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Public Law Newsletter | Summer 2016 | Volume XXVI Issue 2

by Shawn Carlson | Jul 21, 2016
Issue Editor: Kim Buechel Mesun
 


2016 PLS Awards of Excellence

On June 3, 2016, the Public Law Section presented its annual awards of excellence. The following articles are from presentation comments made at the awards ceremony or from nomination letters submitted on behalf of the recipient.

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June 3 PLS Annual Meeting, CLE, and Book Drive 

The 2016 Public Law Section Annual Meeting CLE held on June 3, 201 was a panel presentation on the topic of police body cameras and the recently enacted law in Minnesota (Senate File No. 498) on the subject. The Burnsville Police Department was the first in Minnesota to require its officers to wear body cameras in 2010.  Many officers who have used the cameras believe they capture valuable evidence, but privacy considerations have been raised by members of the community.  In addition, use of this technology creates complicated data practices issues and civil liability considerations.  A panel consisting of State Representative Peggy Scott, BCA Superintendent Drew Evans, Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson, St. Thomas Professor and Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds, ACLU Legislative Director Benjamin Feist and civil defense lawyer Jason Hill from Jardine, Logan & O’Brien gave their perspectives on the myriad of issues involved with the use of body cameras by police.

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Public Law Section Executive Council Elections for 2016-17
 
Set out below are the results of the Executive Council Elections held at the Public Law Section Annual Meeting on June 3, 2016.
 
Co-Chairs (1-year term):
Lisa Godon – Assistant Hennepin County Attorney
Inta Sellars – Co-Chief Human Services Judge, Minnesota Department of Human Services
 
Secretary (1-year term):
Patricia Beety – Attorney, League of Minnesota Cities
 
Treasurer (1-year term):
Lynn Belgea – Legal Counsel, Data Practices Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Health
 
Executive Council (2-year term):
Katie Engler – Senior Legal Analyst, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Hon. Juan Hoyos – District Court Judge, Fourth Judicial District
Amelio Jadoo – Assistant Dakota County Attorney
Margaret Westin – General Counsel, ISD 279, Osseo Area Schools
 
Returning Council Members (not on ballot, serving the 2nd year of 2-year term):
Dan Abelson – Associate General Counsel, Metropolitan Council
Dave Goslee – Deputy Rochester City Attorney
Melissa Manderschied – Attorney, Kennedy & Graven
Nancy Norman – Assistant Anoka County Attorney
 
Law Student Members (appointed by executive council)
Devin Driscoll, Amanda Harrington, Seth Zawila
 
New Lawyers Section Liaison
Amy Schutt – Attorney, Campbell Knutson
 

 


2016 Minnesota Laws of Interest to Public Lawyers
By Michele L. Timmons, Revisor of Statutes

In 2016, the Minnesota Legislature did not enact transportation or bonding bills.  The legislature did pass two major bills that were vetoed by the Governor; S.F. 588, the pension bill, and H.F. 848, the tax bill.  There were, however, 108 chapters of new law enacted, although Ch. 186, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources bill, was subject to a number of line item vetoes.  Here is a synopsis of new chapters that may be of interest to public lawyers.

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MSBA Public Law Section
Annual Report
2015-16

 

Section Membership
As of June 7, 2016, the Section has 452 members.

Financial Status
The Section had an account balance of $13,030.49 as of May 31, 2016. 

CLEs & Events
The Section hosted 8 CLE programs in fiscal year 2015-16.  

Program Title

Date

Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

Minnesota Expungement Law – Eleven Months Of Experience

12/4/15

212684

1.0 Standard

45

How Appealing!

1/8/16

213645

1.0 Standard

37

Judicial Ethics: What Lawyers Should Know

2/19/16

215847

1.0 Ethics

28

Introduction to the Open Meeting Law

3/11/16

216849

1.0 Standard

36

2015 Court Rules Changes You Need to Know – Juvenile Protection Procedure

3/28/16

214382

1.0 Standard

16

Human Trafficking in Minnesota

4/22/16

218759

1.0 Standard

19

Governmental Immunity

5/13/16

219316

1.0 Standard

48

Body Cameras: Legal and Practical Implications

6/3/16

219986

3.0 Standard

62

 

Annual Meeting and Election Results

The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on June 3, 2016 and 85 people attended. 

