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The official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association



Recent Articles


Access to Justice Made Easy (Well, Easier)
Bridget Gernander
Aug 02, 2019
The newly revamped LawHelpMN can’t singlehandedly solve the justice gap—but it gives Minnesota lawyers a great way to refer people they couldn’t otherwise assist to the legal help they need.
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End Times, Legal Citations Edition
Adam T. Johnson
Aug 02, 2019
And what is this plague? It is the “cleaned up” parenthetical—a contemporary invention ex diabolus, an agent of confusion, a damned quixotic catastrophe noxiously heaped upon the American bar by the phantom exigencies claimed by Generation Infinite Scroll—to put all of it very, very mildly.
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Navigating the Benefits, Risks, and Limitations of Entity Depositions
Tom Tinkham and Ben D. Kappelman
Aug 02, 2019
Your opponent in this suit is a corporation. You don’t know the names of some of the corporate employees who may have the important facts and you can’t tell who made the critical decisions. Do you waste your limited number of depositions and your time by noticing depositions of all the likely corporate employees?
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MSBA President 2019-20 – Tom Nelson: A Life of Service
By Amy Lindgren
Jul 01, 2019
Tom Nelson, a partner at Stinson, LLP (née Leonard, Street and Deinard) and the incoming President of the Minnesota State Bar Association, isn’t shy about telling his age. He just doesn’t think it’s particularly relevant to his life choices.
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Lawyer, Redeemed: Proving moral change in reinstatement and bar admission cases
WILLIAM J. WERNZ
Jul 01, 2019
Stock fraud, welfare fraud, civil fraud, theft by swindle, perjury, armed robbery, and a decade or so of dishonest activities—these were the impediments to bar admission or reinstatement that clients have faced in my many years of representing them.
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The Case for Mandatory Legal Malpractice Insurance
SETH LEVENTHAL
Jul 01, 2019
Why don’t we require Minnesota lawyers to carry malpractice insurance? Minnesota, along with many states, does not require that its lawyers carry malpractice insurance; Minnesota just requires the lawyers to disclose whether they carry insurance or whether they are “going bare”—that is, practicing law with no professional liability insurance.
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U.S. Supreme Court Protects Trademark Licensees
George H. Singer and Aaron E. Brown
Jul 01, 2019
What is the consequence when a bankrupt exercises its statutory right to reject a contract in bankruptcy? This precise question has divided the courts since 1985, when the 4th Circuit held, in Lubrizol Enterprises, Inc. v. Richmond Metal Finishers, Inc., that a patent license agreement could be rejected by the debtor in bankruptcy...
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2019 Legislative Session Recap
Bryan Lake
Jul 01, 2019
The 2019 legislative session featured power shifts, conflict, and rival parties compromising to cut a deal. Numerous MSBA proposals were in play at the Capitol this year, and several passed despite the difficult operating environment.
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More Than a Rule of Thumb: Your smartphone and the 5th Amendment
ADAM T. JOHNSON 
May 28, 2019
According to the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone. These devices employ encryption technology when not in use, and require a user’s passcode or other biometric feature to unlock them. Encryption, though a blessing for domestic harmony, poses significant barriers to law enforcement investigations.
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Lessor Beware
Bryan Huntington
May 28, 2019
Courts are increasingly willing to hold commercial landlords liable for their tenants’ trademark infringement. Recent federal court decisions reflect a trend in favor of expanded liability for commercial landlords premised upon the unlawful conduct of their tenants. The theory of liability applied against landlords, known as “contributory” liability, derives from the federal trademark laws, 15 U.S.C. §1051, et seq. (the Lanham Act).
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Don’t Be The Next Lunds & Byerlys: Lessons learned from the Lunds shareholder litigation
Janel Dressen
May 28, 2019
On March 27, 2019, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied review in the Lunds litigation that spanned more than four years and resulted in the largest reported fair value buyout award to a minority shareholder in Minnesota under Minn. Stat. §302A.751 (Section 751). The history leading to the litigation, the litigation itself, and the courts’ decisions in the case offer many important lessons for all private company business owners, business lawyers, and business litigators.
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The Guns Aren’t Illegal. But Sometimes the Owners Are.
Aaron Edward Brown
May 28, 2019
Understanding Minnesota's private-transfer exception suggests the best path to reducing gun violence. Last October, Kanye West was asked during a meeting with President Trump and former NFL legend Jim Brown how to fix the gun violence problem in Chicago. Kanye responded by saying, “The problem is illegal guns. Illegal guns is the problem, not legal guns. We have the right to bear arms.”
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9 Ways to Fail as an Entrepreneur And how to counsel clients to avoid them
Inti Martínez-Alemán
Apr 03, 2019
Conventional wisdom says that 80 percent of businesses fail within two years. The Small Business Administration (SBA) disagrees. According to SBA statistics, from 2005 to 2017 nearly 80 percent of new establishments survived one year. “About half of all establishments survive five years or longer…. About one-third of establishments survive 10 years or longer.”
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Minnesota Parentage Law and Assisted Reproductive Technology: It’s time to change the law
Steven H. Snyder
Apr 03, 2019
The first artificial insemination of a woman with donor sperm occurred in 1884, and the practice was common enough by the 20th Century that specific provisions for parentage in such cases were incorporated into the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) of 1973, adopted in Minnesota in 1980 as the Minnesota Parentage Act (MPA).
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You can’t serve two masters. Unless you’re a Realtor.
DOUGLAS R. MILLER
Apr 03, 2019
The Minnesota Association of Realtors is lobbying for a new law that will allow brokers to conceal their dual agency status from consumers.
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A Tribal Counsel’s Guide to Corporate Compliance
Mandi Crane
Apr 03, 2019
In my experience as in-house legal counsel for a federally recognized Indian tribe, compliance work creates a healthy tension. That tension is not only necessary but good, because it fuels responsible innovation and fosters ethical corporate—for tribes, governmental—culture.
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The ABCs of TI: Understanding tortious interference with contract
Joseph Pull
Apr 03, 2019
The time-honored commercial litigation claim of tortious interference with contract (TI) gives legal teeth to the intuition that if you and I have a contract, an outsider shouldn’t be allowed to profit by persuading one of us to break it. But a perusal of Minnesota case law shows that TI is a claim frequently made and infrequently won.
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Lawyer well-being in Minnesota gets a boost from the Supreme Court
Joan Bibelhausen
Apr 03, 2019
National efforts to advance well-being in the legal profession were placed under a statewide spotlight at the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Call to Action for Lawyer Well-Being conference on February 28.
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No, You Can’t Call Him an @?%#! on Facebook
Tifanne Wolter
Mar 05, 2019
Counseling clients about social media and divorce – Divorce is one of the most stressful and painful experiences a person can undergo. And in the age of social media, where people often feel compelled to broadcast every little detail about their lives to the whole planet, the experience can become even more fraught.
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RBG and MN
Marshall H. Tank and Cathey E. Gorlin
Mar 05, 2019
As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg observes her silver anniversary on the U.S. Supreme Court, we look at some of her notable opinions in Minnesota cases.
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