Michelle MacDonald’s law license was “indefinitely” suspended today by the Minnesota Supreme Court for violating rules governing licensed attorneys.
Still, she will be required to retake the portion of the bar exam on professional responsibility, pay costs of $900, and an investigation will be conducted before MacDonald’s law license is reinstated.
Today’s order suspending MacDonald’s license is a direct result of a complaint filed against MacDonald in June 2018 by Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann in response to MacDonald filing a lawsuit against Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. The lawsuit filed by MacDonald was dismissed in March 2019 by a judge in Ramsey County.
The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility investigated MacDonald for 21 months and requested her license be suspended.
MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children announced in January that she will be a candidate again for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2022.
MacDonald has been previously disciplined by lawyers board for multiple rule violations
Brodkorb and Mann filed a complaint just days after MacDonald served her lawsuit on Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota in June 2018. The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility notified Brodkorb and Mann that MacDonald would be investigated based on their complaint.
MacDonald has been disciplined twice for multiple rule violations since she was admitted to practice law in Minnesota in 1987.
In 2012, MacDonald was disciplined by the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board for “for failing to deposit settlement proceeds into a trust account, failing to maintain proper trust account books and records, failing to promptly deliver funds to a client, failing in her duty to be responsible for the conduct of a non-lawyer and failing to cooperate with the Director’s investigation…”
A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court found in 2018 that MacDonald violated “at least seven Rules of Professional Conduct over the course of two different client matters.”
The Minnesota Supreme Court later suspended MacDonald’s law license for 60 days and placed her on supervised probation for two years after determining she “made false statements about the integrity of a judge with reckless disregard for the truth; improperly used subpoenas; knowingly disobeyed a court rule and failed to follow a scheduling order; and engaged in disruptive courtroom conduct, including behavior resulting in her arrest.”
Court affirms ruling that MacDonald “knowingly violated” campaign law
In September 2017, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling from the Office of Administrative Hearings that MacDonald “knowingly violated” campaign law when she falsely claimed she was endorsed by a non-existent Republican organization during her 2016 campaign.
In December 2016, 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.
MacDonald’s legal work examined in an award-winning true crime book
An examination of MacDonald’s legal work was detailed in the book, The Girls Are Gone which was released on October 23, 2018.
The book also includes new information about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden.
The Girls Are Gone also explores the connection between MacDonald and two people convicted for their roles in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki but did not cooperate in the investigation.
Since being released in October 2018, The Girls Are Gone has been a commercial and critical success. In April, Brodkorb and Allison Mann were awarded a 2019 Independent Publisher Book Award. The Kindle Edition of The Girls Are Gone has appeared on multiple “best seller” lists by Amazon. The Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing.
In October 2019, Brodkorb and Mann released an audiobook of The Girls Are Gone, which was produced at Studio Americana. The Girls Are Gone is available for sale through numerous retailers in audiobook, paperback, and ebook.
Below is the full order from the Minnesota Supreme Court regarding MacDonald.