Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

CHAPTER 481. ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW

Table of Sections
Section Headnote
481.01 BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS; EXAMINATIONS; ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE FEES.
481.02 UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.
481.03 ATTORNEYS SHALL NOT EMPLOY SOLICITORS.
481.04 SOLICITING OF BUSINESS BY PERSONS OTHER THAN ATTORNEYS; PROHIBITION.
481.05 VIOLATIONS; PENALTIES.
481.06 GENERAL DUTIES.
481.07 PENALTIES FOR DECEIT OR COLLUSION.
481.071 MISCONDUCT BY ATTORNEYS.
481.08 AUTHORITY.
481.09 PROOF OF AUTHORITY.
481.10 CONSULTATION WITH PERSONS RESTRAINED.
481.11 CHANGE OF ATTORNEY.
481.12 DISABILITY; SUBSTITUTION.
481.13 LIEN FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES.
481.14 REFUSAL TO SURRENDER PROPERTY TO CLIENTS.
481.15 REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION.
481.16 CERTAIN ATTORNEYS NOT TO DEFEND CERTAIN PROSECUTIONS; PENALTY.
481.17 COUNTY, CITY, AND SCHOOL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS.
481.18 [Repealed, 1974 c 406 s 80]
481.20 CLIENT SECURITY ACCOUNT.
481.21 BOND COUNSEL FEES.
481.22 PUBLIC DEFENDER FEE.

481.01 BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS; EXAMINATIONS; ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE FEES.

The Supreme Court shall, by rule from time to time, prescribe the qualifications of all applicants for admission to practice law in this state, and shall appoint a Board of Law Examiners, which shall be charged with the administration of the rules and with the examination of all applicants for admission to practice law. The board shall consist of not less than three, nor more than seven, attorneys at law, who shall be appointed each for the term of three years and until a successor qualifies. The Supreme Court may fill any vacancy in the board for the unexpired term and in its discretion may remove any member of it. The board shall have a seal and shall keep a record of its proceedings, of all applications for admission to practice, and of persons admitted to practice upon its recommendation. At least two times a year the board shall hold examinations and report the result of them, with its recommendations, to the Supreme Court. Upon consideration of the report, the Supreme Court shall enter an order in the case of each person examined, directing the board to reject or to issue to the person a certificate of admission to practice. The board shall have such officers as may, from time to time, be prescribed and designated by the Supreme Court. The fee for examination shall be fixed, from time to time, by the Supreme Court. This fee, and any other fees which may be received pursuant to any rules the Supreme Court adopts governing the practice of law and court-related alternative dispute resolution practices shall be paid to the commissioner of management and budget and shall constitute a special fund in the state treasury which shall be exempt from section 16A.127. The money in this fund is appropriated annually to the Supreme Court for the payment of compensation and expenses of the members of the Board of Law Examiners and for otherwise regulating the practice of law. The money in the fund shall never cancel. Payments from it shall be made by the commissioner of management and budget upon vouchers signed by one of the justices of the Supreme Court. The members of the board shall have compensation and allowances for expenses as may, from time to time, be fixed by the Supreme Court.

481.02 UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.

Subdivision 1.Prohibitions.

It shall be unlawful for any person or association of persons, except members of the bar of Minnesota admitted and licensed to practice as attorneys at law, to appear as attorney or counselor at law in any action or proceeding in any court in this state to maintain, conduct, or defend the same, except personally as a party thereto in other than a representative capacity, or, by word, sign, letter, or advertisement, to hold out as competent or qualified to give legal advice or counsel, or to prepare legal documents, or as being engaged in advising or counseling in law or acting as attorney or counselor at law, or in furnishing to others the services of a lawyer or lawyers, or, for a fee or any consideration, to give legal advice or counsel, perform for or furnish to another legal services, or, for or without a fee or any consideration, to prepare, directly or through another, for another person, firm, or corporation, any will or testamentary disposition or instrument of trust serving purposes similar to those of a will, or, for a fee or any consideration, to prepare for another person, firm, or corporation, any other legal document, except as provided in subdivision 3.

Subd. 2.Corporations.

