WE SOLVE PROBLEMS THAT MATTER TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY, AND YOUR BUSINESS

WE SOLVE PROBLEMS THAT MATTER TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY, AND YOUR BUSINESS

You require affordable, hands-on legal services. Our business model is based on the concept of becoming your general counsel. All successful businesses rely on general counsel to oversee their affairs. You deserve no less: a dedicated, multi-disciplined personal attorney who understands your needs and goals. We provide both high-level legal advice as well as effective and efficient service in a variety of practice areas that will serve you over time as you, your family and your small business evolve.

ARTICLES & NEWS

Attorney Amanda Bloomgren Named 2016 Rising Star

Bloomgren Hanson Legal attorney Amanda Bloomgren was named to the 2016 Rising Stars List by Super Lawyers.  This is the second consecutive year Amanda has been named to the list. While up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars.  More about the selection...

Revisions to the Minnesota LLC Statute. What Does it Mean?

On August 1, 2015, the Revised Minnesota LLC Act will go into effect.  This law impacts all LLCs in Minnesota. This is the most significant change affecting Minnesota LLC law since LLCs were first permitted in Minnesota. The Revised Act will automatically affect all LLCs formed in Minnesota on and after August 1, 2015 and will affect all LLCs in Minnesota as of January 1,...

Minnesota Family Law Bills Become Law. What Does it Mean?

On May 14, 2015, Governor Dayton signed the omnibus family law bill (S.F. 1191) 1191 (now Minnesota Session Laws chapter 30) and a week later SF No. 1458 (now Minnesota Session Laws chapter 71).  The laws are a series reforms in the area of family law, some more significant than others. If you are a single parent or going through a divorce, you may wonder...

Don’t Make Assumptions When it Comes to Your Assumed Name or DBA in Minnesota

Why does it matter if your trade name is not in the registered name for your business? Anytime you are doing business in Minnesota and are not using the legal real and true name of each owner in the title of the business or using the full name of the legal entity (including LLC or Inc.), you must file an Assumed...

Ask the Attorney: Should I use a joint tenancy to avoid probate?

My husband and I own some hunting land up north Minnesota as joint tenants.  After his passing, I became the sole owner.  I am thinking about adding my sons to the deed so we would all be joint tenants. I heard this will avoid probate when I die.  Is a joint tenancy a good idea? If your only concern is...

Bloomgren Hanson Legal has Moved!

Bloomgren Hanson Legal is pleased to announce that we have moved to 903 Mainstreet, Ste. A, Hopkins, MN 55343.  Our website is in the process of being updated to reflect the change.  Until then, if you need directions, please give us a call at 952-406-8221.  

Corporate Liability Protection – It’s Tax Time!

If you have a corporate entity (e.g. limited liability company, corporation, S-corp, partnership), tax time is a great time to draft the necessary resolutions or minutes to “beef up” your personal liability protection.  If the concept of personal liability protection is new to you, check out our other articles on the subject which can be found here and here.

Sink or Swim Event – February 29, 2012

On February 29, 2012, Amanda Bloomgren and Katie Hanson will be speaking at the Business Girls Network, Inc. event, Sink or Swim.  The event will provide female small business owners the opportunity to do a self audit of their business practices and to took forward to growth and change in 2012.  In addition to the attorney’s of Bloomgren Hanson Legal, Molinar...

Reader Question: Can I purchase a business using a contract for deed?

One of the recent searches that led to the Bloomgren Hanson website asked the question, “Can I purchase a business using a contract for deed?” The searcher didn’t find their answer here (until now). The simple answer to the question is no, but that doesn’t mean you cannot accomplish the same result using different tools.

In the News

Bloomgren Hanson Legal had a nice mention in an article on Minnetonka Patch about the networking group where both Amanda and Katie are active members and co-leaders .  We can’t say enough good things about Business Girls Network, Inc. and the connections and friendships we’ve made in just a few short months. Quite often it is difficult for attorneys to...

How To Cancel a Contract for Deed

A contract for deed is a form of seller financing where the seller sells real property in exchange for installment payments over time.  In Minnesota, contract for deed transactions are governed by a statutory framework transferring all but an equitable interest in property to the buyer.  The buyer is responsible for all aspects of the home (taxes and insurance), repairs,...

