Latest from Bench & Bar of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:April 28, 2021Contact: Teddy Tschannteddy.tschann@state.mn.us651-402-8841  Governor Walz Appoints Julia Dayton Klein to Fill Fourth Judicial District Vacancy [ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Julia Dayton Klein as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. Ms. Dayton Klein will be replacing the Honorable Thomas S. Fraser and will be chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County. “I am honored to appoint…
Our community witnessed the killing of yet another Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of law enforcement on Sunday. This happened at a time when many are reliving the trauma of the brutal killing of George Floyd through the trial of Derek Chauvin. Countless other instances of interpersonal and structural racism experienced by our Black colleagues has caused and continues to cause immense suffering by BIPOC legal professionals, and particularly our Black colleagues. The…
Save the Date! June 14, 2021 9:00 – 1:00 AM CDT Understanding Our Duluth Lynchings: Racial Violence in America, and the Road to Justice and Reconciliation Featuring Bryan Stevenson Founder and Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative Presented by the Collaborative Legal Community Coalition Other featured speakers and special guests include: U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel, District of South Carolina University of Baltimore School of Law Professor John Bessler Macalester College Professor Duchess Harris…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:April 6, 2021Contact: Teddy Tschannteddy.tschann@state.mn.us651-402-8841  Governor Walz Appoints Charles Webber to Fill First Judicial District Vacancy [ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan today announced the appointment of Charles Webber as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s First Judicial District. Mr. Webber will be replacing the Honorable Rex D. Stacey and will be chambered in Shakopee in Scott County. “I am honored to appoint Mr. Webber to the…
By Jennifer L. Thompson The first time I tried to write this article, the deadline was March 2020. A year later, it’s probably fair to say that we all have a better understanding of what it’s like to feel your personal security and emotional well-being under siege on a continuing basis. In 2020 our society experienced a collective foreboding the likes of which we hadn’t felt in years—generations, really. We experienced, in other words, something…
By Kathleen M. Newman In 2016 Minnesota’s spousal maintenance statute was changed to add cohabitation as a reason to modify spousal maintenance. In practice, did the addition of cohabitation as a basis to modify spousal maintenance change the way courts analyze a modification request based on the case law surrounding cohabitation? All of us have encountered spousal maintenance modification motions based on a change in financial circumstances due to a reduction or increase in income…
By Manaire T. Vaughn “Our country has an immense responsibility, and a profound opportunity, to address the housing crisis facing so many people.” —Marcia Fudge, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development To truly understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look at all covid-related legal issues with a systemic lens and be open to creative problem solving. It’s hard to think of an area in which this is more emphatically true than with…
BY LILO SCHLUENDER Working in civil legal aid is challenging in good times; working as a civil legal aid attorney in a global pandemic has felt like a Sisyphean undertaking. For the past 12 months, our practice has evolved from poverty lawyers to humanitarian crisis advocates. The stories of pandemic survival have become the fabric of our practice, at times consuming it. Demand for our services has skyrocketed. In Minnesota, individual legal aid offices have seen demand…
By Stacy L. Bettison In late January, the Minnesota Legislature received the final report of the Criminal Sexual Conduct Working Group charged with recommending changes to the criminal sexual conduct statute. For over 13 months the working group—comprising victims/survivors, advocates, prosecutors, law enforcement, and criminal defense attorneys—met to consider a multitude of proposed changes to the law, designed primarily to strengthen the criminal statute. The working group membership was composed to reflect a broad spectrum…
By Dyan Ebert I graduated from law school in 1993 and recall that the number of women and men in my graduating class was fairly equal. Interestingly, and encouragingly, there were more women justices than men on the Minnesota Supreme Court when I was sworn in.  My first job after law school was a judicial law clerkship for two district court judges in Olmsted County; one of the judges and two of the three other…