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Clinic Success at Minnesota Supreme Court

The Civil Practice Clinic was successful this year in a case recently decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The clinic represented the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women as an amicus. Other community groups on the brief included the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the Battered Women's Justice Project. The brief was written by Kristine Kroenke, class of 2004, supervised by Professor Beverly Balos.

The issue before the Court was the standard of proof is required to admit evidence of similar conduct of domestic abuse in a domestic assault prosecution. The defendant had argued that evidence of similar conduct must be established by clear and convincing evidence to be admitted. The Court of Appeals agreed with the defendant and reversed his conviction. Recognizing the difficulties of prosecuting these kinds of domestic assault cases, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and held that evidence of similar conduct may be admitted without first being established by clear and convincing evidence.