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Landmarks in the law

Criminal Law

JUDICIAL LAW

◘ Threats of violence: Statute punishes only true threats, does not require specific intent to threaten, and does not violate the 1st Amendment. Appellant was charged with four counts of threats of violence after leaving an envelope at the Child Protection Services offices. The envelope contained a letter and four morgue toe tags, each containing the handwritten name of a different person associated with appellant’s child protection matter, as well as addresses for “place of death,” “TBD” for “date of death,” dates of birth, and insulting names. All four named individuals subsequently changed their daily routines and took safety precautions. The district court denied appellant’s 1st Amendment challenge to the threats of violence statute and the court of appeals affirmed. 

Minn. Stat. §609.713, subd. 1, makes it a crime to “threaten[], directly or indirectly, to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another… or in a reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.” Appellant challenges the italicized portion of the statute. “Reckless” in this context has not been previously defined. The Supreme Court concludes that a person acts recklessly under section 609.713, subd. 1, when he or she consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his or her words will cause terror in another and he or she acts in conscious disregard of that risk.
True threats are not protected under the 1st Amendment, so the Court considers whether section 609.713, subd. 1, prohibits only true threats or whether it reaches other forms of protected speech. Consistent with the majority of courts to have considered the issue, the Court finds that a specific intent to threaten the victim is not required for violent speech or expressive conduct to be a true threat. Thus, the Court finds that a reckless state of mind is sufficient for a defendant’s violent communication to be a true threat excluded from the protection of the 1st Amendment.
The Court further holds that section 609.713, subd. 1, punishes only reckless speech that is a true threat, given the various safeguards embedded in the statute and case law interpreting the statute. As such, the statute is not facially overbroad and does not violate the 1st Amendment. State v. Mrozinski, 971 N.W.2d 233 (Minn. 3/9/2022).

Samantha Foertsch
Bruno Law PLLC
samantha@brunolaw.com

Stephen Foertsch
Bruno Law PLLC

stephen@brunolaw.com

 


 


Employment & Labor Law 

JUDICIAL LAW 

Race discrimination; arbitration rejected. A pair of employees at an assisted living facility lost their claims of wrongful termination due to racial discrimination. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming summary judgment, held that the employer had performance reasons to terminate them, and it was not done as a pretext for discrimination. Walker v. First Care Management Group, 27 F.4th 600 (8th Cir. 03/01/2022). 

FLSA fee award; amount reduced for overbilling. A law firm’s request for attorney’s fees from the prevailing party in a successful overtime case under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was reduced by 20% for overbilling and unreasonable actions that extended the litigation. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the fee slice by the lower court on grounds the case was “routine” and the fee reduction did not constitute a charge of discrimination. Oden v. Shane Smith Enterprises, Inc., 2022 WL 619159 (8th Cir. 03/03/2022) (unpublished). 

Whistleblower claim; no causal connection. An employee’s whistleblower claim after she was terminated from the Department of Human Resources was not actionable because of a lack of causal connection between the whistleblowing and subsequent discharge. Upholding lower court rulings, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected a claim to depart from the three-pronged standard of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973) and held that the absence of sufficient evidence to show a causal nexus was dispositive. Hanson v. Dept of Natural Resources, 2022 WL 1021636 (Minn. 4/6/2022).

Race discrimination; dismissal reversed. A participant in a union apprenticeship program overcame dismissal through circumstantial evidence showing racial discrimination under Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and the federal law barring racial discrimination in contracts. While upholding dismissal of negligence per se and breach of contract claims, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed dismissal of the federal and state statutory dismissed claims. Doss v. St. Paul Area Elec. JATC Apprenticeship Program, 2022 WL 588168 (Minn. App. 02/28/2022) (unpublished).

Discrimination, whistleblower claims; too late to sue. Claims of violating the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Whistleblower Act were barred on grounds of timeliness. The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of claims based on a series of adverse employment actions allegedly taken by the Department of Revenue because they were beyond the one-year and six-year limitations periods. Larkin v. State Dept. of Revenue, 2022 WL 663351 (8th Cir. 03/07/2022) (unpublished). 

Unemployment compensation; trio of setbacks. Three more unemployment compensation applicants concurrently lost their appeals in what is becoming a pattern of appellate setbacks.
The failure to comply with the 20-day period to seek reconsideration of an adverse ruling by an unemployment law judge (ULJ) barred the proceeding. Turner v. McGrath, 2022 WL 663164 (8th Cir. 03/07/2022) (unpublished). 
An attempt to backdate benefits for an applicant who essentially filed more than four months after losing her job was denied. The appellate court affirmed because the law only allows backdating for a single week under Minn. Stat. §268.97. In re Peterson, 2022 WL 663170 (8th Cir. 03/07/2022) (unpublished). 
Frustrations in the workplace are insufficient to allow benefits for a resigning employee. The appeals court rejected a claim because the conditions were not so bad that an average, reasonable person would quit. Peterson v. St. Cloud Hospital, 2022 WL 663290 (8th Cir. 03/07/2022) (unpublished). 

Unemployment compensation; misconduct upheld. An employee who failed to complete his work duties and was discharged on performance grounds was denied unemployment benefits. The court of appeals upheld a determination by an unemployment law judge (ULJ) of disqualifying “misconduct.” Richmond v. Vanden Hoak Cleaning, 2022 WL 588759 (Minn. App. 02/28/2022) (unpublished).

