Dean’s Message

John Degnan

It is a great honor to serve as the Dean of the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota for the upcoming year.   A special thank you to Mike Bryant who held this honor for two years in light of the pandemic and the impact it had on the Academy as well as the world.  We are hopeful that this upcoming year will return to a sense of normalcy and we look to a return to in person networking and educational events for our membership.

On Thursday, May 5, 2022 the Spring meeting will be held at the Town and Country Club in  St. Paul.  Valerie Sims will put together a solid day of education and collegiality for our members.  Each year, our members receive approximately five CLE credits for attending the event.  The networking opportunity is priceless as the saying goes.

For the summer event, we have decided we are going to table the annual Twins Suite event for a year.  Things are just too uncertain and the cost commitment is great for this event.  We are looking to co-sponsor a social event with the Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and may also hold some other social events over the summer months.

On December 1, 2022 out Annual Meeting will be held.  We will return to the Town and Country Club and look forward to another enjoyable evening of networking and connecting.

This past year, in November, 2021, we met in person for our annual meeting at the Town and Country Club.  We are honored to add Jeremy Stevens to the Executive committee and he will join myself, Valerie Sims, Roger Kramer and Mike Bryant.   We also welcomed new Board members Ali Sieben and Patrick Cotter who will join Stacy Sever, Markus Yira, Beth Bryant and Sam Edmunds on the Board.   Judge Mark Kappelhoff presented an excellent program on issues related to the Ferguson riots and connected it to the George Floyd events.    We honored recently retired Justice David Lillehaug as the Distinguished Jurist and he gave a tremendous speech on the value trial lawyers play in the legal system.

The ACTLM Conciliation Court project continues to be strong.   Roger Kramer continues to direct this program on behalf of the Academy and a recent training added about 8 new members to this already solid roster of ACTLM referees.

As always, I am open to any questions or thoughts that each of you have.  I can be reached at my direct line (612) 977-8660.  Or feel free to reach out to me by email at [email protected].

I look forward to leading the organization throughout this year and I hope to see all of you at our upcoming ACTLM events.

John Degnan
ACTLM Dean