No corporation, organized for pecuniary profit, except an attorney's professional firm organized under chapter 319B, by or through its officers or employees or any one else, shall maintain, conduct, or defend, except in its own behalf when a party litigant, any action or proceeding in any court in this state, or shall, by or through its officers or employees or any one else, give or assume to give legal advice or counsel or perform for or furnish to another person or corporation legal services; or shall, by word, sign, letter, or advertisement, solicit the public or any person to permit it to prepare, or cause to be prepared, any will or testamentary disposition or instrument of trust serving purposes similar to those of a will, or hold itself out as desiring or willing to prepare any such document, or to give legal advice or legal services relating thereto or to give general legal advice or counsel, or to act as attorney at law or as supplying, or being in a position to supply, the services of a lawyer or lawyers; or shall to any extent engage in, or hold itself out as being engaged in, the business of supplying services of a lawyer or lawyers; or shall cause to be prepared any person's will or testamentary disposition or instrument of trust serving purposes similar to those of a will, or any other legal document, for another person, firm, or corporation, and receive, directly or indirectly, all or a part of the charges for such preparation or any benefits therefrom; or shall itself prepare, directly or through another, any such document for another person, firm, or corporation, except as provided in subdivision 3.

Subd. 3.Permitted actions.

The provisions of this section shall not prohibit:

(1) any person from drawing, without charge, any document to which the person, an employer of the person, a firm of which the person is a member, or a corporation whose officer or employee the person is, is a party, except another's will or testamentary disposition or instrument of trust serving purposes similar to those of a will;

(2) a person from drawing a will for another in an emergency if the imminence of death leaves insufficient time to have it drawn and its execution supervised by a licensed attorney-at-law;

(3) any insurance company from causing to be defended, or from offering to cause to be defended through lawyers of its selection, the insureds in policies issued or to be issued by it, in accordance with the terms of the policies;

(4) a licensed attorney-at-law from acting for several common-carrier corporations or any of its subsidiaries pursuant to arrangement between the corporations;

(5) any bona fide labor organization from giving legal advice to its members in matters arising out of their employment;

(6) any person from conferring or cooperating with a licensed attorney-at-law of another in preparing any legal document, if the attorney is not, directly or indirectly, in the employ of the person or of any person, firm, or corporation represented by the person;

(7) any licensed attorney-at-law of Minnesota, who is an officer or employee of a corporation, from drawing, for or without compensation, any document to which the corporation is a party or in which it is interested personally or in a representative capacity, except wills or testamentary dispositions or instruments of trust serving purposes similar to those of a will, but any charge made for the legal work connected with preparing and drawing the document shall not exceed the amount paid to and received and retained by the attorney, and the attorney shall not, directly or indirectly, rebate the fee to or divide the fee with the corporation;

(8) any person or corporation from drawing, for or without a fee, farm or house leases, notes, mortgages, chattel mortgages, bills of sale, deeds, assignments, satisfactions, or any other conveyances except testamentary dispositions and instruments of trust;

(9) a licensed attorney-at-law of Minnesota from rendering to a corporation legal services to itself at the expense of one or more of its bona fide principal stockholders by whom the attorney is employed and by whom no compensation is, directly or indirectly, received for the services;

(10) any person or corporation engaged in the business of making collections from engaging or turning over to an attorney-at-law for the purpose of instituting and conducting suit or making proof of claim of a creditor in any case in which the attorney-at-law receives the entire compensation for the work;

(11) any regularly established farm journal or newspaper, devoted to general news, from publishing a department of legal questions and answers to them, made by a licensed attorney-at-law, if no answer is accompanied or at any time preceded or followed by any charge for it, any disclosure of any name of the maker of any answer, any recommendation of or reference to any one to furnish legal advice or services, or by any legal advice or service for the periodical or any one connected with it or suggested by it, directly or indirectly;

(12) any authorized management agent of an owner of rental property used for residential purposes, whether the management agent is a natural person, corporation, partnership, limited partnership, or any other business entity, from commencing, maintaining, conducting, or defending in its own behalf any action in any court in this state to recover or retain possession of the property, except that the provision of this clause does not authorize a person who is not a licensed attorney-at-law to conduct a jury trial or to appear before a district court or the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court pursuant to an appeal;

