Features/Substantive Law

Rules of Engagement: Assessing the Use of Force Claims
Not a week goes by that some critical incident involving use of force by police officers does not make the news.  Whether in our own communities or across the country, police use of force, particularly deadly force, against citizens merits public attention and scrutiny.  T....
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Marriage Equality Litigation
“Historic,” “unprecedented,” “monumental.” No single word fully encapsulates the magnitude and impact the past three years have had on marriage rights for gay and lesbian Americans. By the end of next month, the Supreme Court will decide whether g....
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Dispositive Motions in Civil Rights Cases
Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), a growing number of defendants in civil rights cases—including in employment discrimination matters—have pursued Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 motions to dismiss much like defendants have used ....
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Expanding Rights to Communicate at Work
“Can We Talk?” 
 
That was the s....


Legal Esoterica: Debating the Right to Bear Arms
The journalist was the first to arrive. She was effusive in her compliments to the hostess about the elegantly set table; b....


Issues Unique to Military Families in Divorce
There are many issues unique to representing servicemembers, government civilians, or their spouses in dissolution of marriage actions, which may arise at the onset, middle, or end of a case. An attorney representin....


Immigrant Muslim Women in State Family Courts
Immigrants come to the United States as individuals as well as families. For humanitarian reasons and other considerations, the United States grants immigration status to families under certain circumstances. The ma....


Bankruptcy and Divorce: The Worst of Both Worlds
It is not surprising that few lawyers ride the circuit between family court and bankruptcy court. The powers that be don’t like you in either place, and for good reason. The two fields of law often clash with ....


Declaratory Judgment Actions to Establish Parentage in Assisted Reproduction Situations
Technologies for reproduction have outpaced our statutes 
 
The creation or expansion of families through assisted reproductive technology (ART) is becoming increasingly com....


Hon. Bridget Sullivan: New to the Bench
You’ve worked in a number of areas of the law and worked with a number of firms and pro bono activities, also pre-law school with the EPA.  Is there an area of practice that you are particularly f....


Hon. Bev Benson: New to the Bench
What part of your new job as a judge are you most looking forward to?
I don’t think there is one particular thing that I would prioritize over another. I’m looking forward to the ....


Sensors, Wearables, and Liability: The Brave New World of IoT
Lawyers love scary narratives, and stories of technological authoritarianism are timeless. In 1984and Brave New World, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley created dystopian visions filled with fanciful....


Using Technology in Federal Court Trials
The data are undisputed. On average, jurors retain about eight times more information when they see it—not just hear it. For trial lawyers, that can be the difference between victory and coming home on your sh....


On-Demand CLE Comes to Minnesota
For better or worse, American society now craves instant gratification. Life is optimized for convenience. We have grown accustomed to having almost anything available right now (or, with Amazon Prime, free....


We Finally Get IT: A Small Firm's Journey to Technical Competency
Scott Seiler and Jon Schindel partnered in 2011 to create the St. Louis Park-based law firm SeilerSchindel. Growing at a rapid pace since 2013, the law firm needed to find technology to manage the cases, the con....


Dictation Software Ready for Prime Time
When I first saw the announcement from Nuance that yet one more update of Dragon NaturallySpeaking was coming, I thought, “Here we go again. One more greedy wallet-grabbing and inconsequential software upgrade....


Microsoft Office 365 for Lawyers
As a recent convert to Office 365, I found Ben Schorr’s new book Microsoft Office 365 for Lawyersto be easing reading, informative, and lacking in technological ramblings that would leave me bewildere....


Working Together Toward Justice for All
Michael is a single father. He and his eight-year-old daughter live in an apartment in north Minneapolis, and Michael’s job is to drive developmentally disabled children to school. His work hours dropped durin....


Stepping Toward Civil Gideon: The Struggle for Affordable Representation
Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that indigent defendants have a constitutional right to representation in criminal cases. In it's landmark decision of Gideon v. Wainright, the court wrote, “I....


Tom Tinkham and Heroes of Civil Gideon
The right to counsel is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution for criminal but not civil cases.  But that fact has not stopped Tom Tinkham in his “Civil Gideon” goals, a quest to provide counsel to the....


The New Conciliation Court Consumer Debt Clinic
A new legal services clinic focuses on consumer debt collection dockets in Hennepin County Conciliation Court. Begun in November 2013, it is run as a collaborative effort between Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (MMLA) and t....


Medical-Legal Partnerships: Solutions Through an Integrated Approach
Minneapolis is home to two medical-legal partnerships (MLPs). Founded in 1993, the Deinard Legal Clinic partners Stinson Leonard Street (formerly Leonard Street and Deinard) and the Community University Health Care ....


The Impact of Race on Pro Bono Services
Minnesotans coming from generations of poverty often have had negative experiences dealing with public institutions, including the legal system. Even while requesting pro bono assistance from the Volunteer Lawyers N....


Navigating the Criminal Justice System as an Indigent Defendant
Imagine scraping together the last bit of change you have in order to catch the bus downtown. You arrive at the Hennepin County Government Center trying to figure out where your court appearance is, only to be told ....


Facing High Hurdles: Immigration, Poverty, and Access to Justice
Poverty raises its own host of challenges for any client seeking legal representation. For the low-income immigrant, add to this list: 1) language barriers; 2) fear of deportation; 3) cultural differences; 4) access....


Elections Will Fill Four Seats on the Fourth District Bench: HCBA will give members a voice through a judicial plebiscite
The HCBA has a strong commitment to the administration of justice in a fair and impartial manner, with access for all. That commitment finds the association active as judicial elections approach. The HCBA encourages....


How a Bill Becomes a Law: What You Did Not Learn in Civics Class
While Senator Jack Davies imparted both knowledge and enthusiasm to our 1L Legal Process class at William Mitchell College of Law, little did I realize how much more than that knowledge and enthusiasm it takes to mo....


Balancing Privacy Rights and Public Safety in Minnesota
In 2014, the Minnesota Legislature considered a host of bills relating to the government’s use of new surveillance technologies and their impact on Minnesotans’ privacy rights.1 Civil liberties advocates....


Voting 2014: Minnesota Expands Access to the Polls
In the past few years, election law has taken on prominence in the United States as a multitude of new laws have been proposed and some passed. Courts have been called upon to rule on the legality of a variety of me....


Jewish Community Action: A Model for Advocacy
For nearly twenty years, Jewish Community Action (“JCA”) has been an articulate presence during the sessions of the Minnesota Legislature. Over this period, JCA has evolved and developed in its approach ....


ICE-y Detainment Ends in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties
On June 11, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek issued a news release stating that Hennepin County would no longer honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) absent judicial authority.

Legal Esoterica: The Northwest Ordinance

....


Deciding Children's Best-Interests: Is It Time for a Parenting Consultant Statute?
In the world of civil litigation, child custody cases are sui generis. Even long after a “final” decision has been reached, litigants are continually called upon to make joint decisions and work....


Professionalism, Ethics, and Solo Practitioners
In today’s competitive legal market, attorneys sometimes overlook the fact that the practice of law is supposed to be more than just a business. Although the bottom line is essential in maintaining a successfu....


Helping Victims of Lawyer Dishonesty: Minnesota's Client Security Board
When an attorney steals funds from clients, neither criminal nor civil proceedings may be sufficient to make the client whole; when the attorney has already spent the money, a judgment or order for restitution may b....


25 Rules for Litigators
I was fortunate, twenty-seven years ago, to begin my legal career at a place where I had the chance to work with many experienced, talented litigators who were generous with their time and their wisdom. I watched, I....


Ineffective Counsel, Insufficient Remedies: Matter of Lozada Examined
Maria fidgeted with her purse, her eyes darting around the room.  As attorney Paul seated himself in the chair, her stress was palpable. Her voice was quickened with panic. “I received this letter in the ....


A Self-Policing Profession: The Work of the 4th District Ethics Committee
“A lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.  The legal....


Starting Your Own Law Firm: Tips from Four with Experience
It has been over six years since the economic crisis truly came to a head in October 2008. Since that time, the annual average U.S. unemployment rate climbed to 9.6 percent in 20101 and fell to 7.0 percent in Novemb....


Legal Esoterica: Test Your Knowledge of the Federal Courts
All right, readers: It’s time for the Episodic, Esoteric, Twenty-Question Quiz—this time on the federal courts. You say that you rarely have occasion to litigate in federal courts?  Well then, t....


