Legal Experience—Solving Complex Business Problems
Ms. Lockner is a partner in the firm's business litigation department and has extensive experience in handling—and solving—a broad array of problems for her clients. As a trial attorney, she has the skills and expertise to wield the threat of trial as a sword, but understands and appreciates her clients need to use it only as a tool of last resort. Instead, Ms. Lockner focuses on understanding her clients’ business objectives and risk tolerance to determine what constitutes a successful outcome and then implements a strategy to achieve that result.
Ms. Lockner has experience in numerous areas of complex litigation including, class-action defense, internal and government investigations, privacy and data breach matters, bankruptcy, securities, tax, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, white-collar criminal defense, consumer fraud, real estate, securities, financial fraud, breach-of-fiduciary-duty claims, breach of contract, Minnesota Termination of Sales Representatives Act, product liability, antitrust, RICO, corporate structure, intellectual property, and insurance matters.
She also has experience in numerous industries: retail, manufacturing, franchisor, financial, construction, food and beverage, technology, and logistics. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Retail Industry Group.
Ms. Lockner has extensive experience in first and second chairing trials in both state and federal courts. She successfully first chaired a jury trial in defense of a Fortune 50 publicly-traded company in a-breach-of-contract case relating to registered securities. The jury found in favor of Ms. Lockner's client. Two months earlier, she second-chaired a two-week federal criminal conspiracy and tax-fraud case in the Federal District of Minnesota on behalf of a prominent, local businessperson, cross examining the special agent, the revenue agent, and the alleged victim, among others. The jury acquitted the client on 5 of 9 counts, including those with the most alleged financial losses. She has also handled adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court.
While she loves trying cases, Ms. Lockner has also had great success in obtaining early and creative resolutions where it serves her clients' best interests. For instance, she negotiated an early nationwide class-action settlement before any discovery or advanced motion practice had occurred. The settlement ended up being 60 percent less than what other defendants in similar cases brought by the same plaintiff's counsel settled for after much more extensive discovery and motion practice, providing finality with minimal exposure to the client. She also recently resolved a class action case where no money was paid to the class and the fee award was less than half of plaintiff’s counsel’s lodestar.
Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Data Breach
Ms. Lockner has also worked with companies in defending matters relating to privacy and data breaches. In addition to handling litigation that may arise from these breaches, Ms. Lockner counsels clients on how to mitigate and prevent such breaches in the first place. This involves working with clients to develop data response plans in the event of a breach as well as reviewing marketing strategies to ensure compliance with various privacy statutes, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). If a breach does occur, Ms. Lockner has experience in working with clients to respond to the breach, including working with forensic teams and determining what notification requirements apply.
Government and Internal Investigations
Ms. Lockner also has extensive experience handling internal and governmental investigations and has litigated against and negotiated with numerous Attorneys General throughout the country. She successfully obtained an outright voluntary dismissal of a case that the Ohio Attorney General brought after she obtained sanctions against the State for discovery abuses. In addition, Ms. Lockner has handled and participated in several internal and grand jury investigations and recognizes that there are not only legal, but also public relations and employee-morale ramifications that must be managed in these instances.
Ms. Lockner provides legal counsel to clients both inside and outside legal departments on various topics, including cybersecurity, privacy, data breach preparation, marketing, antitrust, E-discovery, and compliance counseling. For instance, Ms. Lockner was brought in by one large company to lead a cross-functional team in implementing a complex, high-profile project relating to the company's massive IT infrastructure that took into account how those changes could impact pending and future litigation. She has also worked with clients on ambitious projects that seek to allow the business to operationalize business-generating ideas while proactively mitigating the potential for litigation risk. She also has experience working with clients to prepare computer security incident response plans.
Pro Bono and Community Service—Serving Those in Need
Ms. Lockner served as head of the firm’s nationally-recognized Pro Bono Program from 2009 through 2014. Under her leadership, the firm regularly ranked in the top 10 of Am Law firms and was featured as one of five firms nationally whose ranks had increased the most over the previous five years. In 2011, the "Vault" survey named the firm as No. 1 in the nation for its pro bono program.
She has been fortunate to represent numerous inspiring clients who have faced debilitating challenges and have thrived despite them, including asylum seekers, foster children, battered women, and veterans. In one case, she began representing an Ethiopian woman seeking asylum two weeks after Ms. Lockner was sworn into the bar. After three trials, two trips to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and finally a trip to the Eighth Circuit where Ms. Lockner argued to overturn the immigration judge's decision, her client was finally awarded asylum status nearly nine years later. See Hailemichael v. Gonzales, 454 F.3d 878 (8th Cir. 2008). She recently represented and obtained asylum for two sisters and their young children who fled Honduras due to violence that had resulted in the assassinations of their brother and their cousin, an elected official.
Ms. Lockner also serves on the board of several organizations including The Advocates for Human Rights, The Fund for Legal Aid, and The Basilica Landmark. She also serves as one of two trustees to The Basilica of St. Mary where she also sits on the parish council and the finance committee. She previously served six years on the board of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid.
Litigation Philosophy and Objective
Ms. Lockner's litigation philosophy is to pick her battles well, guided primarily by her clients' needs and objectives. She has been described as having "a velvet glove in one hand and brass knuckles in the other," and she knows when one should be used rather than the other. She also took pride in the business client who told her: "I don't like needing you, but I sure do have fun working with you." In sum, Ms. Lockner's most basic objective is to make her client's life easier—whether it be the in-house legal counsel who has to meet a budget and apprise her board of litigation risks, a business client who wants to capitalize on an opportunity, or the pro bono client who needs our justice system to protect her.