MSBA Diversity Committee
Meeting Minute Archives

Back to Committee Website

7/14/04 | 8/11/04 | 9/30/04 | 11/17/04 | 3/3/05
| 7/17/03 | 9/17/03 | 10/16/03
| 12/10/03 | 1/28/04 | 3/24/04

Pro Se Implementation Committee
Meeting Summary
March 3, 2005
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Gary Debele (Co-Chair), Susan Ledray (Co-Chair), Pat Burns, Sara Galligan (by phone), Jean Lastine, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Review Focus Group Feedback
The committee reviewed the feedback received from attorneys, judges and court administrators during the focus group meetings. The general consensus from these meetings is that perhaps we should not be doing anything with the rules changes and focus more on education. The minutes from these focus group meetings will be posted on the committee's webpage when they are finalized.

Assess proposed rule changes in light of feedback
In light of the feedback received, the committee decided to not go forward with the proposed rules changes. The committee will submit a written and oral report to the MSBA Assembly that documents what we have done and our thought processes. The written report will also serve as historical data for the MSBA on the work of the committee. Jean Lastine and Susan Ledray will work on the draft report.

The committee also discussed whether or not the committee should continue after it has accomplished its goals. Susan Ledray would like for it to continue as there are things that can be done in terms of education and noted that it is also nice to have the recognition through the MSBA.

Determine next steps
1) Jean Lastine and Susan Ledray will work on the draft report to the Assembly (written report must be submitted by May 6 for the June 16 Assembly meeting)
2) Co-Chairs Gary Debele and/or Susan Ledray to provide an oral report at the June 16 Assembly meeting in Brainerd (in conjunction with the MSBA Convention)
3) The full committee to meet on April 21 to review the draft report

Next meeting
The committee will meet next on Thursday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. at the MSBA offices.

Pro Se Implementation Committee
Meeting Summary
November 17, 2004
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Gary Debele (Co-Chair), Susan Ledray (Co-Chair), Pat Burns, Sara Galligan, Jean Lastine, Daniel Lunde, Heather Vlieger, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Review minutes of the September 30, 2004 meeting
The minutes were reviewed and amended. Lew Linde and Theresa Farrell-Straus were added to the list of people to contact for the focus group meeting on January 7.

State survey and Massachusetts survey: Update by Barbara Goldstein
No update.

Court decisions: report from Daniel Lunde
No update. Daniel will provide update at the next meeting.

Review of outline of committee report and writing assignments
This was tabled to a future meeting.

January 7 focus group preparations and follow up on contacts

The following people have been contacted and confirmed that they would like to participate in the January 7 lawyers focus group:
1. Patty Murto - Volunteer Attorney Program - Confirmed
2. Joanna Wiegert - Public Defenders Office - Confirmed
3. Kenneth Kohnstamm - Attorney General's Office - Confirmed
4. Brett Olander - MSBA Civil Litigation Section - Confirmed
5. Mark Gardner - family law attorney - Confirmed
6. Karen Sullivan - Confirmed
7. Lew Linde - Confirmed

The following folks will need to be contacted:
8. Brad Thorsen - VLN - Gary Debele will follow up
9. Tom Conlin - MSBA LAD Committee - Susan Ledray will contact
10. Gary Voegele - MSBA Family Law Section - Susan Ledray will contact
11. Sarah Shella-Stevens - Central Legal Services in St. Cloud - Jean Lastine will contact
12. Ken Kirwin - Chair of the MSBA Rules of Professional Conduct and professor at William Mitchell - Heather Vlieger will contact
13. Theresa Farrell Strauss - Hennepin County Attorneys Office - Gary Debele will contact
14. Tim Gephart - LPRB & MN Lawyers Mutual - Pat Burns will contact. (If Mr. Gephart can make it, he will serve as both the LPRB and MN Lawyers Mutual representative from the malpractice issue)

The deadline for confirming the above contacts is December 3. Please email confirmations to Gary Debele (, Susan Ledray ( and Tram Thai ( . Co-Chairs Gary Deble and Susan Ledray will draft the invitation letter to be sent once all confirmations are made. The invite letter will also contain some background information and link to the ABA manual on unbundling. The following materials will be sent with the letter: the proposed rules, retainer agreement, and discussion questions.

Discussion questions will include : concerns with signing the pleadings; communicating with the other party/attorney; concerns with retainer agreement; concerns with multiple representation; malpractice issues; actual stories/experiences with unbundling from both sides; investigation issues; and others.

Gary Debele will ask Judge Toussaint if he is willing and available to moderate the focus group. If Judge Toussaint is not available, an alternative could be Peter Knapp from William Mitchell.

Jean Lastine will also look into finding one or two law school students to serve as independent recorder/note-taker. There was agreement that participants should be told up front that notes will be taken and the results will be included in the final proposal.

Susan Ledray also reported that the HCBA will be having a roundtable discussion on unbundling on February 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the HCBA offices. Judge Peterson will moderate the discussion. Gary Debele will be attending. This information will be helpful to our committee's work.

Preparations for the judges focus group - date to be determined
Susan Ledray reported that she sent an email to Judge Lynch, Chair of the Conference on Chief Judges, about the possibility of having a CCJ subcommittee or the full CCJ serving as the focus group or other scheduling possibilities. Judge Lynch sent it on to one of the CCJ Subcommittee Chairs and Susan is waiting to hear back from him. Susan will follow up on this. Ideally we would like to have this focus group in January or February.

The committee discussed possible discussion questions for the judges focus group including: concerns with unbundling, ethical issues, do they care if they have the name of the attorney who helped draft the pleadings, concerns with the nuts and bolts of running a court room (sending out orders, who to send the notice to, etc).

