When Does a Car Appeal a Case?

The law can seem odd. Earlier this month, a 1999 Lexus (the one carrying Minnesota license plate 851LDV and VIN JT6HF10U6X0079461, to be specific) filed an appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Confused? Let us explain. For the most part, courts exercise what’s called in personam jurisdiction, or their power over people or organizations. However, there is a concept called in rem jurisdiction, which is power that a court has over a piece of property. When a case is based on in rem jurisdiction, … Continued

An Obvious Pattern at the Minnesota Court of Appeals

Decisions by the Minnesota Court of Appeals are released every Monday at 10:00 AM on the nose. Yesterday (because Monday was Memorial Day), three-judge panels of the Court of Appeals issued decisions in 25 cases: three published decisions, 18 unpublished opinions, and four order opinions. The cases being appealed came from all over the state. Some cases decided involve weighty issues of the separation of powers of government that are almost certain to be ultimately decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court, … Continued

Lopez Expands Burglary to the Breaking Point

Monday mornings mean Minnesota Court of Appeals decisions. Yesterday morning the Court of Appeals released three published decisions, including two in criminal cases. Both are interesting, but the more meaningful of the two is State of Minnesota v. Lionel Lopez, A16-0947. The facts are not complex: Mr. Lopez was staying in a motel in Willmar when he walked into Z.D.’s unlocked room, took Z.D.’s cell phone and wallet while Z.D. was in the shower, and went back to his own room. Mr. … Continued

Aaron Hernandez Is Not Guilty – of Anything

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end turned convicted murderer, was found dead this morning in his prison cell in Massachusetts. Just a few days ago, he had been acquitted on a second set of murder charges.   Under Massachusetts law, Aaron Hernandez is now not guilty – even of the charge on which he was convicted. In Minnesota, he would (probably) be entitled to the same outcome. Confused? Massachusetts law provides for a doctrine called abatement ab initio. … Continued

The Little Things Matter

You may have been following the criminal case against Jeronimo Yanez – he’s the St. Anthony police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year. Yesterday, his attorneys asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to reverse the Ramsey County District Court’s decision not to move Yanez’s trial to a different county. You can find the document, a petition for a writ of mandamus, here. I’m not familiar enough with the case to be able to opine … Continued

David Liebow Admitted to Practice Before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

We’re excited to announce that David Liebow has been admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit! The Eighth Circuit is the federal court of appeals covering Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The court is based in St. Louis, Missouri and also has a location in St. Paul, Minnesota at which it regularly hears cases. David is also admitted to practice before the Minnesota Supreme Court (and all other … Continued

State v. S.A.M. Video

We came, we saw, and we argued. It was a great experience and I’m already looking forward to the next one. You can take a look at the video and tell us what you think.

To the Supreme Court We Go!

This morning I’ll be arguing State v. S.A.M. before the Minnesota Supreme Court. S.A.M. is the first case under Minnesota’s new expungement law to be decided by the Minnesota Court of Appeals and now to reach the Minnesota Supreme Court. Back in 2005, my client, S.A.M. (expungement appeals are decided using initials only), pleaded guilty to aiding/abetting second-degree burglary. He was granted a stay of imposition, a disposition in which a conviction is entered, no sentence is imposed, probation is ordered, and if the stay … Continued