About Jim Walsh

Jim Walsh Articles written 67

Jim Walsh is an award-winning author, journalist, writer, and songwriter from Minneapolis. A columnist for the Southwest Journal and regular contributor to MinnPost.com, his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, St. Paul Pioneer Press, City Pages, and many other publications. He is the author of Fear & Loving in South Minneapolis; Bar Yarns and Manic-Depressive Mixtapes: Jim Walsh on Music from Minneapolis to the Outer Limits; Gold Experience: Following Prince in the ’90s; and The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting. A father of two (Henry and Helen!) and sometime teacher at the Loft Literary Center, Walsh is the ringleader behind the longtime singer/songwriter showcase The Mad Ripple Hootenanny. His new band, Jim Walsh and the Dog Day Cicadas, has recorded two releases, “Songs For The Band To Learn” (2017) and “Shout It Out To You” (2022). He lives in Minneapolis with his partner Mary Beth Hanson and their two cats, Rumi and Rilke.

Articles written by Jim Walsh

The Man From Luck

Ardell Skow has spent 50 years taking personal injury cases in northwestern Wisconsin

Ardell “Dell” Skow was born and raised and currently lives in the town of Luck, Wis., former home to the Duncan Toys yo-yo factory, population 1,100. “When I’m not there, I like to say I’m out of Luck,” Skow says with a smile. He also says, “You are where you come from.” The childhood he describes is something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. “My dad always respected everybody in town. We’d go into town on Saturday night and I’d get a quarter as a kid, and we’d watch …

Finding the Good

Deborah Ellis defends cops and the people arrested by them

Last year in early December, Deborah Ellis jumped on the Green Line near her office in downtown St. Paul for the 40-minute trip to the Hennepin County Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. As usual, Ellis—a respected defense attorney and a no-nonsense but acutely empathetic woman whose clients have included killers, child pornographers, sex offenders, child abusers, Hell’s Angels, and police officers accused with brutality—used her travel time to prepare for an appearance in court. As the …

Helping Those Who Help Those

Russell Kemp’s pro bono work with Habitat for Humanity

Russell Kemp’s connection to Habitat for Humanity started with one email 13 years ago. It came from the American Bar Association, asking if anyone could work pro bono for Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. “They had a project they needed help on, which turned out to be the first multi-family community condo that Habitat did in Colorado,” says Kemp, a real estate attorney at Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe. “So I got to work on a groundbreaking project.” You could say it was in …

Strength From Loss

Tragedy inspired nonprofit law attorney Karen Leaffer to provide community service and disaster relief

Tragedy set Karen Leaffer on her current path. In 1998, Leaffer gave birth to twins, but one of them passed away shortly afterward. “You’re faced with ‘What do I do? What’s next?’” says Leaffer. “I decided that my job is to help, and have a positive impact on the world.” So when the Columbine shooting shook the world the next year, Leaffer worked on creating a fund for the school’s victims and their families. It was just the beginning of her disaster relief efforts. Leaffer, …

Too Sexy for My … Job?

Employment defense attorney Samantha N. Hoffman, scion of a surfing clan, on gender-plus discrimination cases

In 2010, the Village Voice ran a cover story on Debrahlee Lorenzana, a woman who claimed she was fired as a business banker in New York for being “too distracting” for male colleagues. The story, as they say, went viral; it was the most-read Village Voice story of the year. It also brought attention to a growing trend in workplace bias. “They are called gender-plus discrimination cases—the plus being some characteristic that is in addition to gender where men and women are not being …

O Coach, My Coach

What Lester J. Friedman learned from John Wooden

In his mission to best represent his clients, Lester J. Friedman cites the influence of one man. It’s not another lawyer; it’s a basketball coach. “John Wooden was my teacher, and he was a teacher,” says Friedman, who was a student-manager for the UCLA Bruins during the beginning of the team’s history-making 88-game undefeated streak in the early 1970s. “This man would have been successful in any vocation he decided to go into. It happened to be teaching, and teaching young men …

A Hollywood (Hills) Ending

How Gregory L. Bentley and Inner City Law Center helped tenants who didn’t know their rights—or that they had any

When Ashley Parris, a senior staff attorney at Inner City Law Center, asked Gregory L. Bentley to help litigate a low-income housing case, pro bono, it didn’t take him long to say yes. “You always feel compelled to help the little guy, and I’ve always admired those that did pro bono work and helped the least of these,” says Bentley, a married father of three whose main work is insurance litigation at Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley. “It’s something I always wanted to do and I …

The Silent Part of the Conversation

It’s just one reason why Marie Stanton thrives as a mediator

From her fourth floor office in downtown Madison, with its inspirational view of the state capitol dome to the left and Lake Monona to the right, Marie A. Stanton of Hurley, Burish & Stanton has witnessed historic protests and speeches, the filming of the Johnny Depp movie Public Enemies, and the bustle of the Saturday morning farmer’s market, where dairy cows share space with Planned Parenthood and PFLAG booths. “It’s the nicest office I’ve ever had,” she says. “And the nicest …

A Separation

Nooshin Namazi’s journey from Iran to Long Island

In the early 1970s, Nooshin Namazi often made courtroom arguments in Iran. Except the courtroom was the family living room and she was 8. “My poor parents and two sisters were my guinea pigs,” she says, “serving as mock jurors and enduring my arguing cases to them. I would just sit them down after dinner and I had a little ruler that I used to get their attention, waving it in the air, and I would just make up cases and try cases in front of them. “I don’t really have an …

There’s No “I” in Greene

Legendary Minneapolis litigator Cliff Greene has made teamwork his legacy

“C’mere, I want to show you something.” Cliff Greene is giving a glancing tour of the offices of Greene Espel on the 22nd floor of the Campbell Mithun Tower in downtown Minneapolis. He’s now showing off the firm’s corner office spaces—historically the most coveted status spots in a high-profile business. At Greene Espel, though, they serve as two decidedly plain conference rooms, a community room and a mini-library. It’s not only the corner offices. The firm’s walls are dotted …

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