Saturday, October 27, 2012 (11 a.m.) Tom Shroyer and WCCO Radio's Steve Thomson will collaborate for our final broadcast this week. Since 2008, it has been the distinct privilege of Moss & Barnett to partner with WCCO Radio to present news and information to our listeners about current legal developments and the legal community, in a user-friendly format. Tom and Steve will take a look back at our program and how it evolved, share some thoughts on programming highlights, and discuss Steve's take on the show from the perspective of a non-lawyer. On behalf of the 180 employees of Moss & Barnett, here's a salute to WCCO Radio for inviting us to join their family of broadcasters and to express our very special thanks to all of our listeners. We look forward to being with you one last time for "Minnesota Law: The Finale."
Even as our economy continues to struggle, companies continue to raise capital with private stock offerings or other equity financing. In a replay of one of our very best programs, Tony Marick of Moss & Barnett will discuss alternative ways to do equity financing, including financing by friends or family, using venture capital, and private placement offerings. We will also discuss what rights potential investors typically expect, the regulatory limitations on stock offerings, and how companies in need of capital can find investor financing without running afoul of federal and state securities laws.
Perhaps because the process touches so many lives, there continues to be a great deal of confusion about the family law. One source of misunderstanding is due to the use by our family law courts of what are called “legal presumptions.” These are legal principles that serve as general guidelines – but that are not always followed in cases where the evidence points to a different outcome. Commonly used presumptions are that all property acquired during a marriage is community property, that each spouse is entitled to at least 25% of parenting time, and that antenuptial agreements are deemed to be fair.
Few legal definitions have more importance in our emerging services economy than the question of just who can be treated as an independent contractor. Important questions for business owners and the people they hire, often involving taxes and benefits, hinge on whether a job position meets the definition of an independent contractor. We’ll explore the legal ins and outs of who is an employee versus who is an independent contractor with Marcy Frost, a Moss & Barnett shareholder and certified as a Labor and Employment Law Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Businesses in financial trouble face many choices: Which creditors to favor over others, how to meet payroll, and what assets to sell or discard. All too often, business owners fail to take action in time to salvage some value for their business by using the many alternatives available to bankruptcy. Cass Weil is a Moss & Barnett shareholder whose practice includes advising business owners in financial trouble on what is possible – and what is illegal. This week, we’ll cover all of the options for businesses in financial trouble.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
"Best of" Minnesota Law Tom Shroyer hosts Brian Short of Leamington Co. on the topic of "What Makes Mediation Work?" (Originally aired on June 12, 2010.)
Mediation is perhaps the single most revolutionary development in the administration of the civil law over the past 20 years. This week, we will feature an encore presentation on mediation by one of the leaders in establishing and conducting mediation in the Upper Midwest, former United States Magistrate Judge Brian Short, now a business executive based in the Twin Cities. Mr. Short will discuss all aspects of the mediation process for parties to any dispute, including what works and what does not.
Jim Rubenstein, one of the deans of the Minnesota bankruptcy bar and a frequent presenter on our show, will join us to cover the law of court receiverships and assignments of interests for the benefit of creditors. These legal devices are applied outside of the bankruptcy courts and are alternative ways to clean up the messes left behind by a failed business or a loan default. We’ll show how these legal procedures differ from bankruptcy and explain why they may offer advantages over the bankruptcy laws.
One side effect of the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the new health care law is the emergence of antitrust law concerns by the health care industry. Tom Sheran, who focuses his practice at Moss & Barnett on antitrust law, will be our guest to discuss the impact on hospital mergers, on the pricing of patented drugs versus generics, and the challenges now facing health insurance cooperatives and exchanges. The intersection of the health care law with antitrust law is crowded and challenging — and it is greatly important to all of us.
Ed Winer will be our guest on Saturday for our live broadcast from the WCCO booth (located at the corner of Carnes and Underwood — next to Ye Old Mill and Sweet Martha's Cookies) at the Minnesota State Fair to discuss his reflections from practicing law for more than 40 years. Ed has been nationally recognized and honored for his distinguished work as a trial lawyer in the family law arena and will share his experience in the practice of law, including the many ways that the legal profession has evolved over the years — while retaining its essential core values — and why the practice of law remains a noble calling of service to the community.
The Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Honorable Lorie Skjerven Gildea, will be our very special guest this week, joining Tom Shroyer, Susan Rhode, and Steve Thomson at the Minnesota State Fair. The Chief Justice presides over our entire state judicial system and will explain her job and discuss the challenges facing our courts – as well as the progress that is being made to ensure that our courts continue to provide justice for everyone. We’ll also discuss with the Chief Justice the procedures she and her fellow justices go about in deciding the cases that come before it. We hope you can stop by to see Minnesota Law and Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea live from the WCCO booth at the State Fair on Saturday from 11 to noon.
William Shakespeare famously asked the question, "What's in a name?," and then observed that a rose would smell just as sweet by any other name. While that's certainly true, it's equally true that businesses and individuals spend billions of dollars each year to turn their names and images into valuable brands that are protected by the law of trademarks from being used by others. Our show this week will explore the law of trademarks: What are they, why are they protected by the law, and how are they registered and enforced? Susan Rhode hosts Moss & Barnett trademark attorney Marsha Stolt on this "best of" program for an informative and entertaining discussion.
Saturday, August 11, 2012 (11 a.m.) "Best of" Minnesota Law Tom Shroyer hosts Matthew Kostolnik of Moss & Barnett's Litigation Practice Area on the topic of "Investigating and Litigating Trade Secret Claims Under Minnesota Law" (originally aired on January 31, 2009).
In an increasingly competitive and high-tech world — especially with so many individuals in job transitions — litigation over the theft of trade secrets is on the rise. Our show this week will explore the concept of what is a trade secret, how employers can protect their valuable information, and what types of job-related information employees can take with them to a new employer. Lawsuits involving trade secrets are often fought with great intensity and can be immensely costly, as the stakes are huge — for both sides. You won't want to miss this week's encore presentation featuring Matthew Kostolnik.
John Rossman will be joined by Dave Bateson, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the University of St Thomas Law School, on Saturday to explore how the continuing economic slowdown and structural changes in the practice of law are affecting recent law school grads. As fewer and fewer law jobs open up to new attorneys, many are wondering if a legal education is worth the cost. We will examine the reasons why an individual should consider attending law school, whether a legal education is actually affordable, and the many legal jobs and careers that are opening up for new attorneys. If you or someone you know is wondering about the merits of attending law school, this is a program that you won't want to miss.
The rights of divorcing couples and the impact on minor children remain at the forefront of the family law courts in Minnesota, as well as a continuing point of interest for the State Legislature. Susan Rhode joins WCCO Radio's Steve Thomson this Saturday to discuss the many changes taking place in family law. She'll cover the past year's legislative debate about revising Minnesota's child custody rules, as well as discuss new rules that affect family court and this past year's Court of Appeals decisions that make notable changes in the amount to be awarded for spousal maintenance or alimony.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
WCCO Radio's Steve Thomson hosts Tom Shroyer, Minnesota Law host and Moss & Barnett's President and Chief Executive Officer, and on the topic of "New State Laws in 2012."
In less than two weeks — on August 1, 2012 — the new laws passed by our Legislature and signed by the governor will take effect. We'll cover the highlights of Minnesota's new statutes on our program this week, including everything from new protections for employers who adopt preferential hiring for returning military veterans to property rights and criminal law. While most of this year's legislative session was taken up by the new Vikings stadium, many of the new statutes make significant changes to our legal rights and duties.
One of the more common and important legal instruments that affects the legal rights of business owners and individuals alike is the mechanic's lien. This highly effective legal device protects the rights of the suppliers of building materials, as well as construction contractors and workers to be paid for their efforts. Yet too frequently, these parties lose their lien rights due to ignorance of technicalities in the law. On the other side, property owners can be victimized by unscrupulous or bankrupt contractors if they fail to protect themselves against such liens. We'll be discussing the ins and outs of mechanic's liens on our program with Mathew Meyer, a Moss & Barnett shareholder who is experienced with this law.
What has the Minnesota Supreme Court called a form of industrial peonage without redeeming value—but continued to enforce? The answer is non-compete agreements—also known as restrictive covenants. Why do employers use them and how do they work? We'll cover the answers to these questions about non-compete clauses on this week's show with Dave Jendrzejek, a Moss & Barnett attorney who represents both employers and employees in non-compete litigation and a Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Labor and Employment Law and Civil Trial Specialist.
