RCLL March 2024 CLE

Wokandapix at Pixabay, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ramsey County Law Library currently hosts one virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course on the second Wednesday of each month. For March 2024, our presenters will be Jon Tynjala & Judith Rush from Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. They will present on the topic: Ethical Dangers of Isolation in the Legal Profession. Please note that this month’s CLE will be hosted via Zoom.

CLE Details & Registration info:

Sign up for this CLE (one Ethics credit pending) using the registration link below.

Register for Ramsey County CLE: March 13, 2024

03/13/2024, 12:00 PM – 03/13/2024, 1:00 PM
Time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Please register and join this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Presentation title: “Ethical Dangers of Isolation in the Legal Profession”

Presentation description: Loneliness and isolation present an urgent public health challenge, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to issue a public health advisory to urge the nation’s immediate awareness and action.  As lawyers, we have been identified as the loneliest workers in America, and our isolation presents a significant risk to our mental and physical health and our ability to conform to our professional obligations.  This program explores some of the causes and effects of isolation, the impact on our professional responsibilities, and ways we can address both causes and effects of isolation by building a culture of connection and mutual care in the legal profession.

Speaker biographies:

Jon Tynjala, Esq., joined Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) as a Case Manager in 2022. Jon received his B.A. in Business Administration from the College of St. Thomas in 1989, and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1995. Prior to his affiliation with LCL, Jon was engaged in private practice serving businesses and their owners at larger and medium sized law firms in Minnesota, and, most recently, at a two-person firm in Maple Grove.

Judith (Judie) Rush joined LCL as Outreach Manager in 2022 following a legal career practicing law, teaching, and serving the legal and broader community doing volunteer work focused on ethics and professional responsibility, legal education, and helping lawyers and law students enjoy happy, healthy & ethical lives. Prior to joining LCL, Judie served as the Director of Mentor Externship at University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she continues to build relationships with mentors and mentor students. She has enjoyed a successful solo practice and teaching as an adjunct at Hamline University School of Law and William Mitchell College of Law, teaching professional responsibility and legal advocacy. Judith served as a volunteer in Minnesota’s discipline process for 18 years, including six years as Chair of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. She has also served as Co-Chair of the ABA Co-LAP’s Law Student Services Committee, Chair of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and the MSBA Life & the Law Committee and served on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee to Review the Discipline System. Judie earned her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude from Hamline University and her J.D. magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law.

If you have questions about the session, please contact the law library at 651-266-8391.

See you there!

 

RCLL February 2024 CLE

Ifrah Yousuf, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ramsey County Law Library currently hosts one virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course on the second Wednesday of each month. For February 2024, our presenter will be John Carney of Carney Forensics. He will present on the topic: How Evolving Everyday Technology is Impacting Civil and Criminal Litigation. Please note that this month’s CLE will be hosted via Zoom.

CLE Details & Registration info:

Sign up for this CLE (one standard credit pending) using the registration link below.

Register for Ramsey County CLE: February 14, 2024

02/14/2024, 12:00 PM – 02/14/2024, 1:00 PM
Time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Please register and join this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Presentation title: “How Evolving Everyday Technology is Impacting Civil and Criminal Litigation”

Speaker biography:

John Carney is the owner, Chief Technology Officer, and lead digital forensic examiner of Carney Forensics. He earned his JD in law and dispute resolution from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and is a licensed attorney in both federal and state courts in Minnesota. He is also an expert witness who testifies regularly in federal and state courts nationwide. John is proud to provide pro bono digital forensic services to the Great North Innocence Project, where he assists their staff and volunteer attorneys with exonerations of wrongful convictions in Minnesota, North and South Dakota.

If you have questions about the session, please contact the law library at 651-266-8391.

See you there!

 

RCLL January 2024 CLE

Funeral card of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The Ramsey County Law Library currently hosts one virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course on the second Wednesday of each month. For January 2024 our presenter will be Marshall Tanick of Meyer Njus Tanick. He will present on the topic: The JFK Assassination & Minnesota-Where were you?. Please note that this month’s CLE will be hosted via Zoom.

