No one can pressure me now: As many of you know, for many years the name of my training updates (and later the name of the Blog) was the “Minnesota Judicial Training and Education Updates/Blog.” Then a few years ago there was a forced change to the title: MINNESOTA was replaced with PENDLETON. Most of you don’t know why, it certainly was not by my choice.
During the first 5 years the popularity of the training updates soared and the email distribution list grew to more than 4000 attorneys, judges, law schools, law firms, law enforcement agencies, probation departments, domestic abuse organizations and numerous state and private agencies. As far I could tell the updates had become the most widely distributed training service of its kind in the state.
The turning point came when attorneys began submitting selected training updates as legal authority in court filings and trial memorandums. It was about that time I was told by several high level state employees that at least one member of the Supreme Court was concerned that attorneys were treating the training updates as the official voice of the District Court. Even though the blog included clear disclaimer language to the contrary, I was told in no uncertain terms to remove “MINNESOTA” from the title.
Perhaps unwisely, I initially refused because the updates were my own personal work product and were researched and written on my own time (mostly late evenings and weekends). My belief was that neither the Supreme Court nor anyone else had the right to dictate to me what I could or could not name my own training material. To make a long story short, after some additional pressure I did finally agree to change the name by replacing MINNESOTA with PENDLETON. I’m not sure how many influential people I upset along the way.
However, because I am no longer a District Court Judge the underlying justification for removing MINNESOTA from the blog title no longer exists. Therefore, I am changing the the name of the blog back to its original title. I wonder who that might upset 🙂
The next substantive training blog post will be titled: WHAT EVERY JUDGE & ATTORNEY NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT HANDLING EVIDENCE DURING TRIAL – 10 BASIC RULES
Keep fighting for what you know is right!
Alan F. Pendleton (Former District Court Judge)
July 18, 2016 (2)