Marshall H. Tanick
Meyer, Njus & Tanick
mtanick@meyernjus.com

Environmental Law

JUDICIAL LAW 

U.S. Supreme Court reinstates Trump-era CWA Section 401 rule. In April the United State Supreme Court issued a decision staying a lower court’s vacatur of the Trump-era EPA rule regarding CWA section 401 certifications. Section 401 prohibits a federal agency from issuing a permit or license to conduct activity that may result in any discharge into waters of the United States unless the state in which the proposed discharge would occur certifies that the discharge complies with applicable state water quality requirements. 33 U.S.C. §1341. Furthermore, Section 401(d) allows the state to impose conditions upon the certification of the project if it determines the project will have a negative impact on the water quality within the state. 33 U.S.C. §1341(d). 
Over 50 years ago, EPA adopted regulations addressing the standards and processes for states issuing Section 401 certifications under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. In response to complaints that some state agencies exceeded the scope of their statutory authority when issuing 401 certifications—e.g., by allegedly imposing conditions on aspects of a proposed project other than the “discharge” that is the subject of the federal permit—the EPA, on 6/1/2020, issued a new rule regarding 401 certifications, which generally narrowed the scope of states’ 401 certification authority.  
Various states and other plaintiffs challenged the new rule, and in October 2021, a judge for the federal district court in Northern California issued an order—prior to hearing arguments on the merits of the new rule—that vacated the rule, pending the outcome of the litigation. The plaintiffs appealed the district court’s vacatur of the new 401 rule, the vacatur was affirmed by the 9th Circuit, and the Supreme Court granted plaintiffs’ petition for certiorari. 
On April 6, a 5-to-4 majority of the Court issued an order staying the district court’s vacatur of the rule—without a written opinion—which had the immediate effect of bringing the Trump rule back into effect. The district court will now proceed to hear the merits of the plaintiffs’ challenge to the rule. Justice Elena Kagan wrote a dissent, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Breyer and Sotomayor, arguing that the plaintiffs had not shown the requisite “exceptional need for immediate relief.” Among other things, Justice Kagan argued the petitioners had failed to show that “proper implementation of the reinstated regulatory regime—which existed for 50 years before the vacated rule came into effect—is incapable of countering whatever state overreach may (but may not) occur…” 
Notably, EPA is poised to issue a new proposed CWA 401 rule, which may be finalized before litigation on the Trump-era rule is complete. Louisiana v. Am. Rivers, No. 21A539, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 1902 (4/6/2022).

5th Circuit stays an injunction that banned the use of Biden administration’s social cost of carbon metric in agency decision-making. In March the 5th Circuit ruled in favor of the Biden administration’s use of the social cost of carbon (SCC) metric by staying a lower court’s preliminary injunction banning its use. The court stayed the injunction pending appeal in the case. The case involves a challenge by a coalition of Republican-led states arguing that use of the SCC metric would lead to increased regulatory burdens. The circuit court found that the stay of the injunction was warranted for three reasons: 1) The administration was likely to win the appeal on the merits because plaintiffs lacked standing; 2) the agencies utilizing the SCC metric would be irreparably harmed by the injunction; and 3) the plaintiffs would suffer minimal injury.
The SCC metric is utilized when agencies consider the balance of costs and benefits for developing regulations, as well as in other agency decision-making. The SCC is a quantification of the dollar amount per ton of greenhouse gas that results from the impact on various factors such as human health, agriculture, and sea levels. The SCC metric was issued under the Obama administration in 2010. After its use was abandoned by the Trump administration, it was reissued by President Biden, with interim estimates being published in 2021.
The 5th Circuit found that the plaintiffs lacked standing because they were not challenging an actual rule or decision, just the broad use of the SCC metric. This allegation of injury did not meet Article III standing requirements because it was merely hypothetical. The court found that the injunction would cause irreparable harm because it would stop agencies from considering the social cost of carbon “in the manner the current administration has prioritized within the bounds of applicable law.” Finally, the plaintiffs would suffer minimal injury unless and until there was an actual regulatory burden caused by a rule or decision based on the SCC metric, which the plaintiffs would then be able to challenge.
The 5th Circuit decision could have an impact on a challenge to the SCC metric that will be in front of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. A similar group of states has appealed to the 8th Circuit a lower court’s decision to dismiss the plaintiffs’ case challenging the use of the SCC metric. The lower court dismissed the case on the basis that the plaintiffs did not have standing and their claims were not ripe. Louisiana v. Biden, No. 22-30087 (5th Cir. 3/16/2022).


ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

EPA restores California vehicle emissions standards waiver. In March the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice of decision rescinding its 2019 withdrawal of waiver of preemption for California’s Advanced Clean Car Program, which was previously granted in 2013. 
Under §209 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), Congress grants EPA the authority to waive the federal preemption of any state from adopting or attempting to enforce any auto emissions standards for new motor vehicles, if the state had adopted standards prior to 1966. 42 U.S.C. §7543(b)(1). In reality, this exemption only pertains to California, as it was the lone state to have adopted emissions standards at the time. Under §177, Congress grants any state the power to enforce any standards to control auto emissions, so long as the standards are identical to the California standards for which California has been granted a waiver. 42 U.S.C. §7507.
Since its enactment, EPA has granted California more than 100 vehicle emissions standards waivers over the past 50 years, and 16 other states have adopted California’s low-emission vehicle (LEV) criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission regulations and zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations.
In 2013, California was granted a waiver for its Advanced Clean Car program, which set new standards for the LEV program and GHG emissions, as well as a ZEV sales mandate. But in 2019, under direction from the previous administration, EPA partially withdrew its 2013 waiver while promulgating the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule (SAFE-1), establishing national vehicle emissions standards. Additionally, through the SAFE-1 rule, EPA established an interpretation of CAA §177 that disallowed other states from adopting California’s GHG standards.
Under the current notice of decision, EPA rescinds its previous 2019 actions in the SAFE-1 rule that partially withdrew the California Advanced Clean Car program waiver. In rescinding its 2019 withdrawal, EPA stated that the waiver withdrawal was improper and based on a flawed interpretation of CAA §209, that the administration misapplied the facts and inappropriately withdrew the waiver, and that EPA inappropriately provided an interpretive view of CAA §177.
As a result, EPA’s 2013 waiver for California’s Advanced Clean Car program is fully reestablished and any state may adopt California’s GHG standard pursuant to CAA §177. California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Advanced Clean Car Program; Reconsideration of a Previous Withdrawal of a Waiver of Preemption; Notice of Decision, EPA, 87 Fed. Reg. 14332 (3/14/2022).

