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  • Environmental Review Becoming Tripwire for Southwest Light Rail?

    04/21/2015 / Gary A. Van Cleve

    Is the Metropolitan Council properly conducting environmental review for its 16-mile, 17-station Southwest Light Rail transit project (SWLRT) that extends through five cities from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie? This is the fundamental question raised in two federal lawsuits by affected property owners in Minneapolis and Minnetonka over the agency’s conduct of the environmental review process.

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  • Court of Appeals Grants Property Owners Judgment as a Matter of Law – Jury Verdict Reversed in Premises Liability Action

    04/21/2015 / Bryan J. Huntington

    ‎Minnesota courts continue to define the extent to which landowners must take steps to protect the safety of independent contractors on their property. In Smith v. Wells Concrete Prods. Co., No. A14-0644, 2015 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 115 (Minn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2015), a divided panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed a jury verdict in favor of a contractor injured while working on land owned by the company that hired her.

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  • Franchisor Prevails at Trial Despite Finding of Technical Disclosure Violation

    03/02/2015 / Jim Susag and Bryan Huntington

    A decision hot off the press of the United States District Court for the Southern District of ‎Georgia, Massey, Inc. v. Moe’s Southwest Grill, LLC, No. 1:07-CV-0741, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS ‎‎12281 (Feb. 3, 2015), has several lessons for franchisors. First, it demonstrates how franchisors ‎can successfully avoid liability for technical disclosure violations by proving that franchisees ‎actually benefitted because of the policy about which they complain. Second, it demonstrates ‎that even when franchisees can make out a violation, franchisors can still prevail at trial. Third, it ‎proves that careful drafting of a franchise disclosure document (FDD) by counsel experienced enough to anticipate changes in ‎the business is critical to a young franchise system.

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  • Sick Time and Paid Leave Bills Proposed in Minnesota Legislature

    02/19/2015 / Phyllis Karasov

    Several bills regarding sick time and paid leave have been introduced to the Minnesota Legislature which, if passed, could have significant impact on Minnesota employers.

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  • Patents on Software and Business Methods – Still Possible but Challenging

    02/19/2015 / Craig Lervick

    In the past several months, it has been suggested that software and business methods can no longer be patented. Generalizations like this are often very easy to make, but the true analysis is typically more complex. This is especially true when examining the current state of law related to the patentability of software and business methods.

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  • Trade Dress: Another Way to Protect Websites

    02/19/2015 / Jim Quinn

    The law around trade dress is an offshoot of trademark law. While trademarks typically consist of words, phrases, or logos, trade dress relates to things like shapes, patterns, or the combination of features.

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  • New International Patent Protection Effective This Spring

    02/19/2015 / Jim Quinn

    Several years ago the United States adopted the Madrid Protocol, enabling firms in the U.S. to take advantage of international protection for their trademarks. This action enormously simplified the process for protecting trademarks on a worldwide basis, and dramatically reduced the cost of obtaining foreign protection.

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  • Federal Circuit Makes Two Significant Holdings Framing How Inter Partes Review Will Proceed

    02/19/2015 / Glenna Gilbert

    When introduced, the America Invents Act (“AIA”) provided revised mechanisms to challenge the validity of issued patents. These changes were intended to provide a more efficient and cost-effective method to deal with patent issues.

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  • State Regulators Circumvent Venue Clauses for Arbitration

    01/05/2015 / Sawan S. Patel and Susan E. Tegt

    Sawan Patel and Susan Tegt contributed the article, "State Regulators Circumvent Venue Clauses for Arbitration" to the Winter 2015 edition of The Franchise Lawyer.

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  • National Labor Relations Board Update

    12/31/2014 / Phyllis Karasov

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently published a decision affecting the right of employees to use an employer’s e-mail system to discuss wages, hours and working conditions, and issued a new rule accelerating the time period for an election when a labor union has filed a representation petition.

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  • Tax Extender Law and ABLE Act Help Individual Taxpayers

    12/22/2014 / Tara Mattessich

    On Friday, December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 and the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (“ABLE Act”).

