Dorsey & Whitney Ends Partnership with Minneapolis Prosecutors

The prominent Minneapolis-based law firm will end its pro bono Minneapolis City Attorney’s programme.

Dorsey & Whitney announced this week that it will end its Minneapolis City Attorney’s programme in response to the death of George Floyd in MPD custody.

The programme, which has been in place since 1978, saw the 500-lawyer firm lending its staff to assist the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office in the prosecution of misdemeanour cases.

Citing studies demonstrating that misdemeanours disproportionately affect African Americans, the firm said that it came to the decision to end its involvement with City prosecutors. “We must be part of the solution, and that means concrete action to assist the community and a re-examining of our own programs and practices,” managing partner Bill Stoeri said in a statement.

Dorsey & Whitney shares the sadness and the outrage expressed throughout Minnesota and the world over George Floyd’s killing, as well as over the long history of such injustice.”

The firm also announced its intention to refocus on pro bono work, looking to provide legal services to communities affected by the current civil unrest in the US. Dorsey & Whitney will also make steps towards ending issues of diversity and inclusivity in the legal industry.

Responding to the news that Dorsey & Whitney was terminating the partnership, Minneapolis City Attorney Erik Nillson said that the firm’s move was “an unfortunate decision, but one that I respect.”

The partnership proved beneficial to both the Dorsey law firm and the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office for more than 40 years,” he said.

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