Minnesota House of Representatives seal (Photo: Kevin Featherly)
Your weekly guide to what’s coming up, going on this week
Not much of substance is happening at the Capitol this week—at least not in public view. Lawmakers missed a self-imposed deadline Friday to have legislative “workgroups” release fine-tuned budget numbers.
Not everyone was shocked. As MPR’s Brian Bakst reported last week.
“There have been no visible signs of House and Senate negotiators scrambling this week to complete budget details.”
Still, even if they’re operating out of sight, various workgroups apparently have been meeting privately trying to hammer out specifics for the $1.298 billion in overall new spending, which legislative leaders and the governor have agreed to.
The Public Safety/Judiciary division is getting an extra $105 million for the 2022-23 biennium. But where it will go, no one knows. Look for more clarity, possibly this week. The special session where the FY2022-23 state government’s budget will be finalized is expected to start on June 14—just two weeks from today.
Only one public legislative hearing is scheduled this week. It’s not of terrific interest.
House Rules and Legislative Administration,
June 1, 10 a.m.
This committee, chaired by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, will consider a new resolution to retroactively implement FY2021 compensation increases for House employees.
The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will be busy with oral arguments this week. But because of the holiday, the Court of Appeals’ normal Monday morning rulings will be postponed a day. Supreme Court rulings should arrive as usual, on Wednesday.
Here are the oral arguments on tap for the week.
State v. Larry Dale Taylor (A20-0425). The appellant in this DWI case argues that the Clay County District Court erred by denying a motion to suppress evidence, obtained after a police officer expanded the original scope of a traffic stop. A split Court of Appeals affirmed, finding the officer had “reasonable, articulable suspicion” to expand the stop’s scope; Judge Randall J. Slieter dissented. The Supreme Court granted review on Feb. 24.
In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: Mitchell Lee Kenney (A20-1007).
Kenney was given a provisional discharge from Minnesota Sex Offender Program, where he had been committed as a sexually dangerous person. On appeal, the state DHS commissioner challenged the Commitment Appeal Panel’s decision to grant the provisional discharge. The Court of Appeals, siding with the commissioner, reversed. The Supreme Court granted review on Feb. 24.
State v. Reimer (A19-1801).
Appellant Seth Mars Reimer has challenged his first-degree and second-degree criminal sex conduct convictions. He argued that the St. Louis County District Court erred by allowing the prosecution to impeach him with prior convictions, allowing the prosecutor to ask appellant “were they lying”-type questions on cross-examination, and by committing a reversible Blakely violation at sentencing. The Court of Appeals affirmedthe District Court. The Supreme Court granted review on Feb. 16.
Virginia Staub, as trustee and next-of-kin of Joyce Esther Weeks v. Myrtle Lake Resort, LLC, et. al. (A20-0267).
Staub brought a wrongful-death claim after her mother, Joyce Weeks, died from injuries sustained at the Myrtle Lake Resort in Orr, Minn., after falling on some outdoor cement stairs. Straub argues that the District Court erred in granting summary judgment to the resort, claiming genuine issues of material fact exist. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision. The Supreme Court granted review on Feb. 24.
Supreme Court oral arguments begin at 9 a.m. Livestream links are posted just before they start, at https://www.mncourts.gov/SupremeCourt.aspx.
Court of Appeals
Judicial panel: Judges Peter M. Reyes, Jr. (presiding), Michelle A. Larkin and Louise Dovre Bjorkman
- 9:30 a.m.: In the Matter of the Kurt A. Amplatz Funding Trust and In the Matter of the KA Medical Trust (A21-0034; A21-0035)
- 10:10 a.m.: Ellsworth Fretham, et. al. v. City of Minnetonka (A21-0163)
Panel: Judges James B. Florey (presiding), Lucinda E. Jesson and Tracy M. Smith
- 9:30a.m.State v. Barry Ishmael McReynolds (A20-1435)
- 10:10 a.m. Alerus Financial, N.A. v. Aaron Carlson Corporation (A20-1135)
Panel: Jennifer L. Frisch (presiding) Kevin G. Ross and Jeanne M. Cochran
- 9:30 a.m. Stacy Adamsheck v. Kelley Fuels, Inc. and DEED (A20-1507)
- 10:10 a.m.In the Matter of the Welfare of the Children of: B.A.F., T.A.L., A.J.S., Parents (A21-0029)
Links to this week’s Court of Appeals Zoom hearings can be accessed here:
Sentencing Guidelines Commission
June 3, 1 p.m.
Commissioners are expected to review any criminal sentencing changes passed during the legislative session. But beyond some technical fixes here and there, there isn’t a lot to consider—not much of note was completed before the session adjourned on May 17.
However, a note from commission Executive Director Nate Reitz in the June 3 meeting’s agenda packet suggests that the upcoming June special session could add to the commission’s work load. The special session “is likely to produce a significant amount of statutory change requiring a timely commission response,” he has informed commissioners.
If he’s right, it might force the MSGC to jostle its upcoming schedule and delay the normal Sept. 1 implementation of guideline modifications. There will be discussion about that during Thursday’s meeting. Those proceedings will be viewable online here.
Minnesota State Bar Association
June 1, 10 a.m.
From Published to Precedential
This live MSBA webinar—worth 1.0 standard CLA credits—will present judicial/practitioner perspectives on the system, approved in 2020, which allows attorneys to argue for publication of their Court of Appeals opinions, rendering them precedential.
Panelists include Court of Appeals Judge Lucinda Jesson, state Solicitor General Liz Kramer and Assistant State Public Defender Chang Lau. Jean Burdorf, of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, will moderate.
June 2, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Employee Benefits Section, Annual Meeting & CLE
The CLE presentation will discuss diversity and inclusion opportunities in the employee-benefits space, with the goal of teaching lawyers how they can help their clients or company implement diversity and inclusion goals. Attorneys also will learn about eliminating bias and prejudice in the legal profession, the practice of law and the administration of justice.
Presenters include Mark Rosenfeld, a Faegre Drinker associate, and Kathi Wright, area vice president and compliance counsel for the insurance brokerage Gallagher.
Prior to the start of the 1.0-credit CLE program, the Section Council will host a brief annual meeting where incoming council members and officers for the 2021-22 bar year will be elected. Sign-up information here.
News and notes
New Judge tapped
The Walz administration on May 28 appointed Shawn Pearson to replace Judge Shaun R. Floerke for the 6th Judicial District. Pearson will chamber in Duluth.
“Mr. Pearson brings a wealth and depth of experience and steadfast leadership to the bench,” Gov. Walz said in a news release. “I have no doubt that his service will greatly benefit the people of Duluth and St. Louis County.”
As an attorney, Pearson represents parents in Northern Minnesota child protection cases. He is also trained as a mediator and handles employment discrimination matters in state and federal courts.
He previously practiced law with Barnes & Thornburg and with Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, where he litigated civil matters across the state and in the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Minnesota’s 6th Judicial District encompasses Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties.
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