Annual Report

Civil Litigation Section Annual Report | 2021-2022

Section Membership
As of May 31, 2022 the Section has 1,044 members.

Financial Status
The Section had an account balance of $59,993.18 as of 05/31/2022.

CLEs & Events
The Section hosted 7 CLEs and 1 community service event in fiscal year 2021-22. 

Program Title


Event Code

CLE Credits





2021 Advocate Award Presentation and CLE



1.0 Standard



Tubman Pro Bono Safety Project - New Volunteer Attorney Training



3.75 Standard




Ethical Considerations During Pandemic Times



1.0 Ethics



Virtual Community Service Event | My Very Own Bed






To Zoom or Not to Zoom- A Judicial Update on Handling Civil Cases Now and in a Post-Covid World



1.0 Standard






Diverse and Inclusive Trial Teams- They Simply Work Better Together



1.0 Elimination of Bias





Pathways to Practice: Hiring in Greater Minnesota



1.0 Standard



Annual Reception and 2022 Advocate Award Presentation



1.0 Standard



Annual Meeting and Election Results
The Section hosted its election electronically by survey between 5/24-5/27. Seventy-nine members cast their vote.

The following council members were elected to serve a 1 year term on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2022 to 6/30/2023:

Chad Snyder (Hennepin County Representative)
Judge Charles Webber
David Lee Tomenes
Kyle Kroll
Gregory Merz
Grant Borgen
Courtland Merrill

The following council members were re-elected to serve a 2 year term on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2022 to 6/30/2024:

Scott Rusert
Melissa Stull
Michael Fondungallah
Liz Fors
Judge Mary Mahler
Mark Schroeder
Gerardo ‘Jerry’ Alcazar

The following officers were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2022 to 6/30/2023:

Chair: Janel Dressen
Vice Chair: Molly Ryan
Treasurer: Dan O’Fallon
Secretary: Kenya Bodden
Past Chair: Lindsay Keller

The following council members are continuing to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2022 to 6/30/2023

Judge Ned Wahl
Stephanie Balmer (Greater MN Representative)
Judge Louise Bjorkman
Michael Carey
Judge Martin Fallon
Judge Thomas Gilligan (Ramsey County Representative)
Jeremy Stevens
Matt Schaap
Judge Brianne Buccicone

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
What diversity, equity and inclusion goals did the Section include in the 2021-2022 work plan, how did you approach these goals, and what was the result?

We continued to challenge section leadership with the goal of concluding our monthly council meetings with discussions on DEI articles which were selected by the DEI committee and distributed in advance of the meetings. The DEI committee sought articles that focused and provoked discussion on education, training, mentorship, and hiring policies, with the goal of continuing to increase diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces and within the section itself.

The DEI committee populated a list of BIPOC-owned vendors for a variety of goods and services that we encourage our members and firms to support.

In addition, the DEI committee continues to promote our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in all of the Council’s work, specifically in membership, leadership, CLE programming, community service projects, and mentorship.

Other Section Accomplishments

  • Tubman Trifecta: On 10/29/21, the Council, through the Tubman Pro Bono Safety Project, held a 3.75 CLE credit training for volunteer attorneys to represent Tubman clients in OFP and HRO hearings. This program was designed to achieve the Tubman Trifecta: 1) to encourage Civil Litigation Section members to participate in pro bono work; 2) to provide mentorship opportunities; and 3) to promote the development of litigation skills. Following this training, Tubman matches attorneys with low-income victim survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking seeking OFPs who have a compelling need for legal assistance.
  • Time’s Up Manual: The Time’s Up Manual was updated which covers time limitations in Minnesota Statues, Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure, General Rules of Practice in the District Courts, and the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure. The 2022 Manual can be accessed free for all Civil Litigation Section members on the MSBA website.
  • Practice Tips: Our Practice Tips committee authored monthly Practice Tips, which were emailed to section members and published in the Bench and Bar magazine. These tips highlighted new rules, cases, and developments in the law.
  • Judge’s Courtroom Preferences: The Courtroom Preferences committee continued to send district court judges surveys requesting their individual preferences on motion practice and courtroom conduct preferences. Survey results are published and updated on the MSBA website for section members.
  • Annual Reception: The Civil Litigation Section’s annual reception was held in person on 5/10/22 at the Nicollet Island Pavilion. Past Council Chair and Hennepin County District Court Judge Ned Wahl moderated a discussion with Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea and U.S. District Court Chief Judge John R. Tunheim in “Sailing Through the Storm: Managing Courts in the Pandemic.” There were 108 attendees.
  • Advocate Award: The 2021 Recipient of the Advocate Award was Charlie Bird, and this was presented to him at our Annual Reception on 5/10/22.
  • Community Service: The Community Service committee headed two donation drives:
    • Donated $2,825 to We Are A Light for relief in Ukraine and for Afghanistan refugees in Minnesota.
    • Donated $350, 4 comforters, and 8 sets of bed sheets to My Very Own Bed, a nonprofit that provides beds and Dream Kits to Minnesota children transitioning to permanent housing.
  • Grant Approval: The Section approved three grants this year.
    • $1650 donation to the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society. This donation supports its essay contest to promote legal literacy in school-age children so that they become adults who understand and appreciate the third branch of government and the role that courts and attorneys play in the judicial system, as well as History Day, which promotes a better understanding of Minnesota’s courts and legal system.
    • $2000 donation to the MSBA Mock Trial Program. This program is the most comprehensive effort by the MSBA in the area of public education. The program supports over 100 teams in 230 trials imploring the help of over 700 volunteers throughout the state. Over 1,200 students participate.
    • $500 donation for the MSBA Convention to provide a discounted rate for all Civil Litigation Section members to attend a two-day live and online convention to be held on 6/22/22 and 6/23/22.

Submitted By:
Lindsay Keller, Section Chair
Date: June 15, 2022