The following council members were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018:

Katie Engler
Juan Hoyos
Amelia Jadoo
Margaret Westin 

The following officers were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

Co-Chairs: Lisa Godon & Inta Sellars
Secretary: Patricia Beety
Treasurer: Lynn Belgea

The annual PLS Awards were given to 12 recipients in each of seven categories. 

Rosalie E. Wahl Judicial Award of Excellence
Gregg E. Johnson

Julius Gernes Prosecutor Award of Excellence
Raymond O. Cantu

William E. McGee Public Defender Award of Excellence
Jeanette Boerner

Public Attorney Award of Excellence:  Attorney Working in a Government Agency
Gregory N. Gray

Public Attorney Award of Excellence:  Civil Attorney Working in a Public Law Office
Dan Klint

Douglas K. Amdahl Public Attorney Career Achievement Award
William A. Bierman, Jr.
Jeanne K. Matross
Michele L. Timmons
Toni A. Beitz
Charles L. LeFevere
Thomas M. Scott

Diversity Award
Constance M. Tuck

Other Section Accomplishments

Diversity:  Led by the PLS Diversity Committee, the section has a three year diversity plan.  The section amended its bylaws to reflect a more diverse and inclusive group of attorneys for the section.  We also developed and implemented a public attorney diversity award and awarded it at the 2016 annual meeting.

Membership:  The membership committee headed the distribution of a survey of the PLS members’ demographics.  We found that our membership is comprised of over 60% attorneys with government entity affiliation and 29% in private law firms.  The remainder are students and those with “unknown” law practices.  The membership committee also updated our section website and developed a new section brochure.  The section increased its law student involvement by adding three law students to our governing council and recruited new lawyers and students at several recruitment events.

Public Service:  For the 15th year, the PLS has prepared meals for the “Loaves and Fishes” Program.  Our section is responsible for making meals six times per year.  At our annual meeting this year, we held a very successful children’s book drive.  We also offered our members the opportunity to participate in the “Adopt a Family” Program during the holiday season.

Ongoing Activities:  We maintain active participation in the PLS’s Data Practices Committee through its monthly meetings.  We also publish two newsletters per year and spent some time looking at whether we should go forward with a “pro bono office model policy” for government offices by surveying all MSBA public attorney members.

Submitted By:
Inta M. Sellars and Lisa Godon, Section Co-Chairs
Date:  June 29, 2016

 

 


Administrative Law Section Launches Beck Fellowship Program
By Tom Bailey, Chair, MSBA Administrative Law Section

The Administrative Law Section of the MSBA will be launching its George Beck Administrative Law Fellowships in Fall 2016 for law students in their second, third, and fourth year at Minnesota’s three law schools. The Fellowship is the result of the Admin Law Section revamping its current administrative law scholarship program to focus on externship opportunities at the Office of Administrative Hearings.

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MSBA Assembly Meeting Report

By Lisa Godon, Section Co-Chair


The MSBA assembly met on June 24, 2016, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Minneapolis.  It was the last meeting for the 2015-2016 year.  It was also the last meeting for outgoing President Mike Unger.  Robin Wolpert will preside as President for the 2016-2017 year.  The assembly also voted and approved the election of Sonia Miller-VanOort, a Minneapolis attorney, as President-Elect; Paul Godfrey as Treasurer, and Tom Nelson as Secretary.

