Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan is pleased to announce that Jesse Berglund has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Jesse is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and is a Major in the United States Army Reserves. Jesse will serve as the lead prosecutor for the City of Eden Prairie, and comes to the firm after spending the last five years as an Assistant County Attorney.

Joe Nilan and James Power recently appeared before the Minnesota Supreme Court in the case of Buskey, et al. v. American Legion Post #270. The case involves the notice required for a dram shop claim under the Minnesota Civil Damages Act. We previously prevailed on this issue in the district court and court of appeals, and were defending the judgment in favor of our client, the American Legion, at the Minnesota Supreme Court. A recording of the complete oral argument can be viewed at the following web address:
Joe’s argument begins at approximately the 26:20 mark.

Dan Gregerson was recently invited to serve as a co-presenter at a training session for Westfield Insurance’s bond department. The presentation, entitled “The Surety’s Checklist upon the Default of its Principal,” involved practical guidance and advice regarding the handling of performance bond claims. It also involved a question and answer session with the claim professionals in attendance.

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan is pleased to announce that Dan Ellerbrock has been elected a shareholder of the firm. Dan has a broad practice, providing advice and representation to individuals, businesses, cities, and insurers. Dan also has substantial experience litigating matters in both state and federal courts. Prior to joining the firm in 2012, Dan served as a law clerk for the Minnesota Supreme Court and the federal district court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Joshua Dorothy has been selected to serve a three-year term on the board of directors for the Hennepin County Bar Foundation. The Hennepin County Bar Foundation promotes equal access to justice by funding legal projects and agencies that support those in need throughout Hennepin County. For the year 2017, the foundation has provided more than $200,000 in grants and funding to Volunteer Lawyers Network and a diverse group of other community organizations.

Dan Gregerson has been elected to serve a two-year term on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Eminent Domain Counsel Association (“MEDCA”).  MEDCA is a non-profit group comprised of lawyers who represent cities, counties, and other public entities in eminent domain proceedings.  MEDCA reviews new developments and cases in the area of eminent domain and advocates for the interests of public entities, including through the filing of amicus curiae briefs in the Minnesota appellate courts. 

Jennifer Spalding recently participated in a CLE entitled “Enhancing the Public Trust: A View from the Defendant’s Chair.”  The CLE addressed concerns of implicit bias in court proceedings and steps that can be taken to combat it.  Jenny appeared as part of a panel of experienced prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges from the Hennepin County District Court. 

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan is pleased to announce that Jenny Spalding has been named a shareholder of the firm. Jenny is a 2003 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, and has served as the lead prosecutor for the City of Eden Prairie since January 2013. Jenny’s practice also includes civil litigation matters. She has extensive experience in the courtroom, where she frequently tries cases and argues motions.

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan is proud to have been named the Law Firm of the Month in a recent issue of Attorney at Law magazine. To view the article and learn more about us, go to:

Ric Rosow convened and was part of the planning team for the Minnesota Association of City Attorneys’ 2016 Legislative Update – an all-day CLE focused on recent legislative and judicial actions of importance to practitioners of municipal law. Ric also conducted a presentation on the requirements of Minnesota’s open meeting law. His presentation included a discussion of the law’s allowance of participation by interactive television, and featured a live Skype session between the conference center and Target Field to demonstrate the law’s requirements.

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan is proud to announce that Minnesota Lawyer has named Joshua Dorothy as an Up & Coming Attorney and Janet Johnson as an Unsung Legal Hero for 2016. The Up & Coming Attorney recognition highlights lawyers within their first 10 years of practice who have distinguished themselves by their professional accomplishments, service to the community, and service to the profession. The Unsung Legal Heroes award honors law firm employees who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, often behind the scenes, and is reserved for the state’s most talented and dedicated legal support professionals. Congratulations Joshua and Janet for this well-deserved recognition.

