We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.
Frequently asked questions
First, contact our office and tell one of our amazing legal assistants or paralegals about your situation. Everything you tell them is kept strictly confidential. They’ll talk with you for about 5-10 minutes and get some basic information about you and your potential case. If you have this information handy, it will allow us to proceed more quickly.
For example, if you’re calling about an employment matter, we will want to know who you worked for, what kind of work you did, for how long worked there, how much you earned, if/when you were terminated, the reason given by your employer for any discipline and termination, and why do you think your employer did something unlawful or wrongful.
We will review the information and a member of our staff will get back to you shortly – usually within a day. Our lawyers are generally focused on legal work in current cases and are unable to take the high volume of calls our office receives each day, but rest assured that one of our partners (Ashwin Madia or Joshua Newville) will personally review the information you share with our staff.
We are only able to take a very small number of cases. If we cannot help you, you should contact other attorneys, agencies, and organizations. The fact that we cannot represent you is by no means an indication that your concerns aren’t legitimate or that you don’t have a case. Someone else may be better suited for your situation or simply have more bandwidth.
If we think that we might be able to help you, we’ll set an appointment for you to talk with one of our lawyers. We’ll discuss your potential case with you and give you our assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. Before that call, please be sure to have all relevant documents that you have in your possession. For example, if your case is employment law related, that could include: pay-stubs, personnel files, employment handbooks/policies, letters from your employer (including your termination letter), any text messages or emails that you think are important, and any other documents that you think might be helpful.
If we then mutually agree that Madia Newville will represent you, we will send you a retainer agreement. After the agreement is fully executed, we will advise you how to proceed. Usually, we begin an extensive intake process in which we work with you to gather the information and materials that are necessary for our representation of you and will best prepare us for your case.
Our process is designed to determine if you have a case for which we can help. If we think that might be true, we’ll set an appointment for you to talk with one of our lawyers and they will give you their honest assessment of your potential case and its strengths and weaknesses.
Beyond that, our lawyers are generally focused on current cases and are unable to answer legal questions or give advice. Some excellent resources that you might find helpful include:
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- United States Department of Labor
- United States Department of Justice — Civil Rights Division
- Employee Benefits Security Administration
- U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board
- Minnesota Department of Human Rights
- MN Department of Labor & Industry
- Minnesota Attorney General’s Office
- MN Department of Employment and Economic Development — Unemployment
- Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights
- Minneapolis Office of Police Conduct Review
- St. Paul Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity
- Volunteer Lawyers Network
- Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
- Central Minnesota Legal Services
- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
- Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota
- Legal Aid Service of Northeast Minnesota
- Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development
- Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Benefits Services
- Wisconsin Department of Justice
- Legal Action of Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Judicare
How do i know if you’re the best employment & Civil Rights lawyers in minnesota?
You’re asking the wrong question. You should be asking, “Who are the best employment & civil rights lawyers for me?” For better or worse, there’s no ranking system for lawyers that rates them from best to worst. It would be impossible to do, because lawyers are good at different things. If you’re looking for an attorney to help you with a painful situation, you of course want the best lawyer out there. But in reality, you should be looking for the best lawyer for you.
That means you need to find the lawyer that is best equipped to meet your unique goals. For example, if just want a quick settlement and don’t want to go through litigation, you’ll need a lawyer with a different skillset than someone who is open taking their case to trial.
Just as important, you want to find a lawyer that you can trust. Litigation can often take a long time, and is characterized by rotating periods of intense activity (written discovery, depositions, motions) and long periods of inactivity. You need to be able to sleep at night knowing that you’ve got someone you trust on the job.
What are the best skill-sets for Madia Newville?
We are a trial firm. We excel at trying cases to juries. In fact, other employment & civil rights lawyers often come to us in the weeks and months before trial and ask us to try their cases for them. We’re honored to do it.
We are not a quick settlement or fast “pay-out” shop. There are some firms that excel at that – they take hundreds of cases with the goal of settling each of them very quickly. Candidly, if that’s what you’re looking for, we’re probably not the best fit. We take on far fewer cases than many firms. We’re willing to work them up. We’ll do extensive discovery, take lots of depositions, and prepare your case for your day in court.
We believe that our approach adds value because cases generally settle for larger amounts when the plaintiff’s lawyer has prepared the case for trial. We only take cases that we believe we can win at trial. If you are someone who wants the possibility of telling your case to a jury, we may be a great fit for you.
What do lawyer awards and best lawyer lists mean?
