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Slide background Slider Image Pro Bono/Community

Pro Bono/Community

The firm's attorneys, paralegals and staff dedicate hundreds of hours per year toward pro bono legal representation and volunteer activities coordinated by a committee of partners and associates. Attorneys and paralegals receive credit against firm billable requirements for up to fifty hours of pro bono legal representation.

Many of LGN's attorneys are members of the Volunteer Lawyers' Network and have taken cases through the federal judges' pro se referral program. Others have helped disadvantaged businesses and non-profit organizations with corporate formation and other legal matters. Still others have worked on guardian ad litem cases or represented children in the foster care system, veterans' benefits appeals, environmental matters and, in cooperation with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, have secured legal residency for asylum seekers who feared harm or persecution in their home countries of China, Rwanda and Tibet.

Pro Bono Cases

Commercial

LGN attorneys Eric Tostrud and Rick Linsk successfully defended an elderly Dallas-area man accused of defaulting on an agreement to repay a loan that funded a so-called “life settlement” insurance policy. The plaintiff filed several similar lawsuits against senior citizens in federal court in Minnesota. LGN invested more than 500 hours in the case, initially referred to LGN by the Minnesota Federal Bar Association’s Pro Se Project. After LGN’s attorneys overcame the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, the parties negotiated a settlement of the case.

Asylum

After two and a half years of work, a team led by LGN Associate Brian Clark and former LGN Paralegal Carey Baehman won Permanent Residency for a Rwandan client who was orphaned as a child and fled to the United States to avoid violence in her native country. The team won a unique immigration status for the client called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, which is granted to only 1,200 orphaned child-immigrants each year. The team successfully argued that the client met the criteria for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status on the basis that she was an orphan and a Minnesota court placed her under the guardianship of a Minnesota relative prior to her becoming 18 years old. LGN volunteered over 450 hours to achieve this victory for the client after the case was referred to LGN by the Advocates for Human Rights.

Veterans

LGN attorneys Greg Myers and Brian Clark succeeded in obtaining survivor benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA") for a pro bono client. The case was complicated by a mistake on the veteran's death certificate that resulted in denial of survivor benefits for the veteran's spouse. As a result, LGN filed litigation in the state where the veteran died to correct the mistake on the death certificate and subsequently assisted the widower in obtaining approval of his application by the VA. LGN invested over 70 hours of time to achieve this victory for the client. The case was initially referred to LGN by the Minnesota Federal Bar Association's Pro Se Project.

Children

Several LGN attorneys have represented children through guardian ad litem cases, or foster children and children who are wards of the state, in cooperation with the Children's Law Center. In October 2011, the firm received the Children's Law Center's Distinquished Service Award.

Community Involvement

Community Service Efforts Benefit Minnesota Urban Debate League

LGN, and its attorneys Gregg Fishbein and Kate Baxter-Kauf, hosted or worked on several events for the Minnesota Urban Debate League. Gregg, who serves on the Advisory Board, and Kate, who was recently elected Chair of the Young Professionals Board, worked with others to convene a CLE in conjunction with Augsburg College entitled, “The Diversity Pipeline: Best practices and Challenges for the Legal Industry in Recruiting, Training, and retaining a Diverse Workforce.” Additionally, LGN sponsored a table at the 2nd Annual Mayors’ Challenge, a debate between Urban Debate League students judged by the mayors of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, which was attended by Gregg, Kate, and other LGN attorneys. The Urban Debate League is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 750 students at 39 partner schools to empower students through competitive debate to become engaged learners, critical thinkers, and active citizens who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities.

On March 8, 2014, LGN Supports Sanneh Foundation's Fourth Annual Gala 4 Goals

LGN was proud to support the Sanneh Foundation's Fourth Annual Gala 4 Goals. With LGN's support, partner Heidi Silton helped co-chair the event, along with her husband Steve Silton, Buck and Heidi Humphrey and Nat Opperman. The 2014 Gala 4 Goals was a tremendous success - raising over $300,000 for the Foundation and raising awareness with the over 1,200 people in attendance!

