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

Immigration Facts Every Judge and Attorney Should Know

1. Pleading guilty to domestic assault “intent to cause fear” is no longer a “safe” plea for noncitizens. In the past, most criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors operated under the assumption that a conviction of domestic assault “intent to cause fear” in violation of Minn. Stat. §609.2242 subd. 1(1) was a “safe” plea for noncitizen defendants because […]

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Word for iPad

Lots of attorneys want to be able to work with Microsoft Word (*.doc or *.docx) files on an iPad, but they don’t know what is available to allow them to do so. There are a number of programs for the iPad that are essentially the equivalent of a mobile version of Microsoft Office. Blogger Randy […]

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Property both Torrens and Abstract

Occasionally a practitioner comes across a property which includes both Torrens and abstract titles, the result of combining two or more parcels for one use. A conveyance of such lots must be recorded both with the Registrar of Titles (Torrens) and with the County Recorder (abstract).  A recorded document on one side will not constitute […]

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Divorce & Tax Refunds

Frequently, divorcing spouses will need to file tax returns in a joint married status after the commencement of the case, but before entry of the decree.  Because refunds are typically divided equally, this can involve complicated arrangements over the logistics of doing so—depending on the level of mistrust—even to the point of requiring the issuance […]

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Defamation Privileges

Privileges abound in defamation, comprising absolute or conditional defenses to claims of communications that harm the reputation of the subject.  A pending decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court may expand or constrict one of them:  the privilege for statements made during a background investigation of a prospective police officer.  In Minke v. City of Minneapolis, […]

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Divorce & Minnesota Residency

It sometimes transpires that both parties reside in Minnesota and need recourse to the courts for divorce, but are unable to do so because neither party has been here long enough to satisfy the six-month residency requirement for Minnesota to assume jurisdiction under Minn. Stat. §518.07.  In these cases, one solution is to commence an […]

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Stale Charges

Your client plans to travel to another state where there is an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a traffic charge issued ten years ago.  Is prosecution barred by a statute of limitations?  First, a statute of limitations is a bar to filing a stale charge.  The filing of a criminal charge and arrest […]

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Goodbye Windows XP

Here’s an item for your 2014 calendar: April 1—Confirm we have no computers using Windows XP in operation at home or work. Now April Fool’s Day may seem like a long time off as you read this, but running Windows XP after Microsoft ceases Windows XP support means that you are behaving like a fool. […]

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Figure Out Your Daily Revenue Target

A daily revenue target can be a powerful motivator. If nothing else, it is a useful way to track your success over time. Here is how to figure out what you need to make every day: Write down your target take-home salary. Add your total expenses, including employees, partners’ target salaries, etc. Divide by 242. […]

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Gifts of Real Estate to Religious Corporations

Gifts of real estate to religious bodies are rare, but frequently the donee is misidentified.  Many churches are known by abbreviated versions of their full name, e.g., “St. Jude’s Catholic Church” is actually “The Church of Saint Jude of the Lake, Mahtomedi, Minnesota.” Many times the beneficiary is unaware of an intended gift, and has […]

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Have a bit of sage advice for a newcomer to your area of practice? Send us suggestions, cautions, and tales of woe. Your colleagues will be grateful.