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October 5, 2007

Law firm sues MnDOT for access to bridge documents

Law firm Schwebel, Goetz, & Sieben filled a suit in Hennepin County District Court Thursday to gain access to all Minnesota Department of Transportations documents and records pertaining to the 35W bridge collapse. The case cites the Minnesota Data Practices Act.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the filing Thursday. The Star Tribune published an Associated Press report on the case on Thursday. Both articles refer to the lawsuit prominently.

Analysis:

The primary document that the articles dealt with was the civil complaint that was filed to initiate the lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court. The lawsuit itself was pursuant to and based off of the Minnesota Data Practices Act requests the firm had made. Most journalists are familiar with this statute, so the reporters handled writing about the issues the lawsuit raised well. Next to the civil complaint, the primary source in the story was attorney James Schwebel. He was quoted extensively about the filing and why the firm is pursuing the case on behalf of victims. MnDOT spokeswoman Lucy Kender was also quoted. She pointed out that the department has received numerous requests for the information, but declined to comment on the lawsuit. Overall, the article was reported fairly and well, and the lawsuit was interpreted correctly.

September 30, 2007

Buca settles lawsuit with the SEC

The Star Tribune reported that the Buca restaurant chain settled a lawsuit with the SEC Friday over "a complicated scheme devised by former executives at the restaurant chain that had funneled money out of the company."

The civil action came after former CEO Joseph P. Micatrotto was sentenced to 13 months in jail earlier this year for his role in the scheme. The settlement imposed an injunction on Buca, Inc. that prohibits it from breaking SEC rules in the future and provides for stricter penalties if rules are broken.

The Pioneer Press ran a short Associated Press item on the settlement.

September 25, 2007

Minnesota prosecutor to argue Supreme Court case

In a Pioneer Press article about the case that Deputy Hennepin County Attorney Pat Diamond will argue in front of the Supreme Court on Oct. 31, Emily Gurnon did a great job of reporting the important details of the case as well as explaining through Diamond's own words the challenges of arguing a Supreme Court case.

She tells readers about the rules of the Supreme Court, more about Diamond, and the details of the case.

September 20, 2007

Par Ridder ordered to step down for one year

The decision from Ramsey County District Judge David Higgs to bar Par Ridder from working for the Star Tribune was published in the Star Tribune onTuesday and the Pioneer Press on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Star Tribune effectively announced through another story that they will begin a search for a new permanent publisher to replace Ridder. On Friday, the Pioneer Press included a short Associated Press story about the Tribune's search.