Larson • King hosts judges reception sponsored by the MDLA and the MAJ
The Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) and Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ) jointly hosted an event for their respective members to meet with leading judges from nearly all areas of legal practice. The event was hosted on November 9 at Larson King, LLP in downtown Saint Paul. Members of each organization, MDLA and MAJ, normally limit their interaction to the zealous advocacy of their clients' interests. Leadership of both organizations believe that creating an environment where this type of social interaction with judges and each other will enhance collegiality, professionalism and facilitate more effective dispute resolution. To achieve this objective MDLA and MAJ presidents, Mark Solheim and Brian Wojtalewicz invited board members and association leaders to participate. Attendance was strong from judges and members of both organizations with more than 130 registrations.
Mark Solheim, President of MDLA remarked, "We were absolutely delighted by the turnout of the judges and our members. We hope this year is the start of what will become an annual tradition. Our defense lawyer membership found the interaction with the judges and our friends in the MAJ to be personally and professionally rewarding. It was obvious that getting together informally did and will continue to enhance our mutual respect and friendship. Most importantly, we all benefitted from the opportunity to learn from, and support our judges in the federal, state and appelate courts as they deal with limited resources and cope with the incredible strain of preserving timely access to the courts and the right to a jury trial."
Brian Wojtalewicz, President of MAJ agreed saying, "We in the plaintiff bar look forward to this annual opportunity to discuss ongoing betterment of our justice system in a relaxed, informal and direct setting."
In addition to MDLA and MAJ presidents, the following judges made brief remarks:
Chief Judge Donovan W. Frank
Judge Arthur J. Boylan
Chief Justice Lorie Gildea
Judge Matthew E. Johnson
Chief Judge George W. Perez
Judge James T. Swenson
Judge Kathleen Gearin
Several judges in attendance at the event expressed appreciation for this forum to socialize with attorneys they see regularly on a professional level. Judge Donovan W. Frank commented, "This was an all-too-unique opportunity for established legal professionals to meet informally and get to know one another outside of the courtroom. I am pleased that these two organizations thought to offer a forum such as this."
The Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) is a professional association dedicated to serving the needs of lawyers engaging primarily in the defense and trial of civil disputes. MDLA is affiliated with the Minnesota State Bar Association and DRI -- The Voice of the Defense Bar. The Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ) is a professional association of attorneys who represent Minnesotans wrongfully harmed or injured in personal, property or human rights. MAJ defends the rights guaranteed by the Constitutions and laws of the United States and Minnesota, foremost among them the right to a trial by jury, and advocates for public policy to enhance consumer rights and protection.
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