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Minnesota State Bar Association

Assembly Minutes 2009-10 Bar Year

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June 25, 2010
April 29, 2010
December 11, 2009
September 11, 2009

Minnesota
State Bar
Association

Assembly
The meeting was called to order at 9:40 a.m. Friday, June 25, 2010, at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center. President Leo Brisbois presided, with Secretary Robert Enger recording. The Roll Call is attached.

I.       Annual Meeting of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation (MSBF)
A.    Presentation of Annual Report.  J.P. Barone, Chair, presented the Foundation’s annual report.  Mr. Barone indicated that only 20% of MSBA members donate to the Foundation via the annual dues statement.  He also reported on the activities and grants given by the Foundation during the year and he encouraged members to voluntarily contribute to the Foundation.  In closing, Mr. Barone thanked outgoing Board members for their service. 

Mr. Barone called three times for new nominations from the floor; none were forthcoming.  The recommended slate of candidates was approved.

II.      Memorials:    Remembrance of MSBA Members who have died during the past year

III.     Awards and Special Recognitions
A.     President Brisbois presented Kevin Dunlevy with the President’s Award in recognition of the hundreds of pro bono hours he spent at the Legislature assisting with real property bills in the height of the foreclosure crisis. 

B.     The Professional Excellence Award was presented at Day 9 to attorney members of the Minnesota Red Bull contingent.

C.     President Brisbois thanked outgoing members for their service on the Assembly.

IV.    Treasurer’s Report
Acting Treasurer Brent Routman directed attention to materials distributed before the meeting. 

V.     Executive Director’s Report
President Brisbois directed attention to the written report distributed prior to the meeting.  Mr. Brisbois noted that MSBA staff member Brian Bell was leaving the MSBA to attend law school at the University of Minnesota.

VI.    Consent Calendar
President Brisbois presented items A-D; Fred Finch reported that Item E was removed from the Consent Calendar to allow further time for input by the General Practice Solo Small Firm Section.  Items A-D were moved and adopted.
A.     Election of Brent Routman as President-elect (nominated by HCBA); Robert Enger as Treasurer; and Phil Duran as Secretary (recommended by the Elections/Appointments Committee)
B.     Approval of minutes of the April 29, 2010 meeting
C.     Action to approve the Recommendations of the President-Elect regarding 2010-11 committees
D.     Action on the Recommendation of the President-Elect regarding the 2010-11 Assembly meeting schedule

Date

Time

Friday, September 17 w/ Bar Leader Conference

TBD

Friday, December 10

12:00 noon

Thursday, April 28

12:00 noon

Friday, June 24

9:00 a.m.

E.     Action on the Recommendation of the Governance Committee regarding amendments to the Bylaws of the General Practice Solo Small Firm Section

VIII.  Additional Agenda Items
A.     Action on a motion to authorize consideration of items on this agenda that were not included in the original notice and purpose of the Assembly meeting (requires a 75% vote).  Members approved consideration of Agenda Item XIV - the Resolution of Members regarding Professor Peter Erlinder.

IX.    Elections/Appointments Committee
Judge George Perez, Chair, reported on the committee’s work and the difficult decision required to choose only three of the very qualified five candidates who applied for Council positions.  The committee recommended that the Assembly elect Thaddeus Lightfoot, Jessie Nicholson, and Michael Unger as Assembly Representatives to the Council.  President Brisbois called for a vote on the recommendation, and the recommendation carried.

X.     General Policy Committee
Mary Ward, Chair, reported on the committee’s work and presented the following recommendations:
A.     Action on the Recommendation from the Insurance for Members Committee to support adding Personal Accident Insurance to the MSBA’s insurance offerings
President Brisbois called for a vote on the recommendation, and the recommendation carried.

B.     Action on the Recommendation regarding the Report from the Human Rights Committee to urge the U.S. government to take steps toward ratification of the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court
Mary Rice from the MSBA Human Rights Committee and Duane Krohnke presented background information on this topic and answered questions from Assembly members.  Following discussion, a motion was made to continue the item to the September Assembly agenda to allow members additional time to consider the issue.  The motion was seconded and passed.
C.     Action on the Recommendations and Report from the Diversity Planning Task Force regarding Policy #6.
Phil Duran, Chair of the Diversity Planning Task Force, presented a brief overview of the Task Force’s overall recommendations and report.  President Brisbois called for a vote on the recommendation concerning Policy #6; the motion passed.

