Category: Our Attorneys

Early Mediation in Your Civil Litigation Case: A Time and Cost Saver, or a Waste of Time and Money?

August 19, 2022  |  Joan M. Quade

The short answer is that it depends. But there are many cases where, with hindsight, we can say that it would have been beneficial to try early mediation. There are some cases where we tried early mediation and they settled before the parties spent a lot of money and time. These are usually the happiest litigants. In my 35 years as a lawyer and advocate for litigants, in many different types of civil litigation cases, and my years as a mediator and an arbitrator, I can tell you that there are many cases that would, and many that did, do well in early mediation. There are also many more cases, especially in the last years, that should have tried early mediation and settled. Litigation should be a last resort for dispute resolution. It costs too much, and it takes too long. Good lawyers, who have a thorough understanding of the law and experience in the litigation process, and who are representing reasonable clients, should be able to negotiate a settlement with the help of a skilled mediator. More and more the parties wish, as they slog through the litigation process, that they would have settled earlier in the process, instead of spending the money and time it takes to litigate. 96% of all…

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Significant Proposed Changes to Minnesota Veterans Homes Rules

November 17, 2021  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

By: Cathryn Reher While there has been a great deal of publicity about the ground-breaking ceremonies around the state for additional Minnesota Veterans Homes, far less publicized are the 88 pages of proposed changes to the Minnesota Rules. These proposed changes will impact both veterans and their spouses whether they currently reside, or have future plans to reside, at one of these facilities.  The current rules can be viewed at:  https://link.edgepilot.com/s/1f367ca5/5mJ1ZMz-4kSkcAQfk_IInA?u=https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/9050.  You will want to check out the proposed rule changes at:  https://link.edgepilot.com/s/71a018ff/xz80iGxVIUKb4jigTsKN0w?u=https://mn.gov/mdva/assets/2021-10-15-rd4384_tcm1066-502928.pdf. From an initial review of the proposed rule changes, many are adverse or more restrictive than under the current rules. If you read the MDVA description of the proposed rule changes, you would have no idea what changes are afoot. For instance, one of the proposed changes will impact a current and future facility resident’s holding a real property interest in the form of a life estate. The change adopts a valuation method for a life estate which could result in as much as a twenty to thirty percent increase in the equity value allocated to a Veterans Home resident.  If the life estate were sold, the resident’s maintenance charge would increase until the full value of the interest, along with other available assets, was reduced below $3,000. For any persons holding…

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Experienced Elder Law/Elder Care and Special Needs Planning Attorney Cathryn Reher Joins Barna, Guzy & Steffen Law Firm

July 26, 2021  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

Attorney Cathryn Reher has joined the firm as a Shareholder with more than 30 years of experience. She is recognized for her thorough and detailed estate and long-term care planning analysis and passionate advocacy on behalf of her clients. Cathryn will work closely with our existing team of Estate Planning Attorneys, enhancing the firm’s ability to serve our community. She is certified in federal veterans benefits and has assisted clients with Veterans Homes planning since 1993. Since the 1990s, Cathryn has regularly served as faculty and makes presentations on elder law and special needs planning topics at continuing legal education courses for attorneys through Minnesota CLE and the Minnesota NAELA chapter. She also teaches courses to non-legal professionals obtaining continuing education credits and served as faculty for more than a decade with Kaplan Professional Schools. Long recognized as a leader in her field of law, Cathryn has received multiple accolades from peers and clients over the years.  She has been repeatedly named a Super Lawyer, including an award as ‘Top 5 Elder Law Super Lawyer.’ The Minnesota State Bar association awarded her the 2005 Mary Alice Gooderl Award and in 2019 she was named to the Elder Law Section Hall of Fame. Elder Law/Elder Care and Special Needs Planning impacts everyone, not just…

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