Jeremy P. Greenhouse 
The Environmental Law Group
jgreenhouse@envirolawgroup.com

Jake Beckstrom 
Vermont Law School, 2015
jbmnusa@gmail.com 

Vanessa Johnson 
The Environmental Law Group, Ltd.
vjohnson@envirolawgroup.com 

Erik Ordahl 
Barna, Guzy & Steffen

eordahl@bgs.com

 



 

Federal Practice 

JUDICIAL LAW 

9 U.S.C. §§9 and 10; arbitration; no “look-through” jurisdiction. Distinguishing its decision in Vaden v. Discover Bank (556 U.S. 49 (2009)), the Supreme Court held that the “look-through” jurisdiction rule for arbitration does not apply to actions to vacate or confirm an arbitration award under 9 U.S.C. §§9 and 10, meaning that such actions require an “independent jurisdictional basis.” Badgerow v. Walters, ___ S. Ct. ___ (2022). 

Standing; “censure;” no materially adverse action. The Supreme Court held that an elected official lacked standing to pursue a 1st Amendment retaliation claim, finding that his “censure” was not a “materially adverse action” that could support that claim. Houston Cmty. Coll. Sys. v. Wilson, ___ S. Ct. ___ (2022). 

Standing; waiver of argument on appeal. The 8th Circuit affirmed an order by Judge Schiltz that had dismissed one claim for lack of standing, where the plaintiffs failed to address standing in their initial brief and devoted only one sentence to the issue in their reply brief. Song v. Champion Petfoods USA, Inc., 27 F.4th 1339 (8th Cir. 2022). 

Judicial estoppel; abuse of discretion. Reviewing for abuse of discretion, the 8th Circuit affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment based on its application of judicial estoppel, finding that all three parts of the governing test weighed in favor of judicial estoppel. Gustafson v. Bi-State Devel. Agency, ___ F.4th ___ (8th Cir. 2022). 

Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a); Jane Doe pleading; procedural requirements. While acknowledging the “strong presumption against allowing parties to use a pseudonym” and that he “would have preferred” that a Jane Doe sexual abuse and sexual harassment plaintiff file a motion to proceed pseudonymously, Chief Judge Tunheim denied one defendant’s assertion that the plaintiff “should be required to disclose” her identity, finding that the plaintiff’s “interest in protecting her identity outweighs the public interest in the case.” Doe v. Innovate Fin., Inc., 2022 WL 673582 (D. Minn. 3/7/2022). 

◘ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c); consideration of documents outside the pleadings. Granting the plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on the pleadings against the intervening defendants pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c), Chief Judge Tunheim rejected the intervenors’ argument that the court’s consideration of four contracts not attached to the complaint required conversion of the motion to a motion for summary judgment, instead finding that the contracts “were sufficiently alleged in and embraced by” the complaint, and that the authenticity of the documents was not in question. Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, LLC v. Harrington, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___ (D. Minn. 2022). 

Fed. R. Evid. 612; deposition; refreshed recollection. Magistrate Judge Wright denied the defendants’ motion to compel the plaintiff to produce or identify privileged documents that were used to refresh the recollection of a witness prior to her deposition, finding that the defendants “had failed to cite any evidence” that the witness had relied on the documents during her testimony or that the documents had “sufficiently” impacted her testimony, and ultimately concluded that the defendants were “engaging in a fishing expedition into privileged communications.” Sleep Number Corp. v. Young, 2022 WL 903138 (3/28/2022). 

Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h); personal jurisdiction defense waived. Where the defendants litigated for two years before attempting to raise a personal jurisdiction defense, Judge Davis found that they had “wholly failed to comply with [Fed. R. Civ. P.] 12,” and that the defense had been waived. Sadeghi-A v. Daimler Trucks N. Am., 2022 WL 769975 (D. Minn. 3/14/2022). 

9 U.S.C. §16; arbitration; stay pending appeal; circuit and intra-district splits. Acknowledging the absence of 8th Circuit authority and circuit and intra-district splits as to whether a stay of district court proceedings is required when an interlocutory appeal is filed under Section 16 of the FAA, Judge Nelson followed the “majority viewpoint” and granted the defendant’s motion to stay proceedings pending appeal. Ballou v. Asset Mktg. Servs., LLC, 2022 WL 807606 (D. Minn. 3/17/2022). 

Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(f); motion to modify subpoena transferred; “exceptional circumstances.” Granting defendants’ motion to transfer a motion to modify a subpoena to the District of New Jersey, Chief Judge Tunheim found that “exceptional circumstances,” including the complexity of the underlying case, the case’s “advanced stage,” and the fact that a special master had been appointed to manage discovery, all weighed in favor of transfer. State v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, 2022 WL 986315 (D. Minn. 4/1/2022). 

Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2); Minn. Stat. §549.191; punitive damages. Citing the “weight of authority in this district,” Magistrate Judge Docherty found that a motion to amend a complaint to add a claim for punitive damages was governed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2) rather than Minn. Stat. §549.191. Russ v. Ecklund Logistics, Inc., 2022 WL 856020 (D. Minn. 3/23/2022). 

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f); motion for leave to serve pre-conference subpoenas granted. Applying the so-called Let Them Play and 2nd Circuit factors, Magistrate Judge Leung granted the plaintiff’s motion to conduct early discovery intended to allow it to identify Doe defendants. Minnetonka Moccasin Co. v. Does 1-10, 2022 WL 1055746 (D. Minn. 4/8/2022). 

Removal; remand; attorney’s fees; 28 U.S.C. §1447(c). Rejecting the defendant’s ERISA preemption argument, Chief Judge Tunheim granted the plaintiff’s motion to remand, but denied the plaintiff’s request for fees under 28 U.S.C. §1447(c), finding that the removal “was not objectively unreasonable.” BCBSM, Inc. v. I.B.E.W. 292 Health Care Plan, 2022 WL 867232 (D. Minn. 3/23/2022). 
Finding that the plaintiff’s claims did not rely on federal law, and that the defendant had improperly removed a state court action on the basis of a preemption defense, Judge Schiltz granted the plaintiff’s motion to remand. State ex rel. Elder v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 2022 WL 781089 (D. Minn. 3/15/2022). 

