Phil Duran (’00), Michael Unger (’81) Begin New MSBA Roles
JULY 2, 2012—On July 1, 2012, the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) began its 2012-13 bar year, with Phil Duran (’00) taking office as president-elect and Michael W. Unger (’81) taking office as secretary. Duran will be the MSBA president for the 2013-14 bar year and Unger is on track to become president for the 2015-16 bar year.
Duran, a former member of the MSBA Executive Council and treasurer in 2011-12, is legal director at OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest GLBT advocacy organization, where he began as a volunteer in 1997. He represents the organization on Gov. Dayton’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying and chairs the Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity subcommittee of the Minnesota Judicial Council’s Committee for Equality and Justice. He is also a staff attorney for the Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits, where he helps start-up organizations with incorporation, tax, and other issues. Previously he worked with Patient Resource Consultants in Michigan as a client advocate.
Additional activities among Duran’s extensive advocacy experience are his work for the MSBA’s 2010 endorsement of a marriage-equality resolution, the Minnesota AIDS Project, and the Chicago office of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. He has served on the board of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association and the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission. In 1997, he received a Community Service Award from the Human Rights Campaign for his work in his native Michigan.
Unger is a personal injury lawyer with Unger Law Office, Minneapolis. He is also an MSBA-certified civil trial specialist through the organization’s Certified Legal Specialist program, created to assist the public by identifying attorneys who meet objective specialty area standards. In 2009, the MSBA recognized his representation of a victim of the I-35W bridge collapse with its Professional Excellence Award.
A past president of the Minnesota Justice Foundation, Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota, and Hennepin County Bar Association and Bar Foundation, Unger has also served on the board of directors for the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association and Minnesota Association for Justice. He recently received the President’s Award from the Hennepin County Bar Foundation for his dedicated volunteer service, and in 2011 Minnesota Lawyer selected him for its Outstanding Service to the Profession Award for his help in creating the nonprofit legal referral service, Call For Justice.
The MSBA is the state’s largest voluntary attorney organization. It provides assistance to the legal system and CLE and public service opportunities to its 16,000 members.