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.

#MeToo, Free Speech, Defamation

Is a claim of sexual assault on Facebook “speech on a matter of public concern” requiring proof of actual malice in a defamation case? Minn. Supreme Court will take on the thorny issue. (The stunningly minimal response to Ms. Freborg’s petition for Supreme Court review is here.)

Punitive Damages Sought Against Patrick Spearman

You are forgiven for not remembering our post from nearly two years ago in the case of Patrick Spearman and many others versus Glen Taylor and many others related to Envoy, a company once run by Mr. Spearman (as CEO) and in which Minnesota billionaire, Mr. Taylor (owner of the Star Tribune and the Minnesota […]

When Are In-Laws Outlaws?

When Minnesotans divorce (and probably under many states’ laws if not all of them), the ex-spouse is stripped out of the other ex-spouse’s will by statute. Presumably we don’t need to explain why the legislature might want to enact that law but here we go: Wills often leave much or all of one’s estate to […]

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 […]