Yearly Archive
for: ‘2010’

Social Media for Lawyers

Social media are transforming the way people communicate, creating new opportunities—and also risks—for those who venture into this freewheeling and ever-changing environment. Attuned to the import of precise and nuanced communications, lawyers especially need to be aware of the openings and the pitfalls of these new media. On-line social networking is changing the way people communicate, including lawyers. A 2009 […]

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Trade Secrets: Not Just for IP Lawyers Anymore

Changes in business culture and technology over the past 30 years have increased the risk that businesses will suffer theft of their trade secrets.  Litigation to enforce a trade secret claim can be both difficult and expensive; better to identify and protect such secrets in advance. Trade secrets, patents, protecting business information. In the age […]

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Managing Employment Expectations of Employee-Shareholders

Employee-shareholders of closely held corporations may reasonably expect continued employment but corporations need to manage their business, including the ability to make management changes. Careful drafting of employment and shareholder agreements to balance these expectations can mitigate difficulty if conflicts arise. A company’s vice-president takes bribes and kickbacks from customers. One of the managers gets […]

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Complainant Appeals

A unique and often misunderstood aspect of the lawyer discipline system is the right of a complainant to appeal a private disposition of their complaint.1 If a complaint is dismissed without investigation (usually referred to as summarily dismissed), dismissed after investigation, results in the issuance of an admonition, or results in a stipulation for private probation […]

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Sales Tax on Legal Services

A Very Bad Idea Since the sales tax was first introduced in Minnesota in the 1960s, Minnesota has rejected the extension of the sales tax to legal services as bad public policy on no less than three occasions. Minnesota’s historical position on this issue has been the right one, and is in keeping with 46 […]

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Exculpation Clauses

The difficulty of overcoming exculpation clauses by personal injury claimants was reinforced recently by a ruling in Resnick v. Life Time Fitness, Inc., 2010 WL 2265869 (Minn. App. 2010) (unpublished).  These clauses, often contained in boilerplate documentation signed by patrons at recreational or sporting facilities, usually bar claims for injuries arising out of conditions on […]

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Where There’s A Will

Some lawyers hang onto the original documents when they do a will, looking to get more work in future and enhance their prospects of being retained for a probate proceeding. This may still work for some of us, but the increased mobility of clients, lawyers, and others has made this goal very elusive. For myself, […]

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Lothenbach Plea

Minnesota does not allow a defendant to make a conditional guilty plea. A “Lothenbach Plea” preserves the defendant’s right to appeal a pretrial order and avoids an otherwise unnecessary jury trial. State v. Lothenbach, 296 N.W.2d 854 (Minn.1980); MRCP 26.01 subd 3 and 4. Warning: this procedure involves a defendant’s waiver of fundamental rights; failure […]

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October 2010

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Batson Challenges

Neither the state nor the defendant may make peremptory challenges that are racially motivated.  Purported racial discrimination in jury selection violates defendants’ and jurors’ right to equal protection of the laws.  Batson v. Kentucky,476 U.S. 79 (1986); Georgia v. McCollum, 505 U.S. 42 (1992). If the district court erroneously denies a defendant’s peremptory challenge, defendant is […]

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