Preparing New Lawyers: Employment and Curricular Trends in Minnesota's Legal Market
Innovations in legal education have been and always will be intrinsically tied to the market realities of the legal profession specifically and our national economy generally. Employment trends for Minnesota law sch....


Building a Lawyer
What does it mean to have a successful legal career?  For new lawyers, there is no simple single answer to this question. Most likely success is envisioned in some kind of ascending arc of knowledge, responsibi....


Appreciating Your Vintage: Managing
Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of our generation you shall find.
-William Shakespeare
 
For a new lawyer, the learning curve is steep. Graduating from law school was the....


Marijuana in Minnesota: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
In 2013, Uruguay was the first country to take action to fully legalize medical and recreational marijuana use. This recent development is the result of a marijuana decriminalization movement that is at the forefron....


From Theory to Practice: Ethics and Professional Responsibility For the New Lawyer
As you step into the profession armed with your law degree and your certificate of admission, you are joining the ranks of an honored profession, bound by tradition, excellence, and commitment to fellow lawyers, the....


Legal Esoterica: Plessy v. Ferguson
Legal Esoterica: Plessy v. Ferguson
 
Gary A. Weissman, Contributing Author
 
Mr. Weissman practiced law in Hennepin County for 30 years. He now lives in Jackso....


Lawyers, Don't Be an April Fool about Windows XP
Here’s an item for your 2014 calendar: April 1—Confirm we have no computers using Windows XP in operation at home or work. Now April Fool’s Day may seem like a long time off a....


Coalition of Impartial Justice Hosts Fair Courts Forum, Feb. 20
The Coalition for Impartial Justice is a non-partisan coalition of over 40 member organizations, including chambers of commerce, labor unions, and the Minnesota State Bar Association. The Hennepin County Bar Associa....


Legal Esoterica: Filibusters in the U.S. Senate
On November 21, 2013, angry and frustrated, a red-faced Lamar Alexander, Republican Senator from Tennessee, blasted the action by Senate Democrats to end the filibuster rule.1 He stated to the TV cameras: “[T]....


State of the Judiciary 2014: Through the Eyes of the Public
Who is in the best position to describe the state of the judiciary? Because most articles on this topic are written by the chief judicial officer, either the chief judge when talking about a district, or the chief j....


Retired Judges Continue to Impact Minnesota Courts
Like many of Hennepin County’s retired judges, Senior Judge Gary Larson admits he is flunking at retirement. Larson spends nearly as much time on the bench now as he did before he retired. “Retired judge....


Training for New Judges
In the back hallway of the 16th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center, a framed chronology hangs on the wall, which displays the history of judges along that particular hallway. For nearly ten years, four r....


Law Clerks in the Fourth Judicial District
The term “clerk” applies to many different positions within the legal profession. A clerk may refer to a 1L student in his or her first legal job or to a long-time professional employed at the highest co....


Local Courts, Global Impact
“When we think America, we think jury trial.” A Supreme Court justice from Kyrgyzstan recently issued this opinion while visiting Hennepin County. The opinion was a bit of a surprise to the several membe....


Guardians ad Litem for Children in Juvenile and Family Courts
Having served as a judge for over 20 years, and now as the chair of Minnesota's guardian ad litem board, I have seen the work of guardians ad litem from both sides of the bench.
 
The State Gu....


The Right to Civil Counsel Project: Making Justice Accessible
 “Every person is entitled to a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive to his person, property or character, and to obtain justice freely and without purchase, comp....


An "Accident" Waiting to Happen: The Rise and Fall of the Business Risk Doctrine
The story is all too familiar. A couple moves into their newly-constructed dream home and they start noticing problems: cracks in the walls, unevenness in the floors, shifting. Or, perhaps they discover to their hor....


Coverage Issues in Mediating Construction Defect Claims
In the typical construction case, a property owner sues a contractor, subcontractor, or material supplier alleging damages caused by defective workmanship or materials. Virtually every participant in the constructio....


Minnesota's First-Party Bad Faith Statute: Where Are We After Five Years?
Five years ago, with the passage of the first-party bad faith statute, Minnesota entered into a new era. Minnesota Statutes §604.18, the statute that permits insureds to bring first-party bad faith claims and p....


Navigating the Muddy Waters of Minnesota's Collateral Source Law
The American folk singer Pete Seeger once said “any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.” Minnesota’s collateral source law is certainly no exception to....


Issues in Minnesota Regarding Insurance Coverage for Attorneys
As lawyers, we all recognize that “to err is human.” But many attorneys might be forgiven if they were to regard insurance as something other than divine. Yet as human beings, lawyers do make mistakes in....


Directors and Officers Insurance: Things to Know About D & O
Directors and officers (D&O) insurance protects directors and officers, and the companies they serve, against certain liabilities arising from claims by third parties. This article provides some background and i....


Confessions of an Insurance Subrogation Attorney
After 33 years of practicing in an esoteric area of the law, it is time to explain what my career and the subrogation industry is all about. In order to give the appropriate picture, I really need to start at the be....


The Affordable Care Act's Employer Mandate: Guide to Advising Large Employers
Are you overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending stream of health care reform regulations and guidance being issued? Are clients asking you what parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) apply to them and what exactly....


The Affordable Care Act's Impact on Divorced, or Never-Married, Parents in Minnesota
When a family experiences divorce, or never-married individuals become parents, among the many considerations to be addressed for their families are not only issues of child custody, parenting time, potential proper....


Advising Low-Income Clients on the Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is generally viewed as the most sweeping health reform effort in a generation. This massive piece of federal legislation contains numerous provisions addressing v....


Medical Malpractice: Elements, Tips, and Pitfalls
What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
 
A young child is brought by her concerned parents to a doctor because of a lump that has appeared. The parents are reassured by the docto....


The Day I Became A Pro Se Client: A Lawyer's Story
I am an attorney. Being an attorney gives me certain privileges within our legal system. Like most attorneys, I am comfortable reading and arguing the law and appearing in courtrooms and before judges—experien....


Legal Esoterica: Blue Laws
After a long and liquid Saturday night, Fred Frommage arose late Sunday morning from the couch in his friend’s Minneapolis apartment. “Tell you what, Ralph,” he said, stretching, while his friend w....


Damages in Fraud Cases, Not Just Out-Of-Pockets
Victims of fraud have traditionally been advised that their recovery is determined by the “out-of-pocket” measure. With increasing regularity, however, Minnesota courts have used an alternative measure i....


The BBB's Centennial "Scam Hall of Shame"
In celebrating one hundred years of service to the community, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) notes that, “We’ve seen more than our share of scams. In fact, the need for an organization to alert the pub....


Legal Esoterica: The F.B.I. and Einstein
“What do you think about this stupid sequestration fiasco?”1
 
It was a typical opener for Bert Drango, whose signature style was to forego small talk in order to plunge right into hea....


Estate Planning and Divorce: Preparing for the Inevitable While Coping with the Unpleasant
Addressing Estate Planning Issues with Clients
 
When a client inquires about dissolving a marriage, he or she needs to be educated about the importance of revising an existing es....


Developing Special Needs Estate Plans for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Parents never stop worrying about their children—ever. I recall a telephone call I received from an 89-year-old woman worried about what was going to happen to her son now that he was turning 65. He had lived ....


Legal Esoterica: Tell It to the Marines!
Every leatherneck1 and most kids who have seen war movies can sing the opening stanza of the Marine Hymn.2
 
 From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We....


Legally Intoxicated: The Impacts and Implications of Substance Abuse in the Practice of Law

“You do swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and that of the state of Minnesota, and will conduct yourself as an attorney and counselor at law in an upright and....


An Unwelcome Intruder: Cancer in the Workplace
“To the dumb question, why me? The cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: ‘Why not.’”
- Christopher Hitchens
 
 

Emerging Legal Issues in Pregnancy and Early Motherhood
Laws protecting pregnant women and new mothers have become an especially hot topic over the past year. Accommodating pregnant workers recently garnered the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E....


Equal Pay for Equal Work
The Equal Pay Act
 
On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act,1 codified as an amendment to Section 2....


Extricating Title VII from the Quagmire of McDonnell Douglas: The Plain Language Solution
For decades, state and federal courts have imposed upon employment discrimination plaintiffs the McDonnell Douglas “test,” an evidentiary framework originally intended to provide t....


