Firm’s Pro Bono Case Listed in Top 10 Business Lawsuits of the Year

The firm's pro bono representation of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness received a #10 ranking in the “Top 10 Business Lawsuits of the Year” by Twin Cities Business.

December 2011

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.'s pro bono representation of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in a trial against AT&T received a #10 ranking in the "Top 10 Business Lawsuits of the Year" by Twin Cities Business. According to the publication, the list recaps the most notable examples of local corporate legal misfortunes.

The case centered around a 450-foot cell-phone tower AT&T proposed to build near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  The tower would have despoiled the scenic and aesthetic resources of the protected Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for miles and would have posed a significant threat to migratory birds.  The Friends challenged the project under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act, which gives citizens the right to sue to block projects that have the potential to diminish environmental quality.

Our representation culminated in a four day bench trial with 15 live witnesses and 17 witnesses by deposition.  After carefully considering the evidence, the court issued a 58-page order, ruling in favor of the Friends and permanently enjoining AT&T from constructing any tower in this location taller than 199-feet. The firm continues to represent the Friends on appeal.

Partners Stephen Safranski and Thomas Mahlum led the firm's efforts in this case.

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