Joshua Dorothy was a speaker at DRI’s recent Fidelity & Surety Roundtable in Chicago, IL. The annual roundtable is an interactive discussion between insurance representatives and outside counsel about the latest issues in fidelity and surety law. Joshua presented a 45-minute session to approximately 80 attendees regarding coverage under fidelity policies for losses related to computer systems and other emerging technologies.

Joe Nilan and James Power recently obtained a favorable decision on behalf of a mobile home park near Duluth. Our firm was hired by the insurance company to defend the park against claims of conversion, false imprisonment, breach of contract, and unreasonable entry, brought by former tenants. We filed a prompt motion for summary judgment with respect to these claims and opposed the plaintiffs’ motion to plead four additional claims. The district court granted our motion for summary judgment in its entirety, and dismissed all of the original claims against our client. The court also held that three of the four additional claims would be futile, and denied plaintiffs’ motion to add them. The result is that only one, limited claim remains. The other seven were denied or dismissed.

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan recently volunteered with Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating starvation throughout the world. Members of the firm spent the afternoon working alongside other volunteers to help pack thousands of nutrient-rich meals for malnourished children in Nicaragua. Thank you, Feed My Starving Children, for the work you do. And thank you for the free hair nets!

Attorney Jenny Spalding has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. Jenny’s admission was granted in connection with a criminal matter that the defendant has asked the Court to review. Our office will be filing a response on behalf of the state, asking the Court to deny the defendant’s request for certiorari. In the event that certiorari is granted, our office will also provide further representation before the Court and argue that the defendant’s conviction should be upheld.

Joshua Dorothy has been published in the “Writer’s Corner” of the March 2016 edition of For the Defense. For the Defense is a national publication of DRI (formerly, the Defense Research Institute). DRI is a leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel, with members and committees that span numerous subjects of civil litigation and business law. Joshua is a member of DRI’s Fidelity & Surety, Insurance Law, and Appellate Advocacy Committees.

Dan Gregerson recently published an article in the Winter 2016 newsletter of the ABA’s Fidelity & Surety Law Committee.  Dan’s article draws on his conversations with several mediators, as well as his own experience, to highlight issues that frequently arise at mediation of construction and surety law disputes.  In particular, the article summarizes some of the fundamental surety concepts that can prevent a settlement from being reached if they are not understood by all interested parties, and offers suggestions for how to implement those concepts in practice.

Ric Rosow was recently elected President of the Minnesota Association of City Attorneys.  The association works with the Government Training Service and the League of Minnesota Cities to present two seminars a year devoted to topics and developments of importance in the area of Municipal Law.  As an officer of the association, Ric also serves on a board that reviews requests for the League to file an amicus brief in cases of municipal significance.  Over his nearly 40 years of practice, Ric has counseled and represented a number of cities across the metro area.  Ric’s election recognizes the depth of his experience in the area of municipal law and the esteem in which he is held by other practitioners in the field.

Joe Nilan and Dan Gregerson have recently been admitted to the United States Court of Federal Claims, which hears cases involving claims against the federal government.  Their admission is in connection with an action we are pursuing on behalf of a client for the turnover of remaining funds under a construction contract.

Jenny Spalding and Maggie Evavold recently obtained a favorable decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals for one of our municipal clients.  The court of appeals affirmed the city’s prosecution and conviction of an individual for an enhanced driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense.  On appeal, the defendant argued that his offense could not be enhanced based on a prior OWI conviction in Wisconsin.  But the court of appeals agreed with our argument: that the Wisconsin conviction was “in conformity with” a Minnesota DWI conviction, and that Minnesota law therefore allows for conviction of the enhanced offense.  The court of appeals affirmed the conviction as a result.  The defendant’s petition for further review was denied.