Pictured: LGN Partner Heidi Silton and Steve Silton

Past Events

"Stock The Shelves" Event Raises $65,000 for Arrowhead Regional Food Shelves.

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is honored to have been presented with the Red Stocking Award from Hunger Solutions Minnesota for our commitment in the fight to end hunger. The firm has partnered with Senator Tom Bakk to organize the "Stock The Shelves" fundraiser, benefiting the Arrowhead regional food shelves, for the past five years.

This week's event raised $65,000 and brought together many of the state's generous corporate sponsors. "Senator Bakk has shown great leadership in bringing people together to raise money for hungry Minnesotans. Senator Bakk's commitment, our gracious sponsors and the special guests, Governor Dayton and Vikings' Jared Allen, made this year's event a success." Lydia Bjorge, event organizer and a member of the state government affairs team at LGN.

The Arrowhead region of Minnesota has been adversely affected by hunger. Last year 23.4% of the population experienced a food hardship.

"Due to the poor economy and high unemployment, food shelves are struggling to meet the increased demand. More and more families are stretched to the limit and relying on food shelves to eat. We are doing our part to help, and I encourage all Minnesotans to take some time to help others this holiday season," said Senator Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, Senate DFL Caucus Leader. In many areas, the statistics of food shelf visits cannot paint the picture of the real need for food assistance. Some food shelves' service statistics have leveled off in recent months because they can no longer expand their capacity. Colleen Moriarty, Executive Director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota welcomes this timely financial gift. Said Moriarty, "This event and the funds raised will go a long way to assist these food shelves ramp up their service capacity, especially now during the holiday season."

Presenting sponsors of this year's event are: Thomson Reuters, Cliffs Natural Resources and Ameriprise Financial. Gold Sponsors include Minnesota Power, Twin Metals and Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Additional sponsors include CenturyLink, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., Delta Airlines, The Minnesota Twins, The Liffey, the Minnesota Wild and Fortune Bay Resort Casino. "This event is a great opportunity to continue Thomson Reuter's mission of relieving hunger in our community. We understand the need grows every year, and we are happy to do our part in helping to meet that need for Minnesota families," said Rick King, COO Technology, Thomson Reuters.

Lockridge Grindal Nauen Government Relations team member Lydia Bjorge accepts the "Red Stocking Award" from Hunger Solutions Minnesota for LGN's continuous efforts to fight hunger in Minnesota. She is pictured with Governor Mark Dayton, Senator Tom Bakk and the Minnesota Viking's Jared Allen.


LGN Employees "Adopt Families" for Holiday Gift Program.

Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. is again proud to participate in the Adopt-A-Family Holiday Gift Giving program benefiting local families in need through the Genesis II for Families program. Members of the LGN team donated a mountain of gifts, Cub Foods gift cards, hundreds of dollars and their time to make the holidays brighter for local families. Gifts were distributed to families at a holiday party taking place on Saturday, December 3. Check out the photos from the LGN gift wrapping party.

About Genesis II for Families
Genesis II for Families began as the Criminal Justice Project in 1976 through a federal grant, becoming the first community-based corrections program for women in the state of Minnesota. In 2003 the name changed to "Genesis II for Families, Inc." to better reflect services provided to whole families. Populations served have grown to include not only at risk adults and their children but also teens. Today, Genesis II for Families is a financially stable organization with comprehensive programming that allows us to effectively fulfill our mission of strengthening families, empowering youth and changing lives.

LGN helps Victims of North Minneapolis Tornado.

The firm is collecting money and household items in order to assist the victims of the recent tornado that hit parts of north Minneapolis. The donations will be send to the American Red Cross for distribution to those in need.

LGN's Washington, D.C. office donates computers to elementary school.

