Faegre & Benson recently secured an important victory for Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty in the Minnesota Supreme Court. On August 3, 2011, the court unanimously affirmed a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision in Burnet's favor, holding that the company's Legal Administration Program did not constitute insurance under Minnesota law.
In the case, a former Burnet agent had sued Burnet, claiming that the company's cost-sharing Legal Administration Program actually constituted insurance and that Burnet was therefore required to be licensed to sell insurance under Minnesota law. The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected the agent's claim, ruling that the Burnet program lacked a number of the typical characteristics of insurance, including indemnity limits, underwriting, and an assumption of risk that Burnet did not already bear.
"We are pleased that an important program that has provided benefits to our client, its agents, and its customers over many years will be able to continue," said Wendy Wildung, who led the Faegre & Benson effort. Bruce Jones, co-chair of the firm's Appellate Advocacy group, provided briefing in the Minnesota Supreme Court.