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for: ‘April, 2018’

‘All of a sudden it was like, Holy Cow’—The opioid epidemic is ravaging northeastern Minnesota—and its legal system

Duluth’s heroin problem started with prescription opioids—pain pills. In the first decade of the new century, St. Louis County didn’t record a single heroin overdose. Beginning in 2011, the heroin deaths began to mount and have remained in the double digits every year since. The epidemic levels of opioid abuse have created a state of perpetual crisis in drug courts and […]

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First, Do No Harm: The intersection of opioids and the courts

The growing number of opioid users entering the legal system poses many challenges for courts, not least in the area of devising pretrial release protocols that minimize the danger of death by overdose. This article, written in consultation with a physician specializing in the treatment of addiction, spells out factors to consider when courts face […]

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The Quality of Mercy

Why I asked for leniency at the sentencing of the drug dealer who sold my son Max a fatal dose “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that […]

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The cost of kindness? Nothing under the SOLACE program

It seems that bad news, natural catastrophe, and personal tragedy surface all too frequently these days. And given social media outlets, we hear about it in detail and immediately. These incidents sadden us, depress us, and sometimes leave us feeling helpless. We can’t save the world: true. We can’t shield others from tragic events: true. […]

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Bars’ joint low-fee project expands

The Statewide Low Fee Family Law Project, a collaboration between the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Hennepin County Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service, serves clients who are not financially eligible for pro bono legal services, yet cannot afford the market rate services of a private attorney. In order to qualify for services, […]

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Life sentences for juveniles reconsidered

In February members of the Commission on Juvenile Sentencing for Heinous Crimes testified before a Minnesota House of Representatives committee on the unconstitutionality of portions of Minnesota’s Heinous Crimes Act. Minnesota is one of just eight states with laws that fail to comply with Miller v. Alabama, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that […]

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Spring trust account cleanup

Spring cleaning is something I always aspire to do but never get around to doing. Even so, I enjoy thinking about all of the ways I could and should get my life together each spring, and I usually manage one or two small projects. Although I have written about trust accounts previously, a string of […]

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Social engineering: How cybercriminals capitalize on urgency

Making a request seem urgent clouds the fact that the request violates protocol or the norm.  I was recently approached by a concerned person who wanted me to scrutinize an email received a few days prior. “Does this look like a phishing email? I don’t see any grammatical errors. But it’s asking me to visit this […]

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Anatomy of a subrogation investigation

A successful subrogation action begins long before a complaint is even filed. A well-executed subrogation investigation will increase your chances of success and may even allow your client to recover without resorting to litigation. Before getting into the anatomy of a subrogation investigation, let’s begin with a definition of subrogation. Subrogation is defined as “[t]he substitution […]

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Meet Tom Leighton: ‘An entirely new legal environment’

TOM LEIGHTON is vice president of content acquisition and judicial relations at Thomson Reuters Legal in Eagan, Minnesota. He started at West Publishing in 1989 as a headnote editor and has had a series of interesting and challenging roles in the succeeding 28 years as the company has evolved. He and his wife Jeanette have […]

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