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Meeting Minutes 2006 - 2009

8/22/06 | 10/03/06 | 12/5/06 |2/6/07| 4/3/07| 6/05/07



June 5, 2007

Members Present: Katie Trotzky (chair), Pat Burns (chair), Gary Hird, Roy Ginsburg, Bricker Lavik, Janine Laird, David Lund, Sara Sommarstrom, Beverly Heydinger, Liz Dillon, Brad Thorsen, Sue Pontinen, Jim Baillie, Candee Goodman, Mary Durand, Peter Knapp, Alysia Zens, Joe Dixon, Tom Conlin, and Jeremy Lane, David Lund, Pam Wandzel, Edward Cleary, Jim Patterson, Dan Tyson, Michael Friedman, Cathy Haukedahl, Roger Stageberg.

By Telephone: Tom Meilenhausen, Sarah Shella-Stevens

Staff: Caroline Palmer, Emily Cooper, Steve Hirsh

1. Introductions

2. Review of 2007 accomplishments: Katie reviewed LAD activities for the past year

• Passage of IOLTA comparability rule
• Filing of CLE for Pro Bono rule
• MSBA endorsement of ABA civil Gideon resolution
• Creation of Statewide Client Access subcommittee
• Support hosting of 2008 Equal Justice conference in Minneapolis
• Provided pro bono support materials to each judicial district
• Supported MSBA’s first annual Pro Bono Report
• Approved new model public lawyer pro bono policy, as developed by Public Law section

3. CLE for Pro Bono Update (Pat Burns): Hearing on the petition set for September 22 at 2 pm. Public comments and requests for oral presentations due by August 22. LAD members are encouraged to submit supporting comments. Support from law school faculty regarding the value of “learning by doing” could be especially useful.

4. Military Pro Bono Project (Caroline Palmer): Caroline summarized recent MSBA-sponsored meeting to discuss services for returning troops. About 2800 troops are expected to return this summer, and a significant number of them will need legal services. The MSBA has had a listserve for military pro bono cases for the last three years. A CLE on service-related issues will be offered later this year. Contact Caroline Palmer to be added to the listserve.

5. 2008 Equal Justice Conference (Jim Baillie): The conference will be from Tuesday May 6 through Friday May 9. The local host committee is assembling a mailing list for conference publicity and information. Please submit names/contact info to Jim or Mary Schneider. Pre-conferences on May 5. One possibility is pro se services, including a tour of the Hennepin County Self-Help Center. The party will be on Thursday night. Anticipated budget for the local host committee will be around $50,000, which would include funds for scholarships. The program design committee will be looking to the local host committee for program ideas and local speakers/presenters. Information on the 2007 conference is here:

6. Judiciary Subcommittee (Caroline Palmer): Judge Zimmerman is unable to continue as chair, and asked that LAD suggest new leadership and provide some direction for the subcommittee. Possible project for the subcommittee: research application of IFP statute around MN. Judges identified as possible chairs: Jay Quam, Bruce Peterson. LAD members should contact the co-chairs with suggested names. The co-chairs will make the contacts for the committee.

7. Pro Bono Practitioner (Brad Thorsen): Peg Corneille reviewed last draft of proposed rule and offered a number of administrative concerns. Some subcommittee members want to look at developing something more comprehensive than just a rule change, on the order of Washington’s program. The ABA Second Season of Service website has materials about possible approaches. The subcommittee will review this material. Brad will schedule a meeting of the subcommittee later this summer or in the fall.

8. LAD survey results (Katie Trotzky): the committee members’ responses to the survey are attached. Subcommittees will be formed to address top priorities at the September meeting.

9. Civil Gideon (Caroline Palmer): A resolution asking the MSBA to create a task force to study the feasibility of creating and implementing a civil right to counsel was presented to the committee:

The LAD Committee recommends that the Minnesota State Bar Association create a task force dedicated to exploring the feasibility of a civil right to counsel in Minnesota. The mission of the task force should be fact-finding in nature, with the goal of providing a thorough analysis of whether a basis exists to establish the right, and how a civil right to counsel would affect the legal services delivery, public defense, county attorney and judicial systems in Minnesota.

Motion to adopt the resolution by Jerry Lane, 2nd by Joe Dixon, passed unanimously. Staff will forward the resolution to the General Policy Committee, for consideration by the Assembly in September.

10. Statewide Client Access Subcommittee (Beverly Heydinger): Bev offered a proposed workplan for the subcommittee (copy attached). Since the HCBA hotline task force decided to focus on Hennepin and Ramsey counties, it is appropriate for the LAD subcommittee to continue studying the issue for the entire state. LAD members agreed with the workplan Bev offered, and agreed that the subcommittee should move forward. The subcommittee will work to have adequate rural representation in its membership. In addition to the existing subcommittee members, the following agreed to participate: Candee Goodman, Jerry Lane, Katie Trotzky, Gary Hird, David Lund.

11. Legal Services Planning Committee (Peter Knapp): Peter reported on the recent visit to the Planning Committee by Jim Bamburger, director of the Washington Office of Civil Legal Aid. Materials from Washington’s planning process are posted on the LAD website ( Next Planning Committee meeting is September 17 in Duluth.

