Judge Steve Halsey

It’s In Your Court

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

— Wright County District Court Judge Stephen Halsey authored this article, with quotes from Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Paul Rasmussen, chambered in Clearwater County.

 

 

 

Thu
27
Aug

Who do I sue?

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

 

What shall I do?
Oh, what shall I do?
My Doo-hicckey broke!
So, who do I sue?

 

Wed
05
Aug

It’s in your court: Specialty Courts

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

A growing trend in Minnesota courts is the establishment of specialty courts, such as drug courts, DWI courts, domestic violence courts, and veteran’s courts. A colleague earlier this year wrote about such courts as follows:

 

Wed
10
Jun

It’s in your court: Work Zone Violators Face Hefty Fines

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

The traditional saying is that Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction. Major construction projects have begun throughout the eight counties of the 10th Judicial District, as well as numerous smaller projects. These projects now display a large and clear sign warning of $300 fines for violations of the posted work zone speed limit. Why is that?

 

Wed
13
May

It’s in your court: Judges’ likes and dislikes about lawyers

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

If you or a member of your family has had occasion to hire a lawyer in the past, you may have wondered about what characteristics in a lawyer would allow you the greatest chance for a successful result in a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost. Perhaps you considered what judges are looking for in a lawyer. This past January an article entitled, “What do judges think of lawyers?” published on the MinnPost.com website, by Hennepin County Judge Mel Dickstein may be summarized as follows:

 

Wed
06
May

It’s in your court: The stranger in the black robe

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

During the past few years Minnesota courts have started to encourage parents to attend early neutral evaluation (ENE) when custody or parenting time (visitation) or financial issues are disputed, or attend mediation if ENE does not occur. There are several reasons for this requirement. One reason is cost: the sooner the parties can resolve their dispute, the fewer emotional and financial resources are devoted to the dispute. Literally tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and court costs can be avoided by an early resolution rather than protracted litigation.  Some judges tell the parties, “You can choose to send your lawyer’s kids to college or your own.”

 

Sun
19
Apr

It’s in your court: Please pardon my legalese

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

 “My opponent’s ex parte motion for relief pendente lite is improperly brought and must be dismissed sua sponte and with prejudice,” argues the lawyer. Huh? Twenty words, six in Latin, completely incomprehensible legalese to all but Latin-speaking lawyers and judges. Surveys have shown that a significant percentage of citizens who have appeared in court, whether on a divorce matter, speeding ticket, or on jury duty, have no idea what just happened. Judge Dennis Duggan of Albany, New York, spoke at a family law conference for Minnesota judges and has been an outspoken critic of the use of “legalese” in the courtroom. In a 2006 article entitled, “When Judges Talk, Why No One Listens,” Judge Duggan lists 100 legal terms that lawyers used in his courtroom over a 3-week period. Here are a few:

 

Sun
22
Mar

It’s in your court: Kickin’ the can down the road?

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court

Recently a citizen I know who has run a business and served in political office observed one of our criminal court sessions.
The citizen said, “Not much happened, just continuing cases two or three months.”
The intimation was that a lot of tax dollars are going to waste because not much is being accomplished at these court appearances.

 

Wed
18
Feb

It’s in your court: The prosecutor’s decision to charge or dismiss

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court
You may have heard about a case where a number of people were charged with misdemeanor trespassing. You may also have heard that they appeared at a meeting of the city council requesting that the mayor and council dismiss the criminal citations. Is this the normal process? It is not.

Fri
13
Feb

It’s in your court: Your lawyer is your advocate, not your 'muscle'

Judge Steve Halsey
Wright County District Court
Young lawyers representing parties in lawsuits have a long learning curve. As a young lawyer you are amazed that clients actually hire you for your expertise, listen to your advice and follow your recommendations.

Wed
14
Jan

It’s in your court: you must respond to jury summons

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