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

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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There’s Sand in Them Thar Hills: Minnesota Races to Regulate Frac Sand Mining

“Not all that tempts your wand’ring eyes And heedless hearts, is lawful prize; Nor all that glisters, gold.”1   The silica or “frac” sand boom in Minnesota appeared to have all the makings of a modern gold rush: extensive sand supplies, rabid demand, national media coverage, speculators offering to pay multiple times market value for […]

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Injuries While at Work: Work-Related or No?

Courts are frequently called upon to decide when an employee’s injury is or is not work-related for purposes of compensation and both the statutes and case law offer guidance.  A recent decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court nullified a test developed by the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, but seems not to have changed the […]

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What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Computer Security for Lawyers

The burgeoning growth of electronic communications has offered lawyers convenience and efficiency previously unimagined. But the benefits have not come without costs, including heightened risks that data may be lost or confidentiality breached.  Knowing these risks and how to meet them is increasingly critical. Over the past ten years, the landscape of consumer technologies has changed […]

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The Dough Boy’s Devise: Severance Takes a Poke

New developments—both in the economy and the law—have brought about changes in severance packages given by employers to employees. Severance arrangements in which employers provide compensation to departing employees, along with other terms and conditions, have deep Minnesota roots. But rulings of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals1 have dealt setbacks to employees who have entered […]

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