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...

Dec
27

Proving Extreme Hardship - Holding the Government to a Standard of Law

Extreme Hardship doesn’t have to be so hard.  On October 7, 2015, USCIS shared its draft "extreme hardship" policy memo, created with the goal of better defining the standard applied to various types of waivers.  The draft memo was happily received more than ten months after President Obama announced the endeavor with various other, more popular strides like the expansion of DACA and proposed creation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or “DAPA.”

An extreme hardship waiver may be required where someone has been in the US unlawfully for more...

Dec
27

The Importance of Enhancements in Criminal Sentencing

What is an enhanceable offense?  Under Minnesota Law, an offense is enhanceable if a conviction or a plea of guilty triggers a look-back period, which most commonly, lasts for ten years to punish someone for repeat conduct.  During the ten years immediately following a conviction, if you are charged with the same offense, the severity of the charge can be increased or enhanced based on the previous conviction.  This leads to greater consequences

In Minnesota, enhanceable offenses include, but are not limited to, the following: domestic assault, violation of a harassment restraining...

Dec
27

Refusal to Test in Minnesota - US Supreme Court to Review Implied Consent Statute

The US Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Bernard v. Minnesota.  Bernard addresses Minnesota’s DWI refusal statute that makes it a crime to refuse to take a warrantless chemical test if law enforcement has probable cause to believe you have been operating a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Two years ago when SCOTUS decided Missouri v. McNeely ,133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013), DWI law seemed to be heading for big changes around the country and here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, McNeely has not had as much of an impact as we had hoped here in Minnesota...

Nov
29

Protection against Search and Seizure in Immigration Proceedings

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. In criminal cases, evidence discovered during an unreasonable search or seizure, such as during a warrantless arrest, can be suppressed in court. However, in civil cases, this “exclusionary rule” is generally not available.

The American legal system views immigration law proceedings civil matters. This was determined by the Supreme Court in the decision INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984). Because of this, the exclusionary rule usually cannot be used by respondents in immigration...

Nov
29

The Investment Subsidiary and the E visa

It is well known that citizens of certain countries may enter the United States to establish a trade relationship with their home country or to invest in the United States.  Few people, however, know that companies can establish the same relationship as the individual investor.  This novelty in the law allows for some very flexible opportunities and creates the capacity to move personnel quickly from abroad into the United States.

The E visa has two categories: the E-1 visa for treaty traders and E-2 visa for treaty investors.  Both are temporary, nonimmigrant visas for individual or...

Nov
29

The Other Visa Cap Problem - the Annual U Visa Cap Injustice

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) is currently in the midst of distributing all of the 10,000 U visas which are available for fiscal year 2016. What we at Wilson Law Group have begun to call “U Visa Season,” begins on October 1 of each year, and is over by the New Year. It is during this period that the Vermont Service Center (VSC) allocates all of the 10,000 principal U visas that are available for that year. Applicants who have not received their U visas by the beginning of 2016 are relegated to wait at least one more year for their coveted visa.

U visas are...

Nov
29

Will Executive Action for Parents Ever Happen?

On November 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ordered to uphold an injunction against deferred action benefits for a broader group of students and parents of U.S. citizens. Over the last few days, I have spoken with countless people to clarify the confusion over the effect of the ruling, the future for the deferred action benefits, and the status of the first round of DACA benefits. So here is the breakdown:

First: The 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals 

In the summer of 2012 President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “DACA”, or...

Nov
29

Holiday Schedules: Why “Oh, We’ll Work it Out Later” Doesn’t Really Work

The holidays form childhood memories that last a lifetime.  Every parent finds each one as important as the next.  When parents are working out custody issues, it is common, however, for parents to focus only on the main issues such as custody, child support, and any property division.  After hammering out of all the details, at the end, there is a tendency for weary parents to push the holiday schedule to the side, or state in the proposed decree “the parties will alternate holidays” or will “share holidays  as agreed.”   The rush to move on ultimately is the same a...

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