Yearly Archive
for: ‘2014’

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 App. 07/14/2014)(unpublished).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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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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July 2014

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MSBA President 2014-15: Richard Kyle

Going the Distance with Richard Kyle With respect to all past MSBA presidents: The Minnesota State Bar Association may be welcoming the most physically fit leader ever to take the post when the gavel passes to Richard Kyle this summer. And, as luck would have it, he’s an endurance athlete rather than a sprinter—a distinction that […]

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Corporate Liability Under the FCPA: Identifying Defense Opportunities

Aggressive federal enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act poses significant risks to Minnesota corporations doing business abroad. Effective compliance programs are critical to reduce liability exposure, but having good defense strategies in the back pocket may be equally important. Imagine that corrupt foreign tax officials refuse to process your company’s tax refunds unless you […]

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Rental Repairs in Minnesota: The Case for Repair and Deduct

When landlords do not respond in a timely fashion to habitability problems, many states allow tenants to deduct the reasonable costs of necessary repairs from their rent. Minnesota merely offers a choice between various inefficient options and going to court.  A tenant decided to take a tour of the James J. Hill House in St. Paul. During the tour, a […]

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An Association Spread Too Thin

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, it was producing a hodgepodge of computers.  There were a dozen different versions of the Macintosh and hundreds of peripherals available to the public.  Jobs was horrified.  He directed his team to drop almost everything they were doing and focus on only four great products.  His engineers […]

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Lawyers Dealing With Judges

The judicial election season is now officially upon us. It appears that, despite another two years of concern about the potential for contested judicial elections being heavily funded by out-of-state entities with agendas, the campaign scene will be relatively quiet against incumbents. A few open-seat elections will be interesting, but as best I can judge […]

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Depersonalize Advocacy

In litigation and in disputed transactional work, it is the clients, not the lawyers, who are adverse.  Some litigation and transactional documents and arguments, however, seem to suggest otherwise.  They are phrased in personal terms, as though the dispute was all about the lawyers. We all have received letters from lawyers improperly referring to us […]

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Defamation Damages

Those seeking or defending against remedies for defamation, consisting of harm to reputation, face a number of issues not encountered in other torts, as reflected in Green v. Kellen, 2014 WL 2178783 (Minn. App. 2014)(unpublished), which affirmed denial of general damages and remanded for determination of special damages. The remedy of injunctive relief generally is […]

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