Archives
Author Archive
for: ‘Bill Wernz’

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 […]

Read More

Whence Lawyer Discipline?

The origins and evolution of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board Forty-eight years ago, the ABA Clark Report assayed lawyer discipline systems around the United States and proclaimed a crisis. This article traces the history of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board that Minnesota launched in response, and examines the changes it has undergone in the decades to […]

Read More

Out, Damned Spot! The creation of the Client Security Board

A drama in three acts The Minnesota Client Security Board, born in the 1980s amid the crisis stemming from two lawyers’ high-profile theft of client funds, has been reimbursing the victims of financial crimes by attorneys for over 30 years. In this short history—the first in a series*—the author, the first CSB director and also […]

Read More

Judicial Disqualification in Minnesota

“Mere bias,” “joining the team,” and other criteria The right to an unbiased judge is so fundamental to American jurisprudence that criminal convictions have been reversed over its violation. In Minnesota, the majority of determinations regarding disqualifying ‘partiality,’ ‘interest,’ or ‘bias’ have been made in criminal appellate cases. This article assesses contemporary standards for judicial […]

Read More

Learning by Example: ‘Materially Limited’ Conflicts

Most lawyers readily understand conflicts wherein they are directly adverse to another party, but they may be uncertain where their own interests or responsibilities to another person “materially limit” their representation of a client.  Because lawyers owe their clients independent professional judgment, they should identify and weigh any limits of their representation.

Read More

Character, Fitness & Redemption: Measuring Fitness to Practice

Over the past 20 years the Minnesota Supreme Court has evolved a remarkable jurisprudence in reinstatement and bar admission cases that is nearly scriptural in its subject and its vocabulary. Although miscreants, generally, are redeemable, few have shown the desire, resolve, and actual transformation needed to obtain certification of redemption Mr. Wernz, don’t you believe […]

Read More

Articles by Issue

Articles by Subject