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Super CLE Week XXX: March 12-20, 2010

Register Now graphic University of Minnesota Law School faculty members are, for the 30th time, using spring break to offer continuing legal education opportunities on a range of relevant topics.

A total of 48.75 CLE credits have been approved (including 3 ethics and 2 bias).

All courses will be held in Room 25. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m.; courses start at 9:00 a.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 or visit the CLE home page.


Friday, March 12
National Family Law Trends: Religion, Parental Rights, Same-Sex Unions

6.25 CLE credits
Event # 140477

Professor Brian Bix
University of Minnesota
Law School

The course will offer an overview of some of the most important trends in American Family Law, focusing in particular on the changing rules on the role of religion, parental rights, and same-sex unions. Religion is becoming ever more prominent in Family Law, on topics ranging from child custody (when, if at all, can the parents religious beliefs and practices be taken into account in custody and visitation determinations?) to divorce (when must an American court recognize an Islamic “triple-Talaq” pronouncement as sufficient to dissolve a marriage?), premarital agreements (when do Islamic mahr agreements or Jewish ketubah agreements bind civil courts?), and medical decision-making (when can a parent refuse life-saving medical treatment for a child based on religious reasons?). Questions about parental rights have in recent times extended in unpredictable directions: e.g., regarding when grandparents or unmarried partners can be excluded from a child’s life, the fate of frozen embryos, the rights of surrogate mothers, and the rules of open adoption. And same-sex unions—their recognition within certain states, and their effects, if any, in other jurisdictions—continue to develop as a volatile and important set of issues.



Saturday, March 13
An Introduction to International Criminal Law

6.25 CLE credits
Event # 140478

Professor Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin
University of Minnesota
Law School

International criminal law is one of the most rapidly growing areas of international legal practice and policy. International criminal law imposes criminal responsibility on individuals for certain violations of public international law and has been accompanied in recent years by the creation of specialized international courts and tribunals to enforce its normative content. This course offers a short and concise introduction to the history, substance and procedure of international criminal law. It starts by offering a historical overview of the development of international criminal law, explaining the development of a related and highly relevant body of norms, namely international humanitarian law, and setting out the use of these norms at the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals following World War II. It then follows by examining the offences of that have been criminalized at the international level (some of which are also criminalized in domestic penal codes). In this context, the course will focus its attention on the Statutes of the ad hoc Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as the hybrid Tribunal for Sierra Leone. Those taking the course will gain familiarity with the substantive crimes contained in the ICC statute, and the trigger mechanisms for activating the Court's jurisdiction, and the operation of the Court to date in a number of high-profile cases. The course will conclude by examining the alternatives that exist to international criminal prosecution when crimes of a systemic nature are in play.



Monday, March 15
The First Amendment Since World War I

6.25 CLE credits
Event # 140479

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.



Tuesday, March 16
International Law in the United States

6.25 CLE credits
Event # 140480

Professor Oren Gross
University of Minnesota
Law School

The role of international law in the domestic law of the United States has received much scholarly and public attention since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This course will review and analyze such issues as:

  • How does the United States assume international obligations
  • The status of treaties, executive agreements and customary international law norms in the United States
  • Conflicts between U.S. domestic law and the U.S.'s international obligations
  • Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act
  • Act of State doctrine and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
  • Extraterritorial and universal jurisdiction
  • Torture, extraordinary renditions



Wednesday, March 17
Selected Topics in Patent Litigation

6.25 CLE credits
Event # 140481

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; 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; patent misuse and other issues arising at the intersection of patent and antitrust law; and the exhaustion doctrine after Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc. Finally, if the Supreme Court has issued an opinion in Bilski v. Kappos, I will discuss the implications of that case for patentable subject matter; if not, I will suggest several different ways the case could come out.



Thursday, March 18
The Conduct of Corporate Officers, Directors and Lawyers in a Time of Scandal and Government Intervention: Financial Derivatives and the Securitized Mortgage Mess, Bailouts, Ponzi Schemes, Insider Trading and More

6.25 CLE credits
Event # 140482

Professor Richard Painter
University of Minnesota
Law School

This course addresses legal and ethical issues that arise from recent events in business, including the mortgage meltdown, financial services industry bailouts, the Madoff and Stanford ponzi schemes and the SEC's insider trading case against the Galleon Hedge Fund. We will review corporate and securities law, executive compensation, criminal law and other issues relevant to pending litigation over these events, new legislation and proposals for further government regulation. We will discuss legal liability of directors, officers and lawyers, as well as the problems of collateral participants such as feeder funds for investment funds that turn out to be fraudulent, underwriters of securitized debt obligations, companies such as Bank of America that acquire troubled financial institutions, often at the behest of the government, and persons who tip inside information to persons who may trade on it. The course will discuss not only events that have already occurred, but the types of problems that will confront business people and their lawyers in a future when government investigation and intervention are more prevalent.



Friday, March 19
MBA Concepts for Lawyers

6.25 CLE credits
Event # 140483

Professor Edward Adams
University of Minnesota
Law School

We are in remarkable times. The stock and real estate markets have collapsed. The government is printing money at an unprecedented pace. Looming budget deficits promise to dramatically increase interest rates. Do you understand the reasons for the collapse of the real estate market? Do you believe you know where the stock market is heading? Do you understand why GM is headed into oblivion? Do you understand basic business concepts? Can you communicate with businesspeople using their terms? Do you believe you might be a more valued attorney to your clients if you could talk the talk and walk the walk of business? This course provides you with an overview of the relevant quantitative skills acquired by and concepts introduced to M.B.A students during their two-year course of study. 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 risks or rewards of an investment opportunity.

America is in a period of tremendous change. Now, more than ever, understanding basic business concepts is indispensable to an effective and successful legal career. Those who understand business promise to thrive, or at least survive, in their careers. Those who cannot, risk being left behind, or worse.



Saturday, March 20
Morning: Ethics and the Practice of Criminal Law

3 CLE credits (ethics)
Event # 140484

Afternoon: Identification and Elimination of Bias in the Legal System

2 CLE credits (bias)
Event # 140485

Professor Stephen Simon
University of Minnesota Law School

Morning Session (3 hours): 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 defendant’s constitutional entitlement to a competent attorney. Ethical issues arising in criminal cases that Professor Steve Simon has participated in over the past 38 years will be the vehicles to discuss Ethics in the Practice of Criminal Law. Over the last 38 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. Professor Simon is also the founder and director of the Judicial Trial Skills Training Program at the law school. We will also discuss ethical issues that participants attending the course have experienced in their own practice.

Afternoon Session (2 hours): 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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