MSBA Family Law Section
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MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
May 10, 2008

The meeting was brought to order at 9:37 A.M. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - 26 people attended.

2.       Approval of March 8, 2008 minutes - Motion to Approve, Second, Passed.

3.       Report of the Chair – Cheryl Prince

a.       Section Officers: The current Section Officers were recognized for their service.  The 2008-2009 slate of Officers was approved by the Section at the Family Law Institute on April 1, 2008, and announced at today’s meeting.  The new Officers are:

          Chair:  Tami Peterson
          Chair-Elect:  Pamela Waggoner
          Vice Chair, Legislative Committee:  Glen Norton
          Vice Chair, Publications Committee:  Linda Wold
          Secretary:  Kathleen Murphy
          Treasurer:  Ryan Anderson
          Greater Minnesota Member: Gary Voegele, Barbara Runchey, Margaret Erickson
                                                
b.       Joint Physical Custody Study Group:  The Section will submit a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court requesting that a Section representative be appointed to the Joint Physical Study Group, which is expected to be mandated by legislation this session.  The Study Group will be charged with considering the impacts of a presumption in favor of joint physical custody in Minnesota, and delivering its recommendations in January 2009. 

c.       Section Collaboration with AAML – MN Chapter:  Representatives are meeting to determine the structure for joint projects and general collaboration.

d.       Minnesota Justice Foundation Summer Internship Grant:   MJF requested  $5,000 from the Section to fund a summer internship.  The Section has approved this request for the past several years, and the budget can accommodate it. 

          MOTION: To approve $5,000 for the MJF Summer Internship Program.
          SECOND; PASSED 

4.       Treasurer’s Report – Ryan Anderson     

The “Financial Activity Report For the Nine Months Ending March 31, 2008” was distributed.  2007-2008 was a fiscally successful year.    

5.      Committee Reports

a.       Amicus:  Ryan Anderson

Peterka vs. Dennis (A07-0165): The Petition to submit an amicus brief on behalf of the Family Law Section and the AAML-MN Chapter was granted by the Supreme Court.  The Committee will submit the final draft on May 16, 2008, and will have it posted on the Section website.  The issue relates to quasi-judicial immunity of court-appointed officials.   
         
b.       Domestic Abuse:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee meets after every Section meeting.  Section members are encouraged to attend.  Lunch is provided. 

c.       Strategic Planning:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee meets 8:45 – 9:15 A.M., prior to Section meetings.  The Committee is in the process of recruiting chairs to work on implementing specific strategic plan goals.

d.       Publications:  Linda Wold

The topic for the first issue in 2008 will be “Children in the System.” Articles will cover a broad range of topics relating to the nexus between programs and services for children and legal issues (eg., child protection, school programs/services, adoption,…).  Several authors have already committed.     

e.       Legislation – Glen Norton

  1. SF 3235 - Social Security Numbers:  The Section’s amended proposal to delete Social Security Numbers from dissolution petitions and paternity complaints has been consolidated into the Omnibus Data Practices Act and was passed in both bodies in different forms.  The Section’s proposal is non-controversial and is expected to pass without further amendments. 
  2. SF 2965/HF 3448 – Gestational Carrier Arrangements: Passed both houses, however, the Governor will veto unless it is limited to married couples.  Negotiations between the authors and the Governor continue.  The Section supports this bill.
  3. SF 3166/HF 3564 – DHS Child Welfare, Licensing, and Data Practices Provisions:  Provides for a new interstate compact for child placement and revises adoptions and foster care placement.  Passed both houses, however, the Governor is expected to veto it.  The Section took no position.
  4. SF 3793/HF 3989 – Prevention of Dissolution of Marriage:  Introduced late in the session.  Pending but not likely to pass.  The Section took no position this session.
  5. SF 1606/HF 1262 – Presumption in Favor of Joint Physical Custody:  Provides for a Study Group to report in January 2009.  The Section submitted a letter to the Supreme Court requesting that a Section representative be appointed to the Study Group.  The Section has consistently opposed a presumption in favor of joint physical custody, but supports the Study Group.   
  6. SF 3720/HF 4059 – Reproductive Privacy Act:  Introduced late in the session.  Not expected to pass.  The Section took no position this session.       
  7. HF 3942 – Elimination of Physical Custody Act:  Proposed by the Judicial Committee that explored eliminating “physical custody” from the statutes.  Not likely to pass, but expected to be re-introduced next session.  The Section’s position is that there should be no statutory changes to the current custody designations until the issue has been studied by a Task Force appointed by the Supreme Court. 

6. New Business  

Dan Ventres announced that his office-mate, Peter Taylor, a long-time active
Section member and former Officer, has been ill.  The Section will follow-up.

The Petition for Review of McDaniel v. McDaniel, A06-2446 (Minn. Ct. App.  February 26, 2008. Unpublished), was denied by the Supreme Court.  The issue related to upholding a Karon waiver.  
         
ADJOURN
MOTION to adjourn
SECOND
PASSED
   
Meeting adjourned at 10:25 A.M.  This was the final meeting for 2007-2008.  Meetings will resume in September 2008.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
March 8, 2008

The meeting was brought to order at 9:38 A.M. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - 27 people attended.

2.       Approval of February 9, 2008 minutes  -  Motion to Approve, Second, Passed.

3.       Report of the Chair – Cheryl Prince

The Executive Committee met this morning regarding the following:

a.       Coordination between the Family Law Section and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – MN Chapter (AAML):  The AAML – MN Chapter’s application for associate membership of the MSBA was approved.  The joint committee of the MSBA Family Law Section and the AAML-MN Chapter will facilitate collaboration on legislative initiatives, amicus briefs, and other projects as appropriate.               

b.       April Section Meeting:  The April meeting is CANCELLED due to the Family Law Institute. 

c.       Family Law Institute:  The Family Law Institute is 3/31-4/1/08, River Center, St. Paul.  Pre-registrations have exceeded previous years.  Attendance is expected to be high.

d.       Strategic Planning:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee will meet during the Family Law Institute to work on implementing the strategic plan.  When finalized, the plan will be presented to the Section for approval. 

4.       Treasurer’s Report – Cheryl Prince for Ryan Anderson     

The “Financial Activity Report for the Six Months Ending December 31, 2007” was distributed.  A verbal report is reserved until the next meeting, as the Treasurer is out of town.   

5.       Committee Reports

a.       Amicus

Peterka vs. Dennis (A07-0165): The Petition to submit an amicus brief on behalf of the Family Law Section and the AAML-MN Chapter was filed with the Supreme Court.  The issue relates to quasi-judicial immunity of court-appointed officials.   
         
b.       Domestic Abuse:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee meets after every Section meeting.  Section members are encouraged to attend.  Lunch is provided. 

c.       Strategic Planning:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee meets 8:45 – 9:15 A.M., prior to Section meetings.  The Committee continues to work on leadership development and several other items.

d.       Publications:  Cheryl Prince for Linda Wold

The Solo/Small firm issue of the Family Law Forum will be ready for distribution within the next few weeks.  It will include eleven articles, plus an “Extras Section.”

The Pro Bono issue is set to be published May 15, 2008.  Nine authors have committed to submitting articles.  

e.       Legislation – Kathleen Murphy for Glen Norton

  1. Social Security Numbers:  The Section’s proposal to delete Social Security Numbers from dissolution petitions and paternity complaints was amended to accommodate DHS’ concern re: the potential violation of federal disclosure requirements.  SF2645 and HF3133 are moving forward at the legislature.
  2. Spousal Maintenance  Calculation:  The Section’s proposal to calculate maintenance after child support has no author yet.  The MSBA lobbyist is working on this.
  3. Child Support – Self Support Reserve:  The Section’s proposal to modify the self support reserve provision is tabled this session. More research and experience with self support reserve cases is necessary before moving forward.  Steve Arnott and his students at William Mitchell are assisting by researching poverty level demographics in Minnesota counties.       
  4. Assisted Reproduction:  Minor proposed amendments to HF 3449 were vetted and approved by the Legislative Committee. 
  5. Gestational Carrier Act: Minor proposed amendments to HF 3448 were vetted and approved by the Legislative Committee.

MOTION:  To approve the legislation as amended to be HF 3449 and HF 3448
SECOND
PASSED 

     6. Presumption in Favor of Joint Physical Custody:  HF 1262 was heard on 2/28/08. Current status is that the bill was amended to mandate a Comprehensive Family Court Process Study, which must be completed by January 15, 2009.  Another hearing is scheduled for 3/12/08.  No hearing is scheduled for the companion bill, SF 1606.        

     7. New Legislation:  The Section reviewed and took action on the following bills:

i. HF 2494:  Courts prohibited from considering a parent’s military status when determining child custody or parenting time. 

MOTION:  To oppose HF 2494.
SECOND
Discussion: Legislative Chair Glen Norton will be asked to follow this bill and represent the Section in opposing it if a hearing is scheduled. 
PASSED
ABSTAIN - 1   

ii.  HF 3101:  Increased criminal penalty for violation of domestic
abuse no contact order. 

Action:  Referred to the Section’s Domestic Abuse Committee for analysis and recommendation.

  1. HF 3371:  Birth record access allowed to adopted persons.  

MOTION: To take no action.
SECOND
PASSED

iv.      SF 2176:  Child support full compliance with payment agreements requirement.  No action taken.

5. New Business  

Briefly discussed McDaniel v. McDaniel, A06-2446 (Minn. Ct. App.  February 26, 2008. Unpublished).  If a Petition for Supreme Court review is filed, the Section may consider submitting an amicus brief.  The issue relates to upholding a Karon waiver.  
         
ADJOURN
MOTION to adjourn
SECOND
PASSED
   
Meeting adjourned at 10:23 A.M.  Next meeting is Saturday, May 10, 2008.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
February 9, 2008

The meeting was brought to order at 9:32 A.M. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - 36 people attended.

2.       Approval of January 12, 2008 minutes  -  Motion to Approve, Second, Passed.

3.       Report of the Chair – Cheryl Prince

The Executive Committee met this morning regarding the following:

a.       Coordination between the Family Law Section and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – MN Chapter (AAML):  Cheryl attended a meeting to discuss/plan a structure to facilitate coordination.  A Joint Committee was formed to determine the projects/issues on which the two organizations will collaborate.  Section members on the Committee are Cheryl Prince, Section Chair, Tami Peterson, Section Chair-Elect, Glen Norton, Section Legislative Vice Chair, and Ryan Anderson, Section Treasurer and Liaison to AAML.  Ryan will attend the monthly AAML meetings in his liaison capacity.          

b.       April Section Meeting:  The April meeting is CANCELLED due to the Family Law Institute, unless action is required from the Legislative Committee.  Notice will be posted on the website. 

c.       Family Law Institute:  The Family Law Institute is 3/31-4/1/08, River Center, St. Paul. Over 400 participants have pre-registered to date.  This is higher than usual.

d.       Nominating Committee:  Ellen Abbott

The proposed slate of Officers for 2008-2009 is: 

Chair:  Tami Peterson
Chair-Elect:  Pamela Waggoner
Vice Chair, Legislative Committee:  Glen Norton
Vice Chair, Publications Committee:  Linda Wold
Secretary:  Kathleen Murphy
Treasurer:  Ryan Anderson
Greater Minnesota Members:  Gary Voegele, Barbara Runchey, Margaret Erickson
Nominations invited from the floor:  None. 

The slate will be published and voted upon at the 2008 Family Law Institute.  

4.       Treasurer’s Report - Ryan Anderson     

The “Financial Activity Report for the Six Months Ending December 31, 2007” was distributed.  The budget is on target.  For more information about the budget, contact Ryan Anderson.

5.       Committee Reports

a.       Amicus:  Mary Lauhead and Michael Dittberner

Peterka vs. Dennis (A07-0165): The Supreme Court may review the Court of Appeals decision to not uphold the trial court decision that court-appointed neutrals have quasi-judicial immunity.  The Committee recommends filing an amicus brief to advocate the position that the Appellate decision should be reversed because neutrals are critical to the judicial process. 

MOTION:  (Mary Lauhead)  The Committee may bring a Petition to the Supreme Court for approval to file an amicus brief in support of upholding the trial court’s decision that court-appointed neutrals have quasi-judicial immunity.
SECOND
Discussion
MOTION FOR FRIENDLY AMENDMENT:  (Steve Arnott) The Committee’s Petition may be submitted provided the Petition for Review has been accepted by the Supreme Court.       
SECOND
PASSED
ABSTENTIONS: 4

The Committee will discuss collaborating with the AAML if the amicus brief goes forward.
         
b.       Domestic Abuse:  Loretta Frederick

No report.

c.       Strategic Planning:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee meets 8:45 – 9:15 A.M., prior to Section meetings.  The Committee continues to work on leadership development and several other items.

d.       Publications:  Linda Wold

No report.

e.       Legislation - Glen Norton

  1. The Section’s approved legislative proposals (calculating spousal maintenance after child support; modifying the self-support reserve provision of the child support guidelines, and deleting the statutory requirement that SSN’s be listed in Petitions) are expected from the Reviser of Statutes in bill form soon.
  2. The Section will draft a letter of support for the proposals re: Assisted Reproduction and the Gestational Surrogacy Act.
  3. The Judicial Ad Hoc Committee to Delete “Physical Custody” from Minn. Stat. 518, 518A, 257, and 257C:  A draft report and analysis has been prepared by the ad hoc Committee lead by Andy Dawkins and Judge Bruce Peterson (Fourth Judicial District). The report was forwarded to the legislature under a cover letter from Sue Dosal, State Court Administrator.  Comments are being solicited.  The report will be posted on the Section website.  Send comments to Glen Norton. 

Extensive discussion re: the Section’s position.  Concern was raised that taking action at the legislature is premature.

MOTION:  (Mary Lauhead): Section Position Statement - The Family Law Section supports the formation of a Task Force by the Supreme Court to study the ramifications of custody labels relative to Minnesota Statutes and Federal Law, as well as the experience of other states which have statutorily revised custody designations and related family issues in family court.       
SECOND
Discussion
PASSED
ABSTENTIONS: 3

Further discussion re: the Section’s position.

MOTION:  The Section recommends that there should be no statutory changes to the current custody designations until the issue has been studied by a Task Force appointed by the Supreme Court.
SECOND
PASSED
ABSTENTIONS: 2

A Legislative Sub-Committee within the Section will be formed to review/analyze the materials from the ad hoc Judicial Committee, and prepare recommendations to the Section.  To volunteer, contact Glen Norton as soon as possible: glen@glenanorton.com   

4.      New Business: 

None.
         
ADJOURN
MOTION to adjourn
SECOND
PASSED
   
Meeting adjourned at 10:35 A.M.  Next meeting is Saturday, March 8, 2008.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
January 12, 2008

The meeting was brought to order at 9:34 A.M. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - 40 people attended.

2.       Approval of December 8, 2007 minutes - Motion to Approve, Second, Passed.

3.       Report of the Chair – Cheryl Prince

The Executive Committee met this morning regarding the following:

a.       Distinguished Family Law Section Member Award:  Gary Weissman will be nominated for his exemplary work in family law.  The Committee will work on the logistics for bestowing the award.  

b.       Accessibility of Section Minutes:  Section Minutes are posted on the MSBA website and are available to the public as a public service.  This protocol will continue.         

c.       March and April Section Meetings:  Scheduled as usual, however, the March and April meetings may be cancelled if there is no legislative or other agenda item.  Members should monitor the website for a cancellation notice. 

Reminder: The Family Law Institute is 3/31-4/1/08, River Center, St. Paul.

4.       Treasurer’s Report - Ryan Anderson      

The “Financial Activity Report For the Five Months Ending November 30, 2007” was distributed.  The budget is on target.  For more information about the budget, contact Ryan Anderson.  

5.      Committee Reports

a.       Amicus:  Mary Lauhead and Michael Dittberner

The Supreme Court denied the Petition for review and the Committee’s request to submit an amicus brief for Wickhem, A06-1784. 

The Committee was approached regarding an Appellate case involving a buy-sell agreement for a family farm cooperative and the dissolution of marriage between two of the owners. The Committee was divided as to a recommendation.  No Motion was made by the Section to intervene.        
         
b.       Domestic Abuse:  Loretta Frederick

Ellen Abbott reported that the Committee is preparing the Section’s position paper on the proposal being considered by the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee to allow cameras in the courtroom. The submission deadline is January 18, 2008.  For more information or to submit comments to the Section, contact Ellen Abbott.

The Committee is preparing talking points to address the anticipated bills and current court initiatives regarding physical custody.

Committee meetings are from 12:00 Noon – 1:30 P.M., immediately following the Section meeting.  Members are encouraged to attend.   

c.       Strategic Planning:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee meets 8:45 – 9:15 A.M., prior to Section meetings.  The priority is leadership development.  Members are encouraged to attend.
 
d.       Publications:  Linda Wold

The Family Law Forum issue on Domestic Violence was well-received.  Linda was commended for her excellent work. 

Three additional issues will be published in 2008:

2/08 (topic - Solo-Small Office Practitioners; 14 articles submitted)
5/08 (topic – Pro Bono Family Law Services; 7 authors committed)
Fall:  The Legislative Committee will coordinate to provide a recap and commentary on the 2008 legislative session.

e.       Legislation - Glen Norton

The following legislative proposals from the Section were presented and approved at the MSBA Assembly on 12/14/07:
 
1) Spousal Maintenance: Calculating spousal maintenance after the child support calculation is completed;

2) Child Support:  Amending the child support guidelines such that when the self support reserve provision applies, both parties are at the same percent of the federal poverty level after transfer of child support;
 
3) Social Security Numbers:  Deleting the statutory requirement that Social Security Numbers be listed in Petitions.
         
The MSBA Legislative Committee took the following action on the Section’s remaining proposals:

1) Assisted Reproduction:  Recommend adoption provided the Health Law Section does not object;

2) Gestational Surrogacy Act: Recommend adoption provided the Health Law Section does not object;

3) Reporting Home Mortgage Information:  Sent back to the Section for further study and coordination with the Real Estate Section; 

4) Filing Fees:  Sent back to the Section for study, and the Section should make its concerns known to the MSBA President. However, the proposal may be in conflict with the standing resolution that the MSBA supports adequate funding for Minnesota courts;

5) Enforcement of Spousal Maintenance Orders:  Sent back to the Section for study regarding the fiscal implications.  The Section’s Legislative Committee will seek more information from Lloyd Grooms about this issue;

6) Life Insurance Trusts:  Sent back to the Section for further study and coordination with the Probate Section.

Miscellaneous:

 The Judicial Ad Hoc Committee to Delete “Physical Custody” from Minn. Stat. 518, 518A, 257, and 257C, is in the analysis phase.  The Section’s Domestic Violence Committee prepared an extensive analysis regarding the impact on domestic violence victims of removing the physical custody label.  Members’ comments have been forwarded to the Judicial Ad Hoc Committee.  For additional information, contact Glen Norton.    

6. New Business: 

Ellen Abbott announced that the Nominating Committee is preparing a slate of nominations for leadership positions in the Section.  If interested in serving, contact Ellen Abbott.

Ellen Abbott announced that the ADR Ethics Board is exploring a statewide initiative to address family law issues in ADR.  To provide ideas or input, contact Ellen Abbott or Gary Voegele.  
         
ADJOURN
MOTION to adjourn
SECOND
PASSED
   
Meeting adjourned at 10:31 A.M.  Next meeting is Saturday, February 9, 2008.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
December 8, 2007

The meeting was brought to order at 9:31 a.m. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - Members present:  Ellen A. Abbott, David Ahlvers, Ryan D. Anderson, Stephen Arnott, Jeannie Blatz,  Marisela Cantu, Johanna Clyborne, Margaux Coady, Michael Dittberner, Jaime Driggs, Don Enockson, Margaret Erickson, Loretta Frederick, Rana Fuller, David Gapen, Mike Heise, Robert Himle, Robert Himle, Mary Kate Kelley-Scheidler, Mary Louise Klas, Bruce Kennedy, Holly Knight, Karen Kugler, Mary Lauhead, Kathleen Murphy, Glen Norton, Dan O’Connell, Cheryl Prince, Tami Peterson, Kara Reike, Kim Robinson, Rebecca Rossow, Barb Runchey,  Gary Voegele, Tom Walsh, Linda Wold, Tiffane Wolter.

2.       Approval of November 10, 2007 minutes - Motion to approve, Second, Passed.

3.       Report of the Chair – Cheryl Prince

a.       Supreme Court Task Force re: Use of Cameras in the Courtroom:  This Task Force was formed by the General Rules of Practice Committee to make recommendations in response to media proposals to allow use of cameras in the courtroom.  Comments are being accepted.  The Section discussed and voted on a position.  A written submission will be drafted by the Domestic Violence Subcommittee and presented to the Section for review and approval at the next meeting. 

MOTION to oppose cameras in the courtroom for family law matters, including juvenile court proceedings such as CHIPS, delinquency, adoption,…
SECOND
PASSED

b.       American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) – MN Chapter, application for affiliate membership of the MSBA:  Dan O’Connell presented the AAML initiative to the Executive Committee and to the Section.  A lengthy discussion followed. 

MOTION to support the AAML’s request for affiliation with the MSBA
SECOND
PASSED

c.       Family Law Institute 2008:  3/31- 4/1/08, River Center, St. Paul.  Keynote speakers:  Constance Ahrons, author of The Good Divorce, limited keynote speaker and break-out sessions: Donna Beegle, author of See Poverty, Be the Difference.  Program tracks will include an expert track, child support, practice management, trial practice, and property issues.                

4.        Treasurer’s Report – Ryan Anderson      

The “Financial Activity Report for the Four Months Ending October 31, 2007” was distributed.  

5.       Committee Report

a.       Amicus:  Mary Lauhead and Michael Dittberner

The Committee filed a request to submit an amicus brief for Wickhem v. Wickhem, A06-1784.  Opposing counsel has filed a Motion to deny the request.  The issue is imputation of income of a full-time homemaker.  No action to be taken until the Supreme Court rules on the Petition for review and the Motions re: the amicus brief.       
         
b.       Domestic Abuse:  Loretta Frederick

In response to anticipated custody bills and current court initiatives re: custody and parenting, the Committee continues to develop talking points re: the impact of these initiatives when there is domestic abuse.  Meetings are immediately following the Section meeting.

c.       Strategic Planning:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee met 12/8/07.  The priority is leadership development.  The Nominations Committee will meet this month to identify prospective Committee Chairs.
 
d.       Publications:  Linda Wold

The Family Law Forum issue on Domestic Violence have been distributed (970 copies), and posted on the Section website.  This issue consists of 12 articles and a substantial Resources section.  Two additional Family Law Forum issues will be published:

2/08 (topic - Solo-Small Office Practitioners; 12 articles submitted)
5/08 (topic – Pro Bono Family Law Services; 7 authors presently committed)

e.       Legislation – Glen Norton

The Section’s legislative proposals were vetted by the General Assembly on 11/29/07.  The Assembly’s final recommendations have not been released yet, but the anticipated results are as follows:
         
i.        Spousal Maintenance:  That spousal maintenance be calculated after the child support calculation is completed: ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION: Adopt.         

ii.       Child Support and Calculating the Self Support Reserve: That the child support guidelines be amended such that if the self support reserve provision applies and the result is that the obligee and children fall below 120% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, then child support should only be reduced to the point at which the obligor and obligee are equally below 120% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION: Adopt.        
                            
iii.      Social Security Numbers and Privacy:  That the statutory requirement that Social Security Numbers be listed in the        Petition be deleted. 
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION: Adopt.        

iv.      Assisted Reproduction:  That Minn. Stat. 257.56 be amended          such that sperm donors, embryo donors, and ovum donors are treated equally under the child support and parentage statutes.
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION: Adopt, provided that the Health Law Section does not object.                

v.       Gestational Surrogacy Act: That new legislation be created to          provide procedural protocols for and enforceability of gestational surrogacy agreements. 
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION: Adopt, provided that the Health Law Section does not object.                         

vi.      Reporting Home Mortgage Information:   That a statutory provision be created to limit credit reporting of mortgage        information on non-owning former spouses.   
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION:  Send back to the Section for further study and coordination with the Real Estate Section.

vii.     Filing Fees:  That a moratorium be placed on all increases to dissolution filing fees.    
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION: Send back to the Section for further study; make concerns known to the MSBA President, and consider the MSBA’s standing contradictory position that it supports adequate funding for Minnesota courts.    
                                     
viii.     Enforcement of Spousal Maintenance Orders:  That DHS enforcement of maintenance orders and child support orders must be equal.
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION:  Send back to the Section for study re: fiscal impact. 

ix.      Life Insurance Trusts:  That the statute allow but not require divorcing parents to utilize a pre-defined life insurance trust to provide for the future financial stability of the minor children.            
ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATION:  Send back to the Section for further study re: insurance-funded trusts and coordination with the Probate Section.

6.      Miscellaneous:

         
a.       Report on Judicial Ad Hoc Committee to Delete “Physical Custody” from Minn. Stat. 518, 518A, 257 and 257C:  This Committee is proceeding forward. Glen Norton will convene a volunteer, informal task force to compile comments from Section members and draft a position statement for review and approval at the next meeting.  Section members should e-mail comments/concerns to: glen@glenanorton.com.

The next Legislative Committee meeting is on January 10, 2008.

7.      New Business: 

David Aldrich presented a proposed resolution that the MSBA create a task force          to make recommendations to address the disparity between legal rights and protections available to same-sex couples as compared to different-sex couples.  It is anticipated that the resolution will be presented to the General Assembly at the MSBA Convention in June 2008.  

MOTION to support the resolution
SECOND
PASSED
         
ADJOURN
MOTION to adjourn
SECOND
PASSED
   
Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.  Next meeting is Saturday, January 12, 2008.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
November 10, 2007

The meeting was brought to order at 9:32 a.m. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - Members present:  Ellen A. Abbott, Reed Ackerman, Ryan D. Anderson, Stephen Arnott, Beth Barbosa, Jeannie Blatz,  Marisela Cantu, Margaux Coady, Michael Dittberner, Jaime Driggs, Mary Drummer, Margaret Erickson, Mary Fenske, Loretta Frederick, Rana Fuller, Mike Heise, Robert Himle,  Jennifer S. Homer, Robert Himle, Mary Kate Kelley-Scheidler, Bruce Kennedy, Holly Knight, Karen Kugler, Sonja Larson, Bob Manson, Bill Mullin, Kathleen Murphy, Glen Norton, Melvin Ogurak, Cheryl Prince, Tami Peterson, Jay Ramos, Kara Reike, Barb Runchey, Carrie Skrip, Steve Snyder, Peter M. Taylor, Gary Voegele, Tom Walsh, Ellen Weinberg, Linda Wold, Tiffane Wolter.

2.       Approval of October 13, 2007 minutes - Minor corrections, Motion to approve as amended, Second, Passed.

3.       Report of the Chair – Cheryl Prince

a.       Family Law Institute 2008:  3/31- 4/1/08, River Center, St. Paul.  Keynote speakers:  Constance Ahrons, author of The Good Divorce, and Donna Beegle, author of See Poverty, Be the Difference.  Program tracks are being developed, including an expert track, child support, and property issues.        

b.       The current Section priority is to increase membership and active involvement.  More voices and diverse perspectives enhance the Section’s effectiveness.  Members are encouraged to bring a prospective member to Section meetings (Incentive: chocolate!).             

4.        Treasurer’s Report – Ryan Anderson      

The “Financial Activity Report For the Three Months Ending September 30, 2007” was distributed.  Budget is on track.  There are sufficient funds for anticipated expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year, including publication of 3 more Family Law Forum issues.

5.       Committee Reports

a.       Amicus:  Mary Lauhead and Michael Dittberner

Michael Dittberner reported that Gary Weissman contacted the Committee regarding a case that is going to the Supreme Court for review (Wickhem v. Wickhem. Filed 10/16/07).  The issue is imputation of income of a full-time homemaker.  The Committee supports becoming involved.     
         
MOTION to prepare an amicus brief
SECOND
PASSED

b.       Domestic Abuse:  Loretta Frederick

In preparation for various custody bills that may be introduced at the 2008 legislative session, the Committee is developing talking points re: the impact of these proposals when there is domestic abuse in the family.   Meetings are immediately following the Section meeting.  Lunch is provided.  Members are encouraged to join this Committee.  Contact Loretta Frederick. 

c.      Strategic Planning:  Ellen Abbott

The Committee met 11/10/07.  The priority is to promote leadership within the Section.  Meetings are at 8:45 a.m., just prior to Section meetings, and are open to members.  Members are encouraged to join this Committee.  Contact Ellen Abbott.

d.      Publications:  Linda Wold

The Family Law Forum issue on Domestic Violence will be distributed during the last week of November.  Two additional Family Law Forum issues will be published:
2/08 (topic - Solo-Small Office Practitioners)
5/08  (topic – Pro Bono Family Law Services

Members are encouraged join this Committee and/or submit articles.  Contact Linda Wold.

e.     Legislation –  Glen Norton

The Legislation Committee met on 11/1/07 to address the following:    

i.      Report on Judicial Ad Hoc Committee to Delete “Physical Custody” from Minn. Stat. 518, 518A, 257 and 257C:  The proposal will be submitted to the Minnesota Judicial Counsel.  Section members should e-mail comments/concerns to Glen Norton: glen@glenanorton.com.

ii.       Legislative Proposals from Other Sections:  The Committee    will meet and prepare comments as needed.

iii.     Family Law Section Legislative Proposals: Bill summaries have been sent to other Sections and the Assembly.  The Assembly will meet on 12/14/07 to decide whether to adopt the Family Law Section’s proposals.  The legislature convenes on 2/12/07.

iv.     Spousal Maintenance:  The Section supports a proposal that spousal maintenance should be calculated after the child support calculation is completed.  The proposal has been submitted to the Assembly.         

v.       Child Support and Calculating the Self Support Reserve:  The Section supports a proposal to amend the child support guidelines such that if the self support reserve provision applies and the result is that the obligee and children fall below 120% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, then child support should only be reduced to the point at which the obligor and obligee are equally below 120% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.  The proposal has been submitted to the Assembly.
                            
vi.      Assisted Reproduction:  The Section supports amending        Minn. Stat. 257.56 such that sperm donors, embryo donors,     and ovum donors are treated equally under the child support and parentage statutes.  The proposal has been submitted to    the Assembly.        

vii.     Gestational Surrogacy Act: The Section supports a proposal to create new legislation to provide procedural protocols for and enforceability of gestational surrogacy agreements.  The proposal has been submitted to the Assembly.         

viii.     Reporting Home Mortgage Information:   The Committee recommended supporting a new proposal to limit credit          reporting of mortgage information on non-owning former spouses.  

MOTION to approve legislation limiting the credit reporting or mortgage information for former spouses who no longer own or are obligated under a Dissolution Decree for that mortgage.
SECOND
PASSED

ix.      Filing Fees:  The Committee recommended supporting a new proposal to reduce filing fees for Dissolution actions because the fees are becoming increasingly prohibitive. It is anticipated that the legislature will consider a proposal to increase filing fees again to finance additional supervised visitation and parenting time exchange centers.  The Section does not oppose the funding of additional centers. 

MOTION to support legislation to reduce filing fees for dissolution actions, but not oppose the funding of additional supervised child visitation and exchange centers. 
MOTION TO AMEND: Amend Motion such that the Section supports a moratorium on all increases to dissolution filing fees.
MOTION to accept the Amended Motion
SECOND
PASSED Motion as Amended

x.       Social Security Numbers and Privacy:  The Committee recommended deleting the requirement that Social Security Numbers be listed in the Petition.  Best practice is to list the SSN only in the Confidential Information Form.  This measure will cause the law to conform to best practice.

MOTION to support legislation deleting the requirement that Social Security Numbers be listed in the Petition for Dissolution.
SECOND
PASSED

xi.      Life Insurance Trusts:  The Committee recommended a proposal to provide an alternative method for divorcing parents to secure their children’s future.  The measure allows parents to agree to require each other to set up an insurance-funded trust for the minor children, thereby avoiding probate court.  The present method is for divorcing parents to name their children as insurance beneficiaries.  This presents a problem if a child is a minor when the settlement is paid because probate court must be involved.            
 
MOTION to support legislation creating a pre-defined standardized life insurance trust for minor children of divorcing parents.
MOTION TO AMEND: Amend Motion to include language that the court may not require the parties to agree to utilize the life insurance trust.
SECOND
PASSED Motion as Amended

xii.     Relocation:  The Committee recommended supporting a proposal to create a defined protocol for courts to follow if a custodial parent seeks to move the child to another state.   

MOTION  to support legislation amending Minn. Stat. 518.175, subd. 3, defining a specific protocol for relocation cases.
MOTION to table.
SECOND Motion to table
PASSED Motion to table

xiii.     Enforcement of Spousal Maintenance Orders:  The Committee reaffirmed that the Section approved a proposal to require equal enforcement of maintenance orders and child support orders.  This measure will ensure that the mother/father in need of support has the same protections as the child in need of support.  The proposal has been submitted to the Assembly.  

6. New Business:  None.

ADJOURN
MOTION to adjourn
SECOND
PASSED
   
Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.  Next meeting is Saturday, December 8, 2007.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
October 13, 2007

The meeting was brought to order at 9:35 a.m. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - Members present:  Ellen Abbott, Ryan D. Anderson, Beth Barbosa, Jeannie Blatz,  Margaux Coady, Michael Dittberner, Jaime Driggs, Margaret Erickson, Ron Frauenshuh, Loretta Frederick, Rana Fuller, Mike Heese, Robert Himle,  Jennifer Homer, Judth H. Johnson, Mary Louise Klas, Bruce Kennedy, Sonja Larson, Bill Mullin, Kathleen Murphy, Glen Norton, Heidi Rivkin, Barb Runchey, Steve Snyder, Peter M. Taylor, Letty VanErt, Diana Villela, Gary Voegele, Linda Wold.

