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Are Title Company Kickbacks Harming Your Clients?

Cozy relationships between title companies and brokers create problems for consumers Recent enforcement actions by the Minnesota Department of Commerce have underscored both the prevalence of real estate title insurance kickbacks and the inadequacy of the available enforcement mechanisms. In this article, the author explores the problem and suggests that litigation over breach of fiduciary duty could […]

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Litigating Sports Concussions: What you need to know about the science and the law

Advances in medicine, combined with a flurry of headlines about professional sports litigation, have raised awareness of the problem of concussions. But although rapid advancements in medicine and the evolution of the law are making these claims easier to pursue, litigating such claims remains difficult. Attorneys asserting claims on behalf of concussed athletes need to […]

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Happy Birthday, Whistleblowers

As Minnesota law turns 30, here’s what you need to know This year marks the 30th anniversary of whistleblower law as a fixture of the Minnesota legal landscape. It’s an apt time to consider 30 aspects of the law that litigants and their lawyers face in dealing with whistleblowing matters. It’s been 30 years since […]

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Ethical Considerations in Working with Aging Clients

Issues can surface with new and longtime clients alike In the March 2017 issue of Bench & Bar, readers learned from Courtney Sebo’s article “Try to Remember: Estate Planning for Clients with Dementia” about how a client’s diminished capacity can confound estate planning. In addition to complicating the underlying legal services, a client’s diminished capacity […]

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Why Employees with Noncompetes Need Quicker Access to Courts

An employment law inequity that needs fixing Minnesota case law on noncompetes is very well developed, with a history going back at least 50 years. Our district court judges today do an outstanding job of balancing the harm to the employee with the need to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests. Almost all practitioners in […]

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2017 Legislative Session Review

11th-hour budget gains for legal system highlight MSBA’s year at the Capitol The 2017 Minnesota legislative session was, to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra, like déjà vu all over again. Gov. Mark Dayton, a DFLer, entered office in 2011 and spent his first year clashing over the state budget with a GOP-controlled House and […]

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Effective drafting for employment settlement agreements

Work to eliminate miscommunication up front, and don’t make the agreement more complex or convoluted than necessary What does an employee’s lawyer have in common with an employer’s lawyer? A mutual interest in a concise, effective settlement agreement that will not invite new disputes. In a litigation era where only a small percentage of civil cases proceed to trial […]

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MSBA President 2017-18: Sonia Miller-Van Oort

Engage, Collaborate, Innovate When you ask colleagues and family members to describe Sonia Miller-Van Oort, incoming president of the Minnesota State Bar Association, answers pour out almost before the question is finished: magnetic, visionary, caring, scary-smart, passionate, fun, ego-free, terrific dancer, tireless, grounded in her faith, able to do anything. Those are adults talking, of course, […]

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Grave Matters: The law and practice of disinterment, reinterment, and exhumation in Minnesota

“The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais There are a number of reasons that the dead sometimes have to be disinterred and reinterred—or exhumed—and both […]

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Your Personal Data – Or Is It? Doxxing and online information resellers pose threats to the legal community

Given the sensitive nature of the courtroom and of the emotions that may arise there, attorneys, judges, and others in the legal community are at particular risk of becoming victims of doxxing-related crime. Doxxing is a term used to describe the buying, selling, gathering, posting, or distributing of private information online. Importantly, doxxing is typically […]

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