Dependency and No-Fault Survivors’ Economic Loss Benefits After Auto Owners Ins. Co. v. Perry: A Call for Legislative Action

By: Markus C. Yira

In May 2008, the Minnesota Supreme Court addressed survivors’ economic loss benefits under the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, Minnesota Statute Sections 65B.41-71 (2006) (“the Act”). In Perry, the Supreme Court narrowly defined the term “dependent” as used in the act to mean only a spouse or child; precluding a decedent’s live-in girlfriend from recovering survivors’ economic loss benefits under the Act.

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Public Charity Update: Other Courts Weigh In

By: Lucinda E. Jesson and Myron L. Frans

On April 15, 2008, we published our article, What Qualifies as a Public Charity? Minnesota Enters the National Debate, describing the increased governmental scrutiny of nonprofits and Minnesota’s significant entry into that national discussion. Our article concluded with practical suggestions, particularly for governing boards of the category of nonprofits known as “purely public charities”, as they navigate uncertain waters due to state and national developments.

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What Qualifies as a Public Charity? Minnesota Enters the National Debate

By: Lucinda E. Jesson and Myron L. Frans

The last two years featured seismic shifts in nonprofit corporate law. With two recent cases, Under the Rainbow Child Care Center, Inc. v. County of Goodhue and Afton Historical Society Press v. County of Washington, the Minnesota Supreme Court entered the fray. In this article, we first address the backdrop of federal and state scrutiny of nonprofit structure and governance. Next we examine the Under the Rainbow and Afton Historical Society cases. We then suggest measures Minnesota nonprofits and their attorneys should consider preparing for potential challenges to tax exempt status as a “pure charity.” Finally, we reflect on the potential for broader legislative and regulatory challenges to nonprofit structure and governance given the current scrutiny of nonprofits.

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Life with Hoyt: Avoiding Misrepresentation Claims in Negotiating Settlement Agreements

By: Eric J. Magnuson and Daniel J. Supalla

“Lies can save trouble now, but may return in thunder and lightning.”–Mason Cooley

When the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its decision in Hoyt Properties, Inc. v. Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (Hoyt II), 736 N.W.2d 313 (Minn. 2007), many in the legal community were concerned that the court’s decision would unduly constrain settlement negotiations. Much concern was also directed at an attorney’s potential liability for representations made to a client’s adversaries. The court’s decision, however, is not as radical as many initially perceived it to be. All things considered, Hoyt requires no more than telling the truth-and carefully drafting settlement agreements.

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A Survivor’s Guide to Larson v. Wasemiller: An Aid to Eliminating Reversible Error in Managing Negligent Credentialing Claims under Minnesota Law

By: Mark R. Whitmore, Esq.

In August 2007, the Minnesota Supreme Court released its decision in the landmark case of Larson v. Wasemiller. In Larson, the Supreme Court recognized, for the first time, that a cause of action exists against a hospital for the manner in which a hospital credentials a physician to see patients within that facility. The Supreme Court determined that it was appropriate to recognize the tort by applying the four-part test from Lake v. Wal-Mart Stores. In so doing, the court fell in line with 30 other states that now recognize a claim for negligent credentialing, leaving only two states that have refused to recognize such a claim.

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The Necessity of an “Opt-In” Approach to Class Arbitration

By: Kirk D. Knutson

In recent decades, as the federal policy favoring arbitration has fully emerged, an increasing number of parties have been turning to arbitration as an expeditious and cost-effective alternative to court. Today, arbitration provisions can be found in a spectrum of contracts, everywhere from motion picture distribution agreements to cell phone calling plans. The prevalence of arbitration agreements has spawned extensive commentary and a substantial body of case law on the feasibility and propriety of class arbitration.

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