(13) any person from commencing, maintaining, conducting, or defending on behalf of the plaintiff or defendant any action in any court of this state pursuant to the provisions of section 504B.375 or sections 504B.185 and 504B.381 to 504B.471 or from commencing, maintaining, conducting, or defending on behalf of the plaintiff or defendant any action in any court of this state for the recovery of rental property used for residential purposes pursuant to the provisions of section 504B.285, subdivision 1, or 504B.301, except that the provision of this clause does not authorize a person who is not a licensed attorney-at-law to conduct a jury trial or to appear before a district court or the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court pursuant to an appeal, and provided that, except for a nonprofit corporation, a person who is not a licensed attorney-at-law shall not charge or collect a separate fee for services rendered pursuant to this clause;

(14) the delivery of legal services by a specialized legal assistant in accordance with a specialty license issued by the Supreme Court before July 1, 1995;

(15) the sole shareholder of a corporation from appearing on behalf of the corporation in court; or

(16) an officer, manager, partner, or employee or an agent of a condominium, cooperative, or townhouse association from appearing on behalf of a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship, or association in conciliation court or in a district court action removed from conciliation court, in accordance with section 491A.02, subdivision 4.

Subd. 3a.Real estate closing services.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a real estate broker, a real estate salesperson, or a real estate closing agent, as defined in section 82.55, from drawing or assisting in drawing papers incident to the sale, trade, lease, or loan of property, or from charging for drawing or assisting in drawing them, except as hereafter provided by the Supreme Court.

Subd. 4.Mortgage foreclosure fees.

It shall be unlawful to exact, charge or receive any attorney's fee for the foreclosure of any mortgage, unless the foreclosure is conducted by a licensed attorney at law of Minnesota and unless the full amount charged as attorney's fee is actually paid to and received and retained by such attorney, without being, directly or indirectly, shared with or rebated to any one else; and it shall be unlawful for any such attorney to make any showing of receiving such a fee unless the attorney has received the same or to share with or rebate to any other person, firm, or corporation such fee, or any part thereof, received by the attorney; but such attorney may divide such fee with another licensed attorney at law maintaining the other's place of business and not an officer or employee of the foreclosing party, if such attorney has assisted in performing the services for which the fee is paid, or resides in a place other than that where the foreclosure proceedings are conducted and has forwarded the case to the attorney conducting such foreclosure.

Subd. 5.Corporate fiduciary agents.

It shall be unlawful for any corporation, appearing as executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, or other representative, to do the legal work in any action, probate proceeding or other proceeding in any court in this state, except through a licensed attorney at law of Minnesota maintaining the attorney's own place of business and not an officer or employee of such executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, or representative. No attorney's fee shall be charged or paid or received in any such case, unless actually paid to and received and retained by such an attorney at law maintaining the attorney's own place of business and not an officer or employee of such executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, or representative; and it shall be unlawful for such attorney to represent in any manner receiving any sum as a fee or compensation unless the same has been actually received or, directly or indirectly, to divide with or rebate to any person, firm, or corporation any part of any such fee or consideration received by the attorney in any such case; but such attorney may divide such fee with another licensed attorney at law maintaining the other's own place of business and not an officer or employee of such executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, or other representative, if such attorney has assisted in performing the services for which the fees are paid, or resides in a place other than that where the action or proceedings are conducted and has forwarded the case to the attorney conducting the action or proceedings.

Subd. 6.Attorneys of other states.

Any attorney or counselor at law residing in any other state or territory in which the attorney has been admitted to practice law, who attends any term of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or district court of this state for the purpose of trying or participating in the trial or proceedings of any action or proceedings there pending, may, in the discretion of the court before which the attorney appears in the action or proceeding, be permitted to try, or participate in the trial or proceedings in, the action or proceeding, without being subject to the provisions of this section, other than those set forth in subdivision 2, providing the state in which the attorney is licensed to practice law likewise grants permission to members of the state bar of Minnesota to act as an attorney for a client in that state under the same terms.

Subd. 7.Lay assistance to attorneys.

Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent a corporation from furnishing to any person lawfully engaged in the practice of law, such information or such clerical service in and about the attorney's professional work as, except for the provisions of this section, may be lawful, provided, that at all times the lawyer receiving such information or such services shall maintain full, professional and direct responsibility to the attorney's clients for the information and services so received.

