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for: ‘August, 2014’

August 2014

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Boomtown: Risks and Rewards in the Peace Garden State

North Dakota’s oil boom has spawned sudden increases in population, business, and opportunity for roughnecks and lawyers alike.  But the challenges for practitioners and courts have grown apace. Unless you have been living under a rock (that is, any rock other than the massive shale formation known as “The Bakken”), you have likely heard by […]

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Minnesota’s Judiciary: Leadership in Service to Minnesotans

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to speak with you today.  During my time with you, I want to talk about customer service. Specifically, I want to talk about how we, in the Judicial Branch, are working to improve and enhance how we serve the public, and what you can do as our […]

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The Great War Recalled: Minnesota Law & World War I

This month’s centenary of the outbreak of the “War to end all Wars” evokes memories of issues and events that then shaped and in many cases continue to shape Minnesota jurisprudence.  Precedents involving free speech, selective service, insurance, wrongful death, contracts, and securities law continue to sound. This month, August, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary […]

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The Appearance of Professionalism

Women lawyers are perpetually under the sartorial microscope. Aren’t they competent to make their own judgments about their professional obligations—including what they wear to work? Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. —Mark Twain “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?’” “The mood will pass, […]

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Taking Care of Ourselves

Last month I wrote about a bar association spread too thin and the need to focus the MSBA to meet the challenges of a fast-changing legal profession.  The same could be said of our members, many of whom find themselves spread too thin in these challenging economic times.  And thanks to advances in technology—iPhones, iPads, […]

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Lawyers Board Annual Report

Attorneys, especially litigators, endeavor to arrange their schedules to allow time for the various steps in the process:  discovery/depositions, motion practice, trial prep and ultimately trial itself, perhaps followed by post-trial motions and appeal—and that’s just for one case.  Busy trial lawyers try their best to distribute their trial schedules in a way that allows […]

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Wrongful Death

Damages for wrongful death can be hard to obtain in Minnesota, where the law requires establishing “pecuniary loss.”  The difficulty was reflected in a recent ruling of the Minnesota Court of Appeals upholding a zero-damage jury verdict in Holtegaard v. Soo Line R.R. Co., 2014 WL 3396871 (Minn. App. 07/14/2014)(unpublished).  The jury refused to award […]

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Cross-Examination

Here are ten rules for cross-examination every attorney should know: Consider whether to cross-examine at all. Has the witness testified to anything that injures your case? Keep it short and simple. Use short, simple, leading questions with four to six words (if possible). Convoluted questions may lead the jury to conclude you are trying to […]

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