Fifteen Robins Kaplan Attorneys Named 2023 Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer

December 21, 2023

Robins Kaplan LLP is pleased to announce that fifteen attorneys have been named 2023 Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer. This annual award recognizes recipients’ leadership skills, involvement in noteworthy cases, and commitment to public service. 

Katie Bennett, Marc Betinsky, Andrew Noel, and Greta Wiessner were recognized for their groundbreaking civil rights work in 2023. In April, they secured two key settlements totaling $8,875,000 with the City of Minneapolis on behalf of clients John Pope and Zoya Code. The lawsuits, involving former officer Derek Chauvin and other Minneapolis Police Department officers, alleged instances of police misconduct, excessive force, and racial discrimination dating back to 2017. In October, the group secured a historic $12.2 million settlement for client Terrance Dwayne Winborn, marking the largest settlement of its kind in Minnesota. Winborn suffered severe injuries, including a heart attack, septic shock, and the amputation of both arms, due to the alleged deliberate indifference of county personnel while he was detained at Scott County Jail. 

Patrick Arenz and Emily Niles were recognized for their trial victory successfully defending client ionLake LLC and its founders in a competitor-versus-competitor patent infringement lawsuit brought by CellTrust over ionLake's SMS communication platform, MyRepChat. After an eight-day trial, a federal jury in the District of Minnesota delivered a complete defense verdict, affirming that ionLake did not infringe any of the asserted claims in CellTrust's patents and that all the claims were invalid as obvious. The jury reached this swift and decisive verdict after about two hours of deliberation.
Tara Sutton, Munir Meghjee, Holly Dolejsi, Steve Safranski, Eric Lindenfeld, Julie Reynolds, Greta Wiessner, and Gary Wilson, a recently retired partner at the firm, were honored for achieving a groundbreaking outcome in State of Minnesota v. Juul Labs, Inc. et al. The lawsuit accused e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL and cigarette manufacturer Altria of deceptive marketing practices and intentionally targeting Minnesota's youth. This landmark case, the first of its kind in the nation to go to trial, resulted in a significant settlement on the eve of jury deliberations. JUUL and Altria will pay a combined total of $60.5 million to the State of Minnesota over eight years. This is the largest per capita settlement among the 48 states and territories that have settled with JUUL. 

Sherry Roberg-Perez and Rebecca Bact were honored for their role in helping an incarcerated transgender woman reach a historic settlement with the Minnesota Department of Corrections. The settlement included being transferred to a women-only prison and gaining access to gender-affirming health care. Robins Kaplan was co-counsel with Jess Braverman of Gender Justice.

Honorees will be recognized at an awards event at Quincy Hall in Minneapolis on February 8, 2024.

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