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“Misconduct” in Employment Cases

Failing to show up at work can be fatal to an employee’s job stability and entitlement to unemployment compensation benefits, as well.  A pair of recent concurrent rulings of the Minnesota Court of Appeals reflect the obstacles that discharged employees face in obtaining these benefits.  In Luhman v. Red Wing Shoe Co., 2015 WL 134211 […]

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Legal Lore of the Civil War

The 150th anniversary of the war’s end offers a reminder of Minnesota’s role in the case that made the Great Conflict inevitable. The 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War is being celebrated in Minnesota and elsewhere over the coming month. The conflict between the states effectively concluded on April 9, 1865, with the surrender […]

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More than 30 states, including Minnesota, recognize the right of a defendant to raise as a defense that its underlying behavior was aimed at securing favorable action by a public body.  Designed to deter SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) suits, the Minnesota law that immunizes conduct directed to obtaining favorable government action (Minn. Stat. […]

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Performance Reviews

Public sector employees in Minnesota may now challenge their performance reviews.  A ruling this summer by the Minnesota Supreme Court, affirming a decision of the court of appeals, held that the accuracy and completeness of such job reviews in a proceeding before the Department of Administration could be challenged in Schwanke v. Minnesota Dept. of […]

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Unemployment Compensation

One obstacle that occasionally trips up applicants for unemployment compensation benefits is the obligation that they be “actively seeking suitable employment,” as required by Minn. Stat. §268.085, subd. 1(4).  The phrase “actively seeking,” defined as “being ready, willing, and able” to accept suitable employment, applies to all seekers of unemployment benefits, regardless of the reason […]

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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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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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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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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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Deconstructing the Dome: Legacy of Litigation Lingers

Conceived in the 1970s to replace the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minneapolis’s iconic Metrodome has graced the skyline since 1982 and left its mark on Minnesota’s legal landscape as well. Before the month is done, so will be the Metrodome. The venerable facility has been the scene of a Super Bowl (won by Washington), a […]

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