In the News: Toll of Caring for the Elderly Increases

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the increasing cost of caring for elderly family.  The article* can be found Here.  According to a U.S. Health and Retirement Study, “the percentage of adult children taking care of their parents has tripled since 1994, with nearly 10 million people who are 50 and older doing so in 2008.” The...

Daisy Camp: A Unique Opportunity for Women Facing Divorce

When people face life impacting problems and decisions, it is not enough for an attorney to simply solve the problem.  At Bloomgren Hanson Legal, we also believe successful results require empowerment: education about the problem, about the process, and about what result(s) you can expect now and in the future. This is especially true when it comes to matters surrounding...

What to Consider when Buying Into a Homeowner’s Association.

In law school they teach students to think of property ownership as a “bundle of sticks.”  A weird metaphor, but one that makes sense after a bit of thought.  When pioneers “staked a claim” to land, in theory they claimed all of the land between their stakes from the sky to the center of the earth and every right to...

Cleaning up Your Criminal Record (Expungement)

Anybody can make a mistake or have a momentary lapse in judgment. But when this lapse in judgment results in arrest, criminal charges or a criminal conviction it can haunt you for a long time, especially when a prospective employer is seeking to conduct a criminal background check.  There is, however, a legal remedy available to limit the negative effects of...

Contracts for Deed: Not Your Typical Rent to Own

Folks regularly think they want to enter into a “rent to own” agreement when what they are more appropriately looking for is a contract for deed.  A rent to own agreement is basically a lease where the payments are applied to a reduction in purchase price on an option to buy real estate in the future.  A contract for deed...

Protecting Your Children Through Estate Planning

As a parent you naturally care for your child(ren)’s basic needs: feeding,  bathing, providing shelter and clothing, and comforting through scraped knees and bad days. What may not come as naturally or as easily, but is just as important, is protecting your child(ren) in the event the unthinkable happens, and your children are left without either parent to care for...

Child Support in Minnesota

The Minnesota child support statute changed significantly in 2007.  If you were divorced before 2007 and paying child support, your obligation is likely calculated under the “old” system.  If you were divorced after 2007, you are operating under the new system. The new law completely overhauled how child support is calculated.  Under the old law, the key element was which parent...

Dealing with the Police

If you are arrested by the police: You have the right to remain silent; you do not have to talk to the police. You may ask for a lawyer at any time. If you are a minor, you should ask for your parents. If you ask for a lawyer, the police must stop talking to you until the lawyer is...

Superhero, Inc. or L.L.C. or L.L.L.P.

The main idea behind these articles is to provide normal folks information about law that is applicable to them.  Through an NPR article today, I learned of a blog that takes this concept to a whole new level and provides specific legal information to a group of folks they identify as “Comic Book Nerds”:  LawAndTheMultiverse.  To the Law Nerds and...

Why You Shouldn’t Let Google “Diagnose” Your Legal Ailment

I admit, I’m one of those people who self diagnoses medical ailments by inputting the symptoms into Dr. Google. But, even when I am certain I’ve properly diagnosed myself with a strange tropical disease during the dead of Minnesota winter, I get a second opinion from my real doctor. I question if people are as careful when they consult with Google,...

Post Apocalyptic Legal Manual?

Movies of the zombie/post apocalypse genre seem to be popping up everywhere, especially in today’s terrorism high alert society.  Unfortunately, planning for such events (hopefully not actual zombies) is an all true reality. Today, I came across this article of excerpts from NY City’s own doomsday legal manual.  I wish I could properly categorize this under “Funny Legal Bits.”

Are you “cra-zay” to consider seller financing to get your home sold?

In the current hey day of tightened lending standards, parties to real estate transactions are becoming increasingly clever in trying to close real estate transactions. More often I am working with sellers who are being asked to and who are also willing to back a percentage (some times a large percentage) of the purchase price. Are they cra-zay?

Home Owners Associations: Getting Paid During Foreclosure

When a home falls into foreclosure, quite often the homeowner quits paying home owner’s association (HOA) dues long before a bank takes over the property and long before a new owner resumes paying regular monthly dues.   What happens to the obligation to pay HOA dues when a home is foreclosed?

Some Inspiration With Your Morning Coffee

The Minneapolis Star Tribune posted this article about a former law school classmate, Mike Hanson.  Mike recently succeeded in traveling the Appalachian Trail solo.  The remarkably cool part, he did it while being guided by voice GPS—Mike has been blind since birth. Mike graduated a year ahead of me and I did not know him very well personally. During that first year of...