The computers were donated to Adelphi Elementary School, which is a Title 1 school located in the Prince George's County Maryland Public Schools - the 18th largest school district in the nation. Adelphi is lead by Principal Dr. Jane Ennis and serves approximately 400 children in Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade. Adelphi's vision is to create a culture of high academic achievement for all students in an engaging and collaborative learning environment.
Learn more.

Stock the Shelves fundraiser for Hunger Solutions Minnesota a Huge Success!

LGN Lobbyist Lydia Bohn Organized a Food Shelf Fundraiser with Senator Bakk and Special Guests, Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Viking's Adrian Peterson.

Lydia organized the fundraiser for the Arrowhead Region Food Shelf in conjunction with Hunger Solutions Minnesota. The event took place on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Liffey in St. Paul, MN. Hunger Solutions Minnesota "is a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota. We take action to assure food security for all Minnesotans by supporting agencies that provide food to those in need, advancing sound public policy, and guiding grassroots advocacy."

LGN adopts a family for the holidays.

For the second year in a row, LGN will be a sponsor for the Adopt-A-Family program through Genesis II for Families. Genesis II is an organization whose mission is "to promote social change by strengthening families and the community through programs that encourage self-determination, self-sufficiency, and healthy family lifestyles."

LGN Associate Elizabeth Odette organized Kids Against Hunger event.

As a member of the University of St. Thomas School of Law Alumni Program Committee, Elizabeth Odette ('04) planned an Alumni Service Project packing food at Kids Against Hunger in South Minneapolis for alumni, students, faculty/staff and guests. Kids Against Hunger is a nonprofit organization with the mission to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed starving children throughout the world. During packing sessions, volunteers package Kids Against Hunger's specially formulated rice-soy casserole into serving size portions to send to people in need..

LGN Associates Dave Asp and Nate Prosser offer volunteer legal services to low-income clients.

Dave Asp and Nate Prosser are volunteering their time to Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County together with Minnesota Volunteer Network in offering volunteer legal services to low-income clients at clinics in suburban Hennepin County by answering legal questions and assisting in obtaining publicly available legal assistance. Mr. Asp is a board member of Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County.

Team LGN participated in the "Light the Night" walk.

Led by Partner Charlie Nauen, Team LGN walked to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk which brings help and hope to people fighting blood cancers. The walk took place Sunday, September 26, 2010 at Target Field.  View details.

LGN Sponsored 2010 Inver Grove Heights BEST Foundation Golf Tournament.

LGN's Director of State Government Relations, Rebecca Klett and lobbyists Elizabeth Emerson and Lydia Bohn, represented the firm Lockridge Grindal Nauen in their sponsorship of the 2010 Inver Grove Heights BEST Foundation Golf Tournament. LGN proudly supports the BEST Foundation, whose mission is to provide scholarships to graduating students of Independent School District 199. Photo: Lydia Bohn, John Reich, Rebecca Klett and Elizabeth Emerson

August 20-22, 2010 LGN's Heather Potteiger participated in the 2010 Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day for the Cure.

Heather Potteiger, a paralegal with the firm, together with a friend raised $8,365.00 in the fight to end breast cancer. This was Heather's second year walking for the cure and we congratulate her on a fantastic result.

LGN Sponsors Scripps Seven County Metro Regional Spelling Bee for Third Year in a Row.

On March 13, 2010, LGN sponsored the 2010 Scripps Seven County Metro Regional Spelling Bee at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, MN.The guest speaker for the event was Vineeta Sawkar, news anchor on KSTP Channel 5. Partner Charlie Nauen was the emcee for the event. With 46 participants, the bee went 22 rounds before the winner, Anja Beth Swoap,age 13 from Valley View Middle School in Edina (who was also last year's spelling champ) won with the word "Sumo." She got a run for her money from second place winner (and youngest speller), nine year old Paul Di Fuccia, a home schooler from Chaska and third place winner, 14 year old Priyanka Naryan from Wayazata East Middle School. View slideshow.