Yearly Archive
for: ‘2011’

Japan and Cuba: Making a Difference through Dialogue

“… nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.” —Mark Twain, May 18, 1867 In April, I had the honor to represent the MSBA and met with President Kenji Utsunomiya of the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) in […]

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All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.  —Edmund Burke1 As I write this month’s column, we are in the first weeks of the partial shutdown of state government.  Obviously, our leaders in the Legislative and Executive branches of state government were unable […]

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Free Conference Calling

There are some great free conference call providers on the web. These providers do not require a subscription, any special services, or a conference operator.  There are no charges other than regular long-distance charges. One example of such a service is  With this service you can set up calls for up to 500 participants.  […]

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Child Support

Where more than one child is to receive child support, the Order or Judgment and Decree should specifically state the amount of child support per child.  The reason for stating a specific amount per child is because, unless a court order provides otherwise, a child support obligation in a specific amount per child terminates automatically […]

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July 2011

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Felony Sentencing

Two common misunderstandings recur in this area. 1. Question: When the district court commits a defendant to the commissioner of corrections (prison), does the court have authority to include a “no-contact” order as part of the sentence, (for example: at the request of a terrified victim of a serious sexual or violent offense)? Answer:  No […]

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MSBA President 2011–12: Brent Routman

Inventive, Determined, Adventuresome Some people make it look so easy. They seem to have been born to the practice of law and the status the profession can bring. By all outward appearances, they rise effortlessly through their studies and a seemingly preordained series of promotions, all the while amassing high-dollar legal victories and low-handicap golf scores. […]

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2011 Legislative Recap

Dramatic changes occurred at the state Capitol on November 2, 2010.  Entering the 2010 election season, Democrats were in firm control of the House and Senate.  Most political observers expected the DFL to lose seats, but hardly anyone anticipated the extent of the GOP’s gains as a red wave rolled over Minnesota, washing away massive […]

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Role Reversal: A Lawyer’s Jury Service

For obvious reasons, lawyers rarely are seated on juries. But one lawyer beat the odds and came away with insights that are instructive for all who ponder the dynamics of the civil jury. Hundreds of us quietly gathered in the massive waiting room on the basement level of the Hennepin County Government Center. Holding our […]

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Excessive Force Claims: Disentangling Constitutional Standards

Excessive force claims are subject to a number of different constitutional standards and sorting out which standards should apply can be confusing.  Errors in jury instructions may result in officers erroneously being found liable. Excessive force claims seem to be reported in the news constantly.1 There is a powerful reason why: the claims pique the […]

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