42 U.S.C. §1988; awards of attorney’s fees. Approving hourly rates as high as $615 per hour, and significantly reducing the more than $163,000 requested to account for the plaintiff’s “excessive” billing and “limited degree of success,” Judge Montgomery awarded the plaintiff just under $53,000 in attorney’s fees in a Section 1983 action. Ness v. City of Bloomington, 2022 WL 1050043 (D. Minn. 4/7/2022). 
Judge Tostrud awarded one group of defendants more than $20,000 in attorney’s fees incurred in obtaining the dismissal of the plaintiff’s “frivolous” Section 1983 claim. Nguyen v. Foley, 2022 WL 1026477 (D. Minn. 4/6/2022). 

Fed. R. Civ. P. 11; motion for sanctions denied. While granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s amended complaint, Judge Davis denied the defendants’ related motion for Rule 11 sanctions, finding that the plaintiff’s “argument is not so frivolous as to warrant sanctions.” P Park Mgmt, LLC v. Paisley Park Facility, LLC, 2022 WL 911950 (D. Minn. 3/29/2022). 

Josh Jacobson
Law Office of Josh Jacobson 

joshjacobsonlaw@gmail.com

 



Immigration Law

JUDICIAL LAW 

Migrant protection protocols (MPP) (“Remain in Mexico”): The saga continues. As previously noted in the March 2022 issue of Bench & Bar, the Biden administration filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on 12/29/2021, seeking Supreme Court review of the 5th Circuit’s 12/13/2021 refusal to vacate the injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, Northern District of Texas. Key issues raised: 1) Whether 8 U.S.C. §1225 requires DHS to continue implementing MPP when it states the Secretary of DHS “may” return noncitizens to Mexico to await their immigration proceedings; and 2) whether the 5th Circuit erred by concluding the DHS secretary’s second memorandum terminating MPP had no legal effect. Biden, et al. v. Texas, et al., No. 21-954 (2021). On 2/18/2022, the Supreme Court granted the petition and scheduled the case for oral argument on 4/26/2022

Credibility not an issue here: Asylum claim denied even if testimony had been found to be believable. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition for review, holding the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) correctly determined that the immigration judge’s (IJ) decision provided an alternative determination for the failure of the petitioner’s claim for Convention Against Torture (CAT), even if his testimony had been believed. “The IJ found that Jama’s testimony was not credible [i.e., he would disclose to Somali authorities his conversion from Islam to Christianity], and determined ‘furthermore’ that his claim of likely torture was based on ‘speculation.’” That is, “even if the Somali government could ‘make that connection,’ (i.e., learn that Jama is a Christian), the IJ could not make ‘a supposition upon supposition to hypothesize or speculate that the government would jail and torture him due to being Christian.’” The court, accordingly, rejected the petitioner’s argument that the credibility finding was central to the IJ’s decision. Jama v. Garland, No. 21-1585, slip op. (8th Circuit, 3/30/2022). https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/22/03/211585P.pdf

Salvadoran asylum claim denied for failing to show particularized fear of future persecution. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the BIA’s asylum denial, holding the petitioner had failed to show her fear of future persecution to be objectively reasonable, given the fact that her evidence failed to support a claim of a particularized fear based on her religious activities: “Instead, she only presented evidence of general violence.” Rivera Menjivar v. Garland, No. 21-1624, slip op. (8th Circuit, 3/3/2022). https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/22/03/211624P.pdf 

Christian Chinese asylum seeker denied relief for failure to establish past persecution or well-founded fear of persecution. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the denial of asylum, concluding substantial evidence supported the BIA’s finding that the Christian Chinese petitioner had failed to establish either past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of his religious beliefs. More specifically, the court observed, “Here, the BIA adopted the IJ’s finding that the evidence of He’s two detentions, taken together and including the initial assault by a policeman, ‘does not rise to the level of persecution.’ That determination is consistent with our prior past persecution decisions.” He v. Garland, No. 20-1328, slip op. (8th Circuit, 2/4/2022). https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/22/02/201328P.pdf


ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

Public health and immigration: Title 42 expulsions at the border. As previously noted in the March 2022 issue of Bench & Bar, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on 8/2/2021 issued its third order continuing the policy of President Biden’s predecessor, authorizing the expulsion of migrants from entry into the United States from Canada or Mexico, if they had arrived at or near the U.S. land and adjacent coastal borders. This expulsion could include those noncitizens not having proper travel documents, noncitizens whose entry is otherwise contrary to law, and noncitizens who are apprehended at or near the border seeking to unlawfully enter the United States between ports of entry (POE). In one point of divergence from the previous administration, however, the 8/2/2021 order made provision for exemption of unaccompanied noncitizen children. 86 Fed. Register, 42828-41 (8/5/2021). 
On 4/1/2022, the CDC announced termination of the Title 42 Order on 5/23/2022, as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) begins implementing “appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as scaling up a program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants and prepare[s] for resumption of regular migration under Title 8.” Centers for Disease Control, “CDC Public Health Determination and Termination of Title 42 Order.” Media statement (4/1/2022). 

On 4/3/2022, three states (Missouri, Arizona, and Louisiana) sued the Biden administration in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Louisiana over its plan to terminate the order, arguing it did not follow the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) (i.e., failing to provide a comment period on the termination while seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, among other things). Arizona, et al. v. Centers for Disease Control, et al.

Temporary protected status (TPS): Shelter from the storm. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “the Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.” 
Typical scenarios include:

ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war);
an environmental disaster (such as an earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic; or
other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently designated (or redesignated) the following countries for temporary protected status: 

Ukraine: On 4/19/2022, DHS announced that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had designated Ukraine for TPS for 18 months, effective 4/19/2022. Those individuals who have continuously resided in the United States since 4/11/2022 (and continuously physically present since 4/19/2022) are eligible to apply. 87 Fed. Reg. 23211-18 (2022).

