If You Love Something, Set It Free
We recently won a significant victory for our client when we convinced the Court of Appeals to strike down Minnesota's DWI Forfeiture Law as unconstitutional. But this win was much broader than one case -- it potentially impacts all pending and future DWI forfeitures.
We've been receiving a lot of calls from a lot of other defense attorneys, asking us how they can use our victory to help win their client's case. This usually turns into one of two things: 1) a long discussion about the history and application of the Due Process clause of the Constitution and how it applies to Minnesota's forfeiture laws, or 2) a plea to just get a copy of our briefs.
Our work product is very . . . precious to us. It's how we make our living. Our staff, our families, and our reputation all rest on us putting everything we have into our work, which includes the legal arguments that we develop and the effort we put into laying them out in writing. Asking us to release "our precious" is a tall order. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't.
But in this case, it makes sense for us to do it. Given the impact that this decision has on every DWI forfeiture, it would seem wrong to not give everyone the opportunity to raise the issue in the same way that we raised it. Ideally, the due process rights of Minnesotans shouldn't rest on who they hire as an attorney.
So if you look below, you'll find a copy of our argument. It's been sanitized a bit, but it should be ready to plug into anyone's standard Petition for Judicial Review or Motion for Summary Judgment. But before you go any further, READ THIS:
--This information is being provided TO ATTORNEYS and is not intended to be LEGAL ADVICE. Don't go thinking that downloading a legal brief online gives anyone off the street the tools they need to defend themselves in court. I would HATE for someone to try and use this argument to protect their rights in court, only to see them lose because they screwed up one of the technical rules regarding service, electronic filing, or the dozens of other easy-but-not-easy situations that attorneys deal with daily.
Having a lawyer is so important that its a right that is enshrined in our constitution. If the state seized your property for forfeiture, you don't necessarily have to hire Ramsay Law Firm to defend you in court, but you certainly want to have a competent attorney protecting your interests.
That said, you should still hire Ramsay Law Firm.
And that said, here's a copy of our precious:
Link to Microsoft Word version of the argument (we're having some technical difficulties with this one, please check back periodically if you need this version)