CLE Details & Registration info:

Sign up for this CLE (one standard credit pending) using the registration link below.

Register for Ramsey County CLE: January 10, 2024

01/10/2024, 12:00 PM – 01/10/2024, 1:00 PM
Time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Please register and join this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Presentation title: The JFK Assassination & Minnesota-Where were you?

Speaker biography:

Marshall H. Tanick is a Twin Cities Constitutional law attorney with the law firm of MEYER NJUS TANICK with offices in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and St. Louis Park as well as other Upper Midwest cities. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Certified as a Senior Civil Trial Specialist. He writes and speaks frequently on a variety of legal topics as well as annual Supreme Court reviews and previews.

If you have questions about the session, please contact the law library at 651-266-8391.

See you there!

 

During this giving season and as we approach the New Year, the Ramsey County Law Library is grateful for several local organizations we have worked with over the years to help increase access to justice for our residents. If you are looking to donate to a worthy cause, we encourage you to consider the following non-profit organizations:

  1. Volunteer Lawyers Network: Established in 1966, Volunteer Lawyers Network, Ltd. (VLN) is a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides civil legal services to low-income people through volunteer attorneys. VLN’s mission is to protect and promote the basic human needs of people in poverty through the power of legal volunteers. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, VLN provided 5,826 free legal services to 4,943 low-income Minnesotans in need. VLN supports the patrons of Ramsey County Law Library by assisting with our monthly criminal expungement self-help clinic.
  2. Neighborhood Justice Center: Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC) was born from a vision of a more just criminal justice system, free from racism and discrimination. NJC launched as a non-profit organization in 1973 by a passionate group of community advocates, attorneys, judges, and neighbors. As one of the longest-standing public defense corporations in Minnesota, their team provides the highest quality legal support, at no or low cost to clients. NJC supports the patrons of Ramsey County Law Library by assisting with our monthly criminal expungement self-help clinic.
  3. Minnesota Justice Foundation: Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) was incorporated in 1982 by a group of University of Minnesota law students who were concerned about serving their communities. These visionary students believed that lawyers and law students have a special professional obligation to provide quality legal services to those who cannot afford legal representation. In addition, they were committed to improving the law school environment and the legal profession by calling attention to the need for legal services for low-income individuals and for creating pro bono opportunities for law students and lawyers. MJF has helped to support the patrons of Ramsey County Law Library by assisting with some of our law clinics. Bonus: If you are a Target shopper, look for MJF in your Target circle app. They are in the voting cycle until Dec. 31.
  4. Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services: Founded in 1909, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS) is the oldest legal aid provider in the state. Originally established as a branch of Associated Charities, to provide legal advice and representation to low-income people, the organization became Legal Assistance of Ramsey County (LARC) in 1966 and was among the first legal aid programs in the country to receive federal funding. In 1979, LARC was merged into SMRLS when services were expanded to cover the southern third of the state. SMRLS currently serves the 33 counties of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities’ east and south metro, as well as agricultural workers throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.
 

RCLL December 2023 CLE

Photos public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Ramsey County Law Library currently hosts one virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course each month. For December 2023 our presenter will be Matt Eichenlaub of HOME Line. He will present an on the topic of Changes to Landlord/Tenant Laws in Minnesota. Please note that this month’s CLE will be hosted via Zoom.

CLE Details & Registration info:

Sign up for this CLE (one standard credit pending) using the registration link below.

Register for Ramsey County CLE: December 13, 2023

12/13/2023, 12:00 PM – 12/13/2023, 1:00 PM
Time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Please register and join this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Presentation title: Changes to Landlord/Tenant Laws

Presentation description: 2023 saw some of the most comprehensive changes in Minnesota’s Landlord Tenant Law in over two decades. The changes touch privacy, security deposits, evictions, emergency repairs and cannabis use. This CLE presentation will be a summary of some of the larger changes.

