriate roles of different levels of government. The session will conclude by considering the steps taken thus far to address the spill and ways in which both offshore drilling and oil spills could be handled better in the future.


Friday, March 11
The New Corporate Governance


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151612

Professor Claire A. Hill
University of Minnesota
Law School


This CLE will review the history and trajectory of corporate governance initiatives and changes in the last decade, and consider where we are now and where we may be headed. It will cover the shareholder proposal process and shareholder activism more broadly, as well as recent Federal and state law changes. It will cover "say on pay" and the requirements for greater director independence, as well as the SEC's proxy access rules (enforcement of which is presently stayed). It will cover recent cases on corporate governance issues. This CLE will conclude by appraising the role of corporate governance failures in the financial crisis, and considering how Dodd-Frank and other changes to the law might (or might not) help prevent or minimize the risk of another crisis.


Saturday, March 12
The First Amendment Since World War I


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151613

Professor Dale Carpenter
University of Minnesota
Law School


This CLE will examine the Supreme Court's interpretation and application of the First Amendment's speech and religion clauses. It will begin with theories of the role of speech in a free society. It will then examine the first inklings of judicial protection for speech starting with the World War I Espionage Act cases. Categories of 'unprotected' speech will be analyzed, including incitement, fighting words, libel, threats, and obscenity. The critical distinction between content-based and content-neutral restrictions on speech will be discussed in cases involving matters like flag-burning, nude dancing, and zoning restrictions on adult establishments. An introduction to the freedom of association will also be included.

Both of the First Amendment's religion clauses will be analyzed. The free exercise of religion will be considered in cases involving government-imposed burdens on the practice of religion, including the denial of unemployment compensation for workers who observe a Sabbath and prohibitions on the use of illegal substances for sacramental purposes. The Establishment Clause will be discussed in the context of cases involving government subsidies to religion, the presence of religion in public schools, and the display of religious texts and symbols (e.g., the Ten Commandments) on public property.


Monday, March 14
Dodd-Frank, Morrison v. National Australia Bank and Other 2010 Developments in Securities and Banking Law


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151614

Professor Richard W. Painter
University of Minnesota Law School


This course addresses the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act's massive overhaul of banking and consumer finance regulation, as well as some aspects of corporate governance and securities regulation. Topics include the new Financial Stability Oversight Council and its power to oversee the financial industry, "resolution" or orderly liquidation authority in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) can take control of endangered institutions, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's power to regulate consumer lending, regulation of trading in derivative securities, swaps and other financial instruments, restrictions on banks' ownership of hedge funds and private equity funds, mandatory risk committees of boards of directors, shareholder "say on pay", and other topics addressed in the Dodd-Frank Act. We will also discus the Supreme Court's decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, which refused to apply United States securities laws to suits over securities transactions outside the United States, we well as open issues in transnational securities litigation after Morrison.


Tuesday, March 15
UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151615

Professor Oren Gross
University of Minnesota
Law School


The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods ("CISG") is an international code that attempts to harmonize and standardize substantive contract law pertaining to international sale of goods transactions. Significantly, CISG is a self-executing treaty which creates a private right of action to individuals and firms before courts in the United States. Moreover, when applicable, CISG supersedes state law and specifically the Uniform Commercial Code. In the modern globalized market, lawyers cannot afford unfamiliarity with CISG and its unique principles and rules.

This seminar will discuss, among other things, the following issues:

  • The scope of application of CISG
  • Opting-out of and into CISG
  • CISG's general principles (e.g., good faith)
  • Contract formation (rules of offer and acceptance; battle of the forms)
  • Contract formalities and the parol evidence rule
  • Obligations of the parties
  • Breach of contract issues
  • Excused performance
  • Remedies



Wednesday, March 16
Current Issues in Family Law:  Family Law Across State (And National) Lines


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151617

Professor Brian Bix
University of Minnesota
Law School


The CLE will be on current issues in Family Law (a national perspective, not focused on Minnesota law, though Minnesota law will be noted in passing where convenient). The particular focus will be on issues of inter-jurisdictional enforcement of judgments and status. This topic has been in the news regularly, in a variety of forms, including the recognition (or non-recognition) of same-sex marriages and civil unions, the granting (or refusal to grant) divorces to same-sex marriages and civil unions celebrated in another state, the treatment of talaq divorces; and the inter-jurisdictional recognition of adoption decrees, child support orders, and child custody orders. The last topic will include discussion of the growing case-law under the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. For all the topics, relevant state and federal case-law, state and federal statutes, treaties, and constitutional provisions will be considered.


Thursday, March 17
Selected Topics in Patent Litigation


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151619

Professor Thomas Cotter
University of Minnesota
Law School


This course will address recent developments in several important areas of patent litigation. The morning session will cover the law of patent remedies, focusing on preliminary and permanent injunctions in the wake of eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C.; declaratory judgments after MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc.; ITC exclusion orders; lost profits and reasonable royalties after Lucent Techs., Inc. v. Gateway, Inc.; calculating post-judgment damages after Paice LLC v. Toyota Motor Corp.; enhanced damages after In re Seagate Tech., LLC; false patent marking claims in the wake of Forest Group, Solo Cup, and Stauffer; prospects for enacting a Patent Reform Act; and a brief discussion of the comparative law of remedies. The afternoon session will address recent developments in equitable defenses and related topics in patent law, focusing on the inequitable conduct doctrine in the shadow of Therasense; patent misuse and other issues arising at the intersection of patent and antitrust law, following the Federal Circuit's en banc hearing in Princo; and the exhaustion doctrine after Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc.