The Jury's Still Out: Assessing the Constitutionality of the MHRA's Ban on Jury Trials
The American jury system is a fundamental hallmark of the U.S. judicial system that sets it apart from other systems around the world. The cornerstone of American trial jurisprudence, the jury system has been preser....


Legal Esoterica: Why 435?
“All right, class, what is the Constitutional provision that gives rise to a United States Senate of 100 members?”
 
“That’s easy,” Gladys Dilhopper blurted out. &ldq....


State of the Judiciary 2013: A Dynamic Bench in the Fourth Judicial District
This is my first opportunity to comment on the state of the judiciary in the Fourth Judicial District, an opportunity The Hennepin Lawyer graciously offers to the chief judge of the district e....


The Changing Nature of Staff and Technology in the Courts
In Star Trek’s version of the future, there is a ubiquitous component of present day human existence which is noticeably absent: paper. With the exception of books, which are antiquities, not a s....


e-Filing: What You Need to Know
As the entire world moves online, so are the courts. While electronic case management has been available for many years, the implementation and usage of eFile and eServe has become available, and much more prevalent....


Making Justice Accessible
In December of 2010, Stella, a mom with two young children, paid an auto mechanic $3,475 to fix her engine. Months later, when she still didn’t have her car back, she sued the mechanic in conciliation court. H....


Recent Revision to Local Rule 7.1
“Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law.” - Socrates
 
The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota....


When "Making It Legal" Leads to Legal Limbo
“Justice, which is the end of the law, is the ideal compromise between the activities of each and the activities of all in a crowded world….When the community is at one of its ideas of....


The Role of Bar Associations in Advocating for Public Policy Change

You heard it here first: It’s an election year. Among the issues facing Minnesota voters—tucked in with the perennial question of who will lead us—is whether Minnesota should add thi....


Citizens United and Minnesota Super PACs
On January 22, 2010, Steve Hildebrand, a former Obama campaign official, opined that the Citizens United decision was “one of the most defining moments in American political history.&rdq....


Minnesota Judicial Elections:Improving a Time-Tested Process
The recurrent debate in Minnesota about election of judges mirrors the national debate and reflects the ongoing ambivalence about whether election of judges is appropriate. This debate, ongoing since the founding of....


Point/Counterpoint: On the Ballot, Voter ID
Editor's Note: Two questions will appear on the ballot in November asking voters whether amendments should be made to the Minnesota Constitution.  The proposed amendments&mdash....


Stay-Away Orders: Procedural Differences Between OFPs, HROs, and DANCOs
Domestic violence creates complex issues that cross into different areas of legal practice. An individual accused of domestic violence may face an order prohibiting contact (and numerous other conditio....


Legal Esoterica: The Cy Pres Doctrine
Suppose you get a telephone call from your cousin in Duluth, telling you that great aunt Gertrude has died at 93 and that she  named you her personal representative and trustee in her will.  You haven&rsqu....


The Zero Moment of Truth and Your Practice
The established marketing concepts of the First Moment of Truth (when a client buys your services) and the Second Moment of Truth (when they are pleased or not with that decision) have been upstaged by the Zero Mome....


VLN Serves Client Needs, Thanks to You
When Jane’s apartment flooded during a rainstorm, her landlord told her to pay for the cleaning or he would withhold her security deposit. On top of that, maintenance personnel were entering her apartment with....


Criminal Expungement: Start to Finish
In Minnesota, almost any involvement with the criminal justice system generates a publicly-accessible criminal record. Even if an individual was exonerated, or charges were dropped, details about the incident remain....


Immigration Law and Policy Today: A View from a Lawyer in the Trenches
When I first began practicing immigration law nearly a quarter of a century ago, I never dreamed that immigration would become the potent, divisive, and political topic that it is today. Back then, I was mostly met ....


Where Immigration Law Intersects with Other Practice Areas: Tips for the Non-immigration Attorney
In 1972, John Lennon was almost deported from the United States because of a misdemeanor marijuana possession conviction four years earlier. His experience demonstrates how a common situation—a misdemeanor dru....


The Intersection of Family Law and Immigration: Caution Signs Abound
As America’s foreign-born population continues to grow rapidly, traditional areas of law, particularly family and criminal law, increasingly intersect with our country’s immigration laws. For example, th....


Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: A Helpful Option for Some Children in Difficult Circumstances
As a potential solution to the predicament of children born in other countries who have been abandoned, neglected, or abused, most people are aware of the possibility of international adoption.  International a....


The Bind with Immigration Bonds
During administrative removal proceedings, individuals may be subject to civil immigration detention.  These individuals include unauthorized immigrants, but also lawful permanent residents (“green card h....


The Defense Of Noncitizens: Tips for Meeting Padilla's Mandate
I. Introduction and History of Deportability as a Consequence of Criminal Conviction
 
Deportation has long been recognized as a harsh penalty, the equivalent of banishment. The S....


Getting Your Personal Injury Clients the Best Outcome
As debate continues in the Minnesota State Legislature over the no-fault system, we find ourselves in a highly charged and confrontational environment when it comes to personal injury clients.  We see that insu....


Gone in Six Drinks: An Overview of Minnesota Forfeiture Law in DWI Cases
It’s 3:00 a.m. You’ve been sleeping for approximately 2 hours and 12 minutes. Your phone rings. It’s Pat, your washed-up ex from college.  Apparently it was two-for-one Long Isla....


Entanglements in TiZA: Religion and Public Education
In its mission to defend the U.S. Constitution, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has historically taken on controversial and often polarizing cases. Three years ago, the ACLU of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) filed a ....


Constitutional Concerns in Defining Marriage in Minnesota
There is no doubt that the subject of whether marriage should be constitutionally defined has stirred the pot of a brewing public discourse. It has challenged many of us to evaluate not only our beliefs but our unde....


Legal Esoterica: Privacy R.I.P.
You may never have heard of Acxiom, Seisant, or ChoicePoint; but they know a lot about you. They are among the largest “data aggregation “companies on the planet, each of which has integrated data bases ....


ICE Holds: Costing Minnesotans Money and Much More
In the heyday of America’s War on Drugs, Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 (ADAA).  Part of that act dealt with suspected aliens who were arrested for controlled substance violations.  ....


Throwing Away the Key: Sentencing Juveniles to Life in Prison Without Parole
On October 31, 2011, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Mahadi Hassan Ali, age 17, to life without parole for his role in the Seward Market robbery and triple homicide that occurred on January 6, ....


The Death Penalty: Cruel? Unusual?
The name Troy Davis made the headlines this year; his was a cause taken up by thousands of people in the United States and around the world. But today, Troy Davis is dead. On September 21, 2011, the state of Georgia....


Don't Let Minnesota's Bill of Rights Become a Denial of Rights
In May of 2011, the Minnesota Legislature approved placing a state constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters in November 2012 which would ban same-sex marriage.1  The HCBA, RCBA, MSBA, and AB....


Running on Ice(land): Local Law Firm Tries a Team-building Trek
By The premise was a simple one. You needed to participate in a maximum of eight local 5Ks, dependent upon a system that assigned points based upon your time of completion and the distance of each event. You were gi....


So You Want to Be a State Court Judge? We Can Help
Most attorneys ponder the possibility of public service at some point in their careers. But how do they get on the bench? Attorneys who ultimately pursue a position as a judge might find that road an unfamiliar and ....


State of the Judiciary in Hennepin County
This is my fourth report regarding the State of the Judiciary in Hennepin County (Fourth Judicial District). Because my term as chief judge ends next June, this is also my final report. My first three ....


The Self Help Center: A Resource for Attorneys
If the walls of the Hennepin County Government Center–Self Help Center could talk, they would tell a story and paint a picture of a “typical day” that looks and sounds something like ....


Using the Private Bar to Meet Public Judicial Needs
In these difficult financial times, resources are stretched thin. From individuals to families, from businesses to government—everyone has to do more with less. Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial ....


Family Court Services: An Essential Tool to Our Courts
At first glance, the Hennepin County Family Court may appear to be a difficult and draining home for a family court judge. Hennepin County has higher than average levels of poverty and courtroom self-representation,....


A Voice in the Courtroom: Understanding the Role of Interpreters
Non-native English speakers have constitutional and statutory rights to the use of an interpreter in the courtroom. Understanding how this process works, and our responsibilities as attorneys, facilitates a more eff....


