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The official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association



Feature Articles


How judges read statutes: And how to write them so they won’t be misinterpreted
Justice Paul Thissen
Jan 26, 2024
In this article, I hope to provide practical tips for people involved in the process of drafting statutes so they can maximize the odds that judges will interpret and apply statutes as their drafters intended.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Judges
  • Legislation
What happens when AI finally does learn to write legal briefs? A future imagined.
VADIM TRIFEL
Jan 26, 2024
A few weeks ago, I received an email about a job offer. It was an invitation to train a legal AI. The email did not go into detail. I assumed I would be involved in some type of machine learning. I would sit behind a computer and correct the program’s mistakes, give it a human touch. And perhaps, unwittingly, I would teach it enough of what I have spent over a decade learning for it to take over my job one day in the not-too-distant future.
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  • CATEGORY
  • AI
  • Technology
Crime and punishment, revised edition
Elizabeth A. Orrick
Jan 26, 2024
The 2023 legislative session was busy, with a record-breaking number of bills. In the end, 75 new chapters of law were adopted. In the criminal sector, numerous laws were added, existing laws modified, and some laws repealed.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Criminal Law
Brace yourself. Here are seven legal tech trends that are transforming the practice of law.
Todd C. Scott
Nov 30, 2023
So where might we be going from here? And what does 2024 have in store for attorneys trying to stay windward of the tidal change happening with law office workflows? Humbly, we have identified seven legal tech trends that will bring transformational change to lawyers and law firm processes everywhere.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Technology
Put plain language in Minnesota’s court rules
Ian Lewenstein
Nov 30, 2023
Even the sclerotic federal government has slowly shuffled ahead of Minnesota in its dedication to washing court rules of legalese. I think that it’s time for Minnesota to follow suit.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Courts
  • Legal Writing
Deuce-Ace's Law Dictionary
The Rev. Dr. Felix Rabbits Van Deuce-Ace, Esq., L.L.M., M.A., M.B.A., M.D., Ph.D.
Nov 30, 2023
Scholarly square-toes will find much objectionable about the dictionary, as will the somber office drudge. This because the bloody thing wasn’t written for the serious, but for your average mouth-breather.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Legal Research and Writing
Better together: Toward a mutual-care approach to practicing law
Natalie Netzel
Nov 01, 2023
Natalie Netzel explores how mental health issues are exacerbated, even created, by the norms of our profession starting in law school, and then explores how individual lawyers can work together to promote mutual care as a new norm to counteract our damaging status quo.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Wellbeing
Trust us Antitrust is back: And it’s coming for Big Tech
Dan Gustafson and Abou Amara
Nov 01, 2023
More than a century ago, the critical industries of the day in the United States—railroads, electricity, oil, and gas—rested in the hands of a few powerful corporations.
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  • CATEGORY
  • antitrust
Secret recordings, privacy, and the pursuit of truth
By James Todd
Nov 01, 2023
The question for family-law practitioners is how to advise clients when it comes to secret recordings—whether to gather them and, when presented with secret recordings, whether to use those recordings as evidence in a family court proceeding.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Family Law
Going to Trial: Three Tips for Junior Lawyers
Cianna Guerra Halloran
Nov 01, 2023
This may be a rare experience overall, but as a new civil litigator I can attest that one should be prepared for the potential of a trial anyway. The problem is, how can you be prepared for trial when you are entirely new to the practice of law?
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  • CATEGORY
  • Civil Litigation
  • New Lawyers
Reading the fine print: The extensive changes to Minnesota landlord-tenant law in 2023 mostly codify best practices
By Timothy A. Baland
Oct 01, 2023
The 2023 Minnesota legislative session saw what have been heralded as unprecedented changes to landlord-tenant law in Minnesota. Unless otherwise noted, the statutes discussed in this article become effective on January 1, 2024. For the most part, the changes reflect best practices for landlords—things that landlords already are or should be doing.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Landlord-Tenant Law
The lawyer as private investigator: Parsing new ABA Model Rule 1.16(a)—Inquiring Into and Assessing Representations
William J. Wernz
Oct 01, 2023
In August 2023, the ABA adopted a new first sentence for Rule 1.16(a) of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, requiring lawyers to “inquire into and assess the facts and circumstances of each representation [of a client] to determine whether the lawyer may accept or continue the representation.”
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  • CATEGORY
  • Rules of Professional Conduct
The changing workplace
Beth L. LaCanne and Shannon E. Eckman
Oct 01, 2023
The 2023 Minnesota legislative session was a pivotal one for laws impacting Minnesota’s workplaces. In particular, the session saw a wave of laws affecting employees’ rights and well-being.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Employment and Labor Law
Construction law: updated indemnification and wage theft rule
Jevon Bindman, Anna Barton, and Carly Johnson
Oct 01, 2023
The 2023 legislative session spelled many changes for the construction industry, from deeming indemnification agreements in connection with public improvements unenforceable to creating upstream liability for contractors and potentially owners when subcontractors engage in wage theft.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Construction Law
Hail the departing chief: Gildea’s legacy includes 13 cases for 13 years
Cathy E. Gorlin and Marshall H. Tanick
Oct 01, 2023
There will be a new look at the Minnesota Supreme Court this fall due to the October retirement of Chief Justice Lorie Gildea after 13-plus years at the helm.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Judges
  • Courts
From 0 to HF100: Legal cannabis comes to Minnesota
Jared M. Reams & Rachel S. Kurth
Sep 01, 2023
Gov. Tim Walz signed HF100 on May 30, 2023, after a nearly six-month journey through numerous committees and revised engrossments in the Minnesota House and Senate, making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize recreational-use cannabis.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Legislation
  • Cannabis
Understanding expungement under the new cannabis law
Dea Cortney & Samuel Edmunds
Sep 01, 2023
Some, but not all, expungements will occur automatically.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Criminal Law
  • Cannabis
In the weeds: Firearm ownership, cannabis, and the hemp exception
AARON EDWARD BROWN
Sep 01, 2023
There’s a cannabis-related absurdity in federal firearms law.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Legislation
  • Cannabis
Why are we using race and gender tables to set tort damages in 2023?
Sep 01, 2023
The Legislature is the likeliest source of change.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Tort Law
Public access, private lives
Michael P. Boulette, Seungwon R. Chung, and Abby N. Sunberg
Aug 02, 2023
In Minnesota most divorce records are public documents, accessible to anyone with an internet connection. That’s a problem.
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  • CATEGORY
  • Divorce
  • Courts
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