Richard Ostlund is an experienced and successful senior business trial lawyer and an accomplished shareholder rights/corporate governance advocate. Rich has tried complex cases in over 30 states, spanning a 33-year career.
As a professional advisor and trial advocate, Rich possesses a rare combination of business judgment, strategic leadership and crisis management skills; personal experience as a board member of multiple national and multi-national companies; and a deep reservoir of success in litigating major, bet-the-company cases across the United States.
Rich has been long recognized as one of the leading trial lawyers in Minnesota, and has for many years been named a “Best Lawyer in America” by Minnesota Monthly Magazine and has been selected to the "Minnesota Super Lawyer” list. In 2009, Rich was selected by Minnesota Lawyer as 2009 Minnesota Lawyer of the Year based on his recovery of $73 and $62 million for clients. In 2014, Rich was selected as Business Litigation Attorney of the Year by Corporate INTL Magazine, based in London, England.
Rich has an unusually broad range of major business trial success as lead trial counsel on business cases for companies, private equity firms, and individuals in state and federal courts and arbitrations across the United States since 1982. In just the past few years of his career, Rich has received awards, decisions, verdicts, and recoveries of $24 million, $73 million, $62 million, $23 million, $18 million, $15 million, and $7.5 million, relating to: breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, business governance and share buy-out, banking, employment, insurance coverage, ERISA fraud and intellectual property rights in Minnesota, California, Texas, and Arizona.
Over the last several years, Rich has received multiple complete defense resolutions/summary dismissals in complex business disputes involving hundreds of millions in claimed losses, again in cases in a variety of states, including Minnesota, Texas, California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, and Hawaii.
Clients, judges, and referral sources nationwide offer the following assessments of Rich based on personal experiences:
"I served as the chairman of the board of directors for three different companies that have engaged the services of Rich Ostlund at Anthony Ostlund for six various litigation cases. Each case was won on summary judgment, by satisfactory settlement, by trial or arbitration. Rich Ostlund’s case preparation, intellect and aggressiveness is unparalleled."
-- Mark W. Sheffert, Chairman and CEO, Manchester Companies, Inc.; Minnesota Corporate Director Hall of Fame
"As a former Delaware Superior Court judge for 21 years, the Delaware Attorney General and senior counsel for Bifferato LLC I’ve had the opportunity to observe the best in action. In my role as senior counsel to Bifferato LLC I represented the stockholders’ of a Delaware corporation who were sued in a complex issue involving stock options. I asked several judges from Minnesota who would be the best litigators for this type of corporate matter. I received Rich Ostlund’s name. We were extremely pleased with the representation. He developed a successful motion strategy that ended the litigation with a minimum amount of expense and then successfully defended the result through two levels of appeal. Clearly, Rich and his firm deserve their reputations as top corporate litigators."
-- Honorable Richard Gebelein, Delaware Judge and Attorney General of the State of Delaware
"Business executives never enjoy litigation. When that is your only course of action you need the best. Rich Ostlund fits that description. Both public and private companies that I have been affiliated with as an owner and director over the past fifteen years have had numerous situations where litigating was our only avenue of choice. Rich was very successful in getting a favorable ruling for us because he developed a superior litigation strategy, was better prepared, and was extremely convincing in court."
-- Kevin Roberg, CEO Kelsey Capital Management and board member of multiple private and public companies
"Since 2001, Rich Ostlund has led three complex litigation cases for entities for which I am general counsel. Each of the cases were exceptionally complex and, in each instance, the opposing parties were represented by extremely competent and exceptionally litigious counsel. From formulation of cases strategies, discovery, witness examination and cross-examination, motion practice and eventual hearing/trial I witnessed Rich's personal commitment to the case, the client and the profession. Rich has been blessed with extraordinary skill, diligence, analytical awareness and compassion."
-- Richard M. Barney, Jr., General Counsel, West Coast Beauty Supply
Beyond the legal arena, Rich has been sought out for his business judgement, strategic thinking, and leadership. He has been a director of over 15 national and multi-national companies, a Trustee of the University of Minnesota Foundation, a Trustee of St. John’s University, Chair of the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital and a Trustee of the Minnesota Medical Foundation, while also serving eight years on the Minnesota Governor’s Judicial Selection Committee to nominate and screen Minnesota judicial candidates for appointment by the Governor.
If your legal and business needs require an aggressive and widely respected strategist and senior, lead trial attorney with a 30-year track record of success nationwide, Rich Ostlund is on the short list of those to interview and trust with your most important business and personal legal needs.
Following a 5 day trial, Hennepin County District Court Judge Ivy Bernhardson ruled that Kim Lund was the “prevailing party” against her brother, Tres Lund, and various Lund’s entities, in a lengthy legal battle centered on the value of Kim Lund’s ownership interests and Tres Lund’s exercise of power and control over Kim’s interests. In the Court’s 54-page opinion concluding this complex shareholder dispute, the Court awarded Kim $45,225,000, which means that Lund’s must buy Kim Lund out over time for that price. The Court also awarded Kim her court costs.
Badzin v. Badzin. Rich, after a multi-week court trial, obtained a $24 million buy-out decision plus financial sanctions for his family-owned company shareholder/employee client, who had been forced out of the company.
In a private arbitration over the alleged fraud of a property developer, Rich obtained a $73 million recovery of funds and property for the project’s financial investor.
In an Eastern District of Texas federal court action, Sutura v. Abbott Labs, Rich recovered $23 Million for Sutura for breach of its patents by Abbott Laboratories.
In Alerus v. Sanford, Rich obtained a $8 million defense verdict on behalf of three personal guarantors, when Alerus attempted to collect on a guarantee issued by Rich's client, T. Denny Sanford.
In Bolander v. Bolander, Rich successfully defended company client against a $10 million claim for stock buy-out.
Rich led an Anthony Ostlund team that successfully defended and achieved dismissal of a $100 million anti-trust case pending in Texarkana, Texas. Anthony Ostlund took over defense from one of the largest firms in America, which had recommended the client pay over $20 million to solve the case. After key discovery and with a pending summary judgment motion, the case was solved confidentially for less than the client’s deductible on its insurance coverage. Anthony Ostlund’s team of six lawyers efficiently replaced a team of 16 from the prior firm, and saved the client over $20 million.
Representing a company in recovering on key person insurance coverage after the death of a CFO, Rich led litigation in Texas against American General and AIG Insurance Group, recovering $15 million upon breach of coverage and bad faith claims against the insurance carriers. A year later, Rich recovered $7.5 million from Colonial and Traveler’s insurance upon breach of insurance coverage claims for another client in Phoenix, Arizona Federal Court.
In the past several years alone, Rich has recovered $63 million, $21 million, $8 million, $15 million, $14 million, $9 million, $4.5 million and $3 million — all for minority shareholders in private companies whose rights had been abused. Rich often handles such cases on a contingent fee bases in order to permit these clients to vindicate their rights despite their adversaries use of company funds to defend themselves.
Rich successfully defended the Trustees of the Schwans Foundation in both an $869 million federal court lawsuit and a $600 million federal estate tax case in Washington, D.C.
Many senior executives who have lost their jobs unfairly have retained Rich, who has recovered between $2 and $10 million multiple times in the past decade for terminated and/or squeezed-out executives.
Following the banking crisis in 2007-2008, many private banks across America and their directors and officers have been sued or threatened with suit by bank regulatory authorities. Rich, who has represented banks and their boards/officers across the Midwest for 30 years, is currently defending many directors, officers, and their banks. In 2013, Rich successfully resolved the FDIC’s $77 million claim against 23 officers and directors of a major regional failed bank, with no personal payment to the FDIC by any director.
Rich has been lead counsel in multiple appellate cases which have made new law on critical business and corporate governance principles, including:
Brenny v. The Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, 813 N.W.2d 417 (Minn. Ct. App. 2012)
Valspar Refinish, Inc. v. Gaylords, Inc., 764 N.W.2d 359 (Minn. 2009)
Powell v. Anderson Corp., 660 N.W.2d 107 (Minn. 2003)
Powell v. Anderson, 660 N.W.2d 107 (Minn. 2003)
Gunderson v. Alliance of Computer Professionals, Inc., 628 N.W.2d 173 (Minn. Ct. App. 2001)
Foy v. Klapmeier, 992 F. 2d 774 (8th Cir. 1999)
Kelley v. Rudd, 1992 WL 3651 (Minn. Ct. App. 1992)
Dolphin v. Johnson, 1990 WL 194991 (Minn. Ct. App. 1990)
Bolander v. Bolander, 703 N.W. 2d 529 (Minn. Ct. App. 2005)
Director, Fairview Health System, a multi-billion regional hospital system
Director, RTP Company, a privately held multinational plastic compounding business
Trustee, University of Minnesota Foundation
Trustee, Saint John’s University
Chairman, University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital Board
Trustee, University of Minnesota Medical Foundation
Metropolitan area Representative, Minnesota Governor’s Judicial Selection Committee, which screens and recommends individual judicial candidates for appointment by the Governor
Director, American Automobile Association, Minneapolis, MN
Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
Member, Hennepin County Association
Member, Federal Bar Association
So . . . When Is A Shareholder A Shareholder . . . And When Does It Matter?, Attorney at Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition, March 2013
Protecting Your Privately Owned Company, Point-of-Law.com, co-authored with Joseph W. Anthony, May 2005
Justice Versus Windfall: When is Value "Fair" Among Private Corporation Shareholders?, Business Law News, March 1998
2017 Business Law Institute - Business Litigation: Fiduciary Duty Disputes, Minnesota CLE, May 2017
Appellate Effective Evidentiary Objections, Hennepin County Bar Association
Lying, Cheating and Stealing - Minnesota Institute of Legal Education Securities Law Seminar on Shareholder Litigation Issues
Investors Rights in the 1990s - Mergers and Acquisitions, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
Minority Shareholder Disputes - Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
Evidence Developing Strategies for Success, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
Shareholder Disputes: The Trial Lawyers Perspective, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
Practical and Ethical Considerations for the Lawyer as Director, Officer, Investor, National Practice Institute Concerning Professional Education Seminar
Records in Corporate Litigation, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
Valuation Cases from a Lawyers Perspective, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education Securities Law Seminar
Shareholder Disputes and Litigation, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education CLE
Employment Issues in Shareholder Disputes, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education Securities Law Seminar
Preventing, Litigating & Managing Minority Shareholder Disputes, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education Securities Law Seminar
Law Seminar co-chair, Securities Law for Non-Securities Lawyers, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education Securities
The Rules of Engagement - A Players Guide to Lying, Cheating and Stealing Among Shareholders of Closely Held Businesses, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education - Securities Law Seminar
Into the Looking Glass: Litigation Under Chapter 302A, Minnesota State Bar Association Business Law Institute Seminar
Valuing Corporate Stock in Litigation - Minnesota Institute of Legal Education Seminar on Minority Shareholders
Litigating Under Section 302A.751, Minnesota State Bar Association, Business Law Section Seminar
Resolution of Conflict in the Closely Held Corporation, Video Seminar, American Law Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Valuation Issues in Shareholder Litigation - Continuing Accounting Education Seminar
Operating a Small Business: Answers to Common Legal Questions, IMPACT
Ownership and Management Planning for the Privately Owned Bank, Minnesota Financial Group
Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Shareholder Transitions and Disputes in Closely Held Corporations, Small Business Expo
Shareholder Litigation, Hamline Law School