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

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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Diversity in the Legal Profession: The Challenge Remains!

Following a 2009 study of the state of diversity in the legal profession, the American Bar Association’s Presidential Diversity Initiative issued its report and recommendations in April 2010. The executive summary of the results of that effort begins with the following statement: This nationwide endeavor quickly revealed that we have made some progress, but the […]

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“Wherever Two or More Are Gathered”

If you have been paying attention, you have noticed that Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea is “a person on a mission.” Since her appointment as chief justice last summer, she has made adequate funding of the Minnesota Justice System a constant and central focus of her considerable energy and activity. She has […]

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