12. Hennepin County “hotline” project (Brad Thorsen): Brad reviewed history of the project. The task force is working to complete its recommendations, which tentatively include enhancing 211’s capacity to make better legal referrals, housing staff at 211 to coordinate efforts with legal services providers, and creating an advice/brief service hotline for Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

13. Announcements:

• VLN is taking DHS reconsideration cases. The Administrative Law Section is including training on these issues in its annual session. The CLE is free to anyone who takes a case. These cases involve licensing denials/disqualifications for a variety of care giving jobs, usually based on past convictions.

14. 2007-2008 meeting dates:

2007: September 11, November 6
2008: January 8, March 4, May 13

All meetings at 8 a.m. at the MSBA

15. The committee extended its thanks to Katie Trotzky for her service as LAD co-chair.


One goal of LAD and the Supreme Court Planning Committee is to improve access to legal services to low-income people across the state. Last year LAD appointed a subcommittee to study whether development of a single point of access for services state-wide would increase the quality or quantity of service access. In an early meeting, the subcommittee began to consider how it could determine if there are low-income people facing legal challenges but lacking an entrance point to the legal services system.

Discussions were tabled while the HCBA, HCBF and RCBA "Call to Justice" group considered the possible development of a central access point for individuals served by Hennepin and Ramsey county lawyers. Their report will be issued in June and focus on Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.

The statewide questions the LAD subcommittee faced still remain. The subcommittee will reconvene to write an RFP to hire a researcher who can address the following questions:

Do low income people across the state know how to access legal services? We would consider conducting a survey by region to determine how widely access to information is available and utilized when needed, and whether there are particular characteristics of the persons who are uninformed.

If low income people or sub-groups do not know how to access legal services, which service model would provide the greatest benefit? What characteristics should an improved system have? What is the best staffing model, to assure the broadest use, with the fewest barriers?

In evaluating the models, what proportion of the target group will be served adequately by:

a. referral only
b. referral and information
c. referral, information and brief advice

Of the models available, what are the benefits, disadvantages and costs of each one?

The Subcommittee proposes to draft and solicit proposals, evaluate them and seek funding for the selected proposal, and review the final product, with the goal being to document a set of recommendations to improve access to legal services to low-income people throughout the state, with due regard for the barriers they may face.
The timetable would be: 6 months to finalize the proposal and receive research proposals; 6 to 12 months to obtain the necessary funding; 12 months from the signing of the contract to the completion of the report to LAD.

Subcommittee Members:
Gloria Edin-Contreras
Mary Durand
Gary Hird
Bricker Lavik
Sue Pontinen
Mary Schneider
Beverly Jones Heydinger, Chair
Pat Burns, ex officio
Steve Hirsh, MSBA Staff

April 3, 2007

Members Present: Pat Burns (chair), Gary Hird, Roy Ginsburg, Michele McKenzie, Bricker Lavik, Tom Johnson, Mardi Savage, Janine Laird, David Lund, Sara Sommarstrom, Beverly Heydinger, Liz Dillon, Brad Thorsen, Sue Pontinen, Jim Baillie, Candee Goodman, Mary Durand, Peter Knapp, Bruce Beneke, Alysia Zens, Joe Dixon, Tom Conlin, and Jeremy Lane.

By Telephone: Mike Connolly, Mary Schneider

Staff: Caroline Palmer, Emily Cooper

CLE Credit for Pro Bono Rule: Pat Burns reported that the draft petition by Mary Vasaly has been submitted to Tim Groshens for review; he will give the petition to Frank Harris for review and to Patrick Kelly for approval and signature. It is not clear whether the petition will be heard by the court before the summer break.

Statewide Client Access: Pat Burns reported that the Hennepin County Bar Association committee continues its work and the subcommittees will report on their activities by the end of April. A final report by the committee is due at the end of May.

Equal Justice Conference 2008: Caroline Palmer reported that the ABA is changing the dates of the conference; it will likely take place in May 2008 but the dates are not confirmed yet. Jim Baillie, the planning committee co-chair, reported that the planning committee will have its first meeting on April 12 and that they will be looking for volunteers for subcommittees. The committee will report to LAD at each meeting. There will be a push to strengthen participation by law firms, law students, legal aid and pro bono staff. Since now is the time that law firms start to budget for the following year it would be helpful if they include some funding for the conference in their budgets.

Becker Awards 2007: Palmer announced that the recipients of this year's Becker Awards for legal services staff and a volunteer law student are Kathleen Davis (Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance), Robert Youngerman (Southern Minnesota Legal Services) and Sarah Pollex (University of Minnesota). The awards will be given at the April 26, 2007 MSBA Assembly meeting. Burns thanked the members of the LAD committee who assisted with the selection process.

Brainstorming Session: The remainder of the meeting was devoted to a brainstorming session for new ideas and priorities. The ideas are listed below in the order they were suggested:

1) Create a DVD to play and have pro bono materials to pass out at the Family Law Institute and other CLE events (example: at recent Family Law Institute a DVD on domestic violence cases was played during the plenary).

2) Focus on solo and small firms, particularly in the Twin Cities metro area where there is not as much of a community structure for the attorneys as there may be in smaller towns.

3) Gather statistical information about the volunteer pool, i.e. what percentage come from small firms or solos? Also need more information about medium-sized firms - where does the pool of attorneys come from who do family law?

4) Follow up on law firm visits started last year - need to figure out how to stay on their radar. Can a pro bono coordinator be outsourced for firms that don't have one?

5) Increase outreach to public lawyers - a revised policy will be presented to the MSBA Assembly later this month

6) Get involved with the local chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, find out how to help them and learn more about the handful of projects that are partnerships between corporate counsel and law firms

7) Develop models for attorneys working on a low-fee basis such as with unbundled services.

