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New estate tools at mndocs

The MSBA recently added basic estate planning to its document assembly product, mndocs. The market is ripe: 60 percent of adults in the U.S. currently lack a will or living trust. For Millennials that figure jumps to 78 percent without an estate plan. And 93 percent of American households have a net worth of less […]

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The business case for D&I

In September, the MSBA Council approved the Diversity & Inclusion Council’s Statement of Commitment for the Business Case, Value Proposition, and Professional Obligation. (You can read it by visiting www.mnbar.org/diversity.) This document outlines the professional obligation that all attorneys have to advance diversity and inclusion as part of our dedication to equality and the rule of […]

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Unmet legal needs aren’t going away

In the spring of 2018 I was asked to appear in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure. Our MSBA President, Sonia Miller-Van Oort, was not available, so the task fell to me. The purpose of my appearance was to support the MSBA’s request to amend the rules to […]

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When someone else pays your bill

I love our ethics hotline.1 Not only are we helping lawyers every day to navigate their ethical responsibilities, but oftentimes the questions present themes that make perfect subjects for this column. Lately I’ve answered several calls that involve issues arising because someone else was paying the lawyer’s bill. This can arise in lots of different practice […]

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Don’t forget the inside threat

Judging by the types of breaches we regularly hear about in the news, from the recent Facebook hack to China’s secret implantation of spy chips inside motherboards (which I’ll be discussing in my next article), it would seem that the biggest threats to our digital security are primarily external. Social engineering attacks such as phishing scams […]

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Administration’s ‘Culture of No’ undermines immigrant workers, employers

In the past two years, the Trump administration has issued a series of policy memoranda that are quietly changing the landscape of employment-based immigration, and not for the better. Seemingly every time employers adjust their practices and create new strategies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) publishes another news release describing another obstacle in […]

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Notes & Trends – November 2018

CIVIL PROCEDURE JUDICIAL LAW • Minn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(e); affirming claim dismissal due to insufficient pleading of foreseeability. Doe 121 v. Diocese of Winona arose out of sexual misconduct by a priest in the early 1960s. A Catholic priest received a written reprimand from the bishop of the Diocese of Winona for “his poor […]

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The new MSBA website is live

We’re excited to announce that the MSBA’s new website—featuring a cleaner, more contemporary design and simpler, more intuitive user navigation—went live on October 23! Visit soon if you haven’t already—and let us know what you think (feedback@mnbar.org). 

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You have a role in judicial elections

So you’re a lawyer, right? That question usually precedes a series of questions about an area of law completely unrelated to your practice. When Prince died I was asked by friends to explain the inner workings of the laws of intestate succession. While I did pass Estates and Trusts in law school—I can dig out […]

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What you don’t know about trust accounts can hurt you

The Minnesota Supreme Court has publicly disciplined several attorneys this year for trust account errors. I have previously written on this topic,1 and because it’s important and the consequences are so serious, I would appreciate your attention once again if you are in private practice. This time I’d like to tell you the tale of […]

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