*Information on this site, as well as all speakers, topics, and times are subject to change without prior notice.*

MPA Annual Convention
April 29, 2022 - 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park*

*NHCC has clarified they are not mandating vaccines for guests on their campus. The MPA is mindful of everyone's health and commits to following CDC guidelines. Please note that attending any public event carries an inherent risk of contracting COVID, vaccination does not fully immunize someone from contracting COVID, and everyone attends at their own risk.*

Registration is Closed

Download the 2022 Convention Program Booklet!
Schedule at a Glance
 Time Session/Event 
7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Registration & Exhibitor Hall Open
8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Welcome & Announcements
8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Morning Keynote
9:15 a.m. - 9:35 a.m. Break & Vendor Connections
9:35 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. Concurrent CLE Sessions 1
10:35 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. Break & Vendor Connections
10:55 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Concurrent CLE Sessions 2
11:55 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch Break
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Afternoon Keynote
1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Break & Vendor Connections
1:50 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Concurrent CLE Sessions 3
2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. Break & Vendor Connections 
3:10 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
4:10 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks & Prizes 
Morning Keynote
"Justice for All: A look at the Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project and other efforts to increase access to justice in Minnesota"
Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea

In March 2021, the Minnesota Supreme Court authorized a two-year pilot that permits legal paraprofessionals, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, to provide legal advice and, in some cases, represent a client in court in landlord-tenant disputes and family law disputes. The pilot's goal is to help close Minnesota’s “civil justice gap” and increase access to legal representation in case types where one or both parties typically appear without an attorney.

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea, a champion of this pilot initiative, will provide an overview of how the pilot works, review the lessons learned and feedback gathered over the pilot’s first year, and discuss some of the key issues the Supreme Court will consider when determining whether to continue this new approach to delivering legal services in Minnesota.

In addition, Chief Justice Gildea will share an update on how Minnesota’s court system is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and preview the future of remote (online) court hearings in Minnesota.

The Chief Justice will also leave time in her presentation to take questions from the audience and discuss other items of interest to Minnesota’s paralegal community.

Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea
Lorie Skjerven Gildea is Minnesota’s 22nd Chief Justice, appointed by Governor Pawlenty in 2010. Prior to becoming Chief Justice, she served as an associate justice since 2006. Before her appointment to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Gildea served as a district court judge in Hennepin County and as a prosecutor in the County Attorney’s Office. She also served as Associate General Counsel at the University of Minnesota following private practice in Washington, D.C. As Chief Justice, she chairs the Judicial Council and is a member of the Capitol Area Security Committee, the Capitol Preservation Commission, and the Board of Pardons. She is a current member of the Conference of Chief Justices and a member of its Board of Directors (2013-2015 & 2019-2021). In 2018, United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts appointed her to serve on the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction. Prior to becoming a judge, Chief Justice Gildea was a member of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission; the Board of Directors of YWCA, Minneapolis; and the Advisory Board, MINNCOR Industries. Chief Justice Gildea earned her B.A. Degree with distinction from the University of Minnesota Morris, and her J.D. Degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.

Afternoon Keynote
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
Samantha Sutton & Brett Olander

Just days after September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund was enacted. The Fund was established to compensate victims and their families. In response, lawyers throughout the country volunteered to assist families in making claims on a pro bono basis. Brett Olander and Samantha Sutton volunteered and filed a claim for the Luck, Wisconsin family of Lt. Col. Dean Mattson, an Army officer killed at the Pentagon.

Samantha Sutton

Samantha is in-house counsel for Securian Financial, where she works with litigation matters. She has 17 years of litigation experience with various law firms as well as insurance companies. She had honor of working on a claim to the Victim Compensation Fund while a law school student clerking for Brett Olander's firm. It remains one of her most rewarding lawyering experiences.

Brett Olander

Brett Olander mediates and arbitrates civil cases of all types on a full-time basis from his office in Minneapolis. He has been a partner in a large law firm, a leader in the corporate law department of a Fortune 50 corporation, a successful coach, and is currently the President and Board Chair of a large legal aid provider which services 33 counties of southern Minnesota.

