Yearly Archive
for: ‘2011’

Duty-of-Loyalty Claims in Minnesota

Society has an interest in encouraging entrepreneurial employees to launch new businesses and also to ensure that those same employees perform their duties to their employers in good faith.  Apart from the strictures of contracts and trade secrets law, employees’ obligations include a duty of loyalty that attempts to balance the interests of employer and […]

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Training the New Judge

The learning curve for a new judge is steep and must be climbed quickly.  Fortunately, new judges in Hennepin County are offered a broad array of training experiences which include not only formal instruction but also mentoring, opportunities to observe, consultations with other judges, and practice conducting trials. The transition from lawyer to judge should […]

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OLPR Investigation Procedures

Anot infrequent underlying cause of lawyer complaints and misconduct is when the lawyer attempts to handle a matter in an area of law with which she is not familiar. The criminal defense lawyer who tries to represent a personal injury plaintiff; the real estate lawyer handling a relative’s contested marital dissolution; the corporate lawyer helping […]

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More Than Coincidence

“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of  what he takes out of it.” —Albert Einstein My friends find endless amusement in reminding me that at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2011, the moment I became president of this great association, the State of Minnesota closed its doors.  “Pure […]

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Foreclosure Redemption

If you have trouble explaining mortgage foreclosure redemption priority to clients, try this analogy—it’s like playing poker. Suppose the property is subject to liens held by A, B and C.  Those are the three players at the poker table.  Mortgage Company A foreclosed, so that becomes their opening bid: A bids $125,000.  Home Equity Loan […]

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Slips & Falls

Slip-and-fall cases are beguiling.  While they often seem simple, Minnesota law frowns on them, especially in harsh weather conditions.  Four recent rulings of the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment dismissals of these cases, both related and unrelated to the weather.  Aronson v. McDowall, 2010 WL 3000709 (Minn. App. 2010) (unpublished); Knake v. Hund, […]

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Wills; Interested Witnesses

Does your client want to use close relatives as witnesses to ensure privacy or as a matter of convenience? What the law allows, common sense and professional duty oppose.  Witnessing is more than an archaic formality. Witnesses attest that the testator is of “sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence,” Minn. Stat. §§524.2-504. […]

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Sexual Harassment

A claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act for sexual harassment, must relate to conduct that is “sexual” in nature, not simply gender-based.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently made that point, in an unpublished decision, upholding summary judgment by the Sherburne County District Court of a lawsuit brought by an employee who asserted that her […]

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Committee 36: Ensuring Our Future

Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking to the incoming first-year class at two of Minnesota’s fine law schools.  The energy of the first gathering of the students, prior to the first class, was palpable.  The moment brought me back to the day before my first day of law school and my mixed emotions […]

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36- & 48-Hour Rules

Whenever an adult suspect is taken into custody following a warrantless arrest, the suspect must be brought before a judge or judicial officer without unnecessary delay and in any event, not more than 36 hours after arrest. In misdemeanor cases, a defendant who is not brought before a judge within the 36-hour limit must be […]

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