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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. Over the past decade, health care premiums have more than doubled, and the average worker’s contributions more than tripled. 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. 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. 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.” 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. Continue reading
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
4 Wm. Mitchell J. L. & P. 4
By: Leslie Lienemann and Justin Cummins[Y]
In a case of first impression, the Minnesota Supreme Court has held that a woman who experienced sexual harassment while performing according to the terms of a contract was not protected by the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”). The case was brought by business owner Pamela Krueger and her corporation, Diamond Dust Contracting, after Krueger was sexually harassed by employees of Zeman Construction Company, a business with which Diamond Dust Contracting had a contract. The Minnesota Supreme Court held that only Diamond Dust Contracting, and not Krueger, could sue for harassment because only Diamond Dust Contracting was a signatory to the business contract with Zeman Construction Company. Continue reading
By: Imani Jaafar-Mohammad, Esq. and Charlie Lehmann[Y]
There are many misconceptions surrounding women’s rights in Islam. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the basic rights of women in Islam in the context of marriage and divorce. This article is only to be viewed as a basic outline of women’s rights in Islam regarding marriage and divorce. Muslim clients’ situations will vary greatly depending on what Islamic School of Thought (Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi) they follow, whether they are Sunni or Shiite, their cultural traditions, and a variety of other factors. Continue reading
4 Wm. Mitchell J. L. & Prac. 2
By: Judge Jerome Abrams[Y]
The central concept behind insurance in general, and liability insurance in particular, is risk transfer. The simple nature of paying some amount of money in advance of a future event, which could result in a greater loss, provides some measure of economic security. However, there can be many uncertainties involved in risk transfer through insurance. Continue reading
4 Wm. Mitchell J.L. & Prac. 1
By: Kristin Berger Parker and Ellen G. Sampson
This paper looks at the kinds of statements that can be considered defamatory, the chilling effect that the tort of defamation has on the communication of important information, and also examines the similarities and distinctions between public and private defamation, focusing on the speech interests at hand. It then discusses the privilege defenses that courts have developed to alleviate the chilling effect of the tort, both in the public and private contexts. Finally, this paper considers how defamation and the privileges operate in the employment context. Continue reading
3 Wm. Mitchell J.L. & Prac. 3
By: Professor Kenneth L. Port 
On March 19, 2009, the Minnesota Supreme Court took a significant step in leveling the intellectual property playing field. In General Cas. Co. v. Wozniak Travel, Inc., the Court determined that trademark infringement falls within the scope of a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy and that it amounts to an advertising injury. As such, trademark infringement should fall within the scope of the insurance policy and the insurance company must defend the defendant. Continue reading