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Welcome to the new 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

By: Robert C. Whipps I.Introduction II.History of Inherent Authority Expungement in MinnesotA A.The Founding and Expansion of Inherent Authority Expungement B.The Minnesota Court of Appeals Split on Inherent Authority C.The Minnesota Supreme Court hears S.L.H. III. The M.D.T. Decision A.Facts and Procedural Posture B.The Minnesota Supreme Court’s Decision C.Justice Stras’ Concurrence D.Justice Paul Anderson’s Dissent IV. […]

By Roger S. Haydock [Y] 6 Wm. Mitchell J.L. & Prac. 2. This article will appear in Fundamentals of Pretrial Litigation, 9th Ed. by Roger Haydock, David Herr, and Jeffrey Stempel (West 2013). The Launch[1] Who knew way back in 1844 that Morse Code and telegrams would someday be replaced by computers and digital messages? Who […]

6 Wm. Mitchell J.L. & Prac. 1 By Eric M. Carpenter[Y] I.  Introduction Indemnification is defined as the “action of compensating for loss or damage sustained.”[1]  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.”[2]  “The right of […]

5 Wm. Mitchell J.L. & Prac. 2

By Lindsay W. Davis[Y]

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.[1] Since then, individuals continue to seek relief from the effects of their criminal records, and the number of expungement petitions has remained steady.[2] The Minnesota Court of Appeals has analyzed inherent authority criminal expungements in several cases since S.L.H., producing two published decisions.[3] 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. Continue reading

5 Wm. Mitchell J.L. & Prac. 1

By: Eric Wolf[Y]

1.         Introduction

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,[1] 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.[2] Continue reading

4 Wm. Mitchell J. L. & P. 6

By: Chad Snyder[Y]

Why.

That, I learned in one of the more productive hours of my law school experience, is the answer any lawyer should be ready to give in support of any legal argument.[1] And, as one of my fellow students learned the hard way in one of those hard-to-watch Socratic moments, “because another case says so” is not always or even often a good enough  “why.” Common law, by its nature, evolves. So it is not enough to rest on the argument that a court should apply your proposed rule because it happens to be the rule that has been applied before. A lawyer making an argument or, though my professor did not say so, a judge issuing a decision, should be able to articulate a reason the legal rule she advocates should be adopted or maintained, and why it functions better than the alternative or alternatives. Continue reading

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By: Stephen P. Laitinen, Esq. and Hilary J. Loynes, Esq.[Y]

The cost of health care continues to rise and, along with it, premiums are soaring.[1]  Over the past decade, health care premiums have more than doubled, and the average worker’s contributions more than tripled.[2]  These increases are partly attributable to the rising number of uninsured Americans.  During the chief tort reform movement in 1986, in response to the growing cost of insurance, the Minnesota legislature at least in part abrogated the common law collateral source rule.[3]  This legislation provided that a defendant could, in certain instances, take an off-set on his or her damages for amounts paid to the plaintiff related to the injury.[4]  In interpreting this legislation amidst the backdrop of the current health care environment, the Minnesota Supreme Court recently concluded that insurance companies do not have to pay an injured party amounts that she received from a “collateral source.”[5]  In particular, it held that the amount negotiated by the plaintiff’s health insurance company for the plaintiff’s care was a collateral source, as defined by Minnesota Statute § 548.251, and thus deductible under the statute.[6] Continue reading