D.     Action on the Recommendation regarding MSBA Bylaws related to membership.  President Brisbois called for a vote on the recommended changes to MSBA Bylaws.  The motion passed.

E.     Action on the Report from the Diversity Committee to support a pending ABA resolution calling for “state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex.”
Following discussion, President Brisbois called for a vote on the recommendation, which was passed with one abstention.


XI.    Governance Committee
Fred Finch, Chair, reported that the Committee has drafted revisions to Bylaws dealing with amicus and legislative positions taken by sections and committees.  Sections and committees will receive the draft recommendations and have an opportunity to comment prior to the December Assembly vote.

President Brisbois called for a vote on the recommendation; the recommendation passed.

XII.   Legislative Committee
Susan Holden, Chair, reported that the Committee has not met since the April Assembly.  Bryan Lake, MSBA Government Relations Director, reported on the results of the MSBA’s legislative priorities at the Capitol.  President Brisbois thanked outgoing Legislative Committee Chair Susan Holden for her service.  Mr. Brisbois presented Lloyd Grooms, MSBA legislative representative, with a special “Presidential Commendation” award for his extraordinary efforts at the Legislature on behalf of the MSBA.

XIII.  Operations Committee  
Brent Routman, Chair, reported on the work of the Committee.

XIV.  Action on the Resolution of Members regarding Professor Peter Erlinder
MSBA member Peter Brown spoke in favor of this resolution which was brought forward by the requisite number of MSBA members under the Bylaws.  The resolution was heard by the MSBA Council earlier in the morning and recommended to pass with changes noted on the handout.  Additional editing changes were suggested and adopted as friendly amendments.  The motion to approve the resolution as amended was seconded and passed with one abstention.

XV.   Announcements
A.     Notice of nominations and elections to the following boards.  (The election of nominees will take place at the September meeting of the Assembly.  Members of the Assembly should encourage any qualified MSBA member who is interested in being nominated to submit a Qualifications & Interest Statement to the MSBA office before August 20, 2010.)

XVI.  President’s Report
President Brisbois thanked everyone for a good year.  President-elect Terry Votel thanked Mr. Brisbois for his incredible service this past year.

XVII. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Robert Enger
Secretary


Minnesota
State Bar
Association

Assembly
The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, 2010, at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center. President Leo Brisbois presided, with Secretary Robert Enger recording. The Roll Call is attached.

President-Elect Terry Votel presided after President Leo Brisbois presented his President’s Report.

I.       Presentations
Special Recognition: Haiti Fundraising Task Force. Gloria Stamp Smith spoke on the accomplishments of the task force in rising approximately $50,000. Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO of American Refugee Committee, presented a slide show demonstrating use of the funds by ARC. President Brisbois thanked the members of the MSBA/MABL Fundraising Task Force for their work.

Becker Awards. The Bernard Becker Legal Services Staff award was given to Judy Hollie, legal secretary at Central Minnesota Legal Services and Ron Elwood, staff attorney at Legal Services Advocacy Project. The Bernard P. Becker Volunteer Law Student award was presented to Sanjee Weliwitigoda, student at William Mitchell College of Law.

Graven Award. Richard Beens presented the David Graven Public Service Award to George Latimer.

II.      President’s Report
President Brisbois reported on several items of interest to Assembly members:

III.     Executive Director’s Report
Executive Director Tim Groshens directed attention to the written report distributed prior to the meeting.

IV.    Treasurer’s Report
Acting Treasurer Brent Routman directed attention to materials distributed before the meeting and presented an overview of the current budget. The MSBA is currently at a slight 1.6% downward overall budget variance from last year’s budget.

V.     Consent Calendar
President-Elect Votel presented the following two items:
A.     Approval of minutes of the December 11, 2009 meeting
B.     Action on the Recommendation of the Governance Committee to approve the amendments to the Bylaws of the Family Law, New Lawyers, Civil Litigation, Bankruptcy Law, Probate and Trust Law, and Labor and Employment Law Sections.
President-Elect Votel called for a motion to approve the Consent Calendar. The motion carried.

