State Bar




The meeting was called to order at 9:16 am on Friday, June 28, 2013 at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center in Minneapolis.  President Robert Enger presided, with Bryan Lake recording.  The Roll Call is attached.


I.  Annual Meeting of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation

Chair Erin O’Toole-Tomczik provided a complete review of the annual report.


The Elections/Appointments Committee recommends John Bultena, Ramsey County, Patrick Costello, Jackson County, Beth Stavino Johnston, Kandiyohi County, and Jill Prohofsky, Hennepin County for positions on the Board of the Foundation.  Since a quorum was not present, a motion was made to provisionally elect the slate.  The motion was seconded and carried.


II.  Presentations

President’s Award

Mr. Enger presented the President’s Award to the inaugural North Star Lawyer recipients, who were recognized for their pro bono efforts.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Mr. Enger noted that Lifetime Achievement awards were presented to Kent Gernander and Judge Kathleen Gearin at Day 9 of Nine Days in June on June 27.  


Recognition of Outgoing Assembly Members

Mr. Enger acknowledged outgoing Assembly members for their hard work and efforts during their terms.


III.  President’s Report

Mr. Enger noted that a successful Nine Days in June concluded the previous day.  He then thanked everyone for the privilege of serving as president.


IV.  Treasurer’s Report

Richard Kyle stated that final numbers for this fiscal year will be provided at the September Assembly meeting, but they are expected to be similar to the prior year’s.


V.  Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director Tim Groshens thanked Assembly members for their service and provided an update on Aptify, the Association’s new database.


VI.  Annual Meeting of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation

There being a quorum present, the Assembly meeting recessed and the Foundation meeting resumed.

A motion was made to ratify the earlier action of the Board to approve the slate of new Foundation board members.  The motion was seconded and carried.  It was noted that one open position remained and Katherine Asta was nominated from the floor. The motion was seconded and carried.


VII.  Consent Calendar

A motion was made, seconded and carried to adopt the Consent Calendar, items A-D below.

A.     Election of Richard Kyle, Jr. as President-elect, Michael Unger as Treasurer, and Robin Wolpert as Secretary

B.     Approval of minutes from the April 25, 2013 meeting

C.     Action to approve the Recommendations of the President-Elect regarding 2012-13 committees

D.     Action on the Recommendation of the President-Elect regarding the 2012-13 Assembly meeting schedule


VIII.  Elections/Appointments Committee

Chair Dyan Ebert provided a report on the work of the Committee.

A.     There was a motion to approve the President-Elect’s proposed slate of candidates for the Minnesota CLE Board of Directors:  Eric Magnuson, Hennepin County, Michelle Miller, Hennepin County, and Wiliam Wernz, Hennepin County.  The motion was seconded and carried.


B.     There was a motion to elect the following members to serve as Assembly Representatives to the Council:  Eric Larson, Ramsey County, Thad Lightfoot, Hennepin County, and Jessie Nicholson, Ramsey County.  It was noted that the recommended individuals are all residents of the Twin Cities metro area.  Ms. Ebert stated that there weren’t any other applications.  The motion carried. 


IX.  General Policy Committee

Chair Eric Larson stated that the committee had nothing to report, but noted the robust policy discussions that have occurred this year.


X.  Governance Committee

Chair Sonia Miller-VanOort was absent so President-Elect Duran presented the Committee’s recommendation to amend Bylaw 4.11to allow Assembly Committees to form subcommittees and to allow any MSBA member (not just Assembly members) to serve on subcommittees.  A motion was made to approve the amendment; it was seconded and carried.


XI.  Judiciary Committee

Chair Mike Unger presented the Committee’s recommendation related to the expiring Assembly position on judicial selection.  Mr. Unger noted that both the Judiciary Committee and the Legislative Committee held numerous meetings on this topic and both committees proposed recommendations that were very similar.  There was some discussion about the level of flexibility in the position that would be most helpful to the MSBA’s lobbyists.  A question was raised related to the proposed December 2014 sunset date.  Mr. Unger replied that a judicial selection bill is moving at the state Capitol and the issue may be moot, or may need to be given a fresh look, after the 2014 legislative session. There was a motion to approve the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation, which essentially provided only stylistic changes to the MSBA’s current position. The motion carried on a divided voice vote.


XII.  Legislative Committee

Thad Lightfoot, Chair, thanked the committee members, Bar officers, and lobbyists for their efforts. 


Bryan Lake, Government Relations Director, provided a recap of the 2013 legislative session.  He noted that the Bar defeated a proposed sales tax on legal services and helped secure funding increases for the courts, civil legal services, and public defenders.  In addition, bills from the Real Property, Probate & Trust, and Tax Law sections were signed into law, and a bill from the Family Law Section reached the House floor and remains alive for the second year of the biennium.  The Bar also worked on numerous bills behind the scenes.  


XIII.  Announcements

Election of nominees to the following Boards will take place during the Assembly’s September meeting.  Members were encouraged to urge qualified and interested MSBA members to submit a Qualifications & Interest Statement to the MSBA office before Friday, August 2, 2013.  

Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board —The terms of Richard Kyle, Jr., Ramsey County, and Michael Unger, Hennepin County, expire on January 31, 2014.  Mr. Kyle and Mr. Unger have served two terms and are not eligible to serve an additional term.


State Board of Legal Certification – The term of Howard Bolter, Hennepin County, expires on January 1, 2014.  Mr. Bolter has served one term and is eligible to serve an additional term.


Southern Minnesota Legal Services Board – The term of Andrew Baese expires January 1, 2014.  Mr. Baese is eligible to serve an additional term.


XIV.  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Michael W. Unger