Patterson Thuente IP patent attorney Daniel Bruzzone was recently honored at a Lawyers Step Up for Minnesota event recognizing pro bono service.
Dan was one of a number of attorneys who showed a continued commitment to pro bono service despite the increased hurdles caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawyers Step Up For Minnesota is a partnership between the Minnesota Judicial Branch, legal aid programs and the Minnesota State Bar Association. It was created last year as a legal parallel to the incredible efforts by health care workers across Minnesota during the first year of the pandemic.
“Now it’s our turn to be heroes by helping low-income Minnesota and their families with legal issues that affect their basic human needs,” the MN bar association says on their website.
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea addressed the attorneys at the virtual ceremony. Gildea referred back to an 1862 Minnesota Supreme Court decision (Davis v. Pierse) in a case where Minnesota statute rendered state courts inaccessible to a Mississippi man in the backdrop of the Civil War. The Court struck down the statute as unconstitutional, and Lafayette Emmett, the first Chief Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court, made the following assertion:
“All must regard as a matter of pride and gratulation that in this state, no one — not even the worst felon — can be denied the right to simple justice.”
Chief Justice Gildea continued: “If we deny persons access to our courts because they are poor, without regard to the merit or importance of their case, we undermine an essential cornerstone of the government of our state and of our country: we undermine the right to simple justice.”
Congratulations to Daniel Bruzzone and attorneys across Minnesota who continue to advance the right to simple justice.