Ciresi Conlin LLP is proud to announce that four of its attorneys will be honored by Minnesota Lawyer as 2017 Attorneys of the Year. Katie Crosby Lehmann, Michael V. Ciresi, Heather M. McElroy, and Andrew Mohring are among the 35 honorees this year. Honorees were selected based upon their leadership in the profession, and involvement in major cases, newsworthy events, and public service.
Katie Crosby Lehmann, Michael V. Ciresi, and Heather M. McElroy are being honored as Attorneys of the Year for their leadership of the White Bear Lake Legal Team. As lead counsel, the team represented the White Bear Lake Homeowner’s Association in a lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR was held to violate Minnesota’s environmental rights act (MERA) and the Public Trust Doctrine for the DNR’s failure to comply with numerous environmental laws and for causing a material adverse effect on Minnesota natural resources, namely White Bear Lake and the underlying Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer. The court found the DNR’s failed to responsibly manage high capacity pumping of groundwater, pumping that can only occur with a DNR permit.
During an almost four week trial in March-April 2017, Judge Marrinan of Ramsey County heard evidence on the facts and science detailing the cause of White Bear Lake’s decline and harm to the Lake and underlying aquifer. The Court ruled in favor of Plaintiffs, issuing a detailed explanation of the DNR’s MERA violation in her 140 page opinion. The Court found that the DNR knew its water permitting was not sustainable and that its decisions have had and will have a negative impact. The relief balances both short term and long-term acts designed to protect the Lake and ensure responsible water management of groundwater. This case is a landmark Minnesota decision that will be a guiding light for water management not only in the White Bear Lake area, but throughout Minnesota as well.
Andrew Mohring is being honored for his Outstanding Service to the Profession. Andrew has been a civil rights trial lawyer for 28 years, as an Assistant Federal Defender in the District of Minnesota, and then as the First Assistant of that office. Andrew’s cases include fraud, tax, money laundering, securities, public corruption and other white collar crimes, as well as treaty, national security and cybersecurity cases, and cases involving immigration, weapons, drug, homicide, and other charges.
Andrew has dedicated himself to serving the profession outside the courtroom. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Minnesota, focusing on federal criminal law, corporate and white collar crime. He writes and speaks locally and nationally on federal criminal practice topics.
In addition, Andrew is an active member of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure and the ABA Task Force on Discovery Standards. He sits on the board of Minnesota Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, of which he has twice been the chair, and is a past member and the president of the Hennepin County Bar Foundation and the Volunteer Lawyers Network Board of Advisors.