It was suggested that a summary of what happened at the attorneys focus group meeting be sent to the invited judges in advance to help prepare for discussions. It was also suggested that we need to somehow include court administrators in the discussion. An email will be sent to the court administrators after the two focus group meetings are done with a request for comments.

Tentative timeline:
December 3: deadline for making contacts
Week of December 6: invite letter and materials go out
January 7: attorneys focus group meeting
January - February: judges focus group meeting (possibly in conjunction with the CCJ)
April: take proposals to committees and sections
May 8: submission deadline to get on the June 16 Assembly meeting agenda
June 16: Assembly meeting in Brainerd (in conjunction with the MSBA annual convention)

Meeting adjourned.

Pro Se Implementation Committee
Meeting Summary
September 30, 2004
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Gary Debele (Co-Chair), Susan Ledray (Co-Chair), Pat Burns, Sara Galligan (by phone), Daniel Lunde, Heather Vlieger, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Review minutes of the August 11, 2004 meeting:
The minutes were reviewed and approved.

State survey and Massachusetts survey: Update by Barbara Goldstein
Heather Vlieger distributed working drafts of the report that she and Barbara had been working on. Heather and Barbara will further develop the report for the next meeting.

Court decisions: report from Daniel Lunde
Daniel Lunde reported that he did not find much in his search for articles on unbundling. Daniel will continue to do more manual research for the next meeting. Daniel also agreed to summarize relevant case laws for a section of the final committee report.

Review of outline of committee report and writing assignments:
This was tabled to a future meeting.

Finalize strategy and assignments for presenting proposed rule changes to various committees and the bench in various judicial districts:
Susan Ledray and Gary Debele had an informal meeting and thought that perhaps the committee was moving too quickly and that it might be a good idea to solicit ideas from attorneys and judges before going forward. It was suggested that the committee review the California material and decide whether or not we need to take a similar approach with the focus groups. After review of the material and some discussion, the committee decided it was a good idea to do so. The first focus group will be made up of private practice attorneys; a second will be made of judges. A meeting of the attorneys focus group was scheduled for Friday, January 7, 2005 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Honors Room of the MSBA offices. Lunch will be provided. Susan Ledray and Gary Debele will draft an invitation letter after personal contacts are made with the following groups/people to determine who should be invited to the meeting:
" Brad Thorsen from VLN (Pat Burns will contact)
" Patty Murto (Pat Burns will contact)
" LPRB (Pat Burns will contact)
" Attorney General's Office (Pat Burns will contact)
" Tom Conlin (Susan Ledray will contact)
" Gary Vogele from the Family Law Section (Susan Ledray will contact)
" Karen Sullivan (Susan Ledray will contact)
" Central Legal Services in St. Cloud (Susan Ledray will contact)
" Brett Olander from the Civil Litigation Section (Gary Debele will contact)
" Mark Gardner (Gary Debele will contact)

Next meeting:
The committee will meet on Wednesday, November 17, 2004 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice with an agenda will be emailed a couple weeks prior to the meeting date.

Meeting adjourned.

MSBA Pro Se Committee
Meeting Summary
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
MSBA Offices, downtown Minneapolis

Present: Gary Debele (Co-Chair), Susan Ledray (Co-Chair), Pat Burns, Jean Lastine, Barbara Goldstein, Mary Seaworth (by phone); and Heather Vlieger. Also present was Tram Thai of the MSBA staff.
Minutes from the July 14 meeting were reviewed and amended as follows. The corrected information under "Rules Changes" should say: "The committee reviewed the proposed ethics rules changes drafted by Pat Burns and agreed with the proposed changes. The committee will review the proposed procedural changes being drafted by Gary Debele at the next meeting."
State Survey: Barbara Goldstein and Heather Vlieger will continue to work on the surveys and prepare a written report for the next meeting. Susan Ledray also suggested that materials from a Harvard law student (which Susan will forward to Barbara and Heather) be reviewed and incorporated in the report.
Court Decisions: No report from Daniel Lunde as he was absent. Pat Burns reported on a June 10, 2004 Virginia Supreme Court decision in which the Court concluded that (1) attorney who delivered pleading, signed by pro se plaintiff, to court, along with attorney's cover letter requesting that pleading be filed, was not counsel of record for pro se plaintiff, and (2) plaintiff's motion for judgment was not rendered invalid by fact plaintiff signed motion herself. The actual case is attached for your reference.
Rules Changes:
Procedure: The committee reviewed the proposed changes drafted by Gary Debele and made some changes. Gary will do the revisions and circulate the new draft to committee members for review prior to the next meeting.
Strategy for presenting proposed rule changes to various committees: The committee identified the following committees/sections to present the proposals to: MSBA Rules of Professional Conduct, MSBA Legislative Committee (Gary Debele will contact Sue Holden), MSBA Family Law Section, MSBA Civil Litigation Section, MSBA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section, MSBA Practice Management and Marketing Section, MSBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (Gary Debele will contact Gary Weismann), and MSBA Outstate Practice Section.
The committee will also present it to judges at various district meetings; and eventually take it to the Conference of Chief Judges for comments. Susan Ledray will request time to present the proposals to the 4th District Bench; Jean Lastine will request time to present proposals to the 5th, 6th, and 7th District Bench.
Susan Ledray will put together an outline of what the committee report should contain (based on today's brief discussions) and will distribute that at the next meeting. The committee hopes to finalize the report in the next two meetings, and start presenting it to the various committee and sections, and eventually take it to the MSBA's Assembly for approval.
Tram Thai will obtain deadlines for proposals to the MSBA and the Minnesota Supreme Court and will email the information to the Co-Chairs.
Next Meeting Date: Thursday, September 30, 2004 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice will be sent, as will the re-drafted proposed procedural rules changes from Gary Debele for members to review in advance of the meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

MSBA Pro Se Committee
Meeting Summary
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
MSBA Offices, downtown Minneapolis

Present: Pat Burns, Gary Debele, Jean Lastine, Susan Ledray, Dan Lunde, and Heather Vlieger. Also present was Lisa Wilde of the MSBA staff.

