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Ellen A. Brinkman News Archive

Newsroom image for the post Before In-Person Trials Halted, Three NJL Women Led (and Earned) Successful Defense Verdicts

Posted December 7, 2020

Before In-Person Trials Halted, Three NJL Women Led (and Earned) Successful Defense Verdicts

During the small window when trials briefly went live this fall, three Nilan Johnson Lewis women not only led the few pieces of pandemic litigation, but all three garnered full defense verdicts within three days of each other. This is significant when you consider nearly 97 percent of civil cases are resolved before going to trial in a typical year without a pandemic.

Posted September 9, 2020

Duty of Care for Non-Academic, Student Disciplinary Matters at Private Colleges & Universities Reversed by Eighth Circuit

Recently, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a favorable decision to NJL’s client, the University of St. Thomas, that has broad application to all private colleges and universities in the state of Minnesota. Not only did the Court affirm the District Court decision in favor of St. Thomas, but it also eliminated a new and problematic duty of care created by the District Court that would have applied to student discipline for non-academic misconduct.

Newsroom image for the post MN Supreme Court Upholds “Severe or Pervasive” Standard in Sexual Harassment Claims

Posted June 4, 2020 with Tags ,

MN Supreme Court Upholds “Severe or Pervasive” Standard in Sexual Harassment Claims

On Wednesday, June 5, 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Kenneh vs. Homeward Bound, Inc., upholding the “severe or pervasive” standard applied to sexual harassment claims due to hostile work environment under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). The standard, adopted from parallel federal Title VII litigation, has been applied to hostile work environment claims under the MHRA for over 30 years. It confines actionable sexual harassment to severe (meaning bad) or pervasive (meaning frequent) conduct that sufficiently alters the conditions of employment.

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