As we look forward to another year serving our clients and fighting the good fight in difficult business disputes, we are also taking time to reflect on the remarkable year we had in 2022.
Victories for our Clients
Our reputation for success in complex litigation grew again in 2022 with major victories in three very different cases.
Last Spring, Anthony Ostlund won a $70.5 million plus legal fees total verdict/award in Minneapolis for Jim Koch against Koch Companies et al. Rich Ostlund led our trial team of Randy Gullickson, Shannon Awsumb, Joe Janochoski and Shannon Flinn to a $12 million verdict, a $58.5 million stock buy-out, and an award of our client’s attorneys’ fees and expenses.
In July, Senior United States District Judge Donovan Frank granted preliminary approval to a settlement agreement reached by the parties in Murphy, et al. v. Harpstead, a significant federal court civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of a class of people with disabilities living in group homes. Peter McElligott and Steven Pincus (now retired) served as co-counsel with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and its affiliate the Minnesota Disability Law Center, and Nichols Kaster, PLLP in this case spanning six years.
$484 million in compensatory and
$79.5 million in punitive damages*
*The largest jury verdict in Minnesota history—a record previously held by our firm
in the 2017 Lund case! ($45 Million Buyout for Lunds Minority Shareholder).
Two Teams Honored as Attorneys of the Year
By doing what we do best—achieving significant, hard-won victories for our clients, and by demonstrating our commitment to the community—the teams behind successful outcomes in Koch v. Koch and Murphy, et al. v. Harpstead have both received 2022 Attorney of the Year Awards in Minnesota Lawyer’s annual recognition of remarkable achievements in the legal profession. We are humbled and honored by our colleagues’ achievements.
In January 2022, the ABA/Thompson West released its highly-respected multi-volume treatise “Business and Commercial Litigation in the Federal Courts, Fifth Edition” with Anthony Ostlund again selected as the lead author nationally for its sections regarding “Fiduciary Duty Claims.” The extensive work in 2021 on this updated edition featured AO partners Rich Ostlund and Dan Hall as lead authors, with great contributions, specifically acknowledged by the ABA, from AO attorneys Pete McElligott and Joe Janochoski. Rich was the author of the Fourth Edition in 2016 with critical support from Dan and Pete.
Anthony Ostlund is honored to have been again chosen as an author of what has been broadly described by reviewing law journals across America as the most respected treatise on the art, science and knowledge needed to excel in preparing and trying complex business cases. The ABA’s New York based Editor in Chief for the Fifth Edition declared that the authors of the Fifth Edition are the “cream of the commercial litigation bar” and are the “best lawyers practicing in the federal courts of this nation.”
In October 2022, three AO shareholders—Joe Anthony, Janel Dressen, and Rich Ostlund—were selected for the second year in a row among Minnesota Lawyer’s “Power 30” for Business Litigation. No other law firm statewide—regardless of size—has as many Power 30 business litigation selections as Anthony Ostlund. Power 30 defines such a selection as given only to lead trial lawyers “whose mere presence on a case signifies the stakes, who have influenced the direction of the law, whose leadership in the community is pervasive and whose respect within the bar is undeniable.”
Lying Cheating & Stealing Seminar Relaunched
This Fall we relaunched the Lying, Cheating, and Stealing seminar originally conceived by Joe Anthony decades ago. The seminar was designed to bring together great legal minds to share innovative approaches and strategies for handling lawsuits involving the liars, cheaters and stealers that never seem to go away. In our one-day in-person seminar, presenters shared fresh new strategies, secrets and solutions for handling new levels of complexity in today’s cases. In connection with this event, Anthony Ostlund committed to match the registration fee of every attendee and contribute it to Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. We’re pleased to share that with the registration fee contributions by attendees and our match, Legal Aid received over $3,000 from the event.
Two New Associates and Two New Partners
This fall we were pleased to welcome two new associates to the firm. Leslie A. Bellwood and Ryan P. Downes joined the firm as Associate Attorneys. Leslie and Ryan practice in all areas of business litigation, including contract, shareholder, and employment disputes, and other business matters.
Finally, in December the firm announced internally that Ryan M. Lawrence and Peter J. McElligott would be joining the partner ranks as of January 1, 2023. This accomplishment is a testament to their leadership, hard work and dedication to the firm and its clients over the years.
We are looking forward to a great 2023!