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for: ‘October, 2012’

October 2012

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Felony Disenfranchisement: Why 5 Million Americans Can’t Vote This November

As the number of people being disenfranchised increases, the conduct classified as a felony expands, and research consistently shows that one who votes is less likely to reoffend, it is time to revisit both why and how Minnesota disenfranchises its citizens. On November 6, 2012, millions of Americans will wake up ready to participate in what will undoubtedly […]

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Collecting Child Support & Maintenance: A New Role for QDROs

A tool more typically employed for transferring retirement assets has potential for the collection of past-due child support and spousal maintenance.  While QDROs must be handled with care and may contain traps for the unwary, they can be an effective tool for ensuring payment. Nearly every attorney who practices in family court has at least […]

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Broadening the “Ministerial Exception”: What Limits on Judicial Entanglement in Religion?

The Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year excepting a teacher of secular subjects in a religious school from the reach of the ADA calls into question how far the courts will go in shielding religious institutions from the reach of federal employment laws. When the United States Supreme Court earlier this year ruled in Hosanna-Tabor […]

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Once More, With Feeling!

I’mmm baaaccckk!!” Who can forget this memorable line uttered by Randy Quaid in the movie, Independence Day?  Like Quaid, the topic of pro bono may echo that unforgettable phrase as I address it in this month’s column. Pro Bono Month It should be no surprise to anyone that an attorney who is employed by a […]

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ABA Ethics 20/20: First Results

At its annual convention this past August in Chicago, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates approved the first set of recommendations submitted by the Ethics 20/20 Commission.1  The approved changes are relatively minor, certainly when compared to much of the hype that surrounded the commission’s creation in 2009. If you don’t recall, the […]

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Election Time-Off

All employees in Minnesota are entitled to time off from work on Election Day, and, perhaps, more time if they are in labor unions.  Under Minn. Stat. §204C.04, subd. 1, employers must permit their workers who are eligible voters to be absent from work in order to vote “during the morning of the day of […]

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“Payable” Offenses

Although you may have never heard of them, “payables” are offenses which can be disposed of by paying a fine rather than appearing in court.  The Court Administrator’s Office is authorized by Minn. Stat. §609.101, subd. 4, to make up a list of payable offenses each year.  If you have ever gotten a petty misdemeanor […]

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Digital Signatures

With the proliferation of electronic correspondence, many people are looking for ways to add a digital copy of their signature to documents and email. Modern scanners make it easy to create a digital copy of your pen-and-ink signature.  But should you? The answer in many cases is no.  Most email programs send graphics such as […]

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