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

Grave Matters: The law and practice of disinterment, reinterment, and exhumation in Minnesota

“The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais There are a number of reasons that the dead sometimes have to be disinterred and reinterred—or exhumed—and both […]

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Your Personal Data – Or Is It? Doxxing and online information resellers pose threats to the legal community

Given the sensitive nature of the courtroom and of the emotions that may arise there, attorneys, judges, and others in the legal community are at particular risk of becoming victims of doxxing-related crime. Doxxing is a term used to describe the buying, selling, gathering, posting, or distributing of private information online. Importantly, doxxing is typically […]

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Why You May Need an LLC Update in 2017

Ready or not, Minnesota’s LLC law changes in January 2018 Many Minnesota LLCs have not yet updated their member control agreements and related documents to accommodate the new realities of a Chapter 322C world, but starting in 2018 that statute will govern all LLCs in the state. This article explores the impact of the change […]

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An Out of Court Article on Hearsay

The concept is tricky not because of what hearsay is, but because of what it isn’t What is remarkable about the rule on hearsay and its exceptions is not the breadth of what is prohibited as evidence, but what is allowable. Too often practitioners conceive the rule to exist as a kind of blanket prohibition […]

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Miles to Go: Minnesota Lawyer Demographics 2016

In March the Minnesota Supreme Court released the results of its 2016 demographic survey of registered Minnesota attorneys. At the time of registration, Minnesota lawyers were asked to disclose their gender and their race/ethnicity; it was the first time the Court had requested information on the latter. The MSBA has posted the raw numbers released […]

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Parsing Minnesota: A history of the original U.S. public land survey system in Minnesota

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS), launched in Ohio in 1785, is the source of all real estate titles. Its measurements are sacrosanct in law, but recovering the original section corners presents a challenge. This article describes how the survey was done and reviews some of the most salient Minnesota case law. When you fly west over […]

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Navigating Minnesota’s New Drug Laws

A guide for criminal law practitioners Minnesota substantially changed its criminal drug laws in 2016. The reforms, designed to better distinguish addicts from dealers, include new offenses and revised sentencing guidelines as well as new aggravating factors and mandatory minimums. For the first time in 27 years, the Minnesota Legislature made significant reforms to the criminal […]

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On Closing a Law Practice

A retiring lawyer’s open letter to younger lawyers on lessons learned the hard way Winding down a law practice is hard work. In this open letter to lawyers who are not yet contemplating retirement, a solo practitioner from Austin, Minnesota describes the process and offers advice to make it less arduous. (Hint: Go paperless now.) Hello: […]

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Arguing at the Appellate Level: A Judicial Clerk’s Perspective

What to do—and not to do—in oral argument Through her experience as a clerk, the author learned that the best appellate attorneys accomplished two goals at oral argument—helping judges reach a well-reasoned decision while at the same time firmly advocating for their clients. This article offers tips to help appellate lawyers achieve both goals. My […]

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Take Two: President Trump’s Suspect March 6 Travel Ban Order

The president’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order, which is unlikely to prove temporary, continues to raise legal and constitutional concerns When President Trump signed Executive Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” on January 27, 2017 (the “January 27 Order”), he exercised executive power to suspend the entry of […]

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