Minnesota Litigator

News & Commentary

Do not consider the blog to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state.

A Brief Note on the Ambiguity of Unambiguity

On first impression, the Minnesota Court of Appeals might seem to have been on thin ice when, in a recent case in a dispute over a will, it affirmed a district court ruling that a will’s requirement that an option to close on a purchase of real estate “within 180 days of my death” was […]

It’s not even close. This conduct is unethical…

In the petition for disciplinary action against Minnesota lawyer, Joseph D. Roach, it is unfortunate, in our view, that such obviously unethical conduct still poses thorny and difficult issues for the Minnesota Supreme Court. It is unfortunate that the disciplining of unethical conduct is such a painstaking, slow, and uncertain process. This leads to cynicism […]

The ANSI/OSHA Compliant Ladder Fight Continues…

Update (2/4/22): As suggested in the long string of posts, below, we have never been particularly moved by the plaintiff’s case in this battle of ladder manufacturers. As described below, the fight’s about whether a certain ladder design is “ANSI compliant” and, if not, whether claims that it is violate the law. After a bench […]

An Important Minnesota Decision on Attorney-Client Privilege in the Corporate Context

The Minnesota Supreme Court, over a strong dissent (by Justice Anderson, joined by Chief Justice Gildea), decided recently, in a decision penned by Justice Anne K. McKeig, that Polaris, a prominent Minnesota manufacture of all-terrain vehicles, snow mobiles, and more could not withhold a report, in its entirety, from discovery in a lawsuit brought by […]

You Cannot Surrender What’s Not Yours to Give Up.

In the on-going saga of Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC) v. Agri Systems (previous posts, here and here), we observe the classic slightly silly trial lawyer scenario when (1) Party A advocates for Position A (no jury), (2) the adversary, Party B, fights for Position “Not-A” (trial by jury) (3) Party B reverses course, […]

A Broken Justice System and Another Update on the Multi-Year Multi-Million Dollar Slip’n’Slide Siege

Update (June 11, 2021): Have a look at the string of posts, below, and the linked decision of this week (on the subject of the disqualification of trial counsel when two of plaintiffs’ lawyers are likely witnesses at trial), and help us understand how there is not a serious problem with our civil litigation system. […]

The ANSI/OSHA Compliant Ladder Fight Continues…

Update (4/28/2021): Apparently this long-running case might finally go to trial. The two sides disputed whether the case would go to trial before a judge (U.S. District Court Judge Eric C. Tostrud (D. Minn.)) or a judge (U.S. District Court Judge Eric C. Tostrud (D. Minn.)) (plus an advisory jury). Judge Tostrud resolved that dispute […]

King’s Cove v. Lambert Commercial Construction: Insurance Coverage Law Nerdfest (UPDATE)

The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that “the insurance policy does not cover all of the claimed property damage and a Miller-Shugart settlement agreement that fails to allocate between covered and uncovered claims is not per se unreasonable and unenforceable.” Our prediction, below, was wrong for the most part. While the Minnesota Supreme Court both […]

Good news! Court records now available online!

A post by Karen Cole At last!   Minnesota courts are making many district court records available online.  You can now search by case number for many district court documents filed after July 1, 2015.   Public court documents will now be accessible online for most types of civil and criminal case cases.  Only court-generated documents will […]

Caveat Creditor: Entering a Judgment vs. Docketing a Judgment and Why it Matters….

As all civil litigators know and any experienced litigants, well over 90% of lawsuits settle before trial. That is, many end in compromise settlements, i.e., voluntary transfers of money, most often, precluding the need for any further court or legal action. Nevertheless, as thousands of cases resolve by negotiated settlements, many more thousands of lawsuits […]