Author: Karin Ciano

Congratulations to Inti Martínez Alemán as Ceiba Fôrte launches

Inti Martínez Alemán practices civil, business, and employment litigation, and is dedicated to helping those in the Latino community facing unjust situations at work, in their neighborhood, with their lenders, with their business partners, and in other situations where they are concerned they may be taken advantage of.

Before practicing in the United States, Inti was a licensed attorney in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where practiced law for five years representing clients in cases of national impact and coverage. A 2016 graduate of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Inti founded Ceiba Fôrte Law Firm upon admission to the Minnesota bar and became CCLI’s first full-time advocate. In his 18 months with CCLI, Inti built a practice that provides affordable and competent legal representation to Latinos who are more comfortable working with a Spanish-speaking attorney who was born and raised in Latin America. Inti was interviewed by KSTP about his service to the immigrant community in Minnesota and the increasing use of delegations of parental authority, a form he helped to develop.

In addition to his law practice, Inti’s service to the public and the profession is extensive.  Among many other service and teaching activities he represents the Hennepin County Bar Association in the Minnesota State Bar Association Assembly, serves on the boards of LegalCORPS, Twin Cities Christian Legal Aid, and the alumni association and MBA advisory council of Houghton College. Inti also founded and now coordinates a regular legal aid clinic at Eagle Brook Church. He has been recognized as a Diversity Fellow by the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, and in May 2018 received the Access to Justice Award from the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association.

CCLI is grateful to have had the opportunity to assist Inti in the launch of the Ceiba Fôrte Law Firm and congratulates him as he continues his practice in the community.

AND GREAT NEWS… Ceiba Fôrte Law Firm is not moving far! Inti is setting up his practice in the same suite at 393 Dunlap Street (St. Paul) where CCLI is located. Come visit him in Suite #450F.

May 1 – CCLI at Washington County Law Day

Many thanks to David Tomenes and the organizers of Law Day in Washington County for inviting CCLI to join the Washington County Law Library, Court Self-Help Center, and volunteer attorneys speaking with the public about the legal system and options for Minnesotans who are not eligible for free legal services.  Pictured – Law Librarian Tim Devine, Karin Ciano, Haroun McClellan, and Joe Vaccaro.

Amy Rotering and Karen Grossman represent CCLI at Community Connections Conference

On February 10, Amy Rotering and I attended the Community Connections Conference in Minneapolis to spread the word about the affordable legal services offered by the attorneys in CCLI’s incubator. People that stopped at CCLI’s table kindly asked for our boilerplate spiel. Some shared their story with us. Those who needed services were encouraged to call CCLI. Some just needed a listening ear. Some liked the idea of hiring an attorney to help them help themselves with transparent, ala-carte-type choices. Some stopped for the candy Amy brought. Several lit up with approval when they understood that ccli exists to help people who might otherwise be forced to self-represent. Some seemed genuinely thankful to have discovered CCLI because their organization serves clients who have legal needs and their organizations are not equipped for legal needs. The woman at the table next to ours said meeting us was “the gem of her day.” She was an incredible, articulate, eccentric-looking woman who had fascinating stories and made the day go quickly.

Amy and I took turns “networking” with people at other booths. I once asked CCLI director, Karin Ciano, what her goals are when she meets people at events such as these. She said she goes to “learn something.” I was surprised she did not say she goes to tell everyone about ccli’s services or her own private practice. Last week Karin was honored as a Minnesota Attorney of the Year. Karin’s words are worth heeding. So, I kept Karin’s words in mind and I learned. I learned that there is a country in Ethiopia named Oromo, that speaks Oromo and does beautiful beadwork. About 40,000 Oromo’s add to Minnesota’s rich culture. I spoke to a kind lady at the MN Employment and Economic Development table. They provide state services for the blind for free. She had an interesting display of products including the strongest magnifier I have ever seen. I took a card for a friend who recently lost her sight.

The 2018 Community Connections Conference was aptly named. An enthusiastic, “Let’s see how we can collaborate!” was heard and spoken more than once. CCLI were the only attorneys represented at the conference. Attending the conference was time well-spent. The most valuable thing Amy and I both took home were the new connections.

CCLI welcomes Robert Schuneman

CCLI is pleased to welcome its newest advocate, Robert Schuneman.  Robert offers a wealth of real-world business expertise developed through many years of hands-on business management coupled with substantial academic experience teaching graduate and undergraduate business courses. He frequently tells his students and staff members that “Continuous Improvement Begins with Me”, by which he means that before organizations and companies can adopt continuous improvement, the people in those organizations must first commit to improving themselves. It was primarily this focus on self-improvement that led Robert to pursue a law degree in the weekend program at Hamline University School of Law, one of the predecessor schools comprising Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Robert graduated cum laude from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in August 2016 and was admitted to the Minnesota bar in May 2017. His primary practice areas are business law and estate planning.

Connect with Robert by checking out his profile or visiting his website.

CCLI Welcomes Intern Karen Grossman

Karen Grossman is a 3L in Mitchell Hamline’s hybrid program fulfilling her 48-year dream of becoming an attorney. It all started when her sixth-grade teacher planted the idea. His actual words were, “I hope you don’t argue with your husband as much as you argue with me.” Karen and her husband Glen have celebrated 32 years of marriage and have 2 adult millennials. Karen is proud of the work CCLI does to make quality legal services more accessible to clients in the “justice gap” and is excited to join CCLI as an extern.  She graduated summa cum laude from Crown College, served on the Minnesota Realtors Professional Standards Ethics Committee, and is a qualified neutral under Minnesota Rule 114.  And she makes amazing lefse.