Monday, July 18, 2016

Sexual Harassment Can Occur in Commercial Land Transactions

by Eric Nord, Esq.

In a case of first impression, the Montana Supreme Court determined that a commercial tenant could prevail against a landlord on a claim of sexual harassment.

In Bates v. Neva, 2014 MT 336, 2014 MT 336, a commercial tenant brought an action against her landlord claiming that the landlord stopped making necessary repairs to the building when the tenant rebuked his sexual advances. Originally, a hearing officer denied the tenant's claim that the landlord's conduct violated the Montana Human Rights Act (MHRA), but the Human Rights Commission reversed. When the landlord petitioned for judicial review to the local district court, the court vacated the Commission's decision and reinstated the hearing officer's decision. Finally, the tenant appealed to the Supreme Court.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

What Happens at an Eviction Hearing?

by Timothy H. Baland, Esq.

Landlords often ask me what happens at an eviction hearing in Minnesota. The simple answer is that one of four things can happen, depending on what the landlord wants to happen and whether or not the tenant shows up.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Recent Decision Warns of Emerging Crisis in Service by Publication

by Jonathan M. Riddle, Esq.

As all practitioners know, service of process isn't as simple as it appears in the movies. In a perfect world, we would all have a half Bond, half Indiana Jones at our disposal who could serve all defendants while they are enjoying a drink at their favorite watering hole or pretend to be a nurse and serve them as they begin a surgery. In the real world, finding Defendants is no simple task. As such, we often turn to publication as a means to fulfill the due process rights of notice and jurisdiction on defendants.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Corporate Landlords Must Be Represented by Attorney in District Court

by Timothy H. Baland, Esq.

In a published decision issued on Monday, November 9, 2015, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that corporate landlords—including limited partnerships—must be represented by a licensed attorney in district court.

A15-0496: Hinckley Square Associates, Respondent, vs. Leah D. Cervene, Appellant.

On appeal from a judgment ordering her eviction, appellant Leah Cervene argues that the district court erred in denying her motion to dismiss the complaint because respondent-landlord Hinckley Square Associates ("Hinckley Square") is a limited partnership and did not appear through licensed counsel in district court.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Discovery vs. Privacy: Social Media in Litigation

by David P. Kennison, Esq.

In today's ever-changing social media culture, a new platform to connect users seems to appear every month. As each social media phenomenon comes and goes, a seemingly endless trail of data and personal information is left in its wake. For parties involved in litigation, social media information in the context of e-discovery is a rapidly evolving area of the law that will continue to have a widespread impact on litigants.

The need to balance an individual's privacy with an adverse party's right to access relevant information is the inherent tension manifesting itself in the litigation process.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Recent Tenth Circuit Decision Could Have Ramifications in Workers' Compensation Retaliatory Discharge Cases

by Charley Drummond, Esq.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently released its decision in the case of Green v. Donahoe, No. 13-1096, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14290, 2014 WL 370823 (10th Cir. July 28, 2014). In this employment discrimination case, the Court held that the limitations period for a claim for constructive discharge begins running on the date of the employer's last misconduct - not at the time the employee actually resigns.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Gregory Vialpando v. Ben's Automotive Services [Medical Marijuana and Workers' Compensation]

by Christopher T. Elmore, Esq.

We all knew (and likely dreaded) this would eventually be here, and that time has finally arrived: medical marijuana and the Workers' Compensation Act.

The issue in Vialpando was whether or not the employer/insurer was required to reimburse the previously-injured worker for his medical marijuana pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. For those unfamiliar with this act, under NMSA Section 26-2B-1, the purpose of the act is to "allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments."

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Learned the Hard Way: True Stories of Landlord-Tenant Law

by Robin L. Unander, Esq.

1. Unwelcome Dog

I assisted a tenant last summer who was facing eviction for having asked to have a small dog. The basis of the request was a companion animal for her because she suffered anxiety and depression. She made the request after residing in the unit for less than a month, and was told "no." She brought the dog to management to show them, and forwarded an email from her treatment provider (a licensed, clinical social worker who diagnosed her and was counseling her). Management unequivocally again said "no." No request for further documentation or information from her treating provider was made by management. Tenant had the dog removed from the apartment same day.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Ten Commandments of Practicing Insurance Defense Law

by Jennifer Pickett, Esq.

I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "it's so easy, I can do it in my sleep." That may apply to some things, but not to the practice of insurance defense law.

Although not an exhaustive list, below are my top ten rules or commandments for the civil litigation attorney.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

The Impact of Video Surveillance on Workers' Compensation Cases

by Tracy W. Cary, Esq.

Video surveillance can have a devastating impact on a workers’ compensation case. How frequently it occurs is speculative but it is safe to assume that it occurs in nearly every case.

Why is it used so often?

Surveillance can undermine the credibility of the injured worker and his or her claim in the eyes of the treating physicians and more importantly in the view of the judge. Despite warnings, there are some people who will nevertheless continue to engage in activities inconsistent with the physical restrictions imposed by the physicians or make social media posts that only serve as fodder for weakening their credibility or claim.

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