Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Minnesota Adopts Paraprofessional Pilot Program

The Minnesota Supreme Court has adopted a new rule for a pilot program for legal paraprofessionals

An eligible legal paraprofessional may, under the supervision of a member of the bar, provide the following services:

(a) Provide advice to and appear in court on behalf of tenants in housing disputes as defined in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 504B and Minnesota Statutes ยง 484.014. Eligible legal paraprofessionals may only provide such services in district, courts that have established a Housing Court or a dedicated calendar for housing disputes, except that eligible legal paraprofessionals shall not appear in Housing Court in the Fourth Judicial District.

(b) Provide advice to and appear in comi on behalf of clients in family law cases, but such services shall be limited to advice and hearings related to child-support modifications, parenting-time disputes, and paternity matters. With the approval of the supervising attorney, legal paraprofessionals may also appear in court in family law cases for the following purposes: ( 1) default hearings, (2) pretrial hearings, and (3) informal family comi proceedings. Legal paraprofessionals may also appear with a client in family law mediations where, in the judgment of the supervising lawyer, the issues are limited to less complex matters, which may include simple property divisions, parenting-time matters, and spousal-support determinations. Under no circumstances shall a legal paraprofessional provide advice or appear in court or at a mediation under this paragraph if the family law case involves allegations of domestic abuse or child abuse.

(c) With authorization from the supervising attorney, prepare and file a limited set of documents identified in Appendix 1 to these rules without the supervising attorney's final review.

(Mike Frisch)

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