That Was Then, This Is Now: An Interview with Judge Kevin S. Burke
Judge Kevin S. Burke, district judge for the Fourth District, was appointed to the bench in July 1984. In his 27 years on the bench, Judge Burke has seen plenty of changes, and he has formed some ideas....


Legal Esoterica: Lawyers and Judges as Presidential Candidates

The principal political parties in this country have a proclivity for nominating lawyers as their presidential standard-bearers.1  Between 1796 and 2008, we have had 51 contested, partisan elec....


Build Your Hub to Sustain Success
Over 10 years ago, Steve Jobs, the recently departed visionary of Apple, gave one of his greatest presentations, and introduced what would become one of the most famous business strategies of all time. He called it ....


Petty Misdemeanors: Minor Charges With Major Consequences
Petty misdemeanors are the lowest level of charge in our justice system. Minnesota Statute 609.02 defines “Petty misdemeanor” as “a petty offense which is prohibited by statute, which does not cons....


The Hennepin Historian: Lawyers Stretching the Dollar

Professional journals of every description have been contemplating the economy and its impact on the leg....


Local Lawyers Visit Cuba
In October, I accompanied 31 HCBA and Minnesota State Bar Association colleagues (including HCBA Secretary Tom Nelson and Past President Sonia Miller-Van Oort) on a legal education trip to Cuba. In this article I’m going to share my overall personal impressions of Cuba.


The Boston Legal Effect: Managing Client Expectations Begins on Day One

Clients who are newcomers to the legal system may come to an attorney’s office with preconceptions based on movies and television shows. These fictional depictions of aggressive or clever court banter an....


LEEDing the Way Makes Sense for Law Firms

Improving productivity. Creating a healthy work environment. Designing a more efficient work space. These are all objectives on the minds of legal office management leaders, but a growing interest among  ....


Solo Practice in the 21st Century

Going Solo

The recent exponential increase in websites, books, expert consultants, and tweets devoted to starting a law firm is evidence of an undeniable trend: more lawyers are goi....


Innovation: A Place in Big Law

Big Law strives to serve Big Business.1  But is the legal industry innovating, adapting, and keeping pace with Big Business? And is that even necessary? This article compares and contrasts the ....


Mandatory E-filing in the Fourth Judicial District

Federal courts have required electronic filing for over ten years—since 2004 for U.S. District of Minnesota—so when will state and local courts jump on board? The Fourth Judicial District civil and....


Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Celebrates 35 Years

On Oct. 28, lawyers, judges, law students, families and friends will gather to celebrate 35 years of help and hope through Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), Minnesota’s Lawyer Assistance Program (see ....


Legal Esoterica: Legal Erotica

The first few times it happened, I corrected the questioner.  On various occasions, at a deposition, at a judges’ social, or at a bar association meeting, an attorney whom I had not met before would....


Your Practice’s Future: To Succeed at Succession, Strategize a Sale

The law is an aging profession.  Karen Mathis, when chair of the American Bar Association several years ago, focused her leadership year on developing a new awareness for the legal profession regarding th....


When I'm 64: Lawyers Want to Stay "Needed" in Their Retirement Years

Back in the late 1960s, when baby boomers cheerfully sang the lyrics to “When I’m 64” along with Paul McCartney and the Beatles, age 64 seemed impossibly far away.

Today, not so mu....


Three Views of Law Firm Succession Planning

It is a scenario many firms must face and Walling Berg & Debele staff were willing to talk about—what if one of our founding members or shareholders were to retire?  This article shares three pe....


The Sudden Rise (and Fall?) of False Patent Marking Claims

Members of the patent bar have been closely following a recent line of cases involving a change in the law over false patent marking.  The primary statutes that relate to patent marking are 35 U.S.C. sect....


Recognition and Enforcement in Minnesota of Judgments from Courts Outside the United States

As business and law become ever more globalized, you soon may find yourself asked to represent a client with a judgment from a foreign court who wants to enforce that judgment against assets located here in Mi....


Recent Application of Minnesota’s Credit Agreement Statute of Frauds

Inconsistent Application of Minnesota’s Credit Agreement Statute of Frauds in Recent Cases

Economic turmoil and a declining financial and real estate market over the past few ....


Potential Pitfalls of Putting Your Children on the Title to Your Real Estate

Many people want to transfer title to their homes or other real estate to their children, or add their children to the title in an effort to simplify their estate or avoid probate.  In some situations thi....


Preparing Minnesotans for Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature directed the Minnesota Board on Aging to establish the Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group.  This group was directed to study the status of Alzheimer’s disease....


Have It Both Ways: Life (and. . . ) Insurance Planning

As in every other financial services industry, the life insurance landscape has undergone significant ch....


Mediating and Addressing Family Conflict in Elder Estate Planning and Probate Disputes

An estate planning and probate practice often has a life cycle that corresponds with the age, health, an....


Practical Concerns in Elder Law Mediation

Elder law mediation has become a hot topic in recent years. There is a great deal of discussion about wh....


Vulnerable Adult Justice Project: Advocating for Solutions

The Vulnerable Adult Act, Minn. Stat. § 626.557, governs Minnesota’s system to combat abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of people over the age of 18 who are at risk of harm because of illne....


Legal Esoterica: Shaping Up the U.S. State Borders

Take a good look at the map of the United States

The Hennepin Historian

The Hennepin Historian steps outside his geographic boundaries and (perhaps) his expertise this month to....


Crafting Effective E-Mail Disclaimers

 



Computer Science 101

To set the stage for this issue’s discussion of e-discovery developments, we begin with this asses....


Cyber Hunt for Evidence: Tales from the Trenches

It was an easy electronically stored information (ESI) investigation on the surface.Proactive ESI Procedures at the Outset of Litigation

 

A....


E-Discovery Fire Prevention: Key Issues after the Outset of a Case

 



E-Discovery: Did Someone Say “Sanctions”?

 



The New Twombly/Iqbal Pleading Standard Extends Its Reach

 



Judicial Ride-Along Program: Another Look

I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the Hennepin County Judicial Ride-Along Program last....


Students Participate in Model Assembly Session

The Senate hearing is underway. Committee members listen intently, interrupting with questions about the....


State of the Judiciary: Much Patience Needed in 2011

 



The Hennepin County Criminal Justice System 2011 and Beyond

 

For all components of the Hennepin Count....


Law Firms Pilot E-Filing in Fourth District

 



Challenging Times at the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office

 

In preparation for my 2011 budget presen....


Probate/Mental Health Court: Rapidly Changing and Always Interesting

Probate/Mental Health Court is often seen as a relatively staid area of the court, with many thinking th....


Rosenbaum’s Rulings Reflect Rights, Responsibilities, & Reality

The first 25 years…are worth all the rest of the longest life of man (George Borrow, The Romany Rye, 1857).

In August, former U.S. District Court Judge James Rosenbaum ended his tenure on the....


The Federal Practice Committee: A Primer

To begin with the basics: the Federal Bar Association is not in any way related to the Federal Practice Committee of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.  Both entities are populated wit....


Loan Repayment Program is Helping Lawyers Help Others

The need for legal services for low-income and disadvantaged populations has increased dramatically with....


Chris Morris Files First E-Filing

History was made when HCBA Past President Chris Morris, with Bassford Remele, became the first lawyer to....


Fighting Deceptive Debt Relief

Legal services providers and their clients who may be struggling to pay their bills are thrilled to see new regulations go into effect that will help protect financially strapped families from deceptive debt r....


If A Bear Dies in the Woods...

If you find a dead bear in the woods—or a deer, or a moose for that matter—who does it belon....


Arbitration Alcatraz: Rent-A-Center v. Jackson Takes Severability to a Whole New Level

In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the third in its series of recent opinions making an arbitra....


Dodd-Frank Act Impacts Minnesota Companies and Investors

 



The Intersection of Rising College Costs and Changes in Family Law

As college students crowd campuses this fall, a significant challenge facing many students and their par....


A Review of Boundary Law

Much has changed, while some remains the same, with boundary resolution in 2010.Legal Esoterica: Barbecues and Tea Parties

“I need your advice, Nigel. The Olsons next door in Minne....


iPad: The New Legal Pad?

It happens once a year. Apple makes a product announcement, and immediately I’m signing up to be the first in line. I said to my wife, I’d really like to get one of those. She responded, “You....


Drake/Ryan Settlements Redefined?

