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The official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association



Feature Articles


Is there a better way to admit lawyers? The future of the bar exam needs a hard look
LEANNE FUITH
Dec 06, 2021
The bar exam has long served as a gatekeeper to the profession, with the goal of protecting the public by ensuring that newly licensed attorneys meet minimum standards of competence. Yet critics have suggested that the bar exam has also served to “gatekeep” who can become a lawyer and that it works to exclude individuals along race, class, and gender lines.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Bar Exam
Nice-Petersen v. Nice-Petersen and me
NICOLE NICE
Dec 06, 2021
40 years after a landmark Minnesota Supreme Court decision, the child at the center of the case reflects on its impact
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  • CATEGORY
  • Children & the Law
  • Family Law
Diversity in defense: The path to management-side employment law as a diverse attorney
Nicole Dailo, Christopher H. Jison, and Richard Liu
Dec 06, 2021
It is our hope that law students and attorneys curious about the L&E practice area gain a better understanding of a management-side L&E attorney’s career path and the positive impact you can have, particularly as a diverse attorney.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Diversity
  • Labor and Employment
What is kosher? From Moses to Minnesota: A brief history of Jewish dietary law and the state’s courts
JUDAH DRUCK
Dec 06, 2021
Minnesota’s own forays into the world of kashrut (kosher law) have resulted in fascinating judicial and legislative discussions regarding the role government should, and constitutionally can, play in upholding Biblical law. This article details these discussions, and how courts and legislators have struggled with the question explored since Moses: What is and is not kosher?
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  • CATEGORY
  • Food & Drug Law
The delicious ironies of food product configuration protection
AUSTEN ZUEGE
Dec 06, 2021
Cases up to the present highlight continued aggressive assertions of trade dress rights by foodstuff manufacturers—coupled with pushback by courts to deny trade dress rights in purely functional product configurations.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Food & Drug Law
  • Intellectual Property
This moment and this breath: A public defender writes about loss, survival, and extreme sports
Shauna Faye Kieffer
Nov 04, 2021
Everyone has their suffering. It's no secret that people who are drawn to sports that require total focus on that one moment—be it yoga breathing, skiing cliffs, or running until your legs could fall off—are seeking to be present in the moment and not lost in their despair. 
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  • CATEGORY
  • Wellness
Well-being is always a work in progress
Rachell Henning
Nov 04, 2021
The practice of law is not easy. In a profession filled with stress and deadlines, it is easy to ignore the fact that our bodies and minds have limitations. Failure to recognize our own humanity can result in consequences both personally and professionally.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Wellness
Transgender rights under siege in many state legislatures— including Minnesota’s
Daniel Choma, Tara Kalar, Ellen J. Kennedy, and Caitlin Schweiger
Nov 04, 2021
Across the U.S., the past year’s state legislative sessions have brought forth an unprecedented amount of legislation addressing transgender rights, most of the bills seemingly in response to recent strides made for transgender people in both state and federal courts.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Legislation
5 tips for settling disputes through early mediation
Terri Krivosha and Melissa Muro LaMere
Nov 04, 2021
Our experience has given us insight into how early mediation can play a powerful role in resolving disputes. Below are five tips for reaching agreement in tough disputes through early mediation.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Mediation
The lifelong impact of law school mentoring
Uyen Campbell and Judith Rush
Nov 04, 2021
Each year, over 470 Minnesota lawyers and judges provide students at the University of St. Thomas School of Law opportunities to answer these and many other important questions. These mentors, and other informal mentors, play a crucial role in helping students define their professional identities and learn vital skills before they become lawyers.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Law School
  • Mentoring
Divorce and the Family Farm
Sonja Trom Eayrs, Jill Frieders, and D. Patrick McCullough
Oct 01, 2021
Unlike other closely held business interests, farming operations not only serve as commercial ventures but also as the family home, complicating division of the estate. Considering the longstanding ties to the land that come into play, efforts to preserve the family farm take on renewed importance in a divorce.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Rural Lawyers
  • Divorce
VLN is stepping up in response to the end of the eviction moratorium. We need your help.
Muria Kruger
Oct 01, 2021
Because the eviction moratorium was developed in part to protect our state’s most vulnerable renters, most of those needing help at the end of the moratorium will be low-income and in need of free legal services.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Pro Bono
  • Evictions
Semantic Drift – In re: Krogstad and the changing meanings of words
Kenneth Bayliss
Oct 01, 2021
The tendency of the meaning of words to change over time is known as “semantic drift.” Semantic drift is the reason that when we first read a Shakespearean play, we needed a glossary.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Court Opinions
Journey to the center of my mind: Notes on meditation practice and wellness
Senior Judge Susan R. Miles
Sep 01, 2021
Let me invite you to journey into my mind, for better or for worse, on a reality-based meditation session, with all its twists and turns, moments of being lost, and, on a good day, an occasional insight.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Well-Being
Maritime law? In Minnesota? Yes.
By Vince C. Reuter
Sep 01, 2021
Few Minnesota litigators would be surprised to field a call involving an accident on one of our state’s lakes or rivers. In doing so, the attorney undoubtedly begins internally checking the legal boxes: Cause of action? Causation? Damages? Statute of limitations? But one important box may unfortunately get ignored: jurisdiction. This is a mistake.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Maritime Law
Fixing a Hole: The Fritz defense revisited
James Poradek and Luke Grundman
Sep 01, 2021
Minnesota courts have erected a draconian procedural barrier that makes it impossible for many tenants to have their day in court: a “pay to defend” requirement that forces eviction defendants to deposit unpaid back rent with the court as a precondition for trial on the defense that the landlord has violated its legal obligation to maintain the property in habitable condition.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Evictions
Discovery: Reinventing the request for admissions
Eliot T. Tracz
Sep 01, 2021
Nearly every young litigator knows that RFAs are a tool used to narrow the number of disputed issues in a case. While that can certainly be done when bundled with other written discovery, the inherent versatility of RFAs really comes through when they are unbundled and allowed to stand on their own.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Litigation
The ghost of water wars future: The Great Lakes Compact and the coming freshwater crisis
Jeremy P. Greenhouse
Aug 04, 2021
As climate change and population growth place mounting strain on U.S. water supplies, it is not hard to imagine a scenario in which politicians from water-starved states, faced with struggling agricultural irrigation systems and angry, thirsty voters, propose a Mao-inspired water diversion project to “borrow” water from the Great Lakes.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Environment and Natural Resources Law
Immigration roundtable: The Biden administration so far
R. Mark Frey
Aug 04, 2021
Following four years of upheaval under the Trump administration, President Joe Biden took office in January promising stabilization and reform of the U.S. immigration system. Bench & Bar contributor R. Mark Frey—who writes the bimonthly immigration law updates for our Notes & Trends section—recently assembled a panel of his fellow Minnesota immigration attorneys to discuss in writing the legacy of the Trump years and the early moves of the Biden administration. What follows is an edited version of their exchange.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Features
2021 legislative session recap: A long and winding road
Bryan Lake
Aug 04, 2021
The 2021 session was notable for a record-low number of bills passed, but lawmakers still managed to enact numerous new laws of interest to the legal community, including...
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  • CATEGORY
  • Legislative
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