Minnesota has enacted a series of laws that grant special rights to our vulnerable adults, protecting them from emotional and physical abuse and from fraud. In addition to existing legal protections under the law of guardianship, conservatorship, and the Vulnerable Adult Protection Act, the Minnesota legislature has enacted a new law which makes it a crime to force vulnerable adults into seclusion from others. The need to protect vulnerable adults is increasing greatly due to the aging of our population. Cindy Ackerman, a shareholder in Moss & Barnett's trusts, estates, probate, and guardianship practice area, will cover this important law with us this week.
Employment law is back on the docket this week as Moss & Barnett shareholder and MSBA Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist, Marcy Frost, joins us to discuss the role played by state and federal employment laws on the hiring process in Minnesota. We'll cover job descriptions, job interviews, background checks, and the use of social media in the hiring process, plus reference checking, immigration law issues, and signing of non-compete agreements. From the start to the end of the hiring process, Marcy will offer legal information and practical tips on what employers need to do to comply with employment laws, as well as how to protect themselves against claims.
This Saturday, Minnesota Law will cover a little-known legislative office called, The Office of the Revisor of Statutes. This refreshingly non-partisan State office provides services to the Minnesota Legislature, as well as to all State constitutional offices, agencies, and departments. The Revisor of Statutes drafts, edits, and compiles bills for the Legislature to consider, new state laws and administrative rules, and publishes them in comprehensive, or codified form. Michelle Timmons has served as the nationally recognized Revisor of Statutes for Minnesota since 1998 and will join us to discuss the important work of her office.
Brian Grogan returns as our host this week, and he will be joined by Pat Zomer, a business lawyer with Moss & Barnett. They will be tackling a subject of ever-increasing importance to business owners and managers: data privacy. According to one study, most unlawful disclosures of private information occur not at internet giants, but at companies with fewer than 100 employees. At a cost of an average of $200 per record, a data breach can lead to a significant hit to the bottom line for any business. Our program this week will survey the law of data privacy, the ramifications of legal breaches, and ways in which businesses can protect themselves from damage claims.
Mike Etmund, an attorney with Moss & Barnett's national practice on behalf of judgment creditors, will be with us this week to discuss the many weapons in the law's arsenal for collecting damage awards from defendants. All too often, an award of money damages is just the start of a long and frustrating legal slog to actually collect the award. The law does provide many tools for collecting judgments, ranging from wage garnishments and bank levies, to attachments and even self-help, but careful planning and consideration of all options is important to a successful collection effort.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
"Best of" Minnesota Law Brian Grogan hosts Shanna Strowbridge of Moss & Barnett's Real Estate and Business Law Practice Areas on the topic of "Owning Property With Family – The Good, the Bad, and How to Prevent the Ugly." (Originally aired on November 19, 2011.)
One of the fundamental principles of our legal system is the concept of indemnity — by which one party agrees to pay another for an anticipated loss or to prevent him or her from suffering other legal consequences. Many contracts are written with a clause that provides for indemnity between the parties, and all insurance policies are, in the end, agreements to provide indemnity to the policyholder. Curt Smith, Chair of Moss & Barnett's Litigation Department, will join us to describe how indemnity works under the legal disciplines of contract, tort, and insurance law.
Are you running out of room to store your old records or wondering how long you need to keep them? Is the suggestion that records need to be kept for seven years just an urban legend? We'll answer these and other questions about record retention this week with our guest, Moss & Barnett shareholder Terese West. The legal issues that drive records retention guidelines include the many statutes of limitation and court rules that provide stiff sanctions for failing to preserve information when needed for a lawsuit. We'll also cover the important role that a written record retention policy can play for a business.
Moss & Barnett salutes Minnesota's first responders, as we feature the "Wills for Heroes" program this week on Minnesota Law, Presented by Moss & Barnett. The "Wills for Heroes" program was launched by the Minnesota State Bar Association in 2007 and provides first responders and their spouse/domestic partner with a volunteer attorney to assist in preparing wills and other estate planning documents at no charge. The program is now part of the Minnesota Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. and is one of just 21 similar lawyer volunteer programs in the nation. Susan Link, an attorney in private practice with Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, LLP, and Tom Rauenhorst, a banker with J.P. Morgan and the Chair of the MSBA's Probate & Trust Section, will be with us to explain who the program serves and how it works.
