Richard Clem Continuing Legal Education

Richard Clem Continuing Legal Education
High quality, reasonably priced CLE opportunities

Minnesota Ethics and Elimination of Bias On-Demand CLE

Complete Your Ethics and Bias CLE Requirements for Only $69

August 31 Update: Since today is the Minnesota reporting deadline, I will be checking my e-mail until midnight and promptly issuing credit. In the unlikely event that you don't hear from me immediately, you can report your attendance to the Minnesota Board of CLE as soon as you have finished listening to the program. The Minnesota event code for this program is 223007.

Minnesota attorneys may now completely satisfy their Ethics and Elimination of Bias" CLE requirement with this convenient on-demand program, at a cost of only $69. If you need only ethics or only bias, you can take either portion of the program for only $39. This program has been approved for 5.0 Minnesota CLE credits, including 3.0 ethics credits and 2.0 elimination of bias credits (Minnesota event code 223007).

On December 6, 2013, the Minnesota Supreme Court amended the Minnesota CLE rules to permit "on-demand" CLE programs. The new rules took effect on July 1, 2014. Minnesota attorneys may now complete up to 15 of their required 45 credits using on-demand programs. You are now able to download a program and take it at your convenience. The new rules permit you to use these on-demand credits for any type of CLE, including ethics and bias. This program satisfies the entire ethics and bias requirements for your three-year cycle.

To receive CLE credit, please follow these steps:

  1. Download the course materials at these links:
  2. Listen to the five-hour audio program. You can listen to or download the program by using the following links. Each recording runs sixty minutes:
  3. If you have any substantive comments or questions about the program, you can call me or e-mail me, and I will respond promptly. You can reach me by phone at 612-378-7751, or by e-mail at

  4. During the program, you will be given ten code numbers, two during each hour of the program. Write down the numbers you hear. They will be in the following format:
    • Ethics Program:
      • E 1 __ __ *
      • E 1 __ __
      • E 2 __ __
      • E 2 __ __
      • E 3 __ __
      • E 3 __ __

      * - During the first hour of the ethics program, one of the code numbers is given twice. You only need to list it one time.

    • Bias Program:
      • B __ __ __
      • B __ __ __
      • B __ __ __
      • B __ __ __

  5. Send me the code numbers. You can send them to me by e-mail at, by phone at 612-378-7751, or by U.S. Mail to: Richard Clem, PO Box 14957, Minneapolis, MN 55414. If paying online by credit card, you can also include the code numbers when making your payment.

  6. Make payment of the course fee. The fee for the entire program is $69. If you wish to take only one portion of the program (ethics or bias), the fee is $39. You can pay by check to Richard Clem, PO Box 14957, Minneapolis, MN 55414. You may also pay online at the link below.

If paying online, click the "Pay Now" link below. You will be able to enter the code numbers during the payment process. If you prefer, you can leave this field blank and send the code numbers to me separately.

Please Select Program:

Upon receipt of your payment, 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.

This program runs slighly over two hours. Each part of the program is approximately one hour in length. These programs were originally presented on the following dates: Ethics Part 1, January 18, 2016; Ethics Part 2, January 19, 2016; Ethics Part 3, January 20, 2016; Elimination of Bias, June 20, 2016.

CLE Credit

Minnesota: Five CLE credits, including 3 ethics credits and 2 elimination of bias credits (on-demand) have been approved. Minnesota Event Code 223007. This program is eligible for credit between July 8, 2016 and July 7, 2018.
Iowa: This program is also approved for Iowa credit. If you are taking the program for credit in both Iowa and Minnesota, please follow the Iowa instructions and let me know that you also need Minnesota credit.

Course Description

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.

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. Lecture, 120 minutes.

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.

Elimination of Bias Learning Goals

This program is offered for Minnesota Elimination of Bias credit, and meets the learning goals set by the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education. The program is over sixty continuous minutes, relates directly to the practice of law, and is designed to meet the first and third learning goals for elimination of bias courses:

We will begin by referencing the 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.

About the Speaker

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 and and his blog at

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Copyright 2016, Richard P. Clem Continuing Legal Education
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414