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.

Jan maintains the highest ranking from Chambers USA in commercial litigation, and for six consecutive years, she 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.

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Mass Tort

Our mass tort team represents plaintiffs injured by defective drugs and devices. We are passionate about advocating for truth and justice in the face of corporate negligence.

Our mass tort team

Selected Case Results

Commercial Litigation

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.


  • Inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
    • Minnesota State Chair (2021-2023) (term completed)
    • Vice Chair of the Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee  (Current)
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Nationally named Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2015-2021) and Top 10 Women in Litigation, Benchmark Litigation (2015)
  • Top ranked (Band 1) by Chambers USA for Litigation: General Commercial (2017-2024)
  • Nationally named to Lawdragon Hall of Fame (2021)
  • Named to “POWER 30 in Business Litigation,” Minnesota Lawyer (2021)
  • Awarded “AV Preeminent Rating” by Martindale Hubbell – the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards based on opinions of members of the judiciary and bar (2018, 2019)
  • Nationally named one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation,” Benchmark Litigation (2013-2023)
  • Named to “Notable Women in the Law,” Twin Cities Business (2020)
  • Nationally named a “Litigation Star,” Benchmark Litigation (2011-2019, 2023 editions)
  • Nationally named one of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America,” (2007, 2014), one of the “500 Leading Litigators in America” (2022-2024), one of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” (2019-2024), and one of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers” (2020-2024), Lawdragon 
  • Consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2007-2024 editions)
  • Awarded the Institia et Lex Award by the University of St. Thomas School of Law: The award is presented to a member of the Twin Cities community who embodies the School of Law’s mission in his or her professional life. (2017)
  • “The BTI Client Service All-Star Team” (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
  • National “IP Star,” Managing Intellectual Property (2013-2014, 2017-2019)
  • Nationally named “Top 250 Women in IP,” Managing Intellectual Property (2014, 2018, 2019)
  • Minnesota Lawyer’s “Attorney of the Year” (2008, 2020, 2022)
  • “Top 10 Minnesota Super Lawyer” (2018-2022), “Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyer” (2016-2022), “Minnesota Super Lawyer” (2003, 2005-2022), “Top 100 Women Super Lawyer” (2005-2009), “Top 50 Women Super Lawyer” (2011-2022)
  • Named one of the “25 Women Industry Leaders” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (2007)
  • “Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law,” American Lawyer Media (2013)
  • Recipient of the “Client Choice Award USA & Canada for Litigation in Minnesota,” Lexology (2013)
  • Selected as one of the “Top Rated Lawyers in International Law & International Trade,” American Lawyer Media (2012)
  • “Top 40 Intellectual Property Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers.

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.


Community Service

  • Ecumen, Board Member (current)
  • Ascension Catholic Academy, Board Chair (current)
  • The Minneapolis Foundation, Board of Trustees (2009-2018); Chair, Governance Committee (2014-2018) (term completed)
  • Minnesota Orchestral Association, Board Member (2005-2013, term completed)
  • Catholic Charities, Board Member (2006-2011, term completed), Chair, Development Committee (2009-2011)
  • University of St. Thomas Law School, Board of Governors (2007-2018) (term completed); Chair (2012-2013)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section Governing Council (2001-2009, term completed), Chair (2008-2009)
  • University of Minnesota Law School, Board of Visitors/Advisors (2007-June 2011, term completed), Chair (2009)
  • Advocates for Human Rights, Women’s Advisory Council


  • Will the Supreme Court Kill the Software Patent?
    Minnesota Lawyer (March 17, 2014)
  • A Yardstick, Threshold or Escape Hatch?
    Minnesota Lawyer (March 11, 2013)
  • Litigation: 5 things your outside counsel won’t tell you
    Inside Counsel (November 9, 2012)
  • Litigation: What You Do-And Don’t-Know About Your Company’s Foreign Activities Can Hurt You
    InsideCounsel (October 11, 2012)
  • Litigation: Keeping That Corporate Privilege
    InsideCounsel (September 27, 2012)
  • Litigation: Predictive Coding’s Grand Debut
    InsideCounsel (September 13, 2012)
  • Apple Win: Strong Story and Strong IP Portfolio
    Minnesota Lawyer (August 31, 2012)
  • Litigation: Knowing What’s Next For In-House Counsel
    InsideCounsel (August 30, 2012)
  • Bakken Boom: A North Dakota Mineral Rights Primer
    Law360 (August 8, 2012)
  • Trial Tactics in International Arbitrations
    ExecutiveCounsel (February/March 2012)
  • Proving Royalty-Based Patent Infringement Damages In A Post-Uniloc World
    2011 AIPLA Spring Meeting (May 12-14, 2011) (co-authored)
  • Litigation Management, Chapter 2: Litigation from the Plaintiff’s Perspective
    Law Journal Press (2010)
  • Case Strategies to Succeed in the Changing World of Patent Litigation
    “Inside the Minds” – Aspatore Books (2010)
  • What CEOs Should Know About Licensing
    Executive Counsel, Vol. 4 No. 6 (November/December 2007) (co-authored)
  • Willfulness Standard: Is There a Bright Line?
    BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, Vol. 74, No. 1827 (July 20, 2007)
  • Name Your Company Witness
    The National Law Journal (May 9, 2007)
  • The Patent Files
    Chief Executive (June 1998) (co-authored)
  • Trying the Complex Case in the United States
    The Litigator, Eng. (1995) (with Michael Ciresi)
  • Technology in the Courtroom
    Trial (September 1992) (with Michael Ciresi)


