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MSBA Public Law Section
Annual Report
2011-12

Section Membership
As of April 25, 2012, the Public Law Section has 535 members.  This accounts for a 3.7% decrease in Section membership since July 1, 2011.

Financial Status
The Public Law Section had an account balance of $5515.24 as of May 31, 2012. 

Continuing Legal Education Programs and Social Events

Program

Date

Event Code

CLE Credit

Public Law Section Annual Meeting CLE: Veterans and The Legal System: Addressing the Realities of Military to Civilian Life

5/18/12

167131

3 EOB

Chronic Stress, Mental Health, and Addiction

3/9/12

164501

1 EOB

So You Want to Be a Judge?  A Candid Conversation about what it is like and how to get there

3/1/12

164839

1.5

Chronic Stress, Mental Health and Addiction

09/30/11

159676

1.0 EOB

Legislation and Amicus Briefs
The Public Law Section did not submit any legislative proposals or amicus briefs in 2011-12.

Annual Meeting and Election Results
The Section’s annual meeting and elections were held on May 18, 2012, at Hamline University.  The program, including an awards presentation, lunch and CLE, was well attended with 87 participants.

The following individuals were elected to serve as Section Officers in 2012-13:

Section Co-Chairs: Inta Sellars & Margaret Westin
Section Treasurer: Hon Diane Alshouse
Section Secretary: Lynn Belgea

The following individuals were elected to serve on the Public Law Section Council from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014:

Hon Todd Schoffelman
Barry Greller
Mary Miller
Dana Banwer

Additional Activities:
2012 Nine Days In June CLE: Data Practices Requests During Pending Litigation
Dates and Locations:
•           First District June 8th Prior Lake (One Hour CLE)
•           Third District June 12 Rochester (One Hour CLE)
•           Fifth District June 13 Mankato (One Hour CLE)
•           Sixth District June 19th Duluth (One Hour CLE)
•           Seventh District June 8 Alexandria (One Hour CLE)
•           Eighth District June 26th Willmar (One Hour CLE)
•           Tenth District June 21 Blaine (One Hour CLE)

 

Submitted By:
Inta Sellars and Dana Banwer, Section Co-Chairs

 

 

 

 

MSBA Public Law Section
Annual Report for 2009-10
By: Mary Miller, Co-Chair of the Public Law Section
Jim Alexander, Co-Chair of the Public Law Section


The Public Law Section of the MSBA had another active year.
Continuing Legal Education: During the past twelve months the Public Law Section sponsored the following continuing legal education courses for a total of more than 20 CLE credits:


Meeting/Course Title

Date

  Credits

Data Practices Law, with Information Policy Analysis Division (IPAD) of Department of Administration

6/25/09

1.5

Kids and Data Practices, with Minnesota County Attorneys Association (MCAA)

10/9/09

5.5

Human Trafficking, with the Criminal Law, Immigration Law and Children and the Law Sections

5/11/10

1.5

Ethics for Government Attorneys

5/14/10

3 Ethics

“Data Practices- Protecting Privacy and Providing Access”, with MCAA and IPAD
at MSBA Convention – Nine Days

6/4 to 6/23/10

8 (1 each)

Total

 

19.5

Public Law Section News: The Section continues to publish and send its members the Public Law News, the section’s newsletter, three times a year. The newsletter has been cited locally and nationally for its quality and content and has been noted as an example of a successful bar association newsletter. Regular features include profiles of public law offices and public lawyers, discussion of current legal issues and recent court decisions, data practices opinion indices, and notices of upcoming CLE’s of interest to public lawyers. The Public Law Section distributes the newsletter to most of its members by e-mail.

The Public Law Section website is maintained at http://www.mnbar.org/sections/public-law/index.asp

Community and Public Service:
Over the past year, the Public Law Section has performed numerous public service projects including:

1.  Sponsor a Family - the PLS adopted eight families and provided gifts and gift certificates for 40 people.  PLS members and their friends and families joined forces to bring holiday cheer to more than 22 children.  Despite the economy, the PLS continued this very generous holiday tradition.

2.  Identity Theft presentations - the PLS provided Identity Theft programming for senior citizens at the SMRLS annual Senior Fair.  As a spin-off, PLS members were asked to speak to a senior group at the Salvation Army and also to a group of Vietnamese senior citizens.  All of the presentations were designed to give senior citizens a greater awareness of identity theft issues and to provide referral information.

3.  Loaves & Fishes - the PLS has continued its support for Loaves & Fishes at Holy Rosary Church in south Minneapolis.  Six times during the year, volunteers prepared dinner for up to 300 people.  PLS funds the purchase of food.

4.  Loaves & Fishes Legal Clinic - for the past year, PLS has provided lawyer resources for Loaves & Fishes clients.  During the meal services, lawyers answer questions and provide legal advice.  During the next year, PLS will explore options at other Loaves & Fishes locations.

5.  In the fall, 2010, PLS will sponsor a Habitat for Humanity project.
The Section supported the Beck Scholarship Fund in the amount of $1,000.  The Section contribution, together with donations from other MSBA sections, leverages work study funds for law students to provide 3,200 hours of service to low income individuals.   The Section contributed to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), which provides assistance with the repayment of law student loans for lawyers in public service, both monetarily and by participating in the 8th Annual Race for Justice.  Funding support was also provided to the Minnesota Justice Foundation. 

Council Meetings: 
The Section Executive Council met on a monthly basis except July.  Meetings alternate between Minneapolis and St. Paul with some participating by telephone conference call.  

