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for: ‘March, 2011’

March 2011

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Are Your Clients Making You Crazy? How to Avoid Drama with Maddening Clients

Statistically, over 9 percent of American adults have a diagnosable personality disorder, so it’s likely that some clients you encounter are difficult, obnoxious, or just plain maddening. Given enough information about these disorders and how they may be presented by clients, lawyers can respond better and offer more effective representation. Here in Minnesota, the land […]

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Looking Back: A Century Without Executions

This spring marks the 100th anniversary of the abolition of capital punishment in Minnesota, a practice that has had a controversial and colorful history. The late comedian Pat Paulsen, who occasionally ran for president as a gag, was once asked whether he was in favor of capital punishment: “No,” the comic deadpanned, “Washington, D.C. has […]

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It’s Not Chiseled in Granite! — Or Is It?

How often have we heard or said the above quote?  Its meaning is clear. It connotes that the particular principle of which it is said may not always be controlling or applicable.  Logic therefore suggests that when something is, in fact, “chiseled in granite” it is a universally recognized rule and always and forever applicable. […]

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Fee Disputes

In my discussions with lawyers around the state during bar functions or continuing legal education presentations, I’ve learned that there are many myths, or at least misunderstandings, about what types of complaints the Office of the Director of Lawyers Professional Responsibility investigates or doesn’t investigate, and about what types of matter can result in discipline.  […]

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Personal Property Disputes

Dissolution trials at times bog down as obstreperous parties argue over the distribution of inexpensive or minor items of personal property. Every judge has their own procedure for dealing with disputes over “personal property.” However, for those who would prefer not to spend trial time taking testimony on awarding items such as used TVs, furniture, […]

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Courtroom Dos & Don’ts

These may seem basic, but they are based on real life, recent examples of behavior observed by the author: Do not walk into a courtroom with a swagger—this is not the rap category in the Grammys. Do not use inflammatory language during an argument—it will only be used against you in rebuttal. Do turn off your cellphone or smartphone. […]

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Citizenship & Probate

Estate planning and probate attorneys need to know whether their client, or the decedent, has foreign citizenship or was born in a foreign country.  Besides knowing what tax law applies, what probate law applies and whether to draft an international will, you need to be able to answer the citizenship question to give proper notice in […]

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