• September 16, 2019

There is a widespread consensus among civil litigators that plaintiffs generally prefer state court and defendants prefer federal court. However, in our experience, it is always prudent to question all “widespread consensuses,” by which we simply mean it is always good to think independently and critically rather than blindly accepting “common sense” or “consensus.”

Having said that, the attached dissolution by a federal judge of a state court judge’s preliminary injunction supports the common hypothesis.

Marco Technologies (“Marco”) v. Keith Midkiff and Dan Urzendowski is a garden-variety “brain raid” case of the kind that we have covered on Minnesota Litigator for years. (As we all know, one of the many problems with pesky human employees, in contrast to their automata colleagues, is that people have that self-interest thing going on. In their defense, human workers share this trait, interestingly enough, with human employers but we digress.)

Marco cleverly brought its lawsuit in state court, which had the benefit of enabling the St. Cloud based company to bring the law-suit closer to home (in Stearns County). Further, Marco was able to get “swift justice” (from its perspective) of a preliminary injunction against Mr. Midkiff — maybe too swift to be true justice.

The clever lawyers for Mr. Midkiff promptly removed the case to federal court and U.S. District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz (D. Minn.) promptly dissolved the preliminary injunction, succinctly describing the many ways that Marco’s preliminary injunction motion (and its grant) was improper.

Judge Schiltz also did so (properly) by reference to the federal rules rather than the state rules so he could do so without expressly “reversing” the state court judge’s decision (which, of course, was under the state rules). But Judge Schiltz’s analysis would also apply under the state rules.

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