August 21

Eighth Circuit Panel Finds that Plaintiff’s Excessive Force Case Can Proceed to Trial

CASE UPDATE:  After the Eighth Circuit decision put this case back on track toward a jury trial, the case settled in mediation pending St. Paul City Council approval.

Eighth Circuit Panel Finds that Plaintiff’s Excessive Force Case Can Proceed to Trial

The Magna Law Firm is pleased to announce that the Eighth Circuit Court Appeals recently decided in favor of our client in the case of Robin Neal vs. Officer Daniel Ficcadenti et al.   The Court found that the Defendant Officer was not entitled to qualified immunity – immunization from suit – because a jury could find that the officer’s actions of slamming Mr. Neal face first to the pavement when he was not resisting arrest, and was complying with the officer’s commands, was objectively unreasonable. The Court also found that Mr. Neal’s right to be free from the force the officer used was clearly established before June 6, 2012.  This legal battle is far from over, but we are very pleased that the Eighth Circuit  agreed with us that Mr. Neal should be entitled have a jury decide whether the Defendant officer’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances.  Links to the Eighth Circuit decision and the squad car video which shows the officer’s actions are below.   We will continue to update you on all important developments in this case.

Read the background of this case and see the video:

June 20

Police Misconduct? City of St. Paul Says No!

***This case has an update. Read about our success:

On June 15, 2018, our law firm argued an excessive force case of critical importance before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.   The case is titled Robin Neal vs. Daniel Ficcaenti et al.

Link to Oral Argument Audio:

May 3

Infant Wrongful Death Settlement (Medical Malpractice)

Our firm recently reached a $250,000.00 settlement on behalf of the parents of a child whose wrongful death was the result of medical malpractice committed during his birth.  This amount represented 50% of the $500,000.00 statutory cap because this case was against a county hospital.  (Please note that there are generally no statutory caps on medical malpractice cases in Minnesota).

In the case referenced above, several months went by and the parents still were not sure why their son died a mere few days after he was born.  They were not getting any answers from the hospital where their son was delivered or from anyone else. 

March 27

A Technical Yet Important Victory for Civil Rights Plaintiffs

Just this past week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Manuel v. City of Joliet, that a criminal suspect who is arrested and detained absent probable cause, and whose pretrial detention lasts for several weeks before the prosecutor dismisses the case against him, has the right to bring a § 1983 claim based on a Fourth Amendment violation.
March 10

Avoiding Deadly Force Encounters

As I was preparing to give a talk at a Minneapolis event regarding community and police officer relations, it dawned on me that the excessive force test that the U.S. Supreme Court laid out in the landmark case of Graham v. O’Connor not only provides the basic legal framework for deciding an excessive force case, but also provides a very practical guide for citizens seeking to avoid deadly encounters with law enforcement.
February 24

Let’s Go To The Videotape!

Video evidence of encounters with police can be vital in civil rights excessive force cases.  Our firm recently resolved such a case, largely because a dashcam video recorded the events culminating in our client’s arrest and, what we believe to be, excessive force against her in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In this case, our client was struck by a police squad car.  The police officer (and the city of Minneapolis) denied any wrongdoing.  As such, we placed this matter into suit in Federal Court.

Predictably, the Defendants brought a motion for summary judgment.  The Defendants requested the Court to rule that our client had no case because there were no facts at issue.

February 17

Proving Excessive Force Now More Challenging

The U.S Supreme Court recently issued a decision making it more difficult for police misconduct victims to successfully sue law enforcement.  The case of White v. Pauly dealt with the qualified immunity doctrine and under what circumstances it applies to protect police officers from lawsuits.
July 31

Settlement in Slip and Fall Case: The Importance of a Thorough Investigation

One evening last summer, a young gentleman was spending time at a local, popular nightclub in downtown Minneapolis.  Unfortunately, he slipped and fell to the ground while walking toward the dance floor.  Immediately after falling down, this man noticed that he had slipped on a wet floor and this was the reason for this unlucky incident.  He also observed a small leak from the ceiling that was the reason there was water accumulation on the floor.