Minutes from the May 5 meeting were reviewed and approved.

Committee Report:
A. Judicial Survey: Gary Debele shared the revised survey he prepared; he pared down the first draft of questions for judicial officers and added an introduction, so the survey now consists of a four-paragraph intro and eight questions. He sent it to Deb Daly at the Supreme Court but has not yet heard back from her.
It was suggested that we add something about the limited assistance being provided by several projects such as Hennepin County, in order to increase judges' awareness of these types of efforts.
B. State Survey: There was no report due to the absence of Barbara Goldstein. Heather Vlieger agreed to follow-up with Barbara.
C. Court Decisions: Dan Lunde agreed to talked with Karen Westwood, who will no longer be serving on the committee due to her leaving her job at the state law library to attend law school.
D. Rules Changes:
1. Ethics: We reviewed the proposed rules changes drafted by Pat Burns and made suggestions for changes. Pat will work on another draft for consideration at the next meeting.
2. Procedure: We agreed that we should wait to complete our proposal for changes to ethics rules before working on the proposed procedural changes drafted by Gary Debele.

Next Meeting Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice will be sent, as will the re-drafted proposed ethics rules changes for members to review in advance of the meeting.

Note: As of August 1, the new committee liaison from the MSBA staff will be Tram Thai, Committees Manager. Lisa Wilde will be leaving the committee liaison role due to a reassignment of responsibilities that will have her working with sections rather than committees.

Meeting Summary for March 24, 2004

Susan Ledray
Telephone: 612-348-8468
Gary Debele
Telephone: 612-335-4288

MSBA Staff
Lisa Wilde
Telephone: 612-332-1183; e-mail:

Committee members: Sara Galligan (by phone), Gary Debele, Barbara Goldstein, Susan Ledray, Dan Lunde, LaVern Pritchard and Heather Vlieger. Also present were Pat Burns of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board and Lisa Wilde of the MSBA staff.

1. Subcommittee Reports

State Survey: Barbara Goldstein reported on and distributed some written information about unbundled services in various other states including Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, N. Carolina and Wyoming; the information was gathered by some MJF students using a 15-question survey. Several states remain to be completed.

It was noted that the Hennepin Co. Bar Assn. Misdemeanor Defense Panel could be considered a form of unbundled services.

Ethics: Both the Pro Se Committee petition and the MSBA Rules of Professional Conduct Committee petition are before the MN Supreme Court, Pat Burns believes that the RPC petition dealing with the ABA Model Rules, including Rule 6.5, will be considered first by the Court and only if necessary will the Court proceed with our petition related to Rule 1.10. He offered to follow-up on the status of this committee’s petition to determine if it has officially been melded with the RPC petition.

The committee agreed that the results of Karen Westwood’s survey of other states’ rules should be combined with the results of the UBS survey of other states. Action: Lisa Wilde agreed to do this.

Action: Dan Lunde will review the Maryland UBS website to see what ethics opinions and recent cases are mentioned so that we can look at their reasoning.

Meeting with LPRB: Susan Ledray and Gary Debele met with Ken Jorgensen and Pat Burns of the LPRB to help clarify the Board’s concerns about unbundling. The consensus seems to be that the Board is generally open to/supportive of the concept of unbundled services, as long as unbundling is done in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct (for example, Rule 1.2 allows limits on the representation a lawyer undertakes, but also places “limits on the limits”). The Board is willing to work with this committee to help educate lawyers about what is and is not okay with regard to UBS, and Pat has agreed to serve on the committee in order to help facilitate communication between the two groups. Pat expressed his belief that the Rules of Civil Procedure are the Rules that really need to be changed in order to allow for UBS.

Solo/Small Firm Comments about UBS: LaVern Pritchard distributed a summary of the comments he had received in response to his e-mail to the MSBA solo/small listserv. Due to the relatively small number of responses it is hard to make any generalizations.

Survey of Judges: A suggestion was made that we survey judges to find out what they would want to see changed in order to feel more comfortable about UBS. For example, ghostwriting seems to be a prevalent concern among judges, which suggests that some guidelines and/or rules that specifically address this issue might help. We could do a survey and based on the results, draft some proposed rules changes (ethical and/or procedural) which we would then market and provide education about after the changes are adopted.
Action: Gary Debele agreed to draft a survey for judges that will be discussed at the next full committee meeting.

Creation of Supreme Court Task Force: due to a scheduling conflict, Judge Toussaint was not present so there was no information about the Court’s willingness to establish a Task Force on Unbundled Legal Services (“UBS”). After discussion, however, the committee decided to proceed with our own efforts since we have some momentum which would be slowed by the effort to create a Task Force. As we move forward, it was suggested that we:

Next meeting
Originally scheduled for Wednesday, April 28 but since rescheduled for Wednesday, May 5, 2004 from 3-5 p.m. at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice will be sent.

Meeting Summary for January 28, 2004

Susan Ledray
Telephone: 612-348-8468

Gary Debele
Telephone: 612-335-4288

MSBA Staff
Lisa Wilde
Telephone: 612-332-1183; e-mail:

Committee members: Sara Galligan & Lew Linde (by phone), Gary Debele, Barbara Goldstein, Ann Grand, Jean Lastine, Susan Ledray, LaVern Pritchard, Linda Raiber, Heather Vlieger and Karen Westwood. Also present was Lisa Wilde of the MSBA staff.

Subcommittee Reports

State Survey: Barbara Goldstein reported that the two MJF students are still working on this and have gathered a lot of information about unbundled services from states including Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, New Jersey & No. Carolina, which Barbara has reviewed. Susan Ledray said that Maryland is very interested in seeing the information we put together that may be useful for their website. Barbara will report the findings at the next full committee meeting.
Committee members discussed the desire to recognize/thank the students; Barbara agreed to draft a letter from the committee.

Ethics: Jean Lastine reported that there had not been a response from Jim Baillie to the Committee’s letter regarding withdrawal of the Supreme Court petition; Lisa Wilde will follow-up with Jim.

Survey of Judges: Judge Toussaint reported that Deb Bailey, the Court researcher, has inquired about what types of questions should be asked of the judges. The questions must be framed carefully in order to avoid influencing the response. This is something we need to consider further. [Note: later discussion about working with the Supreme Court may affect this project.]

Discussion Items

ABA Handbook on Limited Scope Representation: Committee members discussed this book, which was recently put out by the ABA and has been highly recommended as a resource that addresses many of the issues that the committee has been concerned about.

An initial concern was raised about the reliability of the Handbook, since it appears to promote limited scope representation and does not contain some of the most-common criticisms such as those concerning ghostwriting. The Handbook reviews some rules changes and implies that there is widespread support for these changes, which was a bit surprising since the LPRB in Minnesota has expressed such a wary view about unbundling. The Model Rules do not go very far in addressing unbundled services; the new proposed rule, for example, says that a lawyer can give limited advice if it is “reasonable under the circumstances.”

Discussion of where the committee should go from here generated the following ideas:
1. Have a CLE at the MSBA Convention in June; consider ABA Committee co-chair Laurie Zelon as a presenter
2. Develop a report to the MSBA Board of Governors for June or September
3. Focus on the LPRB & getting an opinion from them that supports our ability to promote UBS in an ethical way
-- invite Bill Wernz to talk with the committee (instead of a current LPRB staff person)
4. Organize lawyers within the bar association in support of UBS
-- Judge Toussaint noted that if we can affect lawyers by showing them how UBS could enhance their practices, this might help convince the judiciary to support UBS
5. Focus on the judiciary – show how unbundled services can address access/judicial management issues
-- Judge Toussaint noted that the Conference of Chief Judges Pro Se group is not currently active and that pro se is not currently high on the court’s priorities

It was agreed that trying to join forces with the judiciary would be an efficient way to proceed since:

Judge Toussaint will check into the procedure for having the Supreme Court establish a Task Force and Lisa Wilde will talk to Tim Groshens about asking the Supreme Court to do so.

In terms of the Court’s likelihood of supporting the creation of a Task Force, it was noted that Chief Justice Blatz’ priorities right now include converting judicial districts to state funding and managing judicial resources, especially those related to family court. Unbundled services could be tied into those issues as well as into the Legal Services Commission agenda for addressing the unmet civil legal needs of low-income people.

Next meeting
Originally scheduled for Wednesday, February 25, but since rescheduled for Wednesday, March 24 from 3-5 p.m. at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice will be sent.

Each subcommittee should synthesize the information from their group that would be relevant to a Supreme Court Task Force/Commission so we can show them what we have done thus far, e.g., information that 11 states have amended their rules (9 ethics, 4 procedural).

The meeting was adjourned.

Meeting Summary for December 10, 2003


Gary Debele
Telephone: 612-335-4288

Susan Ledray
Telephone: 612-348-8468

MSBA Staff:
Lisa Wilde
Telephone: 612-332-1183

Committee members: Sara Galligan & Heather Vlieger (by phone), Gary Debele, Kit Hansen, Jean Lastine, Susan Ledray, Lew Linde and LaVern Pritchard. Also present was Lisa Wilde of the MSBA staff.

Discussion Items:

LPRB Response to Unbundled Legal Services: Jean Lastine noted that initial contact with the Lawyer’s Board indicates that they are not likely to provide an Advisory Opinion that condones unbundling; their interpretation suggests that they think unbundling is inappropriate. Lastine reported that Betty Shaw of the LPRB is willing to meet with the committee to further discuss this.

Rules Changes related to unbundled services:
1. The committee looked at two Florida ethics rules and one procedural rule. Susan Ledray noted that MN rules don’t say anything about withdrawal after the provision of limited scope legal representation; Florida has specifically amended its Family Court procedural rules to require client consent in writing.

2. The committee walked through the proposed ethics rules for Minnesota and discussed each reference to “limited scope representation.” Lisa Wilde will help the committee will want to track comments received during the public comment period.

3. The committee discussed MN procedural rules to determine if there are any impediments to the provision of unbundled services; it was agreed that the rules are relatively neutral except for the issue of withdrawal. We could ask MJF to find a law student willing to go through the rules to see if there are any other possible obstacles.

4. Arizona rules changes have apparently had little or no impact on the provision of unbundled services because people are not aware of them.

New Mexico CLE materials re: unbundling: These were circulated to committee members as an example of a nice, detailed outline that may be useful when the committee gets to the point where it is ready to offer CLE seminars on unbundling.

Survey of Other States re: Unbundling Rules : Barbara Goldstein was the person responsible for following up with the MJF students; Heather will follow-up with Barbara and report at the next meeting.

Supreme Court Petition: Susan Ledray informed the group that the Supreme Court has indicated that it will consider the committee’s petition re: Rule 6.5 at the same time as the MSBA’s petition to adopt the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Since the proposed Rule 6.5 change is part of the Model Rules, there is no reason for the Court to consider both petitions. After discussion, it was agreed that the committee should write a letter to MSBA President Jim Baillie expressing its interest in withdrawing the committee’s petition and supporting the Model Rules petition, contingent upon MSBA agreement that a Pro Se committee representative (such as Bruce Jones, author of the committee’s petition) being allowed to address the Court to advocate for the relaxed conflicts check rule.

ABA Handbook on Limited Scope Representation: Two handouts were distributed, first, the Table of Contents and second, the Recommendations. This Handbook has been highly recommended as a resource that addresses many of the issues that the committee has been concerned about.
It was agreed that the next committee meeting will include a discussion of which parts of the Handbook are applicable to Minnesota, and how the handbook may inform what the committee/subcommittees are doing. Committee members will be asked to read the Handbook in preparation for the next meeting and come prepared to talk about whether the committee should re-define its priorities and/or move in a different direction than it has been. Note: The Handbook may be found at that ABA website at:

The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, January 28 from 3-5 p.m. at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice will be sent.

The meeting was adjourned.

Meeting Summary for October 16, 2003


Susan Ledray
Telephone: 612-348-8468

Gary Debele
Telephone: 612-335-4288

MSBA Staff:
Lisa Wilde
Telephone: 612-332-1183

Committee members: Sara Galligan (by phone), Daniel Lunde, LaVern Pritchard, Heather Vlieger and Karen Westwood. Also present were guests Larry Buxbaum and Mary Horton from HCBA, Brad Thorsen of VLN, Americorps attorney Martha Delaney, who works with VLN and MJF, three representatives of the ABA (Will Hornsby, Lora Livingston and Ron Staudt), and Lisa Wilde of the MSBA staff.

In the absence of the co-chairs, Lisa Wilde introduced Will Hornsby, ABA Staff Counsel to the Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (which addresses the needs of moderate income people), and noted that he was invited to the meeting to discuss the issue of unbundled services (which is the current focus of the MSBA Pro Se Committee).

Definition: Hornsby began by offering some of his thoughts about pro se issues and inviting the group to share theirs. Hornsby asked whether there is a common definition of pro se, and responded to the ideas offered by commenting about the dangers of relying on statistics without having the underlying definitions be understood, e.g., does “pro se” refer to a litigant who is not represented in court, or does it apply only if a person works without the benefit of an attorney on all aspects of the case. The numbers of pro se litigants would be vastly different in these two situations so it is important to agree on the basics before attempting to understand the issues related to pro se litigants.

Trends: Hornsby inquired about what trends, if any, people are seeing with regard to pro se in Minnesota. People responded by noting that there are increasing numbers of people appearing pro se in domestic relations matters and that questions related to family/criminal matters are the most common areas of inquiry in law libraries.

Reasons why, according to Hornsby, we see more people going pro se:
1. Affordability – pro se (in family law) is more prevalent where lawyers are more expensive.
2. Empowerment – people feel good if they can take care of their own problems.
3. Rugged individualism
4. Raw numbers – more people are turning to the courts to resolve matters so there are more cases filed than ever before (e.g., more marriages end in divorce than 20 years ago).
5. Dislike for lawyers – Hornsby estimates that this is true for 7-10% of pro se litigants and feels that there is an opportunity for the private bar with regard to this particular group, i.e., that the bar has created its own ethical barriers to doing things in a way that would capture this group of people when they have legal needs.
6. Reduced complexity of the legal matter(s) – the trend is toward making things simpler legally (e.g., no-fault divorce) and there are increasing amounts of self-help materials available for people to use “on their own.”

Effect of unbundling on public image: Lora Livingston inquired whether unbundling would engender a more positive perception of lawyers. One response noted that people don’t understand the full scope of what lawyers do; those at the law library noted that when people attempt to represent themselves they often are surprised at how much there is to do and that is when people begin to appreciate the importance of a lawyer’s expertise and experience. Hornsby noted that people with reasonable amounts of intelligence and time can do things adequately on their own behalf; if this is the case, then the services of a lawyer lack the same value as they once had and we should talk about the value of having a lawyer, not just affordability.

Other states: Hornsby noted that the Maine rules (adopted in 2001) specifically govern limited representation; an attachment to the rules includes a sample limited representation agreement with a checklist of things to cover. (The rule is available at the following link: Some states have adopted the ABA Model Rules, which dismisses the obligation of lawyers to do conflicts checks in situations involving one-time consultations (note that the Pro Se Committee has a petition before the MN Supreme Court on this matter and that the MSBA also has petitioned the court to adopt Model Rule 6.25 on this subject); among others, Maine and Washington states went even further to amend their rules of Civil Procedure in addition to the rules governing professional conduct.

Other resources that could help the Committee in its work on unbundling:
1. ABA literature such as the Modest Means Handbook on Limited Scope Legal Representation (has information about ethics, actual practitioners, and specific state rules and ethics opinions),
2. Forrest Mosten’s book on Unbundled Legal Services (for practitioners)
3. Law Review article in the February 2002 Fordham Urban Law Journal entitled “In Defense of Ghostwriting,” which addresses issues such as the concert of unbundling, counseling & coaching, ghostwriting, limited court appearances, and research.

What works?
Nobody knows. Colorado was the first state to amend their rules (in 1999), and CA was the first state to evaluate the on-line self-help concept, but evaluation information won’t be available until 2004. There are a few cases (notably in CA and NJ) that have resulted in different outcomes for lawyers who were accused of failing to advise their clients about certain matters beyond the scope of what they were retained for.