It depends. They don’t mean much if you haven’t thought about “Who are the best employment & civil rights lawyers for me?” You need to think about your goals and what you want from your lawyer. That will help you in your search. You also should make sure to get a lawyer that you trust – someone you feel confident in, who makes you feel comfortable about your case, and who will always being honest with you.
We’re honored that we’ve received Minnesota Super Lawyer awards for many years: you can check out our profiles here if you like. But honestly, we’re most proud of the results we get for our clients – and what they have to say about us. Check out their comments here.
The value of your case depends on a number of things.
The value of your case – either at settlement or trial – depends on a number of things, including: the strength of your case on the merits; the amount of damages you’ve suffered; whether the defendant has the capacity to pay a large amount of damages; and your tolerance for risk.
How much your case is worth depends in part on the strength of your case on the merits.
In employment and civil rights cases, defendants almost always bring a motion for summary judgment. A motion for summary judgment is basically like a motion to dismiss your case – except that it comes after discovery instead of at the beginning of the case. The defendants basically argue to the Court that – even if all the documents and deposition testimony are taken in the light most favorable to you – no jury could find in your favor as a matter of law and therefore the judge should dismiss your case and not even give you a trial. Unfortunately, many of these motions are granted – so defendants bring them in almost every case.
At Madia Newville, we’ve had a solid record on beating these motions, because we pride ourselves on doing solid discovery: on getting the admissions we need from defendants during discovery so that judges have no choice but to deny the defense motions for summary judgment. One of the things we analyze during our legal consultation with you is the likelihood of your case beating summary judgment. We’ll sit down with you and go over the evidence that we believe is likely to come in: your testimony, documents or other evidence, testimony of other witnesses, and what evidence we think the defense will offer. We’ll analyze that against relevant caselaw and tell you what we think the likelihood is that your case will survive summary judgment.
If your case is likely to survive summary judgment, then its settlement value goes up tremendously. We make sure the defendant knows that it will have to go all the way through discovery only to lose its motion for summary judgment and have to face a jury trial. Our experience has been that defendants don’t like to face juries, and they really don’t like to face juries against us. So a defendant may pay a premium very early in your case to settle it, in order to avoid having to litigate (and pay legal fees) all the way through summary judgment, only to lose at summary judgment and then have to pay you a larger amount in order to avoid trial.
How much your case is worth depends in part on the damages you’ve suffered.
For example, in an employment wrongful termination case, you’re entitled to: back pay damages, front pay damages, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, statutory interest, and your attorney fees and costs.
Back pay is the amount of pay you’ve lost from the time of your termination to present. So, if you were making $40,000 a year plus benefits before you were wrongfully terminated, and you’ve been out of work for a year, then you’ve got $40,000 in back pay damages.
Front pay damages is the amount of money you’re projected to lose going into the future. These are harder to win than back pay damages, because courts expect you to try to find work and mitigate your damages. Generally, you can only get 1-3 years’ worth of front pay damages, except in exceptional cases. For both back and front pay damages, you need to show that you’ve attempted to mitigate damages by finding another job. So, keep records of your job search so that the defense can’t claim that you just sat on your hands after its unlawful termination of you. Sometimes, things that are good for your life are not good for your lawsuit. You may find another job very shortly after your wrongful termination that actually pays you more money than your first job. In that case, your wage loss damages would be limited to the time between jobs, and you wouldn’t get any front pay because you’re making more money. So the value of your case would decrease, but obviously, it’s much better for your life.
Emotional distress damages are available and increase the value of your case. Being discriminated against by a company is awful, and companies have to pay for that.
Both federal and Minnesota anti-discrimination statutes also authorize punitive damages for unlawful discrimination. The threat of these damages also adds value to your case. Finally, a hammer to add value to your case is the threat of attorney fees.
The anti-discrimination statutes and civil rights acts are fee-shifting statutes, meaning that – if you go to trial and win, the defendant has to pay all of your attorney fees in addition the jury verdict for you. Attorneys will generally put hundreds of hours into your case to get it to trial, and hundreds more to try the case, resulting in fees to defendants of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Often, defendants would rather settle with you than risk having to pay your fees on top of everything else. So, in valuing your case and trying to figure out how much your case is worth, one thing to think about is the amount of damages that you’ve suffered.
How much your case is worth depends on the ability of the defendant to pay a large judgment.
Some individuals or small companies just don’t have the money to pay a judgment. This reduces the value of your case. The defendant has the advantage of challenging you to go ahead and get a verdict as trial, as it doesn’t have assets sufficient for you to satisfy a judgment. That gives a defendant some leverage in settlement negotiations.
