State Bar




The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, 2010, at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center. President Leo Brisbois presided, with Secretary Robert Enger recording. The Roll Call is attached.


President-Elect Terry Votel presided after President Leo Brisbois presented his President’s Report.


I.       Presentations

Special Recognition: Haiti Fundraising Task Force. Gloria Stamp Smith spoke on the accomplishments of the task force in rising approximately $50,000. Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO of American Refugee Committee, presented a slide show demonstrating use of the funds by ARC. President Brisbois thanked the members of the MSBA/MABL Fundraising Task Force for their work.


Becker Awards. The Bernard Becker Legal Services Staff award was given to Judy Hollie, legal secretary at Central Minnesota Legal Services and Ron Elwood, staff attorney at Legal Services Advocacy Project. The Bernard P. Becker Volunteer Law Student award was presented to Sanjee Weliwitigoda, student at William Mitchell College of Law.


Graven Award. Richard Beens presented the David Graven Public Service Award to George Latimer.


II.      President’s Report

President Brisbois reported on several items of interest to Assembly members:

·  Acknowledged the work of MSBA officers and staff for their work in transitioning to a new acting treasurer of the association due to the resignation of the treasurer in December 2009.

·  Recognized a very successful year for the Mock Trial Program, overseen by Emily Reilly of the MSBA staff;

·  Recognized the new position of Government Relations Director at the MSBA, which has been filled by Bryan Lake;

·  Two new certification programs have been implemented in Criminal Law and Labor and Employment Law;

·  Highlighted the work to implement the new Nine Days in June convention; and

·  President Brisbois praised the work of Assembly committees, and noted recent activities by numerous MSBA sections and committees.


III.     Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director Tim Groshens directed attention to the written report distributed prior to the meeting.


IV.    Treasurer’s Report

Acting Treasurer Brent Routman directed attention to materials distributed before the meeting and presented an overview of the current budget. The MSBA is currently at a slight 1.6% downward overall budget variance from last year’s budget.


V.     Consent Calendar

President-Elect Votel presented the following two items:

A.     Approval of minutes of the December 11, 2009 meeting

B.     Action on the Recommendation of the Governance Committee to approve the amendments to the Bylaws of the Family Law, New Lawyers, Civil Litigation, Bankruptcy Law, Probate and Trust Law, and Labor and Employment Law Sections.

President-Elect Votel called for a motion to approve the Consent Calendar. The motion carried.


VI.    Additional Agenda Items

A.     Action on a motion to authorize consideration of items on this agenda that were not included in the original notice and purpose of the Assembly meeting. President-Elect Votel called for a motion to approve the additional agenda items. The motion carried.


VII.   Reports

A.     Charles Glasrud provided information about the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.

B.     President-Elect Votel presented information on the new Nine Days in June Convention;

C.     Acting Treasurer Brent Routman presented information on LawPAC.

D.     Lloyd Grooms provided an update on the judicial elections legislative priority of the MSBA.


VIII.  Elections/Appointments Committee

Judge George Perez, Chair, reported on the committee’s work and brought forward nominations for various boards and committees.

A.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly nominate Tim O’Brien, Hennepin County, to the Client Security Board.

B.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly nominate Glen Jacobsen, Renville County, and Michael Schechter, Dakota County, to the State Board of Continuing Legal Education.

C.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly nominate Nicholas Slade, Hennepin County, to the Legal Services Advisory Committee

D.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly elect Carol Klaphake, Stearns County, and Patrick O’Donnell, Wright County, to the Central Minnesota Legal Services Board

E.     Action on the Recommendation that the Assembly elect John Dornik, Hennepin County, Jon Duckstad, Ramsey County, Juan Hoyos, Ramsey County, and Brent Routman, Hennepin County to the ABA House of Delegates.

President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendations contained in items A through E. Items A-E were approved.


VIII.  General Policy Committee

Committee Chair Mary Ward presented the following recommendations:

A.     Action on the Recommendation of the Committee regarding the LAD Committee proposal Regarding Creation of an Emeritus Category in the Rules of the Supreme Court on Lawyer Registration.

President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendation, and the recommendation carried with Justice Lorie Gildea abstaining.


B.     Action on the Recommendation of the Committee regarding the request of the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee that the MSBA file a joint petition with the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board to the Minnesota Supreme Court proposing changes to Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5 and 1.15 regarding “nonrefundable” fees. .

President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendation, and the recommendation carried with Justice Lorie Gildea abstaining.


IX.    Governance Committee

Committee Chair Fred Finch reported on the work of the committee, which is working on the revision of the bylaws in relation to amicus briefs or legislative positions; working on amendments to bylaws regarding officer succession; and looking at the issue of the selection of directors for Minnesota CLE.


