2018 MPA Annual Convention

  • May 24, 2018
  • 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
  • North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave. N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445


  • Includes Lunch
  • Includes Lunch
  • Includes Lunch
  • Includes Lunch
  • Includes Lunch


MPA invites you to our 2018 Annual Convention, on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at North Hennepin Community College. Check out the speakers and sessions below, or download the registration information packet here 2018 Convention Registration Packet.pdf.

2018 Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote: Achieve More by Saying Yes to Less

Joy Evanns

Based in Minneapolis, Joy travels the world to support people who want to make the world a better place & still have time & energy to indulge in long vacations, lazy afternoons & quality time with their families. By learning to set boundaries in her own life both personally & professionally and in her former career as a graphic designer for clients such as Nike & Adidas, she eliminated resentment from her relationships, increased her income, & healed chronic asthma & back pain. Joy is the co-author of the award-winning book, More Love, More Joy! Simple Steps to Improve Your Relationships & Your Life.

Joy will help you discover how to find more time each month and how to stay more focused, productive, and energized; learn 3 strategies to keep your cell phone from running you; explore where guilt originates & how to get rid of it; and learn how to say NO when you want to and have people fall in love with you while you’re doing it.

Lunch Keynote: Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct Relative to Paralegals’ Conduct*

Jennifer Bovitz

Jennifer joined the Office of Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility in 2017 as a Senior Assistant Director. She is responsible for investigating and prosecuting allegations of lawyer misconduct and enforcing the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct. Jennifer earned her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in 2001 and served as a felony prosecutor prior to her employment at the Office of Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility. Jennifer’s trial experience includes a wide range of criminal cases and her experience extends to appellate practice at both the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Jennifer serves as adjunct faculty at Mitchell Hamline College of Law, serves on the Washington County Community Corrections Advisory Board, is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and is a past board president of Friends in Need Food Shelf.

Jennifer will cover why the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct are relevant to paralegals’ conduct and will apply the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct to scenarios that can result in attorney discipline based on paralegal conduct, including the unauthorized practice of law and social media.

Ending Keynote: Help Your Attorney Help the Judge

Judge Jessica Maher, Minnesota District Court Judge, First Judicial District

Judge Maher serves as a District Court Judge in the First Judicial District, McLeod County, Minnesota, and was appointed by Governor Dayton in 2017. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Maher practiced in the areas of family and juvenile law and was a shareholder in the law firm of Berg, Debele, DeSmidt & Rabuse. Judge Maher is a cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and is a Judicial Fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. She serves as the McLeod County Children’s Justice Initiative chairperson as well as the Lead Judge for the Children’s Justice Initiate (CJI) for the First Judicial District. She is an active volunteer with a number of community and athletic associations.

Judge Maher will discuss how to help Judges in the paperless world, and how to help your client (and attorney) keep their eyes on the prize. There will be discussion regarding how the Court views submissions and what can be done to make them easier.


Breakout Session 1 

9:35 - 10:35 AM

TOPIC 1: ADR - Mediation and Arbitration: Planning Your Work and Working Your Plan – Classroom 169

Presenter: Paul Rocheford, Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A.

Discussion and insight on the best practices for paralegals and attorneys in the preparation for mediation and arbitration, and the best strategies for a successful mediation and arbitration, from the perspective of a certified Civil Trial Specialist. We will discuss how to put your best foot forward with submissions and posturing your case in the proper light for the Neutral mediator or arbitrator.

TOPIC 2: Best Practices for Efficient and Effective Client Intake – Classroom 178

Presenter: Katie Lammers, Heimerl & Lammers

Katie will illustrate family law paralegal best practices that apply to any legal practice area. The topics include new client phone screening, in person screening, ethics, and a discussion of what is a client. Tips and tricks will be discussed regarding difficult client intake as well as best practices for conflict checks.

TOPIC 3: From Bra Burning to Twitter: Has the Workplace Really Changed with the Advent of the #MeToo Movement? – Classroom 179

Presenter: Jean Boler and Toni Halleen, Schaefer Halleen, LLC

This breakout session will look at the personal and legal aspects of our changing definitions of sexual harassment. Audience participation is encouraged through Q & A and hypotheticals.

TOPIC 4: Bankruptcy 101 – Classroom 181

Presenter: Randall Smith, Randall Smith Law Office

Does bankruptcy affect your practice area? Likely the answer is yes. This course will cover Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13 and which chapter to file, bankruptcy Trustees, the means test and much more.


