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

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

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