Dougherty, Molenda, Solfest, Hills & Bauer P.A.

Minnesota Legal Blog

Don't Miss the Mark: Choosing a Standard Character Mark or Stylized Logo in Your Trademark Application

Filing a trademark application with the U.S. Trademark Office can be a confusing endeavor for the uninitiated. And while the trademark office has gone to great lengths to teach users about the process through videos and how-to instructions, the variety of choices can sometimes leave users confused about the impact their decisions have on the long-term viability of their trademark. One such choice involves deciding which type of mark to apply for: a standard character mark or a stylized logo.

Understanding Defamation Per Se

In general, Minnesota law provides a remedy to those who have been defamed. Defamation consists of (1) a statement of fact that tends to injure one's reputation; (2) which is communicated to another; and (3) that the speaker knew or should have known to be false.

Trademarks: Don't Forget the Disclaimer

Lawyers love disclaimers, but so does the U.S. Trademark office, but not for the reasons you'd think. This blog explains disclaimers in this narrow context and why these disclaimers give rights to the public, rather than taking them away.

Minnesota Evictions: Plain and Simple, Sort of . . .

Very few people are confused about what it means to be "evicted" from property. If you are like me, you envision an "eviction" involving an angry sheriff's deputy who presides over your physical extraction from the property, together with all of your belongings, which are dumped unceremoniously onto the curb, spilling out into the street at precisely the right moment so they can be run over by a passing city bus. I might be overdoing it a little, but for most people, even the thought of an eviction is cringe-worthy. What will the neighbors think? But most eviction proceedings do not end in such dramatic fashion, perhaps because most tenants do not wish to experience what might be a very unpleasant and public introduction to homelessness.

Wondering About Legal "Fireworks" in Minnesota? We Thought So.

Right around this time each year, Minnesotans head to temporary tent stores around the state (um, and some border states) to buy fireworks. Celebrating the Fourth of July without fireworks almost seems unpatriotic, or, at a minimum, un-fun. What could be more American than watching hundreds or even thousands of your hard-earned dollars going up in a dazzling flurry of purple, yellow and red sparks?

Estate Planning: Do I Need to Update My Will?

A well drafted estate plan is intended to last many, many years. It is my hope that my clients ride off into the sunset with their estate plans and do not need any updates. However, life is anything but constant, so sometimes changes are necessary. It is important to revisit your estate plan every few years and when you and your immediate family experience major life events--for example: marriages, divorces, births, deaths, buying/selling a home or winning the lottery--to make sure your plan still matches your goals.

Written Agreements 101: "Parol" Officer

An oral contract is, in most circumstances, just as enforceable as a written contract.  Of course, the law always prefers written agreements because it is easier to define each party's rights and obligations by looking at a document. So if you have an oral agreement with another party, it is almost always better to put it in writing. This avoids confusion later. But if you do put an agreement in writing, it's important to know about the "parol evidence rule" and how that might affect what is in the contract, and what is not.

Five Things You Need to Know about Conciliation or "Small Claims" Court

We all know that in our very human and imperfect world, things don't always turn out the way they should. Sometimes people don't keep their promises. Sometimes they fail to provide a product or service. Sometimes unscrupulous people just try to pull a fast one.

While your college kids are home for the holidays...

While your college kids are home for the holidays it's a great time to encourage them to put some just-in-case legal documents in place. When children turn 18 and become adults, their parents are unable to legally act on their behalf without court intervention or the individual's express written consent. Accordingly, you should consider having your adult children put two legal documents in place: a health care directive and a power of attorney. 

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At Dougherty, Molenda, Solfest, Hills & Bauer P.A., we represent clients from Apple Valley, MN, and throughout the state, including Burnsville, Lakeville, Eagan, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, Farmington, West St. Paul, Minneapolis, Prior Lake, Savage, Shakopee, Elko-New Market, Dakota County, Scott County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County and other communities south of the river.