A Girls’ Club for Lawyers

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Long before Legally Blonde, a friend and fellow attorney, Carolyn Agin Schmidt, and I got fed up with the old boys’ club that permeates the legal field. We decided that if we couldn’t join them, we’d beat them at their own game. Thus was born the Juris Divas, a not-so-old girls’ club of more than 600 women lawyers and judges across Minnesota.

Her Mission: The Juris Divas socialize, shop, and raise money for local nonprofits that benefit women and children. Of course, the male attorneys in town are a tad bit jealous. We’ve invited them to put on a fabulous pair of stilettos and join us, but so far, no takers. Go figure!

Diva Style: Preppy classic elegance with a flair, a wink, and a bit of whimsy. Call it Ralph Lauren with a dash of Betsey Johnson for good measure.

Hair Stylist: The hair goddess—Carol Stangler at Tribeca Salon in Edina.

All-Time Favorite Store: The original Neiman Marcus in Dallas is hard to beat. Here in the Twin Cities, Young Quinlan was the most lovely store, beyond any shopping experience that exists today. I wish some of the refined elegance could be brought back.

Top Shops: Every store at the Galleria. I could spend entire days there, going from store to store, stopping only to refresh at Crave mid-mall.

Inspiration: Joel Osteen from Lakewood Church in Houston. Very uplifting, positive messages—but not too preachy—about how to be a good person, to strive to be the best you can be in all things, to work hard to help those less fortunate who trust and count on you, to be kind to everyone, and to count your blessings every day. You know, the basics.

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Car Accident

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Case:

A client was involved in a serious car accident

Result:

Naros Law recovered $250,000  for a client whose wife was killed in a head-on collision. This exhausted all available insurance policy limits. Subsequently we negotiated a large reduction in Medicare’s lien, ensuring the client received the most possible from the recovery.

 

Prince Countersues Over Assault Claim

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Prince has filed a countersuit against claims that he instructed his bodyguard to assault a college student for taking Prince’s picture late last year at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

In April, Anthony Fitzgerald of Edina, Minn., sued Prince and his bodyguard for $50,000 in damages, saying he was assaulted in a Dec. 29 incident.

His suit claimed that Prince’s bodyguard, identified only as “Trevor,” lunged at Fitzgerald “in an aggressive, threatening manner,” then grabbed his digital camera, leaving him “stunned and humiliated.”

Fitzgerald actually tried to sue Prince in January, but couldn’t find a way to serve him papers – until April.

In his countersuit, apparently filed this week, Prince is also asking for at least $50,000 in damages. Prince’s lawyer, Kristen Naros, tells the Associated Press that Fitzgerald’s “claim has no legal basis, and we will be fighting this in court.”

Fitzgerald’s attorney, Kari Berman, also called Prince’s counterclaim baseless, saying: “He is a public figure walking through a public airport. There’s no expectation of privacy, and he knows it.”

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Old-Boy Network Gets a Makeover

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Minnesota Lawyer’s national sister publication, Lawyers USA, reports in an upcoming piece that a growing number of women-only client outings are being hosted by law firms throughout the country. Many of the events have a decidedly feminine flair, as some women attorneys opt for glamour over golf to schmooze with their female clients.

Here’s a taste of the article:

On a Tuesday evening last fall, 19 women lawyers from a large Chicago law firm got together with 60 women clients to browse designer shoes together at the Cole Haan store on Michigan Avenue.

They sipped cocktails, snacked on appetizers and swapped business cards. Many also used a special discount to buy shoes at the upscale store, which closed early to the public for the private party.

“It was more successful than I think we ever would have guessed,” said Leslee Cohen, a principal at Much Shelist and co-chair of the firm’s women’s initiative. “The women were shopping and networking with each other. We made contacts for this law firm, and our guests made contacts with each other, which they found very helpful.”

The event was one of a growing number of women-only client outings hosted by law firms throughout the country. Many of the events have a decidedly feminine flair, as women attorneys opt for glamour over golf to schmooze with their female clients.

In Minnesota, we have the “Juris Divas” a group of women lawyers who bill themselves as “smart, sassy lawyers or judges who enjoy good times, good stories and good friends — and a good martini or two.”

When we reported on the group last year, we noted its organizers quipped they were tired of listening to their male colleagues “prattle on and on about golf or football or their wives and kids,” and would much rather be talking about “spa day, our latest shopping jags, the latest gossip, and other girl talk while sipping our favorite libations.”

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Children’s Hopsital Pioneer Virginia Naros Taught Nurses Until the End

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Thirty-some years ago, the shah of Iran and his wife asked Virginia Naros, of Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, if she would build a children’s hospital in their country, Naros’ daughter recalled recently.

“That’s not surprising that she was in demand,” said Dr. Arnie Anderson, Children’s Hospital’s founding medical director and CEO.

“When we started Children’s, we recruited around the country to find a director of nurses. We were thrilled to find Virginia — and right in our backyard.”

Naros, 81, of Edina, a local pioneer in children’s health care, succumbed on Feb. 21 to her fourth battle with cancer.

She declined the shah’s offer, because of the political climate. Besides, Minneapolis was home.

With both sides of her family steeped in local history, Naros quietly met life on her own terms, as the founding director of nursing at Children’s Hospital and as the associate director of the Abbott-Northwestern Hospital School of Nursing before that.

Her family was considered among the founders of the Minneapolis community, said her daughter, Kristen Naros, a Minneapolis attorney.

Virginia Naros’ paternal grandfather, J.O. Peterson, helped start the Minneapolis Club. He was owner of the J.O. Peterson drug store at Seven Corners, with its marvelous crystal chandeliers and a soda fountain bar made of mahogany. When Naros’ grandparents celebrated their silver anniversary, Gov. A.O. Eberhart and Minneapolis Mayor Wallace Nye were among the 200 guests.

Her mother owned the Otto C. Holt Coffee Co., once the largest importer of coffee in the Midwest and located in the block that now houses the Minneapolis Greyhound bus terminal.

But Naros knew what she wanted to do “from the word go,” her daughter said. “She was a caregiver and a teacher.”

She earned her R.N. degree and master’s degree in hospital administration at the University of Minnesota. After a brief marriage that yielded a daughter before ending in divorce, Naros approached her professional career with a “child-like spirit,” her daughter said.

“She was the best nurse administrator,” Anderson recalled. “She recruited a superb staff and helped all the people in her organization reach their potential.

“That wasn’t easy, because we started an innovative culture,” in which the staff was told to treat children like children, and not like other patients.

Naros had a special place in her heart for disabled children and adults. She loved sailing, horseback riding, the Minnesota Vikings and a good joke.

“She was humble and unassuming, but she loved what she did,” her daughter said. “Even in her last hours, she was instructing a nurse.”

In addition to her daughter, Kristen, Naros is survived by nephews and nieces. Services have been held.

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