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.

Ponzi Unmasked, Next Steps…Quick Thoughts

A Ponzi scheme, a.k.a., a pyramid scheme, is insolvent almost by definition. One investor’s “principal” investment becomes an earlier investor’s “interest” and thus the Ponzi entity’s liabilities exceed its assets at any given time. When the recent alleged Petters and Madoff multi-billion dollar schemes collapsed and came to light, they left “investors” looking to recover […]

No Civil Penalties Against Comatose Check Bouncer

Metro Gold, Inc., vs. Garrett Coin, Minn. Ct. App. A07-2117 (12/10/08) In a case notable for its strange facts, an individual wrote a check for more than $200,000 to buy gold and very shortly thereafter went into a coma, dying a few weeks later. The check bounced. Minnesota law provides for civil penalties against the […]

E-Discovery: The Sideshow That Can Upstage the Main Attraction…

In re Zurn Products Litigation, MDL No. 08-1958 (ADM/RLE) (U.S. District Court, D. Minn.) Plaintiffs in this multidistrict litigation being handled in Minnesota claim that defendant’s brass plumbing fittings were defective. Defendant’s General Counsel, back in 2004, “counseled [Defendant] that the increased frequency of warranty claims…was creating an identifiable risk of litigation…” The first of […]

Dennie Hecker v. Chrysler Financial Services: Airbags Required for Credit Crunch?

Filed in U.S. District Court, D. Minn. today (and to be before Judge Doty and Mag. Judge Graham). From Plaintiff Dennie Hecker’s perspective, it would seem that Defendant Chrysler Financial Services arbitrarily and dramatically changed course in a long-standing commercial relationship, cutting off Hecker’s financial spigot. This, it would seem from Hecker’s complaint, coincided with […]

Minnesota’s Expert Affidavit Statute: A Reprieve

When 180 Days Does Not Equal 180 Days Kaplan v. Mayo Foundation et al., Civil No. 07-3630 (JRT/JJK) (D. Minn. 10/27/2008), JOHN R. TUNHEIM, United States District Judge. In recognition of the risk of forcing non-culpable defendants to defend against non-meritorious medical malpractice claims (and other professional malpractice, as well), the Minnesota legislature has long […]

Court Scrutiny of Petition for Award of Attorneys’ Fees

Bores v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, Civ. No. 05-2498 (RHK/JSM) (D. Minn. 10/27/2008)RICHARD H. KYLE, United States District Judge Franchisees brought a breach of contract action against Domino’s Pizza. It appears they lost on summary judgment, which Domino’s, though the victor, appealed and, at the Eighth Circuit, the Appeals Court held that Domino’s motion to dismiss […]

Practice Makes Perfect: Perfecting Your Security Interest Matters…. A LOT

Noble Systems Corp. v. Alorica Central, LLC (8th Cir.) (10/8/08) The Court of Appeals affirms dismissal claims of tortious interference, fraud, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, conversion, unjust enrichment, conspiracy, and replevin under Minnesota law. The problems in the case can be traced to Plaintiff’s failure to perfect a security interest. Having failed to do so, […]

Jackson et al. v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)

On September 10, Legal Aid attorney Amber Hawkins argued in favor of plaintiffs in this case before the Minnesota Supreme Court, the question having been certified by the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (Ericksen, J.). The issue is the propriety of the widespread MERS system where mortgagees (lenders) use MERS as a sort of […]

Petters Problems…

Well known Minnesota businessman, Tom Petters, appears to be at the center of an alleged massive and serious financial fraud. If the allegations in the government’s affidavit for a related search warrant hold up, Petters, lawyer, Jon Hopeman, at the Felhaber law firm, will have his hands full….

2/12/09: Save the Date!

On February 12, 2009, I will be presenting on Federal and State Lending Laws as part of the Lorman Education Series. We’ll surely touch on new Minnesota laws governing mortgage brokers and new regulations as to TILA disclosures. I also expect to give a survey of current on-going related litigation in Minnesota federal and state […]