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for: ‘October, 2010’

October 2010

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Batson Challenges

Neither the state nor the defendant may make peremptory challenges that are racially motivated.  Purported racial discrimination in jury selection violates defendants’ and jurors’ right to equal protection of the laws.  Batson v. Kentucky,476 U.S. 79 (1986); Georgia v. McCollum, 505 U.S. 42 (1992). If the district court erroneously denies a defendant’s peremptory challenge, defendant is […]

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Rules of the Game: Business Development for Lawyers

Competition for business is intense, time is short, and there’s no time like the present to hone your business development skills and develop your personal book of business. Textbooks, web resources, and endless published articles are replete with theoretical constructs of ideal marketing programs and business development methodologies. No doubt some of these are useful; […]

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Wartime Consigliere: Minnesota Lawyers at War

* In the 1972 film, “The Godfather,” Sonny Corleone addresses his family attorney (“consigliere”) Tom Hagen, who wants to negotiate an end to the New York family feud, saying, “If I had a wartime consigliere … I wouldn’t be in this shape!” “I will never say anything bad again about lawyers, particularly military lawyers.  They […]

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Direct Adversity Conflicts

Conflict of interest: The term is used frequently today in public discourse as well as by lawyers and consumers of legal services.  To most people, it no doubt indicates something bad, something to be avoided.  In the context of the practice of law, the term is occasionally used loosely in situations that may not in […]

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When the Cup Runs Over: Distributing Leftover Funds Via Cy Pres

Even when class-action lawsuits are resolved for the plaintiffs, not all class members may be found and compensated.  Whether and how the residual funds should be distributed is for the judge to decide, and arguments for and against cy pres distribution both draw on fundamental values. Cy pres is the back-up field goal kicker of […]

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Pro Bono: Celebrating & Raising the Bar

Hardly a day goes by without the media giving us more bad news on the state of our economy and our community. The legal system has not been immune to this negative cycle: reduced court funding has stressed the capacity of the system to meet critical needs.  Our neighbors grapple with significant problems, such as […]

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