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.

Equitable Tolling: How Much Diligence is Due?

Abbotts v. Campbell, 8th Cir. Case No. 08-1349 (filed 12/29/08) Investors in an ultimately worthless venture brought claims admittedly well beyond the applicable six-year Minnesota statute of limitation, seeking equitable tolling under Minnesota law. A crucial fact in the case was that a particular document, defendants’ waiver of certain rules governing the sale of securities, […]

Happy 2009! Happy New Year!

As of January 1, 2009, I am no longer with Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, where I had been since 2000, and I go from being a Trial Group partner in Minnesota’s largest law firm to “the other D&W” as I like to call it, Daniels & Wymore PLLC, where I will be the fourth litigator […]

Pro Bono: A Call to Inaction?

On December 27, James Walsh, of the Star Tribune newspaper, reported that Chief Judge Michael Davis has sent out a call for more attorneys’ volunteer representation of pro se civil litigants in federal court. Walsh’s article, however, focuses on one outlandish pro se claim of a voodoo love spell cast on an errant husband, not […]

Having Cake, Eating it Too? Judges tend to take a dim view.

Bannister v. Bemis Company, Inc., 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (Case No. 08-1634) Argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals on 11/14/08 on appeal by appellant Bemis on rulings of cross-motions for summary judgment by the District Court (Kyle, J., D. Minn.), Bemis appears to be facing a strong headwind in its attempt to reverse […]

Going After the Ex-Employee’s Theft of Computer Files?

Condux International, Inc. v. Haugum, Civil File No. 08-4824 (D. Minn.) 12/15/2008 It is a fact of modern business that, from time to time, employees leave companies and, on their way out, take electronically stored information (electronic files). If the employee, at the time that he accesses and takes the files, is authorized to use […]

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 […]