2.       Approval of September 8, 2007 minutes  -  Motion to approve, Seconded, Passed.

3.       Chair’s Report – Cheryl Prince

a.       The November 10 Section CLE will be the mentor/mentee dialogues.  Family law practitioners with 10+ years of experience will be available for one-on-one conversations with newer practitioners.  To sign up, contact Kayla Jurrens at the MSBA.    

b.       Family Law Institute:  3/31- 4/1/08, River Center, St. Paul.  An interesting program is taking shape.  Keynote speakers:  Constance Ahrons, author of The Good Divorce, re: the effect of divorce on children.  Donna Beegle, author of See Poverty, Be the Difference, re: her inspiring story and work on ending poverty.         

4.        Treasurer’s Report – Ryan Anderson – no report.      

5.       Committee Reports

a. Legislative –  Glen Norton

The Legislative Committee met 10/11/07, and addressed a lengthy agenda.
           
i.  Proposed tax on legal services.  The Committee recommended that the Section oppose this tax as an excessive burden on parties, firms, and practitioners.  Also, the unfairness of singling out individuals with family law matters by imposing a tax is poor public policy.

MOTION to oppose the tax on legal services and request that         the Bar Association advocate against this tax at the Minnesota legislature.
SECOND
MOTION PASSED

ii.  Hennepin County Judicial Committee to explore deleting the        custody label in MN Statutes: This Committee has been disbanded, and will be replaced by a Blue Ribbon Panel.

iii.  Joint Physical Custody:  Anticipating that legislation may be introduced at the 2008 Session to add a presumption in favor of joint physical custody, the Section re-affirmed it’s firm/consistent opposition.   No further Section action required at the 10/13/07 meeting.    

iv.  Child Support Calculations Legislative Sub-Committee:  Glen Norton and Kathleen Murphy.  Legislative Proposal X07 was presented.  This proposal includes one substantive change to the prior proposal that was approved by the Section 12/6/06.  The substantive change was to add language to MN. Stat. 518A.34, Subdivision 1, [Deviations], as suggested by Sen. Neuville.  

MOTION to approve Proposal X07 and support a change in the law such that if the self support reserve provision applies     and the result is that the obligee and joint children fall below 120% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, then the child           support obligation should only be reduced to the point at which the household income of the obligee with the joint children and the household income of the obligor are equally         below 120% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and also to request that the Bar Association advocate for this proposal at the Minnesota legislature.
SECOND
MOTION PASSED
                            
v.  Spousal Maintenance Calculation:  Glen Norton and Michael Dittberner.  Proposal to support a change in the law, so that spousal maintenance is calculated after child support is determined in the same case.  The proposed change will reduce the circular calculations presently required, simplify      the process, and reduce attorney fees.  

MOTION to support a change in the law so that spousal maintenance is calculated after child support is determined in the same case, and request that the Bar Association advocate for this proposal at the Minnesota legislature.
SECOND
MOTION PASSED

vi.  Ovum Donors/Assisted Reproduction Legislative Proposal:  Glen Norton and Steve Snyder.  Proposal to change MN. Stat. 257.56 so that ovum donors and sperm donors are treated equally in assisted reproduction cases, as previously approved by the Section, and as a substantive change proposed on 10/13/07, to also add embryo donors for equal treatment in these cases.

MOTION to substitute the revised proposal for the previously  approved proposal, and to request that the Section ask the Bar Association to advocate for the revised proposal at the Minnesota legislature.
SECOND
MOTION PASSED

vii.  Gestational Carriers Proposal:  Glen Norton and Steve Snyder.  Proposal to create a law (Gestational Carriers Act) that establishes consistent standards and safeguards that protect parties involved in a surrogacy contract and confirm the legal status of children born as a result of these contracts. 

MOTION to support this proposal and request that the Bar Association advocate for it at the Minnesota legislature.   
SECOND
MOTION PASSED

b. Domestic Abuse – Loretta Frederick

Anticipating legislative proposals this session to support a presumption in favor of joint physical custody, the Committee is developing talking points re: the impact of joint physical custody when there is domestic abuse.

c. Strategic Planning – Ellen Abbott

The Committee met 10/13/07.  Meetings are open to Section members.  Members are encouraged to join the Committee.  Contact Ellen Abbott.

d.  Publications – Linda Wold

9 articles will be published in the 11/07 Family Law Forum on Domestic Violence.  Two additional Family Law Forum issues will be published:
2/08 (topic - Solo-Small Office Practitioners)
5/08  (topic – Pro Bono Family Law Services)

MOTION to adjourn
SECOND
MOTION PASSED - unanimous
   
6.       Meeting adjourned at 10:29 a.m.  Next meeting is Saturday, November 10, 2007.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
September 8, 2007

The meeting was brought to order at 9:35 a.m. 

1.       Welcome and Introductions - Members present:  Ellen Abbott, Ryan D. Anderson, Stephen Arnott, Mansela Curtin, Gary Debele, Mike Dittberner, Jaime Driggs,  Mary Drummer, Don Enochson, Margaret Erickson, Loretta Frederick, Rana Fuller, Curtis Herbert, Lisa D. Hill, Robert Himle,  Melinda Hugdahl, Judy Johnson, Natasha Karn, Eileen Krenner, Bruce Kennedy, Colin Kreuziger, Mary Lauhead, Dana McKenzie, Bill Mullin, Robert Manson, Yvonne Moore, Kathleen Murphy, Glen Norton, Tami Peterson, Kimberly Robinson, Barb Runchy, Danielle Shelton, Steve Snyder, Greg Troy, Gary Voegele, Pamela Waggoner, Allen Wadd, Linda Wold.

2.       Approval of May minutes  - Motion made, seconded, passed.

3.       Chair’s Report – Cheryl Prince

a.       Encouraged participation in Committees, sign-up sheets were circulated.

b.       Per the Strategic Planning Committee, this year’s focus will be development of leadership within the Section.      

c.       Disseminated MSBA “Grassroots Action” forms to provide member contact information to the MSBA that will be used to organize membership during legislative session.  

4.        Treasurer’s Report – Ryan Anderson

The Section came in under budget last year due to lower expenses.  See Financial Activity Report For the Twelve Months Ending June 30, 2007.      

5.       Committee Reports

a. Amicus - Michael Dittberner and Mary Lauhead

Robert Manson, attorney for Appellant, reported on recent custody case (Schuyler v. Pihlman. Unpubl. Affirmed).  Committee participation was not recommended.

b. Domestic Abuse – Ellen Abbott

The new brochure to assist victims with hiring an attorney is posted on the Section’s website. DA Screening Tools were disseminated at the Family Law Institute and the MSBA Convention.  Meetings are immediately after Section meetings.  Lunch is provided. 

c. Strategic Planning – Ellen Abbot

Per the Strategic Planning Committee, this year’s priority is to enhance/promote leadership within the membership.  Meetings will be prior to every Section meeting, and will start at 8:45 am.  Members are encouraged to participate.  Anyone interested should contact Kayla Jurrens at the MSBA.

d. Publications – Linda Wold

The first 2007 issue of the Family Law Forum is at the printer.   
The next 2 issues are being developed.  Cheryl Prince will check with our MSBA liaison re: posting the articles on the Section website.  This will be in addition to the hard copy, which will be mailed to all Section members.

e. Legislation – Glen Norton

The first meeting was held on 9/6/07, 7:30 am at the MSBA.  To increase participation, it was decided that future meetings will be held at 5:30 -7:30 pm, on the Thursday before Section meetings, at the MSBA.  Two items that were approved by the Section last year will be submitted to the MSBA Legislative Committee to request support during the 2008 session:  the Section’s Child Support Calculations Work Group Proposal to revise the Self Support Adjustment, and the Ovum Donor legislative proposal prepared by Steve Snyder.

The Committee anticipates that legislation will be proposed that provides for a presumption in favor of joint physical custody.  The Section has discussed this at past meetings and voted to oppose such a presumption.

A Hennepin County Court legislative initiative is seeking to eliminate the custody label, with the belief that this will reduce conflict between parents.  Glen Norton and Pamela Waggoner were invited to participate.  Glen agreed to keep the Section informed. 

f. Miscellaneous:

i.        2008 Family Law Institute - Cheryl Prince announced that 730 people attended last year, and programming is being planned to even further increase the numbers.  Dates are March 31-April 1, 2008, at the River Center, St. Paul. Keynote speakers being considered are Constance Ahrons,    author of “The Good Divorce,” re: the impact of divorce on     children, and Donna Beegle re: poverty and family law. Members with suggestions for speakers/topics should contact the Section leadership or Tim Morrow at MNCLE.         
         
ii.       Hennepin County Court Proposal to Promote Co-Parenting in IV-D cases -  Ellen Abbott brought this to the attention of the Section.  The goal is to train unmarried parents with custody disputes (IV-D docket) to parent collaboratively. Programming is through the U of M Extension Service. Cheryl Prince will send a letter to the Judges to remind them that the Section is interested and available to participate.        

iii.      DHS $25 fee assessed to child support obligees – Pamela Waggoner brought this to the attention of the Section.

                             MOTION to adjourn:  Glen Norton
                             SECOND:  Tami Peterson
                             MOTION PASSED - unanimous
   
6.       Meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m. Next meeting is Saturday, October 13, 2007.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen M. Murphy


Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes
April 14, 2007

Members present: Ellen Abbott, Ryan Anderson, Stephen Arnott, Jeannie C. Blatz, Mike Dittberner, Jaime Driggs, Mary Drummer, Donald Enockson, Margret Erickson, Rana Fuller, Amy Helsene, Lisa Hill, Ruth Honkanen, Melinda Hugdahl, Bruce Kennedy, Mary Louise Klas, Karen Kugler, David Mortensen, Susan Mundahl, Kathleen Murhpy, Jennifer Nodes, Glen Norton, Cindy Perusse, Tami Peterson, Erin Stephens, Peter Taylor, Dan Ventres, Gary Voegele, Sandra Woessner Linda Wold.

Ellen Abbott called the meeting to order at 9:32A.M.

Introductions of those present.

1. Approval of December Minutes

a. Approval of February Minutes
b. Motion to approve minutes.
c. Motion Seconded.
d. Motion passed by unanimous vote


2. Treasurer’s Report: Ryan Anderson

a. No big revenues and no big expenses to report other than were are still currently “in the black”.
b. The budget process is ongoing.
c. All budget and requests for money from standing committees need to be submitted for consideration so those can be incorporated into the line item budget.
d. Deadline is before the May 2007 meeting.

3. Report of the Chair: Ellen Abbott

a. Dues for Section membership are set at $25 general membership; $15 for public legal services; $0 for new admitees and students.
b. These rates will continue for another year since our treasury is in good shape
c. MSBA Convention

i. June 27-29, 2007 at RiverCenter in St. Paul, MN
ii. Theme: Capital Good Times: Celebrating the Law
iii. All are encouraged to attend, as there are some very good CLE programs and a good opportunity to network too.
iv. No scheduled Family Law Section Meeting but all the outgoing and incoming executive committee members and committees are likely to meet there


d. Ideas for future meetings suggestion sheet was passed around.
e. Family Law Institute Feedback

i. 800 people attended
ii. Section members were acknowledged for stepping to substitute for presenters who were unable to be in attendance.
iii. There was some controversy about one of our plenary speakers.

1. He was entertaining but used some language that was offensive.
2. Individuals have written him letters
3. Executive Committee of the section will write a letter to Minnesota CLE about Mr. Rice because they were considering using Mr. Rice in subsequent presentations.

iv. The Institute generally had very good speakers and breakout sessions.

f. Minnesota Paralegal Association and the Paralegal Section of the MSBA are interested in partnering with the Family Law Section on some activity or activities.

i. The executive committee talked about the possibility of having a section CLE on the effective use of paralegals
ii. Anyone else have suggestions please contact Ellen Abbott or any executive committee member.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus – Mike Dittberner

i. Goldman v. Greenwood case was accepted by the Supreme Court. It involves removal with a new statute that was issued right in the middle of the appeal process.

b. Domestic Abuse Committee – Mary Louise Klas

i. Plenary session at the Family Law Institute was well received as evidenced by the good comments received.
ii. Bench Card has been laminated and will be distributed to all judges in the state.

1. Concerns that we need to mobilize some awareness with the bench card and do some training on it.

c. Strategic Planning - Don Enockson

i. A Mission Statement has been developed.
ii. Strategic Planning is currently an ad-hoc committee

1. Members of the committee feel that planning on an ad-hoc basis is not good planning
2. We will be proposing to amend the by-laws to make Strategic Planning a standing committee.
3. We will prepare a motion for section approval in the near future.
4. A by-laws committee will be appointed by the chair, which will deal with this issue.

d. Publications – Jaime Driggs

i. Deadline for submission of articles is May 1, 2007
ii. This issue isn’t a single topic but will have a variety of items of interest.

e. Legislative Committee – Glen Norton.

i. Action item # 1:

1. Motion: To support extending the limitation on child support judgments from 10 to 20 years by Norton
2. Motion Seconded by Kennedy
3. Motion passed by majority with one abstention.

ii. Action item # 2:

1. Motion: To support that judgments be treated the same as for child support when it comes to the limitation of actions by Norton.
2. Motion Seconded by Klas.
3. Discussion:

a. This does change the procedure because it would put maintenance on the same level as child support by operation of law instead of separately securing a maintenance judgment.
b. Concerns that child support should be treated distinctly from maintenance.

4. Friendly Amendment to the Motion by Enockson to read “spousal maintenance” as opposed to maintenance.
5. Amendment Seconded by Klas.
6. Motion passed by majority with 5 abstentions

iii. Action item # 3:

1. Motion: To oppose the elimination of the additional 2% for child support judgment language that is proposed in S.F. 1271 and anywhere else it appears by Norton.
2. Motion Seconded by Drummer.
3. Motion passed by majority with one abstention.

iv. Action item # 4:

1. Motion: To oppose the addition of a deviation factor related to living in a foreign country.
2. Motion seconded by Lauhead.
3. Discussion:

a. The law has been changed and so one can go back into court anyway.
b. Motion passed by majority with one abstention.

5. New Business

a. Melinda Hugdahl

i. There is a current legislative initiative to increase the judgment rate and should we take a position on that?
1. It was directed that this issue should be deferred to the Legislative Committee for them to take the appropriate action, including emergency action if necessary.

b. Steve Arnott
          i. Nancy Ver Steegh is developing a course at William Mitchell Law School where the family law section can help students develop legislative policy.

Motion to adjourn by Wold.
Motion Seconded
Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Business meeting adjourned at 10:45 A.M.

Submitted by Linda L. Wold

Meeting Notices:

Strategic Planning Committee
May 12, 2007
8:30 AM at MSBA Offices

Domestic Abuse
May 12, 2007
Noon following Section CLE at MSBA Offices
(lunch will be served upon RSVP)

 


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
February 10, 2007

IMPORTANT NOTICE: THIS IS A DRAFT VERSION OF THE FEBRUARY 10, 2007 MINUTES AND HAS NOT YET BEEN FORMALLY APPROVED BY THE FAMILY LAW SECTION.

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:35 a.m.

2. Introductions and members present: Ellen Abbott, Ryan D. Anderson, Stephen Arnott, Jeannie Blatz, Liz Carlson, Johanna Clyborne, Mansela Curtin, Mike Dittberner, Jaime Driggs, Mary Drummer, Don Enockson, Bill Fehn, Stella French, Loretta Frederick, Rana Fuller, Lisa D. Hill, Melinda Hugdahl, Judy Johnson, Bruce Kennedy, Mary Louis Klas, Mary Lauhead, Mary Lauhead, Bill Mullin, Kathleen Murphy, Glen Norton, Melvin Ogurak, Tami Peterson, Becky Ribich, Barb Runchy, Danielle Shelton, Peter Taylor, Dan Ventres, Pamela Waggoner.


3. Motion to approve January meeting minutes.
-Motion passed

4. Chair's Report

a. On February 8, 2007, Ellen Abbott attended a law school meet & greet event at the MSBA offices and connected with several students interested in family law and interested in attending Section meetings.

b. The MSBA Immigration Law Section has invited Family Law Section members to attend a CLE entitled "Serving Children in a System Designed for Adults." The CLE will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2007 from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm at the MSBA Offices.

c. The Section received a mentor request from a new attorney handling her first dissolution case. Contact Ellen Abbott if you are interested in providing assistance.

d. The MSBA would like feedback from Section members regarding the new materials posted on practicelaw.org.

5. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
No report

b. Domestic Abuse
The Committee will be making a 30 minute presentation during the plenary session of the Family Law Institute regarding domestic abuse risk assessment. An in-depth workshop also will be offered. The brochure for victims seeking to retain legal counsel is complete and will be made available on the Section website. The Committee has been talking to William Mitchell about starting a domestic violence clinic. The Committee is working on creating a training module regarding risk assessment.

c. Strategic Planning
The Committee is working on the following initiatives: (1) developing a mission statement; (2) leadership development within the Committee; (3) establishing liaisons with other Sections; and (4) considering future developments in family law. The Committee's next meeting will be held during one of the lunch sessions at the Family Law Institute. Contact Don Enockson if you are interested in attending.

d. Publications
There are four articles in process and will be submitted by April 1, 2007. Dan Ventres is writing on military issues in dissolution cases; Danielle Shelton is writing on cohabitation; Lisa Bachmeier is writing on relocation; and Amy Helsene is writing on attorney fees or consensual special magistrates.

e. Legislation
Committee anticipates that joint physical custody legislation will be introduced this session. Grandparent visitation legislation has been introduced. Pamela Waggoner and Kathleen Murphy will be meeting with Senator Neuville and Representative Smith on February 13, 2007, regarding equivalency issues with the new child support statute. Bills being considered by the Committee will be posted on the Section website so that members can review them prior to Committee meetings. Committee meetings are held at Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North, Suite 405 in Minneapolis.

f. Nominations
The Nominations committee recommended the following slate for the 2007-08 term:

Chair Cheryl Prince
Vice-Chair/Chair Elect Tami Peterson
Treasurer Ryan Anderson
Secretary Kathleen Murphy
Legislative Committee Chair Pamela Waggoner
Publications Committee Chair Linda Wold
Out-State Member at Large Margaret Erickson
Out-State Member at Large Barb Runchey
Out-State Member at Large Gary L. Voegele

7. Meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jaime Driggs

 

 


Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes
January 13, 2007

Members present: Ellen Abbott, Ryan Anderson, Stephen Arnott, Jeannie C Blatz, Linda deBeer, Michael Dittberner, Jaime Driggs, Mary Drummer, Ron Elwood, Donald Enockson, William Fehn, Ronald Frauenshuh, Loretta Frederick, Rana Fuller, Lisa Hill, Melinda Hugdahl, Timothy Jirak, Judy Johnson, Bruce Kennedy, Mary Louis Klas, Sherri Krueger, Karen Kugler, Mary Lauhead, David Mortensen, Susan Mundahl, Kathleen Murhpy, Jennifer Nodes, Glen Norton, Melvin Ogurak, Cindy Perusse, Tami Peterson, Cheryl Prince, Heidi Rivkin, Barbara Runchey, Sara Runchey, Danielle Shelton, Peter Taylor, Daniel Ventres, Gary Voegele, Pamela Waggoner, Thomas Walsh, Jim Whelpley, Linda Wold, Tifanne Wolter, Linda Wray.

Ellen Abbott called the meeting to order at 9:31 A.M.

Introductions of those present.

1. Approval of December Minutes
a. Approval of October Minutes with the addition of the members present.
b. Motion to approve minutes by Prince
c. Motion Seconded by Runchey
d. Motion passed by unanimous vote

2. Treasurer's Report: Ryan Anderson
a. Anderson and Voegele are in the process of developing a budget, which is scheduled to be ready for the Section's Executive Committee meeting in February.

3. Report of the Chair: Ellen Abbott
a. Collaborative Law Update
i. A sub-committee of the Family Law Section Executive Committee in conjunction with the Section Executive Committee formulated responses to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on their proposed General Rules of Practice for Collaborative Law. Rule 114A, and those responses passed unanimously.
ii. Those responses are due on Monday, January 15, 2007.
iii. Those responses will be posted on the Section's website.

b. MSBA Reimbursement Policy
i. The impetus for the MSBA Reimbursement Policy was the change the Family Law Section made to our by-laws 2 years ago.
ii. Policy passed by the MSBA General Policy Committee was: "Members of committees and sections may devote a substantial amount of time to MSBA and MSBA activities related to their committee, section, or otherwise. As an organization of members who volunteer their time to MSBA activities, the MSBA does not compensate members for this time unless approved in advance by the MSBA Assembly or Council. Members are eligible for reimbursement of ordinary and reasonable expenses, including, but not limited to, reasonable travel, lodging and meal expenses and charges for copying, postage and telephone, incurred in connection with participating in MSBA activities related to their committee or section, or otherwise."
iii. This policy will be posted on the Section website
iv. The General Assembly will vote on this policy in March 2007.
v. Any questions about this policy can be directed to the General Assembly Representative Don Enockson or Section Chair Ellen Abbott.

c. Minnesota Mediation Act and Uniform Mediation Act
i. A committee of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section is working on a coordinated bill to go forward.
ii. When finalized it will be on the Section website.

d. Proposal to Coordinate with other Sections
i. One of the Chair's Family Law Section goals was to coordinate with other sections on CLE's or outreach.
ii. MSBA is moving forward with the proposal and has proposed that three sections (Family Law, ADR, Real Property) do CLE's, all at once, on one topic from three different perspectives.
iii. Cheryl Prince has agreed to be the Family Law Section representative on that planning process with the other 2 sections.
iv. Contact Cheryl Prince with any ideas you might have.

e. Family Law Institute - Cheryl Prince
i. March 29-30, 2007 in ST. Paul
ii. We are finalizing the last of the speakers
iii. There will be four tracks: Basic, Advanced, Trial Practice, Child Support

f. Nominating Committee - Barb Runchey
Slate of officers will be presented at the Family Law Section Meeting in
February and at the Family Law Institute in March
i. Anyone interested in any leadership positions should contact Barb Runchey or Don Enockson.
ii. Positions are: Chair, Chair-Elect, Legislation, Publications, Secretary, Treasurer, 3 At-Large Members
iii. We are interested in leadership development and hope you will talk with the current leaders about leadership involvement.

g. February Meeting
i. It was suggested that in place of the CLE, that we do a "Meet the Mentor"
ii. 10-12 "seasoned" attorneys from the Section agree to talk with newer attorneys in 5-15 minute blocks of time (depending upon how may sign-up)
iii. A sign-up sheet for mentors was passed and we have 10 that have volunteered.

h. Practicelaw.org - Ryan Anderson
i. Child support information is now on the website
ii. Basically the forms are what's currently available
iii. Jennifer Wedel wants your feedback

i. State Website -Melinda Hugdahl
i. It a good place to look for updated forms
ii. Forms on the site are also good for lay persons

j. Get-Well Acknowledgment
i. Julie Craig from SMRLS in Mankato, a long-time Section member, is recovering from an illness.
ii. The Section will acknowledge her with a some small token acknowledgment

4. Committee Reports
a. Amicus - Mary Lauhead & Mike Dittberner
i. Nothing is currently pending.
ii. Goldman v. Greenwood case regarding "removal and that a heightened review will be necessary" is a case we will be watching.
iii. This case also settles the date of the new statute for removal as 8/1/2006.
b. Domestic Abuse - Rana Fuller
i. Working on a training module on risk/lethality assement for the courts, lawyers, and those coming in contact with such cases
ii. Brochure entitled "A Domestic Violence Victim's Guide to Getting a Good Attorney" only needs the artwork. The committee will be working on that at our meeting today at noon.

c. Strategic Planning - Don Enockson
i. An agenda is being developed and the next meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2007, before the Section meeting.
ii. It was suggested that the committee refer back to a past strategic planning weekend notes to offer us current guidance.

d. Publications - Jaime Driggs
i. We are receiving submissions and will be publishing them online after we've reviewed them.
ii. Once we have enough articles/pieces, a hard copy will be published.
iii. Goldman v. Greenwood would be a good topic for an article
iv. Not only are scholarly pieces requested. We also want articles opinion pieces, tips on a particular issue, etc. but all should be publishable.
v. Also, we request you submit topics of interest

e. Legislation - Pamela Waggoner
i. We are in the process of gathering past comments/notes on joint physical custody for discussion at our next committee meeting
ii. There is no current bill regarding joint physical custody at this time
iii. A real estate bill has come forth that we are watching
iv. Kathleen Murphy and myself will be meeting with Senator Neuville to explain to him why this section needs and wants to 'tweak" the child support bill as set forth in "Proposal Y" which was discussed and voted upon last month by this section
v. MSBA keeps a list of grassroots persons to advocate with their own Senators and Representatives on issues. Their form on is the MSBA website. Members are encouraged to fill it out and submit it.

5. New Business
a. MSBA General Assembly - Don Enockson Liaison
i. Mock Trial judges are needed for the High /School program - information is on the website
ii. General Assembly has set-up a rewards program with OfficeMax whereby MSBA members can get a 45-80% discount on products purchased there or online. More information on the MSBA website.
iii. Give some time each month to talk about how the new chills support formula is working.
iv. Nominations are being requested for the David Graves Public Service Award with a deadline for submission being February 16, 2007. Nominations should sent to the MSBA.

b. A practitioner question about what constitutes excessive discovery was posed and was referred to the Holder v. Holder case, Minn. Stat.§518.14 and to pose the question on the listserve for reference and guidance.

Motion by Taylor to adjourn the business meeting.
Motion Seconded by Norton
Motion passed by unanimous vote

Business meeting adjourned at 10:30 A.M.

Submitted by Linda L. Wold
Meeting Notices:

Legislative February 8, 2006
5:30 to 7:30 Thursday at
Waggoner Law Office,
401 Washington North
(Free parking and pizza will be served)

 


Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes
November 11, 2006

Members Present: to be determined

Ellen Abbott called the meeting to order at 9:35 A.M.
Introductions of those present.
Veterans present at the meeting were acknowledged.
Announcement was made that if members are unable to attend in person, they can participate by teleconferencing arranged through the MSBA.
Announcement was made that the meeting was being tape recorded by the Secretary for the purpose of accurate minutes.

1. Approval of October Minutes with corrections
a. Motion to approve minutes by Ventres
b. Motion Seconded by Kennedy
c. Motion passed by unanimous vote

2. Treasurer's Report:
a. $ 53,596.00 is our current balance as of the end of September.
b. Any questions about the treasure's report can be deferred Ryan Anderson.

3. Report of the Chair and matters arising from the minutes
a. Collaborative Law
i. There is a proposal put forward by the collaborative group, to have a rule that regulates collaborative law. At the September meeting, our only comment back to the General Rules of Practice Committee was that our section did not have sufficient time to give input. The General Rules of Practice Committee is now asking for input from individuals and organizations to their list of 17 questions.

ii. The Family Law Executive Committee determined that we are going to form an ad-hoc committee to address the issue of collaborative law. Cheryl Prince will chair the ad-hoc committee and 3-4 members of the Executive Committee have agreed to serve as committee members. Section members were invited to join that committee also.
iii. The ad-hoc committee will look at those 17 questions and also any other issues that they want to address. The committee will make a recommendation about what position we should take, if we should take a position, or about answering the questions.
iv. The ad-hoc committee will need to act quickly since deadline for submission back to the General Rules of Practice Committee is January 15, 2007. The timeline is that the ad-hoc committee will address the questions in the next few weeks and it will come back to the full Family Law Section at the December meeting for full consideration.
v. Ventres suggested the we look to members that were on the ADR committee from 10 years ago so that there is a continuity between "the and now" when we proposed to the Supreme Court that ADR be mandatory in Family law. Also, we should try to ask a couple of judges to sit on this committee since they will be working most intimately with the resulting rules.
vi. Prince commented that the committee is only being asked to comment on the proposal and questions, not the process.
vii. It was noted that anyone can respond to the Collaborative Law Proposal and it they were encouraged to do so. The proposal can be found on the MSBA website at: http://www2.mnbar.org/sections/family-law/index.htm
viii. In addition, The General Rules of Practice Committee, and Linda Wray, a member of the Family Law and the Collaborative Law sections, can answer any questions you may have about the proposal. The Collaborative Law Committee will circulate answers to those 17 questions to all interested parties.

b. MBSA Volunteer Reimbursement Policy
i. MSBA has set out as policy that would require approval of any expenditure of $250.00 or more by any section member, and where prior approval will be determined by unknown MSBA staff.
ii. The proposal itself has no standards about what the details are going to be about reimbursement, which will be doing it, how it will be applied.
iii. We have taken the position, on behalf of the section through the Executive Council of the section, to the MSBA Executive Committee, that we are opposed to it and we are preparing a detailed response that will go back to the Policy Committee of the MSBA this week.
iv. Our basic position is that we do not believe the MSBA should be telling the sections how they could spend their money. And if we as a section, decide there should be a reimbursement for something, or if there should be recognition for something, then we should be free to do that.
v. We additionally will be requesting a meeting with the MSBA President to discuss this policy.
vi. The policy arose as a result of this section making the decision 2 years ago to pay an honorarium to the person who does the legislative committee work because of the intense time and effort that is involved in that.

4. Committee Reports
a. Amicus - Mary Lauhead - No report
b. Domestic Abuse Committee - Loretta Fredrick
i. Meeting following the section meeting at noon.
1. New Laws Trainings were very successful and we had six trainings and added a 7th.
2. Outreach to attorneys was well received and we were able to give scholarships to those that agreed to take a pro bono DA case.
ii. Well received sessions on "How attorneys can make money doing domestic abuse cases" by Glen Norton.

c. Strategic Planning - Don Enockson
i. Purpose of the Committee:
1. is to sense beyond this month, this year; and
2. as how can this section function as a useful tool in your practice and in the bar association
ii. Meetings are scheduled for December 2006, February 2007, May 2007
iii. Members that attend the December meeting will be polled as to what issues are most important to address and work on.

d. Publications - Jaime Driggs
h. Committee has discussed potential topics and articles. Some suggestions followed:
a. Making money from domestic abuse cases?
b. Prosecuting/Defending Spousal Maintenance cases
c. How to NOT jeopardize you client's public assistance
d. Expanding Early Neutral Evaluation to out state areas
e. A "Tips" page
iii. Writers are needed
iv. Forward potential ideas to Jaime Driggs
v. It is undetermined when the next issue will be published - it depends upon how quickly people turn in submissions.
Issues will NOT be devoted to single topics as in the past

f. Practicelaw.org
i. It is available to family law practitioners
ii. What do we want on that site/what tools would be helpful? And what feedback can we give relative to that
iv. MSBA practiclaw.org has asked for section members to volunteer to do work on that site. See Ellen Abbott or Jackie McGlamery or Jennifer Wedel at the MSBA.
v. It was asked if we are limited as to space on the practicelaw website. There are some limits but items can be linked via an index to solve that concern.

g. Legislative - Pamela Waggoner
i. Meets the Thursday prior to the section meeting each month
ii. Legislative session begins January 3, 2007
iii. We are considering a proposal from Kaairn Long from the Minnesota Coalition of Sexual Assault and will bring that to the section after we have completed our deliberations.
iv. Letters will be sent to the new legislators introducing the Legislative Committee, indicating we are here to review legislation to try and to vet legislation by us before it goes to committee for review
v. We do get requests for section backing for legislative proposals and to that end we are developing a format whereby those requests can be submitted to this committee indicating the issue and what it is they are proposing. That form should be on the website before the December meeting.

vi. We do need people who are comfortable in testifying at the legislature. See Ellen Abbott or Pamela Waggoner if you are interested.

vi. MSBA has their Grassroots Network Form on the website as discussed last month.

h. Child Support Impact Sub-Committee - Kathleen Murphy
i. We have 2 proposals but we didn't meet the MSBA deadline so am not sure where they are going to go with the section
ii. The latest development is that there is a formula we can apply after the self-support is adjusted to equalize if you have a big disparity

i. Family Law Institute - Cheryl Prince
i. Committee has met 3 times
ii. There will be a variety of tracks
a. Child Support Track
b. Financial Issues Track
c. Basics Tracks
iii. We are trying to get a room filled with computer so we can test the new child support calculations
iv. Institute will be on March 29 and 30, 2007 at the RiverCenter in St. Paul
j. ABA Convention - Cheryl Prince
i. She attended the last one held in Santa Fe, NM
ii. The meeting was helpful, informative, practical and useful
iii. The next meeting, in the spring, will be in Monterey, CA.
iv. A Joint meeting with the Psychiatric Professionals will be one year from October.
v. As part of the Strategic Planning of our section, officers can be sent to the National meetings.
a. The objective would be to figure out what advantages our section would gain by attending a National meeting
b. Another point is that if we do attend National meetings, we can have an impact on the National agenda being as legislation, rules and changes in how courts function start on a national level.
c. National speakers and their materials can be reviewed at those meetings for our possible use at our yearly Institute.
d. The National meetings are generally "kid-friendly" as to activities and spouses are included too.

5. New Business - None

6. Motion to adjourn by Taylor
a. Motion seconded by Enockson
b. Motion passed unanimously

Business meeting adjourned at 10:15 A.M.

