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Bill Pentelovitch Quoted in Star Tribune Article Announcing Retirement of Longtime ACLU-MN Executive Director, Chuck Samuelson

February 16, 2017

Bill Pentelovitch, partner in Maslon's Litigation Group, is quoted in a February 9, 2017, Star Tribune article titled "A civil liberties giant steps down as head of ACLU Minnesota." The article details the upcoming retirement of Chuck Samuelson—the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) for 20 years—who retires after being "diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that makes it difficult to walk or even type."

As the current ACLU-MN Board Chair and longtime engaged attorney, Bill joins with other key representatives of the legal community to pay tribute to Samuelson's significant contributions and distinctive qualities of his leadership, including that he often begins a meeting by stating, "I am not a lawyer." Bill explains, "Then he launches into some crisp, clear and cogent explanation of whatever we're talking about. He has got such a finely tuned sense of what's constitutional and what's not, within civil liberties."

The article shares that under Samuelson's leadership, the ACLU "has gone into court to press for release of videos in the police shootings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile and worked quietly with the Minneapolis police to re-examine its procedures," and notes its early stance against the voter ID amendment in 2012 as well—matters on which Bill, Haley Schaffer, and other Maslon attorneys have proudly served as co-counsel.

To read the full article online, go to: Star Tribune "A civil liberties giant steps down as head of ACLU Minnesota."

Bill Pentelovitch currently serves as the Chair of the ACLU-MN's Board of Directors. He is a business trial lawyer with more than 40 years of experience and hundreds of jury and bench trials as well as dozens of appeals in state and federal courts to his credit. He practices nationally in the areas of non-compete, trade secret and unfair competition litigation, intellectual property licensing and royalty disputes, and is a leading authority in Minnesota in the area of ownership and governance disputes in corporations and partnerships.

Among the many cases Bill has handled as a volunteer ACLU-MN attorney, he represented protesters at the 2008 Republican convention in negotiating to protect their right to peaceful protest and challenged the ballot question for the proposed 2012 amendment to the Minnesota Constitution requiring voter identification at polling places. An MSBA Board Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Law, Bill is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, which holds itself out as being comprised of the 600 best trial lawyers in the world. Bill was the 2014 recipient of the Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award from the Cardozo Society of the Jewish Federations of Minneapolis and St. Paul for his work in the legal, secular, and Jewish communities. Bill is also vice president and a member of the executive committee of the Sabes Jewish Community Center, and he is a member of the board of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.

Haley Schaffer is a partner in Maslon's Litigation Group and member of Maslon's Governance Committee, which is a three-person committee that manages the law firm. Haley has represented local and national clients in a wide range of high-stakes business disputes in state and federal courts throughout the country. Haley has significant experience handling complex breach of contract disputes and various aspects of intellectual property disputes, including licensing, trade secrets, unfair competition, trademark, and royalty-related cases. She also has significant expertise in ownership and governance disputes in corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.

In September 2016, Haley Schaffer and other Maslon attorneys joined Chuck Samuelson and Teresa Nelson of the ACLU-MN to announce a lawsuit against Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to force the release of all squad camera video(s) documenting the police killing of Philando Castile in July 2016. Similarly, in February 2016, Haley joined Samuelson and Nekima Levy-Pounds, President of the NAACP Minneapolis, to announce a lawsuit filed on behalf of the ACLU-MN and the NAACP Minneapolis against Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to force the release of video footage documenting the police killing of Jamar Clark in November 2015.


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