Category Michelle MacDonald

UPDATE: Court hearing scheduled for sanctions against Michelle MacDonald

UPDATE (1:30 PM, Friday, September 7, 2018) – Monday’s court hearing in Ramsey County about Michelle MacDonald’s lawsuit has been canceled. A new court date has not been scheduled, but it will likely be in October or November.

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( July 24, 2018) – A court hearing has been scheduled in Ramsey County for September 10, 2018, about the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions filed against Michelle MacDonald for filing the same “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit in two counties.

Nathan M. Hansen served MacDonald a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions on June 26, 2018, in response to the “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit from MacDonald.

MacDonald was given 21 days to withdraw the lawsuit “with prejudice” or the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions would be filed with the court. Since the lawsuit was not dismissed “with prejudice” within 21 days, Hansen filed the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions against MacDonald in Ramsey County.

As detailed by Hansen in his memorandum, he spoke with MacDonald and she declined to dismiss the duplicate lawsuit filed in Ramsey County.

MacDonald is also facing sanctions in Dakota County, and she recently retained a new attorney. Continue reading

Minnesota Lawyer: Michelle MacDonald’s lawsuit ‘may lack factual basis’

The lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota “may lack factual basis” according to an article published by Minnesota Lawyer.

Two of three key claims in lawyer Michelle MacDonald’s defamation lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and his muckraking website appear unfounded, Minnesota Lawyer has learned.

Meanwhile Brodkorb, who accuses MacDonald of trying to squelch his First Amendment rights as a journalist, asserts that a third allegation in her suit also is factually inaccurate. Minnesota Lawyer could not independently verify that.

The article by Minnesota Lawyer exposes fundamental weaknesses in MacDonald’s lawsuit, which has been described as “frivolous and vexatious” by Nathan Hansen, the attorney for Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Continue reading

Dakota county judge dismisses lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald

Yesterday, a judge in Dakota County dismissed the “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. The court did not rule on a request for sanctions against MacDonald based on her conduct since the filing of the lawsuit. MacDonald also filed her lawsuit in Ramsey County and a hearing is scheduled for next month regarding sanctions against MacDonald.

MacDonald’s lawsuit filed in Ramsey County against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota remains active.

Last week, we published a story about the hearing held in Dakota County about MacDonald’s lawsuit.

MacDonald’s attorney Karlowba R. Adams Powell made numerous false statements in court last week and seemed unfamiliar with the messy procedural history created by MacDonald’s lawsuit. Adams Powell falsely claimed our attorney, Nathan Hansen filed duplicative pleadings in Dakota and Ramsey County. She also claimed Hansen was “harassing” MacDonald and accused him of “unprofessional conduct.”

Hansen corrected Adams Powell on her inaccurate statements in court.

Adams Powell is also facing possible sanctions for filing the same lawsuit in both Dakota and Ramsey County. A hearing has not been scheduled yet on the request for sanctions against Adams Powell.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for updates on MacDonald’s lawsuit.

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

Court hearing held on sanctions against Michelle MacDonald

Judge Karen Asphaug heard arguments in a Dakota County courtroom today regarding the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions filed against Michelle MacDonald in response to her lawsuit against me and Missing in Minnesota. Judge Asphaug said she would be making a decision before our hearing on September 10 in Ramsey County regarding sanctions against MacDonald.

MacDonald’s attorney Karlowba R. Adams Powell made numerous false statements in court today and seemed unfamiliar with the messy procedural history created by MacDonald’s lawsuit. Adams Powell falsely claimed our attorney, Nathan Hansen filed duplicative pleadings in Dakota and Ramsey County. She also claimed Hansen was “harassing” MacDonald and accused him of “unprofessional conduct.”

Hansen corrected Adams Powell on her inaccurate statements in court.

MacDonald declines to answer questions about her representation of Grazzini-Rucki

After the hearing, and in the presence of both our attorney and MacDonald’s attorney, I asked MacDonald a few questions in the front lobby of the Dakota County Judicial Center. Multiple deputies with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office we present during our brief exchange. Ten days ago, I wrote on Twitter that I planned on asking MacDonald questions at the courthouse about the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. We were scheduled to interview MacDonald last November, but she abruptly canceled and refused to reschedule the interview. Continue reading

UPDATE: Court hearing scheduled for sanctions against Michelle MacDonald

UPDATE (1:00 PM, Wednesday, August 15, 2018) – Larry Frost is no longer serving as Michelle MacDonald’s supervising attorney involving her lawsuit. Tomorrow’s hearing will focus on sanctions against Michelle MacDonald. This post has been updated to reflect this change.

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A court hearing has been scheduled in Dakota County for August 9, 2018, about the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions filed against Michelle MacDonald and her supervising attorney, Larry Frost, in response to MacDonald’s lawsuit.

