Fraud Defense for Individual Employee

Client Dismissed from Litigation

Anthony Ostlund helps client avoid litigation in suit brought against himself and his employer

"It is rewarding to help clients who find themselves in the midst of problems that were created by others. Thorson did not deserve to be named in this litigation. I am happy that we were able to work with counsel for BMO and Avalon to get to the right result." --Norman J. Baer

Client Issue

Scott Thorson was employed by a real estate development company that defaulted on very significant debt owed to BMO Capital Markets.  When BMO decided to sue to collect its debt, it concocted a fraud theory that included Thorson as a defendant.  For doing nothing more than his job, Thorson found himself in the midst of federal court litigation between BMO and Avalon.

The Anthony Ostlund Approach

Our focus was on getting Thorson out of the litigation in the most cost-effective way possible.  He had nothing to gain and everything to lose.  Anthony Ostlund challenged the Chicago court’s personal jurisdiction over Thorson who had very few connections to Illinois.  Our expectation was that if we could get the claim against Thorson dismissed in Chicago either the rest of the case would go on in Chicago without him or the entire case would be dismissed in Chicago and we would have time to try to persuade BMO not to include Thorson in a follow-on suit that would likely be brought in Minnesota.

Results Achieved

The Chicago judge dismissed Thorson.  BMO ultimately dropped the Chicago lawsuit and started again in Minnesota.  Anthony Ostlund was successful in persuading BMO not to name Thorson as a defendant in the Minnesota action – and successful in persuading the receiver for Avalon to offset most of the legal expenses that had been incurred by Thorson.


BMO Capital Markets Corp. v. Avalon Capital Group, Inc.

Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois