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The MSBA's Professionalism Committee Presents:


"Too Close to the Line: Reflections From the Bench on ‘Gray Areas’ in the Practice of Law "

A panel presentation moderated by Charles Lundberg with distinguished jurists Hon. James Rosenbaum (retired), Hon. Francis Connolly, Hon. Kathleen Gearin and Hon. Regina Chu.

A recent New York Times article told the sad story of a prominent criminal defense lawyer who had been suspended by the federal court and was waiting for final resolution of state court disciplinary proceedings. His comments about getting “too close to the line” were telling:

“[He] has long believed in doing whatever it takes to win a case, ‘going to the line,’ as he puts it – the line between putting on an aggressive defense and an unethical one. The lawyer claims that “in representing clients, he is always careful about where ‘the absolute line’ is. ‘I’m worried about it all of the time when I’m near it . . . I don’t want to cross it. But on the other hand I want to be near to it’ as required, he added.”

Other lawyers quoted in the article discussed “going to the line . . . to go to the absolute edge of the envelop,” noting that “when you come very close to the line, it’s easy to commit a foot fault, and in our business, those foot faults create grave consequences.” “Very often there is no line. . . . It’s vague. It moves. It changes as the courts keep refining the borders. And often you don’t know where the limits are.”

Come hear our panel of judges wrestle with these fascinating issues.


Hon. James Rosenbaum (retired)

Hon. Francis Connolly 

Hon. Kathleen Gearin  

Hon. Regina Chu


Charles Lundberg

1 hour of Ethics CLE credit applied for



Date:   Friday, March 15, 2013
Time:   12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
MSBA Offices
600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 380
Minneapolis, MN 55402 

Teleconferencing is available. Please indicate this option when registering or contact Nancy Mischel by March 13. Instructions on how to connect via teleconference will be emailed on March 14.

Cost (lunch included):

MSBA Members: $15

Non-MSBA Members: $20