What would help educate the bar about unbundling?
MSBA President Jim Baillie wrote one of his President’s Pages in Bench & Bar magazine about unbundling, but his focus was on the needs of low-income clients. There are other articles available that should be reprinted/circulated more widely, from sources including the Conference of Chief Justices, Richard Zorza, John Greacen, Richard Granit (founder of, and Will Hornsby.

Other Business:
1. Heather Vlieger distributed copies of the unbundling questions that will be used by MJF students to survey the twelve states that have amended their court rules to support limited legal services.

2. The next full Committee meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2003 from 2-4 p.m., but may be postponed until early December in order to allow time for the survey results to be compiled. A meeting notice confirming which date will be sent via e-mail the week of November 3.

The meeting was adjourned.

Minutes of the Meeting of September 17, 2003


Susan Ledray
Telephone: 612-348-8468

Gary Debele
Telephone: 612-335-4288

MSBA Staff:
Lisa Wilde
Telephone: 612-332-1183

Gary Debele, Sara Galligan, Barbara Goldstein, Kirsten Hansen, David Kuduk, Jean Lastine, Susan Ledray, Llewellyn Linde, Daniel Lunde, LaVern Pritchard, Linda Raiber, Heather Rastorfer Vlieger, Karen Westwood

Justice Toussaint had a conflict and was not able to attend. Lisa Wilde, MSBA staff for the Committee was out of town.

1. Work Group Reports:
a. Ethics/Rules - Kit Hansen, reported on her conversation with Ken Jorgensen, of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. The task was to determine the procedure for getting a formal advisory committee from the Board regarding unbundling of legal services. Kit stated that the phone call resulted in an intense conversation about various issues around the unbundling of legal services. Kit stated that Ken Jorgensen felt that unbundling would be inappropriate in some areas of the law, for example in family law, because assistance with a discreet issue like child support could effect spousal maintenance. He also felt that clients would not know what to ask to make sure that unbundling was appropriate in their situation. He gave the example of jury trials as another area where unbundling would be inappropriate. While the Board does give private opinions over the phone, Kit’s impression was that the Board would not give an opinion on unbundling in general. Ken Jorgensen also said that an attorney had a duty to inform their malpractice carrier that they do unbundled legal services. Other committee members who have been on this committee for several years reported that MLM has previously told the committee that unbundling in the profession was common for discreet services.

The work group as a whole has not discussed this issue further. However, it appears that a large education campaign is needed before an advisory opinion may be requested and it may be that it is not prudent to request an advisory opinion on this issue.

b. Other States’ Experiences - Sarah Galligan reported she had developed a list of questions to use in evaluating other states’ experiences including questions about how those states promoted the use of unbundled legal services. These questions will be used by MJF volunteers who will follow-up with several states.

Heather Vlieger stated that she has recruited two MJF students to date to help with the survey.
The plan is to have the students survey approximately thirteen states that have court rules that allow unbundling. Susan Ledray suggested asking the states be surveyed about what rules changes were made to allow unbundling. It was also suggested that states who have rejected rules on unbundling be surveyed to find out why rule changes were rejected. It was suggested that questions be added about what known results have come from unbundling legal services and not focus simply on promotion efforts. Other areas of inquiries suggested were whether they there were ethnical problems in the state as a result of unbundling and whether it was known if unbundling resulted in more pro bono work by lawyers. When the list of questions is refined, Sarah will send the final list to Lisa Wilde to e-mail out to get feedback from the entire Committee.

The group suggested that several experts in the field of unbundling be contacted for their perspective on rules changes and known results from unbundling.

Dan Lunde will contact Ann Crowley in Maryland. Susan Ledray stated that Will Hornsby of the ABA will be in Minnesota in October and she will contact him about a possible meeting with the Committee. Gary Debele will contact Forrest Mosten who has written extensively about unbundling.

c. Other States Rules - Karen Westwood passed out a chart that she and Susan Ledray developed that showed examples of court rules concerning unbundling of legal services. She stated that during their examination they wanted to know what rules are being amended, such as ethics rules or practice/procedural rules.

Karen said that in Arizona, Delaware and New Jersey ethics rules were amended (Rule 1.2). The practice rules for those states have not been reviewed.

A key issue in states survey centered around how to withdraw from representation. In California, it appears it is necessary to get a court order, some states require a motion to withdraw, some states are silent. Some states say if it is within the scope of your representation you have to file a motion, if not within the scope you don’t have to do anything to remove yourself from the case.

1. “Other Tasks” Report:
a. Survey and Judges - Judge Toussaint advised Susan Ledray that he is working with Heidi Green to develop a survey to send to judges.

b. Query on Solo/Small Firm List Serve - LaVern Pritchard reported that he sent out a list of questions to his own solo/small firm list of about 280 persons. He received about six responses. The query was sent to list being contained by LaVern on LawMoose. He distributed the responses. LaVern’s summary from the responses was that it appears that the concept of unbundling is not well understood. LaVern also received a comment from a paralegal who really spoke to the issue of legal services paralegals can perform. Her comments didn’t really speak to the issue of unbundling by attorneys.

c. Stearns/Benton County Bar Member Survey - Linda Raiber reported that she also received a low response to her query on unbundling sent out on her e-mail list for the Stearns/Benton County Bar. She said she will also work with that bar association’s family law committee to determine additional questions that could be asked of family law lawyers. It was suggested that Linda also ask questions about whether the attorneys do unbundling in family law cases; whether they unbundle as part of pro bono and if so, does willingness to do unbundling increase attorneys’ pro bono services.

