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Denver, Colorado


On April 15, 2021, after contentious testimony from numerous stakeholders, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted amendments to existing rules and regulations governing continuing education requirements for licensed attorneys to complete at least two credit hours in Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) effective July 1, 2021. The Independence Institute has partnered with the Colorado lawyers’ chapter of the Federalist Society to present this CLE which will satisfy the EDI requirements and provide some additional credit hours.

Date: May 24, 2023
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. MDT (lunch included)
Location: Independence Institute • 727 East 16th Avenue • Denver, CO 80203 (free on-site parking is provided)


9:00 AM: Welcome and morning moderator
Presented by: Joseph C. Smith Jr. – Partner at Bartlit Beck LLP

9:15 AM: Discrimination at Harvard
Presented by: John Hughes and Adam K. Mortara

Discussion of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and its discrimination against Asian-American applicants

Both Mr. Hughes and Mr. Mortara are former law clerks for United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Mr. Hughes is a partner at Bartlit Beck LLP and Mr. Mortara is the founder of Lawfair LLC and a former Bartlit Beck LLP partner. Messrs. Mortara and Hughes served as co-counsel on the Harvard case.

10:15 AM: Break

10:25 AM: A Primer on Litigating Race Cases and How the Federal Government is Attacking its Political Opponents
Presented by: Trent McCotter a former Assistant US Attorney and Deputy Associate Attorney General. Mr. McCotter is currently a Partner at Boyden Gray Associates where he focuses on litigation concerning sovereignty, constitutional rights, due process, and criminal law.

11:25 AM: Lunch

12:00 PM: Panel Discussion on Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Legislative and Administrative Proceedings

Moderator: Shayne Madsen – General Counsel for Independence Institute


  • Senator Bob Gardner – Colorado State Senator District 12 in Colorado Springs, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy. Senator Gardner has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years and currently serves as Assistant Minority Leader for the Senate Republicans.
  • Amy Stephens – Former Colorado State Legislator for El Paso county. Ms. Stephens is the founder of Fresh Idea Public Affairs and Strategy and served as House Majority Leader in the Colorado Legislature.
  • Drew Bolin – Has served as Research Director for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for seven years and as director of Strategic Communications for the past two years. Mr. Bolin was director of the Colorado State Energy Office and was a Cabinet Member under Governor Bill Owens.

Cost: $50 per person

The CLE certificate notes that attendees of the event obtained 4 hours of General CLE credit, including 3.6 hours of EDI credit. The 3.6 hours are a subset of the 4 General Hours, meaning that you can count the session both toward the DEI requirements and toward the broader CLE hour requirement, but only up to 4 hours with respect to the latter (in other words, you cannot count the session as 7.6 hours).

Please contact Shayne M. Madsen, Director of the Political Law Center, with general questions.