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Tim is teaching a seminar on Bankruptcy Basics: What Everybody Needs to Know about Bankruptcy. The seminar will be held on Friday, January 29, 2016 from noon to 1 PM at Tim's office, 2140 – 4th Avenue North, Anoka Minnesota 55303. This seminar is intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not practice in the area of bankruptcy.

Space is limited, so preregistration is required. For more information and to register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-basics-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-20485575909.

ATTORNEYS: This seminar has been approved for one standard CLE credit. The event code is 214745.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents consumer and small business debtors in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Please note that only individual debtors can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, not businesses.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today and find out whether declaring bankruptcy is the right option for you!

DISCLAIMER: Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. is a debt-relief agency, and Timothy H. Baland, Esq. is a debt-relief agent.  We help people like you to obtain bankruptcy relief.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



 
 
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There were two decisions -- actually, one decision and one order -- on attorney discipline from the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The decision is noteworthy because two of the Justices, including the Chief Justice, dissented.  The order stands for the proposition that attorneys should not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct while on probation for a prior disciplinary offense.

A13-1382, In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Larry S. Severson, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 99363

The respondent attorney engaged in misconduct by entering into an investment agreement, which amounted to an unsecured $500,000 loan, and several related business transactions with a client in violation of his obligations under the rules of professional conduct regarding conflicts of interest. The attorney also made misrepresentations to a client and opposing counsel in the course of a civil lawsuit, and to the Director during the disciplinary investigation, caused harm to his client, and did not demonstrate genuine remorse for the misconduct.  Based upon these violations of the rules of professional conduct, the appropriate discipline is an indefinite suspension from the practice of law with no right to petition for reinstatement for 1 year.

The dissent argued that the Minnesota Supreme Court should have imposed a 3-month suspension, as recommended by the referee, because a longer suspension is warranted only when the attorney intentionally commits an act of dishonesty.  The dissent wrote:

A lawyer’s first responsibility is to represent his client’s interests. There is great peril for both lawyer and client when, as here, the client’s interests and the lawyer’s interests are intertwined. Severson’s failure to make his client’s interests the paramount concern necessitates discipline. Given the unique facts in this record, however, I would suspend Severson from the practice of law for 3 months as recommended by the referee.

 However, the dissent is in the minority, and the longer suspension carries the day.

A14-2158, In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Shannon M. Fitzpatrick, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 345349.

The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition for disciplinary action alleging that respondent Shannon M. Fitzpatrick committed professional misconduct, namely, that while on disciplinary probation, respondent cut and pasted a client's signature from another document to a stipulation for an order, with
that client's knowledge, notarized the signature, and filed the document with the district court, in violation ofMinn. R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(c) and (d).Respondent waived her procedural rights under Rule 14, Rules on Lawyers
Professional Responsibility (RLPR), and unconditionally admitted the allegations of the petition. In a stipulation for discipline, the parties jointly recommended that the appropriate discipline is a 30-day suspension and 2 years of probation. After filing the stipulation for discipline, respondent asked the court to make her suspension retroactive
to January 1, 2015, or in the alternative, to impose a 30-day stayed suspension.  The Minnesota Supreme Court imposed the agreed-upon discipline: a 30-day suspension.

Tim represents attorneys facing professional discipline, and consults with attorneys about whether a particular situation or proposed course of conduct implicates the Rules of Professional Conduct.  When faced with a situation that may implicate the Rules of Professional Conduct, Tim always recommends that an attorney seek an advisory opinion from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. 

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

 
 
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Three cases involving unpublished unemployment decisions were released today.  Two were affirmed and the third was actually reversed. The first one involves a case where it is an undisputed fact that the Relator quit her job. However, the Relator challenges the ULJ’s conclusion that none of the exceptions in Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1 apply to her case. In the second case, the Relator was found to be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he was neither available for nor actively seeking employment. The appellate court reversed the ULJ’s decision in the third case, granting the Relator’s request to reverse, but only based upon one of her three arguments -- that she had good reason to quit due to a consultant’s nonsexual and sexual harassment and her employer’s failure to address the Relator’s complaint when given the opportunity to do so. 

