November 5, 2020. All five Minnesota judges facing opponents won election this week. 123 judges were up for election on Tuesday’s ballot. (Most Minnesota judges take office by appointment by the Governor, then have to run for election for six year terms.) Only five races were contested. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen defeated perennial candidate Michelle MacDonald 59% – 41%. The four challenged District Court judges also won election: Judge Joseph Carter in the First Judicial District, Judge Pat Diamond in the Second Judicial District, and Judges Charles Halverson and Jana Austad in the Ninth Judicial District. George served on the campaign committees for Justice Thissen and Judge Carter.
October 3, 2020. We mourn the passing of friend and mentor Sandy Keith. Sandy served as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1990 to 1998. He also served as a Minnesota State Senator from Rochester and as Lieutenant Governor. He ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 1966. (That race was featured in a Minnesota history book “The Twenty-First Ballot.) George worked with Sandy in bar committees and activities and served as Co-Chair of Sandy’s election committee in 1992. In George’s words: “Sandy was my friend and mentor. He cared passionately about Minnesota and its people, as evidenced by his service in all three branches of Minnesota government. Sandy was also a walking, talking Minnesota history book. He participated in (or observed) all of the significant political events in Minnesota for almost 50 years, and he had great stories to tell. Sandy was an excellent judge, an inspiring leader, and a statesman.”
September 28, 2020. George’s chocolate chip cookies were auctioned again this year at DIW’s annual LEAP fundraiser. The winning bid was $650. Soule & Stull joined other Twin Cities law firms and businesses to sponsor the 5th Annual Division of Indian Work LEAP Event on September 28. DIW provides food, clothing and other services to American Indian individuals and families in need throughout our community. Hundreds of people attended the event virtually – to raise funds for DIW food shelf and youth development programs. George serves as Chair of the DIW Board of Directors.
September 17, 2020 – For the seventh year, Soule & Stull sponsored the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association golf tournament at The Meadows at Mystic Lake. The tournament benefits American Indian students attending Minnesota law schools. Melissa and George have played in the tournament together nearly every year for the last fourteen years and this year were joined by Anton van der Merwe and Karna Peters (photographed at a safe social distance).
August 28, 2020. Melissa presented today at the Torts, Litigation and Ethics seminar. The continuing legal education seminar was viewed by over 100 attendees over livestream. Melissa provided an update on important Minnesota cases decided in the last several years that have addressed key product liability issues. She also provided attendees with a summary of the current status of courtroom proceedings in light of COVID-19 restrictions and relevant orders from the Minnesota Supreme Court and the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.
George Soule to serve as Co-Convenor of Minnesota State Taskforce on Law Enforcement Education Reform
August 26, 2020. Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra announced the formation of a Taskforce on Law Enforcement Education Reform. The Chancellor appointed George Soule as Co-Convenor of the Taskforce. The Taskforce will lead a critical examination of law enforcement education programs at Minnesota State colleges and universities using an anti-racism and equity-focused lens. The Taskforce’s members represent a wide, diverse, and inclusive cross-section of external and internal key stakeholders. George has served on the Board of Trustees for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities since 2017.
July 28, 2020. Soule & Stull worked with LexisNexis on the newly published Minnesota Pretrial Civil Litigation, a LexisNexis Practice Guide. According to LexisNexis, the book is a “one-volume source providing pretrial guidance, forms and checklists by and for Minnesota state-court litigators.” George is listed as the Editor, but everyone pitched in to help prepare the book for publication. Meghan Feliciano reviewed every word and took the lead in making edits to the original draft. Anna Veit-Carter gathered and prepared the book’s forms. Melissa gave the text fresh eyes as it neared publication.
February 10, 2020. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals today issued its opinion affirming dismissal of defendant Vermeer Manufacturing Company in a lawsuit in federal court in Missouri. Plaintiff Robert Ellingsworth sued Vermeer, claiming defects in connection with a brush chipper manufactured by Vermeer. The district court granted summary judgment to Vermeer, holding that there were no defects in Vermeer’s brush chipper, but the alleged defects related to parts added to the brush chipper by a third party. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the district court properly granted Vermeer summary judgment. Soule & Stull, along with Springfield, MO counsel Rod Loomer, represented Vermeer in the lawsuit and appeal. George Soule argued in the 8th Circuit on behalf of Vermeer. You may read the 8th Circuit opinion here.
March 2, 2020. Melissa Stull presented today with Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility Senior Assistant Director Jennifer Wichelman at the Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Litigation CLE entitled Trials and Tribulations: Trying a Civil Case Ethically and Professionally. The duo discussed the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct in the context of issues that may arise during a civil trial. Melissa is past-chair of the MSBA Civil Litigation Section.
February 27, 2020. George Soule spoke on a panel today at a Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Litigation Section Seminar about Best Practices in Preparing You and Your Clients for Mediation. George joined retired Judges (and current mediators) Arthur Boylan and Kathleen Gearin and moderator Annamarie Daley to discuss strategies for preparing for and participating in mediation. In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, George is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice.
February 6, 2020. Minnesota Lawyer honored George and Melissa at a banquet tonight as 2019 Attorneys of the Year. The publication chose honorees based on leadership in the profession, involvement in major cases, other newsworthy events, excellence in corporate or transactional services, and public service.
“The case was 6 years old, the client out of business and the stakes high when Minneapolis attorneys George Soule and Melissa Stull were called in: The plaintiff’s injuries were severe and he would seek $15 million economic damages plus pain and suffering and punitive damages…”
George and Melissa were recognized for successfully defending their client and obtaining a defense verdict in 2019 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Soule & Stull attorneys, paralegals, friends and family (and even Emma and Lucas) attended the banquet. You can read the Minnesota Lawyer story about George and Melissa here.
February 2020. George and Melissa will speak at MSBA Civil Litigation Section seminars in the next few weeks. George will join a panel of mediators on February 27 to talk about Best Practices in Preparing You and Your Clients for Mediation. Melissa will discuss Trials and Tribulations: Trying a Civil Case Ethically and Professionally on March 3, along with Jennifer Wichelman from the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. For more information, or to register for the seminars, you can go here (Mediation) or here (Ethics).