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North Dakota Legal Blog

Vogel Law Firm Hosts The Breakfast Buzz: FMLA and Leave Law Compliance

Complying with leave laws can give even the most experienced business owners and management personnel a headache. At this session, we will discuss FMLA and leave law compliance and paperwork, and offer best practices for navigating tricky leave issues. This presentation will review the dos and don'ts when assessing employee leave issues using real world examples and cases. 

Plea bargain pitfalls

By Mark A. Friese

Fifty years ago, twenty percent of criminal cases went to trial. Estimates today show ninety to ninety-five percent of state court criminal cases are resolved through a process called "plea bargaining." In federal criminal cases, ninety-seven percent end with a plea of guilty. These startling numbers underscore the reality: certainty in the outcome and avoiding a harsher penalty following trial provide significant incentive to "bargain."

However, the term "bargain" is misleading. Moreover, there are significant dangers.

What is a seizure?

By Luke Heck

Under both our state and federal constitutions, we have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. To be free from an unreasonable search is easy for most individuals to generally understand; law enforcement, absent an exception to this requirement, cannot search you, your house, or your personal belongings without first obtaining a warrant allowing them to. But what is a seizure, let alone an unreasonable one?

Estate planning for farmers (Part 2)

Farmers may need to think more about estate planning than others do. They often own large tracts of land, run small businesses and need to divide assets between children who work both on and off the farm.

This means that farmers-more than most people-may benefit from estate plans that go beyond a simple will.

Estate Planning For Farmers (Part 1)

Estate planning can be difficult for anyone, but it can be extremely tricky for farmers. Farms are both real property, personal property (machinery), and business operations, and many farmers need to figure out how to divide their assets between children who want to farm and others who don't.

You may not wish to consider your mortality, but it's worth remembering that estate planning isn't just about transferring assets. It's also about treating your heirs fairly and minimizing future conflicts. And it's best to start early so that you and your family can work together.

Criminal defense attorney Luke Heck explains why proposed amendments to North Dakota's current DUI statutes do not promote good public policy.

Somewhere along the line, the drafting of our state's DUI laws has become an adversarial process. We continue to make non-controversial things controversial instead of being problem solvers. A prime example of this is HB 1534, the bill that has been introduced this legislative session purported to address some alleged ambiguities to North Dakota's current DUI statutes. If adopted, the proposed legislation would not solve these ambiguities. Instead, HB 1534 would allow police to mislead, misinform, or completely disregard a driver's current statutory rights, and would leave the courts without a remedy. 

Vogel Law Firm Attorney Peter D. Welte nominated to serve as District Judge on the U.S. District Court of North Dakota

Peter D. Welte has been nominated by Donald J. Trump to serve as District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota.

Up In Smoke: An Update on North Dakota's Marijuana Laws

In November, North Dakota voters rejected Measure 3, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for people 21 years of age or older. For some people, the defeat of Measure 3 was a devastating setback to reforming the state's drug laws. For others, it was a needed pause on a movement getting out of control. Either way, the marijuana laws on the books today have an uncertain future.

Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

In criminal cases, there are "direct" consequences of a guilty plea or conviction. Common direct consequences include fines, court costs, imprisonment, probation, community service, and others. "Collateral consequences" are additional penalties that result from criminal convictions, most often without notice or advance warning.

Mental Illness & Criminal Liability

Today's news stories are full of descriptions of mass shooters, many of which are described as having mental illness issues (PTSD, Paranoia, Schizophrenia, etc.). As a Minnesota defense attorney, I am constantly approached by people asking whether the suspect is "going to get away with it" because of a mental illness. The answer to this question is far from an easy one.

Quality Attorneys. Quality Care.

Ultimately, we measure our success in terms of how we improve the lives of our clients.
We never forget that the most important part in any legal matter is the people involved.

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