Breakout Session 2

10:55 - 11:55 AM

TOPIC 5: Corporate Governance 101 – Classroom 169

Presenter: Jennie Clarke, Henson & Efron, P.A

Come learn the “dos” and “don’ts” of minutes, consents, resolutions and more, as well as gain an understanding of the fundamentals of corporate governance and other best practices to avoid complications and liability in a company’s transactions.

TOPIC 6: The Nuts and Bolts of a 21st Century Estate Plan: 9 Things Every Paralegal Needs to Know – Classroom 178

Presenter: Kara Gray and James Thomson, Gray Plant Mooty

Ever wonder what goes in to making an effective estate plan that protects your clients’ assets, provides for health emergencies, and, most importantly, is easy to understand? Join two associate attorneys from one of Minnesota’s premier Trust and Estates groups as they discuss the nine key factors that should be top of mind for any Minnesota estate plan, including drafting wills for non-taxable estates, setting up trusts for children, guardianships, health care directives, and financial powers of attorney. Plus, free swag!

TOPIC 7: Easiest Catch: Don't Be Another Fish in the Dark 'Net – Classroom 179

Presenter: Mark Lanterman, Computer Forensic Services

Mark will focus on recent high-profile cybercrime events, including website breaches impacting retailers, banks, and government agencies. He will also discuss particularly dangerous types of threats that might affect individuals involving the Dark Web, the Internet of Things, phishing, and Wi-Fi attacks.

TOPIC 8: Negotiating Separation Agreements – Classroom 181

Presenter: Lawrence Schaefer, Schafer Halleen

Learn the components of separation agreements, including whether there is any contract-based right to severance, how to evaluate the potential legal claims to determine viability and if the proposed severance terms are inadequate to support the requested release. Also learn how to present these claims to the company/opposing counsel in detailed fashion and invite negotiations.

Breakout Session 3

1:55 - 2:55 PM

TOPIC 9: Addiction in the Law – Classroom 169

Presenter: Robert Speeter, Speeter & Johnson

An over view of alcohol, drugs and Individualized Treatment including new approaches, old issues and addressing the underlying dysfunction. Discussion will include the opioid epidemic.

TOPIC 10: Stress Free Courtroom Presentations, Is It Possible? – Classroom 178

Presenter: Bill Mayleben, Digital Litigation Solution (DLS)

Common issues that come up when preparing and presenting evidence in the courtroom. Bill will discuss trial preparation, presentation software and some great gadgets/hardware to bring along. This will be an open discussion so bring your questions, thoughts and ideas to share with everyone!

TOPIC 11: Immigration Law Today: No longer a Nation of Immigrants? – Classroom 179

Presenter: Laura Danielson, Fredrikson & Byron

As immigration lawyers and paralegals, we are seeing an unprecedented restrictionist mentality applied to immigrants of all stripes, including those who are coming in lawfully as students, business visitors, professional employees, and investors. US Citizenship and Immigration Services recently removed “nation of immigrants” from its mission statement, redefining the focus of immigration. The way immigration services are delivered is shifting along with the change in government focus. This presentation will provide a historical overview on the subject itself and then outline of the types of cases Frederickson & Byron handles on behalf of business and investor immigration clients, with a particular emphasis on the work performed by the team’s twelve paralegals.

TOPIC 12: Common questions about Patent and Trademark Law - Classroom 181

Presenter: Alex Farrell, Hellmuth & Johnson

This session will take you through the steps of patent litigation, with a focus on what makes these types of proceedings different from other kinds of litigation. It will also cover the basics of trademark law. This course will have helpful information both for beginners and those with Patent and Trademark experience.

* Ethics – 1 CLE Ethics credit is being applied for from NFPA.

All Topics are appropriate for paralegals at any level of experience, including students. 

Other Important Information


Course materials will be available via the MPA website. Printed materials will not be provided the day of the convention.


MPA will be applying for CLE credits through NFPA® for each breakout session that qualifies. CLE certificates will be emailed to each person requesting a CLE certificate.


If you require special accommodations in order to attend, please contact us at least two weeks prior to the event at (651)633-2778 or events@mnparalegals.org.


  Member Rate Non-Member Rate
Full Day $100.00 $150.00
Student (full or half day) $65.00 $65.00
Half Day-with Lunch $65.00 $90.00
Legal Aid/501(c)(3) $80.00 $120.00


Campus information: Please visit http://www.nhcc.edu/contact-us/campus-maps for information on directions and maps.


Parking on campus is free. The best parking location is in the EAST PARKING LOT near the South East Entrance to the Center for Business and Technology. Please find a map below for your convenience.


Registration, along with full payment, must be received no later than May 10, 2018, by 4:00 p.m. Visit www.MNParalegals.org to register and pay.

Please contact info@mnparalegals.org or call 651-633-2778 with any questions!

© 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

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