• Teamwork in Family/Civil Law Pays

    Ed Shaw Law Blog May 27, 2015 | 06:25 am

    It is easy to think that a legal dispute is a zero sum game, your side only gains at the expense of the other side, your lawyer should never cooperate with the other lawyer.  That is not true, In many cases cooperation can actually pay off for both sides.  Both sides in a dispute can make decisions that will streamline how the cases is handled, saving each thousands of dollars.  Instead of formal discovery, information can be exchanged informally.  Agreements can be made to reduce pre-trial workloads and shorten trials by agreeing to use documents instead of paying to bring witnesses to court.  If done well, these types of agreements shorten the legal proceedings without harming or favoring either side.  Regardless of who wins the case, each side pays thousands less in fees and costs.  

    Good lawyering involves both cooperation and competition.  A lawyer who only knows how to compete will cost you more money without getting a better result.


  • The right to remain silent

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Mar 23, 2015 | 13:04 pm


    Almost everyone has heard these words uttered dozens of time on T.V. police shows 'you have the right to remain silent'.  What do they mean?  Any citizen who is accused of a crime does not have to speak to police about what they are accused of doing, or speak in court at their trial unless they want to.  Whether you speak to police investigating the case, or at your trial when you are accused of a crime are two very different issues.
    With very few exceptions, it is not a good idea to talk to police investigating you in connection with a crime, despite police often saying that you do not need a lawyer.  The same police who tell you not to get a lawyer do not hesitate to get one before saying anything when they are accused of excessive force or other illegal behavior on duty.  When you are in trouble, do what police do when they are in trouble, lawyer up.

    Remaining silent at your trial is a very different story.  If you are on trial the jury will be hearing from your accusers saying that you committed a crime.  If you remain silent that is all they will hear from, meaning that they will probably believe them and convict you.  Even though the jury can be instructed not to assume that you are guilty because you remained silent, in the real world they will think you are if you do not speak up.  With very few exceptions, remaining silent at your trial is a fast track to jail, or prison.  
    While every case is unique, you will usually not go wrong following this simple rule, outside of the courtroom, shut up unless your lawyer is with you.  Inside the courtroom, plan on telling the jury why you are not guilty, with the help of your lawyer.  


  • Health Care Directive & Power of Attorney

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Feb 5, 2015 | 11:01 am

    What is a Health Care Directive?
    A Health Care Directive or Living Will is a document that allows youto communicate your wishes regarding medical treatment if you cannotmake those wishes known because of illness or injury.  It also typicallydesignates a person to make health care decisions for you if you areunable to communicate or do not have the mental capacity to make adecision.  This ensures your wishes will be followed, creates certaintyfor your family, and minimizes conflict.
    What is a Power of Attorney?
    A Power of Attorney is a document that allows another person to actfor you in financial matters.  A durable Power of Attorney allows aperson to act for you if you become incapacitated.  A durable Power ofAttorney is an important estate planning tool because it avoids theappointment of a conservator to manage your financial affairs.

  • What is a Trust?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 29, 2015 | 11:00 am

    Like a Will, a Trust in the estate planning context, includes provisionsto distribute assets upon death, specifies who will be responsible todistributing the assets, designates a guardian for minor children andaddresses estate taxes.  Unlike a Will, a Trust is effective immediatelyrather than upon death as is true with a Will, which allows forincapacity planning.  The other advantage of a Trust is that unlike aWill, probate can be avoided if all property is transferred into theTrust prior to death.  The disadvantage of Trust is that it is moreexpensive than a Will initially because of the requirement oftransferring all property into the trust, but probate costs will beavoided.

