State Courts Limit In-Person Activity in Court Facilities Due to COVID-19 Spike.

The response to COVID-19 has impacted access to courthouses and may change the way cases are handled.
Learn more »

News Item
Minnesota’s newest attorney sworn in curbside

Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Today, on the steps outside of the Minnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul, Brian A. Philbrook was sworn in as Minnesota’s newest attorney. The oath of office was administered by the Clerk of Appellate Courts, AnnMarie O’Neill.
Because the Minnesota Supreme Court had to cancel the monthly attorney bar admission ceremonies in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clerk of Appellate Courts is scheduling individual meetings with attorneys who need to have the oath administered to them. Typically, the ceremony would have taken place in the historic courtroom in the Capitol, but given the social distancing recommendations and the beautiful backdrop, today’s event took place outside instead.
“Every day, I am so impressed with the tremendous effort that is largely going on behind the scenes to keep government moving forward to serve the people of Minnesota,” said O’Neill. “I am really proud to be part of the solution during these difficult times.”
Philbrook recently moved from Georgia to Minnesota and needed to take the oath so that he is licensed to practice law in Minnesota. He is the fifth person to be admitted to practice law in Minnesota during the pandemic.
In the attached photo, the most recent Roll of Attorneys can be seen on the stand. Each new attorney that is admitted to the practice of law in Minnesota is invited to sign the Roll of Attorneys. Mr. Philbrook added his signature to the book, which includes a special note about the oaths of admission continuing despite the pandemic. The Roll of Attorneys dates back to 1858 and are stored in the Minnesota State Law Library. The signing of the Roll of Attorneys was discontinued in October of 1983 through May 2018. There is now a new book for that period that Minnesota attorneys who were licensed during that time may now sign by appointment once regular operations of the Minnesota State Law Library have resumed.