8) Standing LAD agenda item to invite members from other bar sections and committees to attend LAD meeting and find out what resources may be available to them to assist in their pro bono work.

9) If a public law policy is adopted the state court administrators need to be aware of it - court clerks are not involved in the public law section and are not aware of what they can do on a pro bono basis. A top-down approach may be needed - go to the Supreme Court justices to help spread the message.

10) Pro bono policy at Attorney General's office - look at Washington state as a model

11) Address systemic issues by having public law attorneys conduct administrative research.

12) Develop a more organized way to distribute information that people pick up from conferences in order to share resources

13) Bellow-Sacks study - have a small group review the study and determine whether it would be applicable to Minnesota; the group could prepare and lead a discussion on the study with LAD and make a recommendation to LAD regarding the study

14) Follow-through on the Legal Services Planning Commission report. The report included five recommendations: 1) make pro bono a full partner in the delivery of legal services; 2) better cooperation in pro bono efforts; 3) establishment of the Pro Bono Council; 4) hiring of pro bono staff; 5) focus on statewide delivery of pro bono services. Can LAD have an impact on the LSAC/LTAB distribution? Distribution of funds to staffed legal services, pro bono and judicare should be updated (last review in September 2004).

15) Pro Bono Council needs to be revitalized. Needs staff help and funding in place to support it. Perhaps the Pro Bono Council position can be incorporated into the new position that will organize LSAC/LTAB and the Legal Services Planning Committee.

16) Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting - more states are doing it now, we should try again in Minnesota. The attorney registration system is better than it was the last time this was attempted, which was one of the concerns raised before.

17) Pro bono assistance for the Minnesota national guard and reserve

18) Identify other discrete projects around specific pockets of need

19) Pro se assistance for rural counties where there are not many lawyers

20) How to help attorneys feel comfortable with taking cases outside their practice areas - need more training opportunities and mentorship programs. Students also want mentors.

21) Additional needs in the administrative law system for pro bono attorneys.

22) Pro bono teams that can regularly work together on a bigger project - would help with mentoring within the firms.

23) Pro bono teams could help address geographic disparity - lawyers can be paired up from different parts of the state.

24) There needs to be a regular pro bono column that talks about success stories - in either Bench and Bar or Minnesota Lawyer or some other media. Keep encouraging the bar president to include pro bono on the president's page in Bench and Bar.

25) Encourage more collaboration between staffed legal services programs and pro bono programs

26) Contribute more content to

27) Keep working on Civil Gideon

28) Study the IFP process to see if there is some way to achieve systemization and avoid inconsistencies in application

29) Look at how cases are assigned to volunteers - in order to avoid the double recruiting bind of first getting the volunteer and then getting the volunteer to take a case, just assign cases to next volunteer on the list (pending conflicts checks and time constraints).

Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
February 6, 2007


Members Present: Pat Burns, Katie Trotzky, Liz Dillon, Jim Baillie, Ed Cassidy, Gary Hird, Tom Johnson, Roger Stageberg, Mary Durand, Pam Wandzel, Michael Friedman, Sara Sommerstram, Tom Conlin, Janine Laird, Beverly Heydinger, Bricker Lavik, Sue Pontinen, Candee Goodman, Peter Knapp, Brad Thorsen, Jerry Lane, Sten Hoidal
By telephone: Roy Ginsburg, Alysia Zens, Sarah Shella-Stevens, Barb Lindberg, Patty Murto, Mary Seaworth, Mary Schneider
Guests: Anna-Dunbar-Hester,
MSBA staff: Steve Hirsh, Emily Cooper, Margaret Dean

1. Subcommittee Updates
" Judiciary: No report.
" Law School Initiative: Nothing new to report.
" Firm Recruitment and Pro Bono report: No action on recruitment. Pro Bono Report: Survey has been distributed to law firms, public lawyers, corporate counsel, solo/small firms, and legal aid/pro bono programs. Everyone reporting is asked to respond ASAP. There was some discussion of the MSBA using the report to inform the public about pro bono activities. Margaret Dean, MSBA Marketing Director, stated that she will be looking at ways to use the report. There was a suggestion that the report could be used to support a new request for mandatory reporting of pro bono - either because collecting data for the report shows that, without a mandate, it is not possible to adequately evaluate the amount of pro bono or the degree to which lawyers are fulfilling their commitment under Rule 6.1; or, because the gathering of data to respond to the report shows that mandatory reporting would impose no significant burden on lawyers.
" Pro bono Practitioner (formerly Emeritus) Rule: The proposed rule is still being revamped. Staff at the CLE and Professional Responsibility boards is reviewing it and will provide comments. The new rule would waive registration fee and reduce CLE requirements for lawyers doing only pro bono work.
" CLE for Pro Bono: Tom Conline gave history and described the proposed rule. new draft is completed, and is being reviewed by Peg Corneille. Once Peg has given her comments, the petition will be prepared by Mary Vasaly. The final draft of the rule will be reviewed by Patrick Kelly, to insure that any changes from the version approved by the Assembly are technical only, and do not alter the substance.
" Statewide Client Access: No action since last meeting, to allow HCBA "Call to Justice" process to move forward without duplication or competition. Members of the subcommittee will meet with the HCBA committee and discuss how the two efforts should proceed. The subcommittee understands the need to consider statewide issues, as well as metro issues.
" IOLTA Comparability Rule: Implementation is in process, moving to the effective date of July 1. A notice will go to MSBA members by email. The Professional Responsibility Board and Court staff is sending informational material to banks, which will be sent this week.

