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

Buyers’ Guide 2019

A warm thanks to these loyal vendors who participated in the January issue of Bench & Bar of Minnesota which included our annual Buyers’ Guide. Please consider these companies / organizations when searching for a product or service. (You may click here to learn more about advertising.) CATEGORICAL LISTINGS OF ADVERTISERS 1031 Reverse Exchanges CPEC1031 […]

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Timeline: Corporate contributions to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession

1999: First steps The legal profession takes its first formal stance on diversity when representing corporate America. This stance is articulated in a letter written by Charles Morgan, then general counsel (GC) of BellSouth. In part, it states: We expect the law firms which represent our companies to work actively to promote diversity within their […]

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Minnesota’s Public School System Goes on Trial

Cruz-Guzman presses the question of what constitutes an adequate public education The achievement gap in America’s schools is one of our nation’s most persistent and pernicious problems. Educators, administrators, researchers, legislators, and courts ceaselessly debate why the gap exists and how to close it. Yet a universal solution—one that is educationally, politically, and economically feasible […]

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Fair Trials in the Age of Facebook

When social media are everywhere, escaping prejudicial publicity becomes almost impossible When there has been intense media coverage of high-profile homicides or other incidents, criminal defendants in Minnesota typically seek to change the venue of a trial from the county where the incident occurred. The goal is to lessen the possibility of the jury including […]

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A Storm on the Farm

What every creditors’ remedies attorney needs to know about the coming agricultural crisis A crisis is currently brewing in Minnesota’s agricultural sector. Years of low commodities prices brought on by a global supply glut have been taking their toll. Over the past several years, many farmers experienced losses due to the low prices, but those losses […]

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The Revolution Continues: Toward greater modernization and uniformity in trust and estate law

Fifty years ago, each state had its own rules and procedures for probating a decedent’s estate.1 The probate process in Minnesota and most other states had changed little for generations and needed modernization.2 The 1969 promulgation of the Uniform Probate Code (UPC)3 upset the status quo, and after some initial opposition the Minnesota Legislature enacted […]

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The Arc of a Career: A short story about practicing in two centuries

NOTE: This article if best viewed in print. View the Digital Edition The Starting Pint overflowed with classmates too giddy to sit, as Burdette clambered onto the bar, cradling a glass and yelling “Shoot me to the moon!” above the din, as if Minnesota had won a national championship rather than recording the usual 95 […]

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Reflections on the Cause of Justice: A retiring judge looks back at his time on the bench

Each year between the ages of 8 and 18, my son and I went on a ski trip out west during winter break. In the early years we skied together—until he started going down black diamond runs. In an act of self-preservation, I let him go it alone. But it wasn’t the skiing that I […]

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Never Discuss Cheese with Rats: A brief overview of Minnesota’s informant privilege

Never discusscheese with rats. – Cookie Lyon There exists at the common law—both state and federal—a privilege that protects an informant from having his identity made known in a criminal case. The privilege exists for good reason: If there were no privilege, there likely would be no informants, only whole deserts devoted to storing them […]

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Who Will Judge the Judges? The origins of judicial discipline in Minnesota

In 1971, a Hennepin County Municipal Court judge found a law student in contempt and ordered her jailed for two hours. The student believed that the student practice rule authorized her to confer with a traffic court defendant, but the judge believed the student’s supervising attorney (who had authorized the contact from another courtroom) had […]

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