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International Municipal Lawyers Association Upcoming Conference


IMLA (International Municipal Lawyers Association) will hold its annual conference in San Diego, California from September 28 to October 2 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.  Join local government attorneys from across the United States and Canada for a program intended specifically for local government attorneys.  As in past years, two specialized programs will also be offered during the conference: a Code Enforcement Program on September 28 and 29, available for local government attorneys and code enforcement officials; and the Institute for Local Government Attorneys on September 28, geared toward new local government attorneys and presented in a classroom format.  The main conference agenda includes sessions on regional growth management, construction contract drafting, the impacts of autonomous cars on transportation, the First Amendment and panhandling ordinances, government use of drones, and numerous other topics.  For more information on the conference or special programs, see http://www.imla.org/events/conferences.

 


 

 
 



PLS Public Service Projects

 
Loaves & Fishes
 
April 6, 2016
Ten volunteers cooked up the PLS’s famous Tator Tot Hotdish for the approximately 200-250 adults and children who came to the Loaves and Fishes program located in the basement of Holy Rosary church in South Minneapolis on April 6.  Thank you to volunteers Nancy Norman with Anoka County Attorney’s Office colleague Chris and her son Clint, Greg Brooker, newcomer Mary Shimshak from the Carver County Attorney’s Office, Beth Gloppen, Nancy Gove, Steve Fouts, Nancy McLean and Kim Mesun.  Also thank you for financial and food donations from Booth Law Group, Steve Fouts, Nancy Norman, and Kim Mesun.  The PLS funds approximately $300 of the cost of the food for the meal and the rest is paid for through individual donations.  The PLS volunteers (and friends) cook the meal and do set up.  Then the University of Wisconsin – Madison alumni come in to serve and clean up.  They also bring in fresh fruit for the meal.
 
 
                  
 
June 1, 2016
With the warmer weather the menu changed from tator tots to beef tacos.  Ten volunteers were on hand to cook up the meal for the June 1 Loaves & Fishes meal. Thank you to food prep volunteers Nancy Gove, Beth Gloppen, Cindy Atsatt, Ginny Hinzman, Laura Booth, John Kirwin, Michael Green, Renee, Nancy McLean, and Kim Mesun.  Due to a date mix up with the University of Wisconsin – Madison alums, some PLS volunteers also stayed around to help serve the tacos to the approximately 200 people who came to the meal.  Also thank you for the financial and food donations from Cindy Atsatt, Beth Gloppen, Roseann Schreifels and Kim Mesun.
 
PLS volunteers meet on the first Wednesday of even-numbered months to prepare the meal at Loaves and Fishes in the basement of Holy Rosary church in  South Minneapolis.  The next meals prepared will be on Aug. 3, Oct. 5, and Dec. 7 starting at 3:00.  If you would like to volunteer, contact Kim Mesun at kim.mesun@mpls.k12.mn.us
 
               
 


News From the Bench and Public Attorneys on the Move

There are several updates.

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Zucchini Mexicali
By Inta Sellars



A good recipe for all those zucchinis and tomatoes that are plentiful in late summer.

Four to six servings.

Vegetarian:
1 lb. unpeeled zucchini, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
3/4 c. chopped celery (optional) 
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. dried basil or 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 med. tomatoes, cut into wedges or 1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. salsa 
2 tsp. dry mustard
Reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese to taste

Non-vegetarian:
1 pkg. (20 oz.) ground turkey
1 pkg. taco seasoning

Steam all vegetables except tomato in microwave to the desired texture1, add tomato and seasonings and then microwave for 30 seconds and vegetarian version is ready to eat.  For non-vegetarian version, in a large skillet, prepare turkey and taco seasoning according to taco seasoning package directions.  Mix together all ingredients into pan used to cook turkey.  Cook over low heat for up to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  For either version, serve and top with cheddar cheese.  


 



Department of Administration
Advisory Opinions Index

 
 
This index uses the Department of Administration’s opinion numbers, dates of opinion, government entity involved and opinion requester.  We add a brief topic description.  Text of the 2016 opinions is available on line athttp://www.ipad.state.mn.us/docs/opinions2016.html .
 
