It’s time to elect board members for MACDL. This year, we have seven candidates (three incumbents) for five board positions. The term of office is three years. Voting ends on March 7th and the results will be announced at the Annual Dinner on Saturday, March 10th at Town & Country Club.


Candidates

Andrew Garvis – Incumbent
Ryan Pacyga – Incumbent 
Robert Richman – Incumbent 
Jean Brandl
Barry Edwards 
Stephen Foertsch 
Andrew Mohring 

Candidate Statement/Bios

Andrew Garvis – Incumbent

I am running for re-election to the MACDL board so that I can continue to give back to our profession and to strengthen this organization, in which I deeply believe. I graduated from Gonzaga School of Law in 1995 and began my law career working with my mentor, and friend, Richard F. Koch. We worked together as law partners for 20 years before his passing. Richard instilled in me the importance of investing in our profession, in our future through mentoring others, and of doing our part to improve our system of justice. In 2015 I joined the MACDL board as a meaningful way for me to give back. I’ve shared my 22 years of knowledge and experience from representing individuals charged with crimes in state and federal court with MACDL members. Many colleagues in the MACDL have given me advice and confidence that aided me in my practice and helped me grow as an attorney. I’ve shared that knowledge as well. MACDL members have a remarkable camaraderie. The strength of the MACDL is its members, and our collaboration and congeniality. To that end, I have worked over the past three years to foster relationships, and to give advice and encouragement, and to instill confidence in our members. However, I have more to give. I look forward to another term on the MACDL board to continue to help grow and strengthen our organization, and to further enrich professional relationships with our members.


Ryan Pacyga – Incumbent

I am running for reelection to the MACDL board so that I can continue to help MACDL succeed and give back to our members. As chair of the Website Committee, my most recent contribution as a board member has been the complete revision of the brief bank, which is available at no cost to all of our members. The brief bank contains examples of useful motions, memorandums, forms, and orders, usually in Word format so members can copy/paste to use as a template when drafting documents. My other contributions include seeking increased membership and diversity, and a recent article published in our magazine (“The VI”) regarding tips and guidelines on defending Title IX cases concerning sexual assault allegations. If reelected for another term, my goals include increasing our relationships with collaterally-related organizations such as the immigration bar, continuing to foster relationships in criminal justice oriented committees to make sure our voice is heard, and implementing a survey to members to find out how the MACDL can best serve you. I graduated from William Mitchell in 2002 and soon thereafter fell in love with criminal defense. I continue to mentor young lawyers and law students interested in protecting the rights of the accused. I provide select pro bono representation to those caught in the grey area between not qualifying for court-appointed counsel yet not having enough money to hire a private lawyer. I also have provided pro bono assistance to multiple public defender organizations in conflict cases. The MACDL Board and its leadership are strong. I am continually amazed at the dedication, talent and selfless contribution that current and past Board members have generously provided to our beloved organization. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with a wonderful group of people. I would be honored to give more in an effort to further our mission, which can be found here: https://www.macdl.legal/about If you have any questions, please contact me at 612-339-5844. Thank you for your consideration.


Robert Richman – Incumbent

I have been a member of the MACDL Board of Directors for the last 4 years. During that time, I have principally been involved with the publication of the VI magazine. I have been in sole private practice since 2000. My practice is exclusively devoted to criminal defense, primarily in federal court. Before going into private practice, I spent 13 years as an Assistant Federal Defender. I have been practicing criminal defense for over 30 years, and I’m starting to get the hang of it.


Jean Brandl

I have practiced criminal law for almost 25 years. I worked as a public defender in California from 1991 to 2004 and I was so well-regarded for my dedication and integrity that the San Diego District Attorney hired me as a prosecutor.  I worked there for two years before moving to Minnesota to start a private practice in 2007. I have handled virtually every type of criminal case imaginable (including five homicide cases) in both State and Federal courts, and I have won many difficult and highly publicized cases at trial. In addition to trying dozens of felony jury trials, I have written, filed and argued four appeals in the Minnesota and Eighth Circuit appellate courts (one was a rape case which resulted in a retrial and acquittal). I am a Certified Criminal Specialist in Minnesota. I have benefited greatly from MACDL during my ten years in Minnesota and I think it is an important organization, especially if our clients’ rights come under greater attack in the new political atmosphere. I think we do fantastic lobbying work and I always look forward to our CLE’s (which is why I am the CLE chair right now). I am surprised when I meet a defense attorney who is not a member and it would be one of my goals to expand our member base and involvement. I believe my experience, dedication, and sparkling personality would be a great addition to the MACDL Board.