Speaker biography: Matt Eichenlaub is an attorney at HOME Line.  He began with HOME Line in April of 2008.  Matt worked as a debt collection attorney prior to working at HOME Line.  Matt graduated from Hamline University School of Law in 2004. 

Matt’s work has focused on foreclosure law as it relates to tenants.  He has advised over 3,500 tenants whose landlords are in foreclosure.  It is likely that he has advised more tenants in foreclosure than any other attorney in the State of Minnesota. In addition to his foreclosure work, Matt advises tenants about their rights regarding evictions, security deposit disputes, and repairs, amongst other topics. He has advised over 19,500 Minnesota renter households. He has given over 190 speeches to the high school students, landlords, and tenants. 

If you have questions about the session, please contact the law library at 651-266-8391.

See you there!

 

RCLL November 2023 CLE

Legal_Gavel_&_Closed_Law_Book
Photos public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Ramsey County Law Library currently hosts one virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course each month. For November 2023 our presenter will be Deanna Natoli from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. She will present on the topic: Public Discipline (so far) in 2023. Please note that this month’s CLE will be hosted via Zoom.

CLE Details & Registration info:

Sign up for this CLE (one EOB credit pending) using the registration link below.

Register for Ramsey County CLE: November 8, 2023

11/8/2023, 12:00 PM – 11/8/2023, 1:00 PM
Time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Please register and join this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Presentation title: Public Discipline (so far) in 2023

Speaker biography:

Deanna Natoli joined the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in November 2021 after spending over 11 years as a criminal prosecutor in both Minnesota (Dakota and Isanti counties) and Michigan (Eaton County). Deanna received her J.D. from Western Michigan University Cooley School of Law and two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Michigan State University. Deanna is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and has volunteered as an MSBA Mock Trial judge.  Deanna previously served on the Minnesota County Attorney Association’s Appellate and Diversity committees.

If you have questions about the session, please contact the law library at 651-266-8391.

See you there!

 

RCLL October 2023 CLE

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court as it was been comprised on June 30, 2022 after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined the Court.  The Justices are posed in front of red velvet drapes and arranged by seniority, with five seated and four standing...Seated from left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito and Elena Kagan. Standing from left are Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Ramsey County Law Library currently hosts one virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course each month. The presentation scheduled for October 11, 2023 is titled: Nine for Nine Supreme Court Review, 2022-23. Please note that this month’s CLE will be hosted via Zoom starting at 1:00pm.

CLE Details & Registration info:

Sign up for this CLE (one standard credit pending) using the registration link below.

Register for Ramsey County CLE: October 11, 2023 1-2 pm

10/11/2023, 1:00 PM – 10/11/2023, 2:00 PM
Time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Please register and join this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Presentation title: Nine for Nine Supreme Court Review, 2022-23

Presentation description:

As a new term gets underway at the U.S. Supreme Court, please join us for a review of some significant decisions from the last term including: Delaware v. Pennsylvania, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, Biden v. Nebraska, Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, Tyler v. Hennepin County, and 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. We will also preview some of the upcoming cases in the current term.

Speaker Bios:

Presented by David Schultz, Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies at Hamline University and a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Constitutional law attorney Marshall Tanick of the Twin Cities law firm of MEYER NJUS TANICK.

Schultz, David | University of Minnesota Law School (umn.edu)

David Schultz | Faculty & Staff | Hamline University

Marshall Tanick – Meyer Njus Tanick

If you have questions about the session, please contact the law library at 651-266-8391.

See you there!

 

RCLL September 2023 CLE

The Ramsey County Law Library currently hosts one virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course each month via Teams. For September 2023 our presenter will be Naomi Gaines-Young, who is a Post Release Specialist with Minnesota Freedom Fund. She will present on the topic: A Case Study of the Criminalization of Poverty, Culture, and Mental Illness.

Sign up for this CLE (one EOB credit pending) using the registration link below.

