Monthly Archive
for: ‘November, 2012’

Trial by Jury: Arduous Attempts to Appropriate and Avert

Recent rulings by the federal & state courts in Minnesota have generally expanded, and occasionally constricted, the constitutional right in criminal and civil cases. Trial by jury, a fundamental and nearly unique feature of the American judicial system, may seem like an anachronism.  Fewer than 10 percent of all criminal cases and no more than […]

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Selling Your Law Firm: What’s It Worth?

As baby-boomer solo practitioners and owners of small law firms approach retirement, many start to think about selling their practices. However, they do not want to explore that path without a rough idea of what their practice is worth. It sounds like a cliché, but a law practice is worth exactly what someone else will […]

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Oral Argument in the Appellate Court: A Primer

For many attorneys, appellate court arguments are infrequent. But lack of familiarity can be overcome by understanding what appellate judges look for at argument. Although the pattern may not be immediately apparent, effective oral argument is built on a series of fundamentals and mastering these can lead to your arguing successfully in the appellate court. […]

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Minnesota’s Revised Uniform Arbitration Act: Unintended Consequences for Minnesota Labor Relations

Minnesota’s RUAA has much to commend it as a tool for effective arbitration of increasingly complex civil disputes, but its very complexity and alignment with litigation principles threatens to undercut what has historically made labor arbitration effective. Arbitration as an alternative to litigation has a long and illustrious history in Minnesota. In 1955 Minnesota became […]

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Why MSBA? Better Ask, Why Not?

It is that time of year again. Soon, at least 1,500 of our fellow members will receive a notice informing them that their membership in the state bar association has been terminated. Why? Because they have not paid their membership dues, which leads me to ask in turn, Why? Given all of the benefits of […]

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Judicial Election Rules Upheld

On September 25, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case Wersal v. Sexton, et al.1  Why is this newsworthy for Minnesota lawyers, judges and the public?  Because what was at issue were portions of the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct that affect Minnesota’s judicial election and campaign process.  Although the recently completed […]

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Criminal Proceeding?

Three tips to help your client’s future End the case “in the client’s favor.” Seek dismissal; pretrial diversion and “de no” program (no plea of guilty), or continuance for dismissal (again no plea of guilty). While these appear on a records check, courts often grant petitions to expunge these cases. Avoid guilty pleas, discharges, or […]

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Misuse of Student Passwords

Law students have “free” access to Westlaw and Lexis while pursuing their law degrees so they can hone their online research skills before they become practicing attorneys. Both companies offer discounted access in hope that students will turn to them in the future for their legal research needs. Westlaw and Lexis require students to sign […]

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Referral Scams

Increasingly clever scammers are contacting Minnesota lawyers or real estate agents and asking for a referral so the victim lawyer thinks the scammer is being referred by a reputable law firm or real estate agency.  Pretending to be from Canada or England to gain credibility, they look for family law lawyers, probate lawyers, creditor-debtor lawyers, […]

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