Statement from the Louisville Bar Association's Board of Directors on the Black Lives Matter protests:

Recent events within our city and across our nation are highlighting current and historic grievances regarding abhorrent racial inequities within our justice system and common life.  During this critical moment in the history of our community and our country, the Louisville Bar Association and its members have both an ethical and a moral responsibility to change long-standing systemic issues of racial injustice.  Existing and historical policies and practices within our community have resulted in racial disparity, inequity and injustice, and recent events have created a flashpoint to ignite protests focused on these injustices.

Our country relies upon the rule of law, and the application of that rule must be fair to everyone. Therefore, it is imperative that the legal community play a restorative role to help dismantle institutional barriers, both within the legal system and beyond, to address the biases that prevent people of color from enjoying equal protections under the laws of our Commonwealth and this country, and to build a better justice system and life for all of our citizens, regardless of race, ethnicity, or skin color. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”  The LBA will continue its work and extend our resources and expertise to help support and lead governmental and private endeavors focused on ensuring true and equal justice for all citizens, regardless of race or color, in our community.  It is our moral and ethical responsibility not just as legal professionals, but also as human beings and citizens of our community to do so.  We must demand better from our country, our government, our fellow citizens, and ourselves

Just Mercy and Access to Justice: Illuminating Bias, Confronting Systemic Racism, and Doing the Hard Work that Needs to be Done

Just Mercy brings to life the powerful and thought-provoking true story of newly-minted lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice on behalf of innocent people wrongfully convicted.

The Special Guests for this roundtable discussion include:

Ricky Kidd, founder of the I AM RESILIENCE movement, following his exoneration and release from a prison after serving 23 years for a double-murder he did not commit.

Joseph Amrine, wrongfully convicted of capital murder in 1986, and fully exonerated in 2003 by the Missouri Supreme Court based on "clear and convincing evidence of actual innocence that undermines confidence in his conviction.”

Professor Sean O’Brien, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School (Board Member of Miracle of Innocence and longtime criminal defense clinic supervisor and innocence lawyer).

Quinn O’Brien, adjunct Instructor at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, and lead private investigator in numerous successful exonerations.

Learn more about this timely seminar and watch OnDemand for 2.0 CLE credit hours here.
 

Illumination of Bias

One of the most significant aspects of doing business in an increasingly global economy (as well as communities that grow more multi-ethnic and multicultural each day) is the challenge of sustained interaction between people who are different from us in various ways. Even the simplest of encounters can often leave all parties, including clients and customers, feeling confused, frustrated, offended, or (worst of all) seriously hurt—even when everyone involved began with the best of intentions. Specifically in the legal realm, the adoption and promotion of Rule 8.4 (g) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which adds harassment and discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, etc. to the types of sanctionable professional misconduct, make it imperative that lawyers and paralegals learn to identify their blind spots in this tricky area.
 
This lively, interactive workshop explores cross-cultural interactions, and the ways that so-called "implicit" or unconscious biases that we all have can affect how we interact with each other. Participants will explore the ways that implicit biases may show up, the impact they can have, the sources from which they arise, and best practices for mitigating their effects. We use clips from three of our original films to illustrate the issues and encourage discussion. Accordingly, this program is ideal for recording if desired.
 
Watch this seminar OnDemand for 1.5 CLE credit hours here.

 

Websites:

American Bar Association Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice

Racial Justice | ACLU

Race Forward

Race Equality Tools

 

Podcasts:

Justice in America
Each episode explains a new criminal justice issue and features conversations with experts and advocates
 
The Black (Un)Conscious
A mental health podcast about living, coping and thriving while Black in America
 
Historically Black
Part of the Washington Post's coverage of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Black people from around the country submitted their own lived experiences to create a "people's museum" of objects, family stories and more.
 
Witness Black History
Produced by BBC World Service, this podcast shares first-hand interviews with people who were present at key moments in Black history.
 

Videos:

Diversity Awareness Training: From Clients to the Courtroom

In the below video, panelists Tracy E. Davis, Tracy E. Davis, Esq., Cherie Dawson-Edwards, Ph.D., University of Louisville, and Kellie R. Watson, Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District discuss diversity awareness.

The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family

Sylvia A. Harvey, an award-winning journalist who reports at the intersection of race, class, policy and incarceration, discusses how the national consciousness is shifting in light of the continued demonstrations and demands for justice following the police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others. This program will be available for viewing for free here until November 1 thanks to the generosity of the sponsors:Kentuckiana Court ReportersActionCOACH BluegrassLawyers Mutual of Kentucky, and Stride Forward Diversity & Inclusion at SKO. After that, it will be available for paid viewieng for CLE credit.


Let's Talk: Bridging the Divide: Policing and Social Justice