A Quick Note About Lawyer Marketing

google 76522 640 300x177 A Quick Note About Lawyer MarketingA client of mine needed a referral this a.m. to a very narrow area of legal expertise for which I am unqualified to help. And I have no connection to any Minnesota lawyer specializing in this niche area of legal practice.

So I googled “Minnesota lawyer specializing in [EXPERTISE.]” I came up with a dizzying array of providers in both “native search” and “paid ads.” But there was no way for me to differentiate the scammers from the true specialists or to differentiate the “part-time dabbler” trying to back into an area of expertise from the true niche experts.

So I googled “Minnesota [EXPERTISE] blog.”

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When Will Someone Explain Why the Minnesota State Court System Cannot Make Civil Filings Public?

Starr 070906 8887 Impatiens hawkeri 300x225 When Will Someone Explain Why the Minnesota State Court System Cannot Make Civil Filings Public?

Impatiens Hawkeri, b/k/a Impatients…

Update (September 11, 2014): It’s been 150+ days since I asked Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lori Gildea when Minnesotans can expect to have a e-filing system that allows for easier and cheaper public access to court records. (My original post about this is below.) When I had the chance to pose the question to Justice Gildea, she was emphatic that she shared my impatience and conviction that the system needs to be more widely, easily, and cheaply accessible.

I wonder if Justice Gildea’s patience is wearing thin as mine is, along with many Minnesota journalists, Minnesota lawyers, and all citizens who believe that the vast majority of court records are public property. We should all have easy and inexpensive on-line access to them. NOW.

This impatience is heightened because the federal system, PACER, has been around for a decade or so and it works very well.

What is going on?

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An Encore for Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud

Update (9/10/2014): [Editor's note: The Minnesota Supreme Court's decision came down today in favor of the Diocese of St. Cloud with a forceful dissent by Justice David Lillihaug (joined by Justice Page), who favored affirming the trial court's decision and the Court of Appeals' decision in favor of plaintiff Alice Ann Staub.]

Original Post (11/12/13): Once again it is the unenviable task of the Minnesota Supreme Court to make sense of a “tort reform” law enacted by the legislature with seemingly contradictory provisions.  On November 4 the Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that may answer the question:  whatever happened to joint and several liability in Minnesota?

Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud is the case.  Sound familiar?  This case has been up to the Supreme Court before.

This time around the Court must tackle an issue that may determine whether any “minority” tortfeasor can ever be responsible for damages beyond their own proportionate “share” of fault.  The Court’s decision could leave much of the burden of injury on the plaintiff, even in cases when the injured plaintiff was totally blameless.  This decision not only affects injured plaintiffs.  It will also affect the government and private health insurers whose “subrogation” interests have become ubiquitous in personal injury litigation.  (That, in turn, may affect those who subsidize those health insurers, whether through taxes for the public insurers, or by premiums to the private health insurers.) Continue reading

Challenging the Constitutionality of Minnesota’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

Whistle Challenging the Constitutionality of Minnesotas Anti SLAPP Statute

Using Anti-Anti-SLAPP Maneuver Against False Whistle-Blowers?

Here is a hypothetical for you: business-person steals a business’ confidential business information and trade secrets and provides them to government regulators under the mistaken belief that the information reveals illegal conduct. (We’ll call the hypothetical business-person, “Accused Thief” and we’ll call the hypothetical business, “Alleged Victim.”) (And, by the way, who’s to know whether it was really a “mistaken belief” or simply an inappropriate form of competition between businesses, i.e., an “intentionally mistaken belief”?)

Let’s say Alleged Victim sues Accused Thief for conversion, misappropriation of trade secrets, etc. in connection with Accused Thief’s actions.

Accused Thief answers by invoking the an “anti-SLAPP” statute, which protects citizens rights to participate in government.

So, now, at the theshhold of the lawsuit, before either side is permitted to do any discovery, Alleged Victim has to come forward with “clear and convincing evidence” that Accused Thief’s actions were not “genuinely aimed in whole or in part at procuring favorable government action“? (The pending case of MDI v. Hooten bears some resemblance to this hypothetical.)

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The On-Going Fight Over Southwest Light Rail: Losers In Executive Bouts Try Their Luck in the Judicial Ring

IMG 20140221 080602 2 300x222 The On Going Fight Over Southwest Light Rail: Losers In Executive Bouts Try Their Luck in the Judicial Ring

The Kenilworth Trail in the Dead of Winter, 2013

The Star Tribune reported the lawsuit brought by Lakes and Parks Alliance of Minneapolis yesterday. Consistent with the Strib’s apparent policy, they do not include a link to the complaint presumably because… I have no clue why the Strib normally does not. Maybe the Strib has no budget for the $2.40 cost of the filing. Maybe the Strib thinks that Strib readers do not have the attention spans for legal writing (who does?). Maybe the Strib thinks that publishing legal pleadings – even linking to them – could present the risk that readers will erroneously think the Strib is endorsing one side or another side in a legal dispute. Maybe the Strib thinks, “Why bother? Let’s just hope Minnesota Litigator picks up the slack.” I do not think that any of the explanations hold water. [Editor's Note: On Twitter this a.m. @cagemasher commented: "on twitter a few weeks ago, someone from the @strib said it was up to each reporter, and whether they knew how to do it."]

But I digress…

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