The Internet highway continues to strengthen its position over businesses on main streets and in shopping centers, and electronic payment systems are integral to that growth. Tom Sheran will join us this week to discuss the antitrust law issues that have become a major legal focal point for e-commerce. We'll cover the implications of credit card regulation for online purchases, whether "bricks and mortar" retailers can implement agreements to prevent the internet sale of goods on display in their stores, and the battle over the pricing of e-books and other media.
Our federal Constitution continues to make news, especially with the recent arguments in the Supreme Court over the health care law. We’ll be talking about American constitutional law on Saturday, using the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Anna Nicole Smith bankruptcy case as the starting point for our discussion. Jim Rubenstein, a distinguished bankruptcy and creditors remedies attorney and a Moss & Barnett shareholder, will join us for a discussion of the separation of powers and the historical value placed on bankruptcy by the United States Constitution.
The rights and responsibilities of parents under Minnesota Law are once again in flux, as the Minnesota Legislature is working this session on possible changes to child custody and parenting rights, as well as child support payments. Jim Vedder, of Moss & Barnett’s Family Law Practice Area, will join our program to review the current laws and the impact of the proposed new laws on children and their parents dealing with divorce and post-divorce issues. These issues are always challenging and often heartbreaking. Jim Vedder brings his expertise to our program to help sort it all out.
April 15 is just a few days away, but there’s another tax filing deadline this month that looms large for many Minnesotans: April 30 is the last day for filing appeals to property tax assessments. Many property owners received an unpleasant surprise with this year’s notice of assessment – appraised values went up, and taxes went with them – even though property values have been declining. Our program this week will discuss how to contest and appeal property tax assessments, and what’s involved in bringing a legal challenge to the value placed on your property.
Small business is the engine of job growth in our economy, so it's especially important when the owners of a closely held business are unable to get along. John Boyle is a business litigator with Moss & Barnett with over 20 years of experience in dealing with business ownership disputes. John will offer his insights into how business owners can resolve their disputes short of litigation and learn to work together again. The business law firm of Moss & Barnett focuses on all aspects of the formation, management, operation, and ownership transitions for businesses of all sizes, and we are pleased to share our knowledge with you every week.
Our American patent system provides many benefits to companies and individuals who invent technology. It protects their investment in the technology by providing an exclusive right to commercialize the invention and to license it to others for money. New patent laws are now coming on line that will streamline the process for obtaining patents and create a better process for challenging other persons' invalid patents without litigation. David Biek, noted patent attorney and a regular guest on our program, returns this week to discuss "Patent Law Changes."
Like most professionals, judges and lawyers have their own highly unique vocabulary for communicating in shorthand. This "language of the law" runs the gamut from the truly elegant expressions of the Law French and Latin, to some of the worst jargon in the English language. Kevin Busch, the Chief Operating Officer of Moss & Barnett and a true student of legal vernacular, will join us on this week's show to explain the background, meaning, and importance of many of the legalisms used to communicate by legal professionals.
In WCCO Radio's "green room" (from left to right):
Breck Lawyer Coach Ross Hussey, Breck Co-Captains Chris Erickson and Nicki Simpson, Minnesota Law Host Susan Rhode, Judge Peter Cahill (Click to Enlarge)
It is our privilege this week to host Minnesota District Court Judge Peter Cahill, Assistant Chief Judge for Hennepin County, for an important presentation of the Minnesota State Mock Trial Program, as well as students who participated in this week's state final round of the competition. The State Mock Trial Program is sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association and introduces high school students to the American legal system by providing a challenging opportunity for personal growth and achievement. As a part of the program, students exercise their critical thinking and teamwork skills, while learning basic courtroom skills. All of us at Moss & Barnett are honored to highlight this important educational program sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Susan Rhode, Mathew Meyer, and Steve Thomson on location at the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show. (Click to Enlarge)
Susan Rhode and Mathew Meyer will be broadcasting this week's show live from the Home and Garden Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and they'll be addressing a topic very much in the news recently - legal issues that followed in the wake of the tragic sinking of the cruise ship, Costa Concordia. Cruise ship travel presents a unique set of legal issue for vacationers, including contract provisions typically used by cruise lines that can drastically affect legal rights in cases of injury. From forum selection clauses compelling travelers to bring personal injury claims in foreign countries, to shortened statutes of limitations, and even caps on a cruise line's liability for injuries, it's important to know your rights before you travel.
