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  • What We've Been Up To


    What do resins, mold remediation, remodeling, REVPAR and FPRs have in common? They are all terms ‎you would have heard in the Larkin Hoffman Franchise Department in March and April, our peak ‎season for franchise registration renewals. This is the time of year when franchisor attorneys who ‎write disclosure documents and franchise agreements must become industry insiders in the ‎businesses they represent – possessing knowledge of how each company operates, keeping up with ‎industry standards, acronyms and jargon, and keeping a pulse on the competition – not to mention ‎changes in the law and political climate. This was especially true for us this year.‎

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  • The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What the New Federal Trade ‎Secrets Law Means for Franchisors and Other Businesses

    05/10/2016 / Ryan E. Strom

    Franchisors will soon have a new way to protect their confidential information. The Defend Trade ‎Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA”), passed by the Senate in March and by the House in April, is expected ‎to be signed into law soon. Once enacted, the DTSA will provide a private right of action under federal ‎law for theft of trade secrets.‎

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  • Remote Employees, Remote Jurisdictions?

    04/14/2016 / Henry Pfutzenreuter

    Henry Pfutzenreuter's article, "Remote Employees, Remote Jurisdictions," appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of Hearsay, from the Minnesota State Bar Association.

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  • Not so Fast: You Can’t Prevent Employees From Discussing Their Wages

    04/01/2016 / Andrew Moran

    On September 10, 2015, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule implementing Executive Order 13665, which prohibits federal contractors from firing or otherwise discriminating against employees or job applicants for discussing their pay or the pay of their coworkers. Minnesota construction companies that perform work for the federal government must immediately incorporate this prohibition into their contracts. Under state law, Minnesota employers are already prohibited from taking any adverse action against an employee for sharing information about his/her own wages or discussing another employee’s wages which have been voluntarily shared. Minnesota law requires employers who use employee handbooks to include in the handbook a notice of employees’ rights under this statute.

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  • Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors Just Became Much Riskier

    04/01/2016 / John Kvinge

    Last year, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it was increasing its enforcement activities regarding misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Minnesota construction companies that have misclassified their employees might now be forced to pay back wages (including any overtime pay), additional taxes, and other penalties as a result of the misclassification. Any business that regularly pays individuals as independent contractors should carefully examine the nature of the working relationship, and ensure that proper classifications are made going forward.

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  • Valuing Your Special Purpose Properties for Purposes of Property Tax Appeals

    03/23/2016 / Timothy A. Rye and Mark R. Geier

    The deadline for filing a property tax appeal this year is fast approaching: April 30. This article addresses a specific type of property that assessors have difficulty valuing and that is very common to manufacturers, processors and platers: special purpose properties.

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  • Four Things Contractors Must Know to Ensure Proper Compensation

    03/10/2016 / David Hammargren

    In a recent unpublished decision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals dealt with a common pitfall facing contractors in the form of contractual “notice of claim” provisions. In Contractors Edge, Inc. v. City of Mankato, the court held that a contractor’s claim for additional compensation was properly denied because the contractor did not follow the claim notice requirements in his contract. 

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  • What You Don't Know About Purchase Orders Can Bite You

    03/10/2016 / Jim Sander

    Contractors: there may be trouble brewing in your everyday purchase of equipment and materials. It’s possible you just don’t know it yet. For example, that construction contract you signed last week bound you to a scope of work, specifications, a schedule and a two-year warranty. You are bound to comply with the schedule or face liquidated damages for delays.

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  • Court Blocks Non-Attorney From Preparing Mechanic's Lien

    03/10/2016 / Jason Tarasek

    In a case that could spell doom for non-attorney consultants who prepare mechanic’s liens on their clients’ behalf, a Hennepin County court recently held that such practice is illegal.

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  • Do You Know What Your Arbitration Clause Says?

    03/10/2016 / Inga Schuchard

    Whether a construction claim should be heard by an arbitrator or litigated in a court of law is a common issue in construction-related disputes. If you operate in the construction industry, chances are your contracts’ arbitration clauses incorporate the AAA Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures, a set of standardized arbitration rules promulgated by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) specifically for construction contracts.

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  • What Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Remand of Medtronic v. NuVasive Mean for a “Reasonable Ignorance” Defense?

