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

DIY Legal Tech: Do More, Work Less

Using document automation to speed up much of the routine work of lawyering In the average solo or small firm, 40 percent of the hours that lawyers work aren’t billed. You can buy yourself extra time by automating documents used regularly in your practice—on your own or with the help of software packages. But don’t underestimate […]

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Your Money or Your Data

Trends in other industries make it clear that lawyers must prepare  for ransomware attacks. Here’s how to get started. Earlier this year, ransomware cyber attacks at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California and MedStar Health, based in Columbia, Maryland, made headlines and alarmed health providers and patients. The ransomware attacks, which involve a virus […]

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eFiling Without Tears

FAQ: What Minnesota Lawyers Need to Know The eFiling and eService of documents with Minnesota courts is now mandatory throughout the state. In this FAQ for MSBA members, a judge and an information technology officer from the courts review some of the more common queries about the process and its requirements. We want to thank […]

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Drone Regulations at Last!

FAA releases Part 107 (small systems) rules As of August 29, 2016,1  commercial Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) operators may but no longer have to wait for Section 333 commercial use exemptions. The FAA expects that the newly enacted Part 107 regulations will provide a quicker and cheaper alternative means of accessing the National Airspace System […]

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Expungement’s Shades of Gray

Minnesota’s new expungement law is raising issues of interpretation and implementation A year-plus after it took effect, Minnesota’s new criminal expungement statute is posing questions of interpretation for attorneys, courts, and state agencies. Ambiguities in the law include the legal status of stays of imposition, the eligibility of DWI convictions for expungement, and the correct application […]

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Dietzen’s Legacy

Justice Dietzen Retirement Reception Join us as we celebrate Justice Chris Dietzen’s tenure on the Minnesota Supreme Court Wednesday, August 24, 2016 • 5:30-7:30 PM Windows on Minnesota, Minneapolis REGISTER HERE Supreme Court jurist retiring after nearly a dozen years on appellate tribunals The announcement by Justice Christopher Dietzen this spring that he will resign […]

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Ready, Set, Go Solo: Tips for starting (and funding) your own law firm

I took the scenic route to starting my own law firm. I began my career at a large law firm. I knew every week how much my paycheck would be—down to the penny. After a decade of consistent paychecks, I moved in-house. For three more years, I continued to know how much my paycheck would be. […]

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Want to Promote ATJ? Think Unbundled

The national Access to Justice community is buzzing about Resolution 5 of the National Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators,1 which sets as its goal “100 percent access to effective assistance for essential (basic needs and safety) civil legal needs.” The resolution recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone’s […]

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Fortress or Foyer? On Law Firm Security

A tragedy in St. Paul is prompting renewed reflection about the physical security of Minnesota lawyers and law firms. The April murder of a law firm staffer in St. Paul shocked the Minnesota legal community—and reminded lawyers everywhere that physical security is not something they can afford to take for granted. In this article the […]

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Softening the Blow of Eminent Domain: Relocation Benefits for Businesses Forced to Move

Lawyers need to be aware that business clients facing the prospect of eminent domain and subsequent relocation may be eligible to receive compensation not only for taken land but for relocation expenses. Here’s what you need to know about the relevant federal and state laws. Your business client has just learned that its property will […]

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