Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

September CLE on “cooperative private divorce” legislation

During the 2015 session of the Minnesota Legislature, a bill was introduced to create a cooperative private divorce program in Minnesota. On September 23, the MSBA will host a CLE designed to inform members about the legislative proposal and represent various viewpoints.

If the bill were to become law, program participants would agree to the terms of their divorce and file a Declaration of Divorce with the Bureau of Mediation Services, which would then issue a certificate that the marriage is dissolved. The House and Senate bills, HF 1348/SF 1361, are authored by Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, and Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul. The MSBA Family Law Section opposed the bill in the 2015 session.

The CLE will be moderated by former Ramsey County District Judge Kathleen Gearin. Panelists are Andy Dawkins, former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives; Michael Dittberner, an attorney with Linder, Dittberner, Bryant & Winter; and Tanja Manrique, a senior Minnesota judge and an attorney with Tanja K. Manrique, LLC.

The afternoon gathering will be held at the offices of Fredrikson & Byron, followed by a social hour hosted by the firm. For additional details, and to register, visit

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