I am a passionate advocate for justice. I use my skills and experience as a trial attorney to make a positive impact in courtrooms and communities. This is about taking on the right cases. Not necessarily the most profitable. Not the easiest. But the right cases. Those cases others might shy from because of risk or complexity. Those are the cases on which I thrive.
Jan Conlin has a long record of leading high-stakes intellectual property and business-critical litigation. Known for her trial and examination skills, Jan uses her well-honed expertise in the areas of trial strategy and risk assessment to find unique business resolutions for litigation-based conflicts of all sizes. During the course of her career, Jan has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts, awards, and settlements on behalf of her clients.
For the past six years, Jan was named one of the nation’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers by Benchmark Litigation. Jan was also inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers and named a Minnesota Top 10 Super Lawyer.
At her former firm, Jan was an elected member of the Executive Board and Chair of the Business Litigation Department.
Jan has multiple nine-figure patent infringement and business litigation representations including a $520.6 million verdict against Microsoft in 2004, a $400 million settlement for Pitney Bowes Inc. in a patent dispute against Hewlett-Packard in 2001, and the 2009 defeat of a $100 million breach of licensing claim, where she earned a unanimous defense verdict as well as an award of attorney’s fees for her client.
In addition, Jan is extensively involved in the community and has provided many hours of service to the organizations she supports. Her volunteer activities include multiple board-leadership positions for a variety of organizations including The Minneapolis Foundation; Catholic Charities; Minnesota Orchestral Association; St. Thomas Law School; Minnesota State Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section; University of Minnesota Law School; and, Ascension Catholic Academy.
Trial counsel for the Otto Bremer Trust and its three Trustees defending against a Petition filed by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”), which sought removal of Trustees for alleged breaches of trust and fiduciary duty concerning the Trust’s prior pursuit of a potential sale of Bremer Financial Corporation (“BFC”) and other aspects of their administration. After a four-week trial and submission of post-trial briefing, the Court denied the AGO’s Petition and its various allegations against the Trustees, finding, among other things, that the Trustees’ prior administration did not violate their fiduciary duties and their pursuit of a potential sale of BFC was not a breach of trust, an abuse of discretion, or a violation of the settlor’s intent. Instead, the Court found that the Trustees acted in good faith to protect and enhance the Trust. The Court ultimately denied removal of two of the trustees, but removed the third on the basis that it served the best interest of the Trust and its beneficiaries. Read more about the decision, which one commentator called a “stunning win for the Otto Bremer Trustees and the two Trustees left in charge,” here.
State of Alaska v. Williams Alaska Petroleum Inc., et al.: Trial counsel against former operator of refinery concerning statutory and contractual liability related to groundwater contamination in the City of North Pole, Alaska. Multi-week trial resulted in judgment in favor of client and the State of Alaska against Williams Alaska Petroleum, Inc. and The Williams Companies, Inc., finding the Williams entities liable to pay for over $80 million in past damages plus interest along with future liability for 100% of costs related to PFAS contamination at the North Pole Refinery and the majority of remediation costs for sulfolane contamination.
Negotiated a $27 million settlement in a royalty fee dispute, with Heather McElroy and Barry Landy, which was scheduled for arbitration. (2019)
Obtained a $12.5 million settlement as Co-Lead Class Counsel for ERISA Plaintiffs in Carver v. The Bank New York Mellon (S.D.N.Y.). Co-Lead Class Counsel representing ERISA participants, beneficiaries, and trustees that held American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) for which the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”) acted as a depositary bank. Won a contested motion for interim-lead co-counsel and prevailed over BNYM’s motion to dismiss on an issue of “first impression” under ERISA law. (see Carver v. BNYM, 2017 WL 1208598 (S.D.N.Y. 2017).) Following substantial and highly contested fact and expert discovery, including review of nearly three million pages of documents, taking or defending 24 depositions, briefing a motion for class certification, opposing summary judgment, and exchanging multiple rounds of expert reports, successfully obtained a settlement on behalf of the Class for $12.5 million, which the Court approved in May 2019. (2019)
Represented manufacturer of unmanned air systems and drone system technology to recoup unpaid funds of $1.3 million from a utility company in breach of the parties’ contract. (2018)
Hubbard Broadcasting v. DIRECTV: Represented Hubbard Broadcasting in a breach of contract dispute to enforce its direct broadcast satellite rights on DIRECTV. Sought temporary injunctive relief to prevent the shut-down of one of its networks and obtained summary judgment in 2014 upholding Hubbard’s interpretation of a contract and preserving the Hubbard family’s ability to broadcast its networks into the future.
Trial Counsel in CERCLA Actions: Since 2009, acted as trial counsel for Georgia-Pacific in CERCLA contribution litigation regarding PCB contamination of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and the Fox River in Wisconsin. Representation has included three multi-week trials on liability and then allocation. Collaborated with trial counsel from other leading law firms.
Co-Lead Counsel in In Re Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation which involves the Bair Hugger, a forced-air warming device designed and manufactured by 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, Inc. Plaintiffs allege that they developed infections as a result of using the Bair Hugger. (2016)
Mondelēz International, Inc.: Lead counsel, together with a team of inside counsel, for Mondelēz International, Inc. in a negotiation and/or then potential litigation dispute with Kraft Foods Group, Inc. involving a wide variety of Intellectual Property and treatment of certain provisions of key contracts impacting worldwide rights. Settlement was reached and involved, among other things, a division of IP by product and country across the world, agreed treatment of certain provisions of key contracts as they relate to contemplated transactions by the involved parties, and future treatment of key contract provisions. (2015)
Mirant Corp. v. NRG Energy Inc.: Defended NRG Energy Inc. in a highly-publicized lawsuit filed by Mirant Corp. in Delaware Chancery Court involving NRG’s rejection of Mirant’s $8 billion unsolicited takeover bid. The case was dismissed upon defendant’s motion.
