Steve Safranski’s complex commercial litigation and appellate practice focuses on antitrust, unfair competition and trade regulation, and consumer-protection matters, including defending high-stakes class actions and handling significant appeals in these areas. Mr. Safranski has represented a diverse group of national business clients in the food and beverage, grocery, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality industries, including Albertson Companies, Best Buy, Carlson Hotels, Graco Inc., Nature’s Way, SuperValu, and Time Warner Cable.
Mr. Safranski’s innovative litigation strategies have resulted in recent successes in major antitrust multi-district antitrust litigation matters. For example, in a major antitrust class action, In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation, Mr. Safranski has served as lead defense counsel and managed a related investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Mr. Safranski’s efforts resulted in the termination of the FTC investigation, the denial of class certification, and the grant of summary judgment following the exclusion of the plaintiffs’ expert in 2018 (appeal pending), Mr. Safranski also recently concluded a successful representation of Norwegian salmon producer Bremnes Seashore AS in the In re Farmed Salmon Antitrust Litigation matter pending in the Southern District of Florida.
Mr. Safranski’s litigation skills are aided by his in-depth understanding of the 21st century issues confronting the food and beverage, grocery, and cable and telecommunications industries. For instance, Mr. Safranski has published extensively and counseled several clients in the food and beverage industry on food labeling and antitrust issues and managing litigation risk in those areas.
Mr. Safranski’s pro bono work includes representation of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, including representing the Friends in highly publicized Administrative Procedure Act litigation challenging the federal Bureau of Land Management’s reinstatement of two mineral leases adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that would be used for highly toxic sulfide ore mining. Mr. Safranski also served on the Friends Board of Directors, and he is a member of the University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors.
Before joining Robins Kaplan LLP, Mr. Safranski practiced at a national law firm based in Chicago, Illinois, and previously served as a law clerk for Magistrate Judge Raymond L. Erickson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
Mr. Safranski is an outdoor enthusiast and avid fisherman. He has been recognized by the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame as the holder of the Catch-and-Release World Record Tiger Muskellunge for 10-pound test line.
- Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Board Member
- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Campaign for Legal Aid Board Member
- University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors
Minnesota Lawyer, "2019 Attorneys of the Year: Stephen Safranski" (February 7, 2020)
Law360, “8th Circ. Axes Last of SuperValu, Albertsons Breach Suit,” (May 31, 2019)
Law360, “Mass. Grocers Appealing Loss in Wholesaler Antitrust MDL,” (Aug. 15, 2018)
Law360, “8th Circ. Sets Standing Marker with Data Breach Rulings” (Sept. 13, 2017)
Law360, “Best Buy Beats Class Cert. on 8th Circ.’s Halliburton Ruling” (April 12, 2016)
The National Law Journal, “Truvia on Trial” (May 19, 2014)
Today’s General Counsel, “Vague Definition of ‘Natural’ Food is Class Action Bonanza” (April 21, 2014)
Law360, “Graco Escapes Antitrust Class Action Over Rival Buys” (March 11, 2014)
Law360, “Wholesale Grocery Suppliers Beat Antitrust Suit” (January 14, 2013)
Law360, “SuperValu, C&S Beat Class Cert. in Price-Fixing Suit” (July 26, 2012)
Twin Cities Business Magazine, “Top 10 Business Lawsuits of the Year” (November 12, 2011)
- InsideCounsel, “3M teams up with law firm and legal aid group to help immigrants” (December 1, 2011)
- Perspectives Magazine, “Pro Bono: Cui Bono?” (Fall 2011)
- Minneapolis StarTribune, “Judge says no to 450-foot cell tower near BWCA, but 199-foot tower OK” (August 3, 2011)
The In-House Lawyer’s Field Guide to Antitrust Compliance in the Biden Era
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