Let a freelancer help you enjoy spring and summer!

This has been a winter to remember. Or more accurately, a winter to forget. We have all done so much shoveling, bundling up, slipping on ice. It just seemed like this winter would never end. And spending hours in front of a computer screen or poring over briefs didn’t seem like that much of a sacrifice. But now—at long last—it seems like we may see spring. And then summer. We all are craving some time outside. So, what are good uses of spring and summer time? And what can you delegate to a freelancer to help make that happen? Five warm weather ideas: 1. Go to the University of Minnesota arboretum. You will see spectacular spring wild flowers early in the season. And then a changing array of other beautiful flowers and plants, as other things come into season. You will want to go more than once. Start with the spring wildflower garden. 2. Go to a garden center and indulge. Buy some special herbs. Or some heirloom tomato plants. Then plant and watch them grow. 3. Go to the evening concerts at Lake Harriet. You can take a walk around the lake, have some popcorn or ice cream, and listen to pop music on the benches. (Kids will love this.) 4. Pull out your grill. Buy some fresh steak or fish. Here are some recipe ideas. 5. Or just sit on your porch with a glass of wine or a cold beer. Watch summer clouds drift by and feel the balmy fresh breezes. Five things you can spin off to free up more time: 1. Some legal research. A freelancer can do some research you may need for trial or appellate briefs. Or just for assessing the strength of a case. 2. Drafting some motion papers. A freelancer can draft motion papers for you. Pieces of a brief...

MFAN Members Present CLE for HCBA New Lawyers Section

On March 28, 2014, MFAN members Emerald Gratz and Karin Ciano presented a CLE for the Hennepin County Bar Association New Lawyers Section entitled “Starting and Building a Freelance Practice.” The hour-long CLE presentation was attended by more than 40 HCBA members. Emerald and Karin shared information and examples from their freelance practices, covering the topics of written agreements, malpractice insurance, technology, marketing, and financial perspective. Overall, the CLE was a great success and attendees were engaged by a lively and informative discussion. MFAN thanks the co-chairs of the HCBA New Lawyers Section, Karl Johnson and Stuart Nostdahl, for the invitation and great discussion! Effective September 10, 2014, Emerald has accepted a position with the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings and is no longer working as a freelance attorney. You can reach her at emerald_gratz@hotmail.com. MFAN Bio | Email | LinkedIn | Google Plus | MFAN...

How a Freelancer Can Help With Your Appeal

You’re planning to appeal a decision. Or you know that opposing counsel is planning to do that. How can a freelancer help you? First, you need to know whether or not your decision is appealable. That is governed by the rules of appellate procedure, and some caselaw. An experienced freelancer can help you ferret through the decisions you’ve received and tell you what’s appealable and what’s not. Next, you need to figure out what’s within the ambit of the appeal. You’re appealing a particular decision or two, but a variety of other determinations may be reviewable by the appellate court. A freelancer who does appellate work will be able to sort out what the court will review and what it won’t. The next question you need to ask is what the standard of review is. That standard is the lens the appellate court will use to evaluate the strength of your position. For example, the court will look at questions of law de novo, and ask itself whether factual determinations made by the lower court are “clearly erroneous.” The distinctions between questions of law and questions of fact that govern which standard applies is not always black and white. And your case may hinge on it. A freelancer who does appellate work will know the caselaw on standards of review and help you apply that caselaw to your case. As a trial attorney, you’re familiar with your case. You’ve been immersed in the statutes and caselaw at issue. But a freelancer can help you in three ways. First, a freelancer may be able to give you a different perspective on things. The judges may see things differently than you have. A freelancer may help give you that perspective. Second, a freelancer can help you drill down deeper into your legal authority. The appellate court will expect that. If you...

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