Some years ago, we coined the term “whack-a-mole on steroids” to describe civil litigation. The central point is that trial is often the culmination of 1-2 years of work — sometimes far more, rarely much less. Not 1-2 years of full-time work and focus, after which, one can imagine, a good trial lawyer would retain […]

Update (August 19, 2019): This past week U.S. District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz (D. Minn.) weighed in on the somewhat confusing doctrine of good faith and fair dealing in Minnesota in the context of an insurance coverage dispute, a doctrine that we discussed in the original post below. As we discussed in the post […]

Non-lawyers and even lawyers who do not focus on contract disputes lay too much emphasis on whether or not there is a signed contract. Business litigators should know better. Even if a contract literally provides, “There is no contract unless there is a writing, setting out material terms, and signed by both parties,” courts (and […]

We’ve previously posted on bringing lawsuits anonymously and the sometimes difficult or delicate balance that courts have to strike. Some cases are easy though. If your name is already known and associated with the lawsuit or the facts underlying the lawsuit, courts will not allow you to proceed anonymously because “the benefit of proceeding under […]

Patty Plaintiff sues Donnie Defendant. Donnie feels wronged, feels the fault lies with Theodore Third Party. Is it proper for Donnie to bring a third-party complaint against Theodore, stating, in effect, “I am not the correct defendant; Theodore is,” or, alternately, to argue, “If I am liable to Patty, Theodore shares some of the blame”? […]

The lawsuit of Chargo v. Gurstel Law Firm, P.C. fka Gurstel Chargo P.A., a law firm break-up, settled earlier this year on the threshold of trial. The break-up appears to have been bitter and hard-fought. One might even go so far as to call it bloody. The settlement is non-public but, from the linked trial […]

Regular Minnesota Litigators know how enthusiastically we celebrate significant triumphs in Minnesota civil litigation but, in the same posts in which we praise the winners, we try to remember to warn against gloating. We highlight the ever-present risk of reversal (see here, for example). (And we have experienced the thrill of victory followed by the […]

Update (August 2, 2019): We predicted this one correctly. Update (May 3, 2019):  The Minnesota Court heard argument in the the case described below, Engstrom v. Whitebirch, this week. For those of you looking for a rule of thumb for predicting outcomes of appellate courts, watch the video of this oral argument. Watch the questioning […]

Recent readers of Minnesota Litigator will recognize the case name above, a case we have highlighted for lessons in how NOT to do civil litigation. Specifically, it seems to us that the case has gone very badly for Defendant Procura and the ways it has defended the case against it have not seemed particularly clever […]

We had the good fortune and misfortune of going to trial last week in a two-day jury trial. We won. The “good fortune” is purely selfish. As many U.S. civil litigators know, it is difficult to get trial experience since 95-99% of civil lawsuits settle or are resolved before trial. True, trial is stressful and […]