    02/16/2016 / John A. Kvinge

    Medtronic v. NuVasive is a patent infringement case involving a Medtronic device which monitors nerve activity during spinal surgery. NuVasive claims that the device can be used to infringe its patent, U.S. Pat No. 7470236, and that Medtronic was liable for indirect infringement on the grounds that it instructed doctors how to use the product in an infringing manner.

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  • Naruto: Photography and Monkey Business

    02/16/2016 / James P Quinn

    David Slater is a British nature photographer who traveled to Indonesia in 2011. During a photo shoot in the jungle, he set his camera on a tripod. A Macaque monkey named, Naruto, walked up to the camera, pressed the shutter button, and took some pictures of himself – simian selfies. The pictures turned out to be charming and hilarious and they went viral. Mr. Slater registered the copyrights in the photos in England.

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  • Building a Quality Patent Portfolio

    02/16/2016 / Todd R. Fronek

    Michelle Lee, current Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, has made it a point to increase the quality of patents that it issues. As part of the “Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative,” the USPTO will strive to issue patents that are both “correct and clear.” System-wide, issuing correct and clear patents will help to reduce inefficiencies created when patents are invalid, overly vague or include some combination of issues, and then asserted as infringed by a specific device sold by a competitor.

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  • Court Watch: Franchise Alert - February 2016

    02/09/2016 / Bryan J. Huntington and R. Henry Pfutzenreuter

    In the February 2016 issue of the Law Journal Newsletter’s Franchising Business & Law Alert, Bryan Huntington and Henry Pfutzenreuter contributed two articles, "Court Dismisses Franchise Act Claims" and "Court Grants Franchisor's Motion to Compel Arbitration."

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  • Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Extended

    02/02/2016 / Paul J. Linstroth and Robert C. Long

    Paul Linstroth and Bob Long released a co-written article, Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Extended.

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  • Update on Financial Performance Representations (FDD Item 19)

    01/19/2016 / Charles Modell

    In January each year, Franchise Times features their annual “20 to Watch” in franchising for the year. In addition to listing our long time client, Anytime Fitness, at the top of the list, this year’s list includes the North American Securities Administrators Association’s pending Commentary on financial performance representations as one of the top 20 things or people to watch in franchising in 2016. In our last newsletter, we reported that the Commentary had been issued for public comment. NASAA received extensive comments, and the task force that issued the Commentary has been scheduling at least two conference calls a month to work their way through the comments. What does this mean for franchisors?

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  • A New Year, a New Day: The Amendments to the California Franchise Relations Act Are Now in Effect

    01/19/2016 / Henry Pfutzenreuter

    For franchisors with franchisees in California, ringing in the New Year means navigating a new regulatory landscape. All franchise agreements renewed or entered into after January 1, 2016, as well as existing indefinite ones that are terminable without cause, are now subject to the amendments to the California Franchise Relations Act (“CFRA”), which the California legislature passed in fall 2015.[1] The amendments to the CFRA make significant changes to the transfer, termination, and nonrenewal of franchises in California, as well as the resulting remedies available to franchisees. While there are some ambiguities that will need to be resolved by the courts, it is clear that franchisors will have a number of new issues to consider when deciding how to deal with franchisees in California.

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  • Metro Cities Contemplate Controversial Housing Policies

    12/28/2015 / Peter J. Coyle and Bryan J. Huntington

    In the November-December 2015 issue of the BATC Digest, Peter Coyle and Bryan Huntington contributed an article entitled, "Metro Cities Contemplate Controversial Housing Policies," which appeared on pages 40-42.

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  • Limited Partnerships Must be Represented by an Attorney in State District Court

    11/30/2015 / Gary A. Van Cleve

    In a ruling issued November 9, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that a limited partnership could not represent itself in district court without licensed counsel. Minnesota courts have previously held that corporations and limited liability companies must have licensed counsel in court, but this is the first time a Minnesota appellate court has addressed whether limited partnerships also must be represented by counsel.

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  • Minnesota Court of Appeals Strikes Down Sprinkler Rule

    11/30/2015 / Rob A. Stefonowicz and Bryan J. Huntington

    Larkin Hoffman real estate litigation attorneys Rob Stefonowicz and Bryan Huntington successfully obtained a declaratory judgment from the Minnesota Court of Appeals invalidating an administrative rule while representing the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (“BATC”). Specifically, BATC challenged a rule adopted by the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (“DLI”) requiring residential fire sprinklers in all newly-constructed single- and two-family homes, except for those single-family homes under 4,500 square feet (the “Sprinkler Rule”).

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Showing Results 81 - 100 of 631