Divorce Myths: Moving Out-of-State with Children

I recently spoke at a parenting through divorce class and once again, I was asked about the rules of moving out-of-state with a minor child.  There is a big misconception about the rules in Minnesota regarding moving the residence of a minor child. Unless the other parent agrees, you may not move the residence of your child to another state without court...

Hiring an Attorney: Small Business Edition

I wrote a post a while back that focused on how to interview a prospective attorney.  I admit, when I drafted the article I had individual clients in mind, not business clients.  I recently came across this article from the New York Times.  It has a lot of the same advice I included in my previous post, but from a...

Workplace Confidentiality (Or Lack Thereof)

A recent California Court of Appeals case determined that an email sent by an attorney to his client’s work email address was not privileged like typical private communication between an attorney and a client would be.  The decision states in part: he e-mails sent via company computer under the circumstances of this case were akin to consulting her lawyer in...

Overdose of the Tiger Mother

This week I’ve read no more than four articles reviewing/flaming/praising Amy Chua’s new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. One of many conversations with the author can be found here.  For the few of you in dark, Ms. Chua’s premise is that the strict, uncompromising standards of  stereotypical Chinese parents makes children successful. How does this relate to the law and why am...

Basics of Property Ownership Between Spouses

So many folks who I work with on real property (land) matters have at least some confusion about how property ownership generally works, especially between spouses.  Here are some of the issues I see the most often and a basic explanation of the law related to each instance:

Congratulations Waconia Mock Trial

I had the pleasure of watching the Waconia High School mock trial team tear up Farmington during their second round at the U of M Invitational today.  I attorney coach the team with fellow MHS attorney, Tim Looby. We didn’t fair so well against our first opponent, Breck (past national champions).  But, overall we did well, learned a lot and...

A Real Kangaroo Court

Courtesy former law school classmate, Kimberly Larson, and in honor of dear friend, Marie O’Leary, I bring you an article from the Grand Forks Herald about a real kangaroo in court. Click Here to read the entire story. I previously posted recommendations on What Not to Wear in court. File this one under what not to BRING to court!

Replay: How to Interview a Prospective Attorney

I published this post on How to Interview a Prospective Attorney less than a month ago.  This evening, I am presenting at a parenting through divorce class and using it as a handout.  Since I’ve had quite a few new readers to My General Counselor in the past few days, I thought it might be appropriate to repost the article.  In my...

Legal News of the Weird

I like litigating complicated, sometimes strange legal battles, but this one takes the cake. Have you read about the lawsuit over Ansel Adams’s alleged negatives?  Wow.  I have to say, I am happy not to be on either side of this battle.  My question is:  Who is leading the charge in developing “new” legal theories?  The client or the attorney?

WELCOME!

Welcome FaceBook Friends. I finally had the gumption to post my site to the FaceBook “world”, which frankly seems like the whole world.  Thank you for taking the time to visit. Like the sidebar says, I don’t expect you to be a regular visitor to this site, but I do want you to think of it when you have a legal...

How to Deal with Unpaid Home Owners Association Assessments.

Many small to mid-size home owners associations (“HOAs”) are run by a board made of a few active members. It can be a thankless job, especially when the HOA cannot afford to pay an outside management company to be responsible for the day-to-day management of the HOA. The question that always arises is how to handle the member that has...

Divorce Lessons for Children (and Adults)

We all know divorce is difficult and that it is difficult to talk to children about divorce. Here is a link to a simple but good article on the Woman’s Divorce website about lessons from divorce that you can pass on to your kids. The tips focus on respect for both your self and your (ex)spouse and frankly are things we...

The morality of walking away from your home.

For over a year I’ve been providing clients an hour long “primer” on foreclosure and the risks in walking away from a home that is underwater. What strikes me in almost every case is the client’s strong sense of ethics/values/morals surrounding homeownership and ability/obligation to pay. Brent White, a University of Airzona law professor has written a book called Underwater...

ICMC? SENE? FENE? Is “ENE” of this making sense to you?

For the last few years Hennepin County has followed a unique process for marriage dissolutions.  The process is aimed at trying to expedite courtroom proceedings and minimize the conflict and the expense associated when parties quickly resort to litigating dissolutions.  In the fall of 2010, Carver County, Scott County and Dakota County jumped on the band wagon and have adopted Hennepin...

Issues to Consider When Seeking Marriage Dissolution

Deciding to dissolve your marriage is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever encounter.  Marriage dissolution is fraught with emotions. One of the easiest things to do when faced with difficult emotions is to avoid. When proceeding with divorce it is important you do your best to separate your emotions and recognize that a large part of your dissolution is...

How to Buy Property In Foreclosure

The purpose of this article is to provide potential purchasers and investors of properties in foreclosure an overview of the process and suggestions on how to proceed with negotiating your purchase. *This article is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of the laws and rules on foreclosure and only applies to foreclosures in Minnesota.

My Name is Changed, Now What?

 A few of my recently married friends and I were chatting about my recent name change post. They had questions not about how to complete a name change, but what to do after. Do you need a new birth certificate? (No) A new social security card? (Yes) Driver’s License? (Yes) Which do you get first? (See more after the jump)

Reasons for Union, Civil or Otherwise?

I just received an email from a good friend that linked to this New York Times article about civil unions gaining popularity in France. Without getting too far  into the politics of it all, she mainly sent me the article because I am a strong proponent of allowing marriage to remain as as a religious or spiritual ceremony and civil unions as an action of the State, wherein...

Small Businesses: Manage Your Online Reputation

With all this talk about social networking, we sometimes forget (or fail to learn in the first place) the basics with respect to social media and online content management. Here is a link to a New York Times article from the summer of 2009 with some simple steps to manage your online presence.  This is especially applicable to small businesses,...

How to Interview a Prospective Attorney

When you hire an attorney, you should hire the right attorney.  Depending on the reason you need legal services, your attorney may be someone you talk with and interact with on almost a daily basis.  Not only do you want great legal services, you need someone you work well with.  Do not be afraid to ask a prospective attorney questions.  They...

A Follow up to Entity Formation: Corporate Formalities

In my previous post I discussed protecting your personal liability when you form a corporate entity (corporation or limited liability company). I mentioned corporate formalities.  Below are more practical steps you should take to follow corporate formalities:

Failing to properly form your corporation or limited liability company creates unnecessary personal risk.

Quite often clients will come to me with an already formed entitiy.  When I ask for corporate records, they can’t produce any because they’ve never been created or they are so out of date, they are basically non-existent.  Operating without proper documentation for your corporation or limited liability is a significant risk. For little time, effort and money you can...

A Little Non Legal Holiday Spirit.

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

What Not to Wear

Perhaps this should be filed under potentially distrubing legal bits, but yesterday’s New York Times had an article entitled Extreme Makeover: Criminal Edition. I mostly cite the article for human interest and shock value, but the real purpose of my posting is to encourage you cricitically think about what you wear to court. Court isn’t an every day occaision for...

Alternative Ways to Fund Divorce

The New York Times is doing a series on the growing trend of investing in lawsuits. This week’s article focused on investing in high net worth divorces. An interesting concept that brings up significant ethical and moral dilemmas. Such services create a pseudo contingent fee arrangement (the typical arrangement where a lawyer receives a percentage of the final outcome of...

How Do I Search for an Attorney?

You’re probably surprised to learn that even as an attorney I often search for other attorneys to refer people to; most often in situations where a potential client’s legal issue is out of the physical or practical areas in which I practice.  Instead of turning them away, I try to find them a suitable alternative.

What’s the Deal with Name Changes in Minnesota?

I am surprised by the number of people confused about name change rules in Minnesota.  You’ve seen the Princess Consuela Bananahammock episode from Friends, right? The simple rule:  you get a freebie when you get married and a freebie when you get divorced. It doesn’t matter if you are the husband or the wife.

What is a Short Sale?

A home for sale that is reffered to as a “Short Sale” is simply a home for sale that is “under water”. This means there is more owed against the home than it is worth. A short sale seller has recognized that their home is underwater and has pre-negotiated or started negotiations with the bank to allow a sale despite the fact the bank will likely not be entirely paid off...

Too often the law is too funny.

Held: a police officer’s act of pulling up a person’s excessively saggy pants during a constitutionally justified investigative stop is not a search requiring additional justification. “She hoisted his pants presumably to conceal rather than reveal.” State v. Wiggins (Minn. App. 9/14/10).

Who is My General Counselor?

All large and successful businesses require general counsel to address the complexities of their daily legal issues and, when necessary, coordinate outside counsel to pursue and protect their interests. Successful individuals, families, and small businesses are no different. Your lives are complicated, your personal holdings complex and, most of all, your time is limited. You deserve the same as big...