Over 100 attend ‘Ask a Lawyer Day’

By Rachel Kytonen

Approximately 15 attorneys from the Isanti County area, as well as a taxpayer advocate from the IRS and an Isanti County support and collection representative, volunteered their time for an “Ask a Lawyer Day” event held April 7 in Isanti. Pictured in back, from left, are Eva Rodelius, Virgina Murphrey, John Bowen, Judge James Dehn, Judge James T. Reuter, Patrick O’Donnell, Elva Bustios-Huss (Spanish translator), Todd Donegan, Clark Joslin, Kelli Jasper, Grant Lindberg, Jimmy Lindberg, Mac Guptil, Cristel Tack and Mark Benjamin. In front are Michelle Kelsey, Angela Anderson, Sam Schmitz, Ann Tessneer, Carrie Doom and Patrick Moore.

The Tenth Judicial District’s Equal Justice Committee, chaired by Judge James T. Reuter, held a free ‘Ask a Lawyer Day’ event on Saturday, April 7, at the Spirit River Community Center in Isanti.

Approximately 15 attorneys, representing all the law firms in Isanti County and neighboring areas, met with over 100 people on a wide range of law topics.

In addition, an Isanti County support and collection representative, a taxpayer advocate from the IRS, as well as a Spanish interpreter were available to the attendees.

The ‘Ask a Lawyer Day’ is a continuing effort by the Committee to reach out to folks who, for economic reasons, have difficulty accessing any legal information.

“The event far exceeded our expectations,” said Judge James Dehn on Monday. “It was a very heart-warming experience and everyone who walked around had big smiles on their faces. Every one of the lawyers who participated in the event said it was a good experience.”

Judge Dehn explained a good number of the attendees met with three or four lawyers for their legal concerns, as the lawyers were kept busy during the three-hour event.

Judge Dehn also noticed the taxpayer advocate from the IRS ended up taking on a client from the event. Judge Dehn explained the taxpayer advocate will only take on clients after the clients have exhausted all their other efforts.

Those who attended the event were asked to fill out a questionnaire and provide information on their legal issues. Once they filled out the form, they were directed to the appropriate attorney(s) to discuss their situation.

Lawyers were available to discuss the following topics: criminal law, family law, landlord/tenant law, wills and probate law, employment law, tax law, mortgage foreclosure law, bankruptcy law, civil law and other areas of law.

Tenth Judicial District’s Equal Justice Committee will next hold an ‘Ask a Lawyer Day’ event at the Church for all Nations in Columbia Heights on Saturday, June 9.