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for: ‘February, 2012’

February 2012

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Using Pseudonyms in Sexual Abuse Cases

Allegations of sexual abuse pose particular challenges for courts that must balance the public’s right to know what’s happening in the judicial system against the very real risk that victims may be  revictimized if not allowed to shield their identity.  With much attention paid to recent sexual abuse allegations and decades of reports involving clergy sexual abuse of minors, it is not […]

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Divorce Mediation: The Importance of Client Preparation

Mediation can be a very effective means for resolving disputes in a marriage dissolution but its effectiveness often depends on how well-prepared the clients are for the questions and outcomes they may encounter in the process. Mediation is often seen as a primary fixture, or stepping stone, in the family litigation process. Regardless of the […]

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The Poor Man’s Will: Risks of Joint Tenancy in Estate Planning

Joint accounts with children are a common recourse for aging parents seeking help with money management, but may give rise to disputes upon the demise of the parent if the will does not specify that the joint account is to be considered part of the estate. Joint accounts are often referred to as a “poor […]

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The AMICUS Society: Advocates for Justice

By the time you read this column, the legislature will have been in session for several weeks. Most observers expect the legislative session will be devoid of the fiscal drama of last year. Barring a substantial shift in the budget forecast, the budget will not likely be front and center this year. Bonding, football, and […]

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Summary of Admonitions

In calendar year 2011, the Director’s Office resolved 112 files with admonitions that were issued to Minnesota attorneys for isolated and nonserious violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC).  Another 13 lawyers entered into stipulations for private probation that were approved by the Lawyers Board chair; these stipulations resolved an additional 18 complaint […]

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Multijurisdictional Practice

You are contacted by the resident of another state for whom you wish to provide legal advice on a pending matter.  However, you are not licensed in that state and are concerned about the unauthorized practice of law. If the state has adopted American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rule of Professional Conduct (MRPC) 5.5 (Unauthorized […]

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Alternative Perpetrator Defense

A defense asserted occasionally in criminal cases, especially first-degree murder, is the “alternative perpetrator” doctrine.  Under this tenet, a defendant claims that someone else committed the offense.  The travails of raising this defense were reflected in a recent ruling of the Minnesota Supreme Court in State v. Ferguson, 804 N.W.2d 586 (Minn. 2011).  Charged with […]

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