Richard Clem Continuing Legal Education

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

Visit this link for more free CLE programs during April and May: Up to 5 Free Credits, Including Ethics

Free Conference Call CLE: April 10 2014

0.5 Minnesota or Iowa CLE credits, absolutely free

Free program: April 10

I'm offering this free conference call CLE program on April 10, 2014, at 12:00 Noon Central Daylight Time (Chicago time). CLE credit will be applied for in Minnesota and Iowa. View Course Description. Please visit This Link for more free CLE programs during April and May: Up to 5 Free Credits, Including Ethics.

Pre-registration for this program is not necessary. To participate, simply call in at 11:55 AM Central Time on April 10, 2014. Full instructions for claiming CLE credit will be provided during the call. To receive your certificate of attendance, you will need to e-mail a series of codes that will be given during the program. If you join the call already in progress, write down the codes you do hear, and you will receive partial credit for the minutes you attended.

To participate: Dial 1-712-432-3100. When prompted, enter the conference code 127735. Normal long-distance charges (to Iowa) apply for this call. Participants will be muted during the call, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end. After the call, e-mail the codes from the program to and I will e-mail you a certificate of attendance.

Note: Depending on the number of callers, I'll probably mute everyone during the call to eliminate background noise. But if you would like to speak, please "raise your hand" by pressing 5* on your phone, and I'll unmute your line.

There is absolutely no cost to attend this program, and no payment is expected. If, however, you wish to make a voluntary payment, you may do so after the program. For full information, read why this program is free. You will receive full CLE credit whether or not you decide to pay.

This is a convenient way to earn CLE credits at no cost. If you need additional credits, I have additional low-cost conference call programs available. There is, however, no obligation, and you're welcome to take the free program, even if you don't intend to take any additional programs.

At the time of the program, you simply call in, enter the access code, and listen to the program. You can submit live questions during the program. Your only cost will be the normal long-distance charge to an Iowa telephone number. If you have unlimited long distance, there will be no cost whatsoever.

Course Descriptions

April 10:

April 10: Judicial Retention Elections: Will they solve the problem or make it worse? A proposed constitutional amendment is currently working its way through the Minnesota legislature. The bill ( SF1082 and HF1083) would place the ballot measure before voters this November. If adopted, the amendment would end contested elections for judges in the state. Intead, incumbent judges would face "retention" elections in which voters would vote "yes" or "no" as to whether a particular judge should be retained.

The bill has broad support, and has been spearheaded by the Coalition for Impartial Justice. It is supported by many current and former judges, as well as former governors Quie, Anderson, and Carlson. In fact, the list of supporters reads like a Who's Who of prominent Minnesotans on both sides of the political aisle.

This proposal seems to be, in part, a reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002). That case struck down the Minnesota Supreme Court rule prohibiting judges and judicial candidates from announcing their views on disputed legal and political issues, as violating the First Amendment. This lead to concern, possibly justified, that judicial races would become politicized, and this seems to be one of the reasons for amending the constitution.

But will this amendment solve that problem, or make it worse? At statehood, Iowa, like Minnesota, adopted a constitution calling for contested elections in judicial races. This changed in 1962, when the Iowa consitution was amended. That amendment is similar to what is now being proposed in Minnesota. But 47 years later, the Iowa Supreme Court decided Varnum v. Brien, 763 NW 2d 862 (Iowa 2009), which led to one of the most politicized judicial races in recent history. In the 2010 election, three Justices were up for retention, and they were swept out of office. Would this have happened in a state such as Minnesota with contested judicial elections? This CLE will discuss that question.

The course materials for this program include the two blog posts I wrote discussing this question. You can find them online at the following links:

For the history of judicial elections, see also the following:

Feel free to post comments on my blog posts. In addition, we may look at the decisions in White and Varnum.

I want this CLE to be a discussion of different points of view, so feel free to share yours during the program. I especially invite Iowa attorneys to take part in this program. It seems to me that Minnesota can learn a great deal from your experience. Accordingly, this program is being offered for CLE credit in both states.

Course Schedule

All times are Central Time

The program will begin promptly at 12:00 Central Time on April 10. The phone line will be open approximately ten minutes prior to the times shown. Please call in at least five minutes prior to the start time so that attendance and opening remarks can be taken care of prior to the start of the program. The program is a live lecture.

11:45 PM Phone line opens
11:55 PM Introductory remarks
12:00 PM Live lecture and discussion (thirty minutes)
12:30 PM Concluding remarks


CLE Credit

CLE Credit has been applied for as follows:

During the program, there will be an opportunity for all participants to submit questions via e-mail or at the end of the program. The program will be fully interactive and participatory. Attendance will be taken. During the program, a "PIN number" will also be given.

After the program, I will e-mail you a certificate of attendance for use in reporting.

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).

Why is This Program Free?

This program is absolutely free, and there is no obligation to pay any fee whatsoever. These free CLE programs are an experiment on my part.

I expect that most of the attorneys attending will do so because the program is free, and I honestly don't mind. For some attorneys, the cost of maintaining a license and earning CLE credits can be a significant burden, and I'm glad I'm able to help. But I'm also aware that some businesses are profitable with a "pay as you want" fee structure. This business model has been used successfully in the music industry, by restaurants and even by a taxi company. This article is what gave me the idea to try this.

This model can also work very well for Continuing Legal Education. Even though not all are able, many of the participants in my free programs are willing to make a voluntary payment to support this reasonably priced alternative. Because of the high price of traditional CLE programs, it is my hope that these low-cost programs will be sustainable through voluntary payment. If this method proves successful, then I can continue to make programs, including my popular ethics courses, available on the same "pay as you want" basis.

Therefore, I ask you to consider making a voluntary payment after taking this free program. You may pay whatever you please. The program is free, and zero is a perfectly acceptable option. Of course, if everyone pays zero, my future free programs will be infrequent. You can select any amount you wish. To give you some idea of a reasonable price, please consider the following:

If, after attending, you decide to pay for this program, you may do so in any of the following ways.

To pay using credit card, select the amount you wish to pay from the drop-down list, and click the "Buy Now" button below. You will complete the transaction with PayPal. The available options range between 50 cents and 50 dollars.

Please choose your price

If you want to pay using Bitcoin, you can use the following button to submit your payment through You do not need any Bitcoins to pay using this method. You can pay by credit card in dollars, and the funds will be sent to me in Bitcoin. After you click on the button, you can select the amount of payment (in dollars) you want to make.

Pay With Bitcoin

If you prefer, you can mail a check payment in any amount to:
Richard Clem
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414

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Copyright 2014, Richard P. Clem Continuing Legal Education
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414

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Richard P. Clem, Attorney
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: 612-378-7751
Minnesota Attorney Registration Number 0192648