William Mitchell Journal of Law & Practice

The mission of the William Mitchell Journal of Law & Practice is to disseminate insightful articles and other scholarly writings on the forefront of legal practice. The Journal is committed to expressing how the impact of current legislation and recent court decisions affects the practice of law, and to presenting the practitioner’s views about how current legislation and recent court decisions may affect their practice of law.

We hope you find this new journal helpful in both your practice, and continuing legal education.

–The Editorial Staff

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Sulfide Mining in Northern Minnesota: A Review of Possible Legal Recourse for Environmental Harm to Individuals

By: Jamison L. Tessneer

Minnesota has an extensive history of mining. Beginning in the nineteenth century, mining in Minnesota focused on limestone and to a limited extent, gold. However, Minnesota is predominantly known for its iron ore mining. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, three iron ranges in northern Minnesota became the underpinning of a mining economy that would provide hundreds of jobs and tons of iron ore to be processed into steel.

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By: Robert C. Whipps

Imagine you are twenty-one years old, uninsured, and you need to go to the doctor because of an illness. You can barely scrape the money together for the visit, and certainly cannot afford a second appointment. The doctor writes you a prescription for some cold medicine. Prior to visiting the pharmacy you change one number, doubling the prescription. You are relatively young and don’t realize this split-second act of poverty will haunt you for at least the next fifteen years of your life.

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Indemnification and Insurance: Who Is To Blame?—Engineering & Construction Innovations, Inc. v. L.H. Bolduc Co., 803 N.W.2d 916 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011)

By: Eric M. Carpenter

Indemnification is defined as the “action of compensating for loss or damage sustained.” Therefore, indemnity is the “right of an injured party to claim reimbursement for its loss, damage, or liability from a person who has such a duty.” “The right of indemnity can be contractual or it can arise under common law or statute.”

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Minnesota’s Inherent Authority Criminal Expungement Law: Two Years After State v. S.L.H.

By: Lindsay W. Davis

The Minnesota Supreme Court last considered the issue of the inherent authority expungement, in particular, a district court’s ability to seal records held outside the judicial branch, over two years ago in State v. S.L.H. Since then, individuals continue to seek relief from the effects of their criminal records, and the number of expungement petitions has remained steady. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has analyzed inherent authority criminal expungements in several cases since S.L.H., producing two published decisions. This article will explain how the appellate courts have applied and refined S.L.H., and which circumstances may still warrant relief to seal executive-branch records under the court’s inherent authority.

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The Theory and Application of Equal Protection: Developments in the Right to Counsel

By: Eric Wolf

Surprising, perhaps, to some, but apparently true: economic inequality itself, as distinguished from absolute poverty, tends to increase the rates of crime and social unrest. James Madison asserted as much in Federalist 10, writing that “the various and unequal distribution of property” is “the most common and durable source” of conflict, and modern social science supports the idea. Inequality is correlated most strongly with homicide, but also with rape, child abuse, robbery, and various other crimes and social ills.

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