• January 4, 2017

Wily Coyote Burnt HelpMinnesota lawyer, John F. Bonner, III, has had a very rough time in recent years. He has obviously been strapped for cash. This might have played a part in his bringing a lawsuit against longstanding clients of his now defunct law firm, Bonner & Borhart, Mark Lanterman and Computer Forensic Services, Inc. (“CFS”) for allegedly unpaid legal fees.

All Minnesota civil litigators should know by now that the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure were amended, effective July 1, 2013, to provide that if a case is not FILED (with a court) within one year of being COMMENCED (by service on the defendant), then the case is “deemed dismissed with prejudice against all parties unless the parties within that year sign a stipulation to extend the filing period.”

If you are a Minnesota civil litigator and you do not yet know this rule and the consequences for failing to follow it, please surrender your license on your way out and best of luck in your future (non-litigator) endeavors, whatever they may be.

Mr. Bonner waited 363 days between when he served his complaint and when he filed the complaint. That’s cutting it close! Worse still, he failed to pay the filing fee for the eleventh hour filing, so the court rejected the filing. That’s cutting it off!

Facepalm (Caïn by Henri Vidal, Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1896. )

Facepalm (Caïn by Henri Vidal, Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1896. )


According to CFS/Lanterman’s motion to dismiss Mr. Bonner’s complaint, Mr. Bonner refiled with payment of the appropriate fees 368 days after the service of the initial complaint.

CFS/Lanterman’s memorandum of law in support of its motion to dismiss is about 7 pages long but its legal argument is two pages. The balance of the legal brief is a gratuitous recitation of Mr. Bonner’s alleged poor representation of CFS but, really, the entire argument is two words: TOO LATE.

[Ed. note: CFS is a sponsor of Minnesota Litigator. Neither CFS nor Mr. Lanterman provided Minnesota Litigator any information for this post, about this post, or about the filing of the complaint.]

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