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Bar Buzz: Michelle MacDonald to challenge Chutich for high court

Attorney Michelle MacDonald is running for Supreme Court for the third time, this time against Justice Margaret Chutich. MacDonald was reinstated to practice in April, subject to completion of the professional responsibility exam and is on probation.

She is attempting to create a third political party called “Revolutionize Family Court” and provided a form on her web site to support forming the party. As of 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 5 the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State had not received a petition.

Her election web site states: “If anybody else wants to come with me, this moment will be the beginning of something real, and fun, and inspiring in this God forsaken business — and we will do it together!”

MacDonald also alleged that judges are authorized to take gifts of up to $150, without limit. “Did you know it is legal to bribe your judge?” her website asks. She also says that judges have created immunity to protect their incompetent, negligent, fraudulent or malicious conduct.

Court of Appeals Judge Lucinda Jesson also faces a challenge from Anthony L. Brown, who lists his campaign address at 413 Wacouta St., Suite 140, in St. Paul.

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4 comments

  1. I am pleased to see that Michelle MacDonald is competing again for a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court, a tough challenge, since the oligarchy of the judiciary and BAR has carved out and protects a ballot privilege for judges, giving them an “Incumbent” label on the ballot, if they are already seated as judges, usually at the benefit of an administrative appointment rather than by an election prescribed in the Minnesota Constitution.

    MacDonald’s practice as an attorney of 30 years, primarily in the area of family law has been exemplary. She was made it her life’s work to remove the Courts from having power to provide intervention in family affairs, counseling instead that families should work out their issues without the expense and frustration of litigation and government edict.

    That is a noble cause, for which she should be honored, but, of course, the oligarchy abhors her efforts with that, protectionism of its self-interests.

    She is also doing important work in challenging the protectionism of judicial immunity and the self-oversight of the judiciary, more needed and honorable work. Of course the oligarchy despises her.

    We can do what is right for “we the people” by being sure to flip our ballots in November to the judicial side, and recognizing that the “Incumbent” label is not a badge of honor, but a badge of the tyranny of that Third Branch of government that needs to be kept in check, and voting for MacDonald, and other challengers of incumbents.

    For the future, we the people need to be supporting legislation that will terminate the “Incumbent” ballot privilege of the oligarchy. That can be a needed first step to restore the due honor and decorum that the Minnesota judiciary needs to fulfill its Constitutional role of the Third Branch of government.

  2. Michelle MacDonald is clearly an ultra-conservative loon. Nonetheless, I’m going to be voting for her. Here’s the deal: the current Minnesota Supreme Court is one of the most conservative courts this state has ever seen. The damage that this Court has inflicted on the rights of criminal defendants and indigent appellants is horrifying. It would take decades of concerted effort to try to undo even a fraction of what that this Court has unleashed on the criminal and poverty law. And yet, if you’re not a public defender or a legal aid attorney, you’re likely unaware of just how bad it’s gotten. Chutich votes against criminal defendants nearly 100% of the time. Criminals could get that ratio with MacDonald, and with it would at least come some more widespread awareness and sympathy to their plight, and perhaps a greater level of legislative awareness and action. To be blunt, it can’t get worse with MacDonald, and it might trigger the legislature to do better.

  3. Check this out before you vote – it takes talent to be suspended and on probation for 2 years! Do you think this is the best we can do? Really!??

    Michelle MacDonald, who has run for Supreme Court justice twice, has been suspended from the practice of law for 60 days and will be on supervised probation for two years.

    It is a discipline recommended by a referee in the case, except that the Supreme Court declined to order MacDonald to have a mental health evaluation.

    The discipline results from MacDonald’s representation of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was convicted of interfering with the parental rights of her children’s father. During the trial, MacDonald’s conflicts with the judge resulted in a brief time in jail for MacDonald.

    She tried to take pictures of the courtroom and failed to cooperate in the trial when she was returned to the courtroom. She then filed suit in federal court against the judge and complained to the Board on Judicial Standards.

    MacDonald claimed that she based her allegations against the judge on information she received from her client. The court said the First Amendment does not protect MacDonald from the consequences of making false statements against a judge.

    MacDonald is prohibited from practicing law as a solo and must work in daily contact with a practicing attorney who co-signs her documents. She will also have a probation supervisor appointed by the director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. She also must take 15 CLE credits on civil trial and appellate practice, including courtroom decorum and trial preparation. The other usual probationary requirements, including the professional responsibility bar, also apply.

    Justices David Lillehaug, Margaret Chutich and Natalie Hudson recused from the case.

    Unusually for a disciplinary action, Justice Anne McKeig filed a 16-page dissent referring to MacDonald’s discipline as a “slap on the wrist.”

  4. Concerned for the state of MN

    McDonald was the attorney I used to fight for custody of my child. It was the worst experience of my life. She was never on time for our meetings, scatter brained, no concentration, kept calling my child by another name during court proceedings to the point the judge had to correct her, kept saying we were moving to the wrong state we were moving to. When we were in court she had papers all over the table, nothing in order. Her assistant lawyer was also frustrated with her and even quit and told me so when I ran into that person at an event. Here’s the kicker. She was fighting her own DUI while she was representing me. Enough said. She may have a great track record in court but failed miserably for me and my child.

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