  • What is a Will?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 22, 2015 | 10:59 am

    A Will is a document in which a person specifies who is receive his orher property upon death, designates the person who will be responsiblefor the probating the estate, designates a guardian for minor childrenand addresses estate taxes.  One common misconception is that having aWill avoids probate.  Probate is the legal process for  of transferringthe assets of one who has passed away (“decedent”) that were owned asthe decedent’s separate property and do not transfer to others throughtitling or contractual designations (i.e., a life insurance policy) . Having a Will does not avoid probate and is essentially an instructionto the probate court.  However, having a Will does make the probateprocess less complicated and likely less costly.

  • What is Estate Planning?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 15, 2015 | 10:58 am

    Estate planning refers to the process of planning for the transfer ofyour property upon your death, and often, your potential mentalincapacity or diminished cognitive abilities.  The goals of estateplanning include directing disposition of your property at death,minimizing taxes and costs, simplifying the administration of yourestate, and creating certainty for your loved ones.  Estate planningalso helps avoid conflict between your heirs.  The major estate planningtools include Wills, Trusts, Health Care Directives and Power ofAttorney.

    If you do not have an estate plan, Minnesota Law will dictate whathappens upon your death or incapacity.  This may not be what you wantand creates uncertainty for your family, increases the likelihood ofconflict and leads to increased costs for your loved ones.

  • Domestic Abuse & Restraining Orders

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 8, 2015 | 10:48 am

    Domestic abuse is violence or threats of violence against another individual. Certain acts,including threatening physical contact and threats of physical harm canbe a reason to get a Restraining Order or an Order for Protection. This prevents contact between the people involved and removes the person committing abuse from the home.

    Having a Restraining Order against you can remove you from your home,prevent you from seeing your children, and, in some cases, result inloss of a job. It will also prevent you from possessing a firearm.

    Whether you are seeking the Restraining Order or someone is seekingto get the Restraining Order against you, it is important to get legaladvice right away.

  • Holidays and Family Conflict:Family Law's Intersection with Holidays.

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Dec 28, 2014 | 15:05 pm

    The holidays always seem to bring out family conflict and visitation disputes.  The combination of in laws, alcohol, and travel can be tough in the best of circumstances, and a recipe for trouble when families are stressed.  Domestic abuse complaints, assault charges, and disputes over who gets the kids on what holidays always increase this time of year.  
    How to avoid the holidays going south? Be flexible on parenting time arrangements, a couple hours on Christmas Day are not worth a legal wrangle. If you will be around difficult in-laws, go easy on the booze.  If you get in a tricky situation, get legal help before it gets trickier.

  • LGBT/Nontraditional Relationships

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Dec 18, 2014 | 10:53 am

    The Ed Shaw Law Office provides respectful and compassionate legal services to same sex and non-traditional families. It is extremely important that non-traditional families have legallysound medical directives and wills established, as the law does notprovide automatic recognition of same sex partners.

    Our services include custody, adoption, and other family law matters, as well as wills, directives and estate planning services.

    LGBT couples and others in nontraditional relationships have legaloptions to protect their custody rights to minor children and to protecttheir property. Since LGBT couples are not always treated fairly by the law, it is especially important to seek available legal protection.

    Our office would be happy to discuss your legal options with you. Wesupport the rights of LGBT couples to be treated fairly andrespectfully.

  • What is Child Protection?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Dec 11, 2014 | 10:51 am

    Parents can be reported to Social Services for behavior that is abusive or neglectful towards their children.
    If Social Services determines that abuse or neglect occurred, SocialServices will file a legal document called a Child In Need of ProtectionPetition (“CHIPS Petition).  This document asks the court to interveneto prevent further abuse or neglect of the child and contains theinitial allegations that are being made against you.

    If you have a CHIPS Petition filed against you, it is important tohave legal representation because it can have serious consequencesincluding, in some circumstances, loss of your job and loss of rights toyour child.

    It is important to speak with someone about your rights immediatelyas things often happen fast in child protection and you do not want tobe too late.
    Call 218-825-7030 today for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

    Were you children just removed from your care?  Call after hours to 218-251-3217 and one of our attorneys will be able to provide you with help now!