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently decided a case1 in which it overruled a decision it issued 43 years....


Crime Doesn't Pay: The Criminal Act Exclusion

It is a common situation in the United States; a party is injured in a bar fight or similar type of assault.  The injured party then brings a lawsuit for injuries stemming from the intentional and crimina....


Minnesota’s First-Party Bad Faith Statute: Early Lessons Learned

On April 18, 2008, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed Senate File No. 2822 to enact Minn.Stat. § 604.18.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance Comes of Age

Employment practices liability or “EPL” insurance provides employers with coverage to defend against current or former employees’ employment lawsuits (including the cost of defense) and other....


Product Liability Risk Management

Headlines in the news virtually every day trumpet some new problem with a product that has caused accide....


Leading the Way with Your Local Bar

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”  I am reminded of the HCBA when I hear Emerson’s words because in many ways....


E-Filing Moves Ahead at District Court

There have been many new project developments since the last update on the Fourth Judicial District’s electronic filing (i.e., e-Filing) project (March 5, 2010). A working group has been established and ....


That's Not Plausible: Iqbal One Year Later

Early this year, Judge Shira Scheindlin, a widely respected federal judge from the Southern District of New York, sounded a serious alarm over the U.S. Supreme Court’s change in pleading standards. ....


Disparate Treatment v. Disparate Impact

Employers who seek to promote workplace diversity sometimes need to navigate a narrow course between the two forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VII:  disparate treatment and disparate impact.&nbs....


Legal Esoterica: The Scopes Trial

Legal Esoterica: Marbury v. Madison

Family Court: A Public-Private Partnership to Serve Families in Transition

This article presents three views of the paradigm shift that has transformed the Family Court of  Minnesota’s  Fourth  Judicial District during this past decade.  Long-time Family Cou....


Cooperative Practice: Another Tool for the Effective Lawyer's Practice

Dispute resolution processes, such as formal mediation, using Rule 114 qualified mediators, civil arbitration, collaborative law, and now cooperative ....


Effective Representation in High Net-Worth and High Conflict Cases

You’ve just hung up the phone with a new client.  It’s a great case with sophisticated financial issues, but you’v....


Spousal Maintenance Collections in a Suffering Economy

There lies a persistent challenge for lawyers seeking relief for some of the most deserving litigants: s....


Parent Alienation: Interventions That Worked

We have all heard of separated parents who struggle with each other over their children.Guarding Your Client's Rights: Tips for Dealing with the Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry

I often hear from practitioners that “the Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption Registry (MFAR) is so ....


Recent Developments In Mediation

Since Minnesota’s General Rule of Practice 114 took effect in 1994, Minnesota lawyers have been ....


Special Masters: ADR with Actual Power

Masters have been a part of our legal system long before “ADR” was coined.Arbitration Advice: Ten Tips for Success

Arbitration is used with increasing frequency for alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Guardianship and Conservatorship Mediation

In recent years, guardianship and conservatorship disputes have increased in number and legal ex....


Elegant Solutions: Lessons from the Farmer-Lender Mediations of the 1980s



Job Search: The Starting Point of Great Performance

Before you can deliver a great performance, you need to have an opportunity to perform. With at least 15 million American....


Online Marketing Primer for Lawyers

There are more than 200 million people in the

Minnesota’s Valentine’s Day Jurisprudence: Immune from Emotion?

As everyone knows, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 throughou....


State of the Judiciary

Last year my state of the judiciary comments focused on the court fundin....


Judicial Ride-Along Gives New Perspective on the Bench

Federal Court Rules Amended at Local and National Levels

Specific time limits contained i....


Conciliation Court as an Alternative to District Court

Setting budge....


The 2010 Criminal Calendaring Pilot in Hennepin County District Court

During 2010, Hennepin Co....


Leveling the Playing Field for Pro Se Litigants

A young man walked in to a free ....


The Lovable Litigator: Employment Litigation Truths from the Secret Inner Life of Judges and Juries

“See you in court!”



Step Away From The Trademark: Avoid “Genericide”

It was fairly remarkable, really. Bidding on the Proctor Police Department’s “La-Z-Boy DWI Chair” au....


Did You Say Divorce Camp?

The Minnesota Chapter of the

Speak Easy

I feel their eyes upon me as I’m walking down the h....


The Acrobatic Lawyer

When I went to law school, I learned of an attorney’s ethic....


The Brains of the Operation

Today…

Notes from a Judge

I met with the boy alone

Legal Esoterica - November 2009



Resume

There was the era when Mario

To the Distinguished Mr. Leeds

The rain slid delicately from the smooth silk of Henry's umbrella. The steady droplets follo....


A Poetic Primer on Family Law

Family law is an area which is multifaceted and ....


Taking the Pain Out of Foreign Language Documents

The attorney was frantic. With trial only days away, she had just rem....


Recent Developments in Age Discrimination Law

In the past few years, the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a serie....


Much ADAAA About Nothing: Recent Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act

Since the passage last year of the ADA Amendme....


Web 2.0 and the Workplace

MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and ....


Non-Compete Agreements: Can They Be Assigned Under Minnesota Law?

Despite frequent pronouncements by

Attorneys Wanted! What Attorneys Should Do in Times of Economic Crisis

As

Navigating the Career Development Process

The Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) at the University of Minnes....


The Resurgence of Labor Law Under the Obama Administration

Since the peak of interest in....


Help and Hope for Lawyers under Duress

It seems like yesterday that a lawyer walked into the Lawyers Concern....


Setting Up a Home Law Office: A Primer

Setting up a home office has never been easier. High-speed Internet i....


When A Lay-Off Becomes Personal

As the headlines proclaim continued job losses and the trickle-down effects ....


Legal Esoterica - June 2009

Stop any 10 lawyers on the street, and pose th....


Diagnosing Employment Law Issues in the Health Care Industry

In the face of rising unemployment, one secto....


Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) Coming to a Provider Near You

Medicare providers and suppliers nationwide h....


Cracks in the Foundation of Peer Review: Key Developments in Privileging and Credentialing

For years, health care entities such as hospitals, clinics, and healt....


Buyer Beware: Employee Benefit Claim Limitations

This article is not intended to be a comprehensive discussion on Empl....


Legal Esoterica - May 2009

Despite invariable admonitions, coachings, and rem....


Web-based Computing for Lawyers

What is “cloud computing?” There isn’t a techie phra....


Removing the Mystery from Supreme Court Review

The recent 25th anniversary of the Minnesota Court of Appeals provides an op....


Value and Trust: Trial Preparation from Day One

Introduction

Is 2009 the Year to Protest Property Taxes? A Commercial Property Owner’s Guide

With the doom and gloom in the economy and ....


Challenging Land-Use Decisions: Avoiding the Jurisdictional Minefield

Imagine you are approached by a potential client whose application....


Equity Strippers v. Shining Knights

Despite clever defendants who covered their paper trail well, a pa....


A Warning Label for Your Apartment Building: Disclosing Smoking Policies for Multi-Unit Buildings

Introduction

Road Improvements: When Are Special Assessments Legitimate?

What legal mechanisms enable cash-strapped ....


Legal Esoterica

This issue's Legal Esoterica contains answers to the January issue's law-related trivia puzzle.  

To view puzzle answers as they appear in the printed version of

Attrition, and What You Can Do About It

Historically, law firms simply accepted attrition as a normal cost of doing business.Blackberry vs. iPhone

Combine a cell phone with the ability to wire....


Minnesota’s 2008 Judicial Elections: Calm Before the Storm?

Court observers watched

Reflections on My (Brief) Time as Chief Justice

The State of the Judiciary in Hennepin County

No doubt there are many positive developme....


Appeals Court Family Law Mediation Project

At the Minnesota Court of Appeals, a one-year family law mediation....


Minnesota Courts and the Confrontation Clause: Testimonial Hearsay in Child Abuse Cases

We have all seen a 4-year old makeup artist, with lipstick, eye liner, and blush smeared across her ....


CHIPS and Termination of Parental Rights Cases

On June 9, 2008, the day before my eighth wedding anniversary, I w....


Budget Woes Threaten the Courts’ Civil Mandate


Legal Esoterica

This issue's Legal Esoterica contains a law-related trivia puzzle.  

To view the questions and puzzle as they appear in the printed version of The Hennepin Lawyer

Tips and Traps for Appellate Advocacy

In recent years, prob....


