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Supreme Court Digest: July 12, 2023

Minnesota Lawyer//July 13, 2023

The Supreme Court Chamber in the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul. (Staff photo: Kevin Featherly)

Supreme Court Digest: July 12, 2023

Minnesota Lawyer//July 13, 2023



Attorney Discipline


This petition presented a question of first impression: does the traditional test for attorney reinstatement apply when an attorney agrees that upon reinstatement, he will resign his law license and not apply for admission or re-admission to practice in any jurisdiction? William G. Mose was initially suspended in 1989 and petitioned for reinstatement.

The Supreme Court held that a suspended attorney who proves that he has undergone the requisite moral change but fails to establish that he has the intellectual competence to practice law is not entitled to reinstatement, notwithstanding the attorney’s agreement to resign his license upon reinstatement. Petition denied.

A20-0198 In re Mose (Original Jurisdiction)






This appeal concerned the interpretation and construction of two amendments to the revocable trust of grantor. Grantor validly executed the trust, which was properly witnessed and notarized in 2002. Grantor executed amendments to the trust in 2016 (first trust amendment) and in 2019 (second trust amendment) that greatly increased the amount that one of Grantor’s sons, respondent, would inherit. After grantor died in 2020, appellant, respondent’s brother, moved to invalidate the two amendments. The District Court ultimately struck a portion of the second trust amendment as ambiguous, but held that the remaining terms of the amendment—including the greatly increased amount inherited by respondent—would govern the distribution of assets. On appeal, the Court of Appeals determined that the two amendments were validly executed, and that the District Court had properly reformed the trust under Minn. Stat. § 501C.0415, which allows reformation to correct mistakes of fact or law. The court reasoned that the District Court “implicitly” made findings necessary for reformation under the statute.

The Supreme Court held that (1) the Court of Appeals did not err when it determined that the second trust amendment substantially complied with the method of amendment provided by the terms of the original trust; and (2) the District Court acted within its equitable powers and the common law to strike the penalty provision of the second trust amendment and uphold the remaining provisions of that amendment. Affirmed.

A22-0144 In re Trust of Moreland (Court of Appeals)

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