Welcome to the Minnesota Law Blog. This blog is intended to address current trends in Minnesota law, outcomes in cases and other interesting Minnesota news. Please feel free to submit a post or comment on an existing one.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Craig's List Murder Raises Serious Concerns

Two days ago a woman from Minneapolis was killed after she responded to an ad posted on Craig's list. This tragedy will undoubtedly focus our state's, and the nation's attention on internet based communities with an emphasis toward protecting the innocent. The manner in which this horrific crime occurred is extremely troubling. The criminal complaint can be viewed by clicking the link above. According to the complaint, motive still remains the biggest mystery.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Big Pharma and the Medicaid Advisory Panel

Minnesota is being recognized for a "groundbreaking" law that requires doctors and pharmacists serving on state advisory panels to fully disclose all financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. According to the article, medical ethicists are concerned with the potential influence pharmaceutical companies can have on the way millions of dollars in the state is spent. With $240 million dollars at stake in Minnesota's Medicaid system, is full disclosure enough to protect honest deliberations? Or should we prohibit doctors from serving on advisory panels that receive financial contributions from pharmaceutical companies?

Chinese Company Liable For Stealing Air Jordan Logo

Nike recently won a lawsuit against a Chinese shoemaker for copyright infringement. http://kstp.com/article/stories/S172468.shtml?cat=140 According to a local article, the Chinese company had been pirating the famous picture of Michael Jordan sailing through the air and dunking a basketball. While the sneaker giant was awarded a mere $41,500, it is an interesting story as intellectual property disputes transcend international boundaries. One wonders, however, whether the outcome would be the same if it was a lesser known U.S. Company which had little or no Chinese presence.

Suspiciously Timed Emergency Declaration

So, Minneapolis is now a federal emergency area.

This could be a lot more inspiring had the President declared it on his first visit to the bridge collapse site, several weeks ago.

Instead, the declaration had to wait until he was in town for a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for Senator Norm Coleman's floundering re-election campaign.

Hmm... I wonder what the differences are with respect to campaign finance laws between a visit for a fundraiser and an official state visit with an incidental fundraiser attached...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Twins Stadium Cite Valued at $23.8 Million Dollars

In what will surely enliven debate concerning the appropriateness of spending tax dollars on stadium ventures, the 3 member condemnation panel charged with valuing the site where the new Twins stadium will be built valued the land at $23.8 million dollars. The Twins originally offered $17 million for the land. The sellers, however, claimed the land was worth more than $65 million. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/08/20/ballpark/ Only two of the three appraisers voted and the non-voting member refused to give reason for abstaining. As the general public continues to disagree over whether it is appropriate for government to subsidize professional sports, there will likely be outcry for this additional $5.8 million dollars. Not to mention the amount of money that was flushed down the toilet in litigating the dispute.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Family Pitbull Mauls Minnesota Boy - Criminal Neglect?

In the wake of the Michael Vick case, there has been significant debate surrounding the role of pitbulls in society. Stoking the debate in Minneapolis is the story of the Minneapolis boy that was mauled to death by his father's pitbull. The animal was tethered to a post in the basement and lunged at the boy's neck when the boy moved within striking distance. http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1369629.html. Following the attach, Minneapolis is debating a ban on "dangerous breeds" of dogs. This approach seems to place a Band-Aid on a cancerous tumor. Ignoring the problems of assigning a concrete definition to the term “dangerous breed” and devising a plan for policing the prohibition, the question remains whether a prohibition would accomplish its intended purpose. As the Michael Vick case demonstrates, there is an underground market and culture infatuated with breeding these animals. Its hard to accept that a prohibition would effect on this culture. Does anyone know whether the father of the mauled boy is facing criminal charges?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Federal Judge Prohibits Law Firm From Accessing 35W Bridge Collapse Site

Minnesota Federal District Judge Patrick Schiltz denied a Minneapolis based personal injury law firm access to the scene where the 35W bridge collapsed. According to reports, Judge Schiltz is requiring the firm to exhaust its administrative remedies by asking regulatory agencies for access before resorting to the Courts. An article on the subject may be viewed at http://www.startribune.com/10204/story/1365136.html. The court's ruling raises the potential that critical evidence regarding the cause of the collapse will be lost. This evidence is critical to people who have been injured by the collapse. Was the Court's ruling correct? Or, should the law firm have been granted access to the site?