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  • Franchisor Handbook: When franchisees struggle, fast action may ward off the worst

    02/01/2013 / Charles S. Modell

    All businesses have their challenges, and franchisees are no exception. Unfortunately, franchisors often do not recognize a franchisee has a problem until the royalty check is late.  

    While it is the franchisee’s responsibility to operate its business, if you are a franchisor and want to avoid long-term problems with franchised units, you should make it known to franchisees that you are there to help them, and they should call you at the first sign of a significant downturn or operating issue.  

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  • The Federal Circuit Provides Guidance on Meeting the Bar for Notice Pleading in Design Patent Infringement Cases

    01/31/2013 / Glenna L. Gilbert

    On January 25, 2013, the Federal Circuit decided Hall v. Bed Bath & Beyond, al., a patent infringement case concerning a patented design for a “Tote Towel.” Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B) moved to dismiss Hall’s complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In dismissing Hall’s complaint, the district court stated that Hall’s patent infringement complaint did not contain allegations to show what aspects of the Tote Towel merit design protection, or how each defendant infringed the protected patent claim.

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  • Coyle Featured in BATC Magazine as 'Our Guy At The Capitol'

    01/20/2013 / Peter J. Coyle

    Peter Coyle was featured in the January 2013 edition of Builders' Digest: The Magazine for BATC Members published by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. The article discussed Peter's long-standing relationship representing BATC at the capitol and three successful issues Peter helped resolve for BATC involving variance issues, attorney fees and park fees.

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  • Former Faculty Member Seeks New Trial in Political Discrimination Suit

    12/28/2012 / Andrew D. Moran

    A closely-watched discrimination suit in Iowa may have ended in a mistrial, but may lead to an expansion of employer liability based on political viewpoint discrimination. Teresa Wagner, a University of Iowa faculty member, sued Carolyn Jones, the former dean of the University of Iowa College of Law. Wagner’s lawsuit, filed in 2009, alleged that she was the victim of political discrimination and was denied equal protection under the law when the university denied her a full-time teaching position because of her conservative political views and her work with certain conservative groups that oppose same sex marriage rights and abortion

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  • Minnesota Court of Appeals allows uncollectible damages award to be reallocated to severally liable co-defendants

    12/28/2012 / Melissa L. Hagstrum

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals’ decision in O’Brien v. Dombeck, Case No. A12-0984, published December 3, 2012, marks the first time in the nearly ten years since the Minnesota legislature modified Minnesota’s joint and several liability statute that Minnesota courts have spoken on the ambiguous relationship between the statute’s joint and several liability requirements and the provision allowing reallocation of uncollectible amounts. Under this decision, uncollectible amounts may be reallocated to other parties without regard to whether they are jointly liable.

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  • United States Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Definition of Supervisor

    11/29/2012 / John A. Kvinge

    On November 26, 2012, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments related to the definition of a “supervisor” under Title VII. Under Title VII, an employer can be found liable for a hostile work environment caused by severe or pervasive harassment in the workplace based on race. If the harassment was inflicted by co-workers, the plaintiff must show that the employer was negligent in discovering or remedying the harassment. However, employers are strictly liable for harassment perpetrated by supervisors. The question in many cases, then, is whether an alleged harasser is a supervisor, or merely a co-worker.

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  • Compliance Best Practices with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

    11/25/2012 / Sawan S. Patel

    On November 14, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued joint guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). In general, the FCPA prohibits offering to pay, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to a foreign official in order to influence any act or decision of the foreign official in his or her official capacity or to secure any other improper advantage in order to obtain or retain business. This article summarizes the "FCPA: A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" that includes the new recommendations on effective compliance programs that businesses should adopt to detect and prevent FCPA violations. 

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  • Read and Recycle: New FTC Regulations on Environmental Marketing Claims

    10/09/2012 / Sawan Patel

    On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued its “Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims,” (“Guide”) which directs advertisers and marketers on the proper use of “green” or environmental claims in the sale or promotion of their products, services, or brand. Marketers need to be aware of these new guidelines before they make green or environmental claims (such as “100% RECYCLABLE MATERIAL,” “GREEN,” or “ECO-FRIENDLY”).

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  • Minimum Compensation an Update on County of Dakota V. Cameron, IV

    10/02/2012 / Timothy A. Rye

    In 2006 the Minnesota Legislature adopted a law intended to provide for just compensation to a property owner who is forced to relocate because of a public project. Our first glimpse of judicial interpretation of minimum compensation arrived on March 26, 2012, from the Minnesota Court of Appeals in County of Dakota v. Cameron IV,A11-1273 (Minn. App. March 26, 2012).