Sudan: On 4/19/2022, DHS announced that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had designated Sudan for TPS for 18 months, effective 4/19/2022. Those individuals who have continuously resided in the United States since 3/1/2022 (and continuously physically present since 4/19/2022) are eligible to apply. 87 Fed. Reg. 23202-10 (2022).

Cameroon: On 4/15/2022, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the designation of Cameroon for TPS for 18 months. Those individuals residing in the United States as of 4/14/2022 will be eligible to apply. The designation will take effect upon publication of a Federal Register notice.

Afghanistan: On 3/16/2022, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the designation of Afghanistan for TPS for 18 months. Those individuals residing in the United States as of 3/15/2022 will be eligible to apply. The designation will take effect upon publication of a Federal Register notice.

South Sudan: On 3/3/2022, DHS announced that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had both extended the designation of South Sudan for TPS and redesignated it for 18 months, effective 5/3/2022. Those individuals seeking TPS under the redesignation must demonstrate continuous residence in the United States since 3/1/2022 (and continuous physical presence since 3/3/2022). 87 Fed. Reg., 12190-12201 (2022).

R. Mark Frey
Frey Law Office
rmfrey@cs.com


Intellectual Property

JUDICIAL LAW 

Copyright: SCOTUS holds mistakes of law in copyright registrations are eligible for safe harbor. The Supreme Court of the United States recently vacated an appellate court’s decision holding that 17 U.S.C. §411(b), a “safe harbor” provision, excused mistakes of law and mistakes of fact in the registration of copyrights. In 2016, Unicolor sued H&M for copyright infringement of Unicolor’s fabric designs. A jury found in favor of Unicolor. H&M moved to vacate the verdict, contending the copyright registration was invalid under 37 C.F.R. §202.3(b)(4) because Unicolor had registered 31 independent works within a single application. The district court denied H&M’s motion, finding that because Unicolor did not know it failed to meet the “single unit” requirement, the copyright registration was not invalid. 
H&M appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which reversed the district court and held that a) a collection of works did not meet the “single unit” requirement in §202 unless published as a “singular, bundled unit” and b) failure to know of the requirement did not save the copyright. The Supreme Court vacated the 9th Circuit’s decision. With a focus on §411(b)’s safe harbor provision, the Supreme Court held that the provision included both mistakes of law and mistakes of fact. The Court first interpreted “knowledge” to be broad enough to cover both knowledge of facts and law through statutory construction principles. Second, the Court cited past cases, prior to the enactment of §411(b), that held inadvertent mistakes in registration certificates were not a means to invalidate a copyright. Finally, the Court reviewed the legislative history to find that §411(b) was added to make obtaining valid copyrights easier and to eliminate loopholes for preventing enforcement of copyrights. H&M argued that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” but the Court rejected the argument, finding that the maxim applied to the mens rea element of a crime but not to “civil case[s] concerning the scope of a safe harbor that arises from ignorance.” The Court further noted that claims of mistake are not automatically accepted, and circumstantial evidence should be reviewed for instances of willful blindness. Unicolors, Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P., No. 20-915, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 1226 (2/24/2022). 

Copyright: Copyright claims based on sovereign nation status dismissed as frivolous. Chief Judge Tunheim recently dismissed a local man’s lawsuit for copyright infringement where plaintiff, a man claiming to be a sovereign citizen, alleged that Brown County, Minnesota, owed monetary damages for the wrongful use of his copyrighted name during criminal proceedings against him. The court dismissed the copyright claim as “plainly frivolous” because 37 C.F.R. §202.1(a) prohibits the copyrighting of “[w]ords and short phrases such as names.” Accordingly, plaintiff could not seek monetary damages for the use of his name by state courts. The court also found that the criminal proceedings against plaintiff were not invalid due to the supposed copyright violation, because the existence of a copyright or trademark does not prevent a court from exercising jurisdiction over a civil or criminal matter. Gould v. Brown Cty., No. 21-2762 (JRT/DTS), 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27505 (D. Minn. 1/5/2022).

Joe Dubis
Merchant & Gould
jdubis@merchantgould.com

Zachary Zadow
zzadow@merchantgould.com




Tax Law

JUDICIAL LAW 


Individual income tax: Value of airline tickets provided to retired pilot’s family members must be included in retired pilot’s gross income. Taxpayers must include in their gross income “all income from whatever source derived.” This broad understanding of gross income includes not just salaries, but also benefits unless those benefits are specifically excluded. In this case the taxpayer was a retired airline pilot and his former employer provided free airline tickets to the retired pilot, his daughter, and two of his adult relatives. The pilot argued the value of the tickets should be excluded as either de minimus fringe or excluded as “no additional-cost services.” The court granted summary judgment to the commissioner, holding that neither exclusion applied, and the pilot was required to include the value of his family’s tickets in his gross income. Mihalik v. Comm’r, T.C.M. (RIA) 2022-036 (T.C. 2022). 

Conservation easements: “Deemed consent” issue in this dispute cannot be decided as matter of law. Charitable deductions of qualified conservation easements are permitted even though the donation of a conservation easement is less than the taxpayer’s entire interest in the property. For the donation to be qualified, however, the conservation easement must be protected in perpetuity. This “protected in perpetuity” requirement has proven vexatious. In this dispute, Pickens, a limited liability company, received a contribution of land from a separate entity; that entity had purchased the land for just shy of half a million dollars in 2015. In 2016, Pickens made a donation of a conservation easement on that land to a land conservancy and claimed a charitable contribution deduction of $24,700,000. The conservation easement recited the conservation purposes and prohibited commercial or residential development. Certain rights were reserved to Pickens, but Pickens did not reserve unconditional rights. The commissioner moved for summary judgment, asserting that the “deemed consent” provision in the easement is inconsistent with the “protected in perpetuity” requirement. In fact, a 6th Circuit case held that a deemed consent provision impaired the conservation purpose where the deemed consent provision meant that the donor could exercise rights in a manner contrary to the conservation purpose. Hoffman Props. II, LP v. Comm’r, 956 F.3d 832, 834 (6th Cir. 2020). 
On the other hand, the tax court analyzed a deemed consent provision in another case and held that the provision was nonproblematic where it applied only when the parties exercised rights that would be consistent with the conservation purpose. Glade Creek Partners, LLC v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2020-148, 120 T.C.M. (CCH) 285, 291 n.9. In the instant case, the court reasoned that because “the question whether the exercise of a right to which consent is deemed given would impair any conservation purpose presents factual questions ill-suited to summary adjudication,” the commissioner’s motion for summary judgment was denied. Pickens Decorative Stone, LLC v. Comm’r, T.C.M. (RIA) 2022-022 (T.C. 2022).

