Learn about civil rights for people with developmental disabilities, courts

An Unfinished Journey: Civil Rights for People with Development Disabilities and the Role of the Federal Courts is offered 1-4:45 p.m. […]

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An Unfinished Journey: Civil Rights for People with Development Disabilities and the Role of the Federal Courts is offered 1-4:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 at the Diana E. Murphy U.S. Courthouse, 300 S 4th St, Minneapolis. The reception is 5-7 p.m. 

The event was put together over the past 10 months by an outreach committee appointed by the U.S. District Court. Chief Judge Patrick Schiltz asked the federal court to work on an initiative focused on developmental disabilities and the federal court’s role in advancing rights. The committee includes people with disabilities, family members, professionals, attorneys and judges. 

The initiative includes creation of 21 banners illustrating Minnesota’s history and a three-hour continuing legal education course that will describe the progression from the state’s founding in 1858 through today. The banners will be debuted at the reception along with a short program, a juried art show, with music and spoken word performances by people with developmental disabilities. 

This event provides a free half-day of Continuing Legal Education (CLE), followed by a public reception with educational exhibit and a juried art show of works created by artists with developmental disabilities. Application will be made for three hours of CLE credit, including ethics and elimination of bias. 

The first panel will provide an overview of the history of the struggle to secure civil rights for people with disabilities, with particular attention to the role of the federal courts and the State of Minnesota in this struggle. Panelists are Professor Elizabeth Schiltz, University of St. Thomas School of Law, and Bahram Samie, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. The panel will be moderated by (Ret.) Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

 The second panel will explore the ethics, best practices, and challenges relating to class settlements and communications, focusing on Welsch and Jensen. Panelists are Daniel Gustafson, Gustafson Gluek PLLC; Michael Fargione, McEllistrem, Fargione, Rorvig & Moe, P.A.; Shamus P. O’Meara, O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.; and Anne Barry, University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The panel will be moderated by Honorable Donovan W. Frank, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. 

The third panel will focus on needs and accommodations for lawyers with disabilities from law school and the bar exam and throughout public and private practice. Panelists are Emily Eschweiler, Minnesota Board of Law Examiners; Paul Floyd, Minnesota State Bar Association, Wallen-Friedman & Floyd; Sierra Grandy, University of Minnesota Law School (2024 J.D. candidate); and Allison Quinn, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Moderator is Lauren Clements, Littler. 

The program is presented in conjunction with the District of Minnesota’s Public Outreach Committee, and is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Minnesota Disability Bar Association and MSS. 

Please direct any accommodation requests to Rebeccah Parks at [email protected]

People need not register for the reception but space is limited for the CLE classes. 
Registration for the CLE is at http://tinyurl.com/4jn5uffk 

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