Subd. 8.Penalty; injunction.

(a) Any person or corporation, or officer or employee thereof, violating any of the foregoing provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as by statute provided for the punishment of misdemeanors. It shall be the duty of the respective county attorneys in this state to prosecute violations of this section, and the district courts of this state shall have sole original jurisdiction of any such offense under this section.

(b) A county attorney or the attorney general may, in the name of the state of Minnesota, or in the name of the State Board of Law Examiners, proceed by injunction suit against any violator of any of the provisions above set forth to enjoin the doing of any act or acts violating any of said provisions.

(c) In addition to the penalties and remedies provided in paragraphs (a) and (b), the public and private penalties and remedies in section 8.31 apply to violations of this section.

Subd. 9.Construing subdivision.

Nothing in subdivision 3a shall be construed to allow a person other than a licensed attorney to perform or provide the services of an attorney or be construed to otherwise conflict with this section.

NOTE: This section was deemed unconstitutional to the extent that it attempts to require courts to allow nonattorneys to appear in court on behalf of corporations in Haugen v. Superior Development, Inc., 819 N.W.2d 715 (Minn. Ct. App. 2012), citing Nicollet Restoration, Inc. v. Turnham, 486 N.W.2d 753 (Minn. 1992).

481.03 ATTORNEYS SHALL NOT EMPLOY SOLICITORS.

No attorney at law shall, through any runner, agent or person not an attorney at law who is employed by the attorney, solicit a person to employ such attorney to present a claim for damages for personal injuries or for death, or to prosecute an action to enforce such a claim, and no attorney at law shall, directly or indirectly, give a promise to any such person other than an attorney at law any money, fee or commission in consideration of the employment of such attorney by a person having a claim for personal injuries or for death, or soliciting or procuring such person who has such claim to employ such attorney to present such claim or to prosecute an action for the enforcement thereof.

History:

(5687-5) 1929 c 289 s 1; 1986 c 444

481.04 SOLICITING OF BUSINESS BY PERSONS OTHER THAN ATTORNEYS; PROHIBITION.

It shall be unlawful for any person not an attorney at law to solicit for money, fee or commission, in any manner whatsoever, any demand or claim for personal injuries or for death for the purpose of having an action brought thereon for the purpose of settling the same. Nothing in sections 481.03 to 481.05 shall be construed to prevent any bona fide labor organization or any member thereof from advising or securing advice for any member of such organization in regard to the member's rights.

History:

(5687-6) 1929 c 289 s 2; 1986 c 444

481.05 VIOLATIONS; PENALTIES.

Subdivision 1.Employing solicitors.

Any attorney at law who violates section 481.03 is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 2.Soliciting of business.

Any person who violates section 481.04 is guilty of a misdemeanor.

481.06 GENERAL DUTIES.

Every attorney at law shall:

(1) observe and carry out the terms of the attorney's oath;

(2) maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;

(3) counsel or maintain such causes only as appear to the attorney legal and just; but the attorney shall not refuse to defend any person accused of a public offense;

(4) employ, for the maintenance of causes confided to the attorney, such means only as are consistent with truth, and never seek to mislead the judges by any artifice or false statement of fact or law;

(5) keep inviolate the confidences of the attorney's client, abstain from offensive personalities, and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless the justice of the cause requires it;

(6) encourage the commencement or continuation of no action or proceeding from motives of passion or interest; nor shall the attorney, for any personal consideration, reject the cause of the defenseless or oppressed.

History:

(5688) RL s 2281; 1986 c 444

481.07 PENALTIES FOR DECEIT OR COLLUSION.

An attorney who, with intent to deceive a court or a party to an action or judicial proceeding, is guilty of or consents to any deceit or collusion, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and, in addition to the punishment prescribed therefor, the attorney shall be liable to the party injured in treble damages. If the attorney permit any person other than a general law partner to begin, prosecute, or defend an action or proceeding in the attorney's name, the attorney giving such permission, and every person so using the name, shall forfeit $50 to the party against whom the action or proceeding is prosecuted or defended, recoverable in a civil action.

