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for: ‘April, 2011’

April 2011

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Extracting Government Data

Government information is often at the heart of a dispute.  “Now there’s a new remedy when you are having trouble getting state or local government information.  A statute passed last year—Minn. Stat. §13.085—provides for expedited review of data practices disputes. Filing the initial complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings requires either a $1,000 filing […]

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Devise of Florida Homestead

Many Minnesota snowbirds change residency to Florida. However, the rules on who gets the Florida homestead on death are drastically different from Minnesota’s (and many other states’).  Florida Statute Section 732.401 provides that if the Florida homestead is not devised in accordance with Florida law and the Florida Constitution, and the decedent is survived by […]

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A Proud Tradition: Representing the “Unpopular Cause”

Law Day, celebrated on May 1st each year, is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law.  It underscores how law, our legal system, and yes—lawyers, have contributed to the freedoms that all Americans enjoy. In 1957, then-ABA President Charles Rhyne envisioned a special day to celebrate our legal system.  In 1958, […]

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Ethics Issues in ADR Practice

A new cable television series, “Fairly Legal,” reportedly depicts the world of mediation as remarkably glamorous and profitable.  By way of disclaimer, I’ve never seen an entire episode of this show, only promos and snippets while channel surfing, so my take may be skewed. But I have to wonder whether many (any?) lawyers engaged in […]

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Shifts in the Estate Tax Landscape: The 2010 Tax Relief Act

The Tax Relief Act of 2010 brought long overdue temporary relief to the tax landscape wrought by EGTRRA in 2001. While the landscape has undoubtedly shifted in the wake of this legislation, additional aftershocks are expected and will bear monitoring. “Certainty: In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” —Benjamin Franklin “Here today, […]

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Adversarial Advocacy: Too Much Adversity Can Hurt You

Handled well, the adversarial system distills the best that either side has to offer and offers the judge a clear and well-reasoned basis for decision. But pursuing adversity for its own sake clouds the issues, irritates the judge, and makes for bad decisions. The adversarial system is the core and the pride of our legal […]

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Top 10 Ways to Get Bad Press

With an increasingly competitive legal services market, most lawyers and law firms know the importance of getting positive media coverage. Yet many don’t maximize media opportunities when they do come along, or, worse yet, seem intent on sabotaging those opportunities. A wise man learns from his mistakes, but an even wiser man learns from the […]

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Book Review: Minnesota Legal Ethics, A Treatise

As an avid collector of legal ethics works, it’s with special pleasure that I now can add to my hard-copy library a reviewer’s copy of Bill Wernz’s “Minnesota Legal Ethics: A Treatise.”1 With its publication, Minnesota lawyers will enjoy perhaps the most important ethics publishing event in the history of the Minnesota bar. That doesn’t […]

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Email Etiquette

It is unrealistic, and often unfair, for attorneys (and their support staff) to assume that their email messages to other attorneys will be read within minutes, or even hours, of being sent.  The attorney may be away from the computer screen and in court, on vacation, at home sick, out on errands, or maybe engaged […]

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