VI.    Additional Agenda Items
A.     Action on a motion to authorize consideration of items on this agenda that were not included in the original notice and purpose of the Assembly meeting. President-Elect Votel called for a motion to approve the additional agenda items. The motion carried.

VII.   Reports
A.     Charles Glasrud provided information about the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.
B.     President-Elect Votel presented information on the new Nine Days in June Convention;
C.     Acting Treasurer Brent Routman presented information on LawPAC.
D.     Lloyd Grooms provided an update on the judicial elections legislative priority of the MSBA.

VIII.  Elections/Appointments Committee
Judge George Perez, Chair, reported on the committee’s work and brought forward nominations for various boards and committees.
A.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly nominate Tim O’Brien, Hennepin County, to the Client Security Board.
B.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly nominate Glen Jacobsen, Renville County, and Michael Schechter, Dakota County, to the State Board of Continuing Legal Education.
C.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly nominate Nicholas Slade, Hennepin County, to the Legal Services Advisory Committee
D.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly elect Carol Klaphake, Stearns County, and Patrick O’Donnell, Wright County, to the Central Minnesota Legal Services Board
E.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly elect John Dornik, Hennepin County, Jon Duckstad, Ramsey County, Juan Hoyos, Ramsey County, and Brent Routman, Hennepin County to the ABA House of Delegates.
President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendations contained in items A through E. Items A-E were approved.

VIII.  General Policy Committee
Committee Chair Mary Ward presented the following recommendations:
A.     Action on the Recommendation of the Committee regarding the LAD Committee proposal Regarding Creation of an Emeritus Category in the Rules of the Supreme Court on Lawyer Registration.
President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendation, and the recommendation carried with Justice Lorie Gildea abstaining.

B.     Action on the Recommendation of the Committee regarding the request of the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee that the MSBA file a joint petition with the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board to the Minnesota Supreme Court proposing changes to Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5 and 1.15 regarding “nonrefundable” fees. .
President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendation, and the recommendation carried with Justice Lorie Gildea abstaining.

IX.    Governance Committee
Committee Chair Fred Finch reported on the work of the committee, which is working on the revision of the bylaws in relation to amicus briefs or legislative positions; working on amendments to bylaws regarding officer succession; and looking at the issue of the selection of directors for Minnesota CLE.

X.     Legislative Committee
Committee Chair Susan Holden reported on the work of the committee. The committee is working on a “Day at the Capitol” event for lawyers. It is in early planning and the event would not occur, if it does, until 2011.

Ms. Holden reported on the recommendation to continue the MSBA resolution known as Legislative Position No. 5. The resolution sunsets and the committee is recommending that the resolution continue.

         Resolved: that the Minnesota State Bar Association opposes any effort to amend the Minnesota Constitution to forbid the creation of legally-recognized relationships between persons of the same sex.

President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendation and the recommendation was approved, with Justice Lorie Gildea and Judge Edward Toussaint abstaining.

Bryan Lake provided an update on the legislative efforts of the MSBA, reporting that five of the seven section bills have passed, including bills from the Tax Section; ADR Section -- signed by Governor; Probate Section bill passed both the House and Senate and is going to conference committee; Real Property Section had three bills, one related to CIP, mortgage registration tax, and update to CIO Act; Family Law Section’s bill on reproductive technology is ready for floor votes in both chambers; and Business Law Section’s bill has been signed by Governor Pawlenty.

XI.    Operations Committee
Treasurer Brent Routman, Chair, reported on the work of the committee and the following recommendations:

 

Section

2009-10

2010-11

  • Practice Management & Marketing Law
  • Attorney
  • New Admittee
  • Student

 

$20.00
$0.00
$0.00

 

$25.00
$15.00
$10.00

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Attorney

 

$31.00

 

$35.00

President-Elect Votel called for separate votes on the recommendations in Items A-E and, after discussion concerning action on Item B, each of the items carried.