Employment taxes: In-home care providers employees, not independent contractors. Pediatric Impressions Home Health, Inc. provided at-home private duty nursing services to children with special needs. Pediatric Impressions hired nurses to perform these services. (The court notes that the term “nurses” in this opinion does not indicate degrees or licenses the workers may have obtained.) Until 2016, Pediatric Impressions treated the nurses as employees for federal employment tax purposes. However, starting in 2016, Pediatric Impressions unilaterally began treating many of the nurses as independent contractors and as of 2016, failed to make deposits of federal employment taxes with respect to any of the nurses. 
The commissioner examined Pediatric Impressions’s returns and determined that the nurses were employees, not independent contractors, and that Pediatric Impressions did not quality for Section 530 relief (generally a safe harbor provision if the employer can show good faith effort to comply with the tax law). Pediatric Impressions was liable for approximately $2 million in federal employment taxes, additions to tax, and penalties. Pediatric Impressions disputed the notice of determination, and the tax court resolved all issues in the commissioner’s favor. The tax court’s application of the 5th Circuit’s five-factor test to determine a worker’s employment status was thorough, but it did not seem a close call. The court concluded, “[a]fter considering the record, weighing the… factors, and being cognizant that doubtful questions should be resolved in favor of employment, the relationship between petitioner and the nurses during the periods at issue is best characterized as that of common law employment. Petitioner possessed and exercised significant control over the nurses, including hiring and firing, setting hours and work schedules, assigning patients, ensuring attendance at required training, mandating how the nurses reported and potentially performed their work in accordance with a patient’s plan of care, and supervising the nurses. The nurses were normally hired on a permanent basis and were integral to petitioner’s business. They had no meaningful capital investment in the job as petitioner (and others) provided all necessary supplies and equipment. The nurses also bore no risk of loss and had no opportunity for profit outside of their wages and occasional incentive or performance bonuses, which the record does not show was common or substantial. Thus, the nurses cannot be said to have been in business for themselves as a matter of economic reality during the periods at issue.” The court similarly rejected Pediatric Impressions’s argument that it was entitled to Section 530 relief and that its challenge to the additions to tax and penalties. Pediatric Impressions Home Health, Inc. v. Comm’r, T.C.M. (RIA) 2022-035 (T.C. 2022).

Executive compensation; unreasonable compensation to CEO who epitomized the “American success story.” Clary L. Hood was the CEO and shareholder of Clary Hood, Inc., a construction company specializing in land grading and excavation. Mr. Hood learned the land grading and excavation business from his father, and Mr. Hood dedicated his entire professional career to the industry. Mr. Hood owned and operated Clary Hood, Inc. with his spouse, but Mr. Hood held ultimate decision-making control over all the company’s operations from its founding through the years at issue. In about 2010, Mr. Hood made several decisions that led the company from middling performance (modest growth and irregular profits) to extraordinary success (exponential growth and profits in excess of $14 million). Mr. Hood was joined in the company’s C-suite by several other executives, including Mr. Hood’s son, who served for a short time as president and CEO, as well as other executives. No written employment agreement existed between Mr. Hood and the company. Rather, the company’s board of directors, which consisted solely of Mr. and Mrs. Hood, set the amount of Mr. Hood’s annual compensation, including bonuses. Although they generally solicited and accepted the advice of accountants, Mr. and Mrs. Hood did not use any type of formula in setting these amounts during the review period except during the years at issue. Mr. Hood’s annual compensation varied tremendously as the company evolved. Some years, his compensation was as low as $127,000, but in the years at issue, his compensation was close to $6 million. 
Following an audit of the company’s tax returns, the commissioner determined that portions of Mr. Hood’s purported compensation for the years at issue exceeded reasonable compensation under section 162(a)(1) and disallowed those portions. Specifically, the commissioner disallowed over $5 million of the $5,711,105 total amount petitioner reported as compensation for Mr. Hood for its 2015 tax year and over $5.1 million of the $5,874,585 total amount petitioner reported for its 2016 tax year. 
The company timely challenged the disallowance, and the tax court took up the issue of whether the compensation paid to Mr. Hood was unreasonable. Applying a multifactor test, rather than the independent investor test (favored by the 7th Circuit), the court held that some of the factors favored a decision that the compensation was reasonable, while other factors favored the opposite conclusion. After considering all the factors, the court held that the record supported reasonable compensation of $3,681,269 for tax year 2015 and $1,362,831 for tax year 2016. Interestingly, the court sustained the accuracy-related penalty for tax year 2016, but “decline[d] to sustain respondent’s determination as to the accuracy-related penalty for the 2015 amount.” Clary Hood, Inc. v. Comm’r, T.C.M. (RIA) 2022-015 (T.C. 2022).

