Source of practicelaw Materials
The forms and other materials posted at practicelaw come from several sources. practicelaw has attorneys on staff as well as others with significant writing, editing, and document formatting skills. The staff often works with Minnesota attorney contributors on original materials as well as on maintenance.
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Appellate Practice Materials
The federal and state appellate court brief templates were originally prepared and are periodically updated by members of the MSBA Appellate Practice Section Council. The remaining appellate practice forms are Minnesota Court forms.
The Section also hosts CLEs, and any written materials from the CLEs are posted with the author’s permission.
The Articles on practicelaw were selected by the MSBA Appellate Practice Section Council and posted with author permission. The Council members arrange for periodic updating of the Articles under their supervision.
Business Law Forms
practicelaw staff drafted the business law forms with the assistance of a small group of attorneys, who donated their time and expertise for the project.
Civil Litigation Forms
practicelaw staff drafted the civil litigation forms with the assistance of a small group of civil litigation attorneys, who donated their time and expertise for the project.
Criminal Law Forms
The majority of practicelaw’s criminal law forms were contributed by Minnesota criminal defense attorney Frederic Bruno, then formatted and edited by praticelaw staff. Several of the DWI-related forms were drafted by practicelaw staff working with the assistance of other local criminal law attorneys.
Family Law Materials
practicelaw staff developed the family law forms on practicelaw through mndocs, the MSBA's document automation system. Forms in mndocs originated with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, though many of the forms have since been modified by practicelaw staff to account for issues that do not involve pro bono or reduced fee representation of clients.
Spearheaded by family law attorney Dana McKenzie, more than twenty family law attorneys met at the Minneapolis office of Gray Plant Mooty in 2008 to share their own J&D provisions, suggest edits, and to provide new language and clauses that did not already appear in a working draft of the document. By the end of 2008, Dana McKenzie's office produced a lengthy document with numerous alternative clauses, and it is now commonly referred to as the "Monster" Judgment and Decree.
McKenzie shared it with the collaborating attorneys, and the document is now freely available to most attorneys throughout Minnesota, either here on practicelaw or shared informally by e-mail. It is also the Stipulated Judgment and Decree available in mndocs, the MSBA's document automation system. practicelaw staff review the Monster J&D periodically.
Minnesota family law attorney Bruce Kennedy originally developed the Schmitz calculator, which practicelaw later adapted and posted. It is based on the formula initially established by the Minnesota Supreme Court in Schmitz v. Schmitz, 309 N.W.2d 748 (Minn. 1981). Attorneys and courts continue to use the Schmitz formula to determine marital and non-marital interests in real estate.
Guardianship and Conservatorship Forms
practicelaw staff drafted a core set of 80+ probate forms for use in the majority of probate matters with the assistance of a small group of probate attorneys and paralegals, who donated their time and expertise for the project. Core forms include those used in informal and formal probate proceedings, descent proceedings, subsequent administration proceedings and other miscellaneous probate-related matters.
The forms are formatted in Microsoft Word to allow users maximum flexibility in tailoring the forms. As forms are added, we will also add them to mndocs, the MSBA's document assembly and automation system.
Links to a limited number of probate forms housed on the Minnesota Judicial Branch web site. These forms are generally intended for use by pro se parties.
Real Property Materials
The ECBs are patterned after Uniform Conveyancing Blanks (UCBs) but are formatted as Microsoft Word documents, thus are easily editable. See ECBs v. UCBs for additional information.
The Residential Real Estate Committee of the MSBA's Real Property Law Section developed and maintains these forms for use in residential transactions. The forms are fillable PDFs. See the separate Licensing Terms for these forms.
The Uniform Conveyancing Blanks (UCBs) are real estate conveyancing forms drafted by the Minnesota Advisory Task Force on Uniform Conveyancing Forms, a task force appointed by the Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce to recommend amendments to existing forms or adoption of new forms. The forms are adopted by Order of the Commissioner of Commerce. practicelaw staff sit on the Task Force and format the forms for the Department of Commerce and practicelaw.