Ramsey County Bar Association and Ramsey County Law Library Law Day CLE Equal Protection of the Laws: The Journey from Jim Crow to Gay Marriage

Presenter: Donald M. Lewis, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA

The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause is a grand constitutional phrase, but its framers would not have foreseen racially-mixed public school classrooms or same-sex weddings. This presentation will explore the progress from “the original understanding” to the expansive interpretation we know today of the amendment’s promise of equality. It will include a “top ten” review of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and will consider their shortcomings in improving social, economic and political outcomes. Historic applications of the clause in Minnesota cases will be noted.

Time: 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Registration: 2:30 to 3:00 p.m..
Location: Room 40A&B, Ramsey County District Courthouse, St. Paul
Credit: 1 standard CLE credit approved
Cost: FREE for RCBA members; $30 non-members
Teleconference Cost: FREE for RCBA members; $30 non-members

Participants are invited to visit the Law Library on the 18th floor of the courthouse for tours.
The public is invited to attend the presentation for free.

Register

Ramsey County Bar Association to Honor Local Leaders

The Ramsey County Bar Association (RCBA) will honor Retired Judge Joanne Smith and Curt Goering with the 2017 Law Day Awards. The Law Day Awards presentation will take place at the Judges’ Dinner on Thursday, March 23 at the Town & Country Club.

Hon. Joanne Smith, Retired Ramsey County Judge, will receive the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award and Curt Goering, Executive Director, Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), will receive the Liberty Bell Award.

Judge Smith was appointed to the Ramsey County bench in 1983, following her work in the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office. She was elected Chief Judge in 1989, the first woman to hold that position in Minnesota. Judge Smith started the court’s chemical dependency initiative in 1998, its juvenile drug court in 2001 and adult substance abuse court in 2002.

In addition to her service as a judge in Ramsey County, Judge Smith has served the community as a volunteer in many other roles. She was a board member of the St. Paul Domestic Abuse Project and the St. Paul Youth Service Bureau. She was also a member of the Crime Victim-Witness Advisory Board.

The Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award is given each year to a lawyer who demonstrates substantial length of service to the bar and the community; has outstanding professional performance; has outstanding achievement in service to the citizens of Ramsey County; has leadership in the development of law in our community; and has substantial commitment to preserving and carrying out the vision of our Constitution.

Curt Goering joined the Center for Victims of Torture in 2012. In 2016, CVT launched a Call to Reject Torture. Demanding respect for the rule of law, under which torture is always illegal, CVT called upon civic leaders and every day Americans to take responsibility and publicly stand against a return to torture.

Under Mr. Goering’s leadership, CVT remains committed to supporting legislation that protects refugees and guarantees that survivors of torture have access to high-quality rehabilitative services. Mr. Goering is a well-known voice on issues impacting immigrants and refugees.

Mr. Goering was the Chief Operating Officer at Amnesty International for nearly 30 years before he joined CVT.

The Liberty Bell Award is given annually to a non-lawyer. The award is a token of appreciation from the RCBA to a member of the community who has promoted a better understanding of government; encouraged respect for the law and the courts; stimulated a deeper sense of individual responsibility under the law; contributed to the effective functioning of our institutions of government; and inculcated a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law.

The Liberty Bell Award has been a tradition of the RCBA since 1964, and the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award has been awarded annually since 1987.

Law Day Award Nominations

The Ramsey County Bar Association is seeking nominations for this year’s Law Day Awards, which will be presented at an upcoming Law Day CLE.

Nominations are due by February 17, 2017. Contact Cheryl Dalby, RCBA Executive Director, at cheryl@ramseybar.org or 651.789.3751, with any questions.

