Jon Schmidt Discusses Pro Bono Appellate Project in Minnesota Lawyer

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July 21, 2011

Briggs and Morgan shareholder Jonathan P. Schmidt was recently quoted in Minnesota Lawyer, discussing the pro bono pilot program he helped launch with the appeals division of the state’s Public Defenders Office. The initiative pairs attorneys from local law firms with the PD’s Office to take a pro bono appeal and handle the case throughout the appellate courts.  Schmidt worked with the PD’s Office and local firms to get the project up and running.  The goal is to expand the initiative to include more firms and civil attorneys after the pilot stage is complete.

“The budget situation for the public defenders has not gotten any better over the years, [and] I saw a need there,” says Schmidt, who also is vice chair of the MSBA Appellate Practice Section. “I also saw a desire among civil attorneys who wanted to get appellate experience and do more oral arguments. I was one of them. The primary concern has always been that we don’t want to create more work for the public defenders in running this program, and we wanted to ensure that the clients are still getting the best representation possible.”

The project’s kickoff reception was hosted at Briggs and Morgan, and was featured in a recent issue of Minnesota Lawyer.