History:

(5689) RL s 2282; 1986 c 444

481.071 MISCONDUCT BY ATTORNEYS.

Every attorney or counselor at law who shall be guilty of any deceit or collusion, or shall consent thereto, with intent to deceive the court or any party, or who shall delay the attorney's client's suit with a view to the attorney's own gain, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, in addition to the punishment prescribed by law therefor, shall forfeit to the party injured treble damages, to be recovered in a civil action.

History:

(10044) RL s 4856; 1986 c 444

481.08 AUTHORITY.

An attorney may bind a client, at any stage of an action or proceeding, by agreement made in open court or in the presence of the court administrator, and entered in the minutes by such court administrator, or made in writing and signed by such attorney. During any proceeding or action the attorney may receive money claimed therein by a client, and within six years after judgment, upon payment thereof, may discharge the claim or acknowledge satisfaction of the judgment; but all such authority shall cease upon the substitution of another attorney.

481.09 PROOF OF AUTHORITY.

A court, upon motion and hearing, and when reasonable grounds are shown, may require any attorney to prove the attorney's authority to appear and, until such proof is made, may stay all proceedings by the attorney on behalf of the party the attorney assumes to represent. At any stage of the proceedings the court may relieve a party from the consequences of the unauthorized acts of an attorney and, upon motion, may summarily compel such attorney to repair any injury resulting therefrom.

History:

(5691) RL s 2284; 1986 c 444

481.10 CONSULTATION WITH PERSONS RESTRAINED.

Subdivision 1.Consultation.

All officers or persons having in their custody a person restrained of liberty, except in cases where imminent danger of escape or injury exists, shall admit any attorney retained by or on behalf of the person restrained, or whom the restrained person may desire to consult, to a private interview at the place of custody. Such custodians, upon request of the person restrained, as soon as practicable, and before other proceedings shall be had, shall notify the attorney of the request for a consultation with the attorney.

Subd. 2.Telephone access in local correctional facilities.

Except as provided in subdivision 3 and except in cases where imminent danger of escape or injury exists, all officers or persons having in their custody a person restrained of liberty whether or not the person restrained has been charged, tried, or convicted, shall provide private telephone access to any attorney retained by or on behalf of the person restrained, or whom the restrained person may desire to consult at no charge to the attorney or to the person restrained. Reasonable telephone access under this subdivision shall be provided following the request of the person restrained and before other proceedings shall be had regarding the alleged offense causing custody.

Subd. 3.Telephone access in state correctional facilities.

Except in cases where imminent danger of escape or injury exists, all officers or persons having in their custody a person restrained of liberty while serving an executed sentence in a state correctional facility, shall provide private telephone access to any attorney retained by or on behalf of the person restrained, or whom the restrained person may desire to consult at no charge to the attorney or to the person restrained. Telephone access under this subdivision shall be provided following the request of the person restrained and in accordance with policies adopted by the institution that meet constitutional requirements.

Subd. 4.Criminal penalty.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), whoever violates subdivision 1 or 2 is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall also forfeit $100 to the person aggrieved, to be recovered in a civil action.

(b) The penalties described in paragraph (a) do not apply to officers or persons having in their custody persons restrained of liberty while serving an executed sentence in a state correctional facility.

481.11 CHANGE OF ATTORNEY.

The attorney in a civil action or proceeding may be changed at any time. When such change is made, written notice of the substitution of a new attorney shall be given to adverse parties; until such notice, they shall recognize the former attorney.

481.12 DISABILITY; SUBSTITUTION.

When the sole attorney of a party to any action or proceeding in any court of record dies, becomes mentally incapacitated, or is removed or suspended, the party for whom the attorney appears shall appoint another attorney within ten days after the disability arises, and give immediate written notice of the substitution to the adverse party. If the party fails to make substitution within such time, the adverse party, at least 20 days before taking further proceedings against the party, shall give the party written notice to appoint another attorney. When, for any reason, the attorney for a party ceases to act, and the party has no known residence within the state, such notice may be served upon the court administrator. In case such party fails either to comply with the notice or appear in person within 30 days, the party shall not be entitled to notice of subsequent proceedings in the case.

481.13 LIEN FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES.

Subdivision 1.Generally.