CLE Details:

9/13/2023, 12:00 PM – 9/13/2023, 1:00 PM
Time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Register for Ramsey County CLE: September 13, 2023 12-1 pm

Presentation Title: A Case Study of the Criminalization of Poverty, Culture, and Mental Illness

Presentation Description:

We all remember where we were when 9/11 happened. For a young mother by the name of Naomi Gaines, it turned out, 9/11 was the beginning of the end of her sanity. What happens when the unthinkable occurs and a mother ends the life of her child? We often rush to judgement without the compassion to ask why. Naomi will share in this presentation her tragic story of what happens when we ignore mental illness in our community, in our families, and in ourselves. Often people of color are reluctant to seek help, and when we do how the system responds can sometimes exacerbate an already difficult state of mind. Naomi will share how she overcame the odds and is challenging what it means to be given mental health care and support vs. criminalization and punishment. Naomi, now a successful activist, author, and business owner, is spreading her message of awareness. She demonstrates how a transformation of her ‘inner’ world and self-expression through Hip-hop became a catalyst for self-healing and allows Naomi to perform healing work in her community.

Speaker biography:

Naomi Gaines-Young, aka N.G. Young, is an independent Hip-hop Artist, Published Author, Motivational Speaker, Mental Health Activist, Organizer and Hip-hop Scholar. She is also the owner of Love Must Be Entertainment, LLC, a Motivational Hip-hop Lessons and Media Company. N.G. lives her life in service to the many who suffer in silence as she once did, especially within the African American community. She seeks to end the cycle of guilt and shame, associated with having both a criminal history and a diagnosed mental illness. N.G. speaks openly and honestly about the loss and pain in her past while moving forward in her future. Her work includes being a keynote speaker at state universities, mental health panels, various non-profits, and annual state conferences. She’s a Certified Peer Support Specialist, and also works as a Post Release Support Specialist and Organizer for Minnesota Freedom Fund that assists individuals recently released from custody and supports those who believe stability in communities depends on the health and well-being of the individuals, families, and institutions within their communities.

If you have questions about the session, please contact the law library at 651-266-8391.

See you there!

 

Minnesota Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

Governor Tim Walz signs House File 100 into law to legalize recreational cannabis in Minnesota.
He is joined at the ceremony by Jesse Ventura, Minnesota governor from 1999 to 2003.

On May 30th, Governor Walz signed the cannabis finance and policy bill (HF 100) into law, which made Minnesota the 23rd state in the country to legalize adult use of recreational cannabis. Starting on Tuesday, August 1st people in Minnesota aged 21 and over will be permitted to possess, consume, and grow their own cannabis for personal use. The bill also establishes a new state agency, called the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) to oversee the new recreational market, including business licenses; the OCM will also oversee the existing medical cannabis and hemp-derived markets.

Notable provisions include:

  • Legalizing the possession of up to 2 oz. of cannabis in public and 2 lbs. at home
  • Legalizing the use, possession, and transportation of cannabis paraphernalia
  • Legalizing the home cultivation of up to 8 cannabis plants (only 4 may be mature)
  • Automatic expungement of non-felony cannabis offenses
  • Creation of Cannabis Expungement Board tasked with possible expungement of felony offenses
  • Creation of the Office of Cannabis Management tasked with overseeing cannabis marketplace

The Ramsey County Law Library will be offering a CLE on the topic of Cannabis Law and Policy in Minnesota on Wednesday, August 9th from noon-1pm. Jason Tarasek, a long-time cannabis attorney with Vicente LLP, will discuss the evolution of cannabis law and policy throughout Minnesota and the United States. Jason will address the history of cannabis prohibition and the new legality of hemp, hemp derivatives, medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis. Please sign up here if you are interested in learning more about the legalization of recreational cannabis in Minnesota.

