April 7, 2021. The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department issued its opinion affirming the jury verdict in favor of defendant Vermeer Manufacturing Company. George and Melissa tried the case to a jury in Suffolk County, NY in the fall of 2018. After a seven-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor or Vermeer, rejecting the plaintiff’s claims that Vermeer marketed and sold its brush chipper with no or inadequate warnings or instructions. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s request for a new trial, and the plaintiff appealed. Melissa Stull argued the case to the New York Appellate Division on January 21, 2021. The Appellate Court held “that the verdict was based upon a fair interpretation of the evidence presented to the jury, and thus, the Supreme Court properly denied the plaintiff’s motion pursuant to CPLR 4404(a) to set aside the verdict as contrary to the weight of the evidence and for a new trial.” You may read the opinion here.
May 7, 2021. Melissa Stull spoke on a panel with Molly Hough of Bassford Remele and Seth Zawila of Robins Kaplan, moderated by Ret. Judge. Dan O’Fallon for the MSBA continuing education course “Working Up the New Case.” The panel gave a nuts and bolts presentation about developing a new case from initial notification through discovery.
April 14, 2021. Melissa Stull spoke at the Practising Law Institute Manufacturing and Consumer Products Law Institute webcast about recent developments in product litigation. Melissa presented with Sarah-Jane Dobson of Kennedys in London, Archis Parasharami of Mayer Brown in Washington, DC, and Graham Owens of National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, DC. Melissa discussed the apparent manufacturer doctrine, personal protective equipment labeling litigation, and PREP Act immunity.
U.S. Supreme Court decides that manufacturer may be sued in state where accident occurred when manufacturer engages in activities in the state
March 25, 2021. In Ford Motor Co v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court, 592 U.S. ___ (2021), the U.S. Supreme Court revisited the issue of specific jurisdiction for manufacturers with national markets. Ford involved an appeal of two product liability cases involving vehicle accidents in Montana and Minnesota. In both cases, the vehicles were originally sold outside the forum state and later resold to individuals in Montana and Minnesota. Ford sought to dismiss both claims for lack of personal jurisdiction because it had not designed, manufactured, or sold the vehicles in the forum states. The Court concluded that “[w]hen a company like Ford serves a market for a product in a State and that product causes injury in the State to one of its residents, the State’s courts may entertain the resulting suit.” Based on this decision, a manufacturer may be subject to personal jurisdiction where the accident involving its product occurred even if the manufacturer did not manufacture or sell the specific product in that state. A manufacturer’s connections with the forum state may be sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction if the manufacturer regularly markets, sells, and services products in that state.
To read more about the Ford opinion, click here.
To read the Ford opinion, click here.
March 25, 2021. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz today appointed George Soule a member of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. The Board’s four major programs are campaign finance registration and disclosure, public subsidy administration, lobbyist registration and disclosure, and economic interest disclosure by public officials. George has been involved in politics, campaigns and elections in Minnesota for over 50 years, starting as a high school student. He has worked on countless campaigns for city, county, judicial district, congressional, state and national candidates. George’s appointment is subject to advice and consent by the Minnesota Senate and House.
March 29, 2021. George was guest speaker today at Professor Oscar Flores’s Economics class on Negotiations at Minnesota State University Moorhead. George spoke about negotiations in his law practice, especially in mediations, and ethics in negotiations. George graduated as an Economics major from MSU Moorhead and now serves on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.
George Soule & Anna Veit-Carter author article on voting rights and election litigation in Minnesota in 2020
March 2, 2021. George and Anna’s article DEMOCRACY GOES TO COURT: Litigating voting rights and election administration in Minnesota in 2020 was released today in the March 2021 issue of Bench & Bar of Minnesota. Minnesota political parties, voter organizations, voters, and election officials fought in court over many aspects of voting and elections. The lawsuits continued after the election, contesting the results of several Minnesota races. The article reviews the key Minnesota legal battles over voting and elections in 2020.
A copy of the article is here.
MSBA publication Bench & Bar featured the Civil Litigation Section’s donation drive that Melissa helped coordinate. The MSBA Civil Litigation Section hosted a drop off donation event at the Soule & Stull offices in December for My Very Own Bed, a non-profit organization that supplies bedding for children in need. In addition to virtually donated items, the Council members gathered a box full of new bedding, stuffed animals, and books to donate. Hot chocolate, cookies, and cheer were served to those that stopped by. The event even gathered some passersby and neighbors, who were eager to donate with enthusiasm and the spirit of giving!
January 21, 2021. George Soule joined the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society. The Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the collection, preservation and promotion of Minnesota’s judicial history through education, publications and scholarship, with focus on the history of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
December 2020. During these challenging times and always, we are grateful for our colleagues, family, friends, and clients. Whether you Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Teams, or GoToMeetings, we are sending you warm wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season!
Happy Holidays from
- George, Alison, Melissa
- Anna, John, Kevin
- Alice, Paul (Santa), Meghan
December 11, 2020. George Soule spoke on a panel today at a Minnesota CLE Seminar on Constitutional Law: Voting and Election Law. George joined Minneapolis lawyers Katherine Swenson and Charles Nauen in a lively discussion of litigation and opinions in the 2020 election season involving voter suppression, mail ballots, voter assistance, and post-election challenges.
November 17, 2020. Kevin Curry, George Soule, and Melissa Stull authored “Defending and Managing Risks of the Apparent Manufacturer” for the November 2020 edition of DRI’s For The Defense. The apparent manufacturer doctrine provides that a nonmanufacturing entity that causes the public to believe it manufactured a product cannot later deny it is the manufacturer for purposes of liability. Our article discusses the doctrine in the context of litigation and counseling manufacturers.
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