Barry Edwards

I have worked primarily in criminal law in counties throughout the metro area for nearly two decades. I am admitted to the state and federal courts and am a member of the Hennepin County and Minnesota State Bar Associations. In addition to my trial court practice, I co-wrote an amicus brief in the Trahan case on behalf of the National College of DUI Defense, and I co-wrote an amicus on behalf of MSCJ for the US Supreme Court in the Bernard case. I grew up in Oklahoma. I graduated with a B.A. from Grinnell College in 1987 with a degree in English. I worked in Washington, D.C. as a managing editor of the “Ripon Forum,” a bi-monthly journal of politics. I went on to earn a Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota, in 1995, and taught English at local colleges and universities for several years before beginning law school. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School (cum laude), I clerked at the Hennepin County District Court as the law clerk for then Chief of the Civil Division, Hon. Gary Larson, and later for Hon. Diana Eagon. My interests — other than the law, civil liberties, and defendants’ rights — include rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals, running (five-time Twin Cities Marathon finisher!), and playing very low stakes poker. I live in south Minneapolis with my wife, son, large dog, and small but very determined cat.


Stephen Foertsch

Over the past four years, I have been actively involved in MACDL by serving on the Membership Committee and the Annual Dinner Planning Committee. I have also assisted with the Duluth CLE and planned CLEs for MACDL members in the St. Cloud area. I recently joined Bruno Law, PLLC, in Golden Valley, and prior to that, the majority of my practice was in the St. Cloud area. I joined the Membership Committee to serve as an ambassador for MACDL in St. Cloud and increase our group’s reach to areas outside the metro. I led membership drives in St. Cloud that included CLEs, happy hours, and weekly lunches with MACDL members. I also expanded our offerings to attorneys in that area by locally airing recorded MACDL CLEs. As a member of the Annual Dinner Planning Committee, I coordinate raffle ticket sales, procure silent auction donations, assist with setup, and do whatever else I can to help. The Annual Dinner remains our largest source of fundraising. I strive to continue—and increase—my level of involvement with MACDL. I know how to be an ambassador for the group, and I can be a greater asset to our members as a member of the Board. I can bring a fresh and energetic approach to the Board and our heavily Board-run organization. I understand that a Board seat is not merely a title, but a commitment of time and effort. I have proven that I can and will do the work necessary to further the interests of MACDL. I represent clients on all levels of charges, all throughout the state. I enjoy the work we do and the unique role we play in not only striving for justice for our clients but also in protecting the rights of all citizens. I am asking to be elected to the Board of Directors, so I can continue to be actively involved in raising the level of criminal defense in Minnesota, as well continue to provide camaraderie and support to our fellow members. Through MACDL, we are able to create institutional knowledge, educate our members, nurture and train new practitioners, and present a united front to the legislature. By expanding our reach and engaging attorneys outside the metro, we collect more institutional knowledge, educate and train more practitioners, and increase our influence in legislative decision-making. This group and the work we do is truly important. I can and want to, help. Thank you for your consideration.


Andrew Mohring

Although I am a recent partner at Ciresi Conlin LLP, I have committed my professional life to the representation of the indigent accused. I was the First Assistant Federal Defender for the District of Minnesota, and worked in that Office from 1989 to 2017, with the exception of a 1/2 – year sojourn to be the Federal Defender for the Yosemite National Park. I have extensive nonprofit board and volunteer experience, in the criminal justice arena and beyond, having served on many of the committees that guided the criminal operations of Minnesota’s federal and state courts. I am a past chair of the boards of the Volunteer Lawyers Network Advisory Board, the Hennepin County Bar Foundation, and Minnesota Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, and volunteer extensively for these and other Minnesota non-profit organizations. I teach a seminar on Corporate and White Collar Crime at the U of M. In previous professional incarnations, I was an associate in the Washington D.C. office of O’Melveny & Myers, a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences, and a law clerk to Hon. James M. Rosenbaum of the District of Minnesota. I attended Amherst College and the University of Minnesota Law School, received A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a member and editor of the California Law Review.

I have been a member if MACDL since its resuscitation in 1990, and am and remain deeply committed to its objectives. I would welcome a chance to participate in its activities and to support them at the board level.


Voting Notes

Voting will take place online which will allow greater accessibility, functionality and built-in security, and faster and accurate voting tabulation.

As outlined in our bylaws the election will be conducted as a rank choice voting method, with each candidate ranked in order of preference 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and on to the last candidate. Since we have multiple seats open we will be using a method called Single Transferable Vote — Which is a type of ranked-choice voting that is used for electing a group of candidates.

Please contact Ron Lattin at ron@macdl.legal or (612) 272-5312 if you have questions.