Choi to step down

April 6, 2010

St. Paul City Attorney John Choi will be resigning from his post April 16 to enter private practice while running for Ramsey County Attorney. A copy of the press release from Mayor Chris Coleman is below.


SAINT PAUL – After more than four years serving the City of Saint Paul

as City Attorney, John Choi has offered his letter of resignation, with

employment ending April 16, 2010. Choi is running for Ramsey County

Attorney in the fall.

Upon accepting Choi’s letter of resignation, Mayor Chris Coleman

released this statement:

“John has been among the best leaders we have ever had in the City

Attorney’s office. In just a few short years he has pioneered

innovative efforts to reduce gang violence, streamlined our approach to

domestic violence cases, and become a national leader in addressing the

foreclosure crisis. John truly has made a difference for public safety

and criminal justice in Saint Paul and he has provided effective

leadership in the City Attorney’s Office,” Mayor Chris Coleman said.

“Though I am sad to lose an invaluable manager and advisor, I am

eager to see John bring his tireless dedication and passion for public

service to the Ramsey County Attorney’s office. I thank him for his

service to the City and wish him the very best.”

During his tenure as City Attorney, Choi was instrumental in leading

new initiatives, such as the recent “Blueprint for Safety,” changing

the way the City responds to domestic abuse cases. Choi was appointed by

Mayor Coleman in 2006 after Coleman was elected to his first term in



“Our flight time includes a three hour wait”

December 30, 2009

I flew on Christmas and before I returned on Monday, a man decided to smuggle explosives in his underwear and tried to blow up a plane carrying 289 people bound for Detroit. Photos of his underwear were shown on the news.

Janet Napolitano, the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, said the system “worked” and the attacker was caught. Somewhere former FEMA chief Michael Brown shook his head and sighed.

The security at the airport for the return leg of my trip was “heightened” and I was advised to “allow for extra time” to pass through the security checkpoints. Thankfully I made it home. Others were not so lucky. This week there have been reports that the lines to go through the security screening at some major airports were so long and cumbersome that they actually stretched outside the terminal. A man quoted in a USA Today story said he showed up two hours before his flight and still missed it. His hopes of getting to his “final destination” died presumably in a line as he clutched his liquids, gels, shoes and belt and stared in disbelief at his watch. He could still be at the airport for all we know.

Like Tom Hanks in the movie “Terminal”, we are all stuck in the airport each time we travel and none of us particularly happy to be there.

The whole experience of flying makes me uncomfortable and puts me on edge. The inane questions, the lines, walking around in your socks… I can’t help but feel that I, simply as a representative of the flying public, am inconveniencing the airlines and the TSA operators by my very presence. I could do everyone a favor by just going home.

And now that I have seen the most recent development I am seriously considering becoming an Amtrak man. According to various news sources the Dutch will begin using full body scanners for all flights headed to the U.S and there are reports that U.S. airports will begin similar security procedures soon.

There are several troubling points in the story, and more than a few legal questions to consider.

In the second paragraph President Obama is quoted as saying that “all possible (safety) measures” will be used on flights to the U.S. What can be considered “possible?” I am convinced that if they concluded that shoving live ferrets down the pants of travelers was an “effective” security screen, we would all have to get used to it.

Privacy advocates point out that the full body scanners are a “virtual strip search” of travelers and could be considered child pornography for minors.

The debate will begin immediately as to how much privacy we can expect as passengers and whether it’s legal to have different security protocol in Amsterdam than in Detroit. It’s a continuation of the argument that began the morning of Sept. 11, 2001: How much did the world change?

I don’t know, but I don’t think this is the answer.

Drum Roll please

December 11, 2009

Minnesota Lawyer has unveiled its 2009 list of Attorneys of the Year. The full list is available on the Web site as well as a brief blurb on each attorney’s selection. The magazine also awarded five lawyers with the Outstanding Service to the Profession. That list is also available.

The list includes in-house attorneys, small town lawyers and even four federal prosecutors.

A full bio of the award winners will appear in an upcoming publication, but in the meantime, fell free to debate and or concur with this year’s selections.

Hello world!

December 10, 2009

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