CLE: The Ethics and Causes of Wrongful Convictions

This course explores the ethical obligations of prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers who prevent wrongful conviction of the innocent. The course outlines known causes of wrongful convictions and why they occur.

Instructor: Steve Kaplan, IPMN Board Member, Of Counsel – Fredrikson and Byron

Timing: On-demand; 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Location: On-site

Cost: Free

Credits: 1.5

Steve Kaplan, Fredrikson & Byron

Steven Kaplan is a senior of counsel attorney at Fredrikson & Byron who concentrates his practice on tax litigation, business and commercial litigation, and white collar criminal and regulatory agency defense. Steve is a longtime writer and lecturer of CLE and board member of IPMN. In 2012, he was a member of the legal team that successfully secured the release and exoneration of Damon Thibodeaux, a death row inmate who served 15 years in Louisiana’s infamous Angola prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder in 1997.

For more information, please contact Heather Ring (651) 523-2690  |   hring@ipmn.org


Law School Curricula

We help train the next generation of lawyers to avoid conviction of the innocent. All four Minnesota law schools regularly offer the following:

Wrongful Convictions Course

Developed in conjunction with the Innocence Network, “Wrongful Convictions: Causes and Remedies” examines the principal problems leading to the conviction of innocent people and the leading proposals for systemic reform. The course combines substantive reading about factors contributing to wrongful convictions with an opportunity to apply those principals through small group exercises. After a short lecture, students break into groups to prepare for in-class exercises. Students also analyze inmates’ requests for assistance from the IPMN, helping refer cases onto the “Innocence Clinic.”

Innocence Clinic

The “Innocence Clinic” is both an educational tool and a vehicle for accomplishing the work of the IPMN. The clinic is a unique educational opportunity for enrolled law students to investigate possible wrongful convictions and represent imprisoned clients with claims of actual innocence. Supervised by experienced legal and forensic staff, law students evaluate case histories–including transcripts, medical reports, and appellate briefs–while working with prisoners, crime and evidence labs, law enforcement, defense attorneys, and prosecutors, to help prove claims of innocence. To enroll, visit your law school’s enrollment page.


CLE Offerings

Forensics 411 is a one-day CLE event where practicing forensic scientists provide hands on instruction and behind the scenes insights into key forensic techniques You’ll discover new avenues for fruitful direct and cross examination, achieve greater confidence in your understanding of forensic science and dealings with forensic scientists and gain insights into how juries react to forensic evidence. Forensics 411 is typically offered in the Spring.

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