Nathan M. Hansen served MacDonald and her supervising attorney, Larry A, Frost, a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions on June 18, 2018, in response to the “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit from MacDonald.

MacDonald and Frost were given 21 days to withdraw the lawsuit “with prejudice” or the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions would be filed with the court. Since the lawsuit was not dismissed “with prejudice” within 21 days, Hansen filed the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions against MacDonald and Frost yesterday.

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Motion for sanctions served on MacDonald’s new attorney

Karlowba R. Adams Powell, Michelle MacDonald’s new attorney, was served with a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions today for filing MacDonald’s lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota a third time.

Nathan M. Hansen (above left), served Powell with a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions this afternoon in response to Powell filing the same lawsuit yesterday that was previously filed by MacDonald in both Dakota and Ramsey counties.

Powell has been given 21 days to withdraw the lawsuit “with prejudice” or the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions will be filed with the court.

Hansen wrote in the memorandum that he served on Powell, that “…Powell has knowingly filed the exact same Complaint in Ramsey County that she is well aware is also pending in Dakota County, it is for this reason she should face sanction under Minn. R. Civ. P. 11.”

Two court hearings – one in Dakota County and another in Ramsey County – have been scheduled about the previous Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions that have been filed against MacDonald. Continue reading

Facing sanctions and lawyers board investigation, MacDonald hires new attorney

Facing sanctions and an investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, Michelle MacDonald has retained a new attorney.

A Certificate of Representation for Karlowba R. Adams Powell (pictured above left via Twitter profile) to represent Michelle MacDonald was filed last Friday in Ramsey County.

According to public records, Ms. Powell law license was suspended last year for 45 days. As with MacDonald, Ms. Powell is currently on probation for 2 years.

It is unclear at this time what role Ms. Powell will have in MacDonald’s legal defense.  Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald being investigated by lawyers board

Michelle MacDonald is being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations for the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys.

The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility last week after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility confirmed today in a letter that an investigation had been started based on the complaint filed by Missing in Minnesota which alleges numerous violations by MacDonald.

The filing of the complaint is permitted by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, as Missing in Minnesota is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by MacDonald. Continue reading

UPDATE – Attorney: MacDonald’s lawsuit is ‘frivolous and vexatious’

UPDATE (8:15 AM, Tuesday, June 26, 2018) – Michelle MacDonald and her supervising attorney, Larry Frost, were served a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions in Ramsey County for filing the same “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit in two counties. Last week, Michelle MacDonald and her supervising attorney, Larry Frost, were served with a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions in Dakota County.

As detailed by our attorney Nathan Hansen in his memorandum, he spoke with MacDonald and she declined to dismiss the duplicate lawsuit filed in Ramsey County. MacDonald’s supervising attorney, Larry Frost, has not responded to our attorney’s communications.

Allison Mann explained last night on Twitter, that it is not proper to file the same lawsuit in two counties. There are now two clocks running on MacDonald to dismiss the suit. Each Rule 11 Motion (Dakota and Ramsey) started a separate 21-day deadline.

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Michelle MacDonald has filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law, according to an attorney for Missing in Minnesota and Michael Brodkorb.

Nathan M. Hansen (above left), served MacDonald and her supervising attorney, Larry A, Frost, a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions this afternoon in response to MacDonald’s lawsuit filed last week in Dakota County.

“The safeguards set forth in the Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court relating to her practice of law have been ignored by Ms. MacDonald and her cohorts,” wrote Hansen. Continue reading

MacDonald sues Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota

Michelle MacDonald served a lawsuit today on Michael Brodkorb, and Missing in Minnesota, alleging defamation, defamation per se, and defamation by implication.

MacDonald is suing in part over the publication of a booking photo from her arrest during a court hearing involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on September 12, 2013, as well as our reporting that she was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Missing in Minnesota has been threatened with legal action since 2016 by MacDonald over the use of her public booking from her arrest. In her own book, MacDonald acknowledged that law enforcement considered her a “person of interest” in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.

Both Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota will vigorously defend themselves in this legal action.

Below is a copy of the lawsuit served on Brodkorb and Missing and Minnesota earlier today.

Video shows MacDonald and Evavold partying at GOP State Convention

A recently uncovered video shows Michelle MacDonald partying with her then campaign chair and manager Dede Evavold at the 2014 Republican Party of Minnesota State Convention, during the time Evavold was actively concealing the whereabouts of two missing sisters.

At the time of this video, Evavold was working on MacDonald’s 2014 campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Last week, MacDonald filed again to run for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 on six counts of felony deprivation of parental rights involving the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

The girls’ mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, abducted her daughters during a divorce and custody dispute with her ex-husband, David Rucki.

