To successfully review, argue and win cases, it’s simply not enough to be able to memorize and recite the law. An intelligent, experienced attorney will also look for opportunities to interpret the meaning of a statute as it pertains to their client’s case. When interpreting a statute, a court “must ascertain and effectuate the intention of the legislature. To ascertain and effectuate the legislature’s intent, courts must first look to see whether the statute’s language, on its face, is clear or ambiguous. A statute is only ambiguous when it is subject to more than one reasonable interpretation.” See State v. McCoy, 682 N.W.2d 153, 158–59 (Minn. 2004). This nuance becomes extremely important in workers’ compensation cases involving Minnesota Statutes section 353E.001, which defines Duty Disability as:
a condition that is expected to prevent a member, for a period of not less than 12 months, from performing the normal duties of a local government correctional service employee as defined under section 353E.02 and that is the direct result of an injury incurred during, or a disease arising out of, the performance of normal duties or the actual performance of less frequent duties, either of which are specific to protecting the property and personal safety of others and that present inherent dangers that are specific to the positions covered by the local government correctional service retirement plan.