 

No. of Opinion Date of Opinion Gov’t Entity Involved Topic Opinion Requester

16-001

02/18/2016

ISD #911 (Cambridge-Isanti)

Data Practices Act:Minn. Stat. section 13.43

Classification of data in a Notice of Proposed Removal of a school board member where the board member is also a former school district employee

ISD #911, Wallner

16-002

06/22/2016

City of Morehead

Open Meeting Law: Minn. Stat. section 13D.05, subd. 3, paragraph(a)

Sufficiency of publicly-stated summary of conclusions regarding a performance evaluation of the City Manager conducted during a closed city council meeting

Rowell

16-003

06/22/2016

City of Motley

Open Meeting Law: Minn. Stat. sections 13D.01, subd. 3, 13D.04, subdivision 2, & 13D.05, subd. 3, paragraph(b)

Appropriateness of closing city council meeting on the basis of attorney-client privilege; content of notice of special meeting; statement of grounds for closing meeting

Staples World, Halvorson

16-004

06/29/2016

ISD #706 (Virginia)

Data Practices Act: Minn. Stat. section 13.32 & FERPA

Disclosure of private educational data to paraprofessional school district employees before the employees have a work assignment that requires access to the data and before the employees have a “legitimate educational interest” in private data about students and their disabilities under FERPA


ISD #706, Colosimo

 
 
Prepared by Lynn M. Belgea

Annual Report

 

MSBA Public Law Section
Annual Report
2016-17

 

Section Membership
As of June 12, 2017, the Section has 487 members.
 
Financial Status
The Section had an account balance of $1447.50 as of April 30, 2017.
 
CLEs & Events
The Section hosted 9 CLE programs in fiscal year 2016-17. 
 
 

Program Title

Date

Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

Understanding Minnesota Election Law

9/7/16

224185

1.0 Standard

46

Social Media and the Public Sector Workplace

10/14/16

228708

1.0 Standard

40

Property Tax Appeal Basics

11/18/16

230999

1.0 Standard

42

Why You Should Think Twice About Board Service

1/27/17

233172

1.0 Ethics

55

Pro Bono and the Public Lawyer

2/17/17

234032

1.0 Ethics

54

Why Good Attorneys and Organizations Do Bad Things

3/24/17

236559

2.0 Ethics

69

Transgender 101

4/21/17

238281

2.0 EOB

21

The 2016 Elections – Impact on Public Lawyers, Ethics and Adjusting to Change

5/5/17

239105

3.0 Standard

34

We Need to Talk – Burks and its Impact on Data Practices

6/13/17

239504

1.0 Standard

55

 
 
Annual Meeting and Election Results
 
The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on May 5, 2017 and 63 people attended.

The following council members were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018:
 
Justin Kwong - Staff Attorney, Minnesota Department of Revenue
Nathan LaCoursiere - Assistant Duluth City Attorney
Charlie Ramstad - Ramstad, Skoyles & Winters, P.A.
Kate Swenson - Greene Espel PLLP
Wendy Legge (2017-2018) - Chief General Counsel, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
 
 
The following officers were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017.
 
Co-Chair: Dan Abelson - Associate General Counsel, Metropolitan Council
Co-Chair: Patricia Beety – Attorney, League of Minnesota Cities
Treasurer: Lynn Belgea - Legal Counsel, MN Department of Health
Secretary: Nancy Norman - Assistant Anoka County Attorney
 
 
Diversity and Inclusion
The Section’s Diversity committee planned and held a two-credit elimination of bias CLE, participated in a law student job fair and worked with the Diversity and Inclusion staff at the MSBA.  The Section co-chairs also attended the MSBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Training. 
 
 
Other Section Accomplishments
The Section continued to prepare at meal quarterly for the Loaves and Fishes organization, until that relationship ended this spring and we will begin serving the Ronald McDonald House Cooks for Kids program beginning in August.  We also had a children’s book drive at the annual CLE, meeting and awards luncheon.
 
Submitted By:
Inta M. Sellars and Lisa Godon, Section Co-Chairs
July 7, 2017