The official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association

May/June 2020

Thoughts about Commemorating the Duluth Lynchings

A prize-winning Minnesota historian looks at the legacy of the murders 100 years later.

Lawyers, Interrupted: Learning to practice in a pandemic


Legal Ethics and Risk Management in the Time of Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdown has caused unprecedented disruption in law firms and creates a host of new issues for firm general counsel and ethics partners. This article describes a number of new ethics and risk management issues that have arisen almost overnight.  BY CHUCK LUNDBERG

The Remote Lawyer’s Survival Guide

Remote work can be wonderful. It can also be filled with all kinds of unique challenges and requirements. Having done this for over two decades, I am going to share my thoughts and suggestions in this Remote Worker’s Survival Guide. BY KRISTI J. PAULSON

Technology is just one of the tools we need to get through this crisis and the next

Lawyers must use technology to adapt their practices if they are to continue to serve their clients through this pandemic and afterward. BY JOE VAN THOMME

Detours on the Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Finding our way forward in an upside-down world

Let’s take a look at what we can reasonably expect. We will experience a range of emotions, and each facet of the whole lawyer may respond differently. BY JOAN BIBELHAUSEN

Director Fiduciary Duties: Navigating financial distress during covid-19

Regardless of whether a corporation is solvent, nearing insolvency, or insolvent, directors always owe a duty to the company itself. If a corporation is insolvent, however, directors also owe duties to the company’s creditors. BY GEORGE SINGER AND CHAD STEWART

Pandemic family stress equals pandemic family law stress

The impact of covid-19 has put additional stress on virtually every component of a family’s day-to-day life. Unsurprisingly, the stress has already begun to manifest itself in an influx of activity in our family law systems, including the courts and all forms of alternative dispute resolution. BY CHRISTOPHER VATSAAS AND KENDAL O’KEEFE

Tenant rights in the era of covid-19

For renters in particular, the pandemic has presented unique challenges—both in paying rent and seeking relief under current (and future) leases. BY ANDREA PALUMBO AND KARMEN MCQUITTY

Understanding the tax impact of federal covid-19 relief laws

These acts provide benefits to employees who are unable to work, incentives to employers who keep employees on staff, and tax relief to businesses to assist with cash flow issues. Following is a summary of some of the key tax provisions of the Families First Act and the CARES Act. BY ADAM SCHURLE

How covid-19 may redefine “reasonable accommodation” under the ADA and MHRA

Covid-19, the first pandemic in 100 years, is not only changing the lives of Americans right now, but may also change the legal landscape of disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) for years to come. BY CHARLES R. SHAFER

Government transparency during the pandemic

A guide to Minnesota data practices, open meetings, and covid-19. BY TAYA MOXLEY-GOLDSMITH AND KATHERINE BEALKA

Remote mediation I’m 62. I wasn’t looking to Zoom. I’m glad I did.

I will tell you I was skeptical at first, but now I am sold. I see a lot of advantages to using this technology more even after this damn virus ends. It saves the parties and clients time and money. BY MIKE MCKNIGHT

Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project Sought to Improve Access to Justice
The Pilot will test and assess whether allowing legal paraprofessionals to provide additional services will increase access to competent, quality representation for low- and modest-income Minnesota litigants, reduce court congestion, and provide opportunities for lawyers to expand their practices. BY JUSTICE PAUL C. THISSEN AND JUDGE JOHN R. RODENBERG
President's Page by Tom Nelson
Coronavirus: Risks, Responses, and Responsibilities

It’s hard to discern when and how we’ll get to the other side of this experience, and how we’ll even know when we get there. Short of a vaccine, I suppose. It’s like running in a marathon with no finish line, or climbing a cloud-topped and summit-less mountain.

Professional Responsibility by Susan Humiston
Legal ethics in a pandemic

In the midst of these changes, lawyers and their staffs may not have thought through the ethics questions presented by the new normal. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have some guidance.

Law & Technology by Mark Lantern
Working from home and protecting client data

Though the situation is challenging, now is not the time to shrug off poor security practices. Relying on email disclaimers such as “If you are not the intended recipient of this email, please delete” is not enough to ensure the confidentiality of client data.

Responding to COVID-19

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.


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