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Job Search Scams

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Identity thieves are targeting job hunters. Some of these scams are quite elaborate. For example, a scammer might access an individual's resume on Indeed or some other job-hunting website, and contact the person to express interest in hiring him or her. In some cases, a lengthy interview may be set up. During this time, an offer of employment will be extended. The faux employer then instructs the applicant to disclose his or her Social Security number, and sometimes other extremely sensitive confidential information, such as the individual's bank routing and account numbers.  Thomas James, attorney at the Cokato, Minnesota law office of Tom James, identifies ...
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This blog is an expanded and modified version of a column that appeared in MINNESOTA LAWYER on September 20, 2002. On September 14, 2022, the author sent an advance copy of the article to Susan Humiston and offered to post any comment Ms. Humiston wished to make with this blog.  No reply was received. However, on September 21, 2022, the author learned on making inquiry of Bench & Bar that earlier on the same date Ms. Humiston submitted an “Author’s Note” to Bench & Bar.  The Author’s Note and Ms. Humiston’s article are linked at https://www.mnbar.org/resources/publications/bench-bar/2022/09/01/your-ethical-duties-in-dealing-with-unrepresented-persons ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.   In Campbell v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. , No. CV 20-2498(DSD/BRT), 2022 WL 3716982 (D. Minn. Aug. 29, 2022), the court granted summary judgment to a defendant, Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”), because the plaintiff failed to show actual, statutory, or punitive damages from the inaccurate credit report for a discharged debt in bankruptcy.  The plaintiff received a discharge under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. The plaintiff’s truck lease was discharged in the bankruptcy, but credit reports from the credit reporting agencies showed the lease with ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.   In Rydholm v. Equifax Information Services LLC , No. 20-3425, 2022 WL 3364952 (8th Cir. Aug. 16, 2022), the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a complaint for failure to state plausible claims for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“FCRA”). Plaintiff filed a petition for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. On his bankruptcy schedules, Plaintiff listed Wells Fargo with an unsecured nonpriority claim. After the discharge order was entered, Plaintiff received credit reports from the defendants, Experian ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.   In Ferrin v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. , No. 20-CV-841 (NEB/TNL), 2022 WL 2954026 (D. Minn. July 26, 2022), the court denied summary judgment to the credit reporting agency (“CRA”) on the issue of reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of credit report information for the plaintiff’s claim under 11 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).    Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”) used bankruptcy scrub procedures that left certain debts less than 90 days delinquent on credit reports. The plaintiff had two accounts—a ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN By: Michael Green   In Kelley v. BMO Harris Bank N.A. , No. 19-CV-1756, 2022 WL 1771999 (D. Minn. June 1, 2022) , the district court denied the defendant’s request for a pretrial evidentiary hearing to review de novo the bankruptcy court’s imposition of spoliation sanctions. The plaintiff, the chapter 11 trustee for the bankruptcy proceeding concerning Petters Company Inc. (“PCI”), alleged that the defendant, BMO Harris N.A. (“BMO Harris”), was complicit with PCI’s fraudulent conduct. The bankruptcy court sent this case to the district court for trial, scheduled for October 2022, on four counts: violation of the Minnesota Uniform ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN Laura Goforth , Dorsey & Whitney LLP   In Bell v. Arneson , 2022 WL 2835068 (D. Minn. July 20, 2022), the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota applied judicial estoppel to prevent a plaintiff from litigating a claim he had intentionally withheld from his bankruptcy case, to his benefit. The plaintiff in Bell filed a civil lawsuit against two police officers who he alleged used excessive force while arresting him in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.  About one year before the civil lawsuit, the plaintiff filed for bankruptcy.  At the time of his bankruptcy filing, the plaintiff declared to the ...
