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Robins Kaplan LLP Helps State Bar and Legal Aid Secure a Modification to Rules of Civil Procedure

Robins Kaplan LLP recently worked alongside the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Minnesota Legal Aid Foundation to secure an important amendment to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure, a change designed to benefit state legal aid services and the Minnesotans who use them.

Eric Magnuson, leader of Robins Kaplan’s Appellate Advocacy and Guidance Group, argued before the Minnesota Supreme Court on behalf of the Minnesota State Bar Association to amend Civil Procedure Rule 23. The Bar association sought an amendment to allow 50 percent of unclaimed, undistributed funds in state class action suits to be donated to the Minnesota Legal Aid Foundation.  The supreme court granted the Bar Association’s request in part, amending the rule to require notice to qualified legal services programs regarding the distribution of residual funds, if any, that remain after payment of all approved class member claims, expenses, litigation costs, attorney's fees, and other court-approved disbursements.  The court also modified the criteria for eligible recipients of residual funds so that legal services organizations will be more likely to receive such funds, increasing vital resources that provide access to the justice system.