 

Libraries are united in the mission of providing accurate, relevant, and timely information for their patrons, a mission that has faced challenges in recent decades due to the rapid spread of misinformation online. Law libraries have encountered patrons with preconceived notions influenced by judicially unsupported legal arguments and obscure and questionable interpretations of law often promoted through conspiracy theories on the web. The most common example of this that I have encountered working in a law library is the sovereign citizen.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, members of the sovereign citizen movement “believe they are not under the jurisdiction of the federal government and consider themselves exempt from U.S. law.” Individuals who claim to be sovereign citizens reference a wide variety of constitutional interpretations, governmental decisions, and historical agreements to claim they are exempt from everything from taxes to traffic laws. In an effort to have their cases dismissed, criminal trial defendants have claimed that being a sovereign citizen means the court has no jurisdiction over them. This argument was recently used in the highly publicized trial of Darrell Brooks. However, scholars have characterized this criminal defense argument as having no legal applicability.

Time and time again, defendants claiming sovereign citizenship have had their requests for dismissal rejected by the courts. Yet in answering legal reference questions from individuals facing criminal charges, my colleagues and I have frequently encountered patrons requesting information on sovereign citizenship. This experience in not unique to our library. In their 2021 annual report, the Minnesota State Law Library Services to Prisoners Program recorded receiving over 800 questions related to sovereignty from people incarcerated in Minnesota Department of Corrections facilities.

My coworkers at the Ramsey County Law Library and I have discussed how to answer these questions according to our dual responsibilities to neutrally answer every patron’s questions to the best of our ability and to provide the most accurate, relevant information to meet each patron’s need. Navigating these responsibilities proves difficult when a patron’s question originates from misinformation and conspiracy, so I have had to carefully consider my approach.

When encountering a conspiratorial ideology like the sovereign citizen movement, I try to understand what about this particular belief might appeal to an individual. The complexity of the legal system can be overwhelming, especially for people with no legal education or experience. Sovereign citizen ideology advertises a “golden ticket” out of this complexity by promising that once an individual asserts that a court has no authority over them, they will be free to go. Law library staff are in a unique position to combat the attractive simplicity in legal misinformation by connecting patrons with resources that explain legal processes and court procedures in plain language. Whatever information we can provide to demystify the legal system for the average person weakens the appeal of conspiracy theories, offering ways to navigate the system, instead of completely (and unsuccessfully) rejecting it.

In addition to investigating why a piece of misinformation may appeal to a patron, during difficult reference interactions, I emphasize my role as an educator, rather than an arbitrator of the truth. Public librarians have found success in addressing misinformed patrons by avoiding the immediate response of “that’s not true.” Instead, librarians guide the patron through a search for relevant information and instruct them on the information literacy tools needed to evaluate sources (I’m personally a fan of the C.R.A.A.P. test). The sovereign citizen movement, like many movements born of conspiracy theories, believes the government operates in secrecy to hide its illegitimate authority, so transparency in the search process and the source of information is vital in responding to these reference questions.

Instructing patrons in conducting their own searches and evaluating sources themselves is also key for law library staff upholding the boundary between legal advice and legal information. I cannot argue whether claiming to be a sovereign citizen will get an individual out of a traffic ticket or paying their taxes, but I can help a patron search case law to see how courts have previously ruled on this argument or help them find secondary sources where legal experts comment upon the applicability of such approaches.

My hope as an information professional is that I can develop trust with my patrons, making them feel heard even when I think they have been influenced by misinformation. I want to empower them to develop their research skills, so that when they make their own legal decisions, those decisions are based on the most accurate, relevant information available.

A few cases involving sovereign citizen arguments:

United States v. Benabe, 654 F.3d 753 (7th Cir. 2011)

Bey v. State, 847 F.3d 559 (7th Cir. 2017)

Gravatt v. United States, 100 Fed. Cl. 279 (2011)

Bibliography:

Sarteschi, C. M. (2020). Sovereign Citizens: A Psychological and Criminological Analysis. Germany: Springer International Publishing.

Sarteschi C. M. (2020). Sovereign Citizens: A Narrative Review With Implications of Violence Towards Law Enforcement. Aggression and violent behavior, 101509. Advance online publication.