Case Handling Protocols

To fulfill ethical requirements and best practices for avoiding malpractice claims, attorneys need systems for organizing the essential procedural parts of their services. While many different lists may be adequate, below is a list approved by VLN’s ethics advisor, Pat Burns (First Assistant Director, Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility) and VLN’s malpractice carrier. It also incorporates some steps that can be helpful when representing clients from poverty.


pdfdownload2 July Tip of the Month-Case Handling Protocols

Notary Requirements for Court Documents

Effective July 1, 2015, most documents filed with the Minnesota Judicial Branch will no longer require a notarized signature. As a result of the changes to the statute and court rules, most documents signed by clients represented by VLN volunteers no longer need to be notarized. Read more >>

Submitted by: Tom Walsh, Resource Attorney

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The Impact of Race on Pro Bono Services

Understanding the racial disparities that exist in our state provides critical context when working with pro bono clients. This article provides this background, as well as practical suggestions for lawyers in addressing this inherent subtext in providing pro bono services. Read more >>

Submitted by: Martha Delaney, Deputy Director

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Introduction to Financial Coaching

May’s Tip of the Month focuses on financial coaching and how it can help VLN clients build a stable financial foundation for their future. This tip introduces what financial coaching is, how it can help low-income families, and how to refer clients to this new program. Read more >>

Submitted by: Don Fulton, Financial Coach

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Vacating Default Judgments in Hennepin County Conciliation Court

Volunteer attorneys who do not normally practice in Conciliation Court may be unaware that there are two different processes for vacating default judgments entered in Hennepin County Conciliation Court, depending on the amount of time that has passed since entry of the default judgment. This month’s tip provides step-by-step suggestions for how to draft motions to vacate default judgments for each process.. Read more >>

Submitted by: Glen Drew, VLN Resource Attorney

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Attorney – Social Worker Collaborations

As more legal services clinics are co-located at social services agencies and schools, there are also greater opportunities for social workers and attorneys to collaborate to meet their client’s goals. While there are concerns raised with such collaborations, there are also tremendous benefits: for the client, the attorney and the social worker. January’s Tip of the Month focuses on the benefits of such collaborations and provides specific examples of when such collaborations are particularly helpful. This tip also identifies limitations and potential pitfalls of such collaborations and how they might be overcome. Read more >>

Submitted by: Marcy Harris and Muria Kruger

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pdfdownload2 January Tip of the Month – Attorney/Social Worker Collaboration