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  • More Special Assessments on the Horizon as Cities Contemplate Public Transportation Projects – Rights to Bear in Mind When Ordered to Pay a Special Assessment

    12/19/2014 / Bryan Huntington

    Business owners along University Avenue in St. Paul have recently received notice of proposed special assessments from the city related to construction of the central corridor light rail (the “Green Line”). A number of these owners have been ordered to pay thousands of dollars, even though they have had to struggle with a multitude of issues and challenges stemming from the light rail project, including limited parking and sidewalk blockages from snow. 

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  • Minnesota Court of Appeals Decision Expands Insurance Coverage for Commercial Lenders

    12/19/2014 / Connor McNellis

    Commerce Bank v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., 853 N.W.2d 836 (Minn. App. 2014)

    This recent Court of Appeals decision expands insurance coverage for commercial lenders in Minnesota by ruling that vacancy cannot void a lender’s coverage under a “standard” mortgage clause. Commercial property casualty insurance policies do not insure against losses stemming from vandalism, sprinkler leakage, glass breakage, water damage, theft or attempted theft if the property has been vacant for more than 60 days. Vacancy (defined specifically in the policy) means less than 31% use and occupancy. As a result of this decision, these vacancy clauses that void coverage apply only to owners, and not their lenders.  

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  • 2015 Health and Human Services Legislative Preview; What to Expect

    12/02/2014

    Matthew Bergeron's article "2015 Health and Human Services Legislative Preview; What to Expect" was published in the Dec. 2, 2014 edition of Minnesota Health Care News.

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  • Mistakes Happen. To Head Them Off, Training Program for Sales Team is a Must

    11/26/2014 / Chuck Modell

    Chuck Modell's article, "Mistakes happen. To head them off, training program for sales is a must," was published in the November/December 2014 edition of Franchise Times magazine. 

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  • How Many FDDs Do I Need? New Rules on Disclosing Multi-Unit Franchising Arrangements

    11/12/2014 / Chuck Modell and Sawan Patel

    On September 16, 2014, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) adopted the Multi-Unit Commentary (the “Commentary”) that provides guidance on how multi-unit franchise arrangements are to be disclosed in Franchise Disclosure Documents (“FDDs”). Multi-unit franchise arrangements are known by a myriad of names—including area development, subfranchising, and area representation—but the new guidance is crystal clear: if you are a franchisor with multi-unit franchise arrangements, you will have additional work to do in your next franchise renewal cycle, and may actually have to create multiple versions of your FDD and filings in the registration states.  

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  • Non-Signatory Owner-Operator Bound to Franchise Agreement

    11/12/2014 / Susan Tegt

    Earlier this month, in Everett v. Paul Davis Restoration, Inc., Nos. 12-3407, 13-1036, 2014 U.S. ‎App. LEXIS 21059 (7th Cir. Nov. 3, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh ‎Circuit held that an owner-operator of a property damage restoration services franchise was ‎bound to the terms of a franchise agreement she had never executed because she received a ‎direct benefit from the franchise agreement. Everett follows the trend in other jurisdictions to ‎bind non-signatories to contractual provisions under the doctrine of equitable estoppel.‎

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  • It’s Time Again to Restate Your Retirement Plans, According to the IRS

    11/07/2014 / Mary Komornicka and Mark Geier

    Every six years, employers are required to restate their retirement plans. This includes 401(k) plans and all other qualified plans. (Plans that are “individually drafted” need to be restated every five years and are on a different schedule.) The deadline for completing this process is April 30, 2016, but as a practical matter, companies need to start the process soon.  

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  • New “Responsible Contractor” Requirements in Minnesota

    10/27/2014 / Andrew Moran

    Earlier this year, Governor Mark Dayton signed a controversial new bill into law which is known as the “Responsible Contractor” law. The Responsible Contractor law, which purports to “enhance accountability and transparency” in the procurement of public construction contracts, will impose onerous certification requirements upon contractors who bid on those contracts.  

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  • Employees in California Entitled to Paid Sick Leave in 2015

    10/27/2014 / Chris Harristhal

    Under the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act of 2014, California joined Connecticut as one of two states that require employers to give employees paid sick leave. The California statute will take effect July 1, 2015, and applies to employers that have one or more employees in California. Those employees will be entitled to take up to six days of paid sick leave for personal and family members’ medical reasons.  

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Showing Results 81 - 100 of 592