Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President’s Column
Patrick Cotter, MACDL President
I have had the privilege of serving as your MACDL President this past year. Thank you for the honor to represent this remarkable group of professionals. During this past year, while the world around us continued to evolve and present us with new opportunities for growth, so did our organization. The examples of this are worth reflecting upon as I believe they have made our organization stronger.
We are grateful that one of our own, Jill Oleisky, was ready and willing to step into the role of executive director when the role became vacant. While undergoing this transition, our organization continued to expand its reach to its membership with the Google Group listserv. The forum has provided countless opportunities for our membership to learn, grow and share together. It also exposed our humanity and the struggles that can arise with free expression in a cyber space. We have worked to foster a space to share and learn while also respecting one another and our differences of opinion. That has not been easy but certainly valuable. We continue to grow stronger as a community of both private and public attorneys working toward our common mission. For as long as I have been involved in MACDL, we have wanted to bridge the gap between public defense and the private bar. We are now sharing more ideas and work product on the listserv. We collaborate regarding important Amicus issues and work at the Legislature. In September, we all came together and hosted a successful and sold-out annual dinner and celebration. We recognized some of the heroes amongst us and raised the critical money needed to support our mission and operate as a robust organization. As I stated at this event, the polarization we have seen in our society only highlights the critical work that criminal defense attorneys provide. We are collectively stronger than we are as individuals. We will continue to change and evolve as we champion our mission. I am proud to report that the state of this organization is strong. This year demonstrated that we are poised to take on challenges that lay ahead. Thank you for being a member and supporting MACDL.
The Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is Minnesota’s pre-eminent defense bar association. With more than 350 members statewide, MACDL offers many important benefits for their member attorneys and member attorney clients.