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  • You Want my Facebook Password?!?! Recent Legislative Trends in Social Networking Privacy and the Workplace

    09/26/2012 / Susan E. Tegt

    Since the advent of social media, employers have used social media as a tool for vetting job applicants by reviewing applicants’ and employees’ public internet profiles and postings on websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. When this information is publicly available, an employer’s review of social media sites entirely legal, so long as the employment decision is not made on a discriminatory basis. Earlier this year, however, the Associated Press identified an increasing trend where employers are not just reviewing publicly accessible social media profiles, but also asking applicants to disclose their usernames and passwords for social media websites that are restricted to the public or otherwise designated as “private.” 

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  • Van Cleve Discusses Lawsuit Regarding a Rochester Shopping Development


    Gary Van Cleve was quoted in a article discussing a case between Franklin and Bonnie Kottschade and MnDot. Van Cleve is representing the Kottschades' who have been in legal battles with MnDot since 2003. Currently, the Kottschades' are seeking the right to install a driveway in front of the northwest Rochester shopping development.

    Read the full article, Developer Says Loss of Driveway Stalled Rochester Shopping Center, on the website.

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  • The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota Makes Substantive Changes to its Motion Practice Rules

    07/31/2012 / Glenna L. Gilbert

    On July 23, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota amended its local rules. Although most of the changes were stylistic in nature only, the Court made substantive changes to Local Rules 7.1, 16.2, 16.3, 16.6, 26.1, and 72.2.

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  • Minnesota Court of Appeals Rejects Private Right of Action for Termination in Retaliation for Applying for Unemployment Benefits

    07/31/2012 / John A. Kvinge

    In a case decided July 9, 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law does not create a private right of action for retaliatory discharge.

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  • Are You Letting Your Trade Secrets Walk Out the Door Each Night?

    07/18/2012 / John A. Kvinge

    At least 46 states have enacted some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which provides protection for information that “derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use.” The Uniform Trade Secrets Act allows the owner of a trade secret to bring a lawsuit for misappropriation against someone who uses a trade secret obtained through improper means.

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  • Jurisprudence Over Abstract Ideas Continues In CLS Bank v. Alice Corporation

    07/18/2012 / Glenna L. Gilbert

    In a 2-1 split decision in CLS Bank v. Alice Corporation, the Federal Circuit heldon July 9 that when – after taking all of the claim recitations into consideration – it is not manifestly evident that a claim is directed to a patent ineligible abstract idea, that claim must not be deemed an abstract idea under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In other words, “[u]nless the single most reasonable understanding is that a claim is directed to nothing more than a fundamental truth or disembodied concept, with no limitations in the claim attaching that idea to a specific application, it is inappropriate to hold that the claim is directed to a patent ineligible ‘abstract idea.’

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  • The 3 Elements to Avoid Accidental Franchise

    07/10/2012 / Franchise & Distribution Practice Group

    Chuck Modell contributed an article to the LQ Patent Newsletter titled The 3 Elements to Avoid the Accidental Franchise. Modell discusses three elements to avoid when licensing intellectual property to others.

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  • Employee Overtime for Cell Phone Use – Employers May Incur Unintended Wage Obligations

    06/29/2012 / Christopher J. Harristhal

    Employers can unwittingly accrue liability for unpaid wages including overtime as a result of employees performing work on cell phones, particularly smart phones or PDAs, after hours or even during lunch breaks. The employee who is using a smart phone to send emails to colleagues or customers is probably working under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), meaning that the time devoted to those tasks is compensable time, which is time for which the employer has to pay. In the event that those minutes and hours push the employee over 40 hours per week, they will also trigger overtime liability. Although not an issue with exempt, salaried personnel under the FLSA, this can be a significant risk for hourly workers.

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  • Minnesota Employers Cannot Agree To Refrain From Contesting A Claim For Unemployment Benefits

    06/29/2012 / Daniel J. Ballintine

    The law in Minnesota has long-provided that employers cannot ask employees to waive their rights to unemployment benefits and that any agreement to that effect is void. The Minnesota Legislature has amended Section 268.192 of the Minnesota Statutes that will affect how employers clarify their agreements with employees to provide that they will not contest a claim for unemployment benefits and employees corresponding responses given to DEED.

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  • Auto Insurance: Are You Covered? – Minnesota Motorcycle Insurance

    06/18/2012 / Kate Westad

    It’s that time of year again. Warm summer weather brings thousands of motorcycles onto the road ‎each year. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Safety (MDS) reports that “by the end of the ‎calendar year 2011, the number of licensed motorcycle operators and the number of registered ‎motorcycles in Minnesota had reached their highest levels in history.”‎

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  • Employee Need Not Invoke MPLA Leaves

    06/04/2012 / Dayle Nolan

    Dayle Nolan was a source for an article for the June issue of Minnesota Lawyer. The article focused on a request for leave from work under the Minnesota Parenting Leave Act and the stipulations of the act’s protections.

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Showing Results 181 - 200 of 611