This two credit, law and literature styled "Elimination of Bias" CLE employs live performance, lecture and discussion to explore the ethical issues facing attorneys when faith is central to litigation.
Professional Guthrie actors play selected scenes from The Merchant of Venice, in which Shakespeare pitted Christian and Jewish faith as central to the litigants' contract claim. The play is a popular adaptation of the actual 1594 trial of Dr. Roderigo Lopez who stood accused of a treasonous plot to poison Queen Elizabeth I in exchange for 50,000 crowns. The historical background to Shakespeare's work provides a fascinating insight into the history of anti-Semitism.
In addition, the course will feature a brief dramatization of the more contemporary Yan v. Gonzales (438 F.3d 1249 (10th Circuit)) with an immigration judge and government counsel quizzing a Chinese asylum applicant on tenets and trivia of Christianity. The Patriot Act as well as the Real I.D. Act have drastically altered immigration law, forcing more "objective" inquiries into personal matters of religious faith and belief.
Using each scene as a springboard for discussion and moderated by Chris Carlson, an immigration attorney, this course explores the attorney's obligation to refrain from discriminating against or harassing a person on the basis of religion.