XII.   New Business
There was no new business.

XIII.  Announcements
A.     Notice of elections (Elections will take place at the June 25, 2010 meeting of the Assembly.)
         1.    Nomination of Candidate for MSBA Secretary -- Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the MSBA Bylaws, §9.3, the Elections/Appointments Committee of the Assembly will nominate a candidate for MSBA Secretary on Friday, May 21, 2010.  As required by Bylaw 9.3.4, the Committee “shall consider the need to provide for gender, racial, and other forms of diversity in the leadership of the MSBA when electing the officer at-large.”  All applications for this position should be submitted to the Chair of the Committee in care of Joni Fenner, Assistant to the Executive Director, Minnesota State Bar Association, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 380, Minneapolis, MN  55402; 612/333-1183; email jfenner@mnbar.org.  Deadline for submission is Friday, May 7, 2010.

         2.    Nomination of the Assembly Representatives to the Council

MSBA Bylaws § 7.2.  Composition

The Council comprises the following representatives, all of whom must be members of the MSBA:
. . .
         (e)   three representatives from the Assembly elected by the Assembly. The Assembly shall consider the need to provide for underrepresented groups in the leadership of the MSBA when electing the representatives on the Council. Once elected by the Assembly, the three representatives will serve on the Assembly by virtue of their position on the Council and vacancies will exist in their previous representative positions on the Assembly. The vacancies on the Assembly will be filled pursuant to §4.62.

                The terms of Judge Edward Cleary, Justice Lorie Gildea, and Judge George Perez expire June 30, 2010; all have served two terms and are not eligible to serve an additional term.  All members of the 2009-10 Assembly are eligible to submit Qualifications and Interest Statements for these positions.

         3.    The Assembly, sitting as the members of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation, will elect directors of the Foundation.  The three-year terms of the following directors expire on June 30, 2010: Ed Blomme, Hennepin County, Erin O'Toole-Tomczik, Sherburne County, Jill LeBow Prohofsky, Hennepin County, Alan Ruvelson, Ramsey County, and Pat Trask, Crow Wing County. 

                Ms. O’Toole-Tomczik, Ms. Prohofsky, Mr. Ruvelson and Ms. Trask are eligible and interested in serving an additional term.  Mr. Blomme is not interested in serving an additional term.  Members should encourage any eligible Association member who is interested in being nominated to submit a Qualifications and Interest Statement to the MSBA office by May 7, 2010.

B.     Draft 2010-11 Assembly Meeting Schedule – Review these proposed dates and contact the MSBA staff with any concerns.

Date

Time

Friday, September 10 – Bar Leader Conference

12:00 noon

Friday, December 10

12:00 noon

Thursday, April 28

12:00 noon

Friday, June 24

9:00 a.m.

C.     Future Meeting
Friday, June 25, 2010 -- 9:00 a.m.

XIV.  Adjournment
The session adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Robert Enger
Secretary


Minnesota
State Bar
Association

Assembly
The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. Friday, December 11, 2009, at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center. President Leo Brisbois presided, with Secretary Robert Enger recording. The Roll Call is attached.

I.       Presentations
Two awards were presented in recognition of service to the MSBA and the community:

II.      President’s Report
President Brisbois reported on several items of interest to Assembly members:

III.     Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Aaron Biber directed attention to materials distributed before the meeting. He noted that gains in the economy, coupled with aggressive recruitment/retention efforts by the MSBA, had reduced projected deficits in the 2009-10 fiscal year budget. With expenditures down and revenues up, he expressed confidence that the fiscal year would end with a smaller deficit than originally anticipated. He praised the work of members and Bar leaders in steering the MSBA's budget during the current recession.

IV.    Executive Director’s Report
President Brisbois directed attention to the written report distributed at the meeting.

V.     Consent Calendar
President Brisbois presented the following two items:

A motion was made, seconded, and carried to move Item B to the Governance Committee's portion of the agenda (Item IX, below). President Brisbois then called the question to approve the Consent Calendar as amended. The motion carried.

VI.    Additional Agenda Items
A motion was made, seconded, and approved to authorize consideration of agenda items that were not included in the original notice and purpose of the Assembly meeting. These new items are marked with asterisks in these minutes.