Submitted by Linda L. Wold


Meeting Notices:

Legislative December 7, 2006
5:30 to 7:30 Thursday at
Waggoner Law Office,
401 Washington North
(Free parking and pizza will be served)

Child Support Calculations Subcommittee November 29, 2006
11:30 A.M to 1:30 PM Wednesday at MSBA Offices

Domestic Abuse October 14, 2006
Noon following Section CLE
At MSBA Offices
(lunch will be served upon RSVP)

Publications Contact Jaime Driggs if you are interested in writing or working on the committee at 612-723-0375

 


 

Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes
October 14, 2006

Meeting called to order at 9:35

Welcome and introductions

Present: , Ryan D. Anderson, Stephen Arnott, Joe Borman, Don Enockson, Loretta Frederick, Melinda Hugdahl, Bruce Kennedy, Karen Kugler, Mary Lauhead, Kathleen Murphy, Melvin Ogurak, Heidi Rivkin, Steve Snyder, Pete Taylor, Dan Ventres, Jennifer Wedel, Linda Wold, Tifanne Wolter

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 A.M. by Linda Wold (acting on behalf of Ellen Abbott).
Introductions of those present.

1. Approval of May Minutes
a. Minor typographical correction, name-spelling corrections were made
b. Motion to approve minutes by Taylor
c. Motion Seconded by Anderson
d. Motion passed by unanimous vote

2. Treasurer's Report: Ryan Anderson
a. No hard copy of the report was available.
b. The budget will be placed online and coordinating it with Jaime Driggs
c. We are in the black

3. Meeting attendance: Mary Lauhead suggested that during the week leading up to the monthly meeting, section members should mention the meeting and montly CLE to anyone you come in contact with.

Committee reports:

1. Amicus: Mary Lauhead
a. Interesting for what didn't happen. Supreme Court accepted a third-party custody case: Soo-Hoo. Mary Lauhead gave description of fact pattern. Nobody asked for an Amicus. Might be a response to LaChapelle v. Mitten.

2. Domestic Abuse: Loretta Frederick
a. No report.
b. The meeting scheduled for 12:00 P.M. has been cancelled.

3. Strategic Planning:Don Enockson:
a. A description of the committee and its work was presented.
b. Work will continue with the focus being: What can we do to strengthen the section?
c. A sign-up sheet for potential members was circulated.

4. Publications:: Ryan Anderson in Jaime Driggs absence
a. Submissions are needed.
b. Mr. Driggs does have some ideas for the quarterly publication
c. The scheduling of meetings to interested section members is underway
d. Brainstrorming of ideas continues about offering both a hard copy and electronic publications

5. Legislation: Bruce Kennedy
a. The issue of parties coming back and having to pay the filing fee after originally getting an IFP (in forma pauperis was raised. Since he is heading up the filing fee task force, he's going to address this issue.
b. Probate section wants to know if we want to give input on a universal definition of the term "child." Got the idea for legislation from the MN Coalition of Sexual Assault about a rapist getting parenting time. Proposal is to add some language to the best interests standard. Namely whether the child was conceived as a result of a sexual assault. Wouldn't need a conviction, but the Court would have the ability to have a finding based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. Don Enockson indicated that the deadline for getting something sponsored by the MSBA is November 7.
c. Child Support Calculations Subcommittee: Kathleen Murphy
i. Three proposals have been developed regarding the double jeopardy of when double support obligations occur. Sometimes the obligee is below poverty and the obligor is above 120 % of the Federal Poverty guideline. The committee might propose language that evens out the poverty levels.
ii. Next meetings are November 1, December 6 and January 3 with meetings at the MSBA offices.
d. Probate Section: Steve Snyder
i. They are trying to define "child" in the context of heirs given, the state of ARTS (Artificial Reproduction). The possibility of a child being born from a frozen embryo years after the testator dies. How is the probate court going to deal with this and similar issues?


New Business
1. Demonstration of Practicelaw.org. : Jennifer Wedel
a. She's the new Nancy Hupp. She has no background in family law, mostly labor and employment. Practiced in CA. Worked as an editor.
b. She hopes to re-configuring the homepage and indexing the forms section by category.
c. There is the possibility of putting past articles from the Family Law Forum on the homepage.
d. Clarifications are needed as to how to sign up for the listserve.
e. Requests by section members to be able to search the database of appellate cases by both author of appellate decision and the district court judge that made the lower decision.
i. Motion by Kennedy to request the Appellate Court to include referees' names on appellate decisions.
ii. Motion seconded by Mary Lauhead.
iii. Motion passed uninaminously.

f. Ms. Wedel will continue working with the group that met in June: Don Enockson, Mary Lauhead and Ryan Anderson.
g. Discussion of possibility for the use of HotDocs.
i. It's at least nine months down the road.
ii. Informed the section that she's assembling a group of various organizations that have forms on their websites (projusticeMN.org, the State courts, SMRLS, etc.) to collaborate on updating the forms in light of the new child support and other laws going into effect January 1, 2007.


Motion to Adjourn by Linda Wold
Motion seconded by Ryan Anderson
Motion passed uninamously.

Meeting adjourned at 10:39.

Ryan Anderson (acting on behalf of Linda Wold).


Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes
September 9, 2006

Members Present: Ellen Abbott, Kristine Anderson, Ryan Anderson, Jaime Driggs, Margret Erickson, Bill Fehn, Stella French, Lisa Hill, Ruth Honkanen, Bruce Kennedy, Mary Louise Klas, Karen Kugler, Mary Lauhead, Kathleen Murphy, Milt Nordmeyer, Glen Norton, Pat O'Gorman, Melvin Ogurak, Tami Peterson, Cheryl Prince, Barbara Runchey, Jenny Ryan, Brittany Stephens, Pete Taylor, Dan Ventres, Gary Voegele, Pamela Waggoner, Linda Wold, Tifanne Wolter.

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 A.M. by Ellen Abbott.
Introductions of those present.

1. Approval of May Minutes
a. Motion to approve minutes by Ventres
b. Motion Seconded by Waggoner
c. Motion passed by unanimous vote

2. Treasurer's Report: Ryan Anderson
a. $16,462.00 collected in dues this summer but it is still approximately $2,000 less than last year.
b. Motion to approve treasurer's report by Anderson
c. Motion seconded by Taylor
d. Motion passed by unanimous vote

3. Report of the Chair and matters arising from the minutes
a. Bill Haugh passed away and the Executive committee voted to give a memorial donation on behalf of the Family Law Section in the amount of $500.00 to the child safety center with which he was associated or another cause that the section could support.
b. Domestic Abuse Training
i. Executive committee approved support of up to 10 scholarships for the Family Law Section members who want to attend the Domestic abuse Training Sessions if they will take a domestic abuse case.
ii. Four scholarships have been awarded.
iii. The last trainings are schedule for October 16-17 at Chrysalis in Minneapolis.
c. Goals for the Section
i. Legislation
1. Child Support Bill
2. Joint Physical Custody Presumption
ii. Family Law Institute
iii. Honorariums Policy for volunteers
iv. Outreach to Greater Minnesota
v. Connecting experienced members with newer/entering attorneys
vi. Listserv
vii. Support Pro Bono work
viii. Website development
ix. Connect with law schools

d. Lapsed Memberships Sheet
i. Executive Committee members will each call 10 names on the list to encourage them to re-new their membership.
ii. The general section members were asked to volunteer to make 10 calls.
iii. Callers to inquire as to why those persons have not renewed their membership and to remind them that there are many benefits to membership such as, free CLE's and the Family Law Forum.

e. Minnesota Grassroots Action Network
i. Sign-up forms to assist the MSBA lobbying efforts

f. Matters to be place on the agenda
i. Contact Ellen Abbott
ii. Deadline is 2 weeks before the scheduled meeting.

g. Listserv
i. Family Law section members can join an email listserv to obtain answers to questions from other colleagues. Instructions can be found on the MSBA website at www.mnbar.org. To sign-up go to the left sidebar labeled "email lists" for information.

4. Committee Reports
a. Amicus: Mary Lauhead
i. The last amicus worked on was the Antone v. Mirviss case that involved malpractice on an anti-nuptial agreement.

b. Domestic Abuse: Rana Fuller
i. See above at Chair's report

c. Strategic Planning: Gary Voegele
i. Job description for the Executive Committee members will be posted on the website this month.

d. Publications: Jaime Driggs
i. Suggestion sheet on how members can participate was disseminated.
ii. The committee's initial meeting will work on goals for the year.
iii. Initial meeting dates will be solicited form those interested in joining the committee

e. Legislative: Pamela Waggoner
i. Legislative Session begins January 3, 2007

ii. Issues the committee will be working on:
1. Joint Physical Custody Presumption: we will decide how we will approach the issue
2. The proposal that General Rules of Practice Rule 302.01(b) be changed to eliminate the need to file both an MTA and a Judgment and Decree where the parties have reached agreement on all matters.
3. Expansion of Gen'l Rule of Prac. 302.01 to make the process available to those with children.

iii. Child Support Calculations Subcommittee
1. Chair of this subcommittee is Kathleen Murphy
2. The subcommittee reached a consensus that, "in lower income populations, the self-support reserve can create a disparate negative financial impact on the obligee and joint children when compared to the income of the obligor. This result can compromise the children's best interests and is contrary to public policy."
3. The subcommittee will be working on ways to address this disparate financial impact and will bring methods/or proposed language to the Legislative Committee.

iv. Floor Discussion on Rule 302.01
1. Issue # 1
a. Motion by Lauhead: That we tell Mr. (Dan) O'Connell that the rule (Gen R. of Practice Rule 302.01 (b)) as presently constructed, allows for a Joint Petition with children and we see no reason to amend it.
b. Seconded by Runchey
c. Motion passed unanimously

2. Issue # 2
a. Motion by Lauhead: There should be a (separate) different rule should address the merging of the MTA and Judgment and Decree.
b. Seconded by Waggoner
c. Motion passed unanimously.

3. Issue # 3
a. Motion by Runchey: We support the policy of allowing the permissive merging of the MTA into the Judgment and Decree.
b. Seconded by Hokanen
c. Motion passed unanimously

f. Family Law Institute: Cheryl Prince
i. Date is set for the last week in March, 2007
ii. Location will be at the Rivercenter in St. Paul
iii. Working on engaging Larry Rice for the plenary session

g. Filing Fee Task Force: Bruce Kennedy
i. They are contemplating how to reduce the fee and by how much.
ii. Working with Mike Tripito to create an online "wiki" where the task force can contribute their input and review of suggestions by task force members.

h. General Rules Committee solicitation for our input to the Rules of Practice Committee that addresses the practice of Collaborative Law in Minnesota by adding Rule 114 a.
i. Motion by Runchey: That the section not take a position since we received the request for input from the General Rules of Practice Committee only within the past 2 weeks and did not have time to study it and meaningfully address it prior to the General Rules of Practice meeting.
ii. Seconded by:
iii. Motion passed unanimously.


5. New Business: NONE

6. Motion to adjourn by Ventres
a. Motion seconded by Ryan Anderson
b. Motion passed unanimously


Business meeting adjourned at 10:40 A.M.

Submitted by Linda L. Wold

Meeting Notices:
Strategic Planning October 14, 2006 at 8:30A.M. Saturday at
MSBA Offices
Legislative October 5, 2006 at 5:30 to 7:30 Thursday at
Waggoner Law Office, 401 Washington North (pizza will be served)
Child Support Calculations October 4, 2006 from 11:30 A.M to 1:30 PM Wednesday
Subcommittee MSBA Offices
(lunch will be served)

Domestic Abuse October 14, 2006 immediately following Section CLE at
MSBA Offices
(lunch will be served upon RSVP)


Organizations/Resources:

Battered Women's Legal Aid Project: www.bwlap.org

MSBA Website: www.mnbar.org


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
May 13, 2006

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:40 a.m.

2. Chair's Report

a. Motion to approve April meeting minutes as amended. (The minutes were amended to correct the omission of the phrase "engaging in strategic planning" from the report of the Domestic Abuse Committee.)
-Motion passed

3. Practicelaw.org Demonstration by Nancy Hupp and Jacqueline McGlammery
Practicelaw.org has over 9,300 subscribers, 600 of whom are monthly users of the family law library. MSBA is in the process of adding new libraries and revising existing libraries on Practicelaw.org. The family law library was added in 2002 and the MSBA would like the Section to help redesign the format of the library, contribute new content to the library, and revise the materials contained therein.

4. Treasurer's Report

a. The $5,000.00 donation to the Minnesota Justice Foundation will appear on the next report.

b. Motion to accept Treasurer's report.
-Motion passed

5. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
Nothing to report

b. Domestic Abuse
Committee met and discussed strategic planning initiatives. One of the initiatives will be putting on a training in conjunction with the Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project. The training will focus on new laws affecting domestic abuse issues and will be held in six locations throughout Minnesota.

Committee meetings are held immediately following the Saturday Section meetings. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP with Ellen Abbott at ellen.abbott@gershwin.tc.

c. Strategic Planning
Gary Voegele has nearly finished putting together an orientation manual that will be used to train incoming officers and committee chairs. Tami Peterson is continuing to work to build contact with other family law bar groups.

d. Publications
No report

e. Legislation
Pamela Waggoner will be giving a presentation on the new child support legislation at 12:00 p.m. on June 28, 2006, at the Town & Country Club, 300 Mississippi River Boulevard North, in Saint Paul. The presentation is co-sponsored by the family law sections of the Ramsey County Bar Association and Hennepin County Bar Association.

6. Executive Committee passed following resolution: The most recent bylaw changes submitted to the MSBA shall be withdrawn from consideration at the June 2006 Assembly meeting.

Motion that Section ratify above Executive Committee resolution.
- Motion passed unanimously

7. New Business

Motion that Section establish task force to study filing fee issue.
- Motion passed
Bruce Kennedy will chair the task force

Working group chaired by Kathleen Murphy that will be studying impact on new child support law on low income obligees will wait to begin meeting until end of legislative session.

8. Recognition of Section Officers and Committee Chairs

9. Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

10. CLE - "Nonmarital Tracing" presented by Judith L. Oakes

Respectfully submitted,
Jaime Driggs


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
April 8, 2006

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:40 a.m.

2. Chair's Report

a. Motion to approve March meeting minutes.
-Motion passed

3. Treasurer's Report

a. The Section has not recently had any extraordinary expenditures.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
No report

b. Domestic Abuse
The committee has been engaging in strategic planning and has established a permanent meeting schedule: meetings will be held immediately following the Saturday Section meetings. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP with Ellen Abbott at ellen.abbott@gershwin.tc.

c. Strategic Planning
Committee met and is pursuing three initiatives:

1. Leadership Development/Succession Planning
Work is continuing on an orientation manual that will be used to train incoming officers and committee chairs.

2. Build Collaboration with Local Family Law Bar Groups
Committee is developing a list of contact persons with other family law bar associations, district family law groups, and other MSBA sections to collaborate on future activities.

3. Section Website and Family Law Forum
Committee is considering making changes to Section's website. Please provide suggestions for changes or other feedback regarding the website to Jaime Driggs at jdriggs@gmail.com.

d. Publications
The new issue of Family Law Forum has been published and distributed to Section membership.

e. Legislation
Next committee meeting will be on May 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Section discussed loophole in new child support law's definition of gross income. The loophole is that the phrase used in Minn. Stat. § 518.7123, "Medicare gross income," would not capture pre-tax dollars expended through employer sponsored benefit plans such as cafeteria plans, flexible spending plans, and health savings accounts.

Motion that Section support replacing "Medicare gross income" with "gross income before participation in any employer sponsored benefit plan that allows an employee to pay for a benefit using pre-tax dollars, including but not limited to cafeteria plans, flexible spending plans, and health savings accounts."
- Motion passed unanimously

Motion that Section allow Pamela Waggoner to articulate the following to Senator Neuville: There is no vehicle within the new child support law to address obligees who are at or below 120% of federal poverty guidelines. Section's intention is to balance the financial hardship between obligors and obligees, not to reimburse the state.
- Motion passed unanimously

Motion that Section establish a working committee chaired by Kathleen Murphy to consider the above issue and report back to Legislation Committee. Pamela will inform Senator Neuville and DHS that such a committee has been established.
- Motion passed

5. Section discussed bylaw changes proposed by MSBA.
Motion that Section refer consideration of MSBA proposal to Executive Committee for further consideration.
- Motion passed

6. New Business

Bruce Kennedy reported the results of his examination of dissolution filing fees and concluded that Minnesota has the second highest filing fee in the United States.

Motion to approve Legal Assistance to Disadvantaged Committee's proposal regarding CLE credit for pro bono work. (Click here for full text of proposal.)
- Motion passed (1 abstention; 1 opposed)

7. Meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

8. CLE - "Legislative Update" presented by Pamela Waggoner

Respectfully submitted,
Jaime Driggs



MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
March 11, 2006

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:35 a.m.

2. Introductions: Gary Voegele; Brad Frago; Linda Wold; Pamela Waggoner; Melvin Ogurak; Mike Dittberner; Pat O'Gorman; Dan Venmes; Rebecca Ribich; Cheryl Prince; Barb Runchey; Nancy Johnson-Maloney; Danielle Shelton; Lisa Hill; Peter Taylor; Rana Fuller; Mary Lauhead; Bruce Kennedy; Jennifer Eichten; Stephen Arnott; Don Enockson; Jaime Driggs; Wilt Nordmeyer; Bill Fehn; Melinda Hugdahl; Margaret Erickson.

3. Chair's Report

a. Motion to approve February meeting minutes.
-Motion passed

4. Treasurer's Report

a. The Section had no extraordinary expenditures during the period ending January 31, 2006.

5. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
No report

b. Domestic Abuse
No report

c. Strategic Planning
Committee met and is pursuing three initiatives:

1. Leadership Development/Succession Planning
The committee is creating an orientation manual that will be used to train incoming officers and committee chairs. The manual will include a description of the duties for each of the positions as well as tips and suggestions. The manual will also include a perpetual calendar with dates of various events and actions needed to be taken by each of the officers and committee chairs. The committee is considering meeting at the upcoming bar convention.

2. Build Collaboration with Local Family Law Bar Groups
Committee is working to build contact with other family law bar associations, district family law groups, and other MSBA sections to collaborate on future activities.

3. Section Website and Family Law Forum
Committee is working on expanding the Section's website and adding content. Section members interested in helping out should contact Jaime Driggs at jdriggs@gmail.com.

d. Publications
Forthcoming issue of Family Law Forum will be published in the next two weeks.

e. Legislation
Next meeting will be April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Committee has met four times since the last Section meeting. Committee decided to table the proposed changes to Minn. Stat. § 518.17 and take it up again in fall 2006. On February 21, Steven Arnott and Ellen Abbott presented the Section's views on proposed legislation regarding a joint physical custody presumption at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Audio of the hearing is available on the Senate website.

Committee reviewed the report on the new child support legislation as well as Senator Neuville's list of potential amendments to be introduced this session and made suggestions to Senator Neuville.

The chair is currently tracking 51 bills affecting family law.

HF 3091 would enhance no contact order violations for a five year period from a misdemeanor to gross misdemeanor. Committee voted unanimously to support HF 3091.

Motion that Section support HF 3091.
-Motion passed (without opposition)

HF 3158 would add $25.00 to the dissolution filing fee to fund supervised visitation centers. Committee thought that these centers are a public good that should be funded by tax revenues, not fees. Committee also thought that adding the fee on to the dissolution filing fee was inappropriate.

Motion that Section take no position on HF 3158 and refer it back to the Committee for further consideration.

6. The Chair asked the chairs of the standing committees to briefly describe the operations of their respective committees so that members who have an interest in participating may volunteer in a particular area.

Committee Descriptions

a. Publications
Committee has worked to publish Family Law Forum for the last fifteen years. Anyone interested in writing an article on a substantive law topic is invited to do so.

b. Amicus
Attorneys periodically ask the committee to come in on a case, usually a Supreme Court case. The committee participates in one or two cases each year. Usually the committee works under tight deadlines by email and assistance is welcomed.

c. Domestic Abuse
The committee's function has been to improve the quality of representation of victims and promote understanding among the bar of domestic abuse issues. The committee considers legal developments and makes recommendations. All are welcome to join.

d. Chair-Elect/Family Law Institute
The committee works with Minnesota CLE to put together the annual Family Law Institute. The committee is usually co-chaired by the Section's vice-chair. The committee meets about three or four times from September to November to choose topics and presenters for the Institute.

e. Legislation
The committee reviews all pending legislation affecting family law and makes recommendations to the Section on positions to take. The committee discusses the issues raised by the legislation in depth and explores the nuances of the law. If the Section votes to take a position on a bill, the committee chair testifies at the legislature, usually before the Senate Judiciary Committee or House Civil Law Committee.

6. Meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

7. CLE - "Spousal Maintenance: Preparing a Budget" presented by Patricia O'Gorman

Respectfully submitted,
Jaime Driggs


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
February 11, 2006

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:37 a.m.

2. Introductions: Barbara Ann Nims; Melissa A. Rossow; Melinda T. Hugdahl; Linda Wold; Jaime Driggs; Ellen Abbott; Rebecca Ribich; Nancy Johnson-Maloney; Don Enockson; Gary Weissman; Gary Debele; Corrie Oberg; Milt Nordmeyer; Bruce Kennedy; Jean Lastine; Rana Fuller; Pamela Waggoner; Peter M. Taylor; W. Bradley Frego; Danielle Shelton; Gary Voegele; Kathleen Murphy; Mark Gardner; Michael Heise; Glen Norton; Lloyd Grooms.

3. Chair's Report

a. Motion to approve January meeting minutes.
-Motion passed

b. The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged (LAD) Committee is creating a CLE program on civil Gideon for the MSBA convention in June and has requested that the Section co-sponsor the CLE. The Section would not have to pay anything to be a co-sponsor.

Motion that Section co-sponsor LAD's civil Gideon CLE at the MSBA convention.
-Motion passed

c. LAD has proposed a rule change that would allow attorneys to receive up to six CLE credits for performing pro bono legal services meeting certain requirements. LAD has requested that the Section consider supporting the proposal and would like feedback from Section members. The proposal will be submitted at the MSBA Assembly meeting in April.

4. Committee Reports

a. Nominations
The Nominations committee recommended the following slate for the 2006-07 term:

Chair Ellen Abbott
Vice-Chair/Chair Elect Cheryl Prince
Treasurer Ryan Anderson
Secretary Linda Wold
Legislative Committee Chair Pamela Waggoner
Publications Committee Chair Jaime Driggs
Out-State Member at Large Margaret Erickson
Out-State Member at Large Barb Runchey
Out-State Member at Large Gary L. Voegele

Motion that Section present the above slate at its annual meeting in March at the Family Law Institute.
-Motion passed

b. Amicus
No report

c. Domestic Abuse
Committee will meet on March 11 immediately following the Section meeting. Lunch will be provided. A meeting notice will be sent to members asking them to RSVP.

d. Legislation
Committee meetings will now be held on the Thursday before each Saturday Section meeting, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at 7:30 p.m. Meetings will continue to be held at Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis.

The committee is considering an amendment to Minn. Stat. § 518.17 that would remove the presumption in favor of joint legal custody but keep the presumption against joint legal or joint physical custody in cases of domestic violence. If the committee recommends that the Section approve this proposal, the text of the proposal will be posted on the Section's website for review prior to the March 11th Section meeting.

Motion that Section approve proposed change to Minn. Stat. § 518.191 that would permit court to correct an inaccurate legal description in a petition, stipulation, or original decree if property was sufficiently identified such that neither party's rights were prejudiced.
-Motion passed

e. Strategic Planning
The next committee meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. on March 11 before the Section meeting. Current and past Section officers are requested to provide Don Enockson with a brief job description for their position by March 1.

f. Publications
A new child support article is in the works and will be complete the anticipated issue of Family Law Forum.

5. Treasurer's Report

There is a new form to use for requesting reimbursement.

6. New Business
Chair received a letter from MSBA President Sue Holden asking him to circulate material regarding judicial independence. Information on this topic is available on the MSBA website. Members are requested to raise awareness of this issue and educate the public.

7. Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

8. CLE - "The New Child Support Law" presented by Senator Thomas Neuville

Respectfully submitted,
Jaime Driggs


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
January 14, 2006

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:39 a.m.

2. Chair's Report

Motion to approve December meeting minutes.
-Motion passed

3. Treasurer's Report

For the period ending November 30, 2005, the Section's dues revenue was approximately $18,700, expenses were approximately $6,500, and the Section's investment balance was approximately $39,448. The only major anticipated expenditure in the near future relates to Family Law Forum.

4. Committee Reports

a. Nominations
The Nominations committee recommended the following slate for the 2006-07 term:

Chair Ellen Abbott
Vice-Chair/Chair Elect Cheryl Prince
Treasurer Ryan Anderson
Secretary Linda Wold
Legislative Committee Chair Pamela Waggoner
Publications Committee Chair Jaime Driggs
Out-State Member at Large Margaret Erickson
Out-State Member at Large Barb Runchey
Out-State Member at Large Gary L. Voegele

b. Amicus
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Antone v. Mirviss on Monday, January 9, 2006.

c. Domestic Abuse
No report

d. Legislation
Next committee meeting is scheduled for January 19 at 5:30 p.m. in Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis. Members interested in attending should review S.F. No. 1408 and H.F. No. 779 (regarding joint physical custody presumption). Committee will also consider changing the meeting schedule.

e. Strategic Planning
Committee met and considered three initiatives:

1. Leadership Development/Succession Planning
Committee discussed creation of orientation manual that would be used to train incoming officers and committee chairs. The manual would include a description of the duties for each of the positions as well as tips and suggestions. Also included in the manual would be a perpetual calendar with dates of various events and actions needed to be taken by the Section.

2. Build Collaboration with Local Family Law Bar Groups
Committee discussed collaboration with other family law bar associations, district family law groups, and other MSBA sections. Members may be asked to serve as liaisons to those groups.

3. Section Website and Family Law Forum
Committee discussed proposal regarding Family Law Forum and Section website. The proposal entailed altering the format of Family Law Forum from print issues published several times per year to an online format with a new article published on the Section's website each month. The proposal also included a goal of overhauling the Section's website to add more content.

f. Publications
Next issue of Family Law Forum will be out soon. Members are encouraged to forward suggestions for articles and authors to Rosalind Johnson. Rosalind has a new email address: rozbjohnson@yahoo.com.

g. Family Law Institute
The 2006 Family Law Institute will be on Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. The Institute will have a different format than past Institutes. Brochures regarding the Institute will be coming out soon.

Motion that Section hold regular meetings in both March and April.
- Motion passed

Please contact Barb Runchey with suggestions for CLE topics for March or April meetings.

5. New Business

a. MSBA is soliciting nominations for the 2005 David Graven Public Service Award. Deadline for nominations is February 24, 2006. All MSBA members are eligible to nominate or receive the award.

b. The Volunteer Lawyers Network has created a new service for the Latino community and they are seeking Spanish speaking attorneys. Contact Lori Roemer at VLN at 612-752-6655 for more information.

c. The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence is offering a teleconference series on various topics designed for attorneys representing victims of domestic violence. More information is available at http://www.abanet.org/domviol/home.html.

d. Motion that Section rescind its prior position opposing the proposed amendment to Minn. Stat. § 484.65, subd. 9 to make Hennepin County referee decisions directly appealable to court of appeals and instead take no position on the proposal.
-Motion passed

6. Meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.

7. CLE - "The Affect on Children and Families of a Legal Presumption of Joint Physical Custody" (Panel discussion moderated by Pamela Waggoner.)

Respectfully submitted,
Jaime Driggs


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
December 10, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:41 a.m.

2. Introductions: Ellen Abbott, Nancy Johnson-Maloney, Jennifer Ray Bertheussen, Linda Wold, Debra Yerigan, Regina Wagner, Barb Runchey, Mary Drummer, Melvin Ogurak, Rana Fuller, Don Enockson, Stephen Arnott, Rosalind Johnson, Bill Fehn, Jenna Perrin, Pamela J. Waggoner, Tim Mulrooney, Bruce Kennedy, Malee Ketelsen, Loretta Frederick, Kathleen Murphy, Mary Madden, Tami Peterson, Margaret Erickson, David Weidt, Jennifer Eichten, Emily Ziemer, Mary Lauhead, Jaime Driggs.

3. Chair's Report

a. Motion to approve November meeting minutes.
o Motion passed

4. Treasurer's Report

a. Section's balance for period ending October 26, 2005 is approximately $39,000. Full report will be made at January Section meeting.

5. Committee Reports

a. Publications
o Forthcoming issue of Family Law Forum focuses on new child support legislation and features articles by Senator Tom Neuville and Deanna Dohrmann. The issue is scheduled for publication in December.

o As always, members are encouraged to forward suggestions for articles and authors to Rosalind Johnson. Rosalind has a new email address: rozbjohnson@yahoo.com.

b. Domestic Abuse
o No report

o Next committee meeting will be in January. Meeting time and location have not yet been determined. If you are interested in attending email Ellen Abbott at ellen.abbott@gershwin.tc.

c. Legislation
o Committee reviewed child support legislation line by line and Pamela Waggoner will forward comments to authors of legislation.

o Committee meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Motion to reconsider at January Section meeting the position taken by the Section at its November meeting opposing the proposed amendment to Minn. Stat. § 484.65, subd. 9 (making Hennepin County referee decisions directly appealable to court of appeals).
- Motion passed

d. Strategic Planning
o Next committee meeting will be in January.

o Please contact Gary Voegele with nominations for Section officers and committee chairs. Gary's email: gvoegele@clear.lakes.com.

e. Amicus
o Supreme Court oral argument in Antone v. Mirviss is scheduled for January 6, 2006.

f. Family Law Institute
o The 2006 Family Law Institute will be on Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

o Over fifty breakout sessions have been scheduled.

o Jennifer Eichten volunteered to take the lead in planning a plenary session focusing on professionalism in family law.

6. New Business

a. MSBA President Susan Holden wishes to create a program regarding the methamphetamine problem that attorneys could present at schools. This will be an excellent opportunity for community outreach and the program is scheduled to be ready sometime this coming spring.

b. Goal of MSBA's hurricane relief effort is $400,000. Three different funds have been created. Additional information about this program is available through the MSBA website at http://www.mnbar.org/katrina/index.htm.

c. A MSBA committee will meet to consider judicial elections following the Eight Circuit's White decision.

7. Meeting adjourned at 10:39 a.m.

8. CLE - "Legal Issues That Affect Same Sex Couples" presented by Ann C. Viitala.

Respectfully submitted,
Jaime Driggs


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
November 12, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:40 a.m.

2. Introductions: Barb Runchey, Linda Wold, Dan Ventres, Stella Freucle, Emily Ziemer, Mark Gardner, Cheryl Prince, Ellen Abbott, Melvin Ogurak, Rob Gadtke, Nancy Johnson Maloney, Mary Louise Klas, Peter M. Taylor, Rana Fuller, Donald Enockson, Pamela J. Waggoner, Jennifer Eichten, Mary Durand, Marlee Ketelsen, Bruce Kennedy, Jaime Driggs, Gary Voegele, Tami Peterson, Loretta M. Frederick, Glen Norton, Bill Fehn. (The Secretary apologizes for any misspellings!)

3. Chair's Report

a. Motion to approve October meeting minutes with correction articulated by Ellen Abbott.
Motion passed

4. Treasurer's Report
a. Section's only recent major expenditures relate to the amicus brief submitted in Antone v. Mirviss.

5. Committee Reports
a. Publications
Several authors requested additional time to submit articles so next issue should be completed in December.

b. Domestic Abuse
No report

c. Legislation
Committee discussed proposed amendment to Minn. Stat. § 484.65, subd. 9 that Hennepin County referee decisions be made directly appealable to the court of appeals. Committee proposed to the drafters of the amendment a modification that would require a knowing waiver of the right to have a judge, rather than a referee, hear the case, and that would not limit the proposed amendment to Hennepin County. The modification was rejected, although removal of "knowing" was also proposed. The Committee voted to oppose the proposed amendment.

Motion that Section oppose proposed amendment to Minn. Stat. § 484.65, subd. 9.
Motion passed

Committee also discussed Section's opposition to joint physical custody presumption. Committee decided to solicit input from family development experts, parenting consultants, etc. To this end, the CLE portion of the Section's January 14, 2006 meeting will be a panel discussion of experts on this issue. Pamela Waggoner was charged with contacting professionals whom may be willing to serve on the panel.

d. Strategic Planning
Committee met and will be pursuing the following initiatives:
-enhance Section's website
-improve family law listserv by collecting and organizing postings
- boost Saturday meeting attendance by inviting past active members to attend
- examine possibility of providing for web meeting attendance for Section meetings
- work on Section leadership development and succession planning
- promote collaboration with local family law bar associations

e. Family Law Institute
The 2006 Institute will be very practice-oriented and most of the breakout sessions have already been determined. Committee needs help developing an ethics presentation to take place on the second day of the Institute. This will be a plenary session following the caselaw and legislative updates and could involve video vignettes, role playing, etc. The MSBA Professionalism Committee is involved in the presentation but needs a family law person to provide direction. Please contact Barb Runchey or Don Enockson if you would like to volunteer.

f. Amicus
No report

6. New Business
a. Chair invites members to get involved in the MSBA's hurricane relief effort. Information about this program is available through the MSBA website at http://www.mnbar.org/katrina/index.htm.

b. Motion to amend Section's bylaws. (Details available at Section's website at http://www2.mnbar.org/sections/family-law/index.htm.)
- Motion passed

c. The Minnesota Justice Foundation has asked the Section to make a $5,000.00 grant to fund a summer family law clerkship for a law student in outstate Minnesota.

Motion to donate $5,000.00 to MJF to fund summer family law clerkship in outstate Minnesota.
- Motion passed

7. Meeting adjourned at approximately 10:35 a.m.

8. CLE - "Statewide GAL Program/Rules" presented by Mark Toogood


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
October 8, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:40 a.m.

