Minnesota State Bar Association

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Health care and essential workers have played a critical role in getting our state through the first year of the pandemic. Now it’s our turn to be heroes by helping low-income Minnesotans and their families with legal issues that affect their basic human needs. The Minnesota Judicial Branch, Minnesota State Bar Association, and legal aid programs recently launched the one-year “Lawyers Step Up for Minnesota” campaign to help fellow Minnesotans with acute legal needs in…
The Minnesota Supreme Court has issued an order granting the MSBA’s petition requesting changes to the Rules of Lawyer Registration, effective January 1 of next year. The petition asked that attorneys be required to report the number of pro bono hours they complete each year, and whether they made any financial contributions to a legal services program serving low-income people. These questions will be part of the form attorneys complete when they renew their licenses.…
By Susan Humiston Annually we receive one complaint for every 25 lawyers in the state, and most complaints do not result in discipline. Those are good odds. And there is much you can do to further reduce your chance of receiving a complaint and, if you do receive a complaint, of being disciplined.  Fundamentals matter The most violated rules are some of the most straightforward, and in theory among the easiest to follow.  Rule 1.3,…
“The proper role of the judiciary is one of interpreting and applying the law, not making it.” Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor On March 24, 2021, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued the unanimous decision, authored by Associate Justice Paul Thissen, in State of Minnesota v. Khalil, in which the Court determined that for purposes of felony third degree criminal sexual conduct the statutory definition of “mentally incapacitated” in Minn. Stat. §609.341, subd. 7…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:March 26, 2021Contact: Teddy Tschannteddy.tschann@state.mn.us651-402-8841   Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends Sixth Judicial District Candidates to Governor Walz [ST. PAUL, MN] –The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending six candidates for consideration to fill two vacancies in Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District. The Commission is recommending three candidates to fill a seat chambered in Duluth and three additional candidates to fill a seat chambered in Hibbing. The first vacancy…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:March 15, 2021Contact: Teddy Tschannteddy.tschann@state.mn.us651-402-8841 Walz, Flanagan Seek Applicants for Two Vacancies on the Commission on Judicial Selection [ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced two vacancies on the Commission on Judicial Selection. The vacancies are in the Seventh and Ninth Judicial Districts. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor are seeking applicants to fill a non-attorney member seat in the Seventh Judicial District and an attorney member seat in the Ninth Judicial District. Individuals wishing to apply must submit…
Notice to Greater MN Members: Call for Nominations 2021 – 2022 We are now accepting applications for two major leadership positions at the MSBA. We will be selecting a candidate for the position of MSBA Secretary and for the Greater MN Council Representative MSBA Secretary: In the normal course of events, the MSBA Secretary will advance to the office of Treasurer, President-Elect, and President in the year 2024 – 2025. The candidate must be a…
Civil trial by Zoom jury?  Counsel, you may proceed!   [Editor’s note: The MSBA received this news release from the office of Judge Edward Wahl on March 9.] Minnesota courts are working on new ways to handle civil cases during the Covid lockdown. Civil judges and court staff in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties are collaborating with civil lawyers, experts, and jurors to present a civil mock jury trial that is designed to test remote court technology…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:March 3, 2021Contact: Teddy Tschannteddy.tschann@state.mn.us651-402-8841 Governor Walz Appoints Francis Green to Fill Tenth Judicial District Vacancy [ST. PAUL, MN] – Today, Governor Tim Walz announced the appointment of Francis Green as a District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Mr. Green will be replacing the Honorable Mary E. Hannon and will be chambered in Stillwater in Washington County. “I’m proud to appoint Mr. Green to the Tenth Judicial District,” said Governor…
By George W. Soule & Anna Veit-Carter The 2020 elections were hard-fought, high-stakes affairs that drew intense scrutiny. The covid-19 pandemic greatly influenced campaign methods, voting, and election administration, and the government’s response to the pandemic created major political issues. It is no surprise that in this electoral tinder box, parties resorted to courts to press their concerns over voting and election issues. While the candidates’ positions and personalities dominated campaign news, reports of election…