Sorted by: Columns

Meet Blair Nelson: ‘Small firm practice chose me’

Blair Nelson is an MSBA Certified Criminal Law Specialist who has been based in Bemidji since 1996. He is licensed in Minnesota and North Dakota’s State and Federal courts.  He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota, and the University of North Dakota School of Law. How would you describe your practice? I […]

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Top Ten List

I miss David Letterman! Letterman retired in May of this year, and I will be joining him at the end of this year.1 What I particularly miss is Letterman’s almost nightly and usually goofy “top ten list” segment. I did not think I would miss that bit, but I find that I do. The Office of […]

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Advice-of-Counsel Defense Extended

A ruling earlier this year by the Minnesota Supreme Court may have significant impact on the way lawyers interact with and advise clients in this state. In Sysdyne Corp. v. Rousslang, 860 N.W.2d 347 (Minn. 3/4/2015), the Court narrowly affirmed a ruling of the court of appeals immunizing a company from liability for tortious interference […]

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Impeaching Prior Inconsistent Statements

As most trial judges know, many attorneys do not know how to properly impeach a witness using a deposition or other prior inconsistent statement. This training update is intended to serve as a set of general principles and guidelines for trial attorneys to learn and follow. The process of impeaching a witness can be accurately […]

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Notes & Trends – August 2015

Current developments in Judicial Law, Legislation, and Executive Action together with a foretaste of Emergent Trends in law and the legal profession for the complete Minnesota lawyer. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDICIAL LAW • United States Supreme Court declines to apply Chevron while upholding Affordable Care Act. The United States Supreme Court declined to give Chevron deference […]

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Assembly adopts task force recommendations 

On June 26, the MSBA Assembly approved all 15 of the recommendations contained in a pair of MSBA task force reports. Assembly members heard first from former Justices Helen Meyer and Sam Hanson, co-chairs of the Future of Legal Education Task Force.  The panel’s six recommendations addressed issues such as ensuring practice-ready graduates, more accessible […]

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New MSBA diversity panel launches

After a year of planning, the MSBA’s new Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council held its first meeting on July 8, 2015 at the MSBA offices. The D&I Leadership Council will replace the association’s Women in the Legal Profession and Diversity Committees. The nine-member body, representing seven historically underrepresented populations in the legal community with two […]

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Cases of Controversy

“Trying to be relevant to the challenging issues of the day is one way that our organization can offer greater value to our members. Simply ‘playing it safe’ does not.” In my first column I addressed the importance of the bar’s role in advocating for the profession. Before that article went to press, I was […]

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Dealing with Unrepresented Persons

The rules relating to the adversary system in a “perfect world” envision two equal parties represented by competent, diligent counsel who play fair under the rules of professional conduct, civil or criminal procedure, evidence, etc.  On some occasions, it turns out that way—but frequently it does not.  This may never be truer than when an […]

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Lawyers Making a Difference

My first MSBA experience was serving as a volunteer on something called the Court Rules committee, about 25 years ago. As a young plaintiff personal injury lawyer at the time, I was thrilled to participate in an association that could make a difference in formulating the court rules that so affected both my professional life […]

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