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About MDLA

The initial and formative meeting of what is today the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association was held at the Minneapolis Athletic Club on March 30, 1963. The list of attendees at that gathering read like a "Who's Who" of the Minnesota Defense Bar. Today, more than 50 years later, the Association continues to thrive with over seven hundred members specializing in civil defense practice.

MDLA membership means more than just access to services. It embodies a commitment to the principles of the defense community, led by the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association. Membership support is vital to the organization's continued leadership to ensure a balanced, fair approach in Minnesota courts and in the legislature.

Our Mission

The Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) is an association dedicated to serving the needs of lawyers engaging primarily in the defense and trial of civil disputes.

MDLA is affiliated with the Minnesota State Bar Association and DRI -- The Voice of the Defense Bar.

Purpose of Organization

  • Represent the defense viewpoint in handling problems on legislation, court procedure and practice, either directly or through the Bar Association.
  • Exchange information on court decisions, briefs, witnesses, trends and procedures throughout the State.
  • Exchange information on expert witnesses and to help defense attorneys obtain expert witnesses in various fields.
  • Provide educational and professional development opportunities that benefit the member and civil defense practice.

Member Benefits and Services

MDLA provides its members with a wide range of benefits and services including a quarterly magazine, Minnesota Defense, CLE seminars, information sharing, amicus curiae and legislative programs along with active committee participation which supplement the defense attorney's resources. There are also many opportunities for networking and socializing at events throughout the year.

  • Minnesota Defense

    A quarterly magazine published by MDLA, featuring substantive law articles written by MDLA members, news of the Association, event highlights and photos, and notices of up-coming events. The Editorial Committee oversees the publication process.

  • Continuing Legal Education

    Provides practical seminars for the education of MDLA members. These include the Annual Trial Techniques Seminar in Duluth in August and Mid-Winter Conference at various locations each February. There are Brown Bag lunch-hour programs for new lawyers as well as an annual Medical Malpractice Seminar and a variety of other defense related programs.

  • Information Sharing (Requests For Information)

    One benefit of MDLA membership is the ability to submit Requests for Information (RFIs) to your peers in the defense law community. MDLA sends members a copy of recent RFIs once per week (Friday). To be included in the next RFI email, make sure to submit your request by the close of business on Wednesday. Only MDLA members are eligible to participate in the RFI drafting/response benefit. Send your RFI to with the name of the inquiring attorney, the subject matter in question, and to whom responses should be sent.

  • MDLA Committees

    MDLA committees provide great opportunities for learning and participating in discussion of issues and topics of concern with other members in similar practices. Activity in committees can vary from planning CLE programs to working on legislation to informal gatherings that discuss updated practice information or changes in the law. Serving on a committee is one of the best ways to become actively involved in the organization and increase the value of your membership.


Simply click below, complete the application form and mail with your check.

Click here to join MDLA via our online system
Click here for our membership application in Adobe Acrobat (88 kb file size)


Member of the Bar (1-5 years) - $150
Member of the Bar (5+ years) - $230
Member of the Bar (First year waived) - $0
Retired - $30
Law Student - $20

If you have questions, please contact us.
Phone: 651-290-6293 or Fax: 651-290-2266.

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