The official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association

Responding to COVID-19

As this issue of Bench & Bar went to press, the courts and the legal profession were adjusting to the radically refigured state of affairs caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. The MSBA staff remains on the job, working to provide members with timely information and resources to help them in carrying on their practices to the greatest extent possible. Visit our page of COVID-19 resources for legal professionals at mnbar.org/covid-19-resources. You’ll find it regularly updated with the latest state and federal court orders, coronavirus-related information and advice related to different practice areas, technology tips for remote work, and wellness resources. 

We’re also presenting the most valuable news and insights about coronavirus and the profession in our weekly Legal News Digest. If you aren’t currently a subscriber to LND and would like to receive it, just send an email to COVIDinfo@mnbars.org with the subject line “Subscribe LND” and we’ll take care of the rest.

April 2020


'I believe turnover in positions of power is good for representative government'

An interview with Minnesota Court of Appeals Chief Judge Edward Cleary on the eve of his retirement. As he nears retirement after serving as a judge for nearly two decades, Chief Judge Cleary and I recently spent time reflecting on his esteemed career—including his U.S. Supreme Court argument—and discussed his future endeavors.  BY JON SCHMIDT

New Lawyers Spotlight

Being a lawyer is hard. Don’t make it harder.

Ten tips & truths for navigating life as a new lawyer.


New lawyers need a mentor and a sponsor. And they aren’t the same thing.

Both relationships are crucial to your career. Treat them as priorities, add value to each relationship, and you will have both short-term and long-term career growth in ways that were not available to you before. BY MOLLY B. HOUGH


Following the Unexpected Call

How I made the move from private practice to government in my early years of practice. I didn’t expect my plan to change. And I definitely didn’t imagine I’d be transitioning in my career as soon as 2019, when I made the move from private practice to public service. BY HILLARY A. TAYLOR


Inflexible Leave Policy Litigation

Stretching the limits of the ADA. Inflexible leave policy litigation remains an area of law infrequently discussed by scholars and experts. This article provides a brief overview of recent developments. BY COLIN HUNTER HARGREAVES


Whistleblowers after Friedlander

Are Minnesota’s whistleblower protections effectively exposing illegality or simply blowing hot air?

President's Page by Tom Nelson
It’s Safe to Seek Help to Get Well

Along the way, our work can take a toll. With duties and privileges come demands; clients and colleagues expect us to be in control (or at least look like we are) and ready to take control in order to solve problems or seize opportunities. But there are perils, and those perils can put our own happiness and health at risk.

Professional Responsibility by Susan Humiston
When may a lawyer ethically threaten criminal prosecution?

Many lawyers and members of the public look askance at lawyers who threaten criminal prosecution as part of negotiations in civil litigation. You may be surprised to learn that, although such conduct implicates several ethics rules, it is not ethically prohibited and may be ethically permissible under certain circumstances. Let’s review.

Law & Technology by Mark Lanterman
  • Cybersecurity in pandemic times: As we continue to manage this novel threat, maintaining organizational security while accommodating high volumes of remote work is imperative.
  • Business continuity and coronavirus planning: Even if your organization lacks a robust business continuity or continuity of operations plan, following some of these steps should help you get started. You will want to consider your people, processes, and technology in these steps. Doing something in preparation is better than doing nothing.


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