2. Next Tasks:
Susan Ledray informed the Committee that she had spoke with Mary Grau, MSBA Staff to the MSBA Task Force on Ethics 2000. It appears that a recommendation will be that Minnesota adopt the entire model rules and then make changes that may be recommended. Betty Shaw, staff attorney from the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, advised the Task Force on the rules impacted by “limited scope” representation. The Ethics/Rules Subcommittee will contact her before the next full meeting of this Committee. Karen Westwood will forward her search of rules from other states regarding limited scope to the Ethics/Rules Subcommittee.

3. Update on General Rules Committee Action on Joint Petition and Self-Help:
Susan Ledray reported that these proposals will be recommended for adoption by the General Rules Subcommittee of the Supreme Court.

4. Other Business:
The next full Committee meeting was scheduled for November 19, 2003 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned.

MSBA Pro Se Implementation Committee
Meeting Summary for July 17, 2003

Co-Chairs: Gary Debele Phone (612) 335-4288
Susan Ledray Phone (612) 348-8468
MSBA Staff: Lisa Wilde Phone (612) 333-1183

Present: Barbara Goldstein, Kirsten Hansen, John Jerabek, Jean Lastine, Susan Ledray, Daniel Lunde, Hon. Cara Lee Neville, LaVern Pritchard, Linda Raiber, Hon. Edward Toussaint, Heather Vlieger and Karen Westwood.
Participating by phone: Sara Galligan, Dave Kuduk

The meeting commenced at 3pm and was chaired by Susan Ledray. After presenting a brief history of the Pro Se Task Force/Committee, co-chair Ledray indicated that this year the focus will be on unbundled legal services. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss what the MSBA Pro Se Committee can/should do with regard to this issue (are changes needed to Court Rules and/or the Code of Professional Conduct? Do judges and/or attorneys and/or the public need educating? ) and to develop an action plan.

People then briefly introduced themselves and their history working on pro se issues.

A. Discussion

1. What is the purpose of looking at unbundling?

2. Perceived barriers to lawyers providing unbundled services:

3. Ways to address barriers:

B. Work Assignments: 3 working groups were formed:

1. Ethics/Rules - Jean Lastine, Chair; members Kit Hansen, John Jerabek and Daniel Lunde
Task: contact the LPRB to ask about the procedure for getting an advisory opinion and to find out whether practicing lawyers have inquired about this in the past.

2. Other States' Experiences - Barbara Goldstein, Chair; members Sara Galligan, Dave Kuduk with assistance from MJF law students
Task: survey other states to see who is promoting unbundling & what their experiences have been (besides Nevada and Maricopa County, AZ).
LaVern Pritchard offered to consult a law search engine he knows.

3. Other States' Rules - Karen Westwood, Chair; member Susan Ledray, assisted by law students from MJF
Task: survey other states to see what rules changes they have enacted & how they have gone about it.

Other tasks:
1. Judge Toussaint will talk to Heidi Green at the S. Ct. about surveying judges.
2. LaVern Pritchard will post a query on the Solo/Small Firm listserve (300 members) to ask for thoughts on unbundling (barriers, opportunities, etc.)
3. Linda Raiber will survey the Stearns/Benton Co. bar members as well.

The meeting adjourned at 4:55pm.

Next meeting: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 from 3-5pm at the MSBA Offices. Official meeting notice & agenda will be sent prior to the meeting.

Respectfully Submitted,
Lisa Wilde

MSBA Pro Se Implementation Committee
Minutes of the Meeting of May 8, 2003

Co-Chairs: Gary Debele Phone (612) 335-4288
Susan Ledray Phone (612) 348-8468
MSBA Staff: Lisa Wilde Phone (612) 333-1183

The meeting commenced at 3pm. Those in attendance were Sara Galligan (invited to report on the Dakota County project) Gary Debele, Susan Ledray, and Judge Ed Lynch (by phone.) Llewellyn Linde and Justice Toussaint had conflicts and were not able to attend. Lisa Wilde, MSBA staff for the committee was out of town.

Susan Ledray and Gary Debele are the current co-chairs for the committee. In response to questions about the committee membership, Mary Grau of the MSBA provided a Committee Roster, and a Subcommittee Roster. The Committee Roster lists only 5 members, plus Lisa Wilde. The 5 are Susan Ledray, Gary Debele, Llewellyn Linde, Honorable Edward Lynch and Honorable Edward Toussaint, Jr.

The Subcommittee Roster lists 42 people, grouped by the four subcommittees: Program, Meaningful Access, Lawyers, and Judiciary, with subcommittee chairs identified.

A. Updates were provided on implementation of the committee proposals endorsed by the full MSBA at the summer 2003 Annual Convention.
1. Amendment to Code of Professional Responsibility, Rule 1.10.
This amendment relaxes the conflict of interest provisions for lawyers providing brief advice at a non-profit or court-based legal advice clinic. A petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court was written by Bruce Jones, Faegre & Benson on behalf of the MSBA, and submitted to the Court February 19, 2003. Committee members noted that Mr. Jones did an exceptional job on the Petition. The Petition has been published for public comment. Sara Galligan, Dakota County Law Librarian, provided a copy of a letter she submitted to the Court in support of the Petition.