VII.   Elections/Appointments Committee
Judge George Perez, Chair, reported that five individuals had submitted Qualifications and Interest Statements for two openings on the Minnesota CLE Board. On behalf of the Committee, he recommended unanimous consent to elect two of these candidates.  President Brisbois called for additional nominations. Hearing none, he called for a vote to appoint the two members recommended by the Committee. The motion to appoint Nelson Peralta and Will Stute to the Minnesota CLE Board carried.

VIII.  General Policy Committee
Committee Chair Mary Ward presented the following recommendations:
         A.    Action to approve a recommendation to not renew the Avis rental car contact
         B.    Action to approve a recommendation to offer AAA as an MSBAdvantage program
         C.    Action to approve a recommendation to offer Affiniscape Law Firm Merchant Account as an MSBAdvantage program
         D.    Action to amend the Criminal Law Certification Program*

President Brisbois called for separate votes on each of these motions. Items A-C carried.

Ms. Ward then presented the final recommendation and motion regarding amendments to the Criminal Law Certification Program. She noted that the Assembly had approved standards for the program previously and submitted a program proposal to the Minnesota State Board of Legal Certification. That Board approved the proposal, subject to an amendment specifying that sitting judges would not be eligible to earn certification. On behalf of the committee, she moved approval of this amendment, which had been presented and approved as a new agenda item. The motion carried.

IX.    Governance Committee
         A.    Report on the work of the committee
         B.    Action on the request of the Corporate Counsel Association to become a section
         C.    Action on the recommendation of the Diversity Committee to amend Bylaw 9.3.4
         D.    Action to approve amendments to the Appellate Practice Section Bylaws (moved from the Consent Calendar under a prior vote)

Committee Chair Fred Finch presented a brief report, highlighting recommendations B and C, as well as the recommendation regarding Appellate Practice Section Bylaws that had appeared originally under the Consent Calendar.

On behalf of the Governance Committee, Mr. Finch moved approval of the request of the Corporate Counsel Association to become a section. The motion carried.

Mr. Finch then presented the Governance Committee's motion to approve a recommendation by the Diversity Committee regarding a provision in MSBA Bylaws intended to provide opportunities for underrepresented individuals to serve in Bar leadership positions. The office of secretary now rotates between Hennepin, Ramsey, outstate, and at-large representation, with diversity to be considered as a factor in elections for the final category. The Committee's motion was to expand the definition of diversity to comprise not just gender and racial diversity, but all other forms of diversity. The motion carried.

Mr. Finch then moved the final recommendation to approve revised Bylaws of the Appellate Practice Section. This recommendation, which appeared originally under the Consent Calendar, had been moved to this portion of the agenda under a prior vote. The motion carried.

President Brisbois then invited Mr. Finch to speak in his capacity as a member of the ABA Board of Governors. The ABA, like many professional associations, enjoys healthy membership rosters currently, but has seen its penetration rates dropping, and has studied new approaches to ensure both retention and recruitment. One proposal under consideration by the ABA was to cut membership dues dramatically; professional consultants suggested this novel approach might bolster membership. Mr. Finch suggested that the MSBA might consider a broad range of membership approaches, including bundling membership categories with county bars and other associations.  He suggested that strong penetration rates might also mean enhanced clout and influence before government bodies.

X.     Legislative Committee
         A.    Report of the Legislative Committee
         B.    Action on the proposed legislative agenda

Committee Chair Susan Holden reported on the work of the committee, which reviews legislative proposals from MSBA sections and other affiliated organizations and presents recommendations annually to the Assembly. She directed attention to 14 such recommendations approved by the Committee for the upcoming 2010 legislative session, reminding Bar leaders that approval by the Assembly would constitute endorsement by the MSBA.

Ms. Holden recognized representatives speaking on behalf of the following recommendations. Because all recommendations had been moved by the Assembly's Legislative Committee, they did not require a formal second by the full Assembly. Complete summaries of each recommendation appear in the materials distributed in advance of the session and posted online.

Business Law Section:
a.    Substantive and technical amendments to Chapter 302A
b.    Amendments to Chapter 317A, incorporating changes made to Chapter 302A
c.   Amendment to Chapter 322B related to non-business limited liability companies, effective date
The motion to approve all three recommendations carried.