A14-1320   Terrylou Cripe-Scherek, Relator vs. MNKase LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  Relator Terrylou Cripe-Scherek appeals the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she was ineligible to receive unemployment benefits after quitting her employment. Because Cripe-Scherek did not request an accommodation prior to quitting her employment, we affirm.

Relator was employed at Fantastic Sam’s and was responsible for all of the day-to-day operations of the salon, including hiring and firing employees. Approximately six weeks before quitting, Relator Cripe-Scherek was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition causing a blood clot to form in her leg.  Relator and her assistant manager discussed the fact that she could not continue performing her job—or any other job at Fantastic Sams—if she had to be seated 90 percent of the day.

 When Relator Cripe-Scherek quit, she told the owner that she was quitting because “her doctor put her on restrictions and she wasn’t able to work.” Relator Cripe-Scherek never asked the owner for additional leave or any other accommodation, which was one of the major reasons the appellate court affirmed the ULJ’s decision and also because she did not meet the statutory requirements for any of the exceptions under Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1.

The general rule is that an applicant is ineligible for unemployment benefits if that applicant quit employment without meeting a statutory exception.  In this case, Relator's appeal was based on the statutory exception that it was medically necessary for her to quit.  However, Relator did not ask her employer to make a reasonable accommodation for her condition prior to quitting.  As such, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of benefits. 

A14-0471  Keith Travis, Relator, vs. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., Respondent, Department of  Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: Relator challenges an unemployment-law judge’s decision that he is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct and because he was neither available for nor actively seeking employment.

Because of a hand injury, Travis was asked to provide Wal-Mart with medical certification several times.  Travis failed to provide one, even after he was informed that such certification was required and given nearly a month to provide it. The ULJ further found that Wal-Mart discharged Travis because he failed either to return to work after leaving to acquire the certificate. Record evidence supports these facts and is not disputed by Travis on appeal.

During the hearing, the Relator told the ULJ that his hand was still bothering him, therefore, he was not actively seeking employment and the Relator’s wife testified that because of his hand injury, he couldn’t do anything. Therefore, the Court upheld the ULJ’s decision that Travis is ineligible to receive benefits due to his unavailability for and failure to actively seek suitable employment.

Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial.

A14-0287  Jami Sternquist, Relator, vs. PAL Management, Inc., Respondent, Department  of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

 Summary:  In this certiorari appeal, relator requests reversal of the decision of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she did not quit her employment due to a good reason caused by the employer. Relator argues that she had good reason to quit because (1) she was paid less due to her gender; (2) she was harassed by a consultant who acted in a supervisory role; and (3) she was uncomfortable managing her regional manager’s wife.

The ULJ determined that Sternquist was eligible for unemployment benefits from September 6 through September 14 because she was discharged from employment for reasons other thanemployment misconduct. But the ULJ determined that Sternquist was ineligible for unemployment benefits beginning September 15 because Sternquist notified Pawn America that she planned to quit her job as of September 19, and she quit for reasons other than a good reason caused by the employer. Sternquist requested reconsideration,and the ULJ affirmed her decision.

The Court of Appeals determined that the consultant’s nonsexual and sexual harassment, coupled with Pawn America’s failure to address Sternquist’s complaints when given a reasonable opportunity to do so, would compel an average, reasonable employee to quit and become unemployed.  Accordingly, the Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that the ULJ erred by determining that Sternquist did not have a good reason to quit caused by her employer.  Because the case was reversed based on the alleged sexual harassment and failure of the employer to respond, the Court of Appeals did not address Relator's other arguments.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 


 
 
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Tim is teaching a seminar called "Bankruptcy 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bankruptcy"  The seminar will be held on Friday 11/21/14 from noon - 1:00 p.m. at Tim's office, 2140-4th Avenue, Anoka MN 55303.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-101-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-14175181349

Here is the official description:

This seminar covers the basics of bankruptcy for consumers and small business, including the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, exemptions and ways to keep non-exempt property, and what to expect at the Meeting of Creditors and other bankruptcy-related court hearings.  Intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not handle bankruptcy cases, this seminar will introduce you to bankruptcy.