“Service by mail” commonly misinterpreted. In response to the covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of office buildings, Hennepin County created an email inbox to accept service of property tax petitions. In June 2020, petitioners filed a petition challenging their 2019 assessments. Because the county’s Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center offices were closed, petitioners sent copies of the petitions to the Hennepin County court administrator by U.S. Mail, erroneously believing that that the county attorney would also receive copies. The county moved for dismissal on the grounds that the petitions were untimely, and that petitioners did not properly effectuate service of process. Petitioners argue that the county is not prejudiced by lack of formal service because it received actual notice of the petitions when it received a copy of the filing made to the district court administrator.
The court previously addressed the effect of Session Law 74 in relation to chapter 278 property tax petitions, concluding that: 1) the plain meaning of Session Law 74 extended the deadlines in all district court proceedings, including chapter 278 petitions filed in the district court, and 2) “the suspension of deadlines provided in Session Law 74 applies not only to chapter 278 petitions invoking the jurisdiction of the district court but to those invoking the jurisdiction of the tax court.” See WMH Prop. Owner LLC v. Cnty. of Hennepin, Nos. 27-CV-20-6274 & 27-CV-21-4306, 2021 WL 4312988 (Minn. T.C. 9/9/2021); Timber New Ulm Props. LP v. Brown Cnty., No. 08-CV-20-1048, 2021 WL 5856123 (Minn. T.C. 12/7/2021). Thus, the court concluded that the petitions in the present matter were timely filed. 
Minnesota Statutes section 278.01, subdivision 1 provides that a petition “must be served on the county’s auditor, treasurer, attorney, and assessor.” See Kmart Corp. v. Cnty. of Clay, 711 N.W.2d 485, 490 (Minn. 2006) (citing Minn. Stat. §278.01, subd. 1(a)). “The permissible methods of serving the pleadings that initiate a civil action in district court (and through section 271.06, subdivision 7, in tax court) are prescribed in Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.” Id. at 489. The failure to timely file and serve a property tax petition deprives the tax court of jurisdiction. Id. at 488-90.
Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.05 allows a petitioner to request that the county waive personal service, but it does not specify or limit how the county may waive service of process. See DeCook v. Olmsted Med. Ctr., Inc., 875 N.W.2d 263, 270 (Minn. 2016). Rule 4.05 is commonly and erroneously interpreted to allow service by mail. In fact, it is a waiver that is requested by mailing the petition to the county, and it is necessary for the county to waive formal service and return the waiver-of-service form. “Service is accomplished and proven by the waiver, not the mailing.”). See Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.05 advisory comm. cmt.—2018 amendments. 
Here, petitioners argued that although they “technically did not properly serve [the County],” the U.S. Mail constituted a good faith effort during the covid-19 pandemic and the county was not prejudiced because it had actual notice of the petitions. The county contended that it was not served in any manner. The court concluded that absent evidence that the county agreed to forgo the requirements for acknowledging their waiver of personal service, petitioners “were not relieved of the separate requirement to comply with the requirements of Rule 4.05(a) when attempting to obtain service by U.S. Mail.” Because petitioners, by their own admission, did not comply with the requirements, and the county did not agree to waive the requirements of Rule 4.05, service of process on the county was ineffective. The court granted the county’s motions to dismiss. 7017 Amundson LLC v. Hennepin Co., 2022 WL 599207 (MN Tax Court 2/23/22).

Court uses discretion to depart from Rule 8100’s default weighting for utility company valuation; concludes that commissioner overvalued property. Minnegasco owns and operates a natural gas distribution pipeline system located throughout 40 Minnesota counties. The commissioner of the Department of Revenue assesses pipeline property using the unit-rule method expressed in Minnesota Rule 8100 (2021). “Unit valuation ‘relies primarily upon a mix of the cost and income methods.’” The parties’ dispute involved the commissioner’s unit valuations in the consolidated matters of the 2018 and 2019 assessments. 
Minnegasco is regulated by the MPUC, which uses a cost-of-service method by determining both a rate base and an authorized rate of return to determine the revenue necessary for a utility to collect its cost of service. The parties’ dispute was over the proper application of Rule 8100. The parties disagreed about “whether rate regulation produces external obsolescence.” Rule 8100’s cost approach begins with net book value, which is the historical cost of a pipeline’s operating assets minus book depreciation. Regulatory rate base is net book value minus accumulated deferred income taxes (ADIT). The MPUC (which regulates Minnegasco), however, excludes ADIT from rate base, and Minnegasco does not earn a return on the ADIT portion of its net book value. Minnegasco asserted that its “inability to earn a return on ADIT produces external obsolescence under the cost approach.” The commissioner objected to Minnegasco’s argument, asserting instead that “regulated utility assets routinely sell for more than their book value.”
Using the income approach, the parties disagreed about the proper way to determine capitalization rates. “Rule 8100 provides that a utility’s net operating earnings are ‘capitalized by applying a capitalization rate that is computed by using the band of investment method.’” Minn. R. 8100.0300, subp. 4. This method requires the determination of: “(1) a capital structure; (2) a cost of debt; and (3) a cost of equity.” Minnegasco argued that capital structure “should be determined without regard to short-term debt, because natural gas distribution companies are not purchased with short-term debt. The Commissioner argue[d] that the exclusion of short-term debt ‘improperly increases’ the capitalization rate.”
“Because of the unique character of public utility companies, the traditional approaches to valuation estimates of property… must be modified when utility property is valued.” As such, the value of utility property is conducted under Rule 8100. Minn. R. 8100.0300, subp. 1. In a lengthy analysis, the court explained that a direct relationship exists between the cost and income approaches to valuation in cases of rate-regulated utility companies. The court agreed with Minnegasco that a departure from Rule 8100’s default weighting of 50% to the income indicator and 50% to the cost indicator (as recommended by the commissioner) was necessary, but did not go as far as Minnegasco asked (85% to income and 15% to cost). The court instead used a respective 60/40 reliance to recalculate Minnegasco’s valuation and determined that the commissioner overstated the unit value of the pipeline’s operating system for both 2018 and 2019.