Family Law Section:
a.   Amendment to Minnesota’s Uniform Parentage Act, Minn. Stat. §257.54, relating to children born as a result of Assisted Reproductive Technology
The motion to approve carried.

Uniform Collaborative Law Act:
a.   Resolved that the MSBA recommends the Legislature defer action on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act to allow adequate time for further study by the MSBA and its interested sections and affiliates.
The motion to recommend that the Legislature defer action carried.

Real Property Law Section:
a.   Changes to common interest community certificates of title
b.   Amendments to §287.03, mortgage registry tax, in light of the case of Business Bank v. Hanson, 2009 WL 2253250 (Minn.).
The motion to approve both recommendations carried.

Probate and Trust Law Section:
a.   Revision of Minn. Stat. §501B.64 Subd. 3 defining short-term and long-term capital gains distributions from regulated investment companies and real estate investment trusts as distributions of principal (and not income) for trust accounting purposes
b.   New Minn. Stat. 524.5-409A to allow appointment of a conservator on a temporary or emergency basis
c.   Amendments to Minn. Stat. 524 proposed by the Uniform Law Commissioners to the Uniform Probate Code provisions defining the parent-child relationship for intestate succession purposes
The motion to approve all three recommendations carried.

Tax Law Section:
a.    Addition of Minn.Stat. §270C.407 to establish a state “interest netting” provision
The motion to approve carried.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Section:
a.   Revised Uniform Arbitration Act, as amended by the MSBA’s RUAA Subcommittee and approved by the ADR Section, the MN Uniform Laws Commissioners, MAJ and MDLA.
The motion to endorse this Act as amended carried.

On behalf of the Legislative Committee, Ms. Holden then moved renewal of an MSBA legislative position due to expire under MSBA bylaws. The motion was to renew opposition to any legislation seeking reinstatement of the death penalty in Minnesota. The motion carried.

Ms. Holden then presented housekeeping resolutions on behalf of the Committee.

The first such motion was to approve a current set of MSBA legislative positions. The motion carried.

The second housekeeping motion was to approve time allocations for the MSBA's legislative counsel. The recommendation included time estimates for each item on the Bar's legislative agenda, with the understanding that lobbying resources could be redistributed by the President or designees as needed. The motion carried.

XI.    Operations Committee
         A.    Report on the work of the Committee
         B.    Review of the annual MSBA Form 990
         C.    Action on the recommendation regarding adoption of Financial Procedures Policy for Bank and Investment Accounts
         D.    Action on the recommendation regarding the request of the New Lawyers Section for additional funding

Committee Chair Aaron Biber presented a brief report followed by the following items.

Item B was a report on a new IRS form required for tax-exempt organizations. Form 990 strives to promote transparency and accountability through public disclosure of governance and policies. This report required no action by the Assembly.

Mr. Biber directed attention to the meeting materials for a summary regarding Item C. Drafted by the MSBA Executive Director and Finance Director and reviewed by the Operations Committee, the document codified a financial procedures policy for bank and investment accounts. A motion was made, seconded, and carried to adopt the document.

Item D dealt with funds requested by the New Lawyers Section. A motion was made, seconded, and carried to approve.

XII.   New Business
There was no new business.

XIII.  Announcements
     A.    Notice of nominations/appointments to the following boards:
(Election of nominees will take place at the April 29, 2010 meeting of the Assembly.  Members should encourage any Association member who is interested in being nominated to submit a Qualifications and Interest Statement to the MSBA office by Friday, March 5.)
                1.     Client Security Board -- The term of Timothy O’Brien, Hennepin County, expires June 30, 2010.  Mr. O’Brien has served one term and is eligible to serve an additional term.
2.     State Board of Continuing Legal Education – The terms of Marlene Garvis, Hennepin County, and Glen Jacobson, Renville County, expire June 30, 2010.  Ms. Garvis has served two terms and is not eligible to serve an additional term.  Mr. Jacobson has served one term and is eligible and interested in serving an additional term.
                3.     Legal Services Advisory Committee -- The term of Nicholas Slade, Hennepin County, expires July 1, 2010.  Mr. Slade has served one term and is eligible and interested in serving an additional term.
                4.     Central Minnesota Legal Services – The terms of Carol Klaphake and Patrick O’Donnell expire April 30, 2010.  Ms. Klaphake and Mr. O’Donnell are eligible to serve an additional term. 
                5.     MSBA/ABA Delegates – The terms of John Dornik, Jon Duckstad, Judge George Perez and Brent Routman expire at the end of the ABA meeting in August.  Mr. Dornik, Mr. Duckstad, and Mr. Routman are eligible and interested in serving an additional term.  Judge Perez has served three terms and is not eligible for another term.

