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Fall 2014, Volume XVII, No. 1

Note from the Editors

By Joe Bourne and Jeff Mulder

Welcome to the Fall 2014 edition of Hearsay, a quarterly newsletter dedicated to publishing the work of Minnesota’s new lawyers.  This is the first issue of the 2014-2015 bar year, and we are pleased to be able to bring you articles several interesting topics and recent developments in the law.  If you are interested in submitting to a future edition of Hearsay, please contact Joe Bourne or Jeff Mulder.

Staying on Schedule: Understanding and Amending the Scheduling Order in Minnesota State Courts

By Jason Raether

From the time the initial summons and complaint are served until final judgment is entered, few documents will have as much impact on a case than the court’s scheduling order. This is particularly true in complex cases, which may involve a dozen or more parties, dueling expert opinions and a host of common law and statutory claims. Unfortunately, the court’s default scheduling order may not adequately meet the needs of all cases. Diligent counsel will thus seek amendment of the deadlines set by the court when those deadlines are adverse to the client’s interest. Doing so requires a thorough understanding of the rules governing the scheduling order, however, as well as the considerations underlying many of the deadlines. Attorneys equipped with this knowledge are more likely to obtain the sought amendments without wasting time or, worse, irritating the judge. Read more...

The Necessity for Independent Counsel in Derivative Litigation

By Brandon Schwartz

Derivative litigation is relatively rare, but growing, in Minnesota.1 On the other hand, the necessity that each party in litigation has independent counsel advocating on behalf of their respective rights is well-established. This article discusses the interplay between these two concepts and when it is necessary for independent counsel to be engaged on behalf of the entity2 in derivative litigation. To do so, however, it is necessary to understand what derivative litigation is, what derivative litigation entails, and the particular Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct which impact the decision to retain independent counsel on behalf of the entity. Read more...

Pro Bono Week (or Why You Should Get Involved in Pro Bono)

By Jessica Nault Neau

"With great power comes great responsibility."

I have always been a fan of superheroes. I remember coming home from school when I was younger and watching reruns of the old cartoons. As much as I loved Batman and the protégés of Professor X, I can honestly say I was never a huge fan of Spider-man. He wasn't as mysterious as Batman and he didn't have superpowers like the X-Men. Sticking to walls never seemed that impressive to me. But, the quote from Spiderman's Uncle Ben always stuck with me: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Read more...

A Beginner’s Guide to Unemployment Benefits Appeals

By Munazza Humayun

Unemployment benefits provide a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If a newly unemployed worker is initially denied benefits, a skilled attorney can help the worker effectively present her case on appeal. Read more...

Who Pays When a Tortfeasor is Insolvent? The Staab Case Returns to the Minnesota Supreme Court

By Janine W. Kimble

The Minnesota Supreme Court’s recent word on several liability is clear and far reaching: the reallocation provision in Minn. Stat. § 604.02, subd. 2, does not apply to parties who are only severally liable under Minn. Stat. § 604.02, subd. 1. Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud (Staab III), Nos. A12-1575, A12-1972, -- N.W.2d -- (Minn. Sept. 10, 2014). In other words, under Subdivision 2, a severally liable tortfeasor is responsible for paying only its share of the award.1 This decision will have important implications, especially for cases involving insolvent tortfeasors. Read more...
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