This afternoon lawyers are gathering at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Not to worry - there's no scandalous lawsuit at hand. Instead they're taking part in a workshop that uses theater, and dramatic readings, to illuminate legal topics.
Today's topic is "Seeking Safety Against Borders," exploring the complex aspects of international child abduction cases involving allegations of domestic violence. The course includes staged readings of actual transcripts of interviews with U.S. mothers and their attorneys from a recent study supported by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In addition, a panel of related experts will discuss issues such as gender-bias, extenuating circumstances surrounding a person's residence in a foreign country, defenses for preventing the return of a child, and what happens after a child is returned when domestic violence is present.
Lawyers who attend the two-and-a-half hour workshop are able to apply for 2.5 continuing legal education credits. In Minnesota, each lawyer holding an active license must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours, including at least 3 ethics credit hours and 2 elimination of bias credit hours, every 3 years in order to retain their license.