2. Report from MSBA Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee

The MSBA LAD committee is beginning a new initiative entitled "Up Your Pro Bono" to increase pro bono representation. The committee is asking attorneys to volunteer in one of three ways: (1) to recruit five attorneys who did not do pro bono last year to take on a pro bono case; (2) to take on a pro bono case themselves; or (3) to serve as a mentor to attorneys who take on a pro bono family law case but who do not have family law experience. For more information, contact Caroline Palmer at the MSBA by phone (612-278-6308), fax (612-333-4927), or email (cpalmer@mnbar.org). The LAD committee will distribute a pro bono report to MSBA members in June 2006.

3. Chair's Report
a. Motion to approve minutes from September meeting.
Motion passed

b. Members are encouraged to invite someone to November meeting.

4. Treasurer's Report
a. Section's only recent significant expenditures were the two $2,500.00 donations to help fund ProJusticeMN.org and LawHelpMN.org.

5. Committee Reports
a. Publications
No report

b. Domestic Abuse
The committee did not meet last month. Members interested in attending committee meetings should contact Ellen Abbott at ellen.abbott@gershwin.tc

c. Legislation
A letter was sent to the chairs of the MSBA Real Property Section regarding the summary real estate disposition judgment legislation to solicit feedback on that proposal. Committee has not yet received a response.

Committee discussed proposal that Hennepin County referee decisions be made directly appealable to the court of appeals. Committee is in process of contacting Judge Swenson and court administration officials regarding modification of the proposal to require a knowing waiver of the right to district court review and also to make the proposal not limited to Hennepin County.

Ellen Abbott agreed to serve as liaison to a group considering legislation addressing parental rights in situations of sexual assault resulting in the birth of a child.

Ellen Abbott is liaison to group considering Uniform Mediation Act legislation. Draft legislation is expected by fall 2006.

It is anticipated that the income shares child support legislation will be amended during the next legislative session. Members should consider what fixes are needed so the Section will be prepared to provide feedback to the legislature. Please look at SF 630, available through the MSBA Family Law Section's Legislative website, and forward your comments to Pamela Waggoner.

Proposals from last legislative session regarding presumption of joint physical custody are expected to be in issue in the next session. Members interested in this issue should review the proposals and attend the upcoming legislation committee meeting to discuss the Section's vote against a joint physical custody presumption.

Next legislation committee meeting will be on Thursday, October 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the 4th floor conference room of Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis. As always, FREE PARKING and MUNCHIES!

d. Strategic Planning
Committee will probably begin meeting an hour before Section's Saturday meetings.

Members interested in serving on the committee should contact Gary Voegele at gvoegele@clear.lakes.com

e. Amicus
No report

f. Family Law Institute
Next planning meeting will be on Friday, November 11, at 4:00 p.m. at the Minnesota CLE conference center.

6. New Business
a. The Minnesota Justice Foundation has asked the Section to make a $5,000.00 grant to fund a summer clerkship for a law student in outstate Minnesota. A copy of MJF's proposal letter is attached. Don Enockson would like feedback on this. His email address is kegdle@visi.com.

b. A group is working to develop a proposed court rule addressing collaborative law. Interested members should contact Judith Johnson (612-339-7566).

c. A high school teacher in Coon Rapids has asked that a family law attorney come to the school to speak to students about family law issues. Pamela Waggoner volunteered to do so.

d. Don Enockson would like members to consider whether the Section
should sponsor a speaker's bureau to go in to high schools to inform young people about family law issues such as child support, etc. (This will be on the agenda for next month's Section meeting.)

e. A document containing proposed amendments to the Section's bylaws was distributed to members. For details regarding these amendments please see the attachment to these minutes. Please note that these amendments are additional amendments not encompassed by the motion noted below.

7. Motion to amend Article V, Section 3 of Section's bylaws.
Motion passed. [Please see the attachment to these minutes for details.]

8. Meeting adjourned at approximately 10:45 a.m.

9. CLE - "Bankruptcy Reform Act and Its Application to Family Law Practitioners" presented by Dorraine A. Larison



MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
September 10, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:40 a.m.

2. Chair's Report
a. Motion to approve minutes from May 14, 2005 meeting.
Motion passed

b. Members interested in serving as Section's liaison to provide input regarding use of funds donated to ProJusticeMN.org and LawHelpMN.org should contact Don Enockson.

c. Executive committee met during the summer and discussed ways to increase meeting attendance. Members are encouraged to invite past-attendees to meetings.

d. Section's new MSBA liaison is Jacqueline McGlamery.

e. Members should consider potential candidates for next year's slate of Section officers.

f. At executive committee's summer meeting, committee discussed lengthening the term of the legislation committee chair to four years and providing for compensation for the chair.

(Section passed motion that Section's bylaws be revised to implement the changes described above. The text of the proposed revisions to the bylaws may be viewed online at the Section's website at http://www2.mnbar.org/sections/family-law/index.htm.)

3. Treasurer's Report
a. Section's balance for period ending June 30, 2005 is approximately $51,000.

4. Committee Reports
a. Family Law Institute
The 2006 Family Law Institute will be on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 and Thursday, March 30, 2006 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

Planning committee meetings are scheduled for Friday, October 7, 2006 and Friday, November 11, 2006. Both meetings are at 4:00 p.m. at the Minnesota CLE conference center. Members with suggestions for CLE topics for next Institute should contact Barb Runchey.

b. Amicus
Section's amicus brief in Antone v. Mirviss, 694 N.W.2d 564 (Minn. Ct. App. 2005) was submitted and filed in August.

c. Publications
Next issue of Family Law Forum will be devoted to new child support legislation. Two authors have been secured thus far. Interested authors and members with ideas for articles should contact Rosalind Johnson.

d. Domestic Abuse
Committee has not yet met and meeting times for this year have not yet been determined. Members interested in attending meetings should contact Ellen Abbott.

e. Strategic Planning
No report

f. Legislation
Committee meetings will be held on the third Thursday each month at 5:30 p.m. in the 4th floor conference room of Pamela Waggoner's office at 333 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Language has been added to the proposal discussed at the Section's May meeting regarding the summary real estate disposition judgment.

Motion to table discussion of the summary real estate disposition judgment proposal until next Section meeting.
Motion passed

Section discussed proposal supported by Judge Swenson to make Hennepin County referee decisions directly appealable to the court of appeals.

Motion to table discussion of the proposal regarding Hennepin County referee decisions until next Section meeting.
Motion passed

5. Meeting adjourned at approximately 11:00 a.m.

6. CLE - "Marketing Your Practice" presented by Roy S. Ginsburg


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
May 14, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:38 a.m.

2. Chair’s Report

a. Motion to approve March meeting minutes
• Motion passed

b. Motion to approve minutes from April 9, 2005 special meeting
• Motion passed

c. Executive Committee authorized Section's intervention in Antone v. Mirviss, 694 N.W.2d 564 (Minn. Ct. App. 2005) (holding statute of limitations for legal malpractice claim involving antenuptial agreement did not begin to run, because injury did not occur, until final property award was made)

d. Family law section survey results will appear in upcoming issue of Family Law Forum

e. Members interested in submitting family law case summaries for inclusion in Bench & Bar should contact the Chair

3. Treasurer’s Report

a. Section’s year-to-date balance is $18,275.

4. Committee Reports

a. Ad Hoc Committee Regarding Section's Reserves
Committee proposed the following expenditures:

$4,000.00--Ten members of Executive Committee ($400.00 per member) to help defray some of the registration and lodging at MSBA Bar Convention to conduct a half-day strategic planning session for the upcoming year.

$2,000.00--Two $1,000.00 stipends for the Section Chair and Vice-Chair who are co-chairs of the Family Law Institute to attend either the annual or mid-year ABA Family Law Section conferences for speakers and topics for the Family Law Institute and reprt back to the Section on ABA Family Law Section activities.

$2,500.00--Funds would assist in content review of materials for ProJusticeMN.org website in order to identify gaps and locate additional resources. ProJusticeMN.org is a resource and tool for volunteer and legal services attorneys working with low income clients as well as law students and faculty. It includes practice manuals, tips, model forms and pleadings, training materials, CLE information and related links. (Per letter request of Caroline Palmer.)

$2,500.00--Funds would help design family law materials for LawHelpMN.org. This is another website that provides answers to legal questions, contact information for legal offices, links to courthouse and local community organizations. The items are written for someone with an eight grade reading level. (Per letter request of Caroline Palmer.)

Motion that Section approve committee's proposal with the understanding that the $4,000.00 and $2,000.00 expenditures will be reviewed annually.
• Motion passed

b. Publications
• Next issue of Family Law Forum is devoted to division of property issues. It is scheduled to be completed within the next few weeks and will feature articles by Nancy Berg and Susan McKay.

c. Domestic Abuse
• Committee meets on Friday afternoons before the Saturday Section meeting. Members unable to attend at that time should contact the committee.

d. Family Law Institute
• Members with suggestions for CLE topics for next Institute should contact Barb Runchey

e. Legislation
• Committee discussed pending proposals regarding summary real estate disposition judgments and division of pension plans
• Bruce Kennedy is continuing to work with Real Property Law Section on proposal regarding summary real estate disposition judgments

5. Meeting adjourned at 11:44 a.m.

6. CLE - “2005 Legislative Session” presented by Pamela J. Waggoner


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
Special Meeting on April 9, 2005

Meeting brought to order at 9:40 a.m.

Motion that Section close meeting to non-members
- Motion passed
8 yes
3 no
1 abstained

Motion that Section open portion of meeting devoted to discussion of legislation and close remainder of meeting
- Motion failed

Discussion of SF 630 (Income Shares)

- Senator Berglin has joined Senator Neuville as an author of SF 630

Motion that Section support SF 630 as amended as of April 7, 2005 and that Section continue to work with Senator Neuville and Senator Berglin on any future amendments
- Motion passed
11 yes
1 no

Motion that Section oppose any increase in civil filing fees including fees assessed in the form of a percentage
- Motion passed
8 yes
3 no
1 abstained

Motion that Section take position that child support magistrates be permitted to decide parenting time percentages
Motion to table the above motion
- Motion passed

Discussion of SF 1733 (Attorney Fee Awards in Civil Actions)


Motion that Section not take a position on SF 1733
- Motion passed
11 yes
1 no

Discussion of SF 644 (See below for subject matter of this bill.)


Motion that Section support section 12 of SF 644, 1st engrossment (amending Minn. Stat. § 518.191, subd. 2) (Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment)
- Motion passed
13 yes
0 no

Motion that Section support section 13 of SF 644, 1st engrossment (amending Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 4) (Division of Pension Plans)
- Motion passed
12 yes
0 no
1 abstained

Motion that Section oppose section 3 of SF 644, 1st engrossment (amending Minn. Stat. § 257.55, subd. 1) (Paternity Presumptions)
- Motion passed
11 yes
0 no
1 abstained

Motion that Section support lines 5.23 to 5.29 of section 5 of SF 644, 1st engrossment (amending Minn. Stat. § 257.62, subd. 5) (Consequences of Positive Test Results in Paternity Cases)
- Motion passed
9 yes
1 no
0 abstained

Motion that Section support section 1 of SF 644, 1st engrossment (Notification Requirements for Predatory Offenders Residing with Children)
- Motion passed
12 yes
0 no
0 abstained

Motion that Section support the addition of a subdivision to 2 to section 1 of SF 644, 1st engrossment, to read as follows:
"The offender's corrections agent must notify the parents and/or legal guardians or physical custodians of any minor child in the household."
- Motion passed
9 yes
1 no
2 abstained

Motion that Section support amendment of section 2 of SF 644, 1st engrossment, to read as follows:
"A person who is granted or exercises custody or parenting time of a child under this chapter or chapter 518 must notify the child's other parent, legal guardian, or physical custodian, if any, the local welfare agency, and the court that granted such custody or parenting time if the person with custody or parenting time knowingly marries or lives in the same residence with a person who has been convicted of a crime listed in section 518.179 subdivision 2."
- Motion passed
10 yes
0 no
2 abstained

Motion that Section oppose any amendment relating to the above that tries to impose these requirements upon such persons who are mentally ill or chemically dependent.
- Motion passed
7 yes
2 no
3 abstained

Discussion of SF 1479 (Spousal Maintenance Collection)

Motion that Section support SF 1479 and that Section encourage retention of current statutory enforcement remedies.
- Motion passed
13 yes
0 no
0 abstained

Discussion of SF 1920 (Required Findings for Custody/P.T. Awards in OFP Cases)

Motion that Section oppose SF 1920
- Motion passed
5 yes
4 no
3 abstained

Meeting adjourned at 12:38 p.m.


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
March 12, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:39 a.m.

2. Chair’s Report:

a. Motion to amend January minutes to correct typographical error
- Motion passed

b. The ad hoc committee addressing Section's financial condition and considering goals for Section’s funds will meet at Family Law Institute. The committee has received two funding requests from the Minnesota Justice Foundation that will be considered at the meeting.

c. The Section will be putting on an outreach function on June 16th at the 2005 MSBA convention. Anyone interested in helping out should contact Gary.

d. Anyone planning on attending the ABA Family Law Section mid-year meeting in Austin, Texas on April 13-16 is invited to let Gary know and report back to the Section about their experience.

e. Tim Groshens is working on making the results of the Section membership survey available.

3. Renee Anderson

a. As part of the new MSBA governance structure beginning July 1, each section will have one representative and one alternate to the MSBA Assembly (formerly the Board of Governors). The positions are one year terms and the Assembly will meet four times per year.

b. Motion that past-chair of Section serve as representative and vice-chair serve as alternate for the 2005-06 term.
-Motion passed

c. Motion that Section initiate process to amend its by-laws to reflect the above arrangement for future terms.
-Motion passed

4. Treasurer’s Report

a. Section’s balance for period ending January 31, 2005 is approximately $59,000. The most recent major expenditure was the postage fees relating to Family Law Forum.

b. Motion to accept Treasurer's Report
- Motion passed

5. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
Case filed by Debra Yerigan in Ramsey County on behalf of three people denied services because of DHS policy re “maintenance only” cases has been transferred to Judge DeCourcy.

b. Publications
Rosalind would like members to consider potential topics and authors for upcoming issue of Family Law Forum devoted to same-sex marriage.

c. Domestic Abuse
Committee met with representatives from Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women regarding news articles and media coverage of domestic abuse incidents to coordinate efforts on educating news reporters on how stories get reported.

Judge Manrique has invited committee member to be on Family Violence Coordinating Council.

d. Legislation
Report deferred to CLE program.

6. Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

7. CLE - “Pending and Proposed Legislation for 2005”.

Legislation

a. The committee will continue to monitor legislation regarding adoption.

b. Motion to reaffirm the authority of persons appearing on behalf of the Section to speak on issues that have not been considered by the Section as long as the person discloses this fact.
-Motion passed

c. Discussion re HF 1191
-Motion to end discussion of HF 1191
-Motion passed

Motion to oppose HF 1191
-Motion passed
18 yes
1 no
2 abstain

d. Motion to table, until special meeting, discussion of motion to support income shares approach but not Senator Neuville's bill.
-Motion passed
15 yes
3 no

e. Special section meeting devoted to Senator Neuville's bill will be held on Friday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m.


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
February 12, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:39 a.m.

2. Chair's Report:

a. Motion passed endorsing the following slate for positions next year:
Chair - Don Enockson
Vice-Chair - Gary Voegele and Barb Runchey
Legislation - Pamela Waggoner
Publications - Rosalind Johnson
Treasurer - Peter Taylor
Secretary - Jaime Driggs
Executive - Barb Runchey, Cheryl Prince, and Margaret Erickson
Domestic Abuse - Loretta Frederick

b. The ad hoc committee addressing Section's financial condition and considering goals for Section's funds will meet soon

c. The Section has received time on the morning of June 16th to sponsor an event or meeting at 2005 MSBA convention

d. Gary Voegele and Jaime Driggs will attend MSBA reception for law students on February 17 on behalf of the Section

4. Treasurer's Report
- Section's balance as of December 31, 2004 is $63,245.18

5. Meaghan Harper's Presentation on Certification
- Meaghan Harper is Certification Manager with MSBA
- She asked Section to consider whether it is interested in creating a family law specialist certification
- Discussion of this issue was postponed until the May meeting

5. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
Committee was approached by husband for support on petition to Supreme Court in case entitled Mazitelli v. Mazitelli involving antenuptial agreement held to be unconscionable. Case turned on factual determination of whether it was foreseeable at the time the agreement was entered whether wife would be out of the job market for as long as she was. Committee's view was that case was inappropriate for amicus participation because the issue turned on a credibility determination regarding witness testimony concerning foreseeability of length of absence from job market.

Motion that Section decline participation in case.
- Motion passed
Debra Yerigan has filed a case in Ramsey County on behalf of three people denied services because of DHS policy re "maintenance only" cases. Committee reports that it has never participated in a case at the trial court level.

Motion that Amicus Committee petition trial court for permission to come in to the case in support of the three plaintiffs.
- Motion passed

Motion that Section support legislation to be sponsored by Representative Tina Liebling that would ensure "maintenance only" withholding services are provided
-Motion passed

b. Publications
Same-sex marriage is possible topic for next issue of Family Law Forum.

c. Domestic Abuse
Committee voted to approve the domestic abuse brochure.

d. Legislation
Pamela Waggoner reports that ten family law bills have been introduced in the legislature this session--see the Section's website at http://www2.mnbar.org/sections/family-law/index.htm and click on the "Legislation" tab for more information

Pamela would like Section members to provide her with feedback on income shares legislation

Motion that Section support H.F. 0761 (re removal standard) with the caveat that language should be added to clarify that the presumption in domestic abuse cases would only work in favor of victims and not abusers.
- Motion passed

Motion that Section oppose H.F. 0576 (re genetic testing paternity presumption).
- Motion passed

Motion that Section oppose H.F. 0779 (re joint physical custody presumption).
- Motion passed

Motion to table discussion of changes to Minn. Stat. § 518.171.
- Motion passed

Motion that Section oppose H.F. 0290 (re grandparent visitation).
- Motion passed

Motion that Section, as a Section, take action to support positions it previously adopted with respect to § 518.58, subd. 4 and § 518.191, subd. 2 and 4. (See minutes from November 13, 2004 meeting.)
- Motion passed

6. Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

7. CLE - "Statewide Court Interpreter Program" presented by Katrin Johnson, Court Interpreter Program Coordinator, Minnesota Supreme Court


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
January 8, 2005

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:43 a.m.

2. Minutes from December 2004 meeting approved

3. Chair's Report:

a. Discussion re whether to change Section dues from current rate of $25.00 per year; motion to keep dues at $25.00 per year
- Motion passed

b. A committee will be created to consider goals for Section's funds and make recommendations to the Section about possible uses

c. The section membership survey is finished and will be distributed to members within the next 30 days

d. Discussion re whether Section should sponsor a CLE or host a function at 2005 MSBA convention

e. Gary attended pro se task force discussion re whether rules need to be changed to allow for unbundling of legal services. Interested members can contact Gary for additional information about this.

f. Members interested in nominating officers or serving as officers next year should contact Gary.

4. Treasurer's Report
- Section's balance as of October 31, 2004 is $65,294.12.

5. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
Committee considering possible role in two lawsuits in Hennepin and Olmsted counties challenging DHS policy re "maintenance only" cases

b. Publications
Rosalind seeking articles for next issue of Family Law Forum.

c. Domestic Abuse
Discussion re issue of how to coordinate scope of information made available to judges deciding custody cases. This may be topic for a workshop for the May meeting.

d. Family Law Institute
Two keynote speakers have been chosen. Attendees will have approximately 50 breakout sessions to choose from. The brochure for the Institute will be coming out soon.

e. Legislation
Glen Norton will be taking proposed changes to § 518.191 (re summary real estate disposition) to Real Property section.

Pamela seeks input from Section membership re proposed legislation that would create presumption that joint physical custody is in the child's best interests.

Pamela would also like feedback from members re Section's position on child support legislation.

Next legislation committee meeting will be held on January 20, 2004 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Pamela Waggoner's office.

6. Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

7. CLE - "Child Support Update" presented by Jan C. Nelson, Child Support Magistrate, Ninth Judicial District


MSBA Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
December 11, 2004

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:35 a.m.

2. Minutes from November 2004 meeting approved

3. Chair's Report:

a. James Vedder resigned as secretary; motion that Jaime Driggs complete the balance of secretary's term
- Motion passed

b. Members interested in participating on the Strategic Planning committee should contact Gary Voegele

c. The section membership survey will be distributed within the next one to two months

4. Treasurer's Report
Nothing to report

5. Committee Reports

a. Publications
Forthcoming issue of Family Law Forum will be available by the end of December and the following issue will focus on property division

b. Amicus
Two lawsuits addressing DHS policy re "maintenance only" cases are expected in Hennepin and Olmsted counties; Section participation is not requested at this time

c. Family Law Institute
Work is continuing; two plenary speakers have been secured

d. Domestic Abuse
Next committee meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 7, 2005 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The domestic abuse brochure has been completed and will be available at the next Section meeting

The committee wrote a letter to Judge Swenson offering to participate in consideration of a proposal requiring judges to meet face to face with petitioners seeking ex parte orders

e. Legislation
MSBA Legislative Committee advises that Family Law section should submit proposed changes to § 518.58 and § 518.191 to Real Property and Employee Benefits sections before MSBA will take any action. (See minutes from November meeting for details of the proposed changes.)

Chief Justice Blatz has issued an order implementing Initial Case Management Conference pilot projects in the First, Second, Fourth, Cass County in the Ninth, and Tenth judicial districts

Next legislation committee meeting will be held on December 16, 2004 at Pamela Waggoner's office; future meetings will be held on every third Thursday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the same location

6. Meeting adjourned at 10:02 a.m.

7. CLE - "Child Support Legislation Workshop" presented by Senator Tom Neuville, Grundhoefer, Neuville & Ludesch


MSBA Meeting Minutes
Family Law Section
November 13, 2004

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:39 a.m.

2. Minutes from October 2004 meeting
- October minutes not approved because MSBA did not receive them
- October minutes will be forwarded to MSBA

3. Motion to have Family Law Section solicit attorneys to, on a pro bono basis, take legal action enjoining the Department of Human Services from ending its collection services in "maintenance only" cases
- Motion passed

4. Chair's Report:

a. Chair interested in increasing Section's coordination with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Hennepin County family law section, Ramsey County family law section, and other family law organizations by enlisting people to act as liaisons with those groups. Reports from liaisons will be added to the meeting agenda.

b. Work is continuing on developing a survey to be given to Section members.

5. Treasurer's Report
- Report approved
- Ending balance of $65,420.14 as of September 30, 2004
- Treasurer commented that Section stands in position similar to last year

6. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
- nothing to report

b. Domestic Abuse
- no report

c. Family Law Institute
- Dates for 2005 Institute are March 30-31
- Institute will be held at River Center in Saint Paul
- Key note speaker has not yet been determined
- Next committee meeting will be at 8:00 a.m. on November 23 at Minnesota CLE

d. Strategic Planning
- no report

e. Legislation

Senator Neuville will be at December Section meeting to discuss income shares legislation.

Discussion re building consensus with AAML and MSBA Children and the Law Section re income shares legislation

Motion to support amendment of §518.58, subd. 4 changing "defined contribution" to "defined benefit" in order to only restrict defined benefit plans from lump sum and instant payouts.
- Motion passed

Motion to refer amendment re domestic abuse presumption in custody cases back to legislation committee for further consideration.
- Motion passed

Motion to support amendment of §518.191, subd. 2 and 4 to make summary real estate disposition judgment sufficient to transfer title to real property.
- Motion passed

Motion to support amendment of §518.54, subd. 5 to include as nonmarital property "accumulated interest or dividends passively reinvested" in property described in clauses (a), (b), (d), and (e). Amendment would also include presumption that gift from a family member is intended for the family member spouse, not for the other or both spouses.
- Motion withdrawn

Motion to support amendment of §518B.01 to give judicial officers discretion to denominate orders as Temporary Restraining Orders rather than OFPs in cases where there was no allegation that physical abuse occurred.
-Motion failed

7. Meeting adjourned at 10:53 a.m.

8. CLE - "Family Law Bibliography" presented by Joani C. Moberg, Larkin Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren Ltd.


MSBA Meeting Minutes
Family Law Section
October 9, 2004

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:40 a.m.

2. Minutes from September 2004 meeting were approved

3. Treasurer's report was approved
- Report showed ending balance of $65,306.07 as of August 31, 2004

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus (none)

b. Publications
- Material is still being collected for upcoming issue
- Discussion of new features to include in Family Law Forum such as letters to the editor and tips from practioners

c. Domestic Abuse (none)

d. Family Law Institute

e. Strategic Planning (none)

f. Legislation
-Discussion of workshop at December meeting with Senator Neuville regarding income shares/recodification legislation

5. New Business
(none)



MSBA FAMILY LAW
MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 11, 2004 MEETING


1. The meeting was commenced on a motion to approve the May 2004 Minutes from the MSBA meeting. The motion was seconded and passed.

2. The treasurer submitted his report, which included three sheets showing balances ending as of April 30, 2004, May 31, 2004 and June 30, 2004. There was a motion to approve the treasurer's report. The motion was seconded and passed.

3. There was a discussion regarding the Minnesota State Bar Association voting against the ban on the gay marriage amendment. The Family Law Section's position was the same as the MSBA's position.

4. There was a report with regard to the Bob Schlesinger's ALS walk.

5. Committee reports:

a. Amicus did not provide a report.

b. Publications:

(1) Publications is looking to put out a fall issue regarding tips from Judges and Court Administrators. Publications could use assistance in obtaining contacts for Judges and Court Administrators to complete the fall edition.

(2) The winter publication will be entitled "A House Divided" and will deal with the division of personal property. There was a request made at the meeting for more articles.

c. Domestic Abuse:

(1) There was discussion regarding a proposal from Judge James T. Swenson and a meeting in Hennepin County with the Chief Justice of all Districts regarding the fact that all Petitioner's or Ex Parte Orders meet face to face with a Judge before issuing an Ex Parte Order because these Orders are being used by parties to posture in a divorce proceeding and some might be eliminated by the meeting. The Committee will be sending a letter to Judge Swenson requesting someone from the Committee be present at future meetings regarding OFP proceedings.

(2) The Committee is finalizing the brochure on finding an attorney in an OFP proceeding.

(3) There was a discussion regarding a case in Anoka County where the father shot himself and the child.

d. Family Law Institute:

(1) No date has been set for the Family Law Institute.

(2) The Family Law Institute will be at the same location at the corner of Highways 100 and 494 as in the past two years.

(3) On September 28, 2004 there will be a first planning meeting at the Minnesota CLE Center in the morning. There will be three planning meetings this fall with dates to be decided.

(4) The Committee on the Family Law Institute is looking for recommendations as to a keynote speaker and for presentations.

3. Strategic Planning Commission. No report.

4. Legislation:

a. Contact Pam Wagoner is you want to attend meetings, which will be held at her offices on Thursday from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. two weeks before the Section meetings. Ms. Wagner is located in Union Plaza, Suite 405, Minneapolis. Her telephone number is 612-334-3123 and her email address is pjwagoner@aol.com.

b. At the initial meeting the Committee plans to start looking at Tom Neville's child support bill.

c. There was a discussion with regard to a change to the Summons including the notice of parenting education programs.

d. There was also a discussion with regard to the Solders and Sailors Civil Relief Act now being known as the Service Members Relief Act.

5. The CLE was entitled "Pro Bono Opportunities and Options for Family Law Attorneys". You may send comments about ProJustice Minnesota and Law Help Minnesota to Sharon Elmore at 651-228-9105, ext. 113, or email at selmore@mnlegalservices.org., or Jean Lastine at jlastine@cnteralmnlegal.org.


MSBA Meeting Minutes
Family Law Section
May 8, 2004

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from April, 2004 meeting

a. Motion seconded
b. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to Approve Report
b. Seconded
c. Motion approved.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
-None

b. Publications
-None, but needs articles on property divisions for next issue

c. Domestic Abuse
-completed brochure regarding appropriate attorneys for the domestic abuse process

d. Family Law Institute
-None

e. Strategic Planning
-social outreach program in Waseca or CLE at 3rd Judicial District meeting

f. Legislation
-state of antenuptial agreements (Uniform Antenuptial Act)
1. Should section take this issue up

5. New Business

a. Motion to donate $150 to Race for the Cure on behalf of Susan Cochrane
1. Motion seconded
2. Motion passes

b. Family Law section is concerned about changes to GAL rules and will further address the changes

6. CLE on current status of bills in the legislature


MSBA Meeting Minutes
Family Law Section
March 13, 2004


PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO APRIL MEETING. THE ANNUAL MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE FAMILY LAW INSTITUTE.

The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM.

1. Minutes from February 2004 meeting were approved as written.

2. There were no matters arising from the minutes.

3. Treasurer's report was presented showing an ending balance as of January 31, 2004 of
$60,495.34. The Treasurer also presented a proposed budget for review. The budget will
be discussed at the May Section meeting. [MSBA will put the proposed budget on the
website or attach to these minutes]

4. Committee Reports:

A. Amicus - no report.

B. Publications - Discussion of whether to put Family Law Forum on line. The cost
is twenty-five cents for e-mail versus more than one dollar per hard copy. Several
people indicated they wanted their hard copy. It was suggested that we consider
putting a place on the annual dues form to indicate whether you want e-mail
version or hard copy. The discussion was tabled. The next Forum will be "Take
It From Me" - tips from family court judges, etc. The topic being considered for
the following issue is "A House Divided" - property division.

C. Domestic Abuse - the Committee has a completed draft of the brochure "Getting
a Good Lawyer for Victims of Domestic Abuse." The committee will review and
finalize it at their next meeting.

D. Family Law Institute - looks good!

E. Strategic Planning - the Committee recommends holding one meeting out-state
this summer. A motion passed to have one meeting in August in the 3rd Judicial
District, or another out-state location.

F. Legislation -

1. Several amendments to the child support bill (SF 758) were considered
and votes taken on the following:

A. Passed motion opposing the amendment proposing a 17.5%
discount to child support for increased parenting time, joining
AAML in their opposition.

B. Passed opposition to any use of marginal cost approach for housing
in any child support formula.

C. Opposed amendment proposing an increase in then number of
required parent education hours.

ACTION REQUESTED: Attached to these minutes are the worksheets for child support calculations in SF 758. Please take at least one case and apply the proposed child support guidelines and e-mail your information to Don Enockson.

2. The Section voted overwhelmingly to add our name to the following
resolution proposed and supported by the MSBA Diversity and Human
Rights Committee:

RESOLVED: that the MSBA Diversity and Human Rights Committee
oppose any effort to amend the Minnesota Constitution to forbid the creation of legally-recognized relationships between persons of the same sex, and encourages the MSBA Board of Governors to take the same position.

Following the business meeting was an excellent presentation by Mike Trittipo on "Client Files and Computer Security."

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen A. Abbott
Secretary du jour

SF758 - 2004 Amended Draft
SF758 - 2003



MSBA Meeting Minutes
Family Law Section
1/10/04

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 AM.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from December, 2003 meeting.
A. Motion seconded
B. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report
A. Motion to Approve December, 2003 Report
B. Seconded
C. A Thank you from the Bar Foundation for the $1,000.00 donation on behalf of Bob Schlesinger was received.

4. Committee Reports

A. Amicus - No Report

B. Publications
1. "The Ties That Bind" issue will be out at the end of the month.
2. Contact Rosalind Johnson to submit the names of any judges, referees, clerks, court administrators that would be good choices to submit an article for the "Take It From Me" issue.

C. Domestic Abuse
A. Comments to the Guardian Ad Litem Procedure Rules in Juvenile and Family Court revisions are due by 1/14/04.
B. Many of the minimum requirements, education requirements, appointment & responsibilities have been eliminated or otherwise greatly been revised.
C. Motion: Recommend to the Supreme Court Administrative Office form a diverse advisory committee to include practicing family law attorneys, formerly battered women.
1. Seconded;
2. Approved.
D. Motion: Mary Lauhead and Maureen White Eagle will prepare comments as to how the revision will affect family law.
1. Seconded;
2. Approved.
E. Executive Committee of the Family Law Section can act on behalf of the whole section in reviewing the comments prepared by Mary Lauhead and Maureen White Eagle for submission to the Supreme court Administrator's Office.
1. Seconded;

2. Approved

D. Family Law Institute
A. Only a few more presenters are needed. They are looking for presenters on the topics of domestic abuse and public assistance benefits. If you have any suggestions please get them to Gary Voegele.


E. Strategic Planning
A. The committee has not met recently.
B. We still need out state members.


F. Nominating Committee
1. The slate of officers has been selected & all have agreed to serve in the capacity for which they were chosen
2. Motion
A. Seconded;
B. Approved.

3. The Slate of Officers is as follows:
Chairperson: Gary Voegele
Vice Chairperson: Don Enockson
Secretary: James Vedder
Treasurer: Pete Taylor
Domestic Abuse: Loretta Frederick
Legislative: Pamela Waggoner
Amicus: Mary Lauhead and Michael Dittberner
Publications: Rosalind Brown Johnson
Executive Committee : Margaret Erickson, Cheryl Prince, Barbara Runchey
Past Chairperson: Mary Drummer

G. Legislative Committee
1. Potential legislation concerning a Minnesota constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman was discussed and how the section wants to respond so such.
a. The sponsor of the Constitutional amendment is chair of the Civil law Committee and he has been receptive to our recommendations in the past.
b. Family lawyers have a pecuniary interest in the issue.
2. Motion: The Family Law section take no position
a. Seconded
b. Not approved.

