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Volume XV | Issue 2



Note from the Editors

By Mike Boulette and Adam T. Johnson

Welcome to Hearsay, a magazine that, despite its name, has yet to draw a single objection. We at Hearsay are dedicated to publishing the finest work by Minnesota’s new (and arguably new) lawyers. In this issue, you will find articles and commentary ranging in topic from the Defense of Marriage Act to the risks and rewards of office sharing. If you are interested in submitting to a future edition of Hearsay, or if you have questions about the magazine, please contact editors Mike Boulette or Adam T. Johnson.

Greetings from the Chair

Greetings New Lawyers!
By Samuel Edmunds

We want you to get involved in the New Lawyers Section! The opportunities here are plentiful. Whether you want to get involved in a committee, become a committee chair, section liaison, or delegate to a national ABA conference, or even get on the New Lawyers Section officer leadership track, the possibilities are here. Please contact me anytime to discuss. Read more...


Office Sharing – Risk v. Reward
By Angie Hoppe

In these uncertain economic times, attorneys are more and more seeking to reduce overhead costs. This is especially true for new attorneys who may not have a surplus of financial resources. Office sharing is appealing due to its cost effectiveness. Office sharing can also be beneficial as it provides close proximity to other attorneys and professionals with whom an attorney may give and receive referral business. If you choose to office share, it is important to be aware of possible risks and take steps to create clear boundaries for your business. The two main dangers associated with sharing office space are vicarious liability and protecting client confidentiality. Read more...

Employee Benefit Plans and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate: The effect of a First Circuit decision that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is Unconstitutional
Michael Joliat

Who is married, and who is a spouse? These are important questions to employee benefits plans regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as many of the benefits to which employees are entitled may be extended to a spouse. In the health plan context, for instance, spouses are usually eligible for benefits equivalent to those extended to employees. This significantly enhances the cost of covering an employee. As a result, a change in the definitions of marriage and spouse that enlarges the class of people who are spouses would affect employers and other plan sponsors, who bear the ultimate burden of paying for these benefits. A recent decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals that the Federal definition of marriage is unconstitutional may foreshadow just such a change. Read more...

Honing Your Craft: A List of Do’s and Don’ts for Effective Negotiations
By Sondra R. Levine

As with any skill, there are some people who are good at negotiating, and there are others who are bad at negotiating. While some people thrive on the challenge of a negotiation, others shutter at the mere thought of it. Despite these differences, one thing remains constant: there is always room for improvement. In the book NEGOTIATION GENIUS, Harvard Professors Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman address several mistakes commonly made in negotiations: Read more...

Emerging Legal Jobs and the Future of the Legal Field
By Geno Randono

Like most students, I always knew the path to becoming a lawyer involved graduating from law school, passing the bar, and finding a legal job. However, more and more recent graduates are finding the hardest part of that equation is finding a job, and many are not even finding a legal job at all. As a graduate of the class of 2011, the cutbacks of the last couple of years have particularly impacted my class. Read more...

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: A Story of Cautious Optimism
Ashley J. Roth

A central theme in the immigration debate has centered on the fate of young immigrants whose parents brought them to the United States. Bright-eyed youth rallied for the chance to become a part of the country they called home, and the idea of deporting youth who had no control over the decision to enter the United States did not sit well with even some of the staunchest immigration opponents. A much more difficult question was what the government should actually do about the dilemma. Over the years, numerous bills attempting to provide young immigrants with a form of legal status were proposed and rejected in Congress. On June 15, 2012, President Obama’s Administration decided to take a step toward a solution. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced a prosecutorial discretion policy, which is intended to provide a temporary fix for thousands of undocumented youth. Read more...

The New Lawyer View From the Small Firm World
Sarah Odegaard

New lawyers practicing in small firms are often saddled with increased responsibility, often taking on higher level tasks at a faster pace than their counterparts at a larger firm. With limited lawyer resources available in small firms, senior lawyers look to new associates to take on high stakes tasks. In my own experience, I started taking depositions within my first year of practice, and now, four years out of law school, regularly handle the entirety of a case without extensive supervision. It is in these small firm environments that a new lawyer must tread with extra care. This article will paint a picture of the life of a new lawyer at a small firm, and offer tips for the new lawyer to thrive in a small firm environment. Read more...

Hearsay Editors:

Michael Boulette

Adam T Johnson


Upcoming Events

Custody Basics: Splitting the Baby
Thursday, November 8
MSBA Offices

A Conversation with Hennepin County District Court Judge Bruce Peterson
December 13, 2012
4:30-5:30 (note time change!)

CLE followed by Section Council Meeting and Happy Hour!

Call For Authors!
Deadline December 15


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