ATTORNEYS: One standard CLE credit has been applied for.

WARNING: Tim is a debt-relief agent, and his office is a debt-relief agency.  Tim helps people like you to file for bankruptcy relief.

 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals this week, including one where I represented the applicant.  That case is noteworthy because it deals with a challenge to the constitutionality of the reconsideration statute.  The second is a fairly typical misconduct case -- not showing up for work when you are scheduled is misconduct.  The third is noteworthy because the judge's determination of whether the applicant had earned enough in the previous benefit year to establish a benefit account was remanded -- or sent back to the department -- for further factfinding.

1. A14-0159, Pamela Beidel, Relator, vs. Corporate Commission of Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians - Grand Casino Hinckley, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development,Respondent.

Summary: Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) decision that she was discharged for employment misconduct and ineligible for unemployment benefits, arguing that she did not engage in misconduct and that a portion of the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law is unconstitutional. More specifically, Relator argued that the portion of the reconsideration statute requiring the same unemployment law judge who presided over the evidentiary hearing where benefits were denied is unconstitutional.  We affirm the ULJ’s decision and conclude that relator’s constitutional challenge fails

2. A14-0230, Mark M. Lazo, Relator, vs. Moguls F & B LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: Relator Mark M. Lazo challenges an unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) determination that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct after he failed to report to work on two occasions.  Lazo argued that he was not scheduled to work on those dates, but the Appeals Court affirmed the determination of ineligibility.

3. A14-0228, Chaquita Broadway,Relator, vs.Minnesota State Agricultural Society-Minnesota State Fair, Respondent, Island Therapeutic Massage Wellness Center, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: In this certiorari appeal, relator argues that the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) erred by concluding that she did not meet the minimum requirements to establish an unemployment-benefit account.  As the Appeal Court stated,

Credibility was central to the ULJ’s decision because Broadway’s testimony was the only evidence that she received an additional $550 in wages. Because the ULJ’s decision not to credit Broadway’s testimony had a 
significant effect on the outcome, the ULJ was required to provide her reason for discrediting that testimony. See Minn. Stat. 268.105, subd 1a(a).; Wichmann v. Travalia, 729 N.W.2d 23, 29 (Minn. App. 2007). Because the ULJ failed to do so, we remand for the ULJ to make additional findings.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 



 
 
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Tim is teaching a seminar called "Bankruptcy 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bankruptcy"  The seminar will be held on Friday 9/5/14 from noon - 1:00 p.m. at Tim's office, 2140-4th Avenue, Anoka MN 55303.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-101-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-12695828565

Here is the official description:

This seminar covers the basics of bankruptcy for consumers and small business, including the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, exemptions and ways to keep non-exempt property, and what to expect at the Meeting of Creditors and other bankruptcy-related court hearings.  Intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not handle bankruptcy cases, this seminar will introduce you to bankruptcy.

ATTORNEYS: One standard CLE credit has been applied for.

WARNING: Tim is a debt-relief agent, and his office is a debt-relief agency.  Tim helps people like you to file for bankruptcy relief.

 
 
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This week there were three unemployment unpublished decisions from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Two relators challenge the ULJ’s decision that they are ineligible for unemployment benefits because they committed employment misconduct and the third relator cites several reasons for challenging the ULJ’s decision that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits. All three were affirmed.

1.  A13-2026   James Richarson, Jr., Relator, vs. Alamco Wood Products LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: Relator James Richardson Jr. challenges the unemployment-law judge’s decision that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he committed employment misconduct. Because the unemployment-law judge’s findings are supported by substantial evidence, and because Richardson’s violation of the no-smoking policy is employment misconduct, we affirm.