2. Reports
" Legal aid and court funding: There was a hearing in the House on the $2 million legal aid request last week. The first Senate hearing is today. The House hearing went well. There is significant competition for funds. Public Defenders are asking for $24 million this year, and $22 million next year; the Court is requesting $12 million. Part of the strategy is to increase the target, to minimize competition among these requests.
" Pro Bono Council: No new initiatives. The Council is trying to define its role, and how to best serve as the voice of pro bono.
" LSAC/LTAB/Legal Services Planning Committee staffing: The three committees have committed to creating the position. They are studying how to house/structure the position for maximum benefit. LSPC had an extensive discussion about the position at its last meeting. The main staffing needs are for research, data collection, needs and assessment data. Current consensus is to have the position be part of the Court staff, but possibly housed at the MSBA. Funding for the position will come from LSAC/LTAB, as an administrative expense.
" Legal Services Planning Committee: The committee met in January. Besides discussion of the shared staff position (see above), the committee looked at priorities identified by the Assembly, and formed task forces. One project is to explore options for using technology to bring metro volunteer lawyers to greater MN.
" Pro Justice - MSBA is working with the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition on the site. The rollout for the new site will depend on the hosting company, and is still scheduled for this spring. MSBA staff is also moving forward on the MVAP technology grant, preparing to implement a second phase that will provide training on tech planning, budgeting, web site creation and maintenance, case management and other issues to the participating programs.

3. 2007 Becker Awards
" The deadline for applications is February 16. Katie Trotzky, Tom Conline, and Brad Thorsen agreed to review the applications and make a recommendation to the MSBA Council. The awards will be given out at the April 26 Assembly meeting.

4. 2008 Equal Justice conference
" There will be a meeting of the local planning committee in April, after the 2007 conference in Denver. Minnesotans attending the Denver conference will help staff a booth advertising the Minneapolis event. There was discussion of using the 2008 conference to highlight local programs. The local planning committee will work with MSBA marketing staff on this.

5. New business
" Requiring filing to commence a civil action: Discussion about doing away with "pocket filing" and using the resulting filing fees to increase funding available for legal services. This topic was discussed some years ago. Steve will check on records from past discussions. Pat Burns will check with legal aid for their thoughts.
" Tracking IFP filings: There is no statewide data on numbers of IFPs requested or granted. There are reports of inconsistency in how judges rule on IFP petitions. There was agreement that it would be useful to collect data on current practices, and use that to develop recommendations. Maybe collect anecdotal information first? The committee decided to ask the judiciary subcommittee to look at it. Ed Cassidy will speak with Lloyd Zimmerman. There was also a suggestion to collect data from the bankruptcy court, since it may already track IFP filings. Also a recommendation to check with Susan Ledray to see if Hennepin County tracks this information.

6. Announcements
" LRAP is seeking a $100,000 appropriation from the legislature to cover the cost of the 50% increase in applications received this year.
" Business law section award given to Fredrickson & Byron
" ABA disaster preparedness committee is publishing a new model rule this year, which will include provisions allowing out-of-state lawyers to be licensed temporarily.
" Tom Johnson received the Award for Excellence, Judicial Sector from the HCBA

Remaining meetings for the 2006-2007 year:
April 3
June 5


Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
December 5, 2006


Members Present: Gary Hird, David Lund, Michele McKenzie, Tom Johnson, Karen Canon, Roger Stageberg, Lloyd Zimmerman, Mary Durand, Pam Wandzel, Michael Friedman, Sara Sommerstram, Roy Ginsburg, Tom Conlin, Jim Patterson, Janine Laird, Beverly Heydinger, Bricker Lavik, Alysia Zens, Sue Pontinen, Candee Goodman, Peter Knapp, Brad Thorsen, Jerry Lane, Sten Hoidal, Bruce Beneke, Harry Haynsworth. By telephone: Michael Connolly, Sarah Shella-Stevens
Guests: Nancy McLean, Tom Kalitowski
MSBA staff: Caroline Palmer, Steve Hirsh

1. Introductions

2. Subcommittees

" IOLTA rule (Roger Stageberg): No objections to the petition have been filed. Hearing on the petition will be December 12 at 2 pm. We anticipate that the new rule will generate several hundred thousands of dollars in additional IOLTA revenue. The petition requests that the new rule take effect 6 months after adoption. We will ask the Court to rule by December 31. Thirteen states have adopted a similar rule.

"CLE for Pro Bono (Tom Conlin): Tom reviewed the history of the proposed rule, inclusing the MSBA adoption of the proposal. Mary Vasaly is drafting the petition to the Supreme Court to adopt . Subcommittee members met on December 1 with Peg Corneille and the CLE Board Rules Committee to answerdiscuss the CLE Board's questions about administering the rule. The Rules Committee also heard separately from Minnesota CLE. The LAD subcommittee offered its view of how the rule would work regarding details such as how the CLE Board would deterimine eligibility of a legal services provider. The Board is concerned about an isolated program or lawyer using the rule for unintended purposes, thereby diverting significant Board resources to respond to such attempts. The subcommittee will attempt to offer minor technical changes to the draft proposal that might address the Board's concerns over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, the Board won't raise significant concerns before the Supreme Court.