         B.    Future Meetings
                Thursday, April 29, 2010 (Minnesota CLE)
                Friday, June 25, 2010 (Minnesota CLE)

XIV.  Adjournment
The session adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Robert Enger
Secretary


Minnesota
State Bar
Association

Assembly

I.  Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 11, 2009, at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center. President Leo Brisbois presided, with Secretary Robert Enger recording. The Roll Call is attached.

II.  President’s Report
Mr. Brisbois noted a number of recent developments of interest:

Mr. Brisbois called on Supreme Court Justice Lorie Gildea, who announced an October 27 event commemorating establishment of the Commission on Gender Fairness in the Courts.  The event will feature a luncheon address by Judge Harriet Lansing of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, to be followed by a CLE seminar.  Area law schools are co-sponsoring a writing competition in conjunction with the event.

Mr. Brisbois noted further that in July a number of processed dues statements, including individual and law firm data, were lost.  MSBA responded promptly to safeguard the data, notifying those affected, and implemented new procedures to prevent future losses and place MSBA in compliance with new regulations governing data management, the so-called “Red Flags” rule.

In closing, Mr. Brisbois acknowledged staff members Nancy Mischel and Denise Plachecki for their work acting as co-executive directors in Tim Groshens’ absence. He then led the Assembly in a moment of silence to commemorate those lost on September 11, 2001.

III.  Executive Director’s Report
Acting Executive Director Nancy Mischel thanked the officers and the Assembly for their patience and support in Tim Groshens’ absence, as well as for the opportunity to serve. She highlighted two items from the staff’s written report, the State Board of Legal Certification, which had been scheduled to meet on this date to consider the MSBA’s application to certify specialists in criminal law, had deferred its meeting pending further notice and that the MSBA has launched a new, redesigned practicelaw.org.

IV.  Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Aaron Biber announced that 92.1% of member dues expected had been received to date, which is somewhat ahead of historical performance.  The MSBA added 426 new members in 2008-09, and in this fiscal year new member enrollment exceeds numbers achieved at this time last year by 118.  So far no loss of membership attributable to the downturn in the economy has been perceived.  He noted that the district bar associations are working very hard to manage their budgets and retain members, such that the MSBA remains a very vibrant organization.

Mr. Biber then called on Rob Koch of the Olsen Thielen to deliver the audit report and announced that the Operations Committee recommends acceptance of report.  Mr. Koch reported that the auditors are offering an unqualified opinion.  He noted a number of changes in this year’s report, among them MCLE is now a subsidiary of MSBA due to its incorporation and revenue this year is down slightly due to investment performance but expenses are also down; MSBA generally performed better this year than last, including reducing the deficit to bring reserves in line with the target.

Mr. Biber affirmed that MSBA has done well in the past year, reducing reserves to target levels and reducing expenses.  He reiterated the Operations Committee recommendation that the audit report be approved as submitted.  The motion carried.

V.  Consent Calendar
A.     Approval of minutes of the June 26, 2009 meeting
B.     Action to waive the policy limiting membership on the Legislative Committee to 20
C.     Action to approve Assembly Committee appointments
Mr. Brisbois presented the Consent Calendar.  A motion was made, seconded and carried to approve the Consent Calendar.

VI.  Legislative Committee
Mr. Brisbois introduced Thad Lightfoot, Vice Chair of the Legislative Committee, who presented the Committee’s recommendation that the MSBA, as requested by the ABA, take a position requesting the Federal Trade Commission and Congress to clarify that the Commission’s Red Flags Rule imposing requirements on creditors relating to identity theft is not applicable to lawyers while they are providing legal services to clients.  Mr. Lightfoot clarified that the FTC rule is intended to curb identity theft and that implementation of the rule is now deferred pending clarification.  The recommendation was seconded.

