The Legal Connector

Vol. 2, No. 1                                                                                         January 20, 2015
What a Difference a Phone Call Makes!

Wow--2015 has started with a big bang for Call for Justice, LLC! On the first Tuesday of the year, I received a telephone call from the American Bar Association advising that C4J had been selected for the Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access. What an incredible and wonderful surprise!


The Brown Award is a big deal for us since it's real national recognition that C4J is doing good work. In fact, the Brown Award is conferred on the basis of "creative contributions to the delivery of legal services in ways that are exemplary and replicable."


Our training program for 211, as well as our Legal Liaison Program and our work in identifying gaps in the system and then working to plug them, all are replicable on a national scale. It's great that the ABA understands that. What's even better is that all of you reading this have had a role in our success; there's no way that C4J could do its work without active collaborators and organizations utilizing the information we put out there!


Thus, to our collaborators, supporters, and just darn good friends, we say "thank you" for allowing C4J to flourish! It's an honor to be a part of this community!


One more thing: we're attempting to make TLC a valuable monthly resource. In order to do that, we need to hear from you. Send us information about programming, projects, personnel changes or needs or anything else that connects all of us relative to the umbrella of "community legal needs." We'll get your information added, and if we have questions, we'll follow up. Thanks!



Goings On:
Here are some happenings within the Twin Cities legal and social services landscapes.
In This Issue:

1. Judge Pendleton's Wonderful Legal System Resource
"Dedicated to the Training & Education of the Minnesota Trial Bench and Attorneys"

Until very recently, I didn't know about a Minnesota judge who has become quite the resource for legal system-related information and judicial trainings. Judge Alan Pendleton of Minnesota's 10th Judicial District (Anoka County) maintains a judicial training blog located at  


The blog, which is available to the public, is the official repository of all past and present "Minnesota Judicial Training Updates." It also serves as a "one stop" judicial resource library with hyperlinks to all major legal search engines, state statutes, court rules, the Minnesota and United States constitutions, sentencing guidelines, and numerous training manuals. It even includes a "Judges Only - Restricted Site." To date, the blog has had nearly 20,000 visitors. Call for Justice, LLC just utilized it for our most recent United Way 211 training on criminal expungements. Check out the blog when you get a chance!

2. Hey North Star Lawyer--Get Your Time into the MSBA!
Registration for 2014 North Star Lawyers Closes February 28

Some don't know that the Minnesota State Bar Association has a "North Star Lawyers" program created to promote pro bono service and to recognize attorneys who annually perform 50 or more hours of pro bono service. This is a rockin' program that says a great deal about the civic mindedness of Minnesota's legal community. Here's an edited letter from Richard Kyle, President of the MSBA, about what it means to be a "North Star Lawyer":


Two years ago, my predecessor, Bob Enger, announced the creation of the North Star Lawyers program to recognize those MSBA members who provided essential volunteer legal services to Minnesota's low income residents... 


The response over the first two years of the program has been huge - over 740 MSBA members were certified as North Star Lawyers for 2012 with an increase to 952 last year.  North Star Lawyers provided over 108,500 total volunteer hours of pro bono service with an estimated value of $21,700,000 during 2013.  The MSBA recognized North Star Lawyers with advertisements last spring in the Bench & Bar and Star Tribune listing the names of each participating member, in addition to press releases to news outlets statewide and a special electronic logo suitable for website, email or other usage.


We know there are many more of you who have provided pro bono service this year and want to make sure you are included in this year's effort to recognize pro bono legal service. We'd love to see more than 1,200 North Star Layers for 2014. Now is the time for all MSBA members who meet the program requirements to certify their 2014 pro bono service, including members who previously participated in the program.  Please don't delay - the deadline for submitting your information is February 28, 2015.  Full program information and the certification form can be found on the North Star Lawyers website at:


If you have questions about the North Star Lawyers program, please contact Steve Marchese, Pro Bono Development Director for the MSBA, at or 612-278-6308. 



3. Do You Know About VLN's Tip of the Month?
Highlighting Attorney-Social Worker Collaborations

We wonder if many in the legal and social service communities are unaware of the great "Tips" that the Volunteer Lawyers Network puts out each month relative to various subjects involving poverty law and representing clients in legal need. This month's Tip, authored by Marcy Harris of the Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County (CAPSH) and Maria Kruger from the Dignity Center, is about Attorney-Social Worker Collaborations, something that C4J is very interested in promoting in a variety of contexts.  


You can view this month's Tip here. We suggest that you get this onto your monthly calendar--those VLN folks and their collaborators have some great ideas and information!

4. Housing Court Project Hours
Expanded Hours
Last year, things at Housing Court in Hennepin County shifted with trials being conducted in the afternoons rather than in the mornings. This has caused a shift and wonderful expansion in the way that Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and the Volunteer Lawyers Network staff Housing Court with pro bono attorneys. Here is the definitive schedule of attorneys at Housing Court:


M:  12:30-4:00

T:    8:30-noon; 12:30-4:00

W:   8:30-noon; 12:30-4:00

Th: 12:30-4:00

F:    8:30-noon; 12:30-4:00


Note: The income restrictions are 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for advice and brief service, 125% FPG for full representation.


Attorneys for the Housing Court Project are located on the Third Floor of the Hennepin County Government Center. The Project serves Hennepin County residents. In most instances, attorneys serve tenants, but landlords who have incomes at or below 300% FPG may use this service. Those landlords must also live in the rental property and be named as the owner on the deed.


For more information about the Housing Court Project, contact VLN at 612-752-6677. 