" Judiciary (Lloyd Zimmerman): The subcommittee is meeting every other month at 7:30. The committee sent a "pro bono encouragement care package" to each judicial district contact. Justice Esther Tomljanovich has agreed to co-chair the subcommittee. She will make a presentation at the annual judge's conference about the subcommittee and its goals.

" Law School Initiatives (Janine Laird): MJF is one of 10 law schools (it actually represents four law schools) in the country to be selected to participate in a two year initiative to address the law school "pipeline issue" (lack of diversity among law students results from lack of interest/support for minority students in college, high school, and elementary grades). MJF will modify its Street Law program to increase messages to youth about considering law as a career.

" Law firm pro bono recruitment and pro bono report (Caroline Palmer): The Pro Bono Report advisory group is developing the surveys for the report. Various stakeholders have reviewed and offered comments on the surveys. The surveys will go out in late December or early January, and will request 2006 data. Caroline will also collect responses from a pro bono survey conducted last year.

" Pro Bono Practitioner rule (Brad Thorsen): The subcommittee continues to meet. It is still refining the rule, based on input from the Professional Responsibility Board and the Board of Law Examiners. Hopefully, a draft will be ready for LAD's consideration at the February meeting.

" Statewide Client Access (Beverly Heydinger): Beverly and Pat Burns met with HCBA president Mike Unger to discuss coordination and goals/objectives of the subcommittee with the HCBA effort. Mike understands that much work is needed to define and develop the type of "hotline" that might be useful. HCBA is hosting a meeting with selected legal services providers today. The LAD subcommittee is available to help collect information, evaluate possibilities, etc. LAD members invited to the meeting are Jerry Lane, Bruce Beneke, Brad Thorson, Candee Goodman, Mary Durand, Bricker Lavik, and Pat Burns.

" Pro Bono Council (Karen Canon): The Council met in October to brainstorm for the Legal Services Planning Committee Assembly. The Assembly meeting resulted in a plan to use interactive TV so that metro lawyers can do pro bono in greater Minnesota. The Council is also discussing its mission. At the next meeting the Council will focus on defining its mission.

3. Reports

" LSAC/LTAB/Planning Committee staffing (Steve Hirsh): nothing to report.

" Legal Services Planning Committee (Peter Knapp): The Assembly met last month. Small groups identified several initiatives and strategic goals for the Planning Committee to address. The Planning Committee will meet in January to set priorities and form task forces to move projects forward. Collecting and analyzing information on legal needs won't begin before a staff position is created.

" Projustice (Emily Cooper): The site update is going well. The redesign will be ready for rollout this spring. Staff is currently updating content, creating practice groups for immigration, family, and housing law. Any help developing content for these areas would be helpful. Staff is also working with MSBA practicelaw staff to develop uniform family law forms. A group of providers is meeting weekly to develop new child support forms to be ready by January 1.

" MVAP Technology Project (Michael Friedman): The Legal Rights Center has received a much needed technology grant from the United Way. This grant was made possible by the report LRS received from the Tech Project consultants. This is precisely the type of outcome that the Tech grant was intended to produce. Katie Trotzky also reported that the Tech grant assessment Legal Aid Assistance of Dakota County received provided critical information that the program required to update its system, including advice on budgeting for regular upgrading.

" 2008 ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference (Caroline Palmer): Caroline reviewed the history of contact from the ABA about siting the 2008 EJ conference in Minneapolis. The ABA has selected Minneapolis (although the formal decision will wait until it signs a contract with the Hilton). The conference will be on April 16-19, 2008. Pat Kelly will appoint a local planning committee, which will handle party planning, and suggest local speakers and workshops topics. LAD recommendations for the planning committee: Jim Baillie, Bricker Lavik, Roy Ginsburg, Pam Wandzel, Candee Goodman, Janine Laird, Brad Thorsen, Sue Holden, Ed Cassidy, and representatives from Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis city government, Legal Services Coalition and the Pro Bono Council.

"Government lawyer pro bono model policy (Public Law Section - Nancy McLean, Tom Kalitowski): Nancy and Tom gave history of development of the model policy. The key provisions include provision for program approval, so lawyers don't need approval for each case. The model policy also contains a 50-hour aspirational goal, and encourages volunteer recognition and awards. Janine offered that MJF can provide students as volunteer law clerks. As this policy was originally a recommendation of the LAD committee, MSBA policy requires the revisions to the proposal be approved by the originating committee. Accordingly,
A motion was made toMotion to support the model policy. The motion was , second.ed and Aapproved.

" SMRLS Senior Fair (Kathie Battle Sayles): Kathie described SMRLS' new metro seniors initiative, which focuses on using volunteers to provide community education. Topics developed from needs assessments completed by service programs. Response has been very favorable, and Ccommunity education sessions are already scheduled through next fall;. T the second phase of the project will involve organizing private lawyers/firms to offer legal advice to seniors. As part of this effort, SMRLS is hosting a Senior Legal Fair on May 24, 2007 at the Rivercentre in St. Paul. They are expecting 500 seniors to attend. There will be workshops on a number of topics, and1-on-1 advice clinics. Kathie requested that LAD formally support the Senior Fair, and request the MSBA to become a sponsor. LAD's consensus was that LAD"s role it develops policy, and it would be inappropriate for LAD to sponsor specific events by individual providers. There was consensus that the Senior Fair is consistent with LAD's mission of increasing legal services to the disadvantaged.

4. Announcements

" Roy Ginsburg announced that some of his clients were looking for opportunities to donate to legal services providers, and requested information about mechanisms for doing that.