Grazzini-Rucki was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

MacDonald served as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney and briefly represented her during her criminal trial.

In the video, Evavold is holding a half-empty glass of beer, and she tells MacDonald that they are campaigning on “truth.”

Evavold worked with MacDonald’s campaign for 540 of the 944 days the Rucki children were missing. Continue reading

Deja vu: Michelle MacDonald running again for Minnesota Supreme Court

Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children, filed to run again for the Minnesota Supreme Court, despite being on supervised probation as an attorney.

MacDonald filed to run against Justice Margaret Chutich, who was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Supreme Court in March 2016.

She first attempted to file to run for the Minnesota Supreme Court under a new political party but was denied because judicial elections are nonpartisan.

Justice Margaret Chutich

MacDonald previously ran twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

MacDonald’s law license was just “conditionally reinstated” by the Minnesota Supreme Court in March, subject to her completion of the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…”

She remains on supervised probation for two years with numerous conditions limiting her practice of law which could limit her ability to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court if elected.

The Associated Press reported that House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said “ugh” after MacDonald confirmed she was running for office again.

According to the most recent campaign finance reports, MacDonald had $31.70 in her campaign bank account and debts of $8,825.12.

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Michelle MacDonald’s law license ‘conditionally reinstated’

Michelle MacDonald’s law license has been “conditionally reinstated” by the Minnesota Supreme Court effective today subject to her completion of the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…”

MacDonald will remain on supervised probation for two years with numerous conditions limiting her practice of law.

MacDonald has until January 17, 2019, to provide verification that she has completed the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…” or she will be automatically re-suspended “pending proof of successful completion of the examination…”

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended last year that MacDonald’s law license be suspended for a minimum of 60 days, followed by two years of probation, in response to an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald in August 2016.

The conditions of MacDonald’s two-year probation include that she will be supervised by an attorney appointed by the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

MacDonald is prohibited from engaging in “the solo practice of law,” and she must “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of another Minnesota licensed attorney.”

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Michelle MacDonald’s law office in West St. Paul, Minnesota

The complaint filed against MacDonald focused on her behavior during family court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her legal representation of Joseph Francis D’Costa.

The complaint claimed MacDonald’s disorganization required the D’Costa trial to last longer than necessary, adding that MacDonald offered exhibits that “were a mess.”

MacDonald was arrested during a court hearing in September 2013 while serving as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.

MacDonald’s direct responsibility for her conduct which led to her arrest was repeatedly mentioned in the order from the Minnesota Supreme Court. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s law license officially suspended

Michelle MacDonald, a licensed attorney in Minnesota for 30 years and who twice ran for the Minnesota Supreme Court, is now officially suspended from the practice of law.

In an order issued two weeks ago by the Minnesota Supreme Court, MacDonald’s license has been suspended for a minimum of 60 days. MacDonald must complete a series of tasks prior to being eligible for reinstatement of her license to a probationary status for a period of two years.

Among the conditions placed on MacDonald if her license is reinstated will be a restriction on her ability to have a solo law practice.

MichelleMacDonaldSuspenedLawLicenseThe court will also require MacDonald to “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of, another Minnesota licensed attorney.”

Before being eligible for reinstatement, MacDonald must prove that she is prepared to cease solo practice.

In addition to working daily with a supervising attorney who must co-sign all court pleadings, MacDonald must also work with a probation supervisor appointed by the Board to assure her compliance with the terms of her probation.

In recent days, MacDonald’s law office in West St. Paul has become dark, unkempt, and ragged, without any signs of the active law practice MacDonald had years ago. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s law license suspended by Minnesota Supreme Court

The Minnesota Supreme Court has suspended Michelle MacDonald’s law license for a minimum of 60 days, and she will be on supervised probation in response to an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald in August 2016.

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended last year that MacDonald’s law license be suspended for a minimum of 60 days, followed by two years of probation, which would include a mental health evaluation.

But the final order from the Minnesota Supreme Court did not include a mental health evaluation which triggered Associate Justice Anne McKeig to dissent in part from the court’s decision.

The conditions of MacDonald’s two-year probation include that her probation will be supervised by an attorney appointed by the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

MacDonald is prohibited from engaging in “the solo practice of law” and she must “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of another Minnesota licensed attorney.”

The order from the Minnesota Supreme court states that the “attorney who directly supervises [MacDonald’s] work must co-sign all pleadings, briefs, and other court documents that respondent files. This attorney may not be an associate who works for respondent’s law firm. Any attorney or law firm with whom she practices shall be informed of the terms of this probation.”

MacDonald did not respond to a request for comment on the order from the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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