Spousal Maintenance in Retirement: The Baby Boom Comes of Age

Given the growing percentage of Baby Boom1

Estate Recovery of Medical Assistance Claims

Legal Esoterica

“Can you come home a little early ....


Judicial Elections Coming to a Polling Place Near You

In this year....


A Rough and Tumble World: Balancing Client Advocacy and Professionalism in Fractious Litigation

Ethics on Appeal: Taking the High Road to the High Court

Ap....


Representing Deaf and Hard of Hearing People: Legal Requirements and Practical Suggestions

A deaf woman has a discrimination claim against a hospital. She finds an ....


Pro Bono Lawyers: A View From the Bench



In Moving from Law Student to New Lawyer, Many Find Volunteer Work Pays Well

“In my ideal world, I would be a complete pro bono attorney,” says Kate V....


Legal Esoterica

Going, Going, Going… Green

Harassment Investigations 101

As an employment law attorney, I have helped clients decide whethe....


Charge! – Employment Discrimination Charges in Minnesota

On Feb. 27, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in

“Donning and Doffing” – Who Pays?

In recent years two old-fashioned words—“d....


Issues in Military Leave Law: A Benefits and Litigation Perspective

Enacted in 1994, the federal Uniformed Serv....


Family and Medical Leave Act Impacted by Military Service Rules

To date, more than 28,000 service members have been injured in

Indian Tribes’ Commercial Employment Now Subject to NLRB

If a federal agency reversed 30 years of ....


What’s Wrong with Whistleblowing?

Whistleblowers have long been considered an endangered species.

A Forest of Future Legal Professionals

An innovative internship program for

Technology Addiction: The Story of My Recovery

Why is it that drug addicts and computer aficionados are both call....


Litigation Perspectives on E-Discovery: Digital Defense Wins More Than Virtual Super Bowls

In many of the more relaxed civilizat....


Catching the Wave: Cost-Effective Electronic Discovery for Small and Midsize Companies

One of the authors has a dear friend whose passion is surfing.

Privacy Regulation by Proxy: How Customers Can Ensnare Their Vendors in Data Security Laws

Many businesses have taken comfort in the....


Open Source: New Alternatives for Small and Solo Practices

There was a time not so long ago when computer software to run a l....


Marketing Yourself by Writing for Publication

Most law firm marketing experts agree that by-lined articles are an extraordinarily effective w....


A Special Master in Family Court; Will I Get to Be a Special Mistress?

High-conflict family court proceedings con....


Courts Give New Leverage to Potential Licensees

The U.S. Supreme Court’s

Cool Technology for Hot Lawyers

Most lawyers, if not quite technophobes, ha....


Carbon Monoxide Dangers and the Duty to Warn

Carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, co....


None of Your Business: Marital Interests in Closely Held Companies

“Business is a combination of war and sport.” French author André ....


Representing Your Client in the Court of Public Opinion

The news media love a good story, and what....


Rock On! Lawyers Rock at Fifth Annual Benefit Concert

The Attractive Nuisance Tour (ANT) was once....


Justice at Stake: An Introduction to the Quie Commission Report

How we select our state court judges is th....


Maintaining the Integrity of the Judiciary: The Quie Commission’s Majority Report

In 2002, a 5-4 majority of the U.S. Suprem....


Appointive Judicial Retention: The Melendez Minority Report

In this issue other authors will present fine arguments in support....


Why Change What Works? An Argument for the Status Quo

As the old saying goes:Can the Legislature Be Trusted with Judicial Selection?

Throughout 2006 and the winter of 2007, a diver....


Supreme Court Petition Seeks CLE Credit for Pro Bono Work

A petition currently before the Minnesota S....


Ignition Interlock Pilot Program in Hennepin County

Minnesota is usually one of the first state....


Minnesota’s DWI Implied Consent Law: Is It Really Consent?

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restra....


The Cost of Justice

There are no necessary evils in gover....


Will This Lead to Another Enron?

The Supreme Court’s holding in Tellab....


Minnesota Has New Weapons in the Fight Against “Paper Terrorism

Imagine opening your mail to find an official looking document inf....


Hennepin County DWI Court: Addressing Alcoholism

Major changes are under way in

Competing Vulnerabilities Under the Human Services Background Studies Act

A client comes into your office and tells y....


“Something is Fundamentally Broken Within the Department of Justice”

Editor’s note:&nbs....


Civil Investigative Demands in Minnesota

Perhaps the most powerful civil investigati....


Legal Esoterica

How Good Is Your E-Mail Evidence?

Today, e-mail is as second nature to most attorneys and law off....


Metrodome’s 25th Anniversary Recalls Litigation Feats

Antenuptial Agreements Under Minnesota Statutory and Case Law

Antenuptial1 agreemen....


Minnesota’s New Child Support Law: An Overview

am what on....


Collaborative Practice: Non-Adversarial Issue Resolution

A Fable (sort of)

Collaborative Practice: A Good Idea, Taken Too Far?

As a family law attorney, I often “collaborate” with my client, the other attor....


Using Early Neutral Evaluations for Effective Representation

Hennepin County Family Court has und....


Incorporating Neutral Professionals:

In the past few years there has been an explosion in the use of outside profess....


Legal Esoterica

Eulala Shute inhaled deeply, letting the sea breeze fill her....


Reducing the Pain of Divorce

Editor’s note: 

Avoid The Golden Handcuffs

If top performers are like Superman, then ....


Avoiding a Career-Ending Mistake

In March 2006, Carla Martin was instantly transformed from an unknown government aviatio....


New Electronic Discovery Rules: For Your Client’s Benefit and Your Own

Amid much fanfare and nervousness in the legal community, the proposed amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 16, ....


Federal Antitrust Laws: Ferocious Bite or False Teeth?

The Sherman Act has been referred to as the “Magna Carta of free ....


Collaborative Law: Getting Clients out of the War Zone of Litigation into Peaceful Problem Solving

Collaborative law liberates the problem solver within.

Feast or Famine – Claims by Health Insurance and Other Collateral Sources

In personal injury cases, the injured person often benefits from ....


Easing into Pro Bono

Editor’s note:E-mail Resolutions for 2007

Even Homer Simpson might be appalled at what lawyers do with their e-mail.The State of the Judiciary in Hennepin County: Focus on the Future

As I enter my second term as chief judge of the Hennepin County Court, I antici....


Judicial Elections in Minnesota: Past, Present, and Future

Court Decisions Change Rules of Jud....


The Top 10 “Impact Players” Who Helped Guide My First Year on the Bench

In August 2005, Gov. Tim Pawle....


Smart Steps for Small Claims

It’s always interesting to attend social gatherings as an attorney.Open Source – Friend or Foe?

Software is often derived from a number of sources.New Legal Hotline Serves Hispanic Community

Francisco Bachiller (a pseudonym) feared that his t....


A Glimpse at In-house Counsel

The Esquire Group a recruit....


Mediation: An Opportunity for Certainty in Construction Litigation

“In construction litigation, the sun rises in the east only 80 percent of the tim....


Mold: Response to the Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine

The New Minnesota Notice and Opportunity to Repair Law

....


Finding a Niche: Certification as a Minority-Owned or Women-Owned Contractor

The construction industry is becoming increasingly competitive, placing more and ....


The Role of Expert Witnesses in Architectural Copyright Litigation

Reversing a defense verdict after a lengthy, closely watched trial (at least by t....


The Tax-Deferred Improvement Exchange Under Section 1031 of the IRS Code

....


Nine Tips for Chairing a Meeting

[Editor’s note: As we begin our new bar ....


Establishing the Rule of Law in Iraq

We were jammed like sardines into the airplane that was landing us at

A Practical Guide to USERRA Complaints, Investigations, and Lawsuits

American servicemen and servicewomen and their families make significant sacrifices in order to serve our coun....


Pay, Use of Leave, and Maintenance of Benefits During Military Leaves of Absence

With statistics showing we are in the midst of the largest military deployment since World War II, of more tha....


Understanding USERRA: An Overview for Employers

Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush thanked “employers wh....


JAG Service

The Office of Staff Judge Advocate of the Minnesota Army National Guard (known as “JAG”) provides many opportu....


Legal Esoterica

Even as the Civil War was ending, the effort to abolish slavery barely squeaked through the Congress of the

Reflections on Four Months as Chief Justice

Making Sausage: Use of Arbitral Subpoenas Directed to Non-Parties

Irving Kaufman, an American jurist, prophesized over 30 years ago: “The institution of ....