" Next meeting: February 6, 2007

MSBA Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee (LAD)
October 3, 2006

Attending in Person: Pat Burns (Co-Chair), Katie Trotzky (Co-Chair), David Lund, Roger Stageberg, Gary Hird, Tom Johnson, Lloyd Zimmerman, Ed Cassidy, Michelle Garnett McKenzie, Pam Wandzel, Brad Thorsen, Jerry Lane, Beverly Heydinger, Liz Street, Sara Sommarstrom, Jim Patterson, Michael Friedman, Barb Lindberg, Sten Hoidal, Janine Laird, Peter Knapp, Sue Pontinen, Alysia Zens, Bruce Beneke, Candee Goodman, Jim Baillie, Joe Dixon, Caroline Palmer (MSBA staff), Steve Hirsh (MSBA staff) and Emily Cooper (MSBA staff). Attending via telephone: Mike Connolly and Sarah Shella-Stevens
Katie Trotzky called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m.
1. Introductions and Welcome: Co-chairs Katie Trotzky and Pat Burns welcomed the members and thanked them for their participation.
2. Subcommittee and Working Group Reports
a. Judiciary: Lloyd Zimmerman reported that the subcommittee recently met and scheduled meetings for the rest of the year. Its goal is to have the judicial districts send out new letters, modeled on the Supreme Court letter written in 2005. The subcommittee will provide the judges with sample letters and support materials that the judges can use in writing their letters encouraging local attorneys to do pro bono representation.
b. Website and Caroline Palmer reported that work continues on the LAD website and hopefully a demonstration will be possible at the December meeting. Caroline introduced Emily Cooper, the new Pro Bono Manager, who will be responsible for Emily reported that the ProJustice redesign continues and is expected to be completed by spring of 2007.
c. Law School Initiatives: Janine Laird reported that the sub-committee is seeking to develop public and private partnerships. The group is also looking to develop volunteer opportunities for law students who have evening and weekend class schedules. The Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice program will offer free CLE for members of the public on November 15 and 17.
d. IOLTA Proposed Rule Changes: Roger Stageberg reported that the Supreme Court will hear the petition for the proposed rule change on December 12 at 2 p.m. in room 300 at the Judicial Center. The goal is for the rule to be approved and go into effect around July 1, 2007. Either Kent Gernander or Roger Stageberg will argue on behalf of the rule change before the Supreme Court.
e. Law Firm Recruitment and Pro Bono Report: Caroline reported that the visits are slowly continuing. One law firm changed its pro bono tracking process after the visit and another law firm was connected with a new pro bono opportunity. Caroline also reported that the Pro Bono Report Advisory Group has been formed and will be meeting soon.
f. Pro Bono Practitioner Rules (formerly known as Emeritus Rules): Brad Thorsen reported that the subcommittee is vetting the draft rule with stakeholders, and will revise the rule to address this input. The goal of the rule is to encourage attorneys who have been licensed in good standing but currently are not practicing (such as retired lawyers) to engage in the practice for the limited purpose of providing pro bono.
g. CLE Credit for Pro Bono Rule: Pat Burns reported that the MSBA Assembly approved the rule. Pat, Caroline and Janine met with Peg Corneille at the CLE Board and discussed several workable changes related to administration of the rule. The CLE Board will discuss the Rule at its December meeting. Caroline reported that a volunteer attorney will be sought to draft the petition to the Supreme Court.
h. Statewide Access RFP Subcommittee: Beverly Heydinger provided some background about the LAD subcommittee. The subcommittee was originally created to consider pros and cons, and costs/benefits of various forms of centralized access for civil legal service (such as centralized/regional information, centralized/regional advice and referral, centralized/regional intake). The subcommittee will generate the questions that need to be answered in deciding whether a statewide access system would improve legal services to the poor in Minnesota. The subcommittee will include questions about barriers to client access, particularly for specific client populations, ways to minimize those barriers as well as the costs of any such form of centralized access.
Meanwhile, Hennepin County Bar Association, Hennepin County Bar Foundation and Volunteer Lawyers Network are working on developing a hotline in the metro area. Beverly has spoken with HCBA President Mike Unger who is ready to move forward with the Hennepin County project and has secured interest from Ramsey County Bar Association. Brad reported that at the HCBA some on the planning group are moving faster than others.
This effort started an extensive discussion for LAD such as the goals for such an effort, what exactly they are proposing, who will design the effort, how it will be funded and how success or failure would be measured.
