Benchmark Litigation Reviews

Dispute resolution
Husch Blackwell

Husch Blackwell has blossomed from its initial Missouri origins into a more expansive and diverse regional entity, claiming an increasing level of market share across the Midwest, the Plains states and forays into the South and Southwest. “Husch has an interesting model, that seems to be working for them,” observes one peer. “They have a number of different practices, with a lot of focus on industries, with practitioners developing a good deal more expertise in these areas than they would otherwise. They are also growing!”
     The firm’s reach in the Southwest is represented by Dan Goldfine, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago and now a star in the firm’s Phoenix office. Goldfine handles class actions for insurance companies, with 75 different matters in this area to his credit. These cases often deal with allegations of antitrust RICO violations. Goldfine also represents individuals and companies under investigation. In the firm’s Omaha office, Marnie Jensen led a team that prevailed in August 2020 before the US Court of Appeals on behalf of Farmobile in trade secret litigation initiated by a competitor in 2016. Previously, Farmobile had secured a complete summary judgment victory in May 2018 from a federal district court. This win comes nearly a year to the day that Jensen also triumphed on behalf of a client in what was ultimately a family squabble wrapped around a valuation dispute of approximately $900 million, a rare value in Nebraska. This case was a major contributing factor to Husch taking the “Nebraska Firm of the Year” award at the 2020 Benchmark awards in February 2020. Husch made a notable entry into Wisconsin recently, absorbing the local entity Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek and picking up some of the Badger State’s most respected litigators in the process. In the firm’s Madison office, Eric McLeod, a noted appellate and land-use authority, made headlines with his role in Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Northland Television, a defamation case in the Western District of Wisconsin in which McLeod acted for the plaintiff client, alleging false claims made by the defendant with the intentions of damaging the Donald Trump campaign. While this was arguably McLeod’s most high-profile case, he also represented the Wisconsin Legislature before the Wisconsin Supreme Court with a declaratory judgment action against Secretary-designee of Department of Health Services (DHS), successfully challenging an emergency order issued in response to COVID-19 pandemic, which order required all people within state to remain in their homes, prohibited non-essential travel, and required closure of all non-essential businesses. McLeod also got a big win in the summer of 2019 for Enbridge Energy, securing a high-profile victory before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in connection with a dispute over the grant of a conditional use permit made by Dane County, Wisconsin, allowing for the upgrade of Enbridge’s pipeline facilities. Another appellate star in Wisconsin, Anne Maher in the Milwaukee office is cheered by a peer as “very smart and one of those rare appellate guru types who is also very articulate.”
     In the firm’s Kansas City home base, Jeff Simon had several wins in early 2020. He triumphed for Kansas City Southern in a lawsuit arising from a bus accident at a railroad crossing, obtaining a dismissal based upon forum non conveniens, later affirmed on appeal, in Missouri state court. He also defended a law firm client in a class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Missouri Unfair Merchandising Act and other claims arising out of the firm's service as successor trustee in foreclosures. He also defended a Kansas City Police Department officer against civil rights claims arising out of the fatal shooting of a fleeing suspect; he served as lead trial and appellate counsel and successfully argued the appeal in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court and remanded the case for reconsideration. On remand, the trial court granted the summary judgment motion and dismissed the case in its entirety.