Owning rental property without giving up one's day job can be a great way to leverage time and money into extra income and tax benefits, but it can also turn into a legal sink hole. Jennifer Reusse, a shareholder in Moss & Barnett's real estate practice area, has experience working with part-time landlords and she'll address the important legal issues that confront part-time owners of rental property, both residential and commercial. If you own or are thinking about purchasing rental income property without using full-time, professional managers, this is a show that you won't want to miss.
A federal law known as the Family and Medical Leave Act provides important legal rights to covered employees with medical needs or who need time off to care for family members. This law can be tricky to navigate — for employers and employees alike — and Moss & Barnett employment law lawyer, Marcy Frost, will provide important information about who is covered, the kinds of medical conditions that are covered, and the leave rights that are mandated by the law, as well as important protections for employers that are built into the law and the legal sanctions and penalties for violations of the law.
Our deploying armed forces personnel face many challenges, including what happens to minor children during deployment. What are the challenges facing our servicemembers who get orders to deploy and have minor children from a prior marriage or relationship? What happens when the primary custodial parent gets deployed or mobilized? Can the custodial parent decide who gets to care for the child during the deployment? Does the noncustodial nondeploying parent have any rights? What if it's the noncustodial parent who is deploying? What happens when the deployed parent returns? Do the extended family members of a deploying parent have any rights to see or have access to their grandchildren during the deployment? Should they? Are there special laws which apply to our servicemembers regarding custody and parenting rights during deployment? Should there be? These are some of the questions we'll explore this week.
Business bankruptcies are often viewed as the end of the line, and they can be deeply painful and expensive for employees, pensioners, and creditors left holding the bag. But often there is much more to the story, as we'll learn from this week's guest, Moss & Barnett shareholder and bankruptcy attorney, Cass Weil. We'll explore why companies, including American icons like Kodak and American Airlines, are increasingly looking to the bankruptcy court to preserve their businesses and generate new growth.
Saturday, January 28, 2012 (11am) Tom Shroyer hosts John Boyle of Moss & Barnett's Litigation Practice Area on the topic of "Escaping a Legal Pandora's Box: Advice to Small Business Owners for Avoiding Being Sued and What to Do If Sued."
From employment and tort law claims, to breach of contract, ownership, and governance fights, small business owners run a never-ending gauntlet of exposure to lawsuits. Compounding this risk is that court costs and legal fees can be as financially ruinous as the litigation itself. John Boyle is a senior shareholder in Moss & Barnett's Litigation Department who has over 35 years of experience working with small business owners on ways to stop lawsuits from ever occurring, as well as methods for resolving disputes in alternative ways that are fair and cost-effective.
The new year brings with it yet another round of change in the laws of making gifts as a part of estate planning. Cindy Ackerman, an award-winning estate planner and a shareholder with Moss & Barnett, will return to our program this week to discuss "Making Gifts in 2012." Cindy is just back from attending the national meeting of the prestigious Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning of the University of Miami, which includes the leading gifts, trust, and estate planners in the United States. Our discussion will cover changes to the gift tax exemption amounts, gifting techniques, and unique ways to make gifts while retaining control over the use of the gifted assets.
We're going to put the Internet under the legal microscope this week, using the lens of the antitrust laws. We'll explore whether search engines are monopolizing commerce by the way they sort and prioritize search results, and consider if e-commerce vendors are abusing their market power by limiting sales of books or music to their proprietary operating systems? Another looming issue is whether the increasing fees charged by credit card exchanges for internet sales are lawful – especially since credit and debit card payments are the only means for making on-line purchases.
We'll explore the many ways in which Minnesota lawyers are volunteering their time, talent and treasure to help meet the increasing gap between the need for legal services for the poor and the shrinking budgets available to address those needs, and the way that the Minnesota State Bar Association is leading the way in bringing about the reality of equal justice for all.
This program does not create an attorney-client relationship between Moss & Barnett, A Professional Association, or any attorney appearing on this program and any caller or listener. Please remember that we can only give general information and every case is unique. Always check with your individual attorney for any specific legal concerns.