Monthly Archive
for: ‘November, 2013’

Judicial Discretion: Melding Messy Facts and Pristine Law

Discretion is fundamental to the judicial system and its exercise is an integral part of the role of the judge.  An essential tool in the kit of every lawyer and judge, it enables application of what are often blunt instruments to the subtle nuances of the individual case.   The Lord Chancellor sings these lines […]

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Military Justice Under Fire: Commanders’ “Convening Authority” Power

Whether commanders’ court-martial convening power is necessary to address combat exigencies or is an 18th century relic incompatible with contemporary understandings of justice is hotly debated, and a decision to remove or modify that authority will have  broad implications for practitioners of military justice.  In November 2012, a military panel convicted Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, […]

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Loss of Chance: New Medical Malpractice Risk in Minnesota

The Minnesota Supreme Court in May recognized “loss of chance” as an actionable injury under Minnesota tort law for the first time, embracing a doctrine variously adopted in 22 other states.  Time will tell how broadly this doctrine may be applied and what its costs and benefits may be.  On May 31, 2013, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a 3-2 […]

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Responsibility to Mentor

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” —Benjamin Franklin As I’ve done in the past, while Marty Cole is away I’ll turn this month’s focus to “responsibility to the profession” rather than “professional responsibility.”  Professional responsibility generally refers to the body of rules that govern our […]

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Facing the Big Questions

I am proud to be a member of the MSBA because of its willingness to take on some of the “big questions” facing not only our association, but also our profession and our society. Future of Legal Education Recently, we have been challenged to broach an important discussion about the future of legal education in Minnesota […]

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Wills: Ensuring the Spousal Share

Minnesota law does not require anyone to provide for their spouse in their will, but the law does offer safeguards to ensure a surviving spouse receives an equitable share.  The surviving spouse has a right of election, to take a percentage of the augmented estate, based on the length of the marriage.  The augmented estate […]

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Expediting Employee Immigration

In general, if a U.S. employer wants to sponsor a foreign national for U.S. permanent residence (green card status), the employer must go through the extremely cumbersome PERM labor certification process managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s regional office in Atlanta.  Throughout 2013 the processing times for PERM labor certification applications have gone from […]

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Rmployees who breach their obligations under a severance agreement may be liable for actual damages incurred by their former employers but not for refund of an amount paid as part of any severance agreement. In Hallmark Cards, Inc. v Murley, 703 F.3d 456 (8th Cir. 2013), an employee challenged a jury award of $860,000 for […]

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