We’ll talk to you about the defendant and whether it makes sense to sue. Generally, collectability is not a concern and is a non-issue for most mid-size to larger companies. Even with smaller companies, it may not be an issue. But it’s definitely a factor to consider as we discuss how much your case is worth.
One of the most important factors in the value of your case is your tolerance for risk.
With many things in life, the greater the potential risk, the greater the potential reward. Lawsuits are not much different. There is greater risk in litigating a case through discovery and summary judgment, as there is always a risk that the judge will dismiss your case no matter how strong it is. However, the value of your case after summary judgment is usually much greater than it was at the beginning.. The value increases because the defendant has taken their best shot to dismiss it and lost, and now faces a jury trial (which means a lot of risk to the defendant that they are willing to pay to avoid).
And – if you keep going – there’s more potential risk and reward. Trial presents another risk. The jury could go with the defendant and award you nothing, in which case you’ll go home with zero. On the other hand, the jury could ring the bell on the defendant and award you a large amount at trial. Again, you’re compensated for the increased risk by the potential of a large jury award far beyond what the defendant would offer at settlement.
Some people have a low tolerance for risk. They would rather take a sure thing and settle their case early, even if they have to settle for less than what we think we could get after summary judgment or trial. On the other end of the spectrum, we have some clients that have a very high tolerance for risk – they want to go all the way through trial and take their chances, no matter what the defense offers at settlement.
Most of our clients fall somewhere in between on the risk spectrum. They’re willing to endure some risk to push forward with the case if the defendant will not offer a fair amount, but at the same time are willing to engage in settlement negotiations once the defendant starts making fair offers. When we talk with you about how much your case is worth, one thing we’ll need to discuss is your tolerance for risk.
Let’s talk about the value of your case.
Contact us today. If we think that we can help with your case, we’ll talk about the above factors to give you our opinion on the potential value of your case.
1. How long do I have to file a claim of employment discrimination?
You must act quickly to protect your rights for employment claims. In Minnesota, you only have one year to bring any claim for employment discrimination or you lose your right to sue forever. For some claims – even in Minnesota – you may have less than a year. In some states outside of Minnesota, you must bring employment claims within 180 days of the unlawful act. The bottom line is that you must act quickly to preserve your rights in cases of employment discrimination. If you believe that you have suffered discrimination in the workplace, contact Madia Law immediately.
2. Can my employer fire me if I bring a claim of discrimination?
No. Both state and federal law prohibit retaliation of any kind by employers against employees for bringing or participating in equal employment opportunity claims. If your employer takes any action against you because of your claim, then your employer will be subject to additional state and federal retaliation and reprisal claims.
3. What role do the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Minnesota Department of Human rights play in eliminating employment discrimination?
The most important thing to remember is that – in order to even bring a discrimination claim in federal court – you must first file with the EEOC and give it a chance to investigate. This can sometimes be a very good thing, as the EEOC forces employers to respond to complaints, and that gives us a preview of what defenses employers may try to use later in litigation. Sometimes, the EEOC or MDHR may even choose to litigate cases on behalf of plaintiffs and obtain money damages and injunctive relief.
4. What laws protect me from police brutality and excessive force?
42 U.S.C. 1983 serves as the main statutory authority that allows citizens to sue state and municipal law enforcement officers and agencies for conduct that violates their civil rights. The Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution prevent unreasonable searches and seizures by the state and guarantee “due process” of law to all citizens. These statutory and constitutional authorities form the legal foundation of most excessive force cases against law enforcement.
5. What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
The employment discrimination and civil rights statutes authorize your attorney fees to be paid by your employer if you are successful in your case. The reason for these attorney fee provisions is to encourage individuals who have had their rights violated to step forward regardless of their personal wealth or ability to pay fees. Madia Newville takes cases on contingency fee, meaning that it only collects fees if its successful in your case – you will not need to pay any hourly fees.
6. I need a lawyer in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or North Dakota.
Madia Newville represents clients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and in various United States federal courts.
What’s the difference between a trial lawyer and a litigator?
Trial lawyers think about cases in a fundamentally different way than litigators. Trial lawyers plan on every case going to trial and prepare accordingly. We start cases by thinking about our closing argument at trial – the last words that we want the jury to hear. And we work backwards from there – figuring out what evidence we’ll need in order to make that closing argument and, in turn, what discovery strategy we’ll need in order to have that evidence at trial.
Trial lawyers understand that defendants will not pay top dollar to settle cases until and unless we convince them – beyond any doubt – that we’re going to beat them at trial. Litigators think about cases in chronological order – they start with initial pleadings, then move to discovery, then motions, and then, finally, they start to think about trial. That’s way too late. You’ve already lost if the first time your lawyers think about trial is right before trial. Here’s an article that elaborates on the difference between trial lawyers and litigators.