(a) An attorney has a lien for compensation whether the agreement for compensation is expressed or implied (1) upon the cause of action from the time of the service of the summons in the action, or the commencement of the proceeding, and (2) upon the interest of the attorney's client in any money or property involved in or affected by any action or proceeding in which the attorney may have been employed, from the commencement of the action or proceeding, and, as against third parties, from the time of filing the notice of the lien claim, as provided in this section.

(b) An attorney has a lien for compensation upon a judgment, whether there is a special express or implied agreement as to compensation, or whether a lien is claimed for the reasonable value of the services. The lien extends to the amount of the judgment from the time of giving notice of the claim to the judgment debtor. The lien under this paragraph is subordinate to the rights existing between the parties to the action or proceeding.

(c) A lien provided by paragraphs (a) and (b) may be established, and the amount of the lien may be determined, summarily by the court under this paragraph on the application of the lien claimant or of any person or party interested in the property subject to the lien.

Judgment shall be entered under the direction of the court, adjudging the amount due.

Subd. 2.Perfection of lien.

(a) If the lien is claimed on the client's interest in real property involved in or affected by the action or proceeding, a notice of intention to claim a lien on the property must be filed in the office of the county recorder or registrar of titles, where appropriate, and noted on the certificate or certificates of title affected, in and for the county where the real property is located. Within 30 days of filing a lien on real property, the claimant must prepare and deliver a written notice of the filing personally or by certified mail to the owner of the real property or the owner's authorized agent. A person who fails to provide the required notice shall not have the lien and remedy provided by this section. Upon receipt of payment in full of the debt which gave rise to the lien, the lienholder shall deliver within 30 days a recordable satisfaction and release of lien to the owner of the real property or the owner's authorized agent. No notice of intent to claim a lien may be filed more than 120 days after the last item of claim.

(b) If the lien is claimed on the client's interest in personal property involved in or affected by the action or proceeding, the notice must be filed in the same manner as provided by law for the filing of a security interest.

Subd. 3.One-year limitation.

No lien against real property shall be enforced unless the lienholder, by filing either a complaint or an answer with the court administrator, asserts a lien within one year after the filing of the notice of intention to claim a lien, unless within the one-year time period the owner has agreed to a longer time period to assert the lien. This agreement must be in a written instrument signed by the owner containing the legal description of the affected real property and a description of the recording information of the filed lien and the written instrument must be recorded in the same office as the lien within one year after the filing of the notice of intention to claim a lien. In no event may the lien be asserted more than three years after filing. No person is bound by any judgment in the action unless made a party to the action within the time limit. The absence from the record in the Office of the County Recorder or the registrar of titles, where appropriate, of a notice of lis pendens of an action after the expiration of the time limit in which the lien could be so asserted is conclusive evidence that the lien may no longer be enforced as to a bona fide purchaser, mortgagee, or encumbrancer without notice. In the case of registered land, the registrar of titles shall refrain from carrying forward to new certificates of title the memorials of lien statements when no notice of lis pendens has been registered within the time limit.

481.14 REFUSAL TO SURRENDER PROPERTY TO CLIENTS.

When an attorney shall refuse to deliver money or papers to a person from or for whom the attorney has received them in the course of professional employment, the attorney may be required to do so, upon petition, by an order of court. Such order may be granted by the court in which the action was prosecuted, or, if no action was prosecuted, by the district court of the county where the attorney resides, or by the Supreme Court, and may require the attorney to make delivery within a time specified, or show cause why the attorney should not be punished for contempt. In the event an attorney shall retain money of a client under a claim of right, including a claim for fees and expenses, the court shall determine the amount, if any, due such attorney, and shall order that any surplus amount remaining after deduction thereof be surrendered to the client.

History:

(5696) RL s 2289; 1976 c 304 s 3; 1986 c 444

481.15 REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION.

Subdivision 1.Causes.

An attorney at law may be removed or suspended by the Supreme Court for any one of the following causes arising after admission to practice:

(1) Upon being convicted of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, (in either of which cases the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence). This clause shall not be construed to apply to a conviction for contempt of court;

(2) Upon a showing that the attorney has knowingly signed a frivolous pleading, or been guilty of any deceit or willful professional misconduct;

(3) For willful disobedience of an order of court requiring the attorney to do or forbear an act connected with or in the course of the attorney's profession;

(4) For a willful violation of the attorney's oath, or of any duty imposed upon an attorney by law.