3. Motion: A motion was made to adopt the language of the MSBA Human Rights Committee which is to oppose any legislation that seeks to amend the constitution limiting marriage to a man and woman.
4. Motion: To table the issue
a. Seconded.
b. Motion failed. [10 : in favor & 11: opposed]
5. Motion: Oppose legislation and oppose any constitutional amendment which limits marriage to only a man and a woman.
a. Seconded.
6. Motion: Family Law Section should wait until March to take position on this issue.
a. Seconded.
b. Motion failed. [7 in favor & 10 opposed]

5. New Business
A. Family Justice Center Advice Clinics
1. Pamela Waggoner announced the need for seasoned family law attorneys to volunteer to staff the clinics for one two-hour clinic per month.

6. Meeting adjourned at 10:30 AM.

7. CLE - "Practicelaw.org's Family Law materials" speaker: Mike Trittipo, Director of Technology, Minnesota State Bar Association


MSBA Meeting Minutes 12/13/03


1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes

a. Motion to approve;
b. Seconded;
c. Approved.

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to approve;
b. Seconded;
c. Approved.

4. Publications Committee

a. "Ties that Bind" is the title of publication coming out
b. Next will be "Take It From Me"
- Recommendations from Judges, Referees and Court Administrators

5. Legislative Committee

a. Forwarded proposal on changing Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment to MSBA to obtain feedback from Real Estate Section

6. Domestic Abuse Committee

a. Working on brochure for how to find an attorney for Domestic Abuse cases

7. Family Law Institute

a. Jaime Moffit is keynote speaker
b. Looking for presenters on advanced spousal maintenance topics, basic or advanced sessions on custody, and public assistance benefits

8. Amicus Committee

a. No report.

9. Nominations Committee

a. Contact Barb Runchey to serve on committee or nominate candidates

10. Child Support Advisory Committee

a. No report.

11. Strategic Planning Committee

a. No report.

12. New business

a. Motion to donate $1,000 on behalf of Bob Schlesinger in honor of his services
- Seconded
- Approved

b. ADR proposed rule change to Rule 114
- proposal to change rule regarding mediation for family law or domestic abuse cases
- Motion to contact Judge Gilbert to slow the process on changing Rule 114, seconded, approved


MSBA Meeting Minutes
Family Law Section
11/08/03

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 AM.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from October, 2003 meeting.
A. Motion seconded
B. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report
A. Motion to Approve September, 2003 Report
B. Seconded
C. The process of budgeting has not yet begun but will once more information is obtained.

4. Committee Reports

A. Amicus - No Report

B. Publications
1. The November issue is entitled "The Ties That Bind" covering the issues surrounding child support
2. The January or winter issue is entitled "Take It From Me" still is in need of a few articles. Contact Rosalind Johnson to express your interest for this or any article you'd care to write.

C. Domestic Abuse
A. Their meetings are on the Friday before the regularly scheduled Family Law Section meeting from 3-5 PM at the Midtown Commons on University Avenue in St. Paul. Contact Ellen Abbott if you want to be included on their email list.
B. They will continue working on the Brochure Project "How to Hire a Domestic Abuse Lawyer"

D. Family Law Institute
A. Next meeting is on November 10, 2003 at the CLE Center.
B. They will be considering options for the Keynote Speaker: Jamie Moffett
1. She is a trainer with the Harvard Negotiation Project and will do an ADR presentation.
2. Several options for additional presentations were discussed:
a. Have her do presentations on both days
b. Day 1: Keynote: Communication Methods with attorneys to get the ADR process started.

c. Day 1: smaller group seminars [2-3 first day with limit of 25 people per session]
d. Day 2: Advanced seminars [3-4 sessions]
e. ADR credits will be applied for an known in advance of registration
f. Honorarium limits & other sections/organizations could also be involved.
3. Ms. Moffett presentation examples will be family law focused.

C. Motion made & seconded that the Family Law Section spend up to $3,500 to secure the keynote speaker. Motion approved.
D. We request that Tim Morrow provide the costs of the keynote speaker at the top end of the normal budgetary limit.
E. A suggestion was made to be sure to consider applying for ethics credits for CLE programs.

e. CLE Programs
Dec- Judicial Discretion in Attorneys fees & spousal maintenance
Jan- Mike Tripitto: Website and ethics of using internet
March-Todd Scott -MLM

f. Legislative Committee
Committee Hearing was attended by don Enockson & others. He testified on the Child Support bill(s). Don requests that section members communicate with the House & Senate members as to how the bills will affect their clients thus giving the legislators some direction as to how they should vote. We will ask the direction of Lloyd Grooms, MSBA lobbyist, as the best method to proceed.
Don Enockson needs section comments re: H.F 110 & S.F. 751 & 758 & he will feed those comments to the legislature.

g. ADR
There currently are 2 rosters of ADR people & there are plans to eliminate the family law one.
Motion made, seconded to request Ellen Abbott to call the ADR section and inquire what sections of the bill/law are expected to be eliminated or changed.
There will be a Restorative Justice Seminar on 11/21-11/22. See Ellen Abbott for more details.

5. Meeting adjourned at 10:25 AM.

6. CLE - "Relationship Between Ethical Violations & Malpractice" with Tim Gephardt of Prolegia


MSBA Meeting Minutes 10/11/03


1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:35 AM.

1. Motion to Approve Minutes from September, 2003 meeting.
A. Motion seconded
B. Motion approved

1. Treasurer's Report
A. Motion to Approve August 31, 2003 Report
B. Seconded
C. A comparison of the August 2002 Report with the current one is noted for comparison.

1. Committee Reports

A. Amicus
1. Mary Lauhead received an email form Northern Minnesota which is a potential case that deals with the Knack decision and involves the Soldiers and Sailor's Act & integration of a child in the home. It appears that is will be settled but the potential is there for action.


b. Publications
1. The next issue will be "The Ties That Bind" and writers for that issue continue to be solicited for two more articles.
2. The following issue will be "Take It From Me" and will be tips and suggestions as to what the courts want to see form family law attorneys.


c. Domestic Abuse
1. McCoy case has had a dramatic effect on victims.
2. AAML Divorce Camp's Theme: "Transforming Family Law" produced several recommendations
3. Focus of this committee will be as follows:
i. Continue working on the Brochure Project "How to Hire a Domestic Abuse Lawyer"
ii. Continue working on the Internet Project for OFP's
iii. Continue work on the new early neutral evaluation in Hennepin county court Services project.


d. Family Law Institute
1. Next meeting is on Oct. 28/03 from 8-10AM a the CLE Center

2. 2-3 more meeting will occur before the end of the year to firm up speakers & offerings.
3. Upcoming Program plans include:
a. Hennepin county Judges
b. Risks and Practice Claims
c. Practicelaw.org
d. Amicus History
4. A suggestions was made to be sure to consider applying for ethics credits for CLE programs.


e. Child Support
None


e. Strategic Planning
1. Next meeting is Nov.8, 2003 at 8:30 AM, just before the Section mtg.
2. Suggestions included:
a. Trying to include more out-state people by having meetings & CLE's in out-state locations
b. Compile names of "key" out-state people and judges for inclusion
c. Discussion on funding


5. Meting adjourned at 10:25 AM.

5. CLE - "Legislative Session" with Don Enockson


MSBA Meeting Minutes 9/13/03

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from May, 2003 meeting

a. Motion seconded
b. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to Approve June 30, 2003 Report
b. Seconded
c. Motion approved.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
-None

b. Publications
-The next issue will be "The Ties that Bind" (custody and child support link)
-The issue thereafter will be "Take It From Me" (advice from Judicial Officers and other Court personnel)

c. Domestic Abuse
-Meeting is the Friday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. the Friday before the Family Law Section Meeting
-Working on Internet and Brochure Project

d. Family Law Institute
-Looking for suggestions on subjects and speakers

e. Legislation
-Next meeting is October 7, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. at Don Enockson's office
-Need to provide information and recommendations to Family Law Section prior to November section meeting
-Legislative initiative on Minnesota Mediation Action (the Minnesota Uniform Mediation Act and Revisions attached as Exhibit A to the minutes)

f. Child Support Committee
-None

g. Strategic Planning Committee is now a standing committee

5. Family Law Discussion List (listserv)

a. Should receive letter/e-mail regarding discussion list

b. Will review proposed rules for Wisconsin listserv

6. Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee Announcement - the LAD Committee is initiating statewide action to mobilize attorneys to increase pro bono service in light of decreased funding for civil legal services. Family law continues to be the highest area of requests for help. Please consider volunteering and encourage your colleagues to volunteer. There is a need for family law mentors for new lawyers. Nancy Wallrich has been hired as the MSBA's Pro Bono Development Director for one year. Her phone number is (612) 278-6313. She can direct attorneys to local programs. In Hennepin County, call Sue Pontinen at (612) 752-6651. A Family Law Subcommittee of the LAD Committee will meet on September 25, 2003 at Noon at Lindquest and Vennum to discuss mentoring, unbundling and other ideas to increase volunteers. Also, the Chief Judge of each judicial district has agreed to establish a committee to promote pro bono. Contact the Chief Judge in your district if you want to help. Contact Jean Lastine if you have additional questions at (612) 746-3772 or at jlastine@centralmnlegal.org.

7. CLE - "Family Law a the Capitol" by Tom Neuville.


MSBA Meeting Minutes 5/10/03

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from March, 2003 meeting

a. Motion seconded
b. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to Approve Report
b. Seconded
c. Motion approved.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
-None

b. Publications
-None

c. Domestic Abuse
-Discussion concerning on-line OFP form and brochure for victims who are seeking OFP attorneys

d. Family Law Institute
-None

e. Legislation
-Motion to oppose any legislation in ADR statute having the effect of getting rid of distinction in ADR for family law
1. Motion seconded
2. Motion passes

f. Child Support Committee
-None

5. New Business

a. Motion to amend bylaws to add Domestic Abuse committee as a standing committee

1. Motion seconded
2. Motion passes

b. Motion to approve strategic planning report

1. Counter Motion to table and discuss in September
2. Motion seconded
3. Motion passes

c. Dues declaration - no raising or lowering

6. CLE - Attorney Mary Drummer on retainer agreements.


MSBA Meeting Minutes 3/08/03

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from February, 2003 meeting

a. Motion seconded
b. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to Approve Report
b. Seconded
c. Motion approved.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
-None

b. Publications
-None

c. Domestic Abuse
-Motion to oppose Uniform Parentage Act t the extent it is representative of the bill that was previously opposed by Section
-Motion seconded
-Motion withdrawn

A proposal was made to amend the Family Law Section Bylaws to
make the Domestic Abuse Committee an Standing Committee
rather than continuing its ten year existence as a special committee.
The following amendment to the Bylaws of the Section will be
presented for vote at the May 2003 Section meeting.

Proposed bylaws amendment

It is proposed to amend Article VIII, Section 1 of the Bylaws as follows
(underlined portions indicate the proposed additional language):

ARTICLE VIII. Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees. Standing committees of the Section
shall be (A) Executive whose duties shall include acting for the Section
between the regular monthly Section meetings. (B) Legislation whose
duties shall include, whenever feasible, reviewing proposed legislation to
be considered by the Section at its regular meeting and making a
recommendation to the Section for action on the proposal. Nothing herein
shall prevent the Chairperson of the Committee or his/her designee from
supporting or opposing language changes to proposed legislation which
arise at the legislature so long as the position is consistent with the views
of the majority of the Section when the legislation was considered an [sic]
a vote taken. (C) Publications whose duties shall include organizing,
editing and publishing the Family Law Forum at least three times each
year. (D) Nominations whose duties shall include preparing a slate of
candidates for officers of the Section and counting the ballots. (E)
Amicus Whose [sic] duties shall include considering requests for Amicus
support by the bench and bar, making recommendations to the Section as
to whether the Section should seek to obtain Amicus status, and if granted,
writing the brief and presenting oral argument as permitted by the Court.
(F) Domestic Abuse whose duties shall include working with local
groups, policy makers, the bench and the legal community to improve
their responses to domestic violence
.

d. Family Law Institute
-Notices sent out

e. Legislation
-Was the CLE. Discussion of family law legislation currently in the Senate or House of Representatives.

f. Child Support Committee
-None

5. New Business

a. Request for support for internet pro se forms
-Motion to Approve Letter attached as Exhibit A
-Motion seconded
-Motion passed

b. ADR Section requests collaboration with Family Law Section on CLE dealing with mediation (Section agreed to collaborate to the extent someone is willing to help out)

c. Request to oppose DHS request for 1% user fee on support collections

d. MSBA Membership Committee requests Family Law Section member to visit four law schools

e. Slate of candidates for Family Law Section

6. CLE - Attorney Don Enockson made a presentation on the issue the current family law legislation before the Senate and House of Representatives


MSBA Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes February 8, 2003

The meeting was brought to order at 9:40 a.m. Mary Drummer served as Chair Pro Tem. Ellen Abbott served as Secretary Pro Tem.

1. Minutes: The minutes of the January meeting were approved as written.

2. There were no matters arising from the minutes.

3. Treasurer's Report: The Financial Activity Report for the Six Months Ending December 31, 2002, showed a balance of $54,369.98. It was pointed out that the membership dues were up a little in 2002 and that expenses were up 12% compared to the prior year. The balance is $11,000 less than year-end 2001, however our finances are healthy. The Treasurer's report was approved as submitted.

4. Committee Reports:

A. Amicus: There were no requests for amicus.

B. Publications: The next issue should be out in early March.

C. Domestic Abuse: The committee is working on the brochure to help victims find a good attorney and continuing analysis and comments on the OFP application in conjunction with the Internet project.

D. Family Law Institute: There is no report.

E. Child Support Advisory Committee: The Chair read Mark Gardner's report which stated: "The Minnesota DHS Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Child Support Enforcement met Friday, January 31, 2003, for two hours to review one single issue, Rep. Stephen Smith's very alive proposal to revamp all of Minnesota child support law, HF110. The Commissioner's Advisory Committee universally condemned the bill by a show of hands and recommended the Department do the same, publicly. In particular, huge fiscal impacts were noted which would bring courts to a standstill."

Mark's report recommended that the Section and individual members, after careful study and discussion, let individual legislators know immediately the bill is a guaranteed fiscal disaster for the courts, the counties and for private parties who pay private attorneys. The report also pointed out the resulting impact in terms of distribution of support and other issues is also less fair than under current law. In particular, he suggested doing written analyses of experienced family law lawyers describing and analyzing likely effects of particular provisions directed to key legislators and anyone concerned with court budgets or county budgets.

F. Legislation: The report was deferred to after New Business, as discussion of
legislation is scheduled for the usual CLE portion of the meeting.

5. New Business:

A. Gary Weissman reported that the ADR Review Board is considering recommendations to the Supreme Court regarding rules that might impact unbundling of legal services. The ADR Review Board is contacting the ADR, Family Law and Pro Se Sections, the Collaborative Law Institute and AAML asking that they each send two (2) representatives to work on the recommendations. Erica Klein, Mary Lauhead and Ellen Abbott agreed to share the two Family Law Section positions and were approved as the section's representatives. Gary said that Deb Dewalt and Mary Davidson are the representatives from the Collaborative Law Institute.

B. Mary Drummer, Nomination Committee Chair reported that the following persons are recommended for the following positions for the next year:

Chair: Mary Drummer
Chair-Elect: Gary Voegele
Secretary: Jim Vedder
Treasurer: Pete Taylor
Executive Committee: Barb Runchey and Margaret Erickson

There were no nominations from the floor. There is still a need for a Vice-Chair
for Publications and a third out-state person for the Executive Committee. Please
contact Mary if you have any suggestions for these openings. The proposed slate will be presented at the Family Law Institute for approval.

C. Ellen Abbott reported for the Domestic Abuse Committee that they are requesting
to become a Standing Committee of the Section. The Domestic Abuse
Committee has been in existence for at least ten years and currently exists as a
Special Committee.

An amendment to the Bylaws of the Section (below) will be presented for vote at the March 2003 Section meeting.

It is proposed to amend Article VIII, Section 1 of the Bylaws as follows (underlined portions indicate the proposed additional language):

ARTICLE VIII. Committees
Section 1. Standing Committees. Standing committees of the Section shall be (A) Executive whose duties shall include acting for the Section between the regular monthly Section meetings. (B) Legislation whose duties shall include, whenever feasible, reviewing proposed legislation to be considered by the Section at its regular meeting and making a recommendation to the Section for action on the proposal. Nothing herein shall prevent the Chairperson of the Committee or his/her designee from supporting or opposing language changes to proposed legislation which arise at the legislature so long as the position is consistent with the views of the majority of the Section when the legislation was considered an [sic] a vote taken. (C) Publications whose duties shall include organizing, editing and publishing the Family Law Forum at least three times each year. (D) Nominations whose duties shall include preparing a slate of candidates for officers of the Section and counting the ballots. (E) Amicus Whose [sic] duties shall include considering requests for Amicus support by the bench and bar, making recommendations to the Section as to whether the Section should seek to obtain Amicus status, and if granted, writing the brief and presenting oral argument as permitted by the Court. (F) Domestic Abuse whose duties shall include working with local groups, policy makers, the bench and the legal community to improve their responses to domestic violence.

D. Pamela Waggoner advised that she had received a request from Lawyers for Habitat for the Section's support and assistance in the 3rd Annual Habitat for Humanity House. Each section is being asked to contribute $1,000 and/or provide 15-17 volunteers for one day. Volunteers can include family and friends and children over the age of 13. We have to make our commitment no later than March 15. Building on the house is scheduled to begin April 8. Ellen will get additional information regarding the building days. [ADDITION AFTER MEETING: The house construction is scheduled to continue through June 30th. There is a specific schedule of work days, including 3 Saturdays in April.] If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail to Pamela at pjwaggoner@aol.com. who will try to schedule a work day (or more if there is interest) for the Section.

E. The MSBA asked whether we wanted a CLE or Section business meeting at the
MSBA convention. It was moved, seconded and passed that we not have a CLE
or business meeting at the annual convention this year.

LEGISLATION

Several proposed bills were considered during this portion of the meeting. The legislation is available for viewing at the Section's website or through the Revisor's website (www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us)

SF92 & HF112: This bill regards elimination of certificate of title language referring to marital status, being under age or other legal capacity issues. The following motion was approved regarding the bill:

PASSED: Subject to a damn good explanation from the Real Estate Section as to the need for the elimination of the marital indications, we oppose the technical elimination of the marital indication.

HF166: This bill is the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. Questions were raised regarding the interplay between this bill and existing law relative to guardian ad litems. There was discussion that there is an ad hoc committee that will be working on this bill.

PASSED: The Section takes no position on the bill and we will get involved in the ad hoc committee.

HF107: This bill would repeal the prohibition of marriage between first cousins. Consideration of this bill was tabled.

HF119: This bill pertains to marriage solemnization alternate forms. Consideration of this bill was tabled.

SF266: Mike Dittberner presented this bill for consideration by the Section. (The bill would overturn the Auge case and shift the burden of proof to the party desiring to move out of state.) Mike stated that this bill was from the national AAML and had been approved by the Minnesota chapter of AAML. He said that he believed the bill had sufficient support in both houses of the legislature to pass and he is requesting that the Section take a position to not oppose the legislation. He stated that the Section should not oppose this bill since it is going to pass, in order not to lose credibility at the legislature because of Steve Smith's child support bill.
After a short substantive discussion, Bruce Kennedy moved the following, which was seconded (actually, his motion was modified several times and the following language was the final form of the motion):

MOVED: That the Section support SF266 with the following amendment: The parent who is seeking to move may, as an alternative to filing a motion, file with the court a written notice to the other parent four (4) months before the proposed moved advising the other parent of the proposed move. After such notice, the responding party has 30 days to file a motion with the court opposing the move. If no opposing motion is filed, the party seeking the move may obtain an order by default.

Concerns were raised about 1) the effect of this proposed bill on victims of domestic abuse; 2) the potential confusion of the reference in the bill to applying a "best interest standard" which would imply the §518.17 standards and then having other standards that could be included in the bill; 3) the practicality of any time line regarding moving.

The motion FAILED, with 7 voting in favor and 11 against.

Loretta Frederick moved as follows:

MOVED: The language of the bill be amended in Section 3 (8) to include "the effect
on the safety and welfare of the child and of the parent, of the actions of an abuser…"
[Editorial note: "parent" may need to be clarified in drafting.]

The motion PASSED.

Loretta MOVED that the bill be amended to include both Bruce's proposed language and her proposed language. The motion FAILED, with 9 voting in favor and 10 opposed.

After extended procedural wrangling, the following motion was made, seconded and passed:

PASSED: The Section supports SF266 with the previously approved domestic abuse
language amendment.

Thereafter, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen A. Abbott
Secretary Pro Tem


MSBA Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes 1-11-03

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from November 9, 2002 meeting

a. Motion seconded
b. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to Approve Report
b. Seconded
c. Motion approved.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
-None

b. Publications

-None

c. Domestic Abuse

-None

d. Family Law Institute

-Laura Morgan will be the Keynote Speaker at the Family Law Institute in 2003 on National Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Trends

e. Legislation

-None

f. Child Support Committee

-None

5. New Business

a. None

6. CLE - Judge Stephen Aldrich presented on the issue of Third Party Custody


MSBA Family Law Section
December 14, 2002

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from November 9, 2002 meeting

a. Motion seconded
b. Motion approved
c. Motion to Amend the November 9th minutes to correctly spell the name of Robert Beutel
d. Motion seconded
e. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to Approve Report
b. Seconded
c. Motion approved.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus
-None

b. Publications
-None

c. Domestic Abuse
-None

d. Family Law Institute
-Laura Morgan will be the Keynote Speaker at the Family Law Institute in 2003 on National Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Trends

e. Legislation
-Family Law Section approved the proposed Summary Real Estate Statute and the Real Estate Section wants us to put it on hold until they have an opportunity to review it.
-DHS is not sponsoring a child support bill this year although Representative Smith will be bringing back his child support bill, which incorporates and uses the DHS bill with modifications

1. Motion for the Family Law Section to sponsor a version of the DHS child support bill.
2. Legislative committee will review the motion to sponsor a version of the DHS child support bill in the committee before it is brought before the entire section.

-Public Defense Contribution Plan was endorsed by the Family Law Section one year ago and an endorsement is good for six years

1. Legislative committee will report back to the section at the next meeting concerning the plan

f. Child Support Committee
-Committee looking into the question of what should happen with child support cases before a magistrate where a responding party raises issues concerning custody/parenting time

5. New Business

a. There will not be a Future Planning Committee
b. New Lawyers Report by Dan Van Loh looking for suggestions from experienced practioners on how to put interested young lawyers in the Sections they are interested in
c. Motion that Family Law Section pick up DHS child support bill; Motion not seconded and failed.

6. CLE - Attorney Don Enockson made a presentation on the issue of potential changes to child support statute


MSBA Family Law Section
November 9, 2002

Treasurer's Report (Pete?)

Publications (Pamela Wagoner)

Domestic Abuse (Loretta Frederick)

Family Law Institute (Mary Drummer)

Support Advisory Committee (Mark Gardner)

Legislation

CLE
Betty Shaw, Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, presented on "Maintaining Trust Accounts using Quicken 2002 Basic." Documents used for presentation are provided by the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board and Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.


MSBA Family Law Section
October 12, 2002

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes from September 14, 2002 meeting

a. Motion seconded
b. Motion approved

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to Approve Report
b. Seconded
c. Motion approved.

4. Committee Reports

a. Amicus

-Request for committee to do Amicus brief in case of Taurnier v. Taurnier for the Minnesota Supreme Court
-the case deals with the issue of double dipping by capitalizing earnings to determine the value of a business and using the same excess earnings to determine spousal maintenance
-Recommended that committee not draft a brief in this matter.
-Seconded
-Motion approved for committee not to take Amicus status in case

b. Publications

-None

c. Domestic Abuse

-Two focus group meetings on putting together brochure for finding a lawyer for domestic abuse cases
-Committee meeting on OFP forms for internet

d. Family Law Institute

-Had first planning meeting
-Looking for input

e. Legislation (Meeting October 29th at 4:30 in Midtown Commons)

-Addressed issue of whether to support modification to Minn. Stat. § 518.64 to allow 90 days to file motion to modify
1. Motion not to support proposed change
2. Seconded
3. Motion approved

-Addressed issue of whether to support modification to Minn. Stat. § 518.58 to insert definition of defined benefit
1. Motion to approve recommended change
2. Seconded
3. Motion approved

-Address General Rule of Practice 302 to include alternative means of service
1. Motion to send back to committee
2. Seconded
3. Motion approved

-Address Minn. Stat. § 518.091 to change language to Summons
1. Motion to generally oppose adding anything to Summons or Appendix A
2. Seconded
3. Motion approved


5. New Business

a. Section administration fees increased from $2 to $3
b. Request for MSBA Convention Planning Representative
c. Update Family Law Brochure
d. Future Committees meeting on November 9, 2002

6. CLE - Judge James Swenson made a presentation on the issue of Contempt


MSBA Family Law Section
September 14, 2002

1. The meeting was brought to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. Motion to Approve Minutes

a. Motion to approve;
b. Seconded;
c. Approved.

3. Treasurer's Report

a. Motion to approve;
b. Seconded;
c. Approved.

4. Publications Committee

a. "Put the Money Down" is the title
b. Next will be "A Rose by Any Other Name"

- Labeling
- Rogers decision

c. "Take It From Me"

- Court staff detailing what they want from attorneys
- Looking for Senior Attorneys to write articles

5. Legislative Committee

a. Meetings will be 10 days before monthly section meetings.
b. Only discuss at section what comes out of the committee and committee will make recommendations for section to consider.
c. Date of meetings will be scheduled on web page

6. Domestic Abuse Committee

a. Meetings will be every Friday before section meetings from 3-5 p.m. at Midtown Commons.
b. Two current projects

- Legal Services Coalition grant to implement internet Petition for OFP
- Brochure for clients who have been victims of Domestic Abuse for picking a good lawyer
- Motion for $500 toward subcommittee meetings to gather input; Seconded; Approved

7. Family Law Institute

a. March 31, 2002 through April 1, 2002 at Radisson South in Bloomington
b. Looking for input on CLEs

8. Amicus Committee

a. No report.

9. New business

a. Appellate Pro Bono Program - Civil Attorney Bar wants Pro Bono Appellate Program

- List of volunteer attorneys
- Potential clients call a screener

10. August 22nd Special Meeting

a. Tribal Court Petition by Andrew Small to address problem of no automatic recognition of Orders from Tribal Court in District Courts
b. Executive Committee approved the Petition and it passed the MSBA

11. Letter from Tracy Fischer

a. Requesting information on child support when a child moves out of state
b. Referred to Legislative Committee

12. Committee on Long Term Planning - a committee will be set up for long term planning in the section

13. CLE by Betty Shaw of the Attorney Professional Responsibility Board on Dead or Disabled Attorneys


MINUTES OF FAMILY LAW SECTION MEETING
May10, 2002

The meeting was called to order at about 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The minutes from the March meeting were approved. There were no new matters arising from the March minutes.

2. Treasurer's Report. (Pete Taylor) Mr. Taylor reported that there was an error in the Treasurer's Report for March 2002. Less than $100 needed to get backed out of the report. There was a point of discussion on budgeted expenses. It was reported that the Family Law Section has rolling expenses, rather than a fixed annual budget, and that large budget items are voted on individually by the Section. There was a motion to accept the Treasurer's Report, which was seconded and passed. See Exhibit A, Financial Activity Report for the Nine Months Ending March 31, 2002.

3. Committee Reports.

A. Amicus. No report.

B. Publications. It was reported that the "Love and Aliens" publication we will be out in approximately two weeks from the date of the meeting. The title of the publication due in September of 2002 will be "Put the Money Down."

C. Domestic Abuse. The next meeting of this committee will be to discuss on-line Order for Protection petitions.

D. Legislative. Chair, Mary Drummer, reported that there was no new legislation requiring the section to take a position. Ms. Drummer provided an update on some of the legislation that was discussed during previous meetings.

1. The Third Party Custody Bill was passed and will be law on July 1, 2002. The law limits who can bring a third party custody petition. Petitioner must have on-going relationship to petition for custody. Stepparents can petition, while foster parents must still request custody in juvenile court. The goal of the bill is to protect intact families.

2. Bergstrand language was attached to De Facto Custody Bill.

3. Prominent family law bills that will be coming before the legislature next session will address child support, Auge, and covenant marriage.


4. Requests for Financial Support. Three requests came before the section for financial support.

A. MSBA Lobbying and Legislative Functions. The MSBA sent a letter to the Family Law Section requesting $5,000 to assist in paying for lobbying and other legislative functions because the MSBA does not have sufficient financial resources to pay for the functions without the support of the sections. The MSBA has a shortfall in paying for the legislative functions because of the amount of time that has been spent supporting and opposing bills. Currently, the contract lobbyist is the most expensive item in the MSBA budget. The MSBA is requesting $5,000 from the Family Law Section because the section is very active with legislation, although it was noted that the section does some of its own lobbying. There was discussion about whether the lobbyist should attend all Family Law Section meetings if the section were to give $5,000 to the MSBA for the legislative functions.

1. There was a motion to approve the request by the MSBA for $5,000 for lobbying and legislative functions. The motion was seconded. There was a great deal of discussion about whether the section was paying proportionately and how the MSBA arrived at the request for $5,000. Different sections were asked for different amounts of money depending on the amount of use they made out of the MSBA's legislative resources. A proposal was made that rather than give the MSBA $5,000 for legislative functions that the Family Law Section pay the legislative chair $5,000 per year. The motion to approve the request by the MSBA for $5,000 was called and DID NOT PASS.

2. There was a second motion to contribute $2,000 to the MSBA for the lobbyist and legislative functions and to pay the legislative chair $3,000 per year. There was an amended to the motion to form a sub-committee to research whether the Family Law Section can or should pay the legislative chair $3,000 per year. The motion to contribute $2,000 to the MSBA for the lobbyist and legislative functions and to form a sub-committee to research paying the legislative chair $3,000 per year was seconded and PASSED.

B. Motion to give Habitat for Humanity $2,000 was seconded and PASSED.

C. Motion to contribute $500 for the reception for Judge Crippen was seconded and PASSED.

5. CLE. A CLE on child support magistrates was given. See Exhibit B, History of Child Support Process and Some Statistics.


The chair adjourned the meeting at 12:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

James Vedder


MINUTES OF FAMILY LAW SECTION MEETING
March 9, 2002

The meeting was called to order at about 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The minutes from the February meeting were approved.

2. Presentation on proposals for pro se litigants by Susan Leday. See Exhibit A, for family law pro se proposals.

a. Ms. Leday requested comments from the Family Law Section on the pro se proposal that is attached as Exhibit A, prior to the May meeting.
b. The Petition, attached as Exhibit A, generated a great deal of conversation. Ms. Leday reported that the Petition was drafted based on a model that is used in Florida.

3. Nominations for Significant Contributions to Family Law to be honored at Family Law Institute.

a. Section is taking nominations for additional individuals to be nominated to the list attached hereto as Exhibit B.
b. All nominations from last years list of individuals to be honored were added to Exhibit B prior to the vote for the individual to be honored.

4. Treasurer's Report. (Pete Taylor) There was a reference to the $5,000 expenditure that the section approved for the Moot Court Competition. The Amicus sections expenses will be coming in and included as part of treasurer's report. Motion to approve the treasurer's report. Motion approved. Discussion on section dues, which must be approved by April 1, 2002. Motion to have students dues set at zero dollars annually. No hearing on motion. Motion on section dues for students to be zero dollars every year approved.

5. Committee Reports.

A. Amicus. Chair, Mary Lauhead, reported that the brief on Anton had been submitted. There was a report that there has been a request for another Amicus brief on behalf of the section, which will be addressed in future meetings.

B. Publications. Chair, Pamela Wagoneer, reported that "And Baby Makes Three" issue was completed and mailed out. The publication titled "Love and Aliens" is coming together and has a deadline of March 19th. The issue on "Deadbeats" has a deadline of June 11th. There was a great deal of discussion about using the term "Deadbeats" in the title.

C. Domestic Abuse. Chair, Ellen Abbot, reported that the committee did not meet.

D. Legislative. Chair, Mary Drummer, reported that there was no new legislation requiring the section to take a position. Ms. Drummer provided an update on some of the legislation that was discussed during the February meeting.

1. The bill addressing Hmong marriages was not given a hearing.

2. Post Nuptial Act (Marriage Agreement Act) - Passed through House and Senate Committees. New language states that anything that can be done in antenuptial can be done in postnuptial.

3. The bill on the AAML's changes to Auge never went to hearing.

4. The bill addressing the Bergstrand changes to Domestic Abuse passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not the House Judiciary Committee.

5. The de facto custody bill passed through both the House and the Senate.

6. The CLE was not held due to weather.

The chair adjourned the meeting at 11:30 a.m.

Officers and Committee Chairs for Family Law Section approved at Family Law Institute on March 26, 2002:

Chair: Barbara J. Runchey
Vice-Chair: Mary E. Drummer
Secretary: James Vedder
Treasurer: Peter M. Taylor

Amicus Committee Co-chairs: Michael D. Dittberner
Mary C. Lauhead

Domestic Abuse Committee Chair: Loretta M. Frederick

Legislative Committee Chair: Donald L. Enockson

Publications Committee Chair: Pamela J. Waggoner

Executive Committee: Margaret K. Erickson, Lynne M. Ridway, Gary L. Voegele

Respectfully submitted,

James Vedder


MINUTES OF THE MSBA FAMILY LAW SECTION MEETING
January 12, 2002

The meeting was called to order by chair, Stephen R. Arnott at about 9:35 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The minutes from the December meeting were approved as written.

