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.

Happy Holidays & See You Next Year

Minnesota Litigator will be taking the balance of the year off and will come back in 2020 with a radical face-lift. As regular readers know, 2019 has been a bit of a rough ride for LEVENTHAL pllc, personally and professionally. It should stand as a reminder to all that each second, minute, hour, day, night, […]

Raise it or Lose it….

One of the most nauseating parts of the life of a trial lawyer, in this trial lawyer’s opinion, is the issue of waiver as applied to the work of the trial lawyer (as distinguished from waiver in other contexts like contractual waiver). To have a Court of Appeal hold that one’s argument may or may […]

A Dios, Briggs….

As the Minneapolis/St. Paul legal community already knows, if not the entire state and the national legal community, the Minnesota law firm of Briggs & Morgan is being devoured by another midwest law firm (without a previous presence in Minnesota): Taft Stettinius & Hollister. Of course, the law firms do not characterize the transaction as […]

A Recent Unfortunate (all too common) Case of Buyer’s Remorse…

We recently highlighted that unsophisticated litigants sometimes have unrealistic understandings of their potential financial recoveries (or potential financial risk, if they are defendants), i.e., their likely damages. This phenomenon, in turn, can be a recipe for disaster for plaintiffs’ lawyers. The lawyers might, for example, work for more than two years on a hard-fought contingent […]

A Brief Note About Legal Damages From a Sweet Catastrophe

Unsophisticated litigants sometimes imagine they can just pick a number from thin air and claim it as their damages. (See, e.g., here and here (Congressman Nunes’ complaints claiming over $1 billion in defamation damages in two separate lawsuits).) As most civil litigators know (putting aside Congressman Nunes’ lawyers, perhaps), in general, there is considerably more […]

Really? Filing for a TRO the Day Before Thanksgiving? C’mon…

Mr. David Modeen allegedly left his employer PetroChoice last April. He allegedly fibbed about the next stop in his professional life, claiming to take “an executive marketing position with a promotional products company.” Instead, PetroChoice alleges, Mr. Modeen went to a direct competitor of PetroChoice, Como Lube. Moreover, he is alleged to have misappropriated PetroChoice […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Regular Minnesota Litigator readers will have noticed a drop-off in the frequency of Minnesota Litigator posts since early October. On October 2 at about 5:20 p.m., a man driving a BMW 5 Series southbound on Colfax Ave. South crossed 28th Street without looking both ways. Riding my bike home from work that late afternoon, the […]

What part of “GET OUT” don’t you understand?

When a U.S. federal court throws out all federal claims with prejudice in a case and then dismisses the case (which includes additional claims under state law), can “the prevailing party” bring a motion for award of attorneys’ fees (based on a contract provision) in the federal court that just threw the case out? (“Prevailing […]

Minnesota Supreme Court To Review the “Severe or Pervasive” Requirement in Sexual Harassment Claims

Update (November 15, 2019): The case described below was argued before the Minnesota Supreme Court this week. In the underlying district court decision by retired Hennepin County District Court Judge Mel I. Dickstein, it seems clear that Judge Dickstein felt required to rule against the plaintiff by established law and strongly suggested the possibility that […]

Post-“Incident” Insurance Investigations & the Attorney Work Product Doctrine

Update (November 11, 2019): Linked here is the defendants’ response to the plaintiff’s efforts to obtain documents and testimony withheld from discovery on claims of attorney work product doctrine (discussed below). It is strong advocacy; given our experience of rather broad and deferential treatment of privilege claims, we predict these defenses will win the day. […]