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.

Unjust Enrichment Under Minnesota Law

The unjust enrichment case of Mr. Paul Herlache against Ms. Amy Rucks is now pending before the Minnesota Supreme Court. (Here is the intermediate Minnesota Court of Appeals decision.) Briefly, Ms. Rucks is a successful executive, bringing home $350,000-$500,00/year plus benefits and stock options from a medical device company (at least as of the date […]

#MeToo, Free Speech, Defamation

[October 20, 2022]: 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 opposition to Ms. Freborg’s petition for Supreme Court review is here.) [Follow-up Post (December 22, 2022)]: […]

Punitive Damages Sought Against Patrick Spearman et al. (and Denied)

December 21, 2022 Update: Glen Taylor’s lawyers’ motion to amend to add a claim for punitive damages was denied. Reading Judge Patrick Diamond’s order makes the result seem obvious to us (though, as all can see below) we were reluctant to predict denial before the ruling): [A]pplying sections 549.191 and 549.20, the evidence presented by […]

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. […]