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This blog was originally published as William J. Wernz, Professional Competence as an Ethics Obligation, Minn. Law., June 29, 2022. ----- A brochure of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (OLPR) informs persons considering complaints, “Lawyers, like other professionals, sometimes make mistakes. A lawyer might handle a matter in a way that is inadequate but not unethical. … Most malpractice and inadequate performance matters are not handled by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.” i For many years, OLPR has generally dismissed complaints of isolated mistakes and has charged Rule 1.1 (“Competence”) violations only for “mistake ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN Contributing Editor: Eleanor J. Vincent , Stoel Rives LLP   In Siegel v. Fitzgerald , 596 U.S. ___, 2022 WL 1914098 (2022), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a temporary increase in U.S. Trustee (“UST”) quarterly fees enacted by Congress in 2017 violated the uniformity requirement of the Constitution’s Bankruptcy Clause because it did not apply in the same way in the six districts under the Administrator Program. The temporary increase applied to both new and pending cases in UST districts (funded by user fees) beginning the first quarter of 2018 through the end of 2022.  In the six judicial districts with a taxpayer ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.   In Lund-Ross Constructors, Inc. v. Buchanan (In re Buchanan) , No. 21-1856, 2022 WL 1193992 (8th Cir. Apr. 22, 2022), the Eighth Circuit reversed the bankruptcy court’s grant of summary judgment given the bankruptcy court’s failure to address alternative tort claims. The debtors owned a corporation hired to do electrical projects for the general contractor plaintiff. The debtors closed their business and filed a voluntary petition under chapter 7. Suppliers to the debtors’ business filed construction liens for amounts owed. The plaintiff obtained default judgment against the corporation ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. In Kelley v. Safe Harbor Managed Account 101, Ltd. , No. 20-3330, 2022 WL 1177748 (8th Cir. Apr. 21, 2022), the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court and remanded to consider whether certain transfers to a financial institution where made in connection with a securities contract for the safe harbor exception to avoidance pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 546(e). This case is one of many arising from the multi-billion-dollar fraud perpetuated by former Minnesota businessman, Thomas Petters, through his company, Petters Company, Inc. (“PCI”). Appellee Safe Harbor Managed Account 101, Ltd. ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.   In Kamal v. Baker Tilly US, LLP , No. CV 21-1549 (MJD/DTS), 2022 WL 1050053 (D. Minn. Apr. 7, 2022), the court granted a motion to dismiss aiding and abetting claims as derivative claims belonging exclusively to the bankruptcy trustee. In this case, a holding company issued notes. The holding company was part of a complex web of entities. A retail energy company (the “Company”) assumed the notes in a restructuring. The Company structured the borrowed funds under another entity thereby allegedly giving unfettered access to a principal owner (“Principal”) without any personal guarantees ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. In Beers v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. , No. 20-CV-1797 (WMW/JFD), 2022 WL 891620 (D. Minn. Mar. 25, 2022), the court granted summary judgment to a credit reporting agency on the claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) given a lack of evidence that (1) the erroneous credit report caused actual damages and (2) the defendant’s procedures for reporting Chapter 7 bankruptcies were willful or reckless.   The plaintiff received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. The defendant, a credit reporting agency, issued a credit report which erroneously reported that two accounts ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. In ASI, Inc. v. Aquawood, LLC , No. CV 19-763 (JRT/HB), 2022 WL 980398 (D. Minn. Mar. 31, 2022), the court determined that it did not have personal jurisdiction for alter ego and fraudulent transfer claims against a debtor’s liquidators that filed a petition for recognition of a foreign proceeding under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. The plaintiff won a judgment in the District of Minnesota in the amount of $8.5 million against the debtor. Thereafter, the debtor initiated proceedings in its home jurisdiction of Hong Kong to liquidate its assets. The principals of the debtor also ...
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BANKRUPTCY BULLETIN David M. Tanabe ,  Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.   In Reinhardt v. Rent-A-Center West, Inc. , No. 21-CV-2158 (NEB/LIB), 2022 WL 161571 (D. Minn. Jan. 18, 2022), the district court refused to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim for invasion of privacy and referred to the bankruptcy court the other claim for violation of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362. In the case, the defendants attempted to repossess a mattress and box spring after the plaintiff filed a bankruptcy petition. The plaintiff sued the defendants on the following claims: (1) violation of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(k) and ...
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It is not unusual for a person arrested and charged with a crime to worry that a lawyer might refuse to take their case. After all, who would want to represent a guilty person? While the fear that telling an attorney the truth regarding their arrest might cause their legal counsel to quit the case, the reality is that attorneys have an obligation to advocate for their clients—guilty or innocent. What’s more, the attorney’s primary role is holding the state to their burden of proof. It is not enough for a prosecutor to believe in your guilt; they must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney has an obligation to help you fight back against the prosecution ...
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AUTHOR’S NOTE - “What Minnesota Legal Ethics is all About” is the title of one chapter of my treatise, Minnesota Legal Ethics.  The chapter is not a complete chronicle, but it includes several sections that discuss ethics issues of the day.  Some of the issues involve interpreting, updating, and applying the law to difficult circumstances.  Others involve the challenges faced by the professional responsibility system, beginning with the case of Supreme Court justice who cheated on his bar exam, continuing with the “bombs and bullets” episode, and culminating in 2020-21 with the tumult in the law arising from the murder of George Floyd, the attempts to overturn ...
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