Dean’s Message

Valerie R. Sims, Attorney at Law – Heley | Duncan | Melander

It is a great honor to serve as the Dean of the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota for the upcoming year.   We are hopeful that this upcoming year will return to a renewed sense of normalcy as we look to  return to even more in person networking and educational events for our membership.

ACTLM’s annual Spring Meeting will take place on Thursday, May 4, 2023.  ACTLM will once again present an exciting program for a full day of CLE credit to members at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul.  The annual Spring Meeting is the ideal setting to for elevated speakers, topics, and networking.  Members receive approximately five CLE credits for attending the event.

Looking ahead, ACTLM’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for November 9, 2023.  We will return to the Town and Country Club and look forward to another enjoyable evening of networking and connecting.  A special thank you to our current sponsors, Computer Forensic Services and Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company for their continued support.  We hope to have other sponsors on board by our Spring Meeting.   We continue to look for organization and event co-sponsors for summer social events with the Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Minnesota Association for Justice and/or others for co-sponsored event opportunities.

ACTLM’s return to in-person meetings in 2022 was a great success.  We were honored to present the Distinguished Jurist award to Judge Regina Chu, and we heard from Judge Peter Cahill, our keynote speaker at the event.  Our Spring meeting was filled with a phenomenal slate of exceptional and distinguished speakers.   The ACTLM Conciliation Court project continues to be strong.   Roger Kramer continues to direct this program on behalf of the Academy which provides a vital service to district courts and the community.

ACTLM thanks Immediate Past Dean, John Degnan, for his leadership and stewardship over the past year.  Executive committee members Roger Kramer, Jeremy Stevens, Stacy Sever, John Degnan and I will work to serve the members of ACTLM in 2023 with a goal to increase ACTLM’s membership, invite new guests, and encourage eligible colleagues to pursue certification and membership.  I am available to hear your ideas, questions or thoughts that each of you have.

I can be reached at my direct line (952) 841-0215, and via 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!

Valerie Sims