2. Amendments to General Rules of Practice
There are two amendments:
a. Amend Rule 302.01 of the General Rules of Practice-District Courts, to permit a streamlined Joint Petition for Dissolution of Marriage Without Children.
b. Add a new Rule to the General Rules of Practice setting guidance for optional Court based Self Help Programs, including ethical protections for staff.
Susan Ledray sent a letter to the Honorable Sam Hanson, chair of the General Rules Committee, requesting consideration of the rules proposals. Susan attended the General Rules Committee meeting April 8, 2003 to present the proposals. No final action was taken.
The General Rules Committee requests that the Conference of Chief Judges consider proposals to amend the court rules. Susan sent the proposals to Janet Marshall, staff attorney for the CCJ, and attended a Conference of Chief Judges Administration Subcommittee meeting on April 25, 2003. The Admin Subcommittee of the CCJ passed a motion supporting the proposals. It appears that the matter will be taken to the full CCJ next.
Susan reported that after consulting with Gary Debele and a couple of other committee members, she presented the Self Help Program rule to the Rules Committee and CCJ with the suggestion that the Rule be generalized to apply to any court self help program, instead of being limited to Self Help Programs addressing only family law issues.
There was discussion about whether our committee should take further action to promote the adoption of the rules. It was suggested that we consider asking a few key judges to write letters of support to the General Rules Committee. It was decided that Susan would contact Mike Johnson, staff attorney for the committee, and one committee member for guidance, and evaluate the need for further action thereafter.

3. Recommendation for Judicial and Staff training regarding pro se litigants.
A copy of the MSBA Recommendation was sent to Sue Dosal. Our Committee will follow up by providing additional information on training programs being developed through State Justice Institute and American Judicature Society grants to State Court Administration. We will continue to offer to assist in any way beneficial to the Court.

B. Updates on subcommittee work.
Sara Galligan reported on the Dakota County Family Court Self-Help Center project, and presented a written 6 month evaluation dated March 5, 2003, which is attached to the Minutes. In May 2003 responsibility for volunteer coordination for the attorneys shifted from the Dakota Co. Bar Association to Legal Assistance of Dakota County. Sara will be following up on malpractice and ethics issues that have been raised by the Dakota Co. Bar, and reporting back to the Committee.

The Committee members present were aware of no other activity by the four subcommittees - Program, Lawyers, Meaningful Access, and Judiciary - since the General Assembly in June 2003. The co-chairs thought that all of the chairs of the subcommittees were invited to this meeting, but due to misunderstanding about the Committee Roster, only the Judiciary Subcommittee chair was in fact invited.

C. Committee Structure, Focus and Work Assignments.
It was agreed that the subcommittees were frustrated by the magnitude of the subcommittee assignments. The tasks were generally found to be overwhelming, and substantial overlap exists between the committees.

It was agreed that the Pro Se Committee should be restructured around one or more discrete tasks or issues. The four subcommittees will be disbanded. Any subcommittee member, and any other interested person, may contact the co-chairs Gary Debele and Susan Ledray, with ideas for work groups to be convened now or in the future, around key specific issues or tasks that are likely to have substantial impact on pro se issues.

At this time, a work group will be convened to continue the work of the Lawyer's Subcommittee on unbundling.

Unbundling is a method of providing legal services in which clients select among several discrete lawyering tasks contained within the traditional, full-service representation package. Discrete tasks include advising the client, legal research, discovery, negotiation, drafting documents, court representation, etc.
Unbundling is viewed as a way to provide legal services to persons who cannot afford full representation, are not willing to pay for full-representation, or who are unable to pay anything, but would benefit from discrete task pro bono services.

Susan reported that the Courts and Minnesota Coalition of Legal Services have applied for grant funding for creation of an on-line, interview style method of preparing forms that has proven very effective for pro se, low literacy litigants in California. The product is known as I-CAN. I-CAN coupled with unbundled legal services holds promise as an effective alternative to full representation for many low income litigants, and as a means of providing meaningful access to courts.

A tentative next meeting date of July 17, 2003 was set for 3-5pm at the MSBA offices. The meeting will only address Unbundling. Gary will bring information to summarize the work of the Lawyers Subcommittee thus far, and Susan will bring copies of rules recently adopted by or currently under consideration by other states to facilitate unbundling. The tasks for the work group will include: Drafting rule amendments, conducting lawyer, judge, and public outreach to promote understanding of the rules, considering the creation of directories to connect people to lawyers willing to provide unbundled services, and developing methods for maximizing pro bono and legal services time through unbundled services.

The co-chairs will contact Lisa Wilde for assistance in soliciting participation in the unbundling work group, through an email to MSBA members or notice in Bench and Bar. Persons interested in being on the unbundled law work group should contact Susan Ledray or Gary Debele, preferably prior to July 15, 2003.

The next agenda item was a request from Gary Weissman of the ADR Board for our Committee to send two representatives to a new ADR subcommittee on unbundling. It was decided that Gary Debele will contact Gary Weissman and offer to attend the ADR meetings as a liaison between our committee and the ADR committee.

Other topics mentioned for follow-up or work groups in the future include expanding court/library/bar/legal services partnerships to provide brief advice and assistance with forms (e.g. the Dakota County Family Court Self-Help Center); I-CAN related projects, and supporting the ProBono.Net and website projects. The Committee will select current key issues that are believed to be high impact, and focus on one or two at a time. The committee will continue to invite non-MSBA members to work on issues, as needed to achieve critical representation and input. The need for representation from across the state was also noted. The MSBA offices have phone conferencing capabilities.

It was agreed that the Minutes of this meeting should be sent to everyone on the Committee Roster and Subcommittee Roster.

The meeting adjourned at 4:45pm.

Next meeting: Tentative date of July 17, 2003 from 3-5pm at the MSBA Offices. Notice of finalized date to follow.

Respectfully Submitted,

Susan Ledray

- Last Updated 08/05/05 -