Professional Responsibility
Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Revisiting Law Firm Names

In June 2009, the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board issued Opinion No. 20, entitled “Use of the Word ‘Associates’ in a Law Firm Name.”1  The opinion limited the use of the term “& Associates” to situations in which a law firm actually had at least two such individuals in addition to any lawyer in the firm […]

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Ethics Rules and Pro Se Lawyers

Recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court has twice determined that Rule 3.3(a)(1), Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC), did not apply to an attorney appearing pro se.1  Rule 3.3(a)(1) prohibits “a lawyer” from knowingly making a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or failing to correct such a false statement previously made.  This […]

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Lawyers Board Annual Report

Attorneys, especially litigators, endeavor to arrange their schedules to allow time for the various steps in the process:  discovery/depositions, motion practice, trial prep and ultimately trial itself, perhaps followed by post-trial motions and appeal—and that’s just for one case.  Busy trial lawyers try their best to distribute their trial schedules in a way that allows […]

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Lawyers Dealing With Judges

The judicial election season is now officially upon us. It appears that, despite another two years of concern about the potential for contested judicial elections being heavily funded by out-of-state entities with agendas, the campaign scene will be relatively quiet against incumbents. A few open-seat elections will be interesting, but as best I can judge […]

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Changes Ahead for Legal Education?

We don’t need no education  We don’t need no thought control  No dark sarcasm in the classroom  Teachers leave them kids alone  Hey teacher leave them kids alone  —Pink Floyd, “Another Brick in the Wall” (Part II)  When I was reading the recent report of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education1 […]

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Great Volunteers

In the July issue of Bench & Bar of Minnesota, you will be introduced to the new MSBA president, Richard Kyle.  As with incoming presidents each year, his portrait is expected to grace the cover of the July issue.  In January of this year, Mr. Kyle completed his second term (for a total of six […]

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Summary of Private Discipline

In calendar year 2013, the Director’s Office resolved 144 files with admonitions that were issued to Minnesota attorneys for isolated and nonserious violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC).  Another 13 lawyers entered into stipulations for private probation that were approved by the Lawyers Board chair; these stipulations resolved an additional 18 complaint […]

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Summary of Public Discipline

Last year, this column for the first time featured a summary of the previous year’s public discipline decisions,1 in addition to the annual summary of private disciplinary dispositions.  It proved to be a successful endeavor, generating several favorable comments over the year.  Public discipline summaries are regular features in many state’s bar publications, either monthly […]

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When Incivility Crosses the Line

“You can’t legislate morality.”1  However true this may or may not be, it has spawned an understanding among lawyers to the effect that you cannot legislate civility in the practice of law, at least not via the lawyer discipline system.  A recent Florida discipline case shone a spotlight on this concept.  In Florida Bar v. […]

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Beware of Ethics Information Overload

Have we run out of useful things to say or write about professional responsibility?  While this question easily could apply to me and this column, in fact, I refer to various entities that have, over the years, regularly issued opinions on topics related to professional responsibility.  I sense a marked decline of such opinions in […]

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