CLE Sessions
9:35 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. 
Fraudulent Trademark Filings and a New Tool in the Toolbox: the Trademark Modernization Act

Stephen Lee; Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Target Corporation

Over the past handful of years, there has been a growing crisis affecting the very structure of our trademark registration system. There has been a parabolic growth curve of fraudulent trademark applications flooding the United States Patent and Trademark Office which could effectively clutter and block legitimate filers’ efforts to secure their own trademark rights. Moreover, these fraudulent marks undermine the very integrity of the U.S. trademark system. In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

  • How big a problem is this really?
  • Where is this coming from and who is behind this?
  • As a trademark owner, how do you identify these fraudulent filings?
  • So, what’s being done and what are some proposed solutions?

One tool that has been recently added in our arsenal to combat this threat is the Trademark Modernization Act (TMA). Join us for this trademark session to gain a better understanding about the extent of the problem and what the TMA hopes to accomplish.

Legalizing Sports Betting in Minnesota

Senator Karla Bigham; MN State Senate

Earlier this year, HF 778, a bill to legalize sports betting in Minnesota, gained bipartisan support. Senator Bigham, one of the lawmakers behind the bill, will provide an overview of the bill and highlight what the bill specifically would legalize in Minnesota if passed. She will also explain the legislative process involved to get a proposed bill passed, including common hurdles a bill can face, and the required approvals needed to move a bill forward.

Early Case Assessment 2.0

Brandon Rimnac & Matt Samet; Director of Consulting Services; Senior Project Manager; TransPerfect 

Keyword searching as a measure of document culling is becoming less valuable than it once was. The amount of delay, and cost, that can accompany perfecting keywords may be an unnecessary burden on end clients. It is not uncommon for contentious back and forth to exist between opposing parties as terms are finalized.

This presentation investigates whether a continuous active learning model – also known as TAR 2.0 – can be used with minimal searching as the most efficient method to cull documents.

Through firsthand experience we intend to demonstrate that TAR 2.0 can lead to a greater degree of accuracy in a document review and avoid the potential for missing key topics or concepts.

 CLE Sessions
10:55 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.

Compliance Programs and the Evolving Role of Legal Professionals

Christoph Meyer-Grimberg, LLM; Adjunct Professor, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

We'll talk about the elements of an effective compliance program mixing the 2020 DOJ guidance for the evaluation of corporate compliance programs with real life examples.

We'll also explore how legal professionals can partner with the business and others corporate functions to foster a culture of ethics and compliance and how the constantly changing legal environment requires us to learn and apply old and new skills such as project management, process improvement, business oriented communication, contemporary training, brand building, data analytics and more

Understanding Minnesota's Legal Cannabis Industry

Carol R.M. Moss; Attorney, Hellmuth & Johnson

Carol R. M. Moss, Esq. will discuss Minnesota's cannabis industry, the legal issues affecting the industry, and how it works with federal regulations. This presentation will provide background to understand how Minnesota's cannabis industry affects different areas of law and practices.

Mediation - Process, Pearls, and Paralegal Involvement from a Mediator’s Perspective

Martin Ho;  Attorney, Stingley & Ho, PLLP

Paralegal involvement can be critical and highly beneficial throughout mediation preparation and mediation itself. Join as seasoned mediator, Martin B. Ho, shares stories from his diverse mediation practice and the various methods he’s found to advance the mediation process – whether that be via an early mediation, or involving a mediator just days short of trial. This presentation will be moderated by MPA Employment Sectional Chair, Maddie Baker, MnCP. Martin has worked with Maddie and her firm on multiple mediations – they’ll share what works and what doesn’t, plus provide tips to paralegals looking to impress their attorneys throughout the mediation process! Open to audience involvement, Martin hopes that attendees come with questions and are open to sharing their own mediation experiences.

CLE Sessions
1:50 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. 

Spousal Maintenance 101

Anne Haaland & Sarah Hewitt; Attorneys, Henson Efron, PA

In Minnesota divorces, courts may order monthly payments in the form of spousal maintenance when one spouse needs additional financial support to meet his or her expenses and the other spouse has the ability to pay. This presentation will cover three major questions regarding spousal maintenance: 1) Amount: How much should it be? 2) Duration: How long should it last? 3) Modification: How can it be changed? We will discuss the relevant laws and cases and how they are applied. We will also provide practice tips for working with clients and attorneys on this issue (for example, developing a client’s budget, calculating a buyout, drafting Karon waiver language, etc.).

