Monthly Archives: August 2014

NEW JUDGE ADVICE – RELY ON AND LEARN FROM YOUR IN-COURT CLERKS (14-14)

NEWLY APPOINTED JUDGES – WHY THE RISK OF MISTAKES ARE HIGH: Judges have an incredibly difficult job. Most judges were appointed to the bench, in part, based on their training, experience and expertise in usually one or two areas of the law. Many judges come from a prosecution or criminal defense background with no significant civil experience. Many judges with a strong civil background have little or no criminal experience. And a large number of judges come onto the bench with no prior family law experience. And even those judges with a particularly broad background, few can boast of experience in areas such as: conciliation court, civil commitments, juvenile, probate, child support contempt and unlawful detainers, etc. This update answers the question why new judges should rely on and learn from their in-court clerks.

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PendletonUpdate14-14

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OFP ADVISORY TO RESPONDENTS – ANOTHER URBAN MYTH (14-13)

domestic.violenceQUESTION: It is a well-known legal axiom that an out-of-court statement made by a party-opponent is admissible against that party as non-hearsay in any subsequent legal proceeding. Mn Rule Evid 801D(2). During a contested OFP hearing, if the respondent chooses to testify despite the fact he has a pending domestic assault charge, should the judge, and/or respondent’s attorney, advise respondent that his testimony could be used against him in his subsequent criminal trial?

ANSWER: NODespite the above noted legal axiom, a respondent’s OFP testimony CANNOT be used against him in his subsequent criminal trial. Minnesota law clearly states: “Any testimony offered by a respondent in a hearing pursuant to this section (Domestic Abuse Act) is inadmissible in a criminal proceeding.” MS 518B.01, subd 15.

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PendletonUpdate14-13