2. Matters Arising from the Minutes. None.

3. Treasurer's Report. The report "For the Five Months Ending November 30, 2001" was distributed. The balance does not reflect the High School Mock Trial donation or amicus expenses. The actual balance is approximately one-half of that reflected on the report.

4. Committee Reports.

A. Amicus. Mike Dittberner, Co-Chair, reported that he and Mary Lauhead wrote the amicus brief in Johnson v. Murray and filed it January 2, 2002. The position taken in the brief is that "Minnesota is required to take jurisdiction over [the] custody-parentage action where no other state has jurisdiction to determine custody and no other state has asserted jurisdiction." MANY THANKS TO MIKE AND MARY FOR DRAFTING THIS BRIEF! Regarding the Anthone case, there is no word from the Supreme Court yet whether it has accepted jurisdiction.

B. Publications. Chair, Pamela Waggoner, reported that the next issue of the Forum, "Love and Aliens," should be out shortly. Rosalind Johnson's e-mail request to members for topics and articles for upcoming issues was a success. There was a discussion over the title of the next issue, which was to be "Dealing with Deadbeats." There was concern expressed by Ellen Abbott over the use of the term "Deadbeats." Although the issue was intended to include such topics as clients who do not pay their legal bills, in addition to people who don't pay their support, Ellen argued that the application of the term to a child's parent is detrimental to children. Mike Dittberner suggested the name for the issue be "Being Proactive in a Passive-Aggressive World." The section liked the name change.

C. Legislative. Chair, Mary Drummer, reported the it does not appear that much will be going on in the legislature regarding family law specific issues given the deficit and "security" issues it has have to address. [but see New Business section below.] The Uniform Parentage Act task force apparently recommended that our current law not be changed except in the area of assisted reproductive technology. Mary also reported that the governor did not give approval to DHS to push their child support bill. Finally, Mark Fiddler was appointed the new head of the state child support division. Mike Dittberner reported from the AAML that a subcommittee headed by Marty Swaden will be presenting a bill requesting that the Auge presumption be eliminated.

D. Domestic Abuse. Chair, Loretta Frederickson, reported that this committee has a demonstration of the program being developed to put the Order for Protection on the internet. It is controversial what information should be available and to whom it should be made available. The Committee will be going through the forms and list issues that could come up at each point on the form, for example, protective services issues if the children are included, that may not be readily apparent to someone making application for an OFP. Mike Dittberner reported that Judge Porter spoke at the AAML meeting and reported that the vast majority of OFP hearings are by default or agreement but that of those that go to an evidentiary hearing 75% are denied (presumably for lack of evidence). There was speculation that some OFPs are being denied, albeit wrongly, because there is an underlying simultaneous dissolution proceeding. Steve Arnott reported on a case where a man is being prosecuted for violation of a protective order for having responsive motion papers served. Loretta offered assistance on the issue if needed.

5. CLE Program - "Social Security Issues in the divorce context." Ronald Ausan of the U.S. Social Security Administration gave a very interesting and informative presentation regarding eligibility and benefits for the various types of social security programs. He specifically addressed benefits available to divorced spouses and survivors. The acting secretary will submit a more detailed summary of Mr. Ausan's presentation at a subsequent date.

6. New Business. The governor has proposed an 8% sales tax on legal services. After discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed: "The Family Law Section expresses its grave concern regarding proposals to introduce a tax on legal services, which proposals would have a profoundly deleterious effect on clients of family law attorneys; furthermore, that the Section's concern be conveyed to the MSBA and that the section offer its resolve to marshal its resources in opposition to any taxation on representation."

The meeting was adjourned at 11:43 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen A. Abbott
Acting Secretary

MINUTES OF THE MSBA FAMILY LAW SECTION MEETING
December 8, 2001

The meeting was called to order by chair, Stephen R. Arnott at about 9:40 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The minutes from the November meeting were approved with the correction of the gender reference of the treasurer in paragraph 2.

2. Matters Arising from the Minutes. It was reported that Referee Cochrane was willing to put a telephone contact number for victims of domestic abuse in her first meeting notice.

3. Treasurer's Report. Pete Taylor, reported that balance reflected on the October 31, 2001 Financial Activity Report does not reflect the High School Mock Trial donation or amicus expenses. The actual balance is approximately one-half of that reflected on the report.

4. Committee Reports.

A. Amicus. Chair, Mary Lauhead, reported on two cases. The first, Johnson v. Murray, is a paternity case involving multiple state jurisdictional issues. The Minnesota Supreme Court invited the section to submit an amicus on the jurisdictional issues. The Executive Committee had been polled and determined to accept the Court's invitation. The second case, Anthone, arises from a Hennepin County decision that ruled that payment of a mortgage with rental income from the property maintained the non-marital character of the property. The Amicus Committee recommended that our involvement be limited to a request that the court grant the requested petition. That motion was passed by the section.

B. Publications. Chair, Pamela Waggoner, reported that Rosalind Johnson had agreed to serve or her committee. The next Forum issue will be published in spring is entitled "Love and Aliens" focusing on immigration issues affecting family law. Several immigration attorneys will be writing articles. It was suggested that the Immigration Section be contacted about the topic.

C. Legislative. Chair, Mary Drummer, reported on the last Senate hearing on the Child Support bill. It is believed that given the short legislative session and the current state budget problems, the bill will likely not go anywhere. The chair next asked for the sense of the committee regarding a proposal to amend the harassment order statute. The proposal would eliminate the ability to use the no contact provision of the statute to remove a person from their residence. After some discussion, it was moved, seconded and passed that the Legislative Committee work on the issue and return to the section with a recommendation for consideration. A proposed life insurance trust statute, which the Legislative Committee approved in concept, will be attached to the minutes for review by the membership and consideration at the January meeting. Finally, Ellen Abbott handed out and reported on proposed changes to Chapter 518B. The major purpose was to clarify deadlines and centralize in subdivision 5, creating a specific provision for a limited continuance of an ex parte OFP under certain conditions. It was moved, seconded and passed that the Family Law Section approve the proposed changes to Chapter 518B as amended [by: 1) addition of the words "only granting relief" to Subd 5(d) in the first sentence after the word "issued;" 2) the addition of "(a)" after "7" in the same sentence; and 3) changing the word "must" to "shall" in the same sentence].

D. Domestic Abuse. Chair, Loretta Fredericks, reported that at the next Committee meeting there will be a demonstration of a new proposed on-line version for access to applications for Orders For Protection.

E. Steve Snyder and Mary Lauhead reported on the Parenting Subcommittee studying the Uniform Parentage Act. The committee was concerned about the effect the UPA would have on existing Minnesota law. The UPA contains matters that do not seem to be helpful and there is considerable existing Minnesota law that is not included in the UPA. Several examples were given.

5. CLE Program - "Alternative Reproduction Rights and Contracts." Steven H. Snyder discussed the work he has been doing in the past 10 years involving assisted reproduction contracts. He explained that the area of practice is rapidly changing as assisted reproductive technologies change. He provided a sample "Gestation Carrier Agreement" he uses, but pointed out that no one has determined whether or not the contract is enforceable. Steve explained that "parenthood" can result from a broad spectrum of technology and introduction of third party genetic materials. He pointed out that the purpose of the assisted reproductive technologies is to help infertile couples have children. He also explained that whether a person believes that bearing children is a right or a privilege is a personal value which colors how a person will react to the legislation involving assisted reproductive technology. He walked us through the history of the technology and the case law. He explained that although 25 states have approved some form of legislation involving assisted reproductive technology, there is little uniformity in statutes. Nine states have approved the process by statute and two have approved by case law. Four states have banned the procedure by statute and two have banned it by case law. Steve discussed the financial issues, the contract and the legal process.

6. New Business. Judge Aldrich and Ron Ousky requested endorsement by the section of $5,000 to support the new "Collaborative Law Team" concept. He explained that the purpose of the new team process is to add financial and psychological services to the existing Collaborative Law process. He explained that persons of modest means often do not have access to the resources necessary to deal with financial, psychological and custody-type issues. While the institutions exist to provide such services, there has been no pattern of collaboration. The idea is to train these providers in the collaborative process. The request for funds is to send people from Hennepin County Family Court Services, Lutheran Social Services and others to the training in Milwaukee in the spring. Ron said that the section's financial support would spur additional support from other groups. They believe that support of the section is critical. There was considerable discussion. One concern raised by the members was that the Collaborative Law Team wants to draw from the Volunteer Lawyers Network ("VLN"). Given the limited resources available to litigants of modest means, especially victims of domestic abuse who currently are able to get some assistance through VLN, there is concern that those lawyers will be diverted from contested litigation into collaborative law. Several other issues were raised by the section, including the propriety of paying for training in Wisconsin rather than in Minnesota, the interplay of Collaborative Law and alternative dispute resolution and whether screening for domestic abuse was part of the Collaborative Law process. The request for funds was not approved at this time.
The section asked that Ron provide the section with more information and, specifically, whether VLN decides to endorse the proposal or not.

The Chair told us that the section has been asked to participate in the MSBA "Ten Percent" program, the purpose of which is to increase membership. To participate the section would provide free section trial memberships and 3 hours of CLE. We discussed that if our current CLE programs at the section meetings qualify, then we could participate, but that we could not provide additional CLE programs beyond that currently offered.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen A. Abbott
Acting Secretary

 

MEETING MINUTES
OF THE
MINNESOTA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
FAMILY LAW SECTION
OCTOBER 13, 2001


Chairperson-Elect Barbara Runchey called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. Moved, seconded, and approved the Minutes of the MSBA Family Law Section Meeting of September 8, 2001, with certain revisions such that 4(C) entitled "Domestic Abuse Subcommittee," reads as follows:
Ellen Abbott reported that the subcommittee met over the summer to address the issues it raised by Andy Dawkins to the proposed legislation addressing domestic abuse and the custody best interest factors. She also reported that steps were being taken to meet with AAML in an attempt to provide one voice to the legislatures.

2. Treasurer's Report. Moved, seconded, and approved Pete Taylor's report that the funds in the account are approximately $70,000.

3. Committee Reports.

A. Amicus. No report.

B. Publications. Pamela Waggoner reported that work is in progress on the second edition of the Family Law Forum and will be issued in late November, 2001. Ms. Waggoner is looking for an individual to write on third party custody issues. Articles will need to be submitted to Ms. Waggoner by the end of October, 2001. Authors and suggestions for articles are also needed for the March 2002 edition of the Family Law Forum, entitled "Love and Aliens, Issues in Immigration and Family Law." The deadline for articles is the end of January, early February, 2002.

C. Legislation. Mary Drummer reported that Steve Arnott is attempting to set up a meeting with the legislative committee and Steve Smith, the chair of the House Civil Law Committee where family law bills are initially introduced. During the 2001 legislative session, Steve Smith and DHS had competing bills regarding an overhaul of the child support statute. The Section is attempting to coordinate competing bills for the 2002 session. Discussion was also held regarding legislation enacted during the 2001 session. Extensive discussion was held regarding the defacto custody bill which had been drafted for the 2001 session. Moved, seconded, and approved to table the bill. Ms. Waggoner, Suzanne Born, Mary Lauhead, and Ms. Drummer agreed to meet informally to discuss the bill and any suggested revisions.

D. Domestic Abuse. No report.

4. New Business. Steve Arnott received a letter from Lisa Wilde, the MSBA Director of Public Education and Host Director of the 2002 National High School Mock Trial Championship, requesting a financial contribution towards the mock trial championship. Discussion was held on the amount of such a contribution and the merits of such a contribution. Moved, seconded, and approved that the Section would contribute $5,000.00.

5. CLE Program - the 10 Most Common Ethical Violations in the Family Law Practice. Candace M. Hojan, Senior Assistant Director of the Office of the Lawyers Board of Professional Responsibility discussed the top 10 inadvertent violations in the family law practice. Far and away, the most common ethical violations among family law lawyers, or any other segment the attorney population, are neglect of client matters and failure to adequately communicate with clients. The reasons for these violations are many, including taking on too many matters, poor office procedures, personal psychological problems with the lawyer, inexperience and incompetence in the particular area of the law. The result, however, follow a pattern whereby the lawyer does not do the work required on the client's matter and keeps the client uninformed about the lack of progress. Written fee agreements are highly encouraged. Other violations involve advance fee payments, fee splitting, client confidences and secrets, homestead liens, attorney registration fees, false notarizations, cooperation with investigations and holding yourself out as a "specialist." Ms. Hojan discussed the procedures for investigating ethical violations and potential punishments. The Board offers advisory opinions regarding attorney conduct and potential future conduct. Please contact 651-296-3952 (or 1-800-657-3601) to request this service.

Meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m. to allow further brainstorming regarding the 23rd Annual Family Law Institute scheduled for March 25 and 26, 2002 at the River Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.


 

MEETING MINUTES
OF THE
MINNESOTA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
FAMILY LAW SECTION
SEPTEMBER 8, 2001

Stephen Arnott called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.
1. Approval of Minutes. Moved, seconded, and approved the minutes of the MSBA Family Law Section Meeting of May 12, 2001.
2. Matters Arising from the Minutes. Discussion was held regarding Referee Cochrane's new pilot program in Hennepin County regarding early mediation intervention. Discussion was also heard regarding Judge Porter's new program for case management in Hennepin County. Moved, seconded, and approved that Barbara Runchey will contact Judge Porter and Referee Cochrane regarding speaking at a future meeting to explain their programs and address concerns.
3. Treasurer's Report. Pete Taylor reported that based on the June 30, 2001 statement (most recent statement) the Section is solvent.
4. Committee Reports.

 

A. Publications. Pamela Waggoner reported that the November 2001 edition of the Family Law Forum will be entitled "And Baby Makes Three." She currently has authors, including psychologists, writing on the importance of fathers and mothers and custody evaluations. She also has an author writing on the expedited child support process. Ms. Waggoner is seeking articles on co-parent adoptions, agency adoptions, and direct placement adoptions. A point/counterpoint article regarding recent case law addressing attorney fee awards is anticipated for the November edition. The deadline for articles to appear in the November edition is October 15, 2001. Please contact Ms. Waggoner at (612) 334-3123 if interested. The anticipated title of the March 2002 edition is "Love and Aliens - Immigration".
B. Practice Law.Org. Stephen Arnott reported that the MSBA is seeking the section's assistance in monitoring the Family Law Section of the practicelaw.org web site. Mr. Arnott suggests that the Publications Committee or a possible subcommittee address the issue of the Section's involvement with the web page. Mary Lauhead suggests that the web site include various family law forms, including Appendix A, to generate "hits" on the web site.
C. Domestic Abuse Subcommittee. Ellen Abbott reported that the Section is attempting to meet with the AAML in an attempt to provide one voice to legislators on the issue of revisions to the domestic abuse impact on the best interests of children analysis, which is to be addressed during the 2002 legislative session.
D. Legislation. Don Enockson and Mary Lauhead reported that they were appointed to the Uniform Parentage Act Task Force, which will meet in the near future.
No reports were provided regarding the Amicus and Mediator List Committees.

5. Stephen Arnott, Family Law Section Chair, introduced a new portion of the section meeting, wherein discussions are to be held, either in a round table format or informally, regarding current events in practicing family law, strategies of active cases, and any other topics of interest. Please bring topics for discussion to all future section meetings.
6. Divorce Camp. Gary Weissman discussed the AAML sponsored Divorce Camp, entitled "Managing the Chaos of Divorce," to be held at Izaty's Resort October 4 through 7, 2001. The conference is to be interactive, with small group breakouts to allow attendees to participate in discussions. For more information, please contact Mr. Weissman at 612-337-9519.
7. CLE Program - The Latest Mediation Approaches: Changing the Parties' State of Mind. Dan Simon of Twin Cities Mediation discussed the use of the "Transformative Approach" to family law mediation. Mr. Simon explained that historically mediators attempted to use all techniques available to simply close the gap between opposing parties. This mediation approach often left the parties feeling unsatisfied because, for example, one party may feel that the other did not learn a lesson, or that a party felt extorted in that they may have saved legal fees by settling, they did not feel good about the result. This approach to mediation did, however, provide the mediator with a sense of accomplishment upon successful resolution. The next trend in mediation was to identify each party's underlying interests/goals in an attempt to meet these interests and goals. The mediator would initially ask the parties what they wanted. If each party was able to achieve their goals, it would result in a "win-win situation." This approach to mediation is variously called interest-based mediation, client-centered mediation, or problem-solving mediation.

The most recent trend in mediation is the transformative approach. This approach attempts to generate internal transformation in each party on either a psychological, emotional, or relational level. The transformation may make a meek person an assertive and strong person, or generate compassion in a party for the other party. It attempts to make the individual feel better about themselves. For example, an individual undergoing such a transformation may feel that although their spouse may have committed a wrong by having an extramarital affair, their spouse still deserves one-half of the marital property.

In contrast to the interest based approach to mediation, where settlement is the ultimate goal, the transformative approach seeks to get each person to a better place. This may encompass taking better care of themselves, getting the information they need, having their choices validated or affirmed, and allowing them to make good decisions regarding their welfare. In addition, a transformative goal is to get an individual to have a proper understanding or compassion for the other party.

Extensive discussion was held regarding the following issues pertaining to the transformative approach:

 

A. Whether such an approach is in fact therapy, mediation, or a hybrid of the two.

B. The impact of not having the parties' legal rights explained by the mediator, which is the case in the transformative approach.

C. The impact of attorney involvement in this type of mediation.

D. Whether this approach imposes the mediator's values on the parties.

E. Whether transformative mediators should be required to have the education, background, qualifications, and competence to provide the psychological support in a mediation.

For further information on Twin Cities mediation and the transformative approach, please contact Dan Simon at (612) 824-8988 or dan@twincitiesmediation.com.

8. There was no new business discussed. Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. to allow a brainstorming session regarding the 23rd Annual Family Law Institute scheduled for March 25 and 26, 2002 at River Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Meeting Minutes of the
Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section
May 12, 2001

Ann Schulz called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The approval of the minutes for the annual meeting held at the Family Law Institute were approved.

2. No reports were provided regarding the following: Treasury, Amicus Committee, Domestic Abuse Committee, Child Support Advisory Committee, Medical Support Work Group, Combined Jurisdiction Committee, Membership Brochure, Habitat for Humanity, Pro Se Implementation, and Guardian ad Litems.

3. State Bar Association Mini Convention. Kevin Fitzgerald reported that the following four speakers committed to the Family Law Section’s Mini Convention to be held June 21, 2001 at 9:00 a.m. regarding military issues in divorce: Steve Besseras, Dan Ventres, Tom Armstrong, Lymary Santana.

4. Mediator List. Dan Ventres reported that further work on the mediator list web page was on hold pending the completion of the ADR Section’s comparable web site.

5. Legislative Committee/CLE Program. Mary Drummer reported on the status of new legislation concerning family law issues. Specifically, Ms. Drummer reported on the legislation to overhaul child support calculations, legislation regarding the enactment of the Uniform Parentage Act, and revisions to how the Court handles domestic abuse when determining the best interests of a child for custody purposes. Nancy Mischel also reported regarding the status of pending legislation. Extensive discussion was held on whether to kill or push for modifications regarding the domestic abuse issues. Moved, seconded, and approved that Ms. Drummer would contact representatives Hallberg and Dawkins in an attempt to work with them after the legislative session on revisions to the domestic abuse impact on the best interests analysis. Moved, seconded, and approved that the Legislative Committee will ask the author and representative Dawkins to not have the domestic abuse revision heard on the floor at this legislative session. Additionally, the Legislative Committee reported on the status of the pre-marital education legislation. The proposed legislation would reduce the marriage license fee if the couple participated in marital education classes.

6. Publications. Pamela Waggoner, as the new editor, reported that the theme for the July issue would be "Life Certainties: Death and Taxes". Please contact Ms. Waggoner at (612) 334-3123 with author ideas. She intends to include a point/counter-point discussion on family law issues which could take place via e-mail dialogue. Upcoming issue themes include "And Baby Makes Three" for the November 2001 issue and "Love and Aliens - Immigration" for the March 2002 issue.

7. Referee Cochrane’s Pilot Program Regarding Early Mediation Intervention. Ellen Abbott reported on Referee Cochrane’s new pilot program in Hennepin County. The program began in August 2000 whereby parties to a marital dissolution assigned to her were required to engage in "mediation" with a qualified ADR neutral, without attorneys, at the beginning of a marital dissolution proceeding. Referee Cochrane is to evaluate her own pilot program. Issues raised regarding the program include the confidentiality of discussions as it relates to admissible evidence, the marketing aspect of the mediators’ involvement, the lack of attorney involvement with respect to advisement of legal rights, and domestic abuse issues impacting the mediation.

Meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.


MSBA FAMILY LAW SECTION
MEETING MINUTES
MARCH 19, 2001
FAMILY LAW INSTITUTE – ANNUAL MEETING

Ann Schulz called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. during the Family Law Institute.

1. Membership. Margaret Erickson encouraged attendees to join the MSBA Family Law Section ($25.00 per year), and to attend the Section Meetings which take place on the second Saturday morning of each month, September through May.

2. Guardian ad Litem Pro Bono Challenge. Mary Catherine Lauhead encouraged attendees to participate in Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz’ Pro Bono Challenge to train and certify volunteer guardian ad litems. Ms. Lauhead reported that there is a tremendous need for GAL’s throughout the state. The Family Law Section donated $1,000.00 towards a videotaped training program.

3. Expedited Child Support Rules. Mary Catherine Lauhead reported that the expedited child support rules will soon be released. She previously submitted comments to the Supreme Court Committee overseeing the rules. A hearing will be held regarding the proposed rules on April 17, 2001. Please forward your comments on the proposed rules to Mary Catherine Lauhead as soon as possible.

4. Election of Officers. The following Officers and Executive Committee Members for the Family Law Section 2001-2002 were elected:

Chair Person
Stephen R. Arnott will succeed as Chair for 2001-2002

Chair Person-Elect
Barbara Runchey

Secretary
John Mack (one year term)

Treasurer
Pete Taylor (one year term)

Legislation Coordinator
Mary Drummer will complete second year of term

Publications
Pamela Waggoner (two year term)

Non-Metro Executive Members Committee
Margaret Erickson (Worthington);

Lynn Ridgeway (St. Cloud); and
Gary Voegle (Faribault)
(one year terms)

Amicus Co-Chairs
Michael Dittberner and Mary Catherine Lauhead

Ms. Schulz adjourned the meeting at 10:45 a.m.



Meeting Minutes
Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section
Saturday, January 13, 2001

Ann Schulz called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The approval of the minutes for the November and December 2000 meetings was tabled.

2. Treasurer’s Report. Donald Enockson reported that the account balance is approximately $37,000.

3. Amicus. Michael Dittberner reported that potential Amicus work regarding orders for protection will not be pursued as legislative solutions appear to be a better option.

4. Publications Committee. Suzanne Grandchamp reported that the tax and family law edition should be ready by the end of February 2001.

5. Child Support Advisory Committee. No report.

6. Medical Support Work Group. No report.

7. Steve Arnott was asked to serve on the Minnesota State Bar Association Combined Jurisdiction Committee and a joint committee between the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the University of Minnesota. Moved, seconded, and approved to allow Mr. Arnott to sit on both committees, to represent the MSBA Family Law Section, and to report to the MSBA Family Law Section regarding these committees.

8. Domestic Abuse. Loretta Frederick reported that the Domestic Abuse Committee did not meet since the last meeting.

9. Awards. Rosalind Brown Johnson provided the results of her survey regarding the objectives and criteria for Family Law Section awards. A copy of the survey results can be obtained by contacting Rosalind at keithrozjohnson@prodigy.net. A nomination form was also distributed. Moved, seconded, and approved that the nomination form be broadcast via e-mail to Section members.

10. Membership. No report.

11. Mini Convention. Kevin Fitzgerald reported that the Family Law Section mini convention will be held during the State Bar Convention on June 21, 2001 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The topic of the mini convention, which will be further defined at a meeting scheduled for February 28, 2001, will be military issues. The panel has not yet been determined. However, it is anticipated that Dan Ventres will be working with and/or participating on the panel.

12. Mediator List. Dan Ventres reported that progress is being made on the mediator list. Mr. Ventres anticipates reporting to the Section on how to get on the mediator list following the subcommittee meeting in early February.

13. Nominating Committee. Bruce Kennedy reported on behalf of Suzanne Born that the slate of nominations for committee positions for the 2001/2002 Family Law Section will be presented at the February 10, 2001 meeting.

14. Legislative Committee. Mary Drummer reported on the Child Support Reform Bill, including calls that parents exchange tax returns every year and that the custodial parent has a duty to account for use of child support payments. Ms. Drummer also reported on the Bonus Incentive Bill (Minn. Stat. § 256.9791). Christa Anders of the Minnesota Department of Human Services provided additional handouts regarding proposed legislation on child support guidelines and medical health support. Moved, seconded, and approved that the new proposals be submitted to the Section Legislative Committee for its review. Caroline Palmer of the Minnesota AIDS Project reported on a potential legislative bill regarding changes to Chapter 257C relating to custody of children by third parties. Moved, seconded, and approved that the proposal be submitted to the Section Legislative Committee for its review.

15. Discussion was held regarding mileage reimbursement to outstate officers and executives of the Family Law Section for performing official duties and attending meetings. Moved, seconded, and approved that the Family Law Section will reimburse outstate officers and executives for mileage expenses (IRS rate) while performing official duties and attending meetings.

16. CLE Program – Tax Issues in Family Law. Wende O’Brien of the Minnesota Department of Revenue discussed the services provided by the Minnesota Department of Revenues Taxpayer Rights Advocate Office. Ms. O’Brien discussed the joint allocation programs, including revenue recapture, injured spouse, non-liable business spouse, non-liable individual spouse, divorce spouse allocation, and innocent spouse. The Taxpayer Rights Advocate’s Office investigates taxpayers’ situations and complaints. Besides reviewing specific cases, the Office participates in the Department of Revenue’s Policy Committees, they lobby for taxpayer issues, and propose legislation. The Office also educates the public about the Department’s policies, processes, procedures, and Minnesota tax law. To contact the Taxpayer Advocate Office, please call (651) 296-0992 (general information number) or (651) 296-0989 (direct representative line).

17. New Business.

18. Legislation Continued. Extensive discussion was had regarding proposed legislation to enact Section 518.174 Effect of Domestic Abuse on Custody and Parenting Time Decisions. Michael Dittberner reported that the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is opposed to the Family Law Section’s proposed legislation. Moved, seconded, and approved that Michael Dittberner will meet informally with Mary Drummer, and other interested individuals, to discuss the issue, and to make a recommendation to the Section at the next scheduled meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.


Meeting Minutes
Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section
Saturday, December 9, 2000

Ann Schulz called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The approval of the minutes was tabled. The minutes for the November 11 and December 9, 2000 meetings will be submitted for approval at the January 13, 2001 meeting.

2. Treasurer’s Report. No report.

3. Domestic Abuse. Loretta Frederick reported that the committee is polling numbers to determine a more convenient date and time to meet, rather than immediately prior to the Section meeting. The committee is also undertaking a new project to prepare a consumer guide for finding attorneys experienced in domestic abuse law.

4. Publications Committee. Suzanne Grandchamp anticipates that the next publication, a tax and family law edition, will be ready for submission to Betsey Keyes in January for publication in February 2001.

5. Mediator List. Dan Ventres reported on a proposal for including a list of mediators/ADR neutrals on the Family Law Section web page. Mr. Ventres proposed that the mediators be listed alphabetically, by judicial district, and by zip code. Mr. Ventres further proposes as follows:

 

The listings include areas of expertise.

Only members of the Family Law Section could be listed on the website (in order to market the Section and to encourage participation in the Section).

An application form, which includes areas of expertise, be sent to neutrals in the Family Law Section.

Following discussion, this issue was tabled to allow further input. Questions and comments can be directed to Dan Ventres at (612) 338-0430.

6. Membership Report. Margaret Erickson reported that an updated list of members and memberships that have lapsed is required.

7. Mini Convention Report. Kevin Fitzgerald reported, via letter to Ann Schulz, regarding the Family Law Section mini convention to be held at the MSBA Annual Convention in June 2001. Mr. Fitzgerald is seeking input on topics for discussion. He proposed the topics of business evaluations for small businesses, and of the Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Relief Act. Following discussion, it was moved, seconded, and approved that the subject matter for the mini convention be military issues in Family Law. The Section is requesting input regarding the panel to oversee the three-hour CLE on military issues. Two proposed speakers were Judge Porter and Judge Armstrong.

8. Child Support Advisory Committee. Mark Gardner reported that the Supreme Court committee on child support procedures has submitted its final report on the rules for the expedited process to the Supreme Court. We are currently waiting for a result. Mr. Garner also reported that the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Support Guidelines Review Task Force is close to releasing its final report and legislative recommendation. The Task Force overwhelmingly voted to eliminate the Valento formula. Instead, the Task Force recommended in its report that a primary custodian be named and that downward deviations in child support be ordered if warranted. Although the elimination of the Valento formula was recommended in the report, it was not included in the legislative recommendation.

9. Case Law Tab Editor. The MSBA is seeking a volunteer case law tab editor(s) for its new on-line service sponsored by the MSBA and the Family Law Section. This website will provide free access to Section members to case law, forms, statutory law, legal memoranda, and other materials helpful in the practice of Family Law. The MSBA is looking for one or more lawyers to be responsible for providing case law summaries from the Minnesota Supreme Court and Minnesota Court of Appeals, as well as summarizing the significant issues on appeal. In addition, the MSBA contemplates a weekly e-mail service that would distribute these summaries. Hours will vary, depending on number of Family Law cases. Technology knowledge not necessary, and the hours spent are at your convenience. If you are interested in working on this or need more information, contact Janny Grice at jgrice@statebar.gen.mn.us.

10. Legislative Committee.

 

a. Service by Publication. Mary Drummer discussed a proposed change to Minn. Stat. § 518.11 regarding service by publication. The issue concerns the high cost of publishing notice in certain publications. The issue was tabled, and the Section invited input on this issue for the next meeting.

b. Board of Governors’ Meeting. The Board of Governors approved/passed the Section’s legislative proposals regarding public pension plans and domestic abuse custody presumptions, which were presented to the Section at the November 11, 2000 meeting.

c. The Board of Governors’ Probate Committee. The probate committee did not pass proposed legislation regarding post-nuptial agreements. Two concerns were when such agreements would be effective, and domestic abuse coercion used to execute such agreements.

11. Awards Committee. No report.

12. CLE Program-Child Support and Medical Support Work Group Update. Christa Anders of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, along with Joe Belt and Jen Augustson, discussed proposed changes to Minnesota’s child support guidelines. The revised guidelines would incorporate a shared responsibility for support by each parent. It is anticipated that shared responsibility would improve child support guidelines as follows:

 

Shared responsibility is better for children based on research on the costs of raising children.
Acknowledges the needs of other legally dependent children living with a parent.
Shared responsibility affirms both parent’s responsibility based on the incomes of both parents.
Establishes a minimum order for low income parents.
Shared responsibility is fairer to parents apportions financial responsibility in proportion to each parent’s income.
Uses the same standards for both parents in evaluating their ability to support their children.
Acknowledges the expenses of obligors during parenting time.
Uses the same imputation standards for both parents.
Shared responsibility promotes consistency in support orders dovetails with other family policies (MFIP, Child Care Sliding Fee Fund, Medical Assistance).
Uses the same method to apportion responsibility for all three types of support (basic, child care, medical support).
Provides consistent standards for lowering support orders for low income obligors.
Establishes a consistent income deduction for other legally dependent children.

The Department of Human Services is expecting the Board of Governors’ approval on the proposed legislation by January 30, 2001. The CLE presenters explained the new child support guidelines and walked the Section through the proposed worksheet for determining child support. The presenters are seeking input, suggestions, and concerns regarding the proposed legislation. Ms. Anders can be contacted at (651) 296-6117. The CLE presenters also provided the Minnesota Medical Support Work Group draft final report, dated December 6, 2000. The report details the need for revisions to the current medical support framework and provides worksheets for determining appropriate medical support orders.

13. New Business. Steve Arnott explained that he had been contacted regarding the drafting of a property division form which could be used in an electronic format and exchanged between attorneys. The issue was tabled.

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 a.m.


Meeting Minutes
Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section
Saturday, November 11, 2000

Ann Schulz called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The minutes for the March 29, 2000, May 13, 2000, September 9, 2000, and October 14, 2000, meetings were approved. (Revision note: A revision was approved for the September 9, 2000, minutes so that the Covenant Marriage Bill has a notation that it "must be reintroduced to be considered.")

2. Treasurer’s Report. Don Enockson reported that pursuant to the most recent statement (8/31/00), treasury funds totaled $61,646. The dues collected year to date are $15,001.50.

3. Committee Reports.

 

a. Amicus. No report.

b. Domestic Abuse. No report.

c. Publications. No report.

d. Child Support Advisory Committee. No report.

e. Parental Cooperation Task Force. No report.

f. Medical Support Work Group. Steve Arnott reported that the group will be meeting within the next two months and that a representative of the Minnesota Department of Human Services would be providing a presentation on proposed legislation at the next Section meeting.

g. Legislative. Mary Drummer reported regarding legislative proposals. The first proposal concerned who can obtain a certified copy of a birth or death certificate. Proposed additions to the statute would allow any lineal descendant of a grandparent of the subject, or an attorney, when needed to pass or clear title on real estate or personal property, or for any lawful purpose. Following discussion, moved, seconded, and approved the Section would support such proposed revisions (Minn. Stat. § 144.225, subd. 7).