How do I know that you are actually trial lawyers?
What kind of fee arrangements do you have?
We’re creative and we love making arrangements that tie our pay to success. If you want a straight hourly agreement, we can do it. But we prefer contingency or blended fee (either flat fee and contingency or hourly and contingency) agreements.
How does FINRA arbitration differ from normal civil litigation?
Most securities claims are subject to mandatory arbitration. On the plus side, the process will go much faster than civil litigation – without lengthy appeals. Discovery is also limited and streamlined, which helps move the process along. On the minus side, your case will not be decided by a jury from our community, but rather a panel of 3 arbitrators – all of whom will have some ties or background in the financial industry. While arbitration has rules, they are not as strict as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (in court), so both sides will have more leeway and discretion in the presentation of their cases.
How will having a trial lawyer handle my case help me if my claim is subject to mandatory arbitration?
Because the skill set is the same: taking a complex set of facts and distilling it into a compelling and persuasive narrative for a finder of fact. We think of the arbitration panel as just one more jury – albeit with its own set of unique backgrounds, biases, and preferences. We build the case accordingly.
It’s not medical malpractice any time something bad happens involving a doctor or nurse. We have to first understand whether the doctor deviated from the standard of care. That is, we need to figure out: would a reasonably careful doctor have done anything differently? If yes, then this could be medical malpractice. But we also need to evaluate and understand causation: did this doctor’s malpractice cause your injuries, or would the injuries have happened no matter what?
We never want to encourage someone to file suit if we’re not confident that we can win the case and make it worth that person’s time and energy. And we don’t want to give someone false hope by telling them that they have a case, if we’re not confident that the doctor deviated from the standard of care and caused harm. Our job is to be honest with people and tell them the truth.
So how do we figure it out? The first thing we’ll do is order all of your medical records. We’ll review them and consult with an expert physician in the relevant field – sometimes more than one – to determine whether your doctor or nurse deviated from the accepted standard of care. We’ll consult with more experts to determine whether your doctor’s malpractice caused your injuries.
If the answer to these questions is yes, then we’ll probably tell you that you have a strong case and should move forward. If not, we’ll tell you that, too. We’ll tell you the basis for our opinion, and also give you the contact information of other medical malpractice attorneys we trust so you can get a second opinion.
So, of course you can sue the doctor or nurse or other medical professionals who committed malpractice. But they may not have enough insurance to fully cover the damages that they caused. It’s important to think about other potential defendants as well.
Hospitals and health clinics that employed the doctor or nurse can also be held legally responsible for malpractice in many instances. For example, hospitals and clinics are legally responsible for the acts of their employees, including doctors and nurses. Many hospitals will argue that the doctor in question wasn’t technically an employee, but was instead operating as an independent contractor who just had hospital privileges. But there are legal tests and factors that courts weigh when determining whether a doctor was an employee or contractor. We can use discovery to get valuable information – including the degree of control exercised by hospital, practice requirements and guidelines, and degree of supervision – to create a fact question on whether the doctor was an employee or contractor. The contract between the hospital and doctor is not dispositive of the question, and frankly, has minimal relevance.
If we can show that the doctor or nurse was an employee of the hospital, then the professional’s malpractice is treated as an act by the hospital. And the hospital can rightly be held responsible to ensure that your losses are fully covered.
Another way to hold hospitals and clinics responsible is to demonstrate that the hospital was negligent in its policies and procedures as compared to the standards set by a reasonably safe and effective health care center.
A statute of limitations is the amount of time that the law allows you to bring a lawsuit after a negligent act. Generally speaking, you must bring suit within that amount of time or you lose your right to sue over the malpractice.
In Minnesota, you’ve got 4 years from the date of the medical malpractice to sue, with a few exceptions.
The first exception is if the malpractice results in death of a patient, in which case you’ve only got 3 years from the date of the malpractice.
The second exception – a major exception – is called the “discovery rule.” In some, limited situations, the doctor’s negligence or harm isn’t apparent right away. If a patient can show that the medical error wasn’t discovered – and could not have reasonably been discovered – at the time the mistake was made, then the 4 year statute of limitations clock might be paused.
And the third exception is if the injured patient was under the age of 18 at the time of the medical malpractice. In that case, the 4 year clock is paused and the deadline to file suit is extended until 1 year after the patient’s 18th birthday.
If you think you might have a medical malpractice issue, you should contact a Minnesota Medical Malpractice Lawyer right away.