Externality and the Data Practices Act: Addressing Obstacles to Police Accountability

Even in large urban centers like

When Justice Mitchell Changed His Mind—Twice



The Immigration Quagmire: When to Call for Help

Within the past decade, the membersh....


Understanding Immigration Status

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

Principal Agencies Involved with Immigration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigrat....


How Immigration Issues Impact Family Law Matters

Key Issues When Dealing with Immigrants Charged with Crimes

Quotas, Backlogs, and Gray Hairs: Tactical Planning to Manage Employment-Based Immigration Cases

The pace of graying has been rapidly accelerated for many im....


PERM, or Else: Employers Face New Challenge in Labor Certification

Coming of the

Representing Asylum Seekers Through the Immigration Process

Introduction

Minnesota Inns of Court

In 1422 the first English Inn of Court was established in

Recent Employment Law Developments in the Eighth Circuit

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a plethora of important ru....


Employment Arbitration: Designing an Effective Alternative to Litigation

Employers and attorneys seeking to proactively identify and solve employment disputes shou....


Developing Daubert: Eliminating Expert Excesses

In her best-selling book, Becoming Justice Blackmun (Henry Holt & Company, 2005), Puli....


ERISA Plan Settlement in “Stock-Drop” Cases

Following her ignominious humiliation at the First Occasional Gathering of the Aficionados....


The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association: Striving to Lead and Serve

The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA) is a nonprofit organization comprised of approximately....


Fit to Print:Shaping Up Your Law Firm Newsletter

What would you think if, in tomorrow’s mai....


On the Front Lines in Mississippi: One Lawyer’s Story

....


Republican Party of Minnesota v. White: Background

Will the Eighth Circuit’s recent decision in

The Sky Is Not Falling

By the reaction of the

Lebedoff Leaves Lasting Legal Legacy

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Lebedoff left a long-lasting lega....


A Real Legal Shark: Nonagenarian Proves You’re Never Too Old to Help Others

“You have reached your friendly shark” is the greeting on the answerin....


Free Press vs. Fair Trials: Examining Publicity’s Role in Trial Outcomes

Pretrial publicity involves a collision of core....


Memoirs of a Sore Winner

Anonymous Source: At War Against the Media, A True Story
Local Lawyers Help Rebuild Lives After Katrina

We’ve seen much in the media about the devastation and suffering caused by the

Outside the Law: Common Ground

Marilyn Michales and Anne Honsa are sharing a laugh.&nb....


Clear Strategy Saves Time, Energy, and Money

Membership organizations often struggle to develop effective longer term strategies.Outside the Law: Arachibutyrophobia?

Arachibutyrophobia refers to the fear of peanut butter getting stuck to the roof....


Planning to Leave a Legacy

I fondly recall the story of a successful entrepreneur who sold her company and retired at age 43. She had served on the board of a not-for-prof....


Winning the Credibility Battle in Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury lawyers face an uphill battle nearly every....


They Protesteth Too Much, Methinks

Trespass is a crime in the state of

Getting Privacy Rights Right in Resource Bankshares Corp.

Beep!  You rush into the adjoining room to receive the facsimile, ....


Often Ignored, Often Regretted:

In a turn of events that is best described as ironic, many attorneys bringing malpractice cl....


Red Roses in a Minnesota Wheat Field: Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community

The Minnesota Orchestra, Planned Parenthood, La Oportunidad, the University of Minnesota Foundation, YouthLink....


Nuggets on Negotiation

Once a Chinese duke led a hunt on

Book Review: The Litigators

The Litigators


Bullying and Blame: When Should Schools Be Liable

The dramatic school shootings in Columbine, Little Rock, and locally at Rocori High and Red Lake have kept the issue of school safety at the forefront of the news in recent years. School....


Disabling Inequities:

Cost of high school dropout in a life of crime : $1.7 - $2.3 Million

Annual cost of juvenile courts and corrections: $10 - $15 Billion

Graduation to the adult penal....


Not Your Parents' Breakfast Club

After-school clubs continue to pose a number of legal issues and challenges to both school districts and those seeking to establish such clubs. Most recently, after-school clubs seeking ....


American Legal Education: A Classic Beginning

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (about 467 B.C. in ancient Greece, to be more precise) the forces of democracy overthrew the tyrants ruling Sicily. Prop....


Making Education Law Under Deadline

The Minnesota Legislature is in special session and the state government, in partial shutdown, has been given new life by a handshake agreement—but only until midnight, Thu....


The Technology Revolution Impacts Law School Teaching Methods

Revolution in the Practice of Law

The technology revolution, as we all know, has had an enormous impact on the practice of law today and has contributed t....


The Enforceability of Religious Agreements as Antenuptials in Minnesota

Imagine the following scenario. A lawyer takes on a Jewish client seeking a divorce. While going through the necessary divorce-related discovery documents, the lawyer encounters an artistic documen....


Commission Impossible? Bonus and Commission Claims Get Boost from Court Decisions

For Minnesota employees, 2004 was a banner year for legal claims to recover unpaid bonuses and commissions. Three decisions by Minnesota appell....


Sitting in Judgment: American Jury System Holds Verdict on Our Democracy

Recently, our televisions and newspapers have been flooded by high-profile trials. While coverage of these trials often is sensational, the trials themselves reveal the fundamental and profound stren....


Stop the World—I Want to Get Off! Practicing Law in the 21st Century

It spins ever faster, does it not? Much like the infamous merry-go-round in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train and with the same sense of mania and frenzy.

To basta....


A Win-Win-Win Pro Bono Model

The call came from Fredrikson & Byron’s closest transactional pro bono partner, Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), on a Friday morning two weeks before Christmas 2004. This is....


Requiem for the CERCLA Volunteer’s Contribution Rights? An Analysis of Cooper Industries v. Aviall Services

In 1986, Congress amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq., to add an express right of contribution i....


Battling Billboard Blight

The term "environmental protection" encompasses more than the spotted owl and dramatic natural vistas and places. It can also include preserving the natural beauty of urban loca....


Ten Ways to Spruce Up Your Legal Writing

We’ve all been told that the quality of our writing matters to the judge. But some attorneys learn that lesson the hard way. For instance, in February 2004, a federal magistrate....


My First Online CLEs

The Hennepin Lawyer, in partnership with Thomson West, asked Janna Severance if she would report back on her first experience of attending CLEs by Webcast. She provided this review:

I....


Background of CLE Requirements in Minnesota

Since July 2000, the Rules of the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) have allowed Minnesota attorneys to receive all 45 CLE credit from seminar....


Law Library Offers New Online Resources

The Hennepin County Law Library is pleased to announce its new online resources available for legal research. In January 2005, the Law Library discontinued its CD-ROM legal research network and mov....


A Primer on Legal Malpractice Law in Minnesota

There are landmines everywhere.

Lawyers, like most professionals, have seemingly countless opportunities to make mistakes. The press of deadlines, eve....


Investigation Ethics

On or about March 4, 1948, Cecil G. Germain, a private investigator employed by plaintiffs [members of the Committee on Practice of Law of the Ramsey County ....


Handle with Care: Making and Taking Referrals

It seems so simple, a lot simpler than trying to figure out the nuances of handling a plaintiff’s personal injury case. And besides....


Living Billable Lives

Oftentimes, we don’t like what is said about us as lawyers. We complain about our image, about the stories that are told about us, about what some pe....


An Attorney’s Soul: Present-Day Lessons from an Ancient Source


To be human is to be conflicted. Indeed, this is the cl....


There is Help and Hope : Minnesota Lawyer Assistance Program

There Is Help and Hope.

Simple but powerful, these words wallpaper Minnesota....


Legal Esoterica

Here are the answers to the 20 esoterica questions about U.S. Supreme Court justice that appeared in the Jan/Feb issue of The Hennepin Lawyer.

Congratulations to Dou....


Business Teamwork is Never an Accident

In the past three months, I’ve received more calls to help strengthen corporate teamwork than I have in the past three years. ....


Go Home Satisfied Every Day!

What will it take for you to go home satisfied every day? How many lawyers can honestly say they go home from work satisfied e....


Legal Esoterica

This Is a 20-Question Quiz About U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Past and Present

Each question recites one or more, well, es....


