Introducing campus attorney John Plachecki


Nicole Girgen

Adjunct factuality member and attorney John Paul Plachecki is available every Tuesday from 5-7 to council students on any legal problems that may come up.

Lauren Gennerman, features reporter

During their time on campus, some students get into legal trouble that can range from bad landlords to underage drinking tickets. Lucky for them, Winona State University has an attorney on campus to help out the students with any legal issues.

John Plachecki, a lawyer for Price, McCluer and Plachecki Law Firm, donates his time helping Winona State students deal with any legal issues that may come up in their time here.

Plachecki, born and raised in Winona, attended Cotter High School and graduated from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, cum laude. He then attended JD Hamline University Law School and Boston University School of Law for post graduate work. However, Plachecki had not initially planned on taking his schooling as far as he did.

“I didn’t know I was going to college until two weeks before school started. It’s really amazing I got in that late,” Plachecki said. “College was wonderful and easy, and then I thought, if I keep going to school, I don’t have to work. So, I stayed in school.”

After he graduated from college, Plachecki served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. He returned to Winona in 1994 to join Price Law Firm, and currently lives on a farm with his yellow Labraor retriever. 

Plachecki has been working at Winona State as an adjunct faculty member since 2000, advising students on legal issues they have, including everything from underage drinking tickets, DUIs, immigration issues and other minor criminal issues. However, most of the issues he sees are landlord/tenant related.

“For years, there was standing room only,” Plachecki said. “The line would go out, to the right, and past Jack Kane. I’ve seen issues you wouldn’t have dreamed of if you tried.”

However, not many students are making appointments with him now.

Knowing students do not always have the knowledge to argue their small legal issues, Plachecki, as well as others from Price, McCluer and Plachecki Law Firm, work at Winona State to help. When asked what every student with landlord issues should know, he knew exactly what to say right away.

“Read the lease before you sign it…very few students sit down with the landlord and negotiate the lease, but you shouldn’t just be signing something you didn’t read,” Plachecki said. “And if you read it and something doesn’t make sense, I think a lot of landlords from this area will sit down and say they can cross it out.”

He also recommends that students are cautious of landlords taking out money from their security deposit for “regular wear and tear” that happens for living there for a year.

“It’s like if you’ve ever stayed in a hotel. If you stay there for a couple of days, most people don’t go down and rent a shampooer for the carpets or wax the floors,” Plachecki said. “That’s the hotel’s job, not the person who stays there.”

Plachecki is available to help Winona State students on Tuesdays as well as the rest of the week via his office phone. 

Whether you have just received an underage drinking ticket, a DUI or have trouble with a landlord, Plachecki can advise on how to handle the situation.