Liberty Bell Award

The individual (a non-lawyer) selected has been involved in activities which:

  • Promote a better understanding of our government
  • Encourage respect for the law and the courts
  • Stimulate a deeper sense of individual responsibility under the law
  • Contribute to the effective functioning of our institutions of government
  • Inculcate a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law

Criteria for Selection & Previous Recipients [.pdf]
Nomination Form [.pdf]

Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award

Individual (a lawyer) demonstrates:

  • Substantial length of humanitarian service to the bar and the community
  • Outstanding professional performance
  • Outstanding achievement in service to the citizens of Ramsey County
  • Leadership in the development of law in our community
  • Substantial commitment to preserving and carrying out the vision of our Constitution

Criteria for Selection & Previous Recipients [.pdf]
Nomination Form [.pdf]

Excellence in Diversity Award

The RCBA Diversity Committee is accepting nominations for the Excellence in Diversity Award. This award is intended to recognize substantial and long-term contributions to the furtherance of diversity and inclusion, civil rights, civil liberties, or human rights.

Criteria for Selection & Previous Recipients [.pdf]
Nomination Form [.pdf]

The Making of Justice – The Role of Miranda in the “Making of a Murderer” Series

2016 Law Day CLE*
The Making of Justice – The Role of Miranda in the “Making of a Murderer” Series**
Co-sponsored by Ramsey County Bar Association and Ramsey County Law Library

Presenter: Leslie J. Rosenberg, Minnesota Assistant Appellate Defender

What is Miranda? What is its origin and meaning? How has the Miranda case law developed? How have the police and prosecutors used it? Abused it? How does it impact juveniles? What is the application of Miranda in the “Making of a Murderer” series? What went wrong, and why?

Time: 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Registration: 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.
Location: First National Bank Building Training Room, 332 Minnesota Street, St. Paul
Credit: 1 standard CLE credit approved
Cost: FREE
Teleconference Cost: $10

Register

**Instructions for accessing the teleconference will be sent prior to the CLE. We cannot offer the live teleconference to law students for free. Law students may still attend the live presentation for free. If you have any questions, please email us at info@ramseybar.org or call 651-222-0846.

*Law Day 2016: Miranda, more than words: www.lawday.org

Law Day CLE: Due Process, Habeas Corpus, and the Magna Carta

Please join us for a free CLE, presentation of law day awards and reception
Co-sponsored by the Ramsey County Bar Association & the Ramsey County Law Library

Thursday, April 30, 2015
9:30 – 11:30 am
Ramsey County Courthouse, Room 40
30 minutes ethics CLE credit and 30 minutes standard CLE credit approved

FREE for the general public
CLE Credit:
 FREE for RCBA members; $10 for non-members

Habeas Corpus, and the Magna Carta: Reflections on Representing Prisoners in the 21st Century
Presenter: Professor Brad Colbert, Resident Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell College of Law; Director of the Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners Clinic at William Mitchell; Assistant State Public Defender. 

Reception and Presentation of Law Day Awards
Following the CLE, join us in congratulating this year’s Law Day Award recipients:
Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award: Hon. Edward Cleary, Chief Judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals
Liberty Bell Award: Joanne Miller, Executive Director, Criminal Defense Services, Inc.

CLE Details
The idea, or maybe the myth, of the Magna Carta is that it established the principle that government is subject to the rule of law and that the rule of law protects individual liberties against excesses of government.  Perhaps the best test of whether a government is subject to the rule of law rule is how government treats people accused of breaking its laws. As Dostoevsky declared: “A society should not be judged on how it treats its outstanding citizens, but by how it treats its criminals.”

So, how’s the Magna Carta doing?  Professor Colbert will discuss this issue and what he’s learned in twenty-five years of representing people who have been accused of breaking the law. The discussion will include coverage of ethical issues faced when representing defendants, including communication (Rule 1.4) and scope of representation (Rule 1.2).

If you have any questions, please email us at info@ramseybar.org or call 651-222-0846.

Before and after the event, all attendees are invited to tour the Ramsey County Law Library, on the 18th floor of the courthouse.

More information about the 2015 Law Day theme.
More information about Professor Brad Colbert.

Register