Surviving and Loving a Long Career as a Paralegal

Barbara Peppersack; Paralegal, Larkin Hoffman

This session will be a discussion about changes in a law firm and how to continue your paralegal career and enjoy it:

  • Changes in law firms over the years
  • Changes in technology
  • Learning new laws throughout the years, how it impacts your work
  • Working with attorneys: gaining their respect, learning how each attorney you work with is different, etc.
  • How I managed it all these year!

Employee or Independent Contractor? Why Worker Classification Matters in Employment Law

Caroline Bressman; Attorney, Nichols Kaster, PLLP

Worker classification is an important topic for both employers and workers, as well as the public. This presentation will explain under what circumstances a worker is an employee versus an independent contractor, the legal implications of being classified as an employee versus an independent contractor, federal and state-based legislation that address worker classification worker misclassification in the context of the gig economy, and the future of the gig economy.


Professional Development, Advancement, and Self-Advocacy

Aprille Beyer, Deanne Brooks, Nicole DeJarlais, Andrew McNaughtan, David Brown

How non-attorney legal professionals (paralegals and legal assistants) can drive their career paths in ways that we know from our experience to be effective. When it is the right time to change employers; what traits make the best stand-out, in-demand candidates; the value of soft/non-technical skills; and truly knowing one's strengths and weaknesses to inform the direction of one's professional development and career path.

In-House vs. Private Practice Paralegal Positions

Michael Larson, Sarah Gernes, Jenelle Lundgren, Patty Meagher

This paralegal panel will discuss the differences and similarities of in-house corporation paralegal positions versus private practice paralegal positions and transitioning between the two different working environments.

Discovery Do’s, Don’ts, and Discussion

Maddie Baker, Teri Inderieden, Alexzandria Neumiller, Jeffrey Cluever

Join our panel of litigation paralegals and discovery specialists as they share discovery experiences, strategies, tips, and tricks! This group will discuss all aspects of discovery amongst various areas of law. Attendees are encouraged to contribute to this discussion for a collaborative workshop where all in attendance can learn ways to improve, expedite, and enjoy the discovery process.

2022 Registration Options

 Member Full Day$90
 Member Half Day$45 
 Student (Full or Half)$50 
 Non-Member Full Day$130 
 Non-Member Half Day$65 
 Member Legal Aid$72 
 Non-Member Legal Aid$104 

Don't wait, register TODAY! Registration closes

April 22, 2022 at 12:00 p.m.

Registration is Closed

This year's convention charity is...


In conjunction with the 2022 Annual Convention, Minnesota Paralegal Association has chosen the American Red Cross as this year's charity fundraiser. Register for the Convention and add your support!


CLE Notice

MPA will be applying for CLE credits through NFPA® for each breakout session and/or workshop that qualifies. Attendees will receive an email following the Convention with instructions to request CLE credit. CLE certificates will then be emailed to each person as requested.

Cancellation Policy

Written notice must be emailed, mailed, or faxed by April 22nd to receive a full refund. Cancellations received after April 22nd will be refunded minus a $50 late cancellation fee.


1. All speakers, topics, and times are subject to change without prior notice.

2. NHCC has clarified they are not mandating vaccines for guests on their campus. The MPA is mindful of everyone's health and commits to following CDC guidelines. Please note that attending any public event carries an inherent risk of contracting COVID, vaccination does not fully immunize someone from contracting COVID, and everyone attends at their own risk.

Not sure if the Annual Convention is for you? Check out the speakers, topics, and keynotes from past conventions!

2019 Annual Convention Program Booklet

2018 Annual Convention Program Booklet

© Copyright 2017 Minnesota Paralegal Association.

The Minnesota Paralegal Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 2345 Rice Street, Suite 220, St. Paul, MN 55113

P: 651-633-2778 F: 651-317-8048 E: info@mnparalegals.org

Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software