  • Protecting the Record:  Appellate Considerations for District Court Litigation
    Hennepin County Bar Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 20, 2016)
  • Trends Inside the Courtroom
    2012 Intellectual Property Institute, Kansas Bar Association, Overland Park, Kansas (May 4, 2012)
  • Master Trial Lawyers Practice Series: Motion Practice
    Hennepin County Bar Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 12, 2011)
  • The Royal Flush: Recent Developments Concerning Royalties and the Entire Market Rule
    American Intellectual Property Law Association, San Francisco, California (May 12, 2011)
  • Medical Device Patent Litigation
    Minnesota State Bar Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 6, 2011)
  • Best Practices and Common Mistakes
    Hennepin County Bar Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota (May 6, 2010)
  • We’re Number 1! How Minnesota’s Women Worked to Achieve the State’s Top Civic Ranking
    League of Women Voters, University of St. Thomas Law School, and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 9, 2010)
  • Challenging Gender Bias with Positive Role Models in Theater Society and Law Panelist
    Guthrie Theater and West LegalEdcenter, Minneapolis, Minnesota (March 3, 2009)
  • What I Wish I’d Known Then That I Know Now: A Panel of Seasoned Litigators Tells All
    Moderator, MSBA Civil Litigation and New Lawyers Sections (February 3, 2009)
  • Experts Tackle Four Tough Patent Litigation Issues
    Moderator – The 2008 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 25, 2008)
  • First Chair Forum for Private Practitioners-Litigators and Advisors and First Chair Forum for In-House Counsel-Advisors and Litigation Managers
    Panel Member – The 2008 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 25, 2008)
  • Intellectual Property Issues in the Development and Use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems GNSS and Services
    Panel Member – Institute of Navigation GNSS, Savannah, Georgia (September 16-19, 2008)
  • Patent Infringement Litigation
    Patent Resources Group, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, Florida (April 3-5, 2008)
  • The Litigator’s Perspective – Top 10 Tips for Patent Prosecution
    Minnesota State Bar Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota (March 5, 2008)
  • The 2007 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute Judges’ Panel for Outside Counsel (Moderator)
    Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 27, 2007)
  • Patent Infringement Litigation
    Patent Resources Group, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, Florida (April 16-18, 2007)
  • Patent Infringement Litigation
    Patent Resources Group, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, Florida (April 6-8, 2006)
  • The Year in IP Litigation
    Faculty Member – The 2005 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 27-28, 2005)
  • NITA North Central Regional Advocacy Program
    Faculty Member – William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota (September 19-20, 2005)
  • Ten Considerations for Winning Patent Cases
    78th Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California, San Diego, California (September 8-11, 2005)
  • Time’s Up – Statutes of Limitations in Minnesota for Civil Litigators
    2005 Minnesota State Bar Association Convention, Madden’s Resort in Brainerd, Minnesota (June 17, 2005)
  • Patent Infringement Litigation
    Faculty Member – Patent Resources Group  (April 17-19, 2005)
  • Ten Considerations for Winning Patent Cases
    29th Annual Intellectual Property Institute sponsored by The Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of California, Anaheim, California (November 5-6, 2004)
  • The Year in IP Litigation
    Faculty Member – The 2004 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota (October 7-8, 2004)
  • Patent Infringement Litigation
    Faculty Member – Patent Resources Group (May 1-3, 2003)
  • Intellectual Property 2003
    Minnesota Institute for Legal Education, Minneapolis, Minnesota (March 5, 2003)
  • Basic Patent Infringement Litigation
    Faculty Member – Patent Resources Group (May 2-4, 2002)
  • Basic Patent Infringement Litigation
    Faculty Member – Patent Resources Group, Naples, Florida (April 13-15, 2000)
  • Basic Patent Infringement Litigation
    Faculty Member – Patent Resources Group, Miami, Florida (April 25-27, 1999)
  • The Trial Lawyer’s Approach to Winning Patent Cases
    Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Portland, Oregon (May 21, 1998)
  • The Trial Lawyer’s Approach to Winning Patent Cases
    Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., New York, New York (January 15, 1998)
  • The Trial Lawyer’s Approach to Winning Patent Cases
    Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Los Angeles, California (November 5, 1997)
  • The Trial Lawyer’s Approach to Winning Patent Cases
    Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Minneapolis, Minnesota (November 7, 1996)
  • MTLA 14th Annual Convention: Commercial Law: Avoiding Current Litigation Pitfalls
    Alexandria, Minnesota (August 22-25, 1996)
  • Three Perspectives on Commercial Mediation: Plaintiff’s, Defendant’s and Mediator’s
    Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 16, 1996)
  • Annual Jazzfest Seminar: Liability, Causation and Damages
    Association of Trial Lawyers of America, New Orleans, Louisiana (April 29-May 1, 1993)
  • Mastering Business Jury Trials: Persuasion in Commercial Litigation Cases
    Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Lake Buena Vista, Florida (March 18-20, 1993)