Returning to Private Practice: Former Justice James Gilbert

On Aug. 9, 2004, Associate Justice James Gilbert worked his last day as an Associate Justice at the Minnesota Supreme Court before starting his own law firm. Gilbert, like four other justices wh....


Sudden Subpoena Surge Suggests State "Shield" Statute

The recent surge of legal action against journalists seeking to protect confidential news sources has awakened many to the preservation of confidentiality by th....


Advocating for the Unpopular: Providing Defense in Civil Commitment Actions

It is every parent’s nightmare. Your daughter or son is missing and you fear the worst. After days, weeks, or years hope fades. If a body is found and identified ....


Public Relations: Survival Tactic for Every Firm

Your firm can have deep pockets, a famous partner, and a brand that’s 50-years-old, but if it isn’t tending to building relationships on an on-goi....


A Dialogue with Developers

The Greater Twin Cities area is in the midst of a period of great change and dynamic growth. New developments are flourishing from the heart of th....


Restricted Access

In our mobile, fast-paced society, access is often key to the value of commercial property. Potential buyers ask: How will my customers get to this propert....


Insured Closings

Real estate closings frequently involve the transfer and disbursement of ver....


Eminent Domain and the Minnesota Legislature—Past and Present

On Sept. 21 and 22, 2003, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published front page articles concerning the way the Minnesota ....


Legal Esoterica

"Precisely because this is an election year," Professor Sturdley began his Advanced Political Science class, "we are going to take the chapter on elections out of....


Real Estate Matters at Volunteer Lawyers Network

Imagine you are "Ibraheim," a 19-year-old born in Somalia—now living in the Twin Cities—barely making ends meet. Your parents are still in Somalia....


Retention, Preservation, and Discovery of Electronic Evidence

Retention, Preservation, and Discovery of Electronic EvidencJust a few short years ago electronic discovery—the collection, review, and production of e-mail and o....


Asserting Reliance on Counsel as a Defense to Willful Patent Infringement

When faced with a charge of patent infringement, there is no doubt that your client should get an opinion

Protections for Working Mothers Under Minnesota Law and Title VII

As the joke goes, it is impossible to be almost pregnant. You either are or you are not; there is no middle ground.



Expungement of Criminal Records

Introduction

If your client is arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, the....


What Color Is Your Collar--Part II:

On April 23, 2004, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new regulations in regard to the white-collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (....


Patent Opinions and Your Client's Duty of Care

In the 16th century, a livery stable owner, Thomas Hobson, invented a unique way of doing business. Each customer had the choice of the horse nea....


Legal Esoterica

Basketball season had ended; baseball was still in that pubescent stage known as spring training. So, the five male, fourth-year associates of WASP, HORNET ....


Anatomy of an Answer

Rule 7(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure proclaims, with Old Testament-like gravity: "There shall be a complaint and an answer." But what exa....


Pro Bono Legal Corp.

Attorney Pamela Waggoner arrived to help at a volunteer family law clinic on a recent day and faced what seemed to be a fairly daunting task. A Family Justice Center aid told her she had....


Liability Looms for Minnesota Employers

These are tough times to be a job-seeker or an employee.

Bad Faith Trumps Minnesota Nice When It Comes to Stock Options

Many employers add a provision to their incentive bonus plans, stock option plans, and even commission plans that states that an employee must be employed as of a certain d....


Considerations as Minnesota Revisits the Death Penalty

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004, Gov. Pawlenty announced his plan to reinstate the death penalty in the state of Minnesota through a constitutional amen....


A Footnote to Civil Litigators: A Matter of Timing

In March 2002, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided the case of State v. Hugger.1 The sole issue on appeal was the proper application of ....


Legal Expo 2004: Bringing the Legal System to Life

Six hundred teenagers, three judges, seventeen attorneys, one police dog, and a mix of others from the community: on February 19 this combination brought the le....


Legal Esoterica

By tacit agreement, the draining of the first glass of wine was the signal to begin their political discussion. Laura Liberal and Norman Neocon....


Real Estate Filings Enter the Electronic Age

On May 27, 2003, a transformational event occurred in the world of Minnesota real....


Insurance Coverage for Invasion of Privacy Claims

As other writers have detailed in this issue, in Lake v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 582 N.W.2d 231, 235 (Minn. 1998), the Minnesota Supreme Court joined the ma....


Where Has Privacy Gone… and Where’s It Going?

Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo, woo, woo).
-- Simon & Garfunkel, ....


Taking Privacy Seriously: A Theory of Personal Autonomy

Privacy is a significant yet amorphous legal concept. Significant in that many would contend that privacy is an essential quality or aspect of human relations, ne....


The Attractive Nuisance Tour

A wise man (actually, it was Jack Black’s character from the movie School of Rock) once said, "one great rock concert can change the worl....


The American Inns of Court: Active in Minnesota

No, the American Inns of Court is not an English style pub franchise at which members of the bench and bar meet to confer over drinks and darts. It is however, a valuable and g....


Bias in the Courts?

Justice Alan Page presented this speech to the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference, in July 2003, at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis.

A Court and a Judiciary That Is as Good as Its Promise

The father of modern judicial administration, Professor Roscoe Pound, identified timeless tensions we face, including widespread misunderstanding ....


Revisiting the Referees of Hennepin County District Court

The May/June 1995 issue of The Hennepin Lawyer featured a comprehensive article by Paul F. Shoemaker called "A Short Guide to Practice Before the ....


Minnesota Judges Meet Kosovo
 

From November 2002 to July 2003, Hennepin County Judges Marilyn Justman Kaman and Daniel Mabley joined Ramsey County Judge Edward Wilson an....


In the Soup: Punitive Davages in Minnesota After Campbell

The constitutionality of the Minnesota Punitive Damages Law is called into question af....


The Minnesota Citizens' Personal Protection Act of 2003 and Its Impact on Employer

The Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act of 2003, sometimes referred to as the "conceal-and-carry" law, took effect on May 28, 2003. The act significantly expanded an individual’s right to o....


What Color Is Your Collar? Proposed FLSA Regulations and White-Collar Exemptions

For 65 years, the Fair Labor Standards Act has provided protections for American workers. One of the basic protections provided by the FLSA is the guarantee of overtime pay for hours worked over 40....


The Death of Summary Judgment

....


U.S. Supreme Court Case Review

In what has been called a "momentous term," the U.S. Supreme Court decided four cases that have implications across the landscape of employment law. They are Clackamas Gastroenterology Associate....


The Real World Lessons of Faragher and Ellerth in Harassment Claims

Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued the now well-known Faragher and Ellerth

The Current State of Third-Party Custody in Minnesota

Minnesota has a long and rich history of appellate court decisions addressing the custodial placement of children with persons other than a biological parent. These third-party custodians frequentl....


Securities Law Primer for Non-Securities Lawyers

Securities laws are a lot like fast cars, fun to look at, but as likely to get you in trouble with the law as to give you a fun time. Just identifying whether something is a security can be very co....


Counseling the Unlicensed Counselor

Effective July 1, 2003, Minnesota has a licensed professional counselor statute (LPC),1 governing the licensure and conduct of professional counselors.

Divorce Primer for the Corporate Attorney

The Issue

Suppose, as a corporate attorney, your client contacts you to ask why his or her deposition is being taken for a business partner’s divorce pr....


Representing Children in Child Protection Matters

Under Minn. Stat. § 260C.163, subd. 5, the juvenile court must appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of every child alleged to be in need of protection or services. It is the du....


Minnesota Driver's License is NOT an Immigration Document
Minnesota is misguided in its efforts to restrict immigrant access to a driver’s license and identification documents. Its proposed restrictions simply undermine public safety.1 They do not advance federal immigra....


Tort Reform: Not a Cure for Malpractice
Professor Keeton observed that the word tort comes from tortus, Latin for twisted.1 Thus, a tort is twisted or wrongful conduct causing harm. The professor goes on to explain that the primary purpose of tort law i....


Tort Reform: Crisis Demands Reasoned Response
Whether tort reform is justified likely depends upon how you ask the question. Should we rely upon the good judgment of jurors, as we have for hundreds of years, to determine liability and damages unfettered by the....


Adoption and Birth Fathers: A Balancing of Interests

During the last several decades, few issues in the area of non-dissolution family law have caused as much discussion, interpretation, controversy, and review as the relationship between biological ....