Subd. 2.Proceedings.

Proceedings in the cases may be taken by the Supreme Court on its own motion, for matter within its knowledge, or upon accusation. Accusations may be made to the clerk of the appellate courts and shall be investigated, prosecuted, heard and determined in accordance with rules made by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court may refer any accusation to any person, and the person shall have all the powers of a referee under the Rules of Civil Procedure. Objections to the referee may be filed within ten days of the appointment and shall be heard and determined by the supreme court. The referee shall report the evidence and, if directed by the Supreme Court, shall make findings on it. Persons designated by the Supreme Court under the authority of this section shall be paid their necessary expenses and compensation fixed by the Supreme Court. Officers and witnesses necessarily employed or called by the prosecution shall receive the fees and mileage allowed by law. The Supreme Court shall fix a reasonable compensation for the reporter. All expenses, fees and compensation authorized shall be paid upon itemized vouchers approved by one of the justices of the Supreme Court.

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 1981 c 356 s 377]

481.16 CERTAIN ATTORNEYS NOT TO DEFEND CERTAIN PROSECUTIONS; PENALTY.

Every attorney who shall, directly or indirectly, advise in relation to, or aid or promote the defense of, any action or proceeding in any court, the prosecution of which shall be carried on, aided, or promoted by any person as county attorney or other public prosecutor with whom such attorney shall be, directly or indirectly, connected as partner, or who, having personally prosecuted or in any manner aided or promoted any action or proceeding in any court as county attorney or other public prosecutor, shall afterwards, directly or indirectly, advise in relation to, or take any part in, the defense thereof, as attorney or otherwise, or who shall take or receive any valuable consideration from or on behalf of any defendant in any such action, upon any understanding or agreement whatsoever, expressed or implied, having relation to the defense thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

History:

(10519) RL s 5181; 1986 c 444

481.17 COUNTY, CITY, AND SCHOOL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS.

In all counties in this state having a population of not more than 12,000, the offices of county attorney, city attorney, and school district attorney shall not be deemed incompatible and may be held by the same person. For the purposes of prosecution of violations of state laws, municipal ordinances, charter provisions, or municipal regulations, the offices of county attorney and city attorney shall not be deemed incompatible and may be held by the same person, regardless of the population of the county.

481.18 [Repealed, 1974 c 406 s 80]

481.20 CLIENT SECURITY ACCOUNT.

Fees received under rules or orders adopted by the supreme court governing a client security fund or account must be deposited in the state treasury and credited to a client security account. Investment income and investment losses attributable to investment of the client security account must be credited to the account. Money in the account is appropriated to the supreme court to pay the expenses of the client security board and claims approved by the board.

History:

1987 c 404 s 183

481.21 BOND COUNSEL FEES.

An attorney-at-law performing services as bond counsel for the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision of the state shall be paid a fair and reasonable attorney's fee, based on the following factors:

(1) the time and labor required;

(2) the experience and knowledge of the attorney;

(3) the complexity and novelty of problems involved;

(4) the extent of the responsibilities assumed and the results obtained; and

(5) the sufficiency of assets properly available to pay for the services.

The fee must not be based primarily on a percentage of the amount of the bonds or obligations sold.

History:

1994 c 533 s 1

481.22 PUBLIC DEFENDER FEE.

Subdivision 1.Authorization.

(a) The Supreme Court, through the lawyer registration office, may assess a public defender fee on each licensed attorney in the state. If imposed, the fee must not be more than $75 or less than the civil legal services fee established by the Supreme Court in 1997 that licensed attorneys are required to pay pursuant to the rules of the Supreme Court on lawyer registration.

(b) The fee described in paragraph (a) may apply only to attorneys actively engaged in the practice of law.

Subd. 2.Creation of account.

The public defender fee account is created in the special revenue fund. The state court administrator shall forward fees collected under subdivision 1 to the commissioner of management and budget who shall deposit them in the state treasury and credit them to this account. Money in the account is appropriated to the Board of Public Defense.