Note from the Editors
By Mike Boulette and Adam T. Johnson
Welcome to the 2012-2013 winter edition of Hearsay. We at Hearsay are excited about this issue and the year ahead for the Minnesota bar. Hearsay is dedicated to publishing the finest work by Minnesota’s new lawyers. In this issue, you will find articles and commentary from a broad spectrum of Minnesota’s new legal practitioners. 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
I just got back from Dallas, Texas. Actually myself along with eight other Minnesota new lawyers just returned from the trip together. It was the ABA Mid-Year Meeting and we were attending the meeting of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. The Assembly of the Young Lawyers Division convened. Resolutions were debated, outstanding young lawyers were recognized, "big ABA" officers spoke, and future plans were put into place. Our own Jennifer Daugherty is the Speaker of the Assembly this year, and she did an excellent job presiding. I find myself excited to be a lawyer and energized to do the work of the bar association! Read more...
10 Practical Pointers for New Associates
By Brian Christiansen and Emily Menchaca
Transitioning from law student to new associate is not easy. Anyone who says otherwise is probably lying (or, perhaps, out of touch with reality). New associates face a host of new challenges when they begin the practice of law, including billable hours, marketing, navigating law firm culture, and, at the risk of sounding obvious, practicing law. Virtually the only way new associates learn how to become successful lawyers is through experience—trial and error. Read more...
A View From Slightly Below the Bench
By Wyatt Arneson
Do you remember the feeling you had before your first law school exam? It was a pretty nerve wracking experience for many reasons. However, the main reason was because it was our first law school exam and none of us really knew what the professor was looking for. Read more...
Handling The Midnight Call: What Every Attorney Should Know
By Jeremy Kaschinske and Christina Zauhar
Whether you practice family law, civil litigation or “haven’t practiced law since 2000,” every attorney should be prepared to take a midnight phone call from a friend, family member, or client who has been arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. Read more...
Thou Shall Not Spank
By Nicole A. Nichols and Cat Turner
Over 94% of American parents have used some form of corporal punishment, including spanking, to discipline their children.1 The use of such acts in the home as disciplinary measures for children is widely accepted in American society.2 Yet, spanking, slapping, hitting, paddling, or whipping an adult is an assault (or if occurring between people in a special relationship, domestic assault). While corporal punishment is generally accepted, the competing interests of child welfare versus parental freedom are shifting in American society, erring on the side of caution to keep children safe from harm inflicted by parents. Read more...
The New Lawyer’s Guide to Utilizing Coaching to Achieve Career Success
By Dr.Artika R. Tyner
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...
A Bizarre Quirk of Minnesota Homicide Law
By Evan Weiner
Even lawyers who have never practiced criminal law are probably familiar with the concept of intentional manslaughter. As the professor who taught my first year criminal law class said, intentional manslaughter is a “concession to human weakness.” It provides for a lesser sentence than murder for intentional homicides committed in the heat-of-passion after extreme provocation by the victim. In Minnesota, it is codified at Minn. Stat. § 609.20 subd. 1. Read more...
Navigating Your First Appeal
By Shauna M. Verheyen
Working on your first appeal can be intimidating. I know I was quite intimidated, particularly when I found out my first Minnesota Supreme Court oral argument was going to take place at the University of Minnesota Law School with an auditorium full of people. As a new lawyer, I was even more intimidated when I learned opposing counsel was a distinguished practitioner who focused exclusively in appellate litigation and had previously clerked for the Honorable Warren E. Burger, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Whether you represent the appellant or respondent, here are some practical tips for new lawyers to successfully navigate the appellate process. Read more...
For Every Rule There Is An Exception: Why Confirmatory Opt-Out Text Messages Do Not Violate the TCPA
By Sondra R. Levine
Although not an entirely new development, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) November 29, 2012 ruling (FCC No. 12-143)i which reiterated that a single, confirmatory text in response to an opt-out request does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), has created a flurry of activity among lawyers, the Mobile Marketing Association (“MMA”), and SMS marketers who have been frantically blogging, writing, and sending alerts to one another with updates on the latest ruling. While sending a confirmatory opt-out response has long been an accepted practice in email and direct mail marketing campaigns, the uncertainty of the TCPA’s application to such practices in mobile marketing campaigns made the practice questionable, if not a downright risky practice prior to this ruling. Read more...
Top 10 Tips for New Lawyers to Work and Play Well with Others
By Letty M-S Van Ert
Congratulations, learned colleagues! You have graduated from law school, survived the bar exam, and either have gotten a job or you are practicing on your own. You have accomplished a great deal at this point and I commend you. However, even before the ink has dried on your law license, you quickly have to figure out how to succeed in the “real world.” A part of that success is learning the ropes in terms of working with staff, partners, court personnel, and opposing counsel. Developing good working relationships with all of these players will make day-to-day practice a lot more satisfying, efficient, and even fun. Below are ten rules that will help. Read more...
The Mid-Level Transition
By David Faith
The first couple years of practice at a firm are on one level very difficult. You have to learn new skills, new law, and how to deal with new colleagues in an unfamiliar environment. But on another level, those years are simple. Learn your trade, make your hours, and that’s all that most firms expect. Most firms don’t expect you to develop a specialty practice right off the bat, let alone a book of business built around that practice. But one day you wake up and realize that you’re a mid-level associate, and that in order to get from here to what’s next, you have some choices to make. This is the time when you start laying the groundwork to either make partner or to take your career in another direction. How are you going to distinguish yourself from the crowd? How do you go from an employee to a future owner? Read more...
The New Lawyer: Avoiding Pitfalls and Achieving Success
By Brandon M. Schwartz
To complete law school, obtain your Juris Doctor, and pass the Bar Exam takes discipline and the ability to juggle many different requirements: school work, personal life, and employment responsibilities are just a few of the balls in the air during those stressful times. While the time management skills necessary to successfully complete law school and pass the Bar Exam are definitely beneficial in the actual practice of law, filing deadlines, selfimposed deadlines, client deadlines, partner deadlines, and difficult opposing counsel ratchet up the stress level on new lawyers. Trying to meet all of these deadlines with briefs, memorandums, or letters which meet and exceed expectations can at times seem like never-ending and daunting tasks. Attempting to meet all of these deadlines and take on more and more tasks while confronting contentious opposing counsel often times forces lawyers to rush through the profession in an unfulfilling and stressful manner. Read more...
How to Be High Tech on a Low Budget
By Carly Schaps
There is no question that the world we live in today is high tech. Software like Perfect Law, Clio, Abacus, and Firm Manager promise to maximize law firm probability by cutting down on administrative costs. Even perennial powerhouses Lexis Nexis and Thomson Reuters have their hats in the ring with Juris and ProLaw, respectively. All of this software sounds pretty cool but for a solo or small practitioner or a small nonprofit, it can be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there are free or low cost alternatives for much of this software that will do similar things for a fraction of the costs. Read more...
Adam T Johnson
What Everyone Should Do On Their 18th Birthday
Thursday, March 14