It was pointed out that HCBA made the decision to move forward with a "hotline" in the metro area without input from Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services or Central Minnesota Legal Services or many other providers of civil legal services in the metro area. It was also clarified that the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition currently neither supports nor opposes a single access point, but needs more information and answers to the questions posed by the LAD subcommittee.
Steve Hirsh stated that part of the problem is the need to define what "it" is before moving forward, meaning what type of statewide or metro access are we talking about? What is the problem we are trying to fix - is it about improving client access to the system, or is it about expanding the capacity of programs so they can serve more clients? All recognize that the current system doesn't serve 80% of the need. Will providing increased "access" to, at best, brief services make a useful difference if what people need is representation, and there are not adequate resource to serve the increased request for services that could come from a statewide access point? The question of where the resources will come from to support such a system was discussed, with differing opinions expressed on whether such resources exist. Some on LAD believe that it is time to move forward with something without further study and that funds will exist and that there will be enough volunteers to support a statewide access point. Others on LAD believe more definition and answers are needed including what is the problem being fixed, whether centralized access, centralized intake, centralized information will fix that problem, what might be the barriers and ways to eliminate those barriers for low income clients with different demographics, as well as where on going funding might be. Gary Hird reported on his experiences working with the SMRLS hotline. They use non-attorney intake workers and attorney/paralegal caseworkers to triage case requests and provide brief advice/brief service. They have been able to maintain the same amount of intakes with fewer intake workers. In his opinion, most clients are not fully served with brief advice or brief service, but that is the only level of service provided due to the limited capacity to take extended representation cases. They adopted the hotline to try to maintain access even though their capacity was reduced. He said that this example is not automatically transferable to a larger statewide model because it is just one program with one set of priorities and limited referral sources in the rural areas. In his opinion, any system that doesn't increase the capacity to take extended representation cases will not solve the "problem."
The LAD subcommittee has learned that there are lots of resources on hotlines and statewide access projects from other states but that there are many unanswered questions for Minnesota. LAD is the traditional forum for formulating a statewide approach. And it remains a good neutral site for a thorough study of the issues involved. After extensive discussion, particularly to what extent should LAD and HCBA work together, a motion was made, seconded and passed that LAD should offer to co-host a providers meeting with HCBA and RCBA to help inform the LAD subcommittee about provider issues and concerns.
3. Resolution for Minnesota to Host the 2008 NLADA/ABA Equal Justice Conference: Jim Baillie reported that a staff person from the ABA was in Minneapolis in late September and met with some MSBA staff and LAD members about the possibility of Minneapolis hosting the 2008 NLADA/ABA Equal Justice Conference. A letter from the ABA was circulated detailing the host responsibilities. The ABA seems interested in Minneapolis as a host city. A resolution was made, seconded and passed that LAD encourage the MSBA to invite the conference to Minneapolis in 2008. The resolution will be forwarded to the MSBA Council for action on October 13.
4. Reports
a. Pro Bono Council: No report
b. Staffing for LSAC/LTAB/Planning Commission: Joe Dixon reported that the boards and the planning commission are planning to hire and share a staff person. Although there will be costs associated with the staff person, the position would pay off in terms of fundraising opportunities, the ability to help the state planning committee with its work, and providing input into the LSAC/LTAB funding process.
c. Legal Services Planning Committee: Peter Knapp reported that the planning committee will host its first assembly meeting on November 13.
5. Announcements
Janine Laird announced that the Attractive Nuisance Tour will take place on October 22 at the Fine Line Music Café. This event is a fundraiser for Minnesota Justice Foundation.
6. Future Meeting Dates: The remaining meeting dates for this bar year are:
December 5, 2006
February 6, 2007
April 3, 2007
June 5, 2007
All meetings will be at the MSBA offices and will begin at 8 a.m.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.

