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

Summary of Admonitions

In calendar year 2009, the Director’s Office resolved 120 files with admonitions that were issued to Minnesota attorneys for isolated and nonserious misconduct.1 Fifteen lawyers entered into stipulations for private probation that were approved by the Lawyers Board chair;2 these stipulations resolved an additional 35 complaint files. A summary of the admonitions and private probation […]

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20/20 Vision

In August 2009 the American Bar Association initiated yet another “thorough review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation,” this time “in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice developments.”  A Commission on Ethics 20/20 is charged with this review.  The commission has stated […]

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Our Collective Responsibility

Recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an order temporarily increasing the lawyer registration fee paid by most practicing Minnesota lawyers.  [See “By the Court,” page 18 of this issue. Ed.] An additional $100 per year is being required for each of the next two years in order to provide funding for the Board of Public […]

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Opinionated

At its October meeting, the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board adopted Opinion 21: A Lawyer’s Duty to Consult with a Client about the Lawyer’s Own Malpractice.1 This is the second opinion adopted by the Lawyers Board since the reconstitution of its opinion committee in 2008. The process of posting a proposed opinion for public comment, established […]

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Lawyer Criminals

All lawyers are people; some people commit crimes; therefore some lawyers commit crimes. This simple piece of questionable deductive reasoning may best explain why criminal convictions of licensed attorneys are a regrettably regular source of lawyer discipline. While we’d no doubt like to think that—as educated, licensed professionals who have undergone a character and fitness […]

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Advisory Opinion Sampler

Last year, the Director’s Office received 2,135 requests for an advisory opinion.  Most such requests are by telephone, although a growing number of attorneys, approximately 10 percent, are taking advantage of the ability to submit questions through the internet from the office’s website.  So far this year, over 1,500 requests have been received through the […]

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55 Ways to Lose Your License

Periodically, people who work in the area of professional responsibility are asked whether there are any discernible patterns in the reasons why attorneys are disbarred or suspended from the practice of law. Presumably, those asking hope to find a method to predict and thereby prevent serious misconduct. Others, who believe that lawyers are not subject […]

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