The court further concluded that, because the commissioner presented no evidence discrediting Minnegasco’s conclusion that “the regulatory treatment of ADIT prevents a utility from earning a market-required rate of return on its entire net book value, and therefore causes economic obsolescence,” Minnegasco presented “sufficient evidence to make a prima facie showing that the exclusion of [ADIT] from a rate-regulated utility’s rate base causes external obsolescence.” CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp v. Comm’r of Revenue, 2022 WL 995851 (MN Tax Court 3/16/22). shareholder of Clary Hood, Inc., a construction company specializing in land grading and excavation. Mr. Hood learned the land grading and excavation business from his father, and Mr. Hood dedicated his entire professional career to the industry. Mr. Hood owned and operated Clary Hood, Inc. with his spouse, but Mr. Hood held ultimate decision-making control over all the company’s operations from its founding through the years at issue. In about 2010, Mr. Hood made several decisions that led the company from middling performance (modest growth and irregular profits) to extraordinary success (exponential growth and profits in excess of $14 million). Mr. Hood was joined in the company’s C-suite by several other executives, including Mr. Hood’s son, who served for a short time as president and CEO, as well as other executives. No written employment agreement existed between Mr. Hood and the company. Rather, the company’s board of directors, which consisted solely of Mr. and Mrs. Hood, set the amount of Mr. Hood’s annual compensation, including bonuses. Although they generally solicited and accepted the advice of accountants, Mr. and Mrs. Hood did not use any type of formula in setting these amounts during the review period except during the years at issue. Mr. Hood’s annual compensation varied tremendously as the company evolved. Some years, his compensation was as low as $127,000, but in the years at issue, his compensation was close to $6 million. 

Following an audit of the company’s tax returns, the commissioner determined that portions of Mr. Hood’s purported compensation for the years at issue exceeded reasonable compensation under section 162(a)(1) and disallowed those portions. Specifically, the commissioner disallowed over $5 million of the $5,711,105 total amount petitioner reported as compensation for Mr. Hood for its 2015 tax year and over $5.1 million of the $5,874,585 total amount petitioner reported for its 2016 tax year. 
The company timely challenged the disallowance, and the tax court took up the issue of whether the compensation paid to Mr. Hood was unreasonable. Applying a multifactor test, rather than the independent investor test (favored by the 7th Circuit), the court held that some of the factors favored a decision that the compensation was reasonable, while other factors favored the opposite conclusion. After considering all the factors, the court held that the record supported reasonable compensation of $3,681,269 for tax year 2015 and $1,362,831 for tax year 2016. Interestingly, the court sustained the accuracy-related penalty for tax year 2016, but “decline[d] to sustain respondent’s determination as to the accuracy-related penalty for the 2015 amount.” Clary Hood, Inc. v. Comm’r, T.C.M. (RIA) 2022-015 (T.C. 2022).

“Service by mail” commonly misinterpreted. In response to the covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of office buildings. Hennepin County created an email inbox to accept service of property tax petitions. In June 2020, petitioners filed a petition challenging their 2019 assessments. Because the county’s Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center offices were closed, petitioners sent copies of the petitions to the Hennepin County court administrator by U.S. Mail, erroneously believing that that the county attorney would also receive copies. The county moved for dismissal on the grounds that the petitions were untimely, and that petitioners did not properly effectuate service of process. Petitioners argue that the county is not prejudiced by lack of formal service because it received actual notice of the petitions when it received a copy of the filing made to the district court administrator.
The court previously addressed the effect of Session Law 74 in relation to chapter 278 property tax petitions, concluding that: 1) the plain meaning of Session Law 74 extended the deadlines in all district court proceedings, including chapter 278 petitions filed in the district court, and 2) “the suspension of deadlines provided in Session Law 74 applies not only to chapter 278 petitions invoking the jurisdiction of the district court but to those invoking the jurisdiction of the tax court.” See WMH Prop. Owner LLC v. Cnty. of Hennepin, Nos. 27-CV-20-6274 & 27-CV-21-4306, 2021 WL 4312988 (Minn. T.C. 9/9/2021); Timber New Ulm Props. LP v. Brown Cnty., No. 08-CV-20-1048, 2021 WL 5856123 (Minn. T.C. 12/7/2021). Thus, the court concluded that the petitions in the present matter were timely filed. 
Minnesota Statutes section 278.01, subdivision 1 provides that a petition “must be served on the county’s auditor, treasurer, attorney, and assessor.” See Kmart Corp. v. Cnty. of Clay, 711 N.W.2d 485, 490 (Minn. 2006) (citing Minn. Stat. §278.01, subd. 1(a)). “The permissible methods of serving the pleadings that initiate a civil action in district court (and through section 271.06, subdivision 7, in tax court) are prescribed in Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.” Id. at 489. The failure to timely file and serve a property tax petition deprives the tax court of jurisdiction. Id. at 488-90.
Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.05 allows a petitioner to request that the county waive personal service, but it does not specify or limit how the county may waive service of process. See DeCook v. Olmsted Med. Ctr., Inc., 875 N.W.2d 263, 270 (Minn. 2016). Rule 4.05 is commonly and erroneously interpreted to allow service by mail. In fact, it is a waiver that is requested by mailing the petition to the county, and it is necessary for the county to waive formal service and return the waiver-of-service form. “Service is accomplished and proven by the waiver, not the mailing.”). See Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.05 advisory comm. cmt.—2018 amendments. 
Here, petitioners argued that although they “technically did not properly serve [the County],” the U.S. Mail constituted a good faith effort during the covid-19 pandemic and the county was not prejudiced because it had actual notice of the petitions. The county contended that it was not served in any manner. The court concluded that absent evidence that the county agreed to forgo the requirements for acknowledging their waiver of personal service, petitioners “were not relieved of the separate requirement to comply with the requirements of Rule 4.05(a) when attempting to obtain service by U.S. Mail.” Because petitioners, by their own admission, did not comply with the requirements, and the county did not agree to waive the requirements of Rule 4.05, service of process on the county was ineffective. The court granted the county’s motions to dismiss. 7017 Amundson LLC v. Hennepin Co., 2022 WL 599207 (MN Tax Court 2/23/22).


Morgan Holcomb 
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
morgan.holcomb@mitchellhamline.edu 

Sheena Denny
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
sheena.denny@mitchellhamline.edu

 


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