X.     Legislative Committee

Committee Chair Susan Holden reported on the work of the committee. The committee is working on a “Day at the Capitol” event for lawyers. It is in early planning and the event would not occur, if it does, until 2011.


Ms. Holden reported on the recommendation to continue the MSBA resolution known as Legislative Position No. 5. The resolution sunsets and the committee is recommending that the resolution continue.


         Resolved: that the Minnesota State Bar Association opposes any effort to amend the Minnesota Constitution to forbid the creation of legally-recognized relationships between persons of the same sex.


President-Elect Votel called for a vote on the recommendation and the recommendation was approved, with Justice Lorie Gildea and Judge Edward Toussaint abstaining.


Bryan Lake provided an update on the legislative efforts of the MSBA, reporting that five of the seven section bills have passed, including bills from the Tax Section; ADR Section -- signed by Governor; Probate Section bill passed both the House and Senate and is going to conference committee; Real Property Section had three bills, one related to CIP, mortgage registration tax, and update to CIO Act; Family Law Section’s bill on reproductive technology is ready for floor votes in both chambers; and Business Law Section’s bill has been signed by Governor Pawlenty.


XI.    Operations Committee

Treasurer Brent Routman, Chair, reported on the work of the committee and the following recommendations:


A.           Action on the recommendation to approve changes in section dues in two sections, as follows:





Practice Management & Marketing Law


New Admittee










Alternative Dispute Resolution







B.           Action on the Council Recommendation for up to $15,000 in additional funding for Day 9 of the 2010 Nine Days in June program

C.           Action on the Council Recommendation to appropriate $4,000 for a Strategic Planning Initiative as an approved unbudgeted expense for 2009-10*

D.           Action on the Recommendation to approve the proposed Budget for 2010-11

E.           Action on the Recommendation to approve the proposed Minnesota CLE Budget for 2010-11


President-Elect Votel called for separate votes on the recommendations in Items A-E and, after discussion concerning action on Item B, each of the items carried.


XII.   New Business

There was no new business.


XIII.  Announcements

A.     Notice of elections (Elections will take place at the June 25, 2010 meeting of the Assembly.)

         1.    Nomination of Candidate for MSBA Secretary -- Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the MSBA Bylaws, §9.3, the Elections/Appointments Committee of the Assembly will nominate a candidate for MSBA Secretary on Friday, May 21, 2010.  As required by Bylaw 9.3.4, the Committee “shall consider the need to provide for gender, racial, and other forms of diversity in the leadership of the MSBA when electing the officer at-large.”  All applications for this position should be submitted to the Chair of the Committee in care of Joni Fenner, Assistant to the Executive Director, Minnesota State Bar Association, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 380, Minneapolis, MN  55402; 612/333-1183; email jfenner@mnbar.org.  Deadline for submission is Friday, May 7, 2010.


         2.    Nomination of the Assembly Representatives to the Council

MSBA Bylaws § 7.2.  Composition

The Council comprises the following representatives, all of whom must be members of the MSBA:

. . .

         (e)   three representatives from the Assembly elected by the Assembly. The Assembly shall consider the need to provide for underrepresented groups in the leadership of the MSBA when electing the representatives on the Council. Once elected by the Assembly, the three representatives will serve on the Assembly by virtue of their position on the Council and vacancies will exist in their previous representative positions on the Assembly. The vacancies on the Assembly will be filled pursuant to §4.62.


                The terms of Judge Edward Cleary, Justice Lorie Gildea, and Judge George Perez expire June 30, 2010; all have served two terms and are not eligible to serve an additional term.  All members of the 2009-10 Assembly are eligible to submit Qualifications and Interest Statements for these positions.


         3.    The Assembly, sitting as the members of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation, will elect directors of the Foundation.  The three-year terms of the following directors expire on June 30, 2010: Ed Blomme, Hennepin County, Erin O'Toole-Tomczik, Sherburne County, Jill LeBow Prohofsky, Hennepin County, Alan Ruvelson, Ramsey County, and Pat Trask, Crow Wing County. 


                Ms. O’Toole-Tomczik, Ms. Prohofsky, Mr. Ruvelson and Ms. Trask are eligible and interested in serving an additional term.  Mr. Blomme is not interested in serving an additional term.  Members should encourage any eligible Association member who is interested in being nominated to submit a Qualifications and Interest Statement to the MSBA office by May 7, 2010.


B.     Draft 2010-11 Assembly Meeting Schedule – Review these proposed dates and contact the MSBA staff with any concerns.




Friday, September 10 – Bar Leader Conference

12:00 noon

Friday, December 10

12:00 noon

Thursday, April 28

12:00 noon

Friday, June 24

9:00 a.m.


C.     Future Meeting

Friday, June 25, 2010 -- 9:00 a.m.


XIV.  Adjournment

The session adjourned at 2:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Robert Enger