Fred Finch reported that the ABA adopted a resolution on this matter in August and filed suit in September against the FTC, charging that the FTC interpretation of the Red Flags Rule is wrong.  He noted that the MSBA resolution would support ABA’s legal position.  Mr. Brisbois interjected that the ABA is particularly interested in having MSBA support on this issue since three Minnesota legislators sit on committees that will consider this issue.  The recommendation carried unanimously.

VII.  Elections & Appointments Committee.
Judge George Perez delivered the report and recommendations of the Committee. Judge Perez noted that the Committee had presented three action items which it now requests be grouped as two for action, due to the limited number of applications the Committee received for open positions and the lack of time for the Committee to meet with applicants prior to the Assembly meeting.

First, with respect to one of the two openings on the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB), the Committee recommends nomination of incumbent Stuart Williams.  The recommendation was seconded and carried.

With respect to the second opening on the LPRB, the three trustee positions on LawPAC, and the opening on the Board of Legal Certification the Committee recommends that the Assembly delegate authority to the Council to fill these openings at its meeting on October 23, following receipt of recommendations by the committee.  The recommendation was seconded.

Judge Perez explained that only one application had been received for the LawPAC positions and that the Committee had had no time to interview applicants.  He further encouraged Assembly members to express interest in these openings as LawPAC has been reconstituted to enable better representation of MSBA interests at the legislature.

Regarding the remaining openings on the state boards, Judge Perez explained that since these appointments are to be effective January 1 it would be untimely to defer action to the December Assembly meeting.

A motion was made and seconded to amend the motion to reduce the number of LawPAC trustee positions in question from three to two on which action would be deferred, and to recommend appointment of the sole applicant, Brad Thorsen, as a LawPAC trustee.  Judge Perez advised that the Committee had considered this question but decided to defer recommendation pending the opportunity to review and interview all applicants for the positions.  The motion to amend and carried.

The main motion as amended carried.

VIII.  Governance Committee
Fred Finch delivered the report of the Committee, noting that in the coming year the Committee intends to consider bylaws and policies regarding the filing of amicus briefs by the MSBA and its sections.  The Diversity Committee has presented a proposed amendment to Bylaw 9.3.4 regarding election of an officer at-large, calling for the Assembly to consider other diversity factors in addition to race and gender.  Mr. Finch invited requests from sections for review of proposed section bylaw amendments and indicated that the Committee will be working with the New Lawyers Section to review its bylaws. 

IX.  General Policy Committee
Mary Ward presented the report and recommendations of the General Policy Committee.  She advised that the committee recommends approval of the Civic Education Committee report and recommendation for establishment of an annual Citizen Lawyer Award. The recommendation was seconded.  Mr. Brisbois called on Treasurer Aaron Biber to comment on the Civic Education Committee’s request for $600 to fund the award in this fiscal year.  Mr. Biber reported that the Operations Committee approved the appropriation.

A questioner inquired how the proposed award would be distinguished from the David Graven Award now presented annually for public service.  Replying on behalf of the Civic Education Committee, staff member Brian Bell advised that the Citizen Lawyer Award would specifically honor efforts to educate the public about civics and government whereas the Graven Award is presented for public service more broadly defined.  The recommendation was approved.

X.  Operations Committee
Treasurer Aaron Biber reported that the Committee plans to draft a banking procedures policy this year for inclusion in the Bar Leader Handbook and publication online.  The Committee will also take a look at section financial reserve policies.  He advised that the Committee has received a report on MSBA investments indicating the accounts have performed well since the beginning of the fiscal year in July. 

Mr. Biber advised that the Committee had reviewed the report and recommendation of Publications Committee regarding executing a letter of intent to contract for printing services with RR Donnelly.  The Operations Committee recommends executing a letter of intent to negotiate a contract on terms and for a term to be negotiated, not expected to exceed two years.  Since the Council has authority to contract on behalf of the MSBA, the Council will meet and consider the matter and, if a contract is approved, will report back to the Assembly.

XI.  Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Robert Enger
Secretary