MN Wild


Family Law Section


Family Law Forum | Vol. 24 No. 2 | Spring 2016

by User Not Found | May 03, 2016

Letter from the Editor

“True wisdom is knowing what you don't know” Confucius

As family law practitioners, it is important to know when your client will benefit from bringing in a neutral or expert to help with the case. Part of your role as your client’s advocate is knowing when it is appropriate to bring in someone with more expertise on a subject. An expert can ensure that you and your client understand a certain aspect of the case and often helps move the case toward settlement. Additionally, hiring an expert may be more cost effective for your client as the expert can produce a more thorough and speedy result because of her knowledge on the subject. 

This edition of the Family Law Forum includes articles discussing financial experts, receiverships, Qualified Domestic Relationship Orders, and appraisals.

Our next publication will focus on starting and managing your family law firm.  If you are interested in writing an article on this topic, please contact Krista Schneider at

Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcomed and encouraged. We also welcome your suggestions for future topics!  We continue to work toward the goal of making the Family Law Forum a valuable benefit to you in your practice of family law.

Have a great summer,

Krista Schneider and Emily Peterson
Publication Co-Chairs


The Art of Working with Financial Experts

By: Perry Long and Lee Novelli

As family law matters get more complicated, practitioners with extensive experience and knowledge in family law may find it necessary to consult with or retain financial experts in order to meet their ethical duties to provide competent representation to their clients and to avoid malpractice claims. A lawyer is professionally obligated to provide competent representation to a client, which requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. See Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The decision of whether to retain a financial expert, and when to do so, is multi-faceted and depends on numerous factors such as the attorney’s level of experience, the complexity of the issues, the specific needs of the client, the stage of litigation, how alternative dispute resolutions will be employed, and expectations for litigation.

Deciding when and how to employ a financial expert in a dissolution is less of a
mathematical formula and more of an art. There are, however, some necessary considerations that an attorney should analyze while contemplating retaining a financial expert, which include: competency, scope of appointment, expert selection, timing, trial issues, and cost benefit considerations. Read more....

A Neutral Appraisal Provides Accurate Valuation to Fairly Divide Marital Equity

By: Julie Jeffrey Schwartz

Using Others to Get that QDRO to the Finish Line

By: Thomas M. Hughes

The Roles Receivers Play in Family Law Matters

By: Edward Kautzer and Matthew Wildes

Child Inclusive Mediation

By: Kirsten Lysne and Anne Tressler

Working with Financial Experts

By: Jennifer L. Loeffler and Corey J. O’Connell

Annual Report

MSBA Family Law Section
Annual Report

Section Membership
As of June 19, 207, the Section has 997 members.

Financial Status
The Section had an account balance of $52,736.99 as of May 31, 2017.

CLEs & Events
The Section hosted 9 CLE programs in fiscal year 2016-17. 

Program Title


Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

Ethical Pitfalls in Family Law



1 Ethics


20 Technology Tips for Making You More Productive



1 Law Office Management


Standards of Practice for Custody Evaluations



1 Standard


Chronic Stress, Trauma, Mental Health and Addiction in the Legal Profession



1 Elimination of Bias



Interstate Child Support and Child Custody Matters



1 Standard


The Impact of Retirement on Spousal Maintenance



1 Standard


Legislative Update



1 Standard


When Your Client is Impaired – Addiction, Mental Health and Other Issues for Attorneys



1 Elimination of Bias



Family Court Enhancement Project – Improving Access to Justice



1 Standard




Annual Meeting and Election Results
The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on May 13, 2017 and 48 people attended.

The following council members were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 2017 to 2018:

Mary Lauhead
Michael Dittberner
Rana Alexander
Tami Peterson
Niecie Strand
Amy Sauter
Victoria Taylor
Michael Boulette
Pete Radosevich
Karen Kugler
Tiffane Wolter
Jill Meyer

The following officers were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 2017 to 2018:

Chair: Sara Runchey
Vice Chair: W. Bradley Frago
Secretary: Shannon Wachter
Treasurer: Ryan Anderson
Past Chair: Margaret Erickson

Diversity and Inclusion 
We continue to discuss inclusion, and we welcome suggestions from members and others to improve our diversity.

Meetings are held in an accessible space. We offer remote participation as an option at monthly meetings, so that distance, disability, or other obstacles are less likely to be barriers.  The CLE offerings are planned so that brand-new attorneys as well as those with years of experience can learn something.

Two Elimination of Bias credits were offered at monthly section meetings. Attendees at the Family Law Institute could earn up to three EOB credits at that event, where the keynote speaker, Justice Anne McKeig, the first Minnesota Supreme Court Justice of Native American heritage, described how her own background shaped her approach to her later work in child protection and Indian Child Welfare Act cases.

Institute attendees were reminded to fill out the demographic data at if they were MSBA members (and encouraged to join if they were not).

Other Section Accomplishments
The Section can be proud of the work of its committees: the Amicus committee monitors appellate decisions and keeps members informed of significant case law. The committee authored one Amicus brief this year. The Domestic Abuse committee meets to discuss protecting victims of violence. Committee members participate in writing and publishing articles and co-presenting CLE events. The Legislation committee keeps members current on pending and proposed legislation, and coordinates with the MSBA’s lobbyists to advance the Section’s position on various bills. The Publications committee publishes the Family Law Forum, covering topics of interest to family law practitioners.

Submitted By:
Margaret Erickson, Section Chair
Date: 30 June 2017