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

Summary of private discipline

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” may be a cliché, but in the area of lawyer conduct, there is some truth in the saying. In 2015, as in many other years, more complaints arose out of family law and criminal matters than from other types of matters. Also as in many […]

Read More

Reflections of a volunteer in the disciplinary process

As the end of my term1 as chair of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) nears, I’m frequently asked whether I am relieved to complete my term and what I’ll do with the “extra” time I’ll have. This last Professional Responsibility column is a good time to address both. Let me first say that I’ve […]

Read More

To Every Thing There Is a Season

This will be my final column for Bench & Bar of Minnesota after almost 10 years as director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (OLPR), and over 31 years working in the director’s office at varying attorney levels. I have served six chief justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court, seven Lawyers Board chairs and […]

Read More

Crunching Numbers

File aging can be a legitimate issue in the operation of the lawyer disciplinary system, but in the past year or so it feels as if there has been more anecdotal concern expressed about how long disciplinary investigations take than ever before. But analysis and decisions based upon anecdotes can be misguided. There are, of […]

Read More

Private Probation: Saving a Career?

On average, the Minnesota Supreme Court orders a period of probation for seven attorneys each year. Almost all of these are attached to a public reprimand for some act (or acts) of misconduct sufficiently serious to warrant public discipline, yet not so serious as to require that the attorney be suspended. Attorneys reinstated from suspension […]

Read More

Client Files: The ABA Weighs In

What took them so long? The issue of returning client files—or, more technically, what constitutes the papers and property to which a former client is entitled upon termination of representation—is a common source of advisory opinion requests, complaints and even discipline.1 It is a topic on which not all scholars and ethics experts agree. Yet […]

Read More

Top Ten List

I miss David Letterman! Letterman retired in May of this year, and I will be joining him at the end of this year.1 What I particularly miss is Letterman’s almost nightly and usually goofy “top ten list” segment. I did not think I would miss that bit, but I find that I do. The Office of […]

Read More

Dealing with Unrepresented Persons

The rules relating to the adversary system in a “perfect world” envision two equal parties represented by competent, diligent counsel who play fair under the rules of professional conduct, civil or criminal procedure, evidence, etc.  On some occasions, it turns out that way—but frequently it does not.  This may never be truer than when an […]

Read More

A Commentary on the Comments

The Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) consist of “black letter” rules that establish the standards with which lawyers must comply or face discipline. The rules have comments attached to them, usually those adopted by the ABA as part of its Model Rules of Professional Conduct, upon which the MRPC is based. What is the […]

Read More

New and Noteworthy

Several developments in the area of professional responsibility have occurred in a fairly short period of time since the start of this year. Each warrants comment but perhaps not an entire column, so this month I’ll address a few marginally related matters under the heading “new and noteworthy.”1 Amendments to the MRPC On February 27, […]

Read More
Page 1 of 812345»...Last »

Articles by Issue

Articles by Subject