President's Page
Find out what your bar leadership has to say about issues affecting the profession and society.

A Few Good Women and Men

It’s hard to believe that my year as Bar president is nearly half over—so much still to accomplish and so little time.  For me, and I know I speak for those who have preceded me, being Bar president is a remarkably fulfilling experience.  Thank you all for the opportunity.  Now it’s your turn to step […]

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Cuba: A Country of Contrasts

Sitting in the Jose Marti Airport on October 17, awaiting the departure of our flight back to Miami and having purchased my last Cuban coffee with my last convertible peso, I reflect on the last eight days.  A remarkable legal and cultural education, paid for entirely by the participants, at no cost to MSBA, but […]

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More Than Coincidence

“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of  what he takes out of it.” —Albert Einstein My friends find endless amusement in reminding me that at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2011, the moment I became president of this great association, the State of Minnesota closed its doors.  “Pure […]

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Committee 36: Ensuring Our Future

Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking to the incoming first-year class at two of Minnesota’s fine law schools.  The energy of the first gathering of the students, prior to the first class, was palpable.  The moment brought me back to the day before my first day of law school and my mixed emotions […]

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Japan and Cuba: Making a Difference through Dialogue

“… nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.” —Mark Twain, May 18, 1867 In April, I had the honor to represent the MSBA and met with President Kenji Utsunomiya of the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) in […]

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Moving the Ball Forward

Terry Votel, our immediate past president and my good friend, is owed a great deal of thanks for leading us through very turbulent times at the legislature amid threats to judicial funding and the impartiality of the courts, and proposals for a tax on legal services. Terry presided with vision, class, a steady hand, and […]

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MSBA – An Extraordinary Organization

On May 6th I had the pleasure of addressing new lawyers being admitted to the practice of law in Minnesota.  This is the second time I have had the honor of performing this function.  It is, perhaps, one of the most fulfilling tasks that any bar association officer can perform. It’s a happy occasion for […]

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A Proud Tradition: Representing the “Unpopular Cause”

Law Day, celebrated on May 1st each year, is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law.  It underscores how law, our legal system, and yes—lawyers, have contributed to the freedoms that all Americans enjoy. In 1957, then-ABA President Charles Rhyne envisioned a special day to celebrate our legal system.  In 1958, […]

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It’s Not Chiseled in Granite! — Or Is It?

How often have we heard or said the above quote?  Its meaning is clear. It connotes that the particular principle of which it is said may not always be controlling or applicable.  Logic therefore suggests that when something is, in fact, “chiseled in granite” it is a universally recognized rule and always and forever applicable. […]

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Civility Among Lawyers and Judges

Finding something that really wasn’t lost! In the days following the recent tragedy in Tucson some speculated that a possible cause might be the loss of civility in the political process and in public discourse generally.  In other words, that folks have lost the capacity to be civil with one another when their ideologies, positions, […]

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