Friday, March 18
Accounting and Finance for Lawyers


6.5 CLE credits
Event # 151620

Professor Edward S. Adams
University of Minnesota
Law School


Cash and Accrual Accounting. Materiality. Financial Ratio Analysis. Net Present Value. Discounted Cash Flow Analysis. The Capital Asset Pricing Model. The Efficient Markets Hypothesis. Are you familiar with these terms? Do you understand these concepts? Can you communicate with others using these terms? Do you understand accounting and financial concepts utilized by and central to your clients? Do you believe you might be a more valued attorney to your clients if you did? This course provides you with an overview of accounting and finance from the perspective of the practicing attorney. Among other things, this course will teach you how to:

  • Understand basic accounting principles;
  • Read an annual report and analyze financial statements;
  • Look beyond mere numbers to gauge the real financial performance and strength of a an entity; and
  • Employ cash flow analysis to value a business or determine the potential financial rewards of an investment opportunity.



Saturday, March 19

(a.m.) Ethics and the Practice of Criminal Law
3 Ethics credits
Event # 151621

(p.m.) Identifying and Eliminating Bias and Discrimination in the Legal System: Codes, Cases, and Other Constraints
2 Bias credits
Event # 151622


Professor Stephen M. Simon
University of Minnesota
Law School


The Morning Session (Three Hours)

Ethics and the Practice of Criminal Law

This course will examine ethical issues, from both the prosecution and defense perspective, that have arisen in actual criminal cases. We will use these cases as vehicles to discuss the application, interplay and often the conflict of the rules of professional conduct, attorney-client privilege, competency of counsel and the duty of the prosecutor to seek justice. Criminal cases are fast moving and criminal trials, by their very nature, inherently involved many ethical issues. An attorney facing an ethical issue during a criminal trial or pre-trial court appearance must make a rapid decision about how to proceed. Often the decision involves conflicts between the rules of professional conduct, the attorney-client privilege and the constitutional entitlement to a competent attorney. Ethical issues arising in criminal cases that Professor Steve Simon has participated in over the past 40 years will be the vehicles to discuss Ethics in the Practice of Criminal Law. Over the last 40 years Professor Simon has been a public defender, a prosecutor, an attorney in private practice doing criminal defense work and, for the last 30 years, Director of the Misdemeanor Defense and Prosecution Clinics at the University of Minnesota Law School. We will also discuss ethical issues that participants the course have experienced in their own practice.

Examples of the cases and ethical issues that will be discussed include:

  1. A client tells his attorney that he has brought a knife, used in the assault that he is on trial for, into the courtroom during his trial thinking the jury might want to see it. The judge and jury will be entering the courtroom in less than 10 minutes. What should the defense attorney do?
  2. On the first day of trial, a prosecutor believes that the defense attorney knows where the missing victim in a domestic assault is. The prosecutor seeks an order of the trial court directing the defendant's attorney to disclose the location of the victim? Should a prosecutor seek such an order? If the ordered is granted, should the defense attorney disclose the location of the victim? Does it make a difference if the location is know because of a communication from the client?
  3. The officer, in a one-witness case, calls the prosecutor on the day of trial and tells her that he will not be coming to court. Is the prosecutor required to inform the defendant, who appears for trial, of that fact? Does it make a difference if the defendant is Pro Se?
  4. A defense attorney is representing co-defendants. The prosecutor tells her that she really wants a conviction for one of the defendants and is willing to dismiss the charge against the other defendant if the first defendant pleads guilty. Can the defense attorney continue to represent both clients?
  5. You are the prosecutor. During jury selection a panel member tells you that he is "Born Again Christian." You also consider yourself a "Born Again Christian." You also know your opposing attorney is Jewish. Is it proper for you to tell the panel member (and the rest of the panel) of your shared similar faith?


Professor Simon has collected ethical issues from over 50 cases that he and other defense attorneys and prosecutors have participated in. Many of these will be discussed in this course.

The Afternoon Session (Two Hours)

Identifying and Eliminating Bias and Discrimination in the Legal System: Codes, Cases, and Other Constraints

In 1989, the Minnesota Supreme Court's Gender Fairness Task Force issued its final report. In 1993 the Task Force on Racial Bias issued its report. Since 1989, over 40 jurisdictions, both state and federal, have issued reports on gender or race bias in the legal system. Minnesota has also done studies of the issues faced by persons with disabilities in the legal system. These studies have uniformly found, to one degree or another, that gender and race bias by lawyers, judges, court personnel, parties and witnesses are still a fixture of the legal system. Professional rules, both for lawyers and judges have been amended to reflect the reality of these findings. The Rules and codes attempt to define such behavior as unprofessional. In many jurisdictions, lawyers are prohibited from engaging in conduct that violates laws against discrimination, or from engaging in conduct which would be considered sexual harassment. Judges have an affirmative duty to prevent biased behavior in their courtrooms.

What does this all mean for the practicing lawyer?

In this half-day course we will examine a number of issues in this challenging and changing area:

Is the system really biased: what do the studies show?

  • Behavior by lawyers and judges
  • Employment

What do the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit?

  • Dealing with clients and witnesses
  • Hiring practices
  • Courtroom behavior

What does the Code of Judicial Conduct require?

  • Controlling behavior of lawyers
  • Reporting conduct to Disciplinary authorities

What do the cases say?

  • Lawyer and judge discipline
  • Tort law
  • Criminal law

Does the First Amendment limit the extent of prohibitions on speech or conduct?

The course will review the studies, Rules, Codes and cases. We will discuss specific scenarios for lawyers and judges and discuss the appropriate actions for lawyers and judges to prevent and correct conduct which violates professional norms.


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