Category Michelle MacDonald

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 of 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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Michelle MacDonald helped Dede Evavold in masking the extent of her role in the disappearance of Rucki sisters

Michelle MacDonald, who serves as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney, helped Dede Evavold during a media interview in masking the extent of her full role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki based on a video published by Evavold.

In the video published by Evavold last week, MacDonald instructs Evavold on how to correctly answer a question from the producer with ABC’s “20/20” after Evavold mistakenly admitted a key element of her criminal involvement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters in an interview.

This video was recorded before Evavold was charged with four additional felonies, and before she was convicted of a total of six felonies for her involvement in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Evavold served as MacDonald’s campaign chair and manager during MacDonald’s unsuccessful bid for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014.

MacDonald’s client, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The video provides further evidence of MacDonald’s direct involvement in the propaganda machinery of Grazzini-Rucki and Evavold. Continue reading

Supreme Court hearing today on MacDonald’s law license

The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today at 9:00 A.M. regarding the Petition for Disciplinary Action against Michelle MacDonald, who is appealing a recommendation from a Minnesota Supreme Court referee that her law license be suspended.

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended earlier this 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.

MacDonald’s behavior during a family court hearing for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was described as “the ultimate dereliction of an attorney’s duty and is unquestionably serious misconduct warranting suspension” in a brief filed by the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board involving the attorney complaint against MacDonald.

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended in January 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.

The recommendation by Judge Heather Sweetland comes after a two-day hearing was held last November about an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald, who was a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.
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Federal civil rights lawsuit filed by MacDonald dismissed

A federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald in March 2015 against Dakota County stemming from her arrest while representing Sandra Grazzini-Rucki in a family court hearing has been dismissed.

It was during the custody hearing involving Grazzini-Rucki and her ex-husband, David Rucki, on September 12, 2013, that MacDonald took pictures in the courtroom which led to her being arrested.

MacDonald spent a portion of the trial representing Grazzini-Rucki while confined to a wheelchair after her own refusal to walk back into the courtroom. MacDonald also refused to put on her shoes and glasses, or provide her legal name and address to law enforcement.

The Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting Defendants’ Summary Judgement, written by John R. Turnheim, Chief Judge of United State District Court of Minnesota, dismisses all of MacDonald’s claims. Because the court has ruled that no grounds exist for the lawsuit, attorneys representing Dakota County have requested that the court order MacDonald to pay costs incurred by Dakota County due to the lawsuit.

In March of 2016, the court dismissed many of MacDonald’s claims including, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and retaliatory prosecution leaving only a few claims left to argue.

At that time, the court also found no grounds for claims of excessive force and state assault and battery “which related to her removal from the courtroom, removal of her personal effects, and placement in a wheelchair.”

Also dismissed were claims of equal protection, federal conspiracy, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and finally a claim by Thomas Shimota, MacDonald’s husband, for loss of consortium. Continue reading

Court affirms ruling that Michelle MacDonald ‘knowingly violated’ campaign law

The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling from the Office of Administrative Hearings that Michelle MacDonald, who was a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2016, “knowingly violated” campaign law when she falsely claimed she was endorsed by a non-existent Republican organization.

Last December, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) ruled against MacDonald and also imposed a $500 civil penalty for violating the Minnesota Fair Campaign Practices Act. The initial complaint against MacDonald was filed by Barbara Linert of Eagan and Steve Timmer of Edina.

The ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals highlighted that “the falsity of [MacDonald’s] statement” is what triggered the violation of the law:




In an interview about today’s ruling Linert said “Michelle MacDonald asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to find the Minnesota Fair Campaign Practices Act unconstitutional and a violation of her First Amendment rights.”

Linert continued, “if they had found in her favor, any candidate in any election could lie about their endorsement without penalty of law. The court saw the importance of protecting voters from that chaos and ruled against her.”

“Hopefully this will be the final nail in the coffin of Michelle MacDonald’s judicial aspirations,” added Linert.

Timmer called the ruling  “an important, win for protecting voters from deception.”

Timmer added, “MacDonald’s position was that she could say anything, truthful or not, and be protected by the First Amendment. Our counsel, Karl Procaccini from Greene Espel, framed the issue perfectly in his opening remarks to the Court of Appeals: Does ‘Michelle MacDonald have a constitutional right to lie about an endorsement she doesn’t have?'” Continue reading

Lawyers Board: Michelle MacDonald’s ‘serious misconduct’ warrants suspension of her law license

Michelle MacDonald’s behavior during a family court hearing for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was described as “the ultimate dereliction of an attorney’s duty, and is unquestionably serious misconduct warranting suspension” in a brief filed by the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board involving the attorney complaint against MacDonald.

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended in January 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.

The recommendation by Judge Heather Sweetland comes after a two-day hearing was held last November about an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald, who was a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

MacDonald is appealing the recommendation that her law license be suspended and the brief filed by Susan M. Humiston, Director of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Continue reading