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

Taxes and Lawyer Discipline

Depending on the exact date you are reading this column, your individual income tax returns were due recently or will be soon. Did you file on time, or will you? If not, have you properly requested an extension of the date on which to file? If you’re also an employer, have you kept up with […]

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Summary of Public Discipline

Last month, this column featured a summary of admonitions, or private disciplinary dispositions. Such a column has been an annual staple of these Bench & Bar columns for many years. Since such dispositions are by their nature neither public nor publicized, it has always been thought that providing insight into the types of nonserious misconduct […]

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Summary of Admonitions

In calendar year 2012, the Director’s Office resolved 122 files with admonitions that were issued to Minnesota attorneys for isolated and nonserious violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC).  Another 11 lawyers entered into stipulations for private probation that were approved by the Lawyers Board chair; these stipulations resolved an additional 11 complaint […]

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Cross-Border Practice

Attorneys staffing the advisory opinion service at the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility frequently are asked whether, or in what circumstances, an attorney from another state and not licensed in Minnesota may represent a client in Minnesota.  Sometimes the call comes from an out-of-state lawyer who wishes to provide such services; sometimes it’s a local […]

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Politics, Ethics, & the Bar

As I write this month’s column, the 2012 elections have just been concluded and the results are in.  Both major political parties were victorious and both were defeated, in roughly equal proportions.  There’s nothing too shocking in that, as we are a relatively evenly and deeply divided country and state on many politically charged issues.  […]

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Judicial Election Rules Upheld

On September 25, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case Wersal v. Sexton, et al.1  Why is this newsworthy for Minnesota lawyers, judges and the public?  Because what was at issue were portions of the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct that affect Minnesota’s judicial election and campaign process.  Although the recently completed […]

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ABA Ethics 20/20: First Results

At its annual convention this past August in Chicago, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates approved the first set of recommendations submitted by the Ethics 20/20 Commission.1  The approved changes are relatively minor, certainly when compared to much of the hype that surrounded the commission’s creation in 2009. If you don’t recall, the […]

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UPL by Suspended Attorneys

In the past few years, several attorneys have either been disciplined or have allegations pending against them based upon their continuing to practice law after being suspended due to discipline, suspended for nonpayment of the lawyer registration fee, or having their practice restricted for failure to meet Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements.  As a variation […]

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How’d You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment.  Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen. —Leonardo Da Vinci  I don’t consider myself to be a workaholic.  Yet, the last vacation of […]

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Managing Expectations

When I was in law school, I had a remedies professor who advocated what he called “a yellow legal pad” approach to new clients. (As a total aside, do you remember yellow legal-sized pads?  Ah, how things have changed.)  The idea was that at an initial consultation with a prospective client, the lawyer would listen […]

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