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

Court hears MSBA petition on MRPC

On January 15, the Minnesota Supreme Court held a public hearing on MSBA’s petition to amend Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.6 and 5.5. The proposed amendments to 1.6(b) provide clarity as to how lawyers may respond to public criticism from clients or former clients. Recommended changes to 5.5 address the realities of modern interstate practice of law and reflect the bar’s understanding of practice areas that are “reasonably related” to a lawyer’s field of practice.

Special thanks are due Ken Jorgensen and Eric Cooperstein, who argued on behalf of the MSBA in support of the petition. (The hearing may be viewed at the Court’s oral arguments webcast page: www.mncourts.gov/SupremeCourt/OralArgumentWebcasts.aspx.) Several justices were active in questioning the presenters, in particular Justices Anderson, Hudson, and Lillehaug, who questioned attorneys arguing both sides. Susan Humiston from the OLPR and Robin Wolpert, chair of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, spoke in opposition to some of the proposed amendments. We now await the court’s decision.

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