Category: Commercial Litigation

A Practical Look at Arbitration as a Growing Trend

September 27, 2019  |  Joan M. Quade

In the 30-some years that I have been a lawyer, there have been many changes in the way companies do business and in how disputes are resolved. In that same period, however, I have not seen the same depth and breadth of changes in the court system. I have been a litigator representing businesses and individuals in all kinds of cases. I have been an advocate for clients in jury trials both short and long, court trials, mediations and arbitrations. I am also now a mediator and an arbitrator. Companies are now doing business at the speed of email and have global and international goals and inspirations. They have 30, 60 and 90-day business plans. When a company has a dispute, their lawyer must tell them that it will take about a year to get to trial to resolve that dispute, and longer if you are in federal court. It is not surprising that clients find this timetable and its inherit price tag unacceptable. During that year they need representation through a legal process that has been in place in the court system for longer than I have been an attorney. The process involves exchanging discovery documents, responding to Interrogatories, taking and defending depositions, preparing and arguing motions and preparations for trial. It…

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Counsel Now Required for Business Entities Involved in Commercial Evictions in Hennepin County Housing Court

February 15, 2019  |  Tammy J. Schemmel

Coauthored by Tammy Schemmel and Karen Kurth  For years, commercial landlords in Hennepin County have filed eviction actions against tenants in material default of leases in Hennepin County Housing Court. Rule 603 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice allowed the principals of business entities to file eviction actions without counsel and permitted commercial tenants to appear and defend the business entity without counsel in Hennepin County Housing Court. In 2018, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a decision holding that the Hennepin County Housing Court lacks authority to hear and determine any matter that is not related to residential rental housing. Likely in an attempt to salvage years of common practice, the Hennepin County District Court Chief Judge issued a Standing Order authorizing the Housing Court to hear civil cases involving commercial property evictions, but also requiring those commercial property evictions to be filed in District Court, not in Housing Court. [maxbutton id=”1″ ] Practically speaking, now commercial landlords that are business entities must hire counsel to file all commercial eviction actions in Hennepin County District Court and tenants must hire counsel to represent them in those eviction actions if they are business entities. The commercial eviction actions are still heard in Housing Court, but all business entities must appear through counsel….

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Defending Against ADA Lawsuits

October 1, 2018  |  Bradley Kletscher

Coauthored by Bradley A. Kletscher and Tyler W. Eubank Generally. The Americans with Disabilities Act (commonly known as the “ADA”) is a federal law meant to protect persons with disabilities from discrimination. To that end, the ADA requires that businesses open to the public remove architectural barriers where such removal is readily achievable. The Department of Justice has produced the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, voluminous guidance on design specifications covering everything from the height of counters to the placement of braille signage on elevators. The ADA also allows persons affected by discrimination in the form of architectural barriers to seek injunctive relief from courts compelling business owners to make changes to their establishments. [maxbutton id=”1″ ] ADA Abuse. Enter ADA “drive-by” lawsuits. These lawsuits trace a predictable pattern: a disabled person, as defined by the ADA, goes to a business looking for non-compliance with ADA regulations. Due to the vast number of regulations, the business is often found not to be in compliance with ADA regulations; there may be too narrow of an accessibility strip next to a reserved parking space, too steep of a curb cut, too low signage for reserved spaces, too narrow of aisles, too high of a counter, or too high of a grab bar in the restroom. In one…

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