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Criminal Law Section Newsletter | February 2014

 

Council Recap

The Criminal Law Section Council met on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.  Following are some of the highlights.

1.  Uniform Collateral Consequences Act.  Bob Tennison attended the Criminal Law Section meeting to talk about the Uniform Collateral Consequences Act.  He explained that the Act has two main parts: (1) notice; and (2) remedies.  In the notice section, the Act requires the prosecutor to give a person notice when charged with an offense that carries collateral consequences.  The Act does not require the prosecutor to specify which consequences the person may face; just that there are consequences.  At plea and conviction, the court has to provide the same kind of information.  There is also a notice provision upon release from custody.  In the remedy section, the Act provides for certification of restoration after a certain period of time has elapsed and certain criteria have been met.  The Act exempts some offenses such as DWI where there is already a process in statute for relief from sanctions.  Mr. Tennison sought a resolution of support from the section, and members made a motion to take a section only position in support of the Act. 

The Uniform Collateral Consequences Act has been introduced as SF 1676/ HF 1845 and a hearing will be held on the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Friday, March 7, 2014 at 12 noon in Room 15 of the Capitol.

2.  CLE Planning.  The Committee discussed its recent Everything But The Trial School CLE.  The turnout was good but could have been better with more lead time on the notice.  The next big program for the section will be our annual Trial School that will be held on April 30th in Vadnais Heights.  More information on this program will be available soon.

3.  Local Court Practice Project.  Rich Ohlenberg provided the committee with a draft template that could be used to collect information about variations in local court practice.  Several members volunteered to gather similar information from other counties, including Anoka, Ramsey, McLeod, and Jackson.  Members were also encouraged to suggest questions that should be added to the overall template. Suggestions can be directed to Rich Ohlenberg.

 

Become a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law

Less than 3% of Minnesota attorneys are certified.  Set yourself apart from the crowd.  The process is straight forward, and the benefits are substantial:  the ability to market yourself as a criminal law specialist to potential clients and have a recognition of substantial achievement held in high regard by members of the bench and bar.  Current Criminal Law Certified Specialists include both defense attorneys and prosecutors.
The next certification exam will be given on March 22, 2014, and the MSBA is offering a prep course for the exam on March 13, 2014.  The requisites for certification and other information can be found at www.mnbar.org/certify.  Jessica Thomas is the MSBA Certified Legal Specialist Manager and can be reached at 612-278-6318 and jthomas@mnbar.org if you have any questions.