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Based on the plain language of Minn. Stat. 176.101, subd. 1(i), the Supreme Court held that an offer to return to work with the same employer is not “consistent with” an employee’s rehabilitation plan stating that the employee’s vocational goal is to return to work with a different employer in the same industry. The Court affirmed the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals that reversed the compensation judge’s decision to discontinue temporary total disability (TTD) compensation to the employee at issue in this case, holding that the employer was not entitled to discontinue TTD benefits because its job offer was not consistent with the employee’s plan of rehabilitation. View "Gilbertson v. Williams Dingmann, LLC" on Justia Law

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This tax dispute arose out of a failed real estate investment that resulted in significant tax consequences for Germaine Harmon, the widow of one of the original investors. Harmon challenged the Commissioner of Revenue’s assessment of her 2010 Minnesota income-tax liability, which the Commissioner based on a Schedule K-1 filed by the partnership in charge of the foreclosed real estate investment. The Supreme Court affirmed the tax court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Commissioner, holding that the tax court did not err by determining that Harmon failed to overcome the presumption of validity of the Commissioner’s assessment of taxes. View "Harmon v. Commissioner of Revenue" on Justia Law

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In 2015, Appellant was charged with two counts of first-degree driving while impaired (DWI). Appellant contested the use of his 1998 conviction for criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm to enhance his 2015 DWI charge to a first-degree offense. The district court found sufficient probable cause for enhancement. Thereafter, Appellant pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree driving while impaired. Appellant appealed, arguing that he was entitled to withdraw his plea because his 1998 conviction was not included in the list of predicate felonies in Minn. Stat. 169A.24 that enhance a DWI charge to a first-degree DWI. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a criminal vehicular operation conviction from a year not specifically listed in the current version of the first-degree DWI statute can be used to enhance a DWI charge to a first-degree offense; and (2) accordingly, Appellant’s plea was established with an accurate factual basis. View "State v. Boecker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After a bench trial, Appellant was convicted of three counts of first-degree premeditated murder. The Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. Appellant then filed a pro se petition for postconviction relief, arguing that he was entitled to a new trial based on newly discovered evidence in the form of affidavits signed by five alibi witnesses. Appellant also claimed ineffective assistance of trial counsel and appellate counsel. The postconviction court summarily denied Appellant’s motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion by summarily denying Appellant’s request for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence and based on Appellant’s claim that both his trial counsel and appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance. View "State v. Mosley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In 1999, Yik Lo created H.K.D. Lo, Inc. Yik and his wife, Yau Lo, operated several restaurants through H.K.D., the last of which they sold in 2005. In approximately 2004, Yik and Yau’s son, Kee Lo, opened a restaurant called Jun Bo that Kee operated through H.K.D. In 2011, Yik and Yau formally dissolved H.K.D. In 2012, the Commissioner of Revenue assessed Yik personally liable for sales taxes owed by H.K.D. in the amount of $91,019. Yik appealed. The tax court concluded that Yik was not personally liable for H.K.D.’s unpaid tax debt because Yik was not a person who had “control of, supervision of, or responsibility for” filing H.K.D.’s tax returns or paying H.K.D.’s taxes. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Yik funded H.K.D., signed checks on its behalf, had a fifty percent stake in the company, and delegated day-to-day control of the business to someone else, Yik had control over H.K.D.’s tax obligations, despite the fact that Kee demanded and exercised authority over Jun Bo’s daily operations. View "Lo v. Commissioner of Revenue" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law, Tax Law

