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.

“It’s Hard to Say Good-bye When You Won’t Let me Leave.”

Update (January 22, 2020): Closing the loop on the post below, this week U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim (Chief Judge) affirmed Judge Bowbeer’s decision allowing Taft Stettinius & Hollister (fka Briggs & Morgan) to withdraw. Judge Tunheim made short work of it, largely relying the highly deferential standard owed to magistrate judge decisions […]

Minnesota Litigator Profile: Sheila Engelmeier

Sheila Engelmeier has a long and distinguished career in Minnesota employment law, both counseling and litigating, for both employers and employees. In the interview below, Sheila’s heart, her commitment, her candor, her hard-won expertise and experience, her humility, and her generosity all shine. Her dark outlook on the current climate of the practice of law, […]

MN Supreme Court Tackles a Construction Conundrum

Update (January 17, 2020): In a decision this week, the Minnesota Supreme Court has answered the issues discussed below. In sales of condominiums in a newly constructed building, it is now clear under Minnesota law that there is a single warranty date for a condominium building rather than different warranty dates for each unit. (See […]

Deja Vu, With a Twist

We recently posted about a “faulty machinery” case (sugar silo reclaimers) and, in that post, we referred to two earlier “faulty machinery” cases (egg-carton presses, pasta boxers). In a nutshell, we queried how these cases could be cost-justified because, it seems to us, whether or not a machine works as promised is not best (or […]

Who Pays for Broken Reclaimers and How Much?

Last month, we noted a lawsuit over technology in the sugar industry, “reclaimers” built inside sugar silos, to illustrate a basic point about the complexity of legal damages (Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (“SMBC”) v. Agri Systems (“ASI”). Unsophisticated litigants think “the sky’s the limit” and one can argue any amount of damages one feels […]

The Doctrine of Champerty Is Doomed in Minnesota (We Hope).

Back in June of 2017, a Minnesota Litigator headline declared, “Give me champerty or give me death” but, if readers went on to read the post, they saw that Minnesota Litigator was actually advocating the reverse: Death to Champerty. [Editor’s note to self: find and discipline the headline writer for that post’s headline.] Admittedly, “Death […]

A Thorough Analysis of The Application of the Attorney Work Product Doctrine, Post-Accident, Pre-Lawsuit

A few months ago, we had a post on the subject of post-accident insurance company investigations and when the attorney work-product doctrine is triggered to protect investigation materials from discovery in civil litigation. We predicted that the defendant’s privilege claims, by and large, would prevail. The underlying case relates to fumigation of a food-packaging facility […]

A Small But Important Fight for Minnesota’s Civilly Committed..

The right to free speech ‘includes not only the right to utter or to print, but the right to distribute, the right to receive, the right to read,’ and ‘freedom of inquiry and freedom of thought.’ Karsjens v. Jesson, 6 F. Supp. 3d 916, 938–39 (D. Minn. 2014) (quoting Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, […]

Front Pay vs. Lost Earning Capacity: One More Cautionary Tale for Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

Mr. Timothy Wodarck sued his former employer, Lakota, Inc. for wrongful termination. A jury agreed with Mr. Wodarck and awarded him $31,236.26 in past wage loss, $145,600 in future lost earning capacity, no compensatory damages, and no compensation for unlawful deduction from wages due or earned. On a post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter […]

Abel v. Abbott, et al.: Will the Minnesota Supreme Court Clarify the Continuing Violation Doctrine?

Last October, we posted about the case of Ms. Meagan Abel. Ms. Abel alleges that she suffered employment discrimination, education discrimination, public-accommodations discrimination, reprisal, and negligence at the hands of Dr. Jeffrey Gottlieb, PhD, a clinical psychologist and training director. Among others, Ms. Abel sued the hospital (Allina Health System b/b/a Abbott Northwestern Hospital and […]