Category Missing in Minnesota

MN Supreme Court referee: ‘indefinitely’ suspend MacDonald’s lawyer

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court has recommended that Karlowba R. Adams Powell, who serves as Michelle MacDonald’s attorney in her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota, should be “indefinitely suspended” from the practice of law.

The recommendation by Judge Richard C. Perkins comes after a two-day hearing was held in July about a petition filed last December with the Minnesota Supreme Court by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

In the petition, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility requested a court order revoking Adams Powell’s probation, suspending her law license, or “imposing otherwise appropriate discipline…” based on “unprofessional conduct” by Adams Powell. The petition claimed Adams Powell made false statements to the court, and others, including staff with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, that she engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, that she failed to provide receipts for cash payments, and that she failed to “safeguard client funds.”

According to today’s court filing, this is the fourth disciplinary proceeding for “professional misconduct” involving Adams Powell.

Judge Perkins was blunt in describing Adams Powell’s lack of candor: “[w]hile a misstatement made only once may be a mistake, being stated in writing twice and the again under oath at a deposition demonstrates a disregard for the truth.”

In the final pages, Judge Perkins wrote that Adams Powell “refused to acknowledge her misconduct, exhibited no remorse for her misconduct, and failed to offer any evidence or assurance that she will not engage in similar future misconduct.” Judge Perkin’s added that “[i]n a case about candor to a court … [Adams Powell] displayed a lack of candor with this court during her own testimony.” Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota dismissed

A judge in Ramsey County today dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Judge Richard H. Kyle, Jr. granted the motion for summary judgment filed by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota in October.

Judge Kyle ruled MacDonald was a public figure and that the statements made by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota “were either true or lack the requisite showing of actual malice…”

In an interview for Minnesota Lawyer, Brodkorb said the ruling from today from Judge Kyle was that further evidence that MacDonald’s lawsuit “should have never been filed in the first place.” Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s lawyer facing additional discipline

Karlowba R. Adams Powell, who serves as Michelle MacDonald’s attorney in her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota, is facing new sanctions from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

As previously reported by Missing in Minnesota, Adams Powell’s law license was suspended last year for 45 days. As with MacDonald, Adams Powell is currently on probation for 2 years. Minnesota Lawyer was the first to report on the new petition filed against Adams Powell.

In the petition filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is requesting a court order revoking Adams Powell’s probation, suspending her law license, or “imposing otherwise appropriate discipline…” based on “unprofessional conduct” by Adams Powell. Continue reading

Judge: Evavold involved in harassment of Brodkorb’s wife and children

A judge in Dakota County upheld the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted against Dede Evavold by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb for Evavold’s involvement in distributing a photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s wife and minor children.

In an order released today, Judge M. Michael Baxter ruled that Evavold “was involved in the chain of events that led to repeated harassment of [Sarah Brodkorb] and her minor children.” The HRO against Evavold will remain in place until November 19, 2020.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters. The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

The HROs were filed by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb in August in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Dede Evavold of St. Cloud.

In September, Judge Baxter upheld the HRO filed against Ristau after she requested a hearing to contest the HRO. Judge Baxter said Ristau was involved in a “conspiracy to commit harassment” when she took a picture of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children while shopping and later distributed the picture to people connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. Continue reading

Evavold belligerent and unruly in court hearing on HRO

A judge in Dakota County upheld the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted against Dede Evavold by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb for Evavold’s involvement in distributing a photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s wife and minor children.

After a lengthy court hearing during which Evavold was continually unruly, Judge M. Michael Baxter ruled that the HRO will temporarily remain in place and he would issue an order finalizing the HRO against Evavold in the next few weeks.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters. The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

The HROs were filed by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb in August in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Dede Evavold of St. Cloud.

Last month, a judge upheld the HRO filed against Ristau after she requested a hearing to contest the HRO. Judge Baxter said Ristau was involved in a “conspiracy to commit harassment” when she took a picture of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children while shopping and later distributed the picture to people connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. Continue reading

MacDonald continues to make ‘recklessly false allegations’ against judge

Michelle MacDonald continues to make the same “recklessly false allegations” against Judge David Knutson that previously contributed to MacDonald having her law license suspended earlier this year. MacDonald, who is a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, recycled the same false statements about Judge Knutson in a recent court filing in her lawsuit filed against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Continue reading

Investigation by lawyers board into Michelle MacDonald continues

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is still conducting their investigation into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys, according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

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 in June 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.

MacDonald is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, having previously run twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

Judge: Ristau involved in a ‘conspiracy to commit harassment’

A judge in Dakota County upheld the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted against Diane Ristau by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb for Ristau’s involvement in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s wife and minor children.

At the end of the three-hour court hearing at the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota, Judge M. Michael Baxter said Ristau was involved in a “conspiracy to commit harassment” when she took a picture of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children while shopping and later distributed the picture to people connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters. The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

The HRO against Ristau remains in effect until September 25, 2020. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Restraining orders granted for distributing photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s family

A judge in Dakota County granted an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) today against three people, including Dede Evavold, for their roles in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online.

The HROs were filed by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Dede Evavold of St. Cloud.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters.

The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

The HROs remain in effect until August 30, 2020.  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. Continue reading

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