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

Criminal Defense and Immigration in the Age of President Trump

As just about every American knows, Donald Trump was sworn in on Friday as the President of the United States. The new administration has promised an unprecedented immigration crackdown. The most notable rhetoric during the campaign and transition has been focused on undocumented (or “illegal”) immigrants, but it seems very likely that the coming changes – many of which the administration has the authority to implement without legislative action – will affect many non-citizens beyond the undocumented. As it stands … Continued

The Robina Conference

This morning I’m back at my alma mater, the University of Minnesota Law School, for the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice‘s annual conference. It’s an all-day event at which the participants are some of the top criminal law professors in the country as well as other smart people who spend their days thinking about the criminal justice system. This year’s theme is Paying for the Past: The Consequences of Criminal Convictions. I’ve been to previous Robina Institute … Continued

Even Minor Crimes Can Trigger Big Collateral Consequences

You moved and forgot to update the address on your Minnesota driver’s license. It turns out that you can get charged with a crime for that. You pleaded guilty, paid a $100 fine, and promised to stay out of trouble for six months. No big deal, right? It might be. It might be if, say, you’re trying to acquire or manage an insurance company. Or if you’re a commercial motor vehicle operator who has a commercial driver’s license – you … Continued