Supreme Court Opinions


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FILED Wednesday, March 21, 2018


A16-0855        Esmeralda Sorchaga, Respondent, vs. Ride Auto, LLC, et al., Appellants.
                         Court of Appeals.
            1.   The seller’s fraudulent statements about the fitness of a vehicle for the purpose for which it was purchased made “as is” disclaimers in the purchase agreement ineffective under Minn. Stat. § 336.2-316(3)(a) (2016). 
            2.   Because the district court did not award a double recovery, the court did not err in awarding damages under both fraud and breach of an implied warranty theories of liability.
            Affirmed.  Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea.

A17-0926        Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation, Relator, vs. Commissioner of Revenue, Respondent.
                         Tax Court.
            1.   The decision in Minnesota Energy Resources Corp. v. Commissioner of Revenue, 886 N.W.2d 786 (Minn. 2016), neither declared the taxpayer’s evidence of external obsolescence conclusive nor established a rebuttable presumption in favor of the taxpayer.
            2.   The tax court correctly evaluated whether the taxpayer’s evidence of external obsolescence was credible, reliable, and relevant, and the record supports the tax court’s finding that the taxpayer failed to demonstrate that external obsolescence affected the value of its property.
            Affirmed.  Justice G. Barry Anderson.

A16-0835        Jetaun Helen Wheeler, Appellant, vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent.
                         Court of Appeals.
            1.   The principle that a district court judge may not participate in the plea bargaining negotiation itself, which we first recognized in State v. Johnson, 156 N.W.2d 218 (Minn. 1968), is not solely a prohibition on judicial plea offers, promises, or threats.  It also prohibits unsolicited judicial comments regarding the propriety of the parties’ competing settlement offers.
            2.   A judge does not participate in the plea bargaining negotiation by merely inquiring into the status of the parties’ plea negotiations, sharing general sentencing practices, or disclosing nonbinding plea and sentencing information at the joint request of the parties.
            3.   When a defendant proves that a Johnson violation has occurred, the plea is invalid only if it is involuntary under the totality of the circumstances.
            Reversed and remanded.  Justice Margaret H. Chutich.

A16-2028        Billy Richard Glaze, Appellant, vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent.
                         Hennepin County.
            The death of the client terminated the attorney-client relationship and counsel did not have standing to pursue an appeal on behalf of their former client.
            Appeal dismissed.  Justice Anne K. McKeig.

A16-1631        In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Adam William Klotz.
                         Supreme Court.
            The appropriate discipline for an attorney who misappropriated client funds, commingled client and business funds, made false statements to the Director, failed to cooperate with the Director’s investigation, created a false and misleading document, failed to maintain required trust account records, failed to safeguard and promptly refund an unearned retainer, made false statements to clients, neglected client matters, and failed to communicate with clients is, given the existence of substantial mitigating factors, an indefinite suspension with no right to petition for reinstatement for 18 months.
            Per Curiam.



A17-1772        In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Jeffrey H. Olson, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 0082004.
                         Supreme Court.
            Disbarred.  Justice David L. Lillehaug.
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FILED Wednesday, February 28, 2018

(Petitioner indicated in Italic Type)

1.      State of Minnesota vs. Emanuel Lydell Collier, and Emanuel Lydell Collier vs. State of Minnesota – A16-0268, A17-0220, A17-0222 – Denied
2.      State of Minnesota vs. Saul Lopez – A17-0351 – Denied
3.      State of Minnesota vs. Darryl Don Freeberg – A16-2047 – Denied
4.      State of Minnesota vs. Joveda Marie Edwards – A17-0031 – Denied
5.      Nutripro Feeds vs. Stages Pork, LLC, and Bruce Stanton – A17-0396 – Denied
6.      State of Minnesota vs. Andre Jones – A16-1194, A16-1196 – Denied
7.      LaFayette Temple vs. Metropolitan Council – A17-0410 – Denied
8.      State of Minnesota vs. Jerrmaine Winston Knowles – A17-0004, A17-0708 – Denied
9.      Depositors Ins. Co. vs. Craig Dollansky – A17-0631 – Granted
10.    Ambassador Press, Inc., et al. vs. Workers Compensation Reinsurance Association – A17‑0307; Trifac Workers’ Compensation Fund,
         et al.
vs. Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Association, Michael Rothman, in his capacity as Commissioner of the Department
         of Commerce, et al. – A17-0323 – Denied
11.    State of Minnesota vs. Chakotay Bobbie Johnson – A16-1887 – Denied
12.    Sela Roofing and Remodeling, Inc., d/b/a Sela Gutter Connection vs. Timothy Moot, et al., Associated Bank National Association, et al. –
          A16-1862 – Denied
13.    Berman Edina Property, LLC, et al. vs. Independent School District No. 270, et al. – A17‑1818 – Denied
14.    John Joseph Vondrachek vs. Commissioner of Public Safety – A17-0462 – Denied
15.    State of Minnesota vs. Aaron Jude Schnagl – A16-1509 – Denied
16.    State of Minnesota vs. Patricia Jean Ryerson – A17-0513 – Denied
17.    State of Minnesota vs. Daniel Amor – A17-0645 – Denied
18.    State of Minnesota vs. David Martin Arth – A17-0770 – Denied
19.    In re Abdiaziz H. Hirsi, Abdiaziz H. Hirsi vs. ARCH Language Network, Inc., d/b/a ARCH Language, et al. – A17-1797 – Denied
20.    State of Minnesota vs. Marcus Tavon Brown – A16-1974 – Denied
21.    State of Minnesota vs. Corey Isaiah Bradley – A17-1024 – Denied
22.    State of Minnesota vs. Chad Harold Krueger – A17-0081 – Denied
23.    State of Minnesota vs. Jose Luis Ramirez – A16-1913 – Denied
24.    Keith Daniel vs. City of Minneapolis – A17-0141 – Granted
25.    Donald G. Heilman vs. Patrick C. Courtney, as Program Manager for Minnesota Department of Corrections – A17-0863 – Granted in part
26.    State of Minnesota vs. Kendall Duane Perkins – A17-0196 – Denied
27.    Mark Jerome Johnson vs. State of Minnesota – A17-0842, A17-0883 – Granted