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A grand jury indicted Appellant for first-degree premeditated murder. After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty as charged. The district court sentenced Appellant to life imprisonment without the possibility of release. On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court committed reversible error in its pretrial rulings, evidentiary rulings, and instructions to the jury. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not err by denying Appellant’s motion to quash the first-degree murder indictment as untimely; (2) did not abuse its discretion by denying Appellant’s pretrial motion to disclose the entire grand jury transcript; (3) did not err when it excluded evidence of an alternative perpetrator’s prior bad acts; (4) did not commit reversible error in its evidentiary rulings challenged on appeal; and (5) did not commit prejudicial error when it overruled Appellant’s objection to a proposed jury instruction on the law on accomplice liability. View "State v. Guzman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Respondent worked as a police officer for Appellant City of Minneapolis. When the City transferred Respondent from his position with the Violent Offender Task Force to another police unit Respondent was fifty-four years old. In November 2011, Respondent filed a complaint with Appellant’s human resources department, claiming that the transfer was due to age discrimination. More than one year after Peterson filed his complaint, Appellant concluded that the transfer was not because of age discrimination. In March 2014, Respondent commenced this action against Appellant, claiming that the City discriminated against him based on his age in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). The district court granted partial summary judgment for the City, concluding that Respondent’s claim was not filed within the relevant one-year limitations period. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the statute of limitations was suspended during the period of time in which Appellant’s human resources department was investigating Respondent’s claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Respondent and Appellant were voluntarily engaged in a dispute resolution process involving a claim of unlawful discrimination during Appellant’s investigation of Respondent’s claim, which triggered Minn. Stat. 363A.28(3)(b) and suspended the one-year limitations period. View "Peterson v. City of Minneapolis" on Justia Law

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After Nicole LaPoint applied for a job with Family Orthodontics, the company’s owner, Dr. Angela Ross, offered LaPoint a job as an orthodontic assistant. When LaPoint told Dr. Ross that she was pregnant, Family Orthodontics rescinded its job offer. LaPoint sued the company for sex discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The district court entered judgment in favor of Family Orthodontics. The court of appeals reversed, ruling, as a matter of law, that Family Orthodontics had discriminated against LaPoint because of her pregnancy. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) to the extent the court of appeals applied an incorrect legal standard to evaluate LaPoint’s claim, it erred; and (2) the district court’s findings were reasonably supported by the evidence, but it was unclear whether the district court would have made the same findings had it applied the correct law regarding animus. Remanded. View "LaPoint v. Family Orthodontics, P.A." on Justia Law

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At dispute in this case was the taxable value of Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc.’s downtown Minneapolis property. Macy’s challenged the Minneapolis Assessor’s valuation of the property for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 tax years. After a trial, the tax court valued the property at figures lower than the assessor’s original valuation of the property for each of the years in question but not to the extent urged by the testimony and appraisal report of Macy’s expert witness. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the tax court (1) did not clearly err in its determination of the property’s highest and best use and in its consideration of comparable-sales data; (2) did not abuse its discretion when it declined to strike portions of the appraisal report and testimony of the County’s expert witness as a sanction for a discovery violation; and (3) did not clearly err in disregarding the sale of a nearby commercial property when it evaluated the comparable-sales data provided by the parties. View "Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc. v. County of Hennepin" on Justia Law

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Appellant suffered injuries after being hit by another driver. The at-fault driver’s liability insurer paid Appellant $100,000, the full amount available under the policy. Appellant made a settlement demand on State Farm, with whom he had an underinsured-motorist policy that also had a $100,000 coverage limit. State Farm offered less than $30,000 to settle the claim. Appellant filed a complaint against State Farm alleging breach of contract and claiming that he was entitled to the full amount recoverable under the policy. The district court ultimately entered judgment in the amount of $98,800. Thereafter, Appellant amended his complaint to add a claim under Minn. Stat. 604.18, which authorizes the award of “taxable costs” when an insurer denies benefits without a reasonable basis. The district court concluded that State Farm had denied Appellant insurance benefits without a reasonable basis. The court then determined that the “proceeds awarded” to an insured under section 604.18 are capped by the insurance policy limit. The court of appeals affirmed after determining that the state was ambiguous. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 604.18 unambiguously caps “proceeds awarded” at the amount recoverable under the insurance policy. View "Wilbur v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co." on Justia Law