The Section discussed introduction of a new statute, Minn. Stat. § 518.174, entitled Effective Domestic Abuse on Custody and Parenting Time Decisions. The proposed legislation would attempt to provide guidelines to the court for considering a domestic abuse perpetrator’s history of abuse when making custody and parenting time decisions. The Section moved, seconded, and approved typographical revisions to the proposed legislation. To obtain a complete copy of the proposed legislation, please contact Mary E. Drummer at (612) 544-3886.

h. Awards Committee. Rosalind Brown Johnson reported on awards issues. Ms. Johnson circulated a questionnaire regarding Section awards to determine the objective of the awards, who should be recognized, and to obtain suggestions for the committee. Please contact Rosalind at keithrozjohnson@prodigy.net.

4. New Business.

 

a. Roster of Neutrals. Pete Taylor reported that he is moving forward with preparation of a roster of ADR neutrals for the Family Law Section website.

b. MSBA Convention. The MSBA convention for 2001 is scheduled for June 20-22 at the River Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Family Law Section has the opportunity to hold a mini convention, consisting of a three-hour CLE program specific to Family Law issues. Following discussion regarding the benefits of a mini convention, such as marketing and membership growth, it was moved, seconded, and approved to hold a mini convention.

c. Payment of Dues. The Section was provided with a list of Family Law Section members that did not reapply for membership in 2000. Discussion was held on how to best address the issue of lapsed memberships. The issue was tabled and was to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

d. Nominating Committee. Moved, seconded, and approved that the past three presidents of the Family Law Section act as a nominating committee for Section elections. Suzanne Born, Bruce Kennedy, and Loretta Frederick will meet in January 2001 to discuss nominations.

e. Antenuptial Contract Statute. Mary Lauhead reported that the MSBA Probate Section proposed an extensive change to the antenuptial contract statute to allow the creation of a post-nuptial contract. Although the proposed revisions require that both parties have attorneys, certain safeguards set forth in McGee-Johnson are not present. The Section was not presented with a draft of the proposed revisions.

i. Continuing Legal Education Program – De facto Custody. Laurie Hanson (lhanson@midmnlegal.org), a supervising attorney from the Minneapolis Legal Aid Society, and Brenda Hill a social worker from Volunteers of America, Senior Resources of America, discussed proposed legislation regarding de facto custody. Legal Aid is sponsoring the new legislation to revise Minn. Stat. § 518.003, subd. 5, and Minn. Stat. § 518.156, and Minn. Stat. § 518.17. Essentially, the proposed legislation would give grandparents and other relatives raising children standing and legal recourse for participating in child custody determinations. The proposed legislation defines who is a de facto custodian of a child, and requires the court to give the same standing to a de facto custodian as to the child’s parent in awarding custody.

The 1997 Census Bureau Report estimates that 5.435 million children live in a household headed by a grandparent. For almost 72% of those children, a grandparent, often the grandmother, is their primary caregiver. These figures are growing annually. Kinship caregivers, as they are called, serve as a safety net for our state’s children:

Passage of the proposed legislation will:

How does this relate to the relative ex parte custody language of § 518.158? This is not useful, given the limited duration of the order. Practitioners generally use standard ex parte order pleadings.

Changes systemic presumption in favor of parents in all circumstances.

For more information, please contact: Sharon Olson, Minnesota Kinship Caregivers Association, (612) 441-7091; Brenda Hill, Volunteers of America, Senior Resources Division, (612) 529-7721; Connie Booth, Lutheran Social Services, (612) 879-5351; Laurie Hanson, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, (612) 827-3774.

Vice Chair Steve Arnott adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.


Meeting Minutes
Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section
Saturday, October 14, 2000

Ann Schulz called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes. The approval of the minutes was tabled. The minutes for certain prior meetings will be submitted for approval by the Section at the November 11, 2000 meeting.

2. Treasurer’s Report. No report.

3. Committee Reports.

 

a. Child Support Advisory. Mark Gardner reported that, although the legislative proposal is far from being done, comments have been returned from attorneys. It is anticipated that an outline of the legislative proposal will be provided at the November 11, 2000 meting.

b. Amicus. No report.

c. Publications. No report.

d. Medical Support Work Group. No report

e. Parental Cooperation Task Force. Suzanne Born reported that the Advisory Task Force on Parental Cooperation’s recommendations were not incorporated into the legislative proposal.

f. Domestic Abuse. Loretta Frederick provided the Domestic Abuse report in conjunction with the legislative report below.

g. Awards Committee. No report.

h. Legislative.

 

(i) Definition of Public Pension Plan (Section 518.54, subd. 11). A revision to the definition of a "public pension plan" was proposed such that "no defined contribution plan shall be considered a pension plan." The revision was proposed because under Section 518.58, subd. 4, public pensions cannot be "QDROed" immediately. Therefore, the former spouse cannot receive his or her share of the pension until the employee spouse begins receiving benefits. There is no administrative benefit to this restriction in the case of a defined contribution plan which is tantamount to a 401(k) or IRA. Moved, seconded, and approved, the Section supports the revision.

(ii) Effect of Domestic Abuse on Custody and Parenting Time (Section 518.174). Extensive discussion was held regarding revisions to Section 518.174. In addition to changing "visitation" to "parenting time," "primary aggressor" was changed to "predominant aggressor." Suggested language also included that the court inquire as to whether any party has perpetrated domestic abuse "in any proceeding for custody or parenting time brought pursuant to Chapter 518 or Chapter 257." The intent of the suggested language is to require judges to pay attention to domestic abuse in every proceeding and at every stage of the proceeding. Discussion was had regarding whether a court is required to consider ex-parte temporary orders for protection as a determination of abuse despite the lack of due process and a hearing. Discussion was also had as to whether past determinations of domestic abuse were binding on subsequent proceedings based on the suggested language (collateral estoppel theory). Further discussion was had on presumptions raised by the revised language and the affects on children. Moved, seconded, and approved, all redlined changes submitted and made during the Section meeting. To obtain a complete copy of the redlined changes, please contact Mary E. Drummer at (612) 544-3886.

4. CLE Program: MSBA File Program. Tim Groshens and Betsy Keyes, MSBA staff, provided an update on the MSBA File Program. As a part of the MSBA’s strategic technology plan to deliver current services more efficiently and economically, and to develop systems to help attorneys practice more efficiently and economically, the MSBA is rolling out practicelaw.org, a web site acting as a clearinghouse for practice specific information. The web site, which is scheduled to be introduced in December 2000, will be broken down into eight practice areas, including Family Law, Appellate Practice, Attorney Fees, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Marketing, Probate/Estate Planning for Small Estates, and Worker’s Compensation Law. Access to the web page, via a personal identification and password, will be free for Family Law Section members, judges, and judicial law clerks. For non-members, a $50.00 fee is required. The web page allows for e-mail correspondence with file editors and MSBA staff to allow updates, suggestions and questions. The web site will also include hot links to statutes and cases. A demonstration of the current web site was provided. Presently, there are three needs which require attention: (1) tab editors are needed for the Family Law areas of tax, client education and technology; (2) the present tab editors require assistance in maintaining their files; and (3) ideas/suggestions are needed. If interested, please contact Tim Groshens or Betsy Keyes at the MSBA offices.

5. Family Law Institute Update. The 2001 Family Law Institute is scheduled for March 19 and 20, 2001, at the River Centre in St. Paul, Minnesota. Frank Sanitate, a time management expert, is confirmed as the keynote speaker. The case law/legislative update is currently scheduled for the morning of the second day of the Institute. Discussion was held regarding the MSBA Family Law Section annual meeting and awards ceremony. There were concerns that the River Centre luncheon facility was inadequate given the large space and poor acoustics. Potential alternatives include holding the meeting and awards ceremony immediately following the initial morning presentations on each day of the Institute. Suggestions for speakers at the Institute are needed.

Adjourned 12:04 p.m.


Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
Saturday, September 9, 2000
(These minutes will be submitted for approval by the Section at the October 14, 2000 meeting)

The meeting was convened at 9:30 a.m., when chair Ann Schulz called the meeting to order.

1. Approval of minutes: None available to approve.

2. Treasurer’s Report: Don Encockson not present to no report available.

3. Committee Reports:

 

1. Amicus: No Report
2. Domestic Abuse: The next meeting of this committee is Friday, October 6 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. at the home of Mary Lou Klas (746 Fairmont Avenue , St. Paul, MN).
Currently working on drafting a consumer information pamphlet for domestic abuse victims seeking an attorney.
Family Law Section members may sign-up for this committee.
Current legislative proposal/bills that will be considered during the upcoming legislative session are:

 

1. Covenant Marriage Bill: this needs to be re-introduced
2. Child Support Bill: this is the income shares model

3. Publications: No report
4. Child Support Advisory:

 

1. The Interim Rules of Child Support Process have been sent out & comments hare being solicited on the Supreme Court website or get your comments to Mark Gardner or Judy Nord by September 21, 2000.
2. The Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Support Guidelines Task Force: Next meeting is September 22, 2000 at Metro Square in St. Paul (Texas Room)

 

1. Income shares child support guidelines come through this task force
2. The cap for high income obligees is removed and instead is based upon Agriculture Department standards.
3. Mark Gardner has the notes from the last 3 months of meetings.

5. Parental Cooperation Task Force: The work is completed. Their report will be presented at the October meeting of the Family Law Section. Frauenshuh was enacted. Parenting time was enacted.
6. Legislative Committee: Proposals from the Family Law Section for legislative action by the January, 2001 legislature are due at the October 11, 2000.

4. Old Business

 

1. Medical Insurance Support work Group: (Steve Arnott) They have had 2 meetings to date. The next meeting is September 13, 2000. They are in the preliminary phase of identifying terms, how to allocate medical support using gross or net income, how to make medical support rules clearer and easier to understand and to come up with recommendations by January 2001.

2. Divorce Camp: The overview of the camp is devoted to an overall of the custody system. It will be held at Izaty’s on September 21-24, 2000. Contact Nancy Kleeman at 651-488-3521 for additional information.

5. New Business

 

1. Awards Luncheon at Family Law Institute: We need a member to volunteer as chairperson. Rosalin Brown Johnson volunteered. She can be reached at 952-988-9349.

2. Family Law Institute Planning persons:

 

1. Steve Arnott: contact before the next Family Law Section meeting if you have a topic idea (arnottlaw@AOL.com) & 651-224-2555
2. Tim Morrow: Liaison between MN CLE and sets up the Family Law Institute.

3. Family Law Institute Topics for 2001: Discussion & suggestions & comments from the floor were accomplished on the following topics under consideration:

 

1. Framework of the Family Law Institute for 2001:

 

1. Try to get away from the psychological perspective in the topics offered;
2. Enable people to have policy discussions in advanced sessions;
3. Offer practical solutions
4. Utilize learning tactics other than the lecture format, to enhance learning

2. Bias: An advanced session on gay & lesbian issues; cultural effect of nationality, language, religion
3. Conflicts in the public policy between juvenile court, child protection and custody litigation
4. Administrative divorce: Standardizing rules in all counties is what’s most needed. Steve Arnott will look at it as a program for February.
5. Trial Practice Track:

 

1. Choosing & preparing witnesses, preparing expert witnesses, cross-examination of expert witnesses;
2. Preparing trial notebook telling client’s story & drafting pleadings;
3. How to represent your client when other party is pro se & how do you reconcile your zealous representation of your client with what is most helpful for your client;
4. Evidence: preparation of exhibits, objections, how to get the judge’s ear. Preferably taught by a judge.

ADJOURN: Meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m.

Respectfully submitted: Linda L. Wold


Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
May 13, 2000

Ann Schulz called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Approval of Minutes, Shane Swanson
Linda Wold moved to approve the minutes from the March 2000 section meeting. Mary Drummer seconded the motion. Thereafter, the minutes were approved unanimously.

2. Treasurer's Report, Don Enockson
Don Enockson was not present. As a result, there was no report from the treasurer.

3. Committee Reports
a. Amicus Committee, Michael Dittberner
Michael Dittberner did not have anything to report since the section is not currently working on an amicus brief. He did mention that the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers would participate in an amicus brief in the matter of Rogers v. Rogers as it pertains to determination of child support.

b. Child Support Advisory Committee, Mark Gardner
The committed continues to work on rules regarding the administrative process. The leadership is working to try to avoid minority report.

c. Legislative Committee, Steve Arnott
Steve Arnott reviewed several bills passed in the recent legislative session.

Child Support and Enforcement (SF 3016): This bill includes a provision allowing the public authority to serve of motion papers on last known address of obligor.

Changes to Appendix A: Appendix A now delineates what the authority can do for nonpayment of support such as denial of student grants and interception of tax returns.

Second Judicial District-One Judge/One Case: This program was extended through June 30, 2002

Parenting plans (SF 3169): Article 1 is the relevant article of this bill. It allows for the change of standard for modification where there is an agreement of the parties.

Orders for Protection (SF 551): This bill makes changes to service requirements for OFP's. Subd. 5. of Minn. Stat. § 518B.01 now requires only twelve hours advance service.

SF 2794-- Changes to financial form for child support process

Reduction of Marriage License Fees (SF 884): This bill attempted to reduce marriage licenses fees for people who went through counseling. The bill was vetoed by Governor Ventura who felt it was inappropriate for the state to coerce counseling.

Statistical Form Abolished (SF 2742): Effective July 1, 2000, the statistical form will no longer be required with the submission of a Judgment and Decree.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Director (HF 331): This bill establishes a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Director within the Crime Victim Services Center.

Competency Standards for ALJ's (SF 2989): This bill establishes competency standards for ALJ's.

4. Continuing Legal Education Program
"We're On-Line-Presentation of the Family Law Section Webpage"
Speakers: Betsy Keyes, Section Services Director, MSBA
Michael Trittipo, Director of Technology, MSBA
Tim Groshens, Executive Director, MSBA

The presenters outlined the MSBA Family Law File. The web-based resource is free to Family Law Section Members, and is also available to MSBA members who are not members of the Family Law Section at the rate of $50 per year. It provides a variety of information ranging from section events to research aids. It also contains helpful links to other sites such as Jurisline.com, a free alternative to WestLaw and Lexis-Nexis. Members of the sections should feel free to explore the site in its current state.

There is a need for editors of the following pages: Emergency relief, property division, paternity, tax, criminal implications, fees, legislative bills, forms, case law, represented client education. The section committee is also looking for a Web Master/Committee Chair to oversee content management. People interested in this will receive recognition on the page itself. For more information, contact Michael Trittipo or Betsy Keyes.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Steve Arnott moved that the section express its support and appreciation for the work of the presenters and ask that they continue to do their work. The motion was second by Dan Ventres, and it passed unanimously.

5. Old Business
a. Judicial Education: There was nothing new to report.

6. New Business
a. Impact Fund proposals: The MSBA is soliciting suggestions for what to fund with the impact fund. The only suggestion was to target the minority bars with information on the Family Law Institute.

b. Announcements:
· Remember to attend the Annual Bar Convention in Duluth.
· The joint meeting of the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Ramsey County Bar Association will be held on Wednesday June 21, 2000, at Sheraton Midway.
· Michael Trittipo will do an hour-long presentation on the spousal maintenance calculator at the September section meeting.

7. Adjournment
Steve Arnott moved to adjourn. His motion was seconded by Mary Drummer. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 11:28 a.m.

The Section gratefully acknowledges the service of Suzanne Born, the 1999-2000 Section Chair.


Meeting Minutes
Minnesota State Bar Association
Family Law Section
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2000

Suzanne Born called the meeting to order during the luncheon session of the Family Law Institute 2000.

1. Election of Representatives. The following individuals were elected to the following positions for 2000/2001: Suzanne Born, Past Chair; Suzanne Grandchamp, Newsletter Editor; Stephen Arnott, Vice Chair; John Mack, Secretary; Donald Enockson, Treasurer; Ann Schulz, Chair; Margaret Erickson, Councilmember; Mark Gardner, Councilmember; Nancy Mischel, Councilmember; and Mary Drummer, Legislative Coordinator.

2. Service Awards. The following individuals were recognized for their service to the Minnesota State Bar Association Family Section: Suzanne Born, Chair; Donald Enockson, Treasurer; Shane Swanson, Secretary; Mike Dittberner, Amicus; Mark Gardner, Child Support Advisory; Loretta Frederick, Domestic Abuse; Suzanne Grandchamp, Publications; and Steve Arnott, Legislative.

Adjourned following presentation of the service awards.


MSBA Family Law Section
Meeting Minutes
March 11, 2000

1. Approval of Minutes-To be provided.

2. Treasurer's Report-Our balance is $53,346.98.

3. Committee Reports

a. Amicus-There was a suggestion that an amicus brief might be appropriate in Rogers v. Roger, _____ N.W.2d ______ (Minn. Ct. App. 2000), C2-99-1325. However, Michael Dittberner suggested that we avoid doing an amicus unless asked to do so by the Supreme Court due to the diverging views that are likely held by the section members. There was no motion or vote on this issue.

b. Child Support Advocacy-Under the current administrative process rules, a district court judge hearing a motion containing mixed issues of visitation and child support can elect to bifurcate the issues and refer the child support issue to administrative process. The decision is wholly in the judges' discretion. In practice, the judges are doing it wherever possible. Mark Gardner moved the committed to take a position to eliminate this discretion and require the district court judge to hear both issues. The motion was seconded by Dan Ventres. The committee felt that requiring judges to make both decisions was consistent with the idea of an expedited process. The motion passed unanimously.

Mark Gardner presented a proposed Majority Report on the bar's position on how to improve the expedited process. He moved that the body adopt the provision. Dan Ventres seconded the motion. There was a friendly amendment to the language. The report was adopted unanimously.

c. Domestic Abuse-There was no report from the domestic abuse subcommittee.

d. Publications-The Family Law Forum was delayed due to publication problems, but it should issue soon.

e. Legislation-Our section bill has received a second reading in both the house and the senate. There has been some amendments in the senate. They are trying to get them taking out. The stand-by custodian has received a second reading. The domestic abuse bill that we supported received a second reading in the house and senate. The bill to reverse the Frauenshuh decision has had second readings. There have been amendments that have resulted in separate conflicting versions that will have to reconciled in conference on the floor. Covenant marriage was defeated in the Senate Judicial Family Law Subcommittee.

3. CLE Program: "Are There Income Shares in Your Future? Interim Report of the Child Support Advisory Task Force." Speaker: Dr. Jo Beld, Guidelines Project Consultant.

Under federal law, the child support guidelines are to be reviewed every four years. Dr. Beld was hired because the Department of Human Services decided to take the review very seriously and hire outside resources to do the work and come up with serious analysis of what can be improved. She presented Shared Responsibility Child Support Worksheets (annotated and unannotated) together with a comment sheet. The primary difference between the working model presented and the current law is that the working model contained in the worksheets extends the concept of income share to child care to all three parts of child support (residential needs, child care, and medical expenses).

The working model tries to retain as much of the current system as possible to the extent they were perceived as positive. The determination allows for self-employment expenses, prior support orders, and "other residential dependents" (subsequent dependents). The resulting number is entitled Resources Available for Child Support. The percentage of total resources is the determined and child support is allocated according to each parent's income. The percentages are then applied to the child's residential needs, child care needs, and medical expenses. At the end of the calculation, there is a consideration for equity adjustments to extend the substantial fairness to the obligor and the obligee.

Dr. Beld solicited comments from the committee members and a discussion was held. She welcomes future comments from practioners.

5. Old Business

a. Judicial Education-There has been movement in the area of judicial education on parenting plans. Representative Dawkins guaranteed that he could find the funding for another half-day of judicial education on parenting plans.

b. Nominations-The nominations committee met and came up with the following slate:

Suzanne M. Born, Past-Chair; Suzanne E. Granchamp, Newsletter Editor; Stephen R. Arnott, Vice Chair; John A. Mack, Secretary; Donald L. Enockson, Treasurer; Ann C. Schulz, Chair; Margaret K. Erickson, Council Member; Mark H. Gardner, Council Member; Nancy K. Mischel, Council Member; and Mary Drummer, Legislative Coordinator.

c. Dues Structure-Our membership went up by 140 after last year's reduction on dues and our money is stable. Suzanne Born moved to reduced the private attorney dues by $5.00. It was seconded by Mary Lauhead. There was little discussion and the motion passed unanimously.

6. New Business

a. Standardized Income Withholding Form-The Department of Human Services sent a notice regarding the existing standardized income withholding form that should be being used by family law attorneys to notify employers. The form can be obtained from federal government at the following web site: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/at-9803.htm. Attorneys are encouraged to use the form in all cases to facilitate implementation of withholding. The form is designed to accompany the court's order.

b. Exemption from CLE requirements: Attorney Buehlo from St. Cloud wanted to be exempt from CLE's because he is retired and only does pro bono work for legal aid. Dan Ventres moved that the section oppose the request with a letter suggestion in a letter that discounts or scholarships be given to people in Buehlo's position. The motion was seconded by Don Enockson and passed unanimously.

c. Law Students-The MSBA is going to offer presentation to law schools by each section. If anyone is interested in participating in a presentation, they should contact Todd Delzer at (612)333-1183. There was a suggestion that the family law section do a program called "So You Think You Want to Practice Family Law" at the law schools. Anyone interested should talk to Suzanne Born.

d. Announcements:

MSBA-Kidmate software is being offered to section members at a cost of $299 instead of $450.

Hennepin County has started a program for free mediation called ARM-attorney referral mediation. You can request a specific mediator. More information is available from Hennepin County Family Court Services.


Family Law Section Minutes
February 12, 2000

Chair Suzanne Born called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.
1. Approval of Minutes.
Minutes of the January 8, 2000 meeting were approved without comment.
2. Treasurer's Report.
Treasurer Don Enockson reported that the balance in the Section Treasury as of December 31, 1999 was $53,365.10.
3. Section Dues.
Discussion on issue of whether the Section should decrease the level of membership dues in an attempt to increase membership. Moved, seconded, and approved that the Section would make a decision by April 1, 2000.
4. Child Support Advisory.
Mark Gardner submitted a report prepared by Policy Studies, Incorporated for the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Division, entitled "Exploring Options: Child Support Arrears Forgiveness and Pass Through of Payments to Custodial Families," dated February 9, 2000.
5. Domestic Abuse.
No report.
6. Publications.
Suzanne Grandchamp reported that the first issue was delayed but progress continued.
7. Old Business:
a. Family Law Section Internet Project-In Betsy Keyes' absence, it was reported that the Family Law Section Internet Project was up and running and a report would be provided next month.
b. Spousal Maintenance Calculator-The MSBA paid $8,500.00 to upgrade the Windows compatible spousal maintenance calculator. The MSBA wants to sell the upgrade to recoup the expense of the upgrade. The Section discussed how the software developed and the pros and cons of the calculator. Moved, seconded, and approved that the MSBA could market the upgrade with the support of the Family Law Section provided there was an appropriate disclaimer stating that the calculator was a tool in determining a likely outcome for spousal maintenance based on the data inputted.
c. Judicial Education-The Section discussed new judge orientation.
d. Nominations Committee-The Nominations Committee had not yet met.
8. New Business:
a. Bar Exam Score-Moved, seconded, and approved that the Section take no position on the issue of whether to increase the passing score on the bar exam by 12 points over the next five years.
b. Letter to Conference of Chief Judges-The Section discussed the current budget crisis facing the trial courts ($1.9 million shortfall in 2000). Due to the shortfall, the courts are leaving new judge and clerk vacancies open, and Ramsey County lacks money to pay the pretrial moderators. Moved, seconded, but withdrawn a Section letter to the Governor, the House Leader, and the Senate Leader stating the Section's strong position in support of appropriate funds for the judiciary. Moved, seconded, and approved that the Section urge the MSBA to seek an increase in funding for the judiciary as proposed by the judiciary itself, and that the Section notify the MSBA that the Section would help in any way in this initiative.
c. Children and Law Center-Moved, seconded, and approved a $500.00 grant to the Children and Law Center to conduct a continuing legal education seminar on representing children in court. (A similar request was granted in 1999).
d. Family Law Institute-Suzanne Grandchamp, speaking on behalf of Ann Schultz, suggested that the legislative update provided by Judge Kubes be conducted over two days rather than one day. Discussion was held regarding this issue, but the Section took no position on the issue.
9. CLE Program: Legislative Update.
Steve Arnott discussed the various bills currently pending before the State Legislature:
a. Domestic Abuse Civil Action Bill-The bill, which the Section supports, would add a six year statute of limitations for civil actions for domestic abuse (the bill would not provide for a new cause of action).
b. Department of Health Statistical Forms-The bill would repeal the requirement of providing the Minnesota Department of Health statistical forms with judgment and decrees. Due to a lack of financial resources, the Department of Health is behind in inputting data from the forms. The Department of Health would not oppose a repeal of the requirement, and would like to find a better way to obtain and enter the data. Moved, seconded, and approved that the Section form a subcommittee to study better means of collecting the data.
c. Capital Gains Language in Judgment and Decrees-Mr. Arnott reported that the bill seeking to require that capital gains language be required in judgment and decrees will likely pass.
d. Medical Support Statute-The Minnesota Department of Human Services believes it is an inappropriate time to modify the medical support statute. Because the federal government requires a report on all such child support issues, the Department of Human Services wants the Section to work with them to do a report. The Department would then seek wholesale changes to the statute during the next legislative session. Discussion was held on the timing of revising any of the bill's language.
e. Removal of Judicial Officers and Expedited Proceedings-Currently in the expedited process, there is no right of removal of the judicial officer. (However, you can essentially remove the officer by opting to proceed in the District Court). The Supreme Court is apparently against a right of removal, but the Section wants the expedited process to conform with other removal statutes. Mr. Arnott reported that this issue was taken off the legislative agenda yesterday (2-11-00).
f. Standby Custodian Bill-This bill would permit a parent to designate someone to care for a child in the event of a custodial parent's illness, incapacity, or military duty, for example. Parental rights would not be affected by such a designation. Mr. Arnott reported that the bill would likely get a hearing, it had good support from the ABA, the AARP, Chrysalis, Legal Aid, and other organizations. He further reported that such legislation has been successful in many other states.
g. Expedited Process-Mr. Arnott reported that this bill seeks to require a moving party in the expedited process to provide names, addresses, and social security numbers for all interested parties. The bill also provides for worksheet changes for the child support officer.
h. Name Change for Convicted Felons-The bill would modify the requirements for convicted felons seeking a name change in the marital dissolution. Presently, a convicted felon must give notice to the prosecuting attorney who convicted the felon prior to getting a name change.
i. Child Support-The Minnesota Department of Human Services is seeking access to obligor's bank accounts. The Section supports this bill.
j. Data on Child Support and Paternity-This bill would change the language of the current statutes regarding data on child support and paternity.
k. Punishment for Violations of Visitation-This bill would enable the Court to place the custodial parent in jail for violation of a visitation order. Moved, seconded, and approved that the Section is against this bill. (The bill does not address the issue of what to do with the child if the custodial parent is in jail).
l. Standard for Moving a Child Out of State-There was extensive discussion regarding the issue of an appropriate standard for removing a child from the State. Section 1 of the bill seeks to modify Minn. Stat. § 518.175, regarding a custodial parent's removal of the child to another state. The bill seeks to include language that a court shall apply any standard agreed upon by the parties in a writing that was approved by a court. Section 2 of the bill seeks to modify Minn. Stat. § 518.18 regarding modification of custody. The bill similarly seeks to incorporate language that, upon a motion for a change of custody, the court shall retain the custody arrangement established by the prior order unless the parties agreed in a writing approved by a court to apply standards other than those provided by the current statute. The standard agreed upon by the parties must be comparable to those set forth in Minn. Stat. § 518.17, namely, the best interests of the children. Those opposed to the modifications cited the following reasons: increase in litigation, in domestic abuse situations, the victim should be able to move anywhere and the new bill would make it harder for victims to move, and the control or "power" parent would have one more avenue in which to dictate over the custodial parent. Those in favor of the modifications cite the following reasons: the bill does not change the standard, it just allows the parents to agree to the standard, the bill would reserve the relationship between a non-custodial parent and the child, the best interests of the children should be at the forefront, parties would make their own decisions regarding their families, parents consenting to an agreement are more likely to honor the agreement, domestic abuse issues can be raised at the time of divorce, public policy favors and encourages alternative dispute resolution, and parenting equals sacrifice and certain parents may have to remain in this state for the welfare of their children. Moved, seconded, and approved the Section supports Section 1 of the bill to modify Minn. Stat. § 518.175. Moved, seconded, but not approved the Section support for modification to Minn. Stat. § 518.18.
10. Parental Cooperation Task Force Legislation.
Moved, seconded, and approved the motion to table discussion and vote on the Section's position on the Task Force Legislation. (Consequently, no Section position will be able to be forwarded prior to the Legislature's consideration on this bill).
Adjourned 12:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
John A. Mack, for
Shane M. Swanson, Secretary


Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
Saturday, January 8, 2000

The meeting convened at 9:30 a.m. when chair Suzanne Born called the meeting to order.

A. Approval of Minutes: Minutes were approved without comment.

B. Treasurer's Report: The section currently has a balance of $54,290.92 including investments.

3. Committee Reports:

a. Amicus: No Report.

b. Domestic Abuse: No Report.

c. Publications: No Report.

d. Child Support Advisory: The last meeting was canceled so the committee did not meet since the Family Law Sections December 11, 1999 meeting. Steve Smith solicited a bill from the committee. The committee said that it wasn't ready because review of data not completed. Judge Klas said that a bill would be ready for a 2001 legislative session.

e. Parental Cooperation Task Force: The task force held its 17th and final meeting since the Family Law Section met on December 11, 1999. The task force signed off on a final report that will be ready next week. No drafting of a resulting bill was available for our review. It was unclear whether a bill was already begun. The report will be available the week of January 17, 2000. Those who would like a report should contact the Supreme Court if they are not already on the mailing list.

f. Legislation: House Bill 2527 was introduced to overturn the Frauenshuh decision allowing the parties to stipulate to a standard other than the endangerment standard currently established for post-decree modification of custody found in Minn. Stat. § 518.18. There was a discussion about the pros and cons of this bill. Steve Arnott recommended that the discussion be tabled until next month when we could discuss it in light of the bill coming out of the Parental Cooperation Task Force.

Steve Arnott also noted that another Covenant in Marriage bill had been introduced this session. It was Steve's opinion that the bill would die or be killed in this session because of the level of controversy attached to the bill. The section took a position against the bill last year.

4. CLE Program: Alphabet Soup-PKPA (Federal Law), UCCJA (Old State Law), and UCCJEA (New State Law)

Jerry Williams (Self-Proclaimed Interstate Custody Jurisdiction Dweeb)-The new law applies only to cases that were commenced on or after January 1, 2000 only. The are four types of jurisdiction: home state (child lived there for six months), significant contact jurisdiction (the child and at least one contestant have a significant connection to the state other than merely physical presence-presumed not home state), emergency jurisdiction (personal presence of the child and threat of harm to the child in home state), and default jurisdiction (absence of jurisdiction under remaining three jurisdictions-this seems inconceivable to Jerry). The old law had problems with creating dual jurisdiction (home state and significant connection had equal footing and a state could disqualify itself as an inconvenient forum). Thus, the unintended result of the old law in creating dual jurisdiction was that it actually fostered dual jurisdiction. The federal law undid some of this because it denied full faith and credit to the significant contact state if it denied jurisdiction to the home state. Once jurisdiction is established, continuing jurisdiction allowed the state exercising jurisdiction initially to continue exercising jurisdiction so long as the child or one of the contestants continues to live in the state.

The new law arose in the context of interstate visitation enforcement. The new state gives the home state priority by giving significant jurisdiction only if there is no home state or if the home state declines jurisdiction (based on inconvenient forum or misconduct). The new law makes emergency forum only temporary. Where dual jurisdiction is created under the new law the attorneys have the right to participate in the conversations between the court to determine who will exercise jurisdiction.

The E of the UCCJEA was added with reference to visitation enforcement. Visitation enforcement needs to happen in the way so as not to step on the toes of the home state. Under the new law, states other than the home state are empowered to enforce visitation and award compensatory visitation. States other than the home state may not modify the substance of the visitation order.

5. Old Business

a. Family Law Section Internet Project: Betsy Keyes will have a report at the March 2000 meeting.

b. Spousal Maintenance Calculator: We are currently working on marketing the spousal maintenance calculator. Don Enockson felt that one of the problems with the last calculator was that we did not communicate what the calculator does and how to use it. He would like to correct this flaw with the new calculation and is soliciting help with this task especially from people who have experience with the calculator.

6. New Business

a. Walt Koukus wrote a letter to Chief Justice Blatz complaining that the Supreme Court should require that judges have more than three hours of family law training. Suzanne Born agreed with his complaint, however, there was concern that we cannot do anything about this problem through legislative action without violating the constitution. Ellen Abbott, Paula Smoot Ogg, and Steve Arnott volunteered to work on a committee designed to put pressure on the bench to take more training in family law. Suzanne Born noted that an increasing number of judges who actually attend the Family Law Institute.

b. MSBA Convention CLE: There was an inquiry from the bar regarding a family law CLE at the convention. Members of the committee suggested that we decline and not do a CLE program at the bar convention.

c. Nominating Committee: Suzanne asked for volunteers to be on the nominating committee to make recommendations about who should be on the board next year. Steve Arnott, Mary Drummer, Maria Pastoor, Glen Norton, and Shane Swanson were appointed. ANYBODY INTERESTED IN SERVING AS LEGISLATIVE CHAIR, SECRETARY, TREASURER OR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD AT LARGE SHOULD CONTACT MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.