2.  A13-2370  Steve Morris Smith, Relator, vs. Family Life Mental Health Center, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary:  On appeal from the determination of an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct, appellant argues that the ULJ: (1) erred by determining that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits; and (2) abused his discretion by denying his request for an additional evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

3.  A13-2347  Brian Freed, Relator, vs. Wholesale Tire & Wheel of MN, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

 Summary: Relator Brian Freed challenges the determination of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits, arguing that (1) he made a good-faith error in judgment; (2) his conduct was that of a reasonable average employee; (3) respondent-employer lied during his testimony at the evidentiary hearing; and (4) respondent-employer engaged in employer retaliation. We affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 

 
 
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Tim is teaching a FREE seminar on what every employer needs to know about unemployment benefits and appeals.  The seminar will be held on Friday 8/15/2014 from noon - 1:00 p.m. at Tim's office, 2140-4th Avenue, Anoka MN 55303.  Here is the official description:

In this FREE seminar, we will cover unemployment benefits and appeals from the employer's perspective, including an employee's initial application, determination of eligibility or ineligibility, responding to a request for information from Unemployment Insurance Minnesota, and appealing an unfavorable determination.  This seminar is geared for employers, human resource professionals, and attorneys who represent them in the unemployment arena.

ATTORNEYS: This seminar has been approved for one standard CLE credit.  The event code is 194856.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-employers-need-to-know-about-unemployment-benefits-and-appeals-tickets-12490815365

 
 
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There were three unemployment decisions from the Minnesota Court of Appeals this week. One relator appeals the determination that he is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because of his untimely request for reconsideration. Another relator challenges his ineligibility because he misrepresented his criminal record during his employment interview, and a third relator challenges the ULJ’s decision of ineligibility, arguing that she was unaware of one her the employer’s policies. All three cases were affirmed.

1.  A13-2022   Bradley G. Bremer, Relator, vs. Thomas Allen, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.                                                                                            

Summary: Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) dismissal of his appeal of a determination that he is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits. Because we conclude that the ULJ correctly determined that relator’s appeal was not filed within the required statutory time frame, we affirm.

Because of Bremer’s untimely request for reconsideration, Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subds. 1(c), 2(a) (2012), and because the law provides for no exceptions to alter the statutory period, the ULJ did not have jurisdiction to decide whether the determination of ineligibility is correct. The ULJ’s determination that relator is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits became final.

2.  A13-1951  Andrew R. Patson, Relator, vs. Skaff Apartments, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: Relator challenges an unemployment-law judge’s determination that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he misrepresented his criminal record during his employment interview. We affirm.

The Court was not persuaded by Patson’s focus of his challenge that his misrepresentation was inadvertent and the result of the interview questions being insufficiently clear. Because substantial evidence supported the ULJ’s determination that Patson committed employment misconduct because his misrepresentation was either intentional or negligent and was not inadvertent, the Court affirmed the ULJ’s decision.

3.  A13-2138  Pamela Jeanne Googe, Relator, vs. Capstone Services, LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Summary: Relator challenges the decision by an unemployment law judge (ULJ) that she was discharged for misconduct and is ineligible for unemployment benefits, arguing that she was unaware of the employer’s policy regarding the proper use of its credit card and that her use of the credit card was condoned by her supervisor. Although relator is correct that the ULJ erred by failing to set forth a reason for crediting the employer’s testimony over her testimony regarding the use of the credit card, relator was discharged for other acts of misconduct, which she does not dispute on certiorari review. Because these other acts of misconduct justify the ULJ’s denial of unemployment benefits, we affirm.



If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 


 
 
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Tim is teaching a seminar called "Bankruptcy 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bankruptcy"  The seminar will be held on Thursday 7/31/14 from noon - 1:00 p.m. at Tim's office, 2140-4th Avenue, Anoka MN 55303.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-101-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-12194422847

Here is the official description:

This seminar covers the basics of bankruptcy for consumers and small business, including the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, exemptions and ways to keep non-exempt property, and what to expect at the Meeting of Creditors and other bankruptcy-related court hearings.  Intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not handle bankruptcy cases, this seminar will introduce you to bankruptcy.

ATTORNEYS: This seminar has been approved for one standard CLE credit.  The event code is 193933.

WARNING: Tim is a debt-relief agent, and his office is a debt-relief agency.  Tim helps people like you to file for bankruptcy relief.