Legal Experience—Solving Complex Business Problems
Ms. Lockner is a partner in the firm's business litigation department who works with business leaders facing legal disputes that cause financial exposure and other risks to their business. Using her extensive litigation and trial experience, Ms. Lockner offers strategic legal guidance on how to use litigation—either defensively or affirmatively—to meet their business objectives. 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 weapon of last resort. Ultimately, Ms. Lockner’s goal is to further her clients’ objectives which are often to mitigate the risk to the business, maximize its financial recovery, and where feasible, position the company for a win-win business resolution.
Ms. Lockner has experience in numerous areas of complex litigation including healthcare-fraud litigation, class-action defense, privacy and data breach matters, internal and government investigations, minority-shareholder disputes and other fiduciary claims, non-competition and non-solicitation disputes, trade secrets, bankruptcy, securities, tax, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, white-collar criminal defense, consumer fraud, real estate, securities, financial fraud, breach of contract, trade secret, Copyright, Minnesota Termination of Sales Representatives Act, antitrust, RICO, corporate structure, intellectual property, and insurance matters.
She has experience in numerous industries including healthcare, investment advising, retail, manufacturing, franchisor, financial, construction, food and beverage, technology, and logistics.
Ms. Lockner currently represents healthcare plans in multi-million-dollar litigation with providers involving claims for improper billing, breach of contract, and fraud. She recently led a team in a complex federal lawsuit against a provider that resulted in a $32 million settlement that included millions of additional value in business terms for her client.
While she is skilled at trying cases, Ms. Lockner has also had great success in obtaining early and creative resolutions where it serves her clients' best interests. Recently, she settled a case involving non-compete and breach-of-fiduciary duty claims on behalf of her clients on a favorable basis. She also 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. In another class-action defense case, she negotiated a settlement 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
As the Chair of the firm’s Privacy and Cybersecurity Litigation Practice Group and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), Ms. Lockner has also worked with companies in defending matters relating to privacy and data breaches. She recently counseled a large technology company that was being investigated by several Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission and was successful in persuading those investigatory bodies to close their investigation. 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 and test data response plans in the event of a breach. She also works with clients to prepare cybersecurity incident response plans and conducts both table-top and more robust simulations to test those plans. If a cyber incident does occur, Ms. Lockner has experience in working with clients to respond to the incident, including working with forensic teams and law enforcement, and determining what notification requirements apply.
Government and Internal Investigations
Ms. Lockner 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. She has led high-profile internal investigations and many that have remained confidential. 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 dynamics 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 a 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.
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. See Hailemichael v. Gonzales, 454 F.3d 878 (8th Cir. 2006). 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 Children’s Theater Company, The Advocates for Human Rights, and The Fund for Legal Aid where she serves on the Executive Committee as treasurer. From 2010 to 2016, she served as one of two trustees to The Basilica of St. Mary where she also sat on the parish council and the finance committee. She also previously served six years on the board of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and for nine years on The Basilica Landmark.
Successful Dismissals By Motion
Nunez v. Best Buy Co., 315 F.R.D. 245, (D. Minn. 2016): Obtained dismissal of case alleging pricing misrepresentations on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.
Insulate SB, Inc. v. Advanced Finishing Sys., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31188, 2014-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P78,705 (D. Minn. Mar. 11, 2014): Counsel for fluid-handling equipment manufacturer Graco Inc. in putative nationwide antitrust class action alleging monopolization conspiracy. Successfully moved to dismiss all claims with prejudice. Further represented Graco in the appeal, where the judgment was affirmed. 797 F.3d 538 (8th Cir. Minn. 2015).
Obtained dismissal of a RICO case against a Fortune 50 company. In addition, obtained a sanctions award against the plaintiff’s counsel, a national law firm, for various discovery abuses and misrepresentations.
Successfully argued a motion to dismiss in Minnesota state court regarding claims of breach of contract and fraud. The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed.
Obtained dismissal on the pleadings of nationwide class action alleging breach of contract, violations of the Ohio & Kentucky Deceptive Business Trade Practices Act, and violations of the Ohio & Kentucky Consumer Protection Act. Successfully argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which later affirmed.
Obtained dismissal on the pleadings of a nationwide class action alleging claims of fraud, rescission, and restitution in the District of Colorado.
Defeating Class Certification
Defeated class certification in the Northern District of Illinois where plaintiff alleged claims under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, common law false advertising, unjust enrichment, and declaratory and injunctive relief. As a result, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case.
Defeated class certification in the Central District of California where plaintiffs alleged claims under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), Cal. Civ. Code § 1750; the Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200; the False Advertising Law (FAL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17500; and for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; common law false advertising; unjust enrichment; and declaratory and injunctive relief.
Defeated class certification in a nationwide consumer class action in the Southern District of New York on behalf of a large national corporation. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed and declined to appeal.
Defeated class certification in consumer class action brought in the Southern District of Florida alleging claims under the Florida Deceptive Uniform Trade Practices Act. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed case with prejudice.
Obtained class decertification from the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of large corporation in a statewide consumer class action alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
Voluntary Dismissals, Settlements, Appeals, and Business Counseling (other than those mentioned above)
Negotiated a $32 million settlement with a large health insurance company against a provider alleging fraud and violations of ERISA and deceptive trade practices acts as well as other legal theories.
Negotiated a class-action settlement on behalf of a large retailer in a Telephone Communication Protection Act action in the Western District of Washington.
Resolved a matter on behalf of a supplier in a case alleging violations of the Minnesota Termination of Sales Representatives Act.
Negotiated a non-monetary settlement after a class had been certified in the Southern District of New York. Despite a certified class, plaintiff’s counsel accepted just 30% of their lodestar to resolve the case before trial due to our strategic positioning of the case for trial.
Creatively obtained a temporary restraining order on behalf of an individual that enjoined her former employer from enforcing a non-compete provision. In its notice of appeal hoping to vacate the injunction, the defendants noted that they had "been unable to find a single appellate court decision in Minnesota in which an employee has sought, much less been granted, a TRO based on his or her declaratory judgment action." The parties settled on a confidential basis.
Obtained voluntary dismissal from the State of Ohio after obtaining sanctions against the State for discovery abuses.
Obtained voluntary dismissal from the State of Wisconsin against a large, nationwide corporation.
Obtained reversal from the Eighth Circuit of the lower courts' denials of asylum in a pro bono appeal entitled Hailemichael v. Gonzales, 454 F.3d 878 (8th Cir. 2008).
Member of post-remand trial team of Eolas Technologies, Inc. and The Regents of the University of California v. Microsoft Corporation. This case settled on confidential terms on the eve of trial.
- Children’s Theatre Company, Board of Directors
- The Advocates for Human Rights, Board of Directors
- The Fund for Legal Aid, Board of Directors
- Georgetown Law Alumni Board
- Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, Board of Directors (2009-2015, term completed)
- Basilica of St. Mary, Trustee (2010-2016, term completed)
- The Basilica Landmark, Board of Directors (2010-2019, term completed)
- “Stepping into the Shoes of the Department of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, and Hopeful Path the Illinois Attorney General Took to Require Police Reform in Chicago,” Northwestern Law Journal of Law and Social Policy (Winter 2020)
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