Policy #9


Minnesota Supreme Court Committees

(Adopted by the Council 7/20/12)


1.      The purposes of the Minnesota State Bar Association include to “aid the courts in the administration of justice,” to “apply the knowledge and experience of the profession to the public good,” and to “provide a forum for the discussion of subjects pertaining to the practice of law, the science of jurisprudence and law reform . . .”1 To those ends, the Association seeks an active role in the rulemaking and other general deliberative processes in each court whose territorial jurisdiction includes Minnesota, especially including (but not limited to) the Supreme Court of Minnesota.


2.      The Association pursues that role through formal representation and active participation in the committees that the courts appoint. For the purposes of this policy relating to court committees, a “committee” includes a board, committee, task force, or other advisory body, by whatever name called.


3.      For each court whose territorial jurisdiction is coextensive with the state, the Association asks that each such committee include at least one representative appointed (or, where the court reserves the power of appointment, nominated) by and from the State Bar Association. These courts include, but are not necessarily limited to, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and the Court of Appeals of Minnesota. Where formal representation is unavailable, the Association will offer its input through the most constructive and effective means available, for which purpose it may appoint a liaison to the committee, in which case it shall ordinarily ask that the liaison be allowed the fullest possible access to the committee’s work and the fullest possible participation and input in its deliberations.


4.      For each court whose territorial jurisdiction covers an area less than the whole state, the Association likewise supports representation by and from the corresponding affiliated local bar associations.


5.      The Association appoints or nominates its representatives and liaisons through the President with the advice of the Judiciary Committee, which is charged with nominating, managing, and tracking vacancies for the representatives and liaisons to court committees; with receiving their reports, and advising them about the views and interests of the bar for presentation to the appropriate committee or court; and with coordinating input and communications among the representatives and liaisons, on the one hand, and the Association’s governing boards, sections, committees, officers, and affiliated associations, on the other hand. The Judiciary Committee shall exercise its charge, including but not limited to nominating representatives and liaisons, in consultation with any other committee or section to whose work the court committee’s work closely relates.


6.      Each representative and liaison is expected to attend the meetings of, and to actively participate in, both the court committee and the Judiciary Committee. If the committee’s work relates closely to the work of another committee or section, then the representative or liaison shall likewise maintain regular and timely contact with that section or committee as well; or, in an appropriate case, the representative or liaison shall participate primarily in the court committee and the other committee or section, and shall maintain regular and timely contact with the Judiciary Committee.


7.      This policy does not apply to court boards and committees where the legislature, the court, or the Association has already provided for the Association’s representation or participation through election by the Assembly or through some other process than the one for which this policy provides. These court boards and committees to which this policy does not apply include, but are not necessarily limited to, the Client Security Board,2 the Lawyer Trust Account Board,3 the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board,4 the State Board of Continuing Legal Education,5 and the State Board of Legal Certification.6


1MSBA, Restated Articles, art. 2 (purposes).


2Rules of the Minnesota Client Security Board, Rule 1.01 (membership of the Board) (“The Supreme Court shall appoint seven members to the Client Security Board . . . three of whom shall be nominees of the Minnesota State Bar Association”).


3Rules of Lawyer Trust Account Board, Rule 1 (composition) (“The Lawyer Trust Account Board shall consist of six lawyers having their principal officers in this state, three of whom the Minnesota State Bar Association may nominate”).


4Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility, Rule 4(a) (composition) (“The Board shall consist of: . . . (2) Thirteen lawyers having their principal office in this state, six of whom the Minnesota State Bar Association may nominate . . .”).


5Rules of the Supreme Court for Continuing Legal Education of Members of the Bar, Rule 2 (State Board of Continuing Legal Education) (“Six of the members of the Board other than the chairperson shall be nominated by the Minnesota State Bar Association in the manner determined by it.”).


6Plan for the Minnesota State Board of Legal Certification, Rule 2.01 (establishment of the Board) (“Three of the lawyer members shall be nominated by the Minnesota State Bar Association.”).