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

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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Sales Tax on Legal Services

A Very Bad Idea Since the sales tax was first introduced in Minnesota in the 1960s, Minnesota has rejected the extension of the sales tax to legal services as bad public policy on no less than three occasions. Minnesota’s historical position on this issue has been the right one, and is in keeping with 46 […]

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Pro Bono: Celebrating & Raising the Bar

Hardly a day goes by without the media giving us more bad news on the state of our economy and our community. The legal system has not been immune to this negative cycle: reduced court funding has stressed the capacity of the system to meet critical needs.  Our neighbors grapple with significant problems, such as […]

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From Classrooms to Dining Rooms

In my August column I made reference to concern expressed by some great Americans who caution that we face a very real threat to our system of democracy and constitutional government. The concern is based on Americans’ lack of knowledge concerning their rights and obligations in our form of constitutional government, as well as the […]

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Cui Bono? (To Whose Good?)

In an address to the opening assembly of the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois in August 2009, United States Supreme Court Associate Justice David H. Souter lamented that (unlike the readers of this column) fully two-thirds of U.S. citizens cannot name all three branches of government. At the state legislature we see the judicial […]

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“When The Going Gets Tough …”

he test of any professional association is its continued strength and solid performance in delivering value to its members in tough times. By any measure, the MSBA is strong, having maintained its membership level of over 16,000 members through the recent stretch of economically challenging conditions. We believe this represents a recognition that now, more […]

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No Word for Goodbye

Boozhoo Niijii; Gdinimikoon. Hello, Friend; I greet you in a good way. In Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Ojibwe/Anishinaabe people, there is no word for “goodbye.” The Ojibwe/Anishinaabe view life and all relationships therein (with and among both the inanimate and animate worlds) as being interrelated (or constituting a circle)—once something or someone enters our […]

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An Association in Balance: Who We Are

Boozhoo Niijii; Gdinimikoon. Hello, Friend; I greet you in a good way. The traditional Ojibwe/Anishinaabe view of the journey through life requires learning the necessary life skills to serve the practical needs of oneself as well as those of the community (Giikinoo’ amaadiwin) and involves ongoing efforts to enhance and grow in spiritual ways—to seek wisdom […]

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