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for: ‘December, 2011’

December 2011

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Opportunity (and Obligation) Knocks

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. —John D. Rockefeller As I near the end of the second year of my term as a volunteer in Minnesota’s lawyer discipline system, I appreciate what a great privilege it has been to work alongside so many great volunteers […]

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The Judge Looks Bored: How to Keep the Judge Interested

For many attorneys, trying a case is one of the most engaging and stimulating experiences of their career.  Why then do judges and juries look bored?  And how can the attorney overcome such boredom without being inappropriate? It happens in almost every trial:  You look up from your notes and the judge looks bored.  You […]

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Issues in Joint Custody & Shared Parenting: Lessons from Australia

Separating parents often want to share physical custody of their children and these disputes can be fraught with high conflict.  Australia’s and other jurisdictions’ recent experience setting guidelines for shared custody is cautionary as regards enacting a legislative presumption of joint physical custody and instructive in identifying issues that should be addressed. The long-term, hotly […]

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How Interesting … Statutory Interest on Awards, Verdicts, Judgments, and Debts in Minnesota

In an economy where margins are thin and the average return on investment continues to scuffle, the statutory interest rates for awards, verdicts, debts, and judgments are an increasingly important consideration for attorneys and their clients.  The interest rates are higher than one might think, but the statutes and cases governing interest are complex and […]

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A Few Good Women and Men

It’s hard to believe that my year as Bar president is nearly half over—so much still to accomplish and so little time.  For me, and I know I speak for those who have preceded me, being Bar president is a remarkably fulfilling experience.  Thank you all for the opportunity.  Now it’s your turn to step […]

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Pro Bono Opportunity

A nonprofit youth and family service provider in Bemidji seeks to recover revenues owed the agency due to a billing dispute with Hennepin County. The nonprofit served a minor Hennepin County resident in a chemical dependency treatment program and was only paid for part of the time the young man was a resident. The residency […]

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Sexual Harassment

A claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act for sexual harassment must relate to conduct that is “sexual” in nature, not simply gender-based.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently made that point, in an unpublished decision, upholding summary judgment by the Sherburne County District Court of a lawsuit brought by an employee who asserted that […]

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Guardianship & Conservatorship

Effective December 1, 2011, the 4th Judicial District Court (Hennepin County) requires all proposed guardians and conservators, except the proposed guardian of a minor, to: watch a new guardianship/conservatorship educational video before they appear at their initial hearings; and file a modified version of the Acceptance of Appointment form, which states that they watched the video […]

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