MSBA Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee (LAD)
August 22, 2006

Attending in Person: Pat Burns (Co-Chair), Katie Trotzky (Co-Chair), Roger Stageberg, Tom Conlin, Bricker Lavik, Roy Ginsburg, Mary Durand, Brad Thorsen, Sue Pontinen, Michael Friedman, Alysia Zens, Lloyd Zimmerman, Sara Sommarstrom, David Lund, Maureen O'Connell, Warren Ortland, Janine Laird, Jeremy Lane, Beverly Heydinger, Gary Hird, Michelle McKenzie, Tom Johnson, Pam Wandzel, Jim Patterson, Nancy Kleeman, Steve Befort, Liz Street, Sten Hoidal, Caroline Palmer (MSBA staff), Steve Hirsh (MSBA staff)
Attending via telephone: Mike Connolly, Tom Mielenhausen, Sarah Shella-Stevens, Mary Seaworth
Pat Burns called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m.
Introductions and Welcome: Co-chairs Katie Trotzky and Pat Burns welcomed the members and thanked them for their participation.
MSBA Staffing Update: Emily Cooper has been hired as the new Pro Bono manager. She is a lawyer with extensive web development experience. Her primary responsibilities will be the Minnesota Volunteer Attorney Program (MVAP) and the ProJustice website.
Subcommittee Reports
" Judiciary: The subcommittee will meet on August 31. Justice Esther Tomljanovich has agreed to participate. Among other projects, the subcommittee will draft a new letter to judges in each judicial district, and will continue the district pro bono awards.
" Website: Clare Scott is still working on the LAD website. Roll out is expected by the end of the year. There will be usability testing for ProJustice next month.
" CLE Credit For Pro Bono: Tom Conlin reviewed the development of the LAD proposal for a Supreme Court rule change regarding CLE credits which will permit pro bono attorneys to obtain some CLE credit for their pro bono representation. The subcommittee consulted with a number of Bar committees and sections and other interested entities in developing the rule. All were supportive, except for Minnesota CLE (MCLE) and the State Board of CLE.
The proposed rule was scheduled for consideration by the MSBA Policy Committee in June, with consideration by the full assembly to follow at the June 23 meeting. At the request of MCLE, LAD agreed to postpone consideration of the rule by the Policy Committee pending discussions over other, possibly more effective, ways for MCLE to work with LAD to encourage pro bono. In response to a letter from MCLE chair Karna Peters that offered some proposals for discussion, the subcommittee responded with a letter that further developed MCLE's proposals, and included several additional possibilities. A meeting was scheduled to discuss these proposals, but several days before that meeting Peters wrote a letter cancelling the meeting and questioning whether there existed any basis for further conversations. A copy of the subcommittee's letter will be posted on the LAD website.
Motion to resubmit the proposed CLE for Pro Bono Rule to the Policy Committee and then for consideration by the MSBA Assembly on September 15. Seconded Discussion followed. Motion carried unanimously, Roger Stageberg abstaining.
LAD instructed the subcommittee to continue pursuing discussions with MCLE, so long as it believed those discussions could be productive.
" Law School Initiatives: Since the subcommittee follows the law school schedule, no meetings occurred over the summer. The subcommittee will meet in September and throughout the school year.
" IOLTA Rule Change: The Assembly in its April 06 meeting approved the LAD committee's proposal to petition the Supreme Court to change its rules concerning the banks in which IOTLA accounts may be held. Subcommittee members met with the Minnesota Banking Association, Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Bremer, and TCF. The response has been positive and none of the banks will oppose the proposed rule. The petition requesting amendment of the rule was filed with the Supreme Court recently and should be heard later this fall. Implementation will begin six months after the rule is adopted. The subcommittee anticipates that the new rule, if approved, could result in significant increases in IOLTA revenue.
" Law Firm Pro Bono Recruitment: Bricker Lavik and Caroline have been meeting with heads of the 20th - 50th largest law firms. The meetings have been very productive. One firm decided to overhaul its pro bono policies after meeting with Bricker and Caroline. They will continue to schedule these meetings.
Bev Hydinger mentioned that the litigation group at Lindquist & Vennum will participate in an effort to represent parents in special education efforts.
Janine Laird asked everyone to remember to include law student volunteers in these efforts.
" Cy Pres: Jerry Lane and Steve Hirsh will do a presentation on cy pres awards at an October 23 class actions CLE. They will update the Cy Pres Manual to distribute at the session.
ABA Resolutions: The civil Gideon and Principles for a Legal Services System resolutions passed at the recent ABA meeting. The civil Gideon resolution generated much discussion and passed overwhelmingly. The Principles resolution passed without opposition.
Civil Gideon at the MSBA Convention: The session at the Convention, with presentations by Earl Johnson and Mary Deutsch-Schneider, was well attended and well received. Caroline will talk with Mary Schneider about the possibility of reproducing the session locally.
Next steps for LAD re: civil Gideon:
" Re-convene the Civil Gideon subcommittee
" Dorsey is still researching opportunities around the country to help in litigating a civil right to counsel, and will file briefs as appropriate.
Pro Bono Publico Practitioner Rule: The subcommittee presented a proposal to add a Pro Bono Publico Practitioner rule for adoption by the Supreme Court. The rule would waive the attorney registration fee and reduce CLE requirements for lawyers licensed solely to provide pro bono services under the auspices of a legal services organization. The rule should facilitate pro bono representation by retired lawyers or by lawyers who are taking a leave of absence from the regular practice for such things as being a stay at home parent. Several issues with the draft rule as written were identified:
" The draft requires the Board of Law Examiners to conduct a character and fitness examination, but provides no fees to cover the cost of the examination.
" The draft rule will authorize the Board of Law Examiners to revoke a license. Such revocation would probably require some form of due process, and there is no funding for the cost of that process.
" Directions to the subcommittee:
o Ask pro bono providers for data on the number of volunteers who might fit under the rule.
o Check with the various boards (CLE, PR, Law Examiners) for comments and suggestions.
o Check that rule is broad enough to allow stay-at-home parents to be able to participate.
o Re-draft rule (if necessary) and present at next LAD meeting.
Statewide Client Access: The subcommittee had its first meeting last week. The subcommittee's goal is to draft a proposal for a consultant to evaluate pros and cons, and costs/benefits of various forms of centralized access for civil legal service (such as centralized/regional information, centralized/regional advice and referral, centralized/regional intake). The subcommittee will generate the questions that need to be answered in deciding whether a statewide access system would improve legal services to the poor in Minnesota. The subcommittee will include questions about barriers to client access, particularly for specific client populations, ways to minimize those barriers as well as the costs of any such form of centralized access. The subcommittee will be formulating a goal statement. The next meeting was scheduled for August 31 at 9 a.m. at the MSBA and everyone's input is welcomed.
Pro Bono Council: No report.
Super Lawyer: Roy Ginsburg met with Super Lawyer representatives to learn how pro bono activity is considered into the awards. Super Lawyer reviewers look at nominee websites to assess pro bono activity. Super Lawyer is not interested in creating a Pro Bono Super Lawyer award. They are open to printing stories about pro bono lawyers in Law & Politics. They would also probably be open to printing profiles of Judicial District Pro Bono Award recipients in the Super Lawyer issue. Roy and Caroline will work on moving that forward.
Legal Services Planning Committee: Next meeting set for Sept. 13.
" VLN has received the Nonprofit Excellence Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. The award ceremony will be on October 4.
" Roy Ginsburg is doing a webcast through MCLE on September 21 on business reasons to do pro bono. He has about 15 - 20 minutes available at the end of the program for pro bono providers to promote their programs and advertise pro bono opportunities. Anyone interested should contact Roy.
" Pro Bono Report: Caroline announced that the MSBA will produce the first Pro Bono Report this year. Anyone interested and willing to participate on an advisory board should contact Caroline.
" Future Meeting Dates: The remaining meeting dates for this bar year are:
October 3, 2006
December 5, 2006
February 6, 2007
April 3, 2007
June 5, 2007
All meetings will be at the MSBA offices and will begin at 8 a.m.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.


- Last Updated 8/18/11 -