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

Direct Adversity Conflicts

Conflict of interest: The term is used frequently today in public discourse as well as by lawyers and consumers of legal services.  To most people, it no doubt indicates something bad, something to be avoided.  In the context of the practice of law, the term is occasionally used loosely in situations that may not in […]

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To Protect and Deter

“To Serve and Protect” is the well-known motto of police forces everywhere.  While there isn’t an official, comparable motto for lawyer discipline agencies, many courts have supplied one, even if unwittingly.  “To Protect and Deter” could be so proclaimed, since courts have often declared that the purposes of lawyer discipline are protection of the public and […]

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Suspended … Hired?

You’ve gone and got yourself suspended (or worse, disbarred1) for committing some serious misconduct! You’ve been suspended by the Minnesota Supreme Court for a period longer than 90 days, such that you are required to apply for reinstatement, undergo an investigation by the Director’s Office, and appear for a reinstatement hearing before a panel of […]

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Time is Money

he Minnesota Supreme Court recently approved the budget for the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (Director’s Office). The fiscal year (now FY2011) for the Lawyers Board runs from July 1 to June 30. As a part of the end-of-fiscal-year cycle, the Board and Director’s Office also must file an annual report outlining the year’s activities.1 […]

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Update on Law Firm Departures

One of the unique side effects of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (OLPR) having such a highly usable website is that it makes writing this column more challenging. All of the articles ever written by directors and other attorneys in our office for Bench & Bar of Minnesota over the past 39 years are […]

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Succession Planning & Trusteeships

Is it just me, or was it only yesterday that we were worrying about and then celebrating New Year’s Day 2000? I’ve been told that as I get older, time supposedly “speeds up.” Well, that last decade sure went by quickly. And now we have to worry about 2012! I guess the point is how […]

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OLPR Resources on the Web

Readers familiar with the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board/Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (LPRB/OLPR) website ( will recognize that the site contains a wealth of information helpful to Minnesota lawyers. You may also recognize that the current design of the website is not a model of efficiency, organization or viewing ease. Lawyers and nonlawyers alike can […]

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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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