Trial counsel for major retailer in defense of creditors’ claims in bankruptcy.
Represented Medtronic in a commercial litigation dispute involving sale of certain assets by Elan Pharmaceuticals which were subject to an agreement with Medtronic. Case settled after initial discovery and mediation.
Defended Estee Lauder in a putative class action which was dismissed with prejudice prior to class certification.
Scarpuzzi v. Real Estate Equities: Obtained $6.25 million in settlements on the eve of trial on behalf of a boy who was seriously and permanently injured by a garage door at his apartment complex. The garage door did not have a reversing mechanism and crushed the 5-year-old boy, causing irreversible brain damage. The settlements required the apartment complex to pay $5.5 million and the manufacturer and seller of the device to pay $750,000.
Represents the White Bear Lake Restoration Association against the Minnesota DNR in an action under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act seeking to prevent further destruction and impairment of White Bear Lake and the underlying aquifer region.
Black Bear Crossings on the Lake, Inc. v. City of St. Paul: Retained by plaintiff on a pro bono basis, obtained early summary judgment for Como Park café and event center against the City of St. Paul for breach of contract. The case settled for $800,000, the third-largest settlement in the history of the City of St. Paul.
Intellectual Property Cases
Costa Farms v. Costa Farms: Represented an iconic local business with deep and historic roots in the Minnesota crop-farming industry against a national wholesale flower company in a tradename and trademark dispute.
Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Kashiv Pharma: Represented Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Kashiv Pharma in a Hatch-Waxman patent dispute brought by Purdue Pharma over a generic drug, which successfully concluded.
Medtronic Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corp. et al.: Represented Medtronic, Inc. in a dispute with Mirowksi Family Ventures assertion that Medtronic’s cardiac resynchronization devices infringed certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. RE38,119 and RE39,897. After a bench trial, a Delaware district court held that Mirowski Family Ventures, as the patentee, bore the burden of proving infringement and failed to meet that burden, entering a judgment of non-infringement on behalf of Medtronic. On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court on the burden of proof issue and held that Medtronic, as the licensee, bore the burden of proving non-infringement. Medtronic filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted the petition and reversed the Federal Circuit, holding that the patentee always bears the burden of proof, even where the licensor cannot counterclaim for infringement because of the existence of a license agreement. On remand from the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding of non-infringement for Medtronic, awarding Medtronic a complete victory in the case.
Represented Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. in a dispute with Toyota Motor Corp. regarding a portfolio of fuel-efficient technology patents for hybrid and plug in hybrid vehicles. The dispute was resolved on February 21, 2012 when a confidential agreement was reached, providing Toyota with freedom to operate.
Trial counsel for Phillips Beverage Company against a $100 million claim for alleged breach of Belvedere vodka licensing agreements brought by French multinational seller of luxury goods-Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton-and obtained a complete and unanimous defense verdict and an award of fees from the three member panel.
Trial counsel in Eolas Technologies, Inc. and The Regents of the University of California v. Microsoft Corporation: Represented Eolas and the University of California in patent infringement action involving web browser technology for the delivery of interactive applications embedded in web pages. Obtained jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs in the amount of $520.6 million and judgment was entered for $565,894,868 which included prejudgment interest. The Federal Circuit affirmed the finding of infringement and the damages award, and ordered that Microsoft’s invalidity and inequitable conduct defenses be retried. The case settled on a confidential basis four days before the start of the invalidity retrial.
Great Clips v. Hair Cuttery of Greater Boston and Great Cuts, Inc.: Represented Great Clips, Inc., the largest single-brand hair salon in North America, in a 2010 trademark infringement case brought by Great Cuts, Inc. and established through trial court and court of appeals rulings Great Clips’ right to use its longstanding trademarked name in its national expansion.
Pitney Bowes Inc. v. Hewlett Packard: Trial counsel for Pitney Bowes in a significant patent infringement dispute against Hewlett Packard regarding laser jet printers, which resulted in a $400 million settlement award and the rights to critical intellectual property.
Ricoh v. Pitney Bowes Inc.: Trial counsel for Pitney Bowes in a patent trial involving five patents relating to data transfer. Jury found all five patents invalid and the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed.
Honeywell v. Minolta: Obtained a $96.3 million verdict for Honeywell Inc. in a patent infringement suit against Minolta, which prompted subsequent cases against others in the industry resulting in total royalties approaching $500 million.
Defended Northwest Airlines in a patent infringement suit relating to GPS and avionics technology. Following targeted and key discovery, the case was dismissed upon the plaintiff’s motion.
TriStrata Technology, Inc. v. Mary Kay Inc.: Obtained a multi-million dollar judgment as trial counsel for TriStrata Technology, Inc. in a patent infringement litigation against Mary Kay Inc. relating to alpha hydroxy acid anti-aging skin technology. The Federal Circuit summarily affirmed final judgment of over $43 million.
Successfully defended General Electric Company in several patent and complex business and commercial litigation matters, including defending the client in a significant patent infringement action brought by General Motors Company involving diesel locomotive engines. Summary judgment of invalidity due to on-sale bar was upheld by the Federal Circuit.
*Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.
Case results before 2015 were obtained while Jan was at her former firm.
Jan was also featured in “Dancing Outside The Shadows of the Law: Jan Conlin is at times a war-room general and at times a self-described softy,” by T. Simons, published in Minnesota Super Lawyers (August 2015). Find the article here.