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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Judicial elections: Find out how the Midwest was won!

How many chances do you get to go to a CLE where two attorney presenters are debating judicial elections while wearing circa 1858 period costumes?

Not many, I’ll wager. So hang on to your (cowboy) hat and get ready to saddle up next week for a one-hour CLE presentation featuring a re-enactment of key portions of the pre-statehood judicial-election debate -- with dialogue drawn directly from actual constitutional-convention transcripts. The lawyer/actors presenting the debate are Cambridge attorney Mark Benjamin (lately known for helping some bars to burn a hole in the smoking ban using the “theatrical performance” exception) and assistant Attorney General J.P. Barone, who is involved in community theatre with the Lakeshore Players Theatre in White Bear Lake. The two lawyers are being billed as the “Sesquicentennial Players” -- which is a great name, but, unfortunately, one that they will have to wait another 150 years to reuse.

The event also features Minnesota Women Lawyers Voter Outreach Committee Co-Chair Karen Cole and Hamline University School of Law Professor Mary Jane Morrison, who will put things into context with a discussion of Minnesota’s constitutional conventions and how they gave rise to the judicial elections provision of the Minnesota Constitution. Karen promises me that the commentary will be witty and the analysis insightful (or was it the other way around?). In any case, knowing Karen, they’ll deliver.

The program -- entitled “Judicial Elections in and the Minnesota Constitution: Past, Present and Future” -- will be held at the Halleland Lewis law office in Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 22 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

To register, contact gwinther@mwlawyers.org or register online by clicking here. (The registration fee is $10 per attendee. Paper money, credit or circa 1858 gold pieces are all presumably acceptable …)

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