Adjournment: Bruce Kennedy moved to adjourn the meeting. His motion was seconded by Shane Swanson. The motion passed unanimously, and the meeting adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

The committed recognized the work of Ted Wagensteen, a prominent family law lawyer, who recently passed away. His memorial service was held January 8, 2000.


Family Law Section Minutes
December 11, 1999

The meeting convened at 9:30 a.m. when chair Suzanne Born called the meeting to order.

1. Approval of the Minutes: The minutes from November were lost in a computer accident. Any notes on the meeting would be appreciated to help reconstruct the minutes.

2. Committee Reports:

a. Treasurer's Report: As of October 31, 1999, the ending balance $54,700 including investments. This year we have collected $17,941 in membership dues. This is on track with the projected income for dues based on the section's decision to reduce our dues.

b. Amicus Committee: There are currently no requests for an Amicus.

c. Publications: There is a family law forum coming out in the next week. The next issue will be in February 2000.

d. Child Support Advocacy Committee: There was a general discussion regarding the process of child support magistrates. Several members raised questions about our ability to evaluate the new system since it has only been in place since October 1, 1999. The was a suggestion that the Supreme Court be asked for an extension for time to review the process.

e. Domestic Abuse: Loretta Frederick raised the May 4, 1999 killing of a women at the Mall of America. She asked if anybody was interested in pursuing some action for the recovery of damages from the Minneapolis Police Department for failing to respond to domestic abuse situation at the heart of the situation. There was no further report.

f. Parental Cooperation Task Force: The discussion of the task force's work centered on Judge Metzen's motion that the language on custody be replaced with residence and parenting time. It was suggested that Judge Metzen made the motion as favor to some person, and was surprised and dismayed by its passage. It was also suggested that several people supported the motion because they thought that the Judge was making the motion in the capacity of her official position. Andy Dawkins started to put together a minority position that might have had more support than the majority based on the manner in which the motion was passed. To avoid that situation and keep the legitimacy of the task force in place, Judge Metzen moved to have the motion reconsidered. There was a compromise plan that was presented: parents who can agree can uses language other than legal and physical custody, if the parties cannot agree, the court shall use the traditional language. The compromise passed 20 to 1. Although the language of the motion makes parenting plans optional, the court can require each party to submit a parenting plan right from the beginning. There was some concern about letting judges do this and the manner in which it will be implemented. The last change that will be made is that visitation will be replaced with the phrase of "parenting time." THE REPORT WILL BE OUT NEXT MONTH. THERE WILL BE A DISCUSSION OF THE REPORT AND A VOTE ON WHETHER OR NOT TO SUPPORT THE REPORT. ANYONE CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION, BUT YOU MUST HAVE PAID YOUR DUES TO VOTE.

3. Old Business:

a. Family Law Institute: Beth Erickson and Terry Romanoff Newman have agreed to present at the Institute. The topics are lined up and everything is going smoothly. The keynote speakers are confirmed. About 60% of the breakout sessions are confirmed.

b. Legislation:

· The is a proposal to repeal the statistical form. As was discussed a the November meeting, there was no opposition to this on the part of the section.

· There is some movement on antenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Although this section has opposed this because it is divorce planning. We asked for five or six concrete examples of how the proposed legislation will remedy proposed evils.

· Suzanne Born discussed proposed changes/replacement of Chapter 257A regarding the Standby/Temporary Custodian Act. The legislation allows a person to designate a temporary standby guardian. The guardianship is contingent on notification to a noncustodial parent who is given the opportunity to contest the guardianship. Currently, in Minnesota, it is not possible to designate a guardian when another parent whose rights have not been terminate is still living. Judge Klas moved to support the legislation, and her motion was seconded by Bruce Kennedy. The motion passed unanimously.

· Bruce Kennedy spoke regarding proposed changes to Minn. Stat. § 542.16 which would make the statute consistent with Minn. R. Civ. P. 63.03. There was some concern about the constitutionality of the changes based on separation of powers and the wisdom of going on the office. Bruce Kennedy made a motion to support the proposed changes, and his motion was seconded by Dan Ventres. The motion passed with two opposition votes and one abstention by Judge Klas.

· Pamela Wagoner proposed changes to Minn. Stat. § 518.156 that would prevent third parties with only tenuous connections to the child to petition for custody of the children. There was some concern that this would make it impossible for the "nice Aunt Tilly" types to come in and get custody of the children. Pamela Wagoner said that the proper route should be through child protection if there is no connection. Loretta Frederick said that she didn't like having it tied to residence. Steve Arnott moved to refer it back to the legislative committee, and Mark Gardener seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

· Bruce Kennedy introduced proposed changes to Minn. Stat. §518.171 subd. 1. The proposed changes would provide for allocation of medical and dental expenses, including insurance costs, based on each party's percentage of family income after transfer of child support and spousal maintenance. This would follow the same pattern as child car costs. This would eliminate the deduction for health insurance from the deductions under 518.551 and provide for the division of health insurance after application of guidelines. There were informal amendments to the proposed legislation. Bruce Kennedy moved to support it with the amendments. Don Enockson seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

c. Spousal Maintenance Calculation: Betsy Keyes reported that the spousal maintenance calculator is ready to go, including data on 2000 tax rates. The proceeds from the sale of the calculator will be split between the MSBA and the family section.

4. New Business: The person who prepares the notes and comments section on family law cases for the family law institute will not continue. Anybody interested in doing this work should contact Mary Jo Ruff at (612)942-7842.

5. Adjournment. Pete Taylor moved to adjourn, and his motion was seconded by Bruce Kennedy. The motion passed unanimously.


Family Law Section Minutes
October 9, 1999

Meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Chair Suzanne Born.

Legislative Committee
Steve Arnott, who was not present, had spoken with Ms. Born prior to the meeting to report that the child support guideline review was not going forward in the legislature this year.

ADR Committee
Gary Weissman reported that an all day ADR Institute (CLE) was scheduled for Monday, November 8, 1999.

Discussion was held regarding the apparent lack of ADR despite Rule 114 requiring alternative approaches to litigation, including family law. Discussion was also held on the effects of a repeal of the visitation expediter law.

Domestic Abuse Committee
Loretta Frederick reported that the Domestic Violence Coalition would be requesting a $50,000.00 grant from the McKnight Foundation to explore the establishment of several interactive computer monitors to assist individuals in filling out and filing domestic abuse paperwork. The computer monitors would be accessible at only a few physical sites, such as police stations or courthouses. The Domestic Violence Coalition seeks the grant to speak with lawyers and judges for their feedback on such a program.

Moved, seconded, and approved: to allow the Coalition to use the MSBA Family Law Section name in its request letter to the McKnight Foundation.

Publications
Suzanne Grandchamp reported that the publications were on schedule. The February 2000 Family Law Forum was hoping to provide a millennium issue which looked back at the past 100 years of family law. The July 2000 issue would be discussing tax issues inherent in family law.

Child Support Advisory Committee
Mark Gardner reported that the Child Support Rules Committee would be meeting later this month to discuss the expedited child support rules, which have been statutorily modified.

Paralegal Study
Bruce Kennedy reported that the request to the MSBA for a study on paralegals was denied.

Web Page
Betsy Keyes reported to Ms. Born that the MSBA had deferred our request for a web page update. Ms. Keyes indicated that this decision meant the update would probably be funded later this year.

Certification
There was extensive discussion regarding Minnesota family law trial advocacy specialist certification.
Moved, seconded, and approved: the Family Law Section would send a letter to the Minnesota Supreme Court in opposition to the Minnesota Board of Trial Advocacy certification process for family law. The letter would include a copy of the previous letter sent to the MBTA.

CLE Presentation
The CLE portion of the meeting consisted of two presentations: Fred Finch provided a historical perspective of the development of multidisciplinary practices, and Dan O'Connell discussed the effects multidisciplinary practices may have on the practice of family law. The presenters are members of the Minnesota State Bar Association committee currently analyzing this trend.

Mr. Finch set forth the rise of multidisciplinary practices with the large accounting firms. These firms realized that substantial revenue could be generated through consulting. In addition to providing business audits and tax return services, the accounting firms began providing packages of services encompassing every aspect of conducting business. This could include entire packages for meeting ADA requirements, affirmative action plans, or auditing internal efficiencies. More and more attorneys were then needed to "consult" on the various legal issues involved in providing these services. As to the issue of whether these firms, and their staff attorneys, are practicing law, the firms reason that their attorneys merely counsel other co-workers within the firm, who then provide the services to the actual client.

Mr. O'Connell discussed multidisciplinary practices as it relates directly to the practice of family law. Of concern were the ethical obligations placed on hypothetical members of a multidisciplinary firm, which may include an attorney, a psychologist, a real estate agent, and an accountant. Discussion was had as to whether referrals would be appropriate within such a firm, and how to overcome the potential need to call other firm members as witnesses in a lawsuit.
Please contact Mr. O'Connell at (612) 278-6307 if you have direct experience with multidisciplinary practices or opinions on the subject.

Amicus Brief
The issue was raised as to whether the Family Law Section should petition to submit an amicus brief in a post-decree matter. Under the facts of the Yunis case, pursuant to stipulation, the wife received permanent spousal maintenance of $600.00 per month which would end on her death, remarriage, or further order of the Court. The husband was a physician. Two significant changes occurred since the time of the judgment and decree. First, the wife inherited $360,000.00. Second, the wife became a professor, providing her with employment income which, when combined with her investment income, exceeded her needs. The Court of Appeals held that the stipulated spousal maintenance was indeed permanent, and would not be modified.

Moved, seconded, and approved: that the Section would petition for leave to submit a brief.

MSBA Professional Committee
The Committee would be asking delegates to adopt a series of professional aspirations. Such aspirations would be listed in the committee minutes for April 2000.

Other Matters
Discussion was held on a proposed $35.00 fee to any entity seeking certification to hold a CLE program. Ms. Born will review the proposal and draft a letter for review at the next Section meeting.

The request by Rita Steinhagen, which was made at the last section meeting was raised. No action was taken.

Adjourned 12:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John A. Mack, for
Shane M. Swanson, Secretary (who expressed his sincere appreciation for Mr. Mack's efforts in his absence)


Family Law Section Minutes
Annual Meeting in Duluth, MN
July 1, 1999

Prior to the Annual Meeting, there was a CLE presentation on Tribal and Family Courts, which was presented and attended by members of the Family Law Section, Children and the Law Section, and other experts. The participants at the CLE were quite impressed with the panel presentation and suggested that the same seminar be offered at the Family Law Institute in 2000 so more people could be exposed to the very valuable and fascinating information which the esteemed panelists presented. Loretta Frederick agreed to pass this suggestion along to the planning committee of the Family Law Institute.

At 4:15 p.m., the Annual Meeting of the Family Law Section was called to order by Chair Loretta Frederick. It was noted that the historically very low turnout of Family Law Section members for MSBA conventions was again evident. Only 5 members of the Section were present for the Annual Meeting.

In order to remedy this recurrent problem, the Section earlier agreed to decide at the 1999 annual meeting whether to amend the by laws to require that subsequent annual meetings be held in conjunction with the Family Law Institute instead of the Annual Meeting of the MSBA.
Accordingly, the chief order of business was disposition of a motion, made, seconded, and passed, to amend the bylaws "to require at annual meetings of the Family Law Section take place during the annual Family Law Institute."

The election results were read to and approved by the members in attendance:

Chair: Suzanne Born succeeded as Chair
Chair-Elect: Ann Schulz
Secretary: Shane Swanson
Treasurer: Donald Enockson
Legislative Coordinator: Steve Arnott
Publications: Suzanne Grandchamp
Metro Executive Committee Members: Mark Gardner and Nancy Mischel
Non-Metro Executive Committee Members: Margaret Erickson, Loretta Frederick, and Barbara Runchey

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Loretta Frederick
Past Chair, Family Law Section


Family Law Section Minutes
January 9, 1999

Meeting was called to order at 9:45 a.m. by Chair Loretta Frederick.

Moved, Seconded, and Approved: To approve the minutes of the December meeting.
Secretary Penas expressed his appreciation to Acting Secretary Ann Schultz for her
willingness to cover his absence.

Moved, Seconded. and Approved: To approve the report of Treasurer Don Enockson.
Treasurer reported that the balance in the Section treasury as of 31 October 1998 was
$54,471.44.

ADR Committee
Dan Ventres reported that the Supreme Court is in the process of organizing a list of ADR neutrals by jurisdiction. Lists of ADR neutrals are on the MSBA website, and soon the Family Law Section will list ADR neutrals who are members of the Section.

Child Support Advisory Committee
Mark Gardner reported. He expects a bill from Senator Foley which will remove child support proceedings from Office of Administrative Hearings and reintegrate them into district court. He urges the Section to prepare for a Section position on various proposals by beginning to analyze assertions raised in support of that position regarding the relative efficiencies of the administrative and judicial systems.

Suzanne Born will organize a balanced program to launch Section reflections on the matter.

There was extensive discussion of questions regarding the ALJ system for child support proceedings.

Certification
Dan Ventres reported. The proposal to Minnesota by the National Board of Trial Advocacy to develop certification in the area of family law litigation is a part of an effort by the NBTA to establish such a certification in every state. The Section has not been understood by the Certification committee of the MSBA/Supreme Court to oppose the general approach of the NBTA proposal, which is to push a litigation model for family law specialists. He stressed the importance of the Section Committee's developing an alternative proposal to the NBTA's.

Discussion focused on the NBTA proposal for a family-law litigation specialty as opposed to a family-law specialty which did not focus on litigation. The latter approach seems generally closer to the policy of the state regarding family law matters.

Contact Dan Ventres to join in the work of his Committee. Contact Loretta Frederick to help develop a definition of "family law" which will guide the development and consideration of a family law specialty.

Parental Cooperation Task Force
No report.

Domestic Abuse Committee
Loretta Frederick reported. The Committee has a draft of the tool they have developed for analyzing proposals or dealing with domestic violence (bills, programs, policies, etc.) to determine what impact they have on children. The instrument is intended to be usable by anyone.

Moved. Seconded. and Approved: That the Section approve use of the outline development by the Domestic Abuse Committee for analyzing policy and program proposals as to their affect on children.

CLE Presentation
Legislative Update

1. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act has been proposed to replace the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. The proposal in Minnesota duplicates the model act proposed to harmonize the UCCJA and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act.

In the view of the Legislation Committee, the proposed substantive changes (e.g., establishing a homes state preference to establish jurisdiction for custody and attention to American Indian issues) are good.

Moved, Seconded, and Approved: That the Section support passage of the UCCJEA.

2. Probate and Trust Section's proposal for post-nuptial agreements. The Section reaffirms its earlier action finding no compelling reason for the amendment. Discussion suggested repealing prior legislation which this proposal seeks to fix.

3. Proposal to establish cause of action in tort for victims of domestic abuse. This duplicates the bill the Section endorsed last year.

4. There is discussion of a proposal to establish a Standby Guardian for children. This would provide for voluntary temporary guardianship. There is the need to investigate the tax implications of such a law: For example, would the temporary guardian be allowed the tax deduction for the child/ren? Would insurance carriers be required to add such child/ren to the guardian's insurance (as the carriers would be required to do if the adult adopted the child/ren)?

5. More judges. The court system wants more judges. Statistics distributed at the meeting demonstrate that family-law matters (exclusive of post-decree and administrative proceedings!) take more judicial time than all other cases (criminal and civil) combined.

Consensus of the Section is that the need is for family-court judges and for judges with background in family law practice.

Business Mattters

Moved, Seconded, and Approved: That Section dues be lowered to $30 per year.

Moved, Seconded, and Approved: That Legal Services attorneys be assessed dues at one-half the annual rate and that public attorneys be assessed dues at three-quarters the annual rate. This parallels the dues structure of the MSBA.

The ad hoc committee to consider finances for the Section will investigate provisions for attorneys who are newly admitted to the Bar and for student associate members.

Convention: Section will hold one last annual meeting at the Convention before moving the venue for that meeting to the Family Law Institute. Dates are June 30 through July 2.

House of Delegates: Encouragement for anyone who is interested to volunteer to join the House of Delegates. Most counties have open seats.

Proposal: Gary Debele wrote to urge the Section to attempt to collate the family law of the thirteen Minnesota American Indian/Native American bands.
Mark Gardner spoke passionately about the need to do this. Contact either Gary Debele or Mark Gardner to express your interest.

Future Meetings: The Section will meet in March but not in April

Letter from Department of Defense: The DoD seeks a review in all fifty states of the federal former-spouses protection laws. Steve Arnott will oversee efforts to cooperate in this matter.

CLE: Moved, Seconded, and Approved that the Section support providing CLE credit to attendees of sessions even if the attendees are not physically present for the CLE. Thus, for example, teleconferences would qualify.

Answer to Question: The proposed pamphlet setting out visitation guidelines is not yet available. No one at the meeting knew when it would be available.

Respectfully submitted,

Dwight J. Penas, Secretary
Phone: 612-373-0007
Fax: 612-373-0008


Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
December 12, 1998

Loretta Frederick called the meeting to order at approximately 9:30 a. m.

The minutes for the November meeting were approved. Ann Schulz was appointed temporary secretary in the absence of Dwight Penas, Secretary.

Treasurer Don Enochson reported that the Section had approximately $36,490.00 in the bank.

Dan Simon discussed the book The Promise of Mediation by Robert Bush and recommended it as a resource, especially if one has had a bad experience regarding mediation.

Mary Lauhead reported on behalf of the Amicus Committee that the Section would not be making an oral argument for the Santoro case which is scheduled for oral argument before the Minnesota Supreme Court in early January 1999.

Ann Schulz reported that the next issue of the Family Law Forum to be distributed in February 1999 would not be a theme issue but would include miscellaneous articles of interest.

Ms. Schulz also reported that Lapin Agile Software, Inc. had offered to sell Kidmate to Family Law Section members at the following reduced costs as follows as a benefit of membership in the Family Law Section of the MSBA:

 

Single-User units, usually available for $450.00, would be available to FLS members for $350.00.
Network User Site Licenses, usually available for $1,299.00 for 3-4 users, would be available to FLS members for $1,010.00.
Network User Site Licenses, usually available for $2,050.00 for 5-7 users, would be available to ITS members for $1,595.00.
Network User Site Licenses, usually available for $3,060.00 for 8+ users, would be available to FLS members for $2,380.00.

Ms. Schulz moved that this offer be made a part of the benefits of membership for the Family Law Section and that in exchange, Lapin Agile Software, Inc. be allowed to obtain the names and addresses of Family Law Section members to inform the members of this offer with a single mailing. This motion passed 24 to 1.

Loretta Frederick reported that the Domestic Abuse Committee planned to meet January 8. 1999 from 2-4 p. m. in the Midtown Commons on University Avenue to finalize the tool which will help policy and legislators assess the impact of the policies and/or legislation on children when there is domestic abuse.

Mark Gardner reported on behalf of the Child Support Advisory Committee that there are two (2) other important committees which are dealing with child support. One is the Child Support Guidelines Review Task Force which is reviewing child support guidelines and plans to make a report to the Minnesota Legislature in approximately two (2) years. The next meeting of this Task Force is December 14, 1998 in Metro Square. The other committee is the Administrative Process Successor Committee headed by Sue Dosal which plans to meet December 15, 1998.

Dan Ventres agreed to head the Family Law Certification Committee. Additional volunteers signed up at this meeting.

Loretta Frederick reported that the Parental Cooperation Task Force will be asking Family Law Section members to complete short surveys intended to help the Task Force focus the issues.

Ms. Frederick also recommended that the Family Law Section invite other sections to the Family Law Section meeting at the MSBA convention which will be held in Duluth, Minnesota in 1999. The members approved this unanimously.

Ms. Frederick reported that the Human Rights Committee is soliciting support for legislation which would create a cause of action in tort for domestic abuse. Interested persons should contact Loretta Frederick at 507/452-5472.

Ms. Frederick announced that the Family Law Institute is planned for March 29 and 30, 1999 at the Radisson Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota.

CLE Presentation
The CLE portion of the meeting consisted of two (2) presentations: Marketplace Home Mortgage LLC discussed some of the newer opportunities in home mortgages and Steve Aarnot, Legislative Chair, reviewed some of the current legislative proposals and asked for guidance from the members. Marketplace not only obtains loans for those with good credit but also tries to work with people with credit problems to txy to guide debtors into financial practices which will hopefully lead the debtor into a better credit situation.

Mr. Aarnot discussed the Probate the Trust Law Section's proposed changes to Minnesota Statute 519.11 which would allow married couples to enter into binding agreements which could amend antenoptial or postnuptial agreements. Members were concerned that this could be too easily used as a "divorce planningT technique by overreaching spouses. The members voted 13 - 12 to send this legislation back to the Legislative Committee for redrafling to address this concern.

Mr. Aarnot discussed the proposed Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act The members unanimously requested that this proposed legislation be returned to the Legislative Committee to note the differences between 51 8A and this legislation.

At approximately 12:30 p. m. Ms. Frederick adjourned the meeting.


Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
November 14, 1998

Meeting was called to order by Acting Chair Suzanne Born at 9:36 a.m.

Loretta Frederick (reporting by phone despite her obvious illness):
a. Loretta will respond to a request to present information about real estate financing.
b. Friday, January 15, has been set for the mid-year meeting of the Board of Governors.
c. Discussed distribution of a survey at the Family Law Institute to try to determine how to encourage active involvement in section meetings by section members.

Certification
Beth Sommerville reported on a proposed certification in family law. The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) has applied to the State Board of Legal Certification to administer a specialist program in family law.

Moved, seconded, and approved: That the Family Law Section opposes turning certification in family law over to the NBTA and that, if the State Board decides to establish a family law specialization, the Family Law Section should and is willing to handle the administration of the program.

Discussion: How much effort is required to draft the exams and to handle the rest of the work? The Real Property Section administers the Real Property specialist program.

Treasurer's Report
Year to date revenue totals approximately $20,000, with expenses totally approximately $2,000.

ADR Committee
a. The Minnesota ADR Deskbook is now available.
b. XIV Journal & Dig. Family Law no. 2 (1997) focuses on ADR processes in family law.

Amicus Committee
The Santoro case is before the Supreme Court. It is not yet clear whether Mary Catherine Lauhead will be allowed time from the parties' lawyers to make the Section's argument.

Publications
The next issue of Family Law Forum, which deals with custody, is in press. The following issue will contain a miscellany of articles relevant to the profession.

Legislation
There is not much pending. There is a movement afoot to "fix" the administrative process. There are some questions circulating about the unauthorized practice of law by child support officers. There was discussion of a proposed rule on frivolous lawsuits by pro se litigants and the effect such a rule would have on domestic abuse actions and of the constitutionality of such a proposed approach.

Child Support Advisory Committee
There is room for additional Section members to be involved.

Appellate Rules Committee
The work of the Committee has ended.

Judicial Elections Committee
The work of the Committee has ended.

Parental Cooperation Task Force
The work is on-going, though its focus has narrowed. The current concerns are these three: Alternatives, Fiscal issues, Effectiveness.

Domestic Violence Committee
The Subcommittee developing guidelines for evaluating legislation and public policy for its effects on children affected by domestic violence is nearing the end of its work. It expects to have a "tool" available soon. The next meeting for evaluating the instrument will be on 8 January 1999, Midway Office Complex, 2324 University Avenue, Saint Paul, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Business
1. Moved, seconded, and approved to discontinue the use of telephone conferencing for Section meetings. We shall continue to explore ways of encouraging out-state members to participate.

2. Moved, seconded, and approved that Loretta Frederick write the Chief Judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings to commend the work of Bev Anderson.

CLE Presentation
A Proposal to Eliminate the Dollar Limit on Ante-Nuptial Contract Law
with speakers Bill Mullin, Judith Younger, and Dale Schoonover

N.B.: Copies of the proposed statute were not provided at this meeting. As a consequence, my notes reflect my limited ability to relate what I remembered of the statute to the speakers' comments.

The issue is consistency in the law with fairness for all. To highlight some of the failures of contemporary law: The $1.2 million requirement for post-nuptial contracts requires parties to have $1.2 million if they wish to revoke a pre-marital agreement. The current law prevents agreement to increase child support. The proposal would allow for agreement to pay more than statutory guidelines and to commit to support for a party's non-biological child or for college expenses of children.

Judith Younger considers the proposal "a very benign little statute." The post-nuptial law is inconsistent with the pre-marital statute. Many states have expanded and/or applied the Uniform Premarital Property Agreement Act to post-nuptial agreements.

The current statute is not necessarily great, but the proposal improves it.

The proposal provides a compromise between the requirement of an opportunity for counsel and the requirement of two attorneys. It provides, in essence, for a "goosed up waiver."

Respectfully submitted,
Dwight J. Penas, Secretary


Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
October 10, 1998

Meeting was called to order at a.m. by Chair Loretta Frederick.

Treasurer's Report
We have approximately $55,000 in our account.

ADR Committee
1. The Supreme Court's approved list of ADR providers is on the internet. We still intend to list
(on the Section's web page?) the ADR providers who are Section members.
2. In preparation is an ADR Deskbook. This should be available in the first week of November. It will be introduced at a CLE. It will also be available for separate purchase.
3. Gary Weissman wonders why ADR has had so little impact on family law practice and why the application of Rule 114 to family law has resulted in so few changes in family law practice. There is also very little use of ADR modes other than mediation. This calls for discussion among the Section members.

Domestic Abuse Committee
The Committee continues to work on the instrument for analyzing proposed legislation on children who are affected by domestic abuse. The next meeting of the working group is on November 6.

Amicus Committee
No report.

Legislation Committee
Several issues require attention: a. Covenant marriage seems not to be destined to go away. b. A proposed probate bill will be the subject of next month's CLE.

For next month's agenda
Discussion of relationship between MSBA convention and the Family Law Institute meetings. Questions re: Institute: Lunch first day; evening first day; breakout sessions. Certification for family law specialty (Certification Manager will attend next meeting).

Information
Parental Cooperation Task Force has added Maria Pastoor to its membership. If you want to provide input to the Task Force, address your concerns to Suzanne Born.

Bev Anderson is leaving as head ALJ soon. It is not known who will replace her.

MSBA Board of Governors set up committee to address inaccurate and unjust criticism of judges. Mary Drummer volunteered and was appointed to serve as the Section representative.

Gender Fairness Implementation Committee wants to know whether FINPlan has had an effect on maintenance awards.

Respectfully submitted (with thanks to Mary Drummer for covering the second half of the meeting),

Dwight J. Penas
Secretary


Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
September 12, 1998

Meeting was called to order at 9:40 a.m. by Chair Loretta Frederick.

Judicial Elections
No report.

Legislation
Proposed changes to M.S. § 609.26 (see attached) have sponsors in the legislature. Moved, seconded, and approved: opposed proposed changes to Minn. Stat. §609.26 as unnecessary given federal law and subdivision 1(1), contrary to the interests of battered women, and grammatically untenable.

There is a working group for "fixing" the ALJ system for child support. Moved, seconded, and approved to urge Sue Dosal, the Office of Administrative Hearings, and the Department of Human Services to expand the working group on Administrative Process to include representatives of the Family law Section and of other stakeholders.

Treasurer's Report
We have substantial funds - by the time dues are paid, in excess of approximately probably of $60,000. Moved, seconded, and approved that Suzanne Born chair a subcommittee to analyze the state of Section funds and propose uses for those funds.

ADR Committee
No report.

Domestic Abuse Committee
The Committee continues to work on the instrument for analyzing proposed legislation on children who are affected by domestic abuse. It also plans to help produce a guide on how to pick an attorney who is sensitive to issues of domestic violence.

Amicus Committee
See CLE.

Publications
Next issue is on custody.

Moved, seconded, and approved to employ someone (probably a law student) to develop an index to the Family Law Forum. The rate of pay will be $10 per hour, to a total of $500.

William Mitchell currently keeps all copies of the Family Law Forum on hand.

Institute
Per Suzanne Born, it is not too early to consider suggestions for enhancing the Family Law Institute. "The days of same-old/same-old are past." We need to consider outside speakers, newcomers, and the like.

CLE Presentation
The Santoro Amicus Report or How I Spent My Summer
with speaker Michael Dittberner

Michael Dittberner provided in-depth review of the facts and issues in the Santoro appeal.
The case involves grandparents' visitation. The amicus committee urged the Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court's affirmation of the trial court. The committee noted egregious procedural missteps in urging reversal.

Copies of the amicus brief (in toto and argument section only) are available from Heather Sia.

New Business
It is time to put the issue of teleconferencing the Section meeting on the section's agenda.

Respectfully submitted,

Dwight J. Penas
Secretary


Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
June 25, 1998

The appellate decision finding the administrative child support process unconstitutional was discussed. We discussed whether to file an appellate brief. The regular amicus committee members were not interested.

The proposed slate of officers for 1998-1999 was approved.

The past year's officers were honored and presented with gifts.

The presentation about opening up Juvenile Court is summarized below:

CLE Presentation
Report on the Progress of the Joint Committee on Children and Domestic Violence

1. Exercise: Loretta Frederick and Judge Mary Louise Klas
The group identified issues related to children and domestic violence raised by proposed policy or laws. Participants listed several examples of polices or laws which have been proposed or could be proposed, and which could have an impact on children involved in domestic violence.

2. Mission of the Joint Committee: Loretta Frederick
Ms. Fredrick outlines the mission and structure of the joint committee. The faculty summarized the results of the research done thus far by the committee, including information obtained in the course of a recent presentation by Dr. Jeff Edelson, on the effects of domestic violence on children. Much of the research data tends to point policy makers towards (and some away from) some of the most common public policy proposals seen in Minnesota and elsewhere in the US. Recent Minnesota legislation, including the examination of the definition of the definition of "child maltreatment" as including "exposure to domestic violence," may have positive intentions and negative outcomes.

3. Draft guidelines on examination of proposed public policy affecting children involved in domestic violence cases: Mary Louise Klas and Loretta Frederick
Upon distribution and discussion of the most recent guidelines being developed by the Joint Committee, the participants were asked to use the tool to evaluate one proposed law. The purpose of the exercise is to test the efficacy of the tool at its current draft stage, to expose the participants to the notion of policy evaluation, and to permit participants to comment on the draft.



Family Law Section Meeting Minutes
February 14, 1998

Meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m. by Chair Bruce Kennedy. This was the second meeting of the Section that involved teleconferencing technology.

Treasurer's Report
We have a balance of approximately $49,000.

ADR
No news.

Amicus Committee
No report.

Publications
Spousal maintenance issue should be out any day. Ann Schultz requested, and it was moved, seconded, and approved to grant her permission to work with Minnesota CLE to recognize authors of newsletter articles at the Family Law Institute.

Child Support Advisory
At recent meeting, members discussed the Dawkins bill and the administrative child support bill. There will be discussion at the next meeting on general issues of child support delivery.

Conference of Chief Judges
No report.

Guardian ad Litem
No news.

Visitation Task Force
No report.

Appellate Rules
The final version is almost ready. It will go to the Supreme Court within four to six weeks.

Judicial Elections Task Force
No news.

Domestic Abuse Committee
Committee will be meeting over several months to study the effects of domestic violence on children and to develop policy for addressing those effects. The goal is to develop guidelines or factors to guide policymakers (e.g., to be able to propose, support, or analyze legislation - e.g., the recent effort to classify domestic abuse in the presence of a child as a felony). The next meeting is on 30 March at 4:00 p.m. The site of the meeting is likely to be at Hamline University. Details are available from Loretta Frederick.

Legislation
Extensive discussion on the House omnibus bill. The bill includes a greatly reduced ("watered down") Dawkins bill. The DHS attempts technical corrections. One provision troubled many people - viz., the provision for a pilot of the Dawkins approach, which could be implemented in a judicial district by the majority vote of the judges of that district. That raises political, practical, and constitutional problems.

Moved, seconded, and approved to oppose this draft of the bill at Articles 2 and 3 (parenting plans) on numerous grounds, including but not limited to the concern that it is unconstitutional.

Rep. Knight has proposed to establish "covenant marriage" as a second "classification" of marriage. HF 2760. The bill did not come out of committee this year, but it is there and will return next session.

Announcements
The MSBA Home Page is up. Each section either will have or has its own page. Family Law Section has one up and running. Check it out.

Family Law Institute
April 6-7, 1998.

CLE Presentation
Dealing with Difficult Clients
Nancy Zalusky Berg, Presenter

It is important for lawyers to take care of themselves in order to be effective. Set boundaries for yourself and for the client. Figure out what you can control and what you can't and work with what you can. Do the best you can and remember that it's not your fault. Make choices to protect yourself.

Work to develop good communications skills - such as active listening.

Find your own way to deal with victims and victimizers. Remember that both may be in "roles." When dealing with victims, accept their reality as meaningful and important, but not necessarily as "real." Be understanding, not solicitous.

Get into therapy and get your clients into therapy. Meet with your client and his/her therapist.

New business
Mark Gardner will investigate an inquiry from Miller-Davis about their interest in developing family law forms on disk (etc.?) in collaboration with the Family Law Section -in an arrangement similar to that the company has with the Real Property Section for real estate forms.

What should the price be for the new edition of the Maintenance Calculator? Two concerns: we want to get it into as many hands as possible. It is making the Section too rich. (There has been expression of concern that "some sections" of the MSBA are carrying balances that are too high.)

Ann Barker will be leading a session on diversity in family law (gender bias in family practice) and welcomes suggestions. She refuses to get a fax or E-Mail, but you may phone or snail-mail your ideas to her.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00 noon.

Respectfully submitted,

Dwight. Penas
Secretary

- Last Updated 06/17/2013 -