5. Expungements!
Resources Aplenty

Call for Justice's most recent United Way 211 training involved, in part, criminal and tenant record expungements, courtesy of Andrea Palumbo from the Council on Crime and Justice. You can access our training paper on expungements here. Additionally, we'd like to highlight how the Ramsey County Law Library (in collaboration with a number of partners) is stepping up to the plate and conducting multiple clinics. Here's the schedule:


Ramsey County Law Library (in the Courthouse), 1815 Courthouse, 15 Kellogg Blvd. West, St. Paul (651) 266-8391, Criminal Expungement workshops are presented in the Law Library by Court staff on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.  Other criminal expungement workshops are presented by Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) attorneys on staff at local branches of the Saint Paul Public Library:


Saint Paul Public Library - Arlington Hills Community Center

1200 Payne Avenue

Saint Paul, MN 55103


1st Friday of each month - noon to 3:00 pm

(Workshops begin February 6, 2015.)


Saint Paul Public Library - Rondo Community Outreach Library

461 N Dale St

Saint Paul, MN 55103


3rd Friday of each month - noon to 3:00 pm


Ramsey County Law Library - 18th Floor

Ramsey Co. Courthouse

15 W Kellogg Blvd. W.

Saint Paul, MN 55102


2nd and 4th Thursday of each month - 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

(This clinic is sponsored by the Ramsey County District Court.)


Stay tuned for more on expungements as we make our way into 2015!

6. Supreme Court Seeks Comments on Changes to e-Filing Rules
Protecting Self-Represented Litigants

The Supreme Court is seeking public comment on proposed changes to court rules that would affect e-filing and self-represented litigants who choose to e-file. This could be a very big deal/have a huge impact on folks who can't afford lawyers, and thus who will be left to fend for themselves in navigating the system. What's more, this is the kind of issue for organizations--nonprofit legal providers and social service agencies--to comment on collectively.


Comments are due by March 2nd. You can view the proposed changes here, which includes instructions on how to file your comments.

People, Places & Things
News about personnel shifts, events, and other items of interest.

DAPA Trainings in Greater MN

Presented by the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Our friends at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM) will give several outreach presentations on Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) in the coming months. Persons interested in attending these trainings should check the ILCM website at

Free Legal Clinics through CAIR-MN 

For General Civil Legal Issues

The Council on American-Islamic Relations will be holding four free legal clinics on general civil legal issues this spring, both in Dakota County and at the Rondo Library (St. Paul). The clinics take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the following dates: February 24, March 31, April 21, and May 30. For more information and locations for all clinics, visit CAIR-MN's "Free Legal Clinics" webpage.  


We're thrilled to report that this collaboration is the result of the C4J Legal Liaison Program--proof that speed networking works!  

In Closing
If you have an announcement or legal update that you'd like to submit for possible inclusion in our February issue, please contact Program Manager Emily Lindholm at by February 10.


Ellen (Ellie) Krug
Executive Director

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- Made Possible by C4J Donors -

Foundation Support:
The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Minnesota State Bar Foundation, Leonard, Street and Deinard Foundation, Ramsey County Bar Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation.

Law Firms:

Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson & Hager, P.A., Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A., Barry, Slade & Wheaton, LLC, Bassford Remele, A Professional Association, Best & Flanagan LLP, Chestnut Cambronne PA, Cooper & Reid, LLC, Cousineau McGuire, Chartered, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Fish & Richardson P.C., Foley & Mansfield, PLLP, Fredrikson & Byron, PA, Gray Plant Mooty, Halunen & Associates, Henson & Efron, P.A., Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Kennedy & Graven, Chartered, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd., Larson King, LLP, Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson, P.A., Lindquist & Vennum LLP, Maslon LLP, Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, P.A., Merchant & Gould, Moss & Barnett, A Professional Association, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., Stinson, Leonard Street LLP, Unger Law Office, Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

Businesses & Organizations:
Bestwestern Normandy Inn & Suites, Boston Scientific, Brending Electrolysis, Court Videographer Services, Inc., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

Friends of Justice:

Ginny A. Bell, Les Bendtsen, Dan Burton, Vicki and Richard Carlson, Emily Cooper, David Couillard, John Daly, Gina DeConcini, Martha Delaney, Paul Dieseth, Liz and Brian Dillon, Phyllis Doman, Jerrad Fenske, Charles Ferrell (In honor of Richard Kyle), Al and Ellen Fisher, Donna and Paul Floyd, Donald and Arvonne Fraser (In honor of Hon. Tom Fraser), Sara Galligan, Beth Garland, Elise Ginsburg, Sara Granberg-Rademacker, Fouthma Haji-Taki, Rebecca Hallette, Joy Hamilton, Frank and Jayne Harris, Bradley Hart, Catharine Haukedahl, Amy Walsh Kern, Anita Kozan (In memory of Ruth Evelyn Iverson Kozan), Ellen Krug, Mark Krug, Richard Kyle, Jr. and Elizabeth Wittenberg, Brian and Erin Lindholm, John Medeiros, Pete Michaud and Tom Wilson, Caitlin Miles, Alan Miller, Kathy Moran, Ari Murphy, Jean Nead, Crystal Ng, Kathy Nielsen, Melissa Otto, Gary Pederson, Kelly Phillips, David Piper, David Potter, Jill Prohofsky, Paul Quast, Linda Raines, Christine Rehm, Thea Reilkoff, Liz Reppe, Brent Routman, Joseph Satter, Laura Strong and Pam Michaud, Vanessa Tennyson, Dennis Tharp, Jamila Tharp, Tom Tinkham and Jacquelyn "Jacq" Hauser, Mike Unger, Mary Vasaly, Ella Washington, Paul Wehrwein, Jodi Williams, and Jay Wolkenbrod.