Dec
27

Shifting Responsibility through Use of Independent Contractors versus Employees

Mainstream media has recently focused a lot of attention on businesses that utilize independent contractors (think Uber, Lyft, or AirBnB). This has even gone so far as to lead some to speculate that traditional employment may be in jeopardy. While this is a significant exaggeration, the overuse of the independent contractor label is very real.

The use of independent contractors by businesses fits much better, or at least more cleanly, in some business models than others (see Uber’s particular, recent legal troubles for an example). The traditional use of independent contractors, often...

Dec
27

Are Owner/Employees Able to Maintain Discrimination Claims Against the Company?

Are Owner/Employees Able to Maintain Discrimination Claims Against the Company?

According to a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit, the answer to the question above is more or less a simple “no.” The case at issue is Bluestein v. Central Wisc. Anesthesiology. The facts concern a medical professional (Bluestein) who, after a period of employment, became a shareholder and voting board member for the Defendant company. After suffering a severe injury, Bluestein requested an indefinite leave of absence and the company demanded her resignation, stating that they would “terminate her...

Jan
20

TIPS WHEN SELLING YOUR CAR

Whether it’s for a junker that is no longer worth the effort, to get a better value than a trade-in, or for any other reason, at some point in their lives many people will need to sell a vehicle to someone through a private, third party sale. This type of transaction is not without risk, however. It is not entirely uncommon for someone to sue a prior vehicle owner after an accident where a prior sale was not properly transacted.

So, if you are going to sell the car on your own, there are several important points you need to keep in mind to protect yourself in the event something goes...

Dec
8

Horrible Bosses

Everyone has either had one or heard the horror stories. Dealing with a supervisor or manager who yells, swears, and otherwise acts in a completely disrespectful manner towards employees can be traumatizing and have a substantial effect on morale, stress and anxiety levels, and even health. Given how severe the damage can be to the employee, does this mean the employee can sue and recover for this behavior?

At least in the Eighth Circuit, the answer is generally “no.” Most often, regardless of how rude and offensive the conduct of a supervisor or manager, as long as the conduct is not...

Nov
6

Expedited Tenant Remedies

People very commonly ask about enforcing their rights as tenants without having to spend five or ten times their monthly rent just to protect themselves. Whether or not they actually accomplish the intended goal, this post will briefly identify and discuss a few of the legal proceedings available in Minnesota to tenants with issues regarding rental properties or disputes with landlords. We will address four useful, but less well known, proceedings:

Unlawful Exclusion or Removal; Action for Recovery of Possession – M.S.A § 504B.375

This action applies to lock-out situations by a landlord....

Sep
4

Real Estate Update | Why Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

The median sales price for homes in the Minneapolis area from May 14 to Aug 14 increased slightly over 10% compared to the prior quarter and approximately 7.5% compared to the prior year. The five-year sales prices trend shows appreciation, on average, of 14.1% over the last 5 years in Minneapolis. The median home value in the Minneapolis area is $199,800, an increase of just over 6% from the same time last year. The average sales price per square foot in Minneapolis was roughly $147, an increase of 14% relative to the same period last year.

Average listing prices have increased at a...

Jul
16

A Few Basic Employee Rights: Why You May Have Earned that Vacation, but Still Have No Right to One

Questions abound regarding the basic rights that people have as employees. This makes sense given how large of a role jobs play in most of our lives and the complexity and diverse of issues that affect employment. To further complicate matters, though the federal standards are the most commonly cited standards, they do not always apply. Sometimes employers are only responsible for meeting state, or even local, standards. To help clarify the matter for Minnesota employees, this post will address a few of the most common issues regarding basic employee rights.[1] First, though, it is useful...

Jun
3

Seeking an Order for Protection for Domestic Abuse

An Order for Protection (OFP) is a civil order that primarily prohibits a respondent party’s contact with the petitioning party following an incident of domestic abuse and restrains the respondent from committing further domestic abuse.  Under the Domestic Abuse Act found in Minn. Stat. Sec. 518B.01 (2013), domestic abuse means any of the following acts by a family or household member: physical harm, bodily injury or assault; the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm bodily harm, or assault; terroristic threats; criminal sexual conduct; or interference with an emergency call.  A...

May
22

Effective Expungements – Legislative Change for Expungements

For years, individuals previously convicted of certain low-level crimes (also evictions, juvenile matters, etc.) and their attorneys have expressed legitimate concerns about the limited effects of Minnesota expungements. Under a previous and somewhat controversial decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court, district courts considering expungements only had authority to seal or destroy judicial records, leaving related records maintained by non-judicial sources open and accessible. This meant that records at police departments, business screening services, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,...

May
20

Photo of Minnesota Women Lawyers Leadership Award Ceremony

David Wilson, Wilson Law Group's Managing Attorney, accepted Minnesota Women Lawyers' Leadership Award this past Monday.  Congratulations!

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