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Friday, August 22, 2008

Centro Legal turns 27, celebration planned

Centro Legal turns 27 this year, and is inviting members of the business and legal community to help it celebrate.

Centro Legal first opened its doors on Sept. 15, 1981, hoping to assist the underserved, especially those who needed to overcome language, cultural and economic barriers. Twenty-seven years later those doors are still open, and the organization has become the state’s leading legal advocate for Latinos, serving more than 3,000 Latinos and their families each year.

The 27th anniversary celebration will take place Oct. 3 from 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Traveler’s Insurance headquarters in downtown St. Paul. A surprise keynote speaker is planned along with a report from the organization's Board Chair, Sally Anaya Boyer, and Executive Director Gloria Contreras Edin. The event themes will include key immigration initiatives in Minnesota and maintaining a global perspective.

Tickets are $50 a person. Click here if you are interested in attending.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Panel will hear Clark, Gildea arguments Tuesday

A panel of five retired Supreme Court justices was appointed today, Aug. 21, to hear a petition by judicial candidate Jill Clark seeking to remove Justice Lorie Gildea from the Sept. 9 primary election ballot.

Clark also seeks to strike the statutorily authorized language from the primary ballot identifying Gildea as an incumbent.

The members of the panel are Justices James H. Gilbert, Sam Hanson, Edward C. Stringer, Esther M. Tomljanovich and Lawrence Yetka. Gilbert was named acting chief justice. They will hear oral argument at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 in Courtroom 300 of the Minnesota Judicial Center. Each side is allotted 30 minutes to argue.

The sitting Supreme Court has entirely recused itself from the case and thus the panel was appointed under Minn. Const. art. VI, secs. 2 and 10, and Minn. Stat. sec. 2.724, subds. 2 and 3. Gildea and Justice Paul Anderson, who is also running for election, did not participate in the decision to appoint the panel.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's in a name? Plenty, at election time

On the way to work this morning, we spotted a lawn sign advertising a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court. Glancing at the sign as we drove by, the first and last name on it looked familiar, but they were separated by what appeared to be a jumble of consonants.

It was only later that we realized the sign was advertising sitting justice Lorie Gildea -- that is, Lorie Skjerven Gildea. We're so used to referring to her by her married name only that we momentarily forgot her admirable Scandinavian roots.

We know Justice Gildea would never stoop to this, but it reminded us of the mini-flap a few years ago when, during her campaign for State Auditor, the candidate heretofore known as Pat Awada suddenly became Pat Anderson Awada. As political pandering goes, it's pretty mild stuff. But that's how we do things in de Gopher Staten.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Minnesota Lawyer unveils new site providing info on judicial candidates

Minnesota Lawyer is pleased to announce the launch of its online judicial elections guide providing a central source of information on the candidates for judicial office in Minnesota's upcoming elections. Currently, the site offers information about candidates running in the judicial primary, which will be held on Sept. 9. (Information on candidates in the general election will be made available after the primary.)

There are four judicial races for which there will be a primary -- two for Supreme Court seats, one for a Hennepin County District Court seat and one for a Ramsey County District Court seat. Candidates were asked to provide a photo, biographical questions and their answers to a questionnaire composed by Minnesota Lawyer. All but two of the 21 judicial candidates involved in a primary race responded to Minnesota Lawyer's request for information.

Minnesota Lawyer is providing this information to voters as a public service. Access is free and unlimited. The Judicial Elections 2008 website can be accessed by clicking on the button on the Minnesota Lawyer home page or by clicking here.

Candidate Clark's petition put on the fast track

We pointed out in an earlier post that Minneapolis attorney Jill Clark -- one of three attorneys challenging incumbent Justice Lorie Gildea for seat #4 on the Minnesota Supreme Court -- has filed an action with the state high court seeking to get Gildea disqualified from the race or at least prevent the word incumbent from appearing next to her name on the ballot.

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued an order last Friday giving Clark until 1 p.m. today to serve a copy of her petition and any supporting materials on all the candidates for seat #4, which includes Gildea, public defender Rick Gallo and Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund.

The respondents in Gildea's action -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Rice County Auditor Fran Windschitl -- and any of the candidates for the seat who want to have until 4:30 p.m. Thursday to respond. Clark has until 4:30 p.m. the following day to file any reply.

The reason for the expedited timeline is the proximity of the primary, which is just three weeks from tomorrow. One of the things the court has asked for from the respondents is the final date by which the court must reach a decision in order for the ballot to be modified.

The high court still has not publicly announced a decision about what format the hearing on the merits will take and exactly who the decision-makers will be. The order issued Friday states: "Any decisions about additional recusals and/or appointment of acting justices to participate in this case will be made in advance of any consideration of the merits."