Section Committees
: A number of committees and others of the Section continued to perform the essential planning and implementation work that enables the Section to operate. The Committees include the Newsletter Committee, the Awards Committee, the Community/Public Service Committee, Data Practices Committee, Nominating Committee and the Local Government Committee.  The Council has designated a CLE Coordinator, a Membership Coordinator, and a Pro Bono Task Force. The Committees and others offer an opportunity for Section members to become actively involved in the work of the Section.  Contact one of the Public Law Section Co-Chairs if you would like to become involved in the work of any of these groups.

Membership including Law Students
: The Public Law Section continued to work on its membership goals.  Particularly explored was the concept of government office group membership which was approved in concept by the MSBA.  Details continue to be developed.    Over the past year three law students participated in the Executive Council and the Council has benefited from their ideas and contributions.  Additionally, members of the Public Law Section attended receptions held at the MSBA offices and local law schools to provide law students the opportunity to learn about the exciting work being done in public law.

Recognition for Public Service
:  Among activities which recognize and highlight the activities of public lawyers are the Public Law Section Annual Awards.

Annual Meeting and Election Results
:  The Annual Meeting of the Section was held on May 14, 2010 at noon at Hamline University. 

The nominating committee made the following recommendations that were adopted unanimously by the Section:

Co-Chairs
(1-year term):
Dana Banwer – Assistant Minneapolis City Attorney, Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office
James S. Alexander – Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office
Secretary (1-year term):
Inta Sellars – Co-Chief Human Services Judge, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Treasurer (1-year term):
Kim Buechel Mesun – Assistant District General Counsel, Minneapolis School District
Executive Council (2-year term):
Todd Schoffelman – District Court Judge, Tenth Judicial District
Barry R. Greller – Assistant Attorney General, Minnesota Attorney General’s Office
Mary Miller – Compensation Attorney Principal, Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry
Margaret Westin – General Counsel, Osseo School District.

The Annual Awards were then presented. 

Fiscal Status
:  The Section finished the year with $15,237.69 as of June 18, 2010.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Miller
Co-Chair
Public Law Section
Minnesota State Bar Association

MSBA Public Law Section
Annual Report for 2008-09
By: Barry R. Greller, Co-Chair of the Public Law Section
      Mary Miller, Co-Chair of the Public Law Section


The Public Law Section of the MSBA had another active year:

Continuing Legal Education
: During the past twelve months the Public Law Section sponsored the following continuing legal education courses for a total of more than 11 CLE credits:


Meeting/Course Title

Date

  Credits

Minnesota Data Practices: The Good, the Bad, and the IPAD

6/16/08

1.5

To Know It is to Love it – Data Practices 2008, with Minnesota County Attorneys Association

10/3/08

3

A Retrospective on the Republican National Convention

1/27/09

1

Real World Ethics: Issues and Answers, with 18th District Bar Association

5/14/09

1ethics
(pending)

Lessons from Election 2008

5/15/09

2.5 (pending)

Update on Minnesota Open Meeting Law, MSBA Convention in Duluth

6/24/09

1(pending)

Data Practices Law, with Information Policy Analysis Division

6/25/09

1.5 (pending)

Total

 

11.5

Public Law Section News: The Section continues to publish and send its members the Public Law News, the section’s newsletter, three times a year. The newsletter has been cited locally and nationally for its quality and content and has been noted as an example of a successful bar association newsletter. Regular features include profiles of public law offices and public lawyers, discussion of current legal issues and recent court decisions, data practices opinion indices, and notices of upcoming CLE’s of interest to public lawyers. The Public Law Section distributes the newsletter to most of its members by e-mail.  A recent added feature is the ability to hyperlink from the front page table of contents to the article of interest.

Community and Public Service: The Section continued its active involvement in the community through public service this past year. The Section coordinated a day of work on a Brush with Kindness, Habitat for Humanity project. Section members and friends cooked and served meals every other month throughout the year for over fifteen hundred people through the Loaves and Fishes program.  This year a legal advice clinic, civil and criminal, for attendees was begun and staffed by public lawyers and one of our student liaisons.  For the last two years the Section has worked with SMRLS on an annual Senior Fair and, both there and on location, made presentations to senior citizens on Identity Theft.  The Section conducted a clothing and diaper drive at the 2008 MSBA Convention in Duluth, and "adopted" twenty+ families for holiday gift giving last year.

The Section contributed to the LRAP Program, which provides assistance with the repayment of law student loans for lawyers in public service, both monetarily and by participating in the 7th Annual Race for Justice.  Funding support was also provided to the Minnesota Justice Foundation. 

The Public Law Section, along with the rest of the MSBA, weighed in at the Legislature on needed funding for the Justice System.

Section Committees: A number of committees and others of the Section continued to perform the essential planning and implementation work that enables the Section to operate. The Committees include the Newsletter Committee, the Awards Committee, the Community/Public Service Committee, Data Practices Committee, Nominating Committee and the Local Government Committee.  The Council has designated a CLE Coordinator, a Membership Coordinator, and a Pro Bono Task Force. The Committees and others offer an opportunity for Section members to become actively involved in the work of the Section. Please contact one of the Public Law Section Co-Chairs if you would like to become involved in the work of any of these groups.

Membership including Law Students: The Public Law Section continued to work on its membership goals.  Particularly explored was the concept of government office group membership which was approved in concept by the MSBA.  Details continue to be developed.    Over the past year we added three law students to the executive council and have benefited from their ideas and contributions.  Additionally, members of the Public Law Section attended receptions held at the MSBA offices and local law schools to provide law students the opportunity to learn about the exciting work being done in public law. 

Diversity Efforts:  The Public Law Section has also been actively working towards the goal of eliminating bias and promoting diversity in the bar by participating in minority recruitment conference and attending law student recruitment events, including the Public Interest Career Exposition.

Recognition for Public Service:  Among activities which recognize and highlight the activities of public lawyers are the Public Law Section Annual Awards.

 

- Last Updated 07/09/2013 -