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

Time to Get Paid: Attorney’s liens in Minnesota

In order to have a thriving legal practice, a lawyer must have clients who pay for services in a timely manner. Yet despite implementing screening procedures to make sure your new clients are capable of paying, and requesting up-front deposits to cover the estimated work, you may find yourself unpaid after hours and hours of […]

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Credit Where Credit Isn’t Due: What it takes to flunk Minnesota’s CLE standards

More than a few Minnesota lawyers have sat in a CLE lecture hall wondering, “What does this have to do with legal education?” Rarely if ever, though, has the state’s board that regulates continuing legal education agreed with that view—and to the point of revoking credit for a previously approved course.  A recent flap not […]

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‘This is one of the best careers in the legal business anywhere’

An interview with Justice G. Barry Anderson of the Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2004. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, he was a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, to which he was appointed in 1998. Before becoming a judge, Justice Anderson had a general […]

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Defining Parenthood: Changing families, the law, and the element of intent

Long before Minnesota codified the right of same-sex partners to marry,1 our state began recognizing the right of LGBT persons and same-sex couples to become parents and raise children.2 By enacting Minn. Stat. §517.01, Minnesota attempted to put an end to all gender-based distinctions in marriage by choosing to provide for the domestic rights of […]

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Charitable Gifting and the New Tax Law

Unless charitable giving is carefully planned, many individuals will no longer receive a tax benefit for their charitable contributions. Earlier this year, right around tax time, I was approached by two well-established legal services leaders to discuss resource development for Minnesota’s legal services providers. During this discussion, which ranged from the new tax law to […]

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PSLF is in jeopardy. You can do something about it

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is the light at the end of the tunnel that makes a legal career in public service possible. This federal program allows borrowers who work for 10 years in a full-time public service position to earn forgiveness on eligible student loans. Sadly, this vital program is now at risk of […]

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Meet the candidates: Minnesota Attorney General

Ellison, Wardlow discuss their records, views, and priorities Following Minnesota’s August 14 primary election, MSBA Access to Justice Director Sherri Knuth sent seven questions to the major party nominees for Attorney General of Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL) and former Minnesota state Rep. Doug Wardlow (R). We present their unabridged responses here. The MSBA […]

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Confidentiality Rules in the Age of Social Media

A historical perspective When, if ever, may a lawyer disclose confidential information, outside a legal proceeding, to defend against a client’s public accusation of serious misconduct? “Never” and “almost never” are the answers proposed, respectively, by the Lawyers Board and the Minnesota State Bar Association. The MSBA answer has taken the form of a petition […]

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Minnesota Revises Its Business Organization Statutes

Here’s what you need to know Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has signed into law revisions to several Minnesota business organization statutes, including the Minnesota Business Corporation Act, the Minnesota Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, the Uniform Limited Partnership Act of 2001, the Uniform Partnership Act (1994), and the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act. Minnesota Business […]

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Privacy: The Tort That Wasn’t There

Despite a landmark ruling 20 years ago in Lake v. Wal-Mart, Minnesota courts have generally treated privacy issues as none of their business. One score ago, the Minnesota Supreme Court brought forth a new notion, conceived in litigation and dedicated to the proposition that all people in Minnesota are entitled to privacy. The doctrine established 20 […]

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