Annual Report Archives
MSBA Publications Committee

2001-02 | 1996-97
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MSBA Publications Committee

The Publications Committee continued to provide ideas and oversight to produce the high-quality Bench & Bar magazine (print and on-line) and annual Directory. We maintained "business as usual" through the well-deserved sabbatical of our talented director, Jud Haverkamp, thanks to a lot of hard work by him in advance, the assistance of other MSBA directors, the able work of Karol Engstrom Narum, and committee members pitching in to review unsolicited manuscripts and make publishing decisions.

Some of our work during the 2001-02 year included:

The Publications Committee plans for the 2002-03 year include:

Juanita B. Luis, Chair


1996-97 Annual Report
MSBA Publications Committee

In addition to our primary task -- overseeing production of a high-quality legal journal for MSBA members -- the Publication Committee focused on several specific issues and projects this year:

Readership Research: The committee digested and analyzed substantial and important information gathered as a result of the 1996 readership survey. The results were presented to the Board of Governors at its September 1996 meeting. The survey probed such issues as what our members want to see in Bench & Bar, what parts of the publication they find most valuable, etc. Among other significant findings, the survey indicated that Bench & Bar is the best-read among 10 law- and business-related publications circulating to MSBA members. Most members read Bench & Bar: 1.) to learn about developments in statutory and judicial law; 2.) to learn about issues facing lawyers and the profession; and 3.) to stay current with developments in their areas of practice. There appears to be greatest demand for increased coverage of trends in the law, practice tips, and issues in the profession while respondents indicated they would prefer less coverage of book reviews and law firm management issues.

MSBA in brief: On the recommendation of the Governance and Finance Committee, the Board of Governors decided to eliminate MSBA in brief as a publication of the MSBA. The committee was charged with deciding how to incorporate some of the in brief features into Bench & Bar. This is an evolving process. To date, we have added a section called "MSBA in brief" to Bench & Bar, and incorporated a technology column and a CLE calendar similar to material that previously was part of in brief.

On a related note, the committee has been analyzing issues relating to the issue of print publishing and alternatives to print available through the Internet and other electronic publishing technologies as a way of expanding and transforming the information that the MSBA can publish to its members.

Financial Advantages: This year we continued our progress toward our ultimate financial goal -- to cover all direct expenses of Bench & Bar with nondues revenue so that we can provide our journal to MSBA members at the lowest possible cost. After completing an exhaustive print bidding process, we decided to change to a specialized magazine printer, Banta Publications/Hart Press of Long Prairie, Minnesota. This will produce significant cost savings while maintaining the quality of Bench & Bar. By this and other changes and advances, we anticipate covering 99 percent or more of direct expenses with nondues revenue in fiscal year 1997-98. For fiscal year 1996-97, we supplied Bench & Bar at a net direct cost per member of 49 cents for the year, or under a nickel per issue.

"And the Wiblishauser for the Best Article goes to ...": This year the Elmer H. Wiblishauser Author's Award was presented to Doug Peine for his article "Deciding to Appeal," which appeared in the February 1996 issue.

I have appreciated the opportunity to serve the MSBA as chair of its Publications Committee these past two years. I know that the committee and its new chair, Judge Roland Amundson, will continue to make substantial efforts to make Bench & Bar even more useful and accessible to the members.

Charles E. Lundberg,

- Last Updated 10/23/02 -