First, Minnesota requires plaintiffs bringing a medical malpractice case to serve an affidavit stating that:
- The facts of the case have been reviewed by the plaintiff’s lawyer, along with a qualified expert in the applicable standard of medical care; and
- In the expert’s opinion, the defendant health care provider deviated from the correct medical standard of care, and that deviation caused injury to the patient.
The affidavit is usually completed and signed by the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer. It needs to be served right at the outset of the case, along with the Summons and Complaint (the legal document saying the facts of what happened and why we believe the doctor committed malpractice).
Second, the medical malpractice plaintiff in Minnesota must serve another affidavit that states:
- The identity of each medical expert the plaintiff expects to use as an expert witness on medical malpractice or causation of injuries;
- The substance of the facts and opinions of those experts; and
- A summary of the basis for each of those expert’s opinions.
Each expert must sign this affidavit, and it needs to be served on the defense within 180 days of initiating suit.
If you don’t comply with these requirements, a court can dismiss your case.
Please consult with a Minneapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer today if you need help bringing a medical malpractice case.
You’re asking the right question. You should absolutely have an idea of what you’re fighting for before you get into a medical malpractice suit. Your Minnesota medical malpractice attorney will go over this with you in detail, but here are some basic concepts.
The value of your case depends on a number of different factors, but the most important are:
- How bad was the doctor’s negligence? If your doctor or nurse messed up badly, then they will have a very hard time defending their actions in front of a jury. That increases the value of your case.
- How bad were you injured? Serious, life-altering injuries, or death, demand very high settlements or verdicts, to compensate for such a great loss.
- What is your tolerance for risk? Like many things in life, increased risk carries the chance of increased reward. If you are willing to go the distance and go all the way to trial, that will generally drive higher settlements. And even if the case doesn’t settle, the jury has the chance to render the final verdict.
There are no caps on damages in Minnesota. You are eligible to recover a number of different types of damages for medical malpractice, including:
- Medical bills and costs
- Lost income
- Past bodily and mental harm, including:
- Emotional distress
- Future bodily and mental harm, including:
- Emotional distress
There’s a procedural requirement in Minnesota where you first need to get someone appointed as trustee for the next of kin. That trustee is empowered to bring the wrongful death case on behalf of the next of kin.
The basic elements of the medical malpractice case remain basically the same: we must prove that the physician was negligent in providing medical care, and that negligence caused your loved one’s death.
In a wrongful death case, the next of kind are entitled to damages for their suffering due to the loss of their loved one, including the loss of:
- Financial assistance (such as if the loved one contributed money or living expenses to the next of kin, or would have done so had he lived);
- Non-financial assistance (such as if the loved one did chores or tasks for the next of kind, for things like mowing the lawn, or shoveling the driveway, or cleaning the house);
- Companionship; and
Our guarantee at Madia Newville is that we rise and fall together with our clients: we only collect a fee if you recover compensation. We’re a contingency based firm, which means that we will invest our time and resources in your case for years without collecting a penny from you. If we win or get you a settlement, then you pay us a contingency fee from that amount. If we don’t get you anything, you don’t owe us anything. Call us today.
First, get a medical malpractice lawyer. Interview a few, and choose the one that feels best to you.
Your lawyer will get your medical records and review them with experts. If we think you have a case that will be worth your time and energy to pursue, we’ll tell you and get the case going with a Complaint and Certificate of Expert Review. Shortly thereafter, we’ll send affidavits from our experts stating their opinions to the defense.
We’ll then start discovery, which generally takes between 9 months and a year. During this time, we’ll request documents from the other side, conduct depositions, and sharpen our expert reports.
At the end of discovery, the defense will usually make a motion to exclude our experts from trial, or a motion for summary judgment (to dismiss our case), or both. We’ll have done the leg-work in discovery to beat these motions. Sometimes we may make a motion to exclude the defense expert, but I often like to let them testify in front of a jury (even when I could probably win a motion in limine), because I want the jury to see the defense expert squirm to try to justify his absurd opinions in defense of the doctor.
Then we get to go to trial.
You can expect, overall, an 18-24 month process if your case goes all the way through trial. The case can settle at any time, from Day 1 through the end of trial, if both sides agree on terms. We have found that the best way to secure fair compensation in settlements for our clients is to make clear to the defense that we’re ready for trial, and we’re going to win.
Call our Minnesota Medical Malpractice Lawyer today at 612.349.2729, or fill out the form below. You need help from someone who knows what they are doing, to: a) get all of your medical records; b) get them to an expert for evaluation; c) do a legal analysis of your case; and d) get your case served within the statute of limitations, along with the Certificate of Expert Review.