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Changes to Medical Assistance Recovery

In 1967, Minnesota instituted a medical assistance (MA) estate recovery program.  The program authorized counties to recover the cost paid for MA services received by a deceased person.  In June of 2016, new legislation was passed which limits the number of MA services that can be recovered by the counties. The new legislation limits the number of MA services which are recoverable against an estate if the decedent received MA services on or after January 1, 2014. Specifically, recovery is limited to cost of Long Term Care (LTC) that a decedent received from January 1, 2014 to the present. LTC...
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Farrish Johnson Attorney Featured on KEYC

Farrish Johnson attorney Joseph A. Gangi worked with a woman wrongfully convicted of manslaughter to seek compensation after spending nearly three years behind bars.     This web page contains general information and not legal advice. It is based on Minnesota law in effect at the time of writing. An attorney Farrish Johnson Law Office can advise you about how the law applies to your specific situation.

Minnesota Wrongful Conviction Statute Declared Unconstitutional

A wrongfully-convicted Minnesota woman is able to seek compensation for the time she spent behind bars – nearly three years – thanks to Attorney Joseph A. Gangi of Farrish Johnson Law Office.  A new Minnesota law provides compensation to Minnesotans who were wrongly convicted of a crime and had to serve time in prison because of that. Danna Back petitioned for compensation under this new law.  She was exonerated when the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed her conviction on the basis that she did not commit a crime.  But a judge denied Back the opportunity to seek compensation because the new...
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Wage Disclosure Protection Law –State and Federal Law Changes.

Every Minnesota employer must comply with the Wage Disclosure Protection law.  Under this law, no employer can prohibit employees from disclosing or discussing their own wages.  Employers that provide an employee handbook to their employees must include in the handbook a notice of employee rights and remedies under the Wage Disclosure Protection law. As of January 11, 2016, federal contractors are prohibited from terminating or otherwise discriminating against employees or job applicants in any manner for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their own compensation or the pay of other employees or applicants. For sample language to include in your employee...
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Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Covenants Not to Compete

A covenant not to compete is a provision in an employment agreement which prohibits an employee from working for a competitor of his/her current employer for a certain time and in certain locations after the employee leaves his/her current employer.  Minnesota law says that the mere continuation of employment is not sufficient consideration to support a covenant not to compete.  Such a restrictive covenant must be entered into at the time the employment commenced or be supported by type of payment, job advancement, training or other benefit.  Until recently, Wisconsin law was the same.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court has specifically...
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Same-Sex Marriage — Spouses with Employment Benefits

In June 2015 the United States Supreme Court issued a decision holding that same-sex marriage is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Since spousal status affects some employer provided benefits, employers and employees should be aware of the implications of this decision.  The decision impacts employer provided health care, Health Savings Accounts, cafeteria plan spending accounts, death benefits paid under a 401(k) plan, rights under the Family Medical Leave Act, ERISA retirement plans and other benefits.   Generally speaking, same-sex couples who are married have access to employer provided benefits on the same terms as opposite-sex married couples....
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Joel Munt’s First-Degree Murder Conviction Upheld

The Minnesota Supreme Court, in a decision dated June 15, 2016, upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Joel Munt arising out of the shooting death of his former wife and the kidnapping of his three children. On appeal Munt argued error in: Declining to remove a prospective juror; Improper comments made to the jury; Improper jury instruction; and, His sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release. The Minnesota Supreme Court determined the trial court did not abuse its discretion and Munt’s sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release is constitutional.   This webpage contains general information...
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Estate Planning–Revocable Trusts

A revocable living trust allows the maker of the trust (Settlor) to make changes to the trust during his or her lifetime.  A revocable trust usually directs the trustee to pay all income to the Settlor for life and pay the trust assets to the main person after the Settlor’s death.  Revocable living trusts often avoid a lengthy probate process but they don’t necessarily shelter assets from federal or state taxes. If you have a revocable living trust which holds title to your home, care must be taken to check with your county tax department to make sure you are...
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Marijuana in the Workplace

Minnesota is one of 34 states that have legalized marijuana for the treatment of certain medical conditions.  Approved medical use started July 1, 2015.  Medical use of marijuana is limited to marijuana that is delivered in the form of a liquid or pill, or the vaporized delivery of the liquid or pill.  The use of medical marijuana does not include the smoking of  the dried leaves of the marijuana plant.  The possession, sale, and use of marijuana, including medical marijuana, is still illegal under federal law.  Under Minnesota law an employer may prohibit the use of medical marijuana on the...
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Grandparents’ Visitation Rights

Most grandparents value the importance of establishing and fostering relationships with their grandchildren. In many cases, however, the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) deny grandparents to be a part of their grandchild’s life. Minnesota Statutes §257C.08 allows for reasonable visitation rights of grandparent to their grandchildren in several different situations, including: If the grandparent’s child–the grandchild’s parent–is deceased; If the grandchild has resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent for a period of one year or more; and At any time during or after dissolution, separation, annulment or custody proceedings. Whether a grandparent will be awarded visitation rights depends on several factors,...
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