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Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

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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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 […]

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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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High Hopes: The Future of Medical Marijuana in Minnesota

Minnesota’s legislature has adopted some of the strictest legislation in the country making medical marijuana available. But federal law and regulations and state professional responsibility rules pose continuing challenges for Minnesota lawyers, bankers, and businessmen who become involved in this new business. Medical marijuana has arrived in Minnesota, and long-suffering patients may finally find relief.  Last month, strong bipartisan majorities in the […]

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Invasion of Privacy: Updating Minnesota Remedies

The right to privacy has been recognized since at least 1890 but quantifying the damages caused by its breach continues to be challenging.  Minnesota has in place the legal framework for pursuit of privacy claims but its courts have yet to consider the full scope of possible relief available. The Restatement is instructive in this […]

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2014 Legislative Session Recap

Although the 2014 legislative session was one of the shortest in memory, legislators made good use of the time.  A recovering economy facilitated passage to a variety of bills to provide tax relief and Gov. Dayton’s “unsession” agenda led the way to removal of many outdated statutes from the books.  Meanwhile, MSBA’s legislative agenda enjoyed notable success […]

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