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan is pleased to announce that Jacob Merkel has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Jacob is a proficient Mandarin speaker and a graduate of Boston College Law School, where he served as an editor of the law review and participated in moot court and client counseling competitions. Jacob joins the firm following a clerkship with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Ric Rosow has been recertified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Certified Real Property Law Specialist. The designation as a certified legal specialist recognizes an attorney’s proficiency and enhanced level of skill and expertise in an area of practice. Ric’s recertification demonstrates his substantial and continuing involvement in the area of real property, and places him among the less than 3 percent of Minnesota attorneys who are certified as specialists in their field.

Dan Gregerson and Margaret Evavold recently obtained a favorable decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals for a township client. The Court’s ruling affirms the decision of the district court, dismissing a contractor’s complaint alleging that the township breached its contract by failing to pay sums due to the contractor thereunder. Our office argued that no payment was required because the contractor materially breached the contract by failing to pay subcontractors and suppliers such that no further sums were due to the contractor and all remaining amounts were due to the contractor’s surety, who ultimately completed the project following termination of the contractor by the township.

David Gregerson and Dan Ellerbrock recently obtained summary judgment in favor of a surety client in a case involving a supplier’s claim on a construction payment bond. The case presented an issue of first impression under Nebraska law about which statute of limitations applied to a construction bond issued for a project taking place on public property, but awarded by a private entity. The district court agreed with our position that the statute of limitations for a private construction bond applied, and held that the supplier’s claim was untimely under that statute. The court therefore entered a declaration that our client owed no obligation to pay the bond claim submitted by the supplier and dismissed the supplier’s counterclaim. The court also awarded our client the attorney fees it incurred in litigating the action.

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan, Ltd. has moved effective April 1, 2015. Our new offices are located at:

100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 1550
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Our phone numbers and email addresses remain the same.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new space!

Maggie Evavold and Ric Rosow recently obtained a favorable decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals for one of the firm’s municipal clients. The court’s ruling affirms the decision of the district court, dismissing a construction supplier’s complaint alleging that the City was liable for failing to obtain a payment bond. Our office argued that no payment bond was required for the project in question, because it did not exceed the statutory threshold. The court of appeals agreed. The court of appeals also agreed that the plaintiff’s policy arguments and claims of ambiguity should be rejected in light of the statute’s plain language. The court therefore affirmed the decision below, and upheld the district court’s dismissal of the complaint against the city.

Joe Nilan, Mark Johnson, and Dan Ellerbrock recently obtained a favorable order from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming the district court’s declaration that our insurance client was not obligated to provide coverage for a bank’s claim of a $2 million loss. The case involved a claim under Insuring Agreement E of a Financial Institution Bond, and the proper interpretation of the Bond’s “resulting directly” standard. Agreeing with our analysis of relevant case law, the Court established new Eighth Circuit precedent, holding that a loan loss is not “directly caused” by reliance on a forgery if the collateral is otherwise worthless at the time of the loan. The Court also agreed that there was no dispute of material fact that the collateral in this case (a personal guaranty) was worthless, because under the terms of the bank’s agreement with a third party, the bank never received an assignment of any rights to the guaranty. Summary judgment in favor of our client was therefore affirmed, and costs were granted in favor of the insurer.

Mark Johnson recently presented, along with Judy Edwards of Sedgwick Claims Management, at the ABA Fidelity and Surety Law Committee’s annual Midwinter Meeting. The presentation focused on court interpretations of non-standard policy language, and strategies for evaluating and litigating such policies. Mark is a regular presenter at the fidelity program’s annual meeting, and he has substantial experience with financial institution bonds, directors and officers policies, and other insurance coverage matters.

Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan is pleased to announce the election of Joshua Dorothy as a shareholder of the firm. Joshua has substantial experience in both business and litigation matters. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the Hamline University School of Law, and joined the firm in 2009 after clerking at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Dan Gregerson recently presented at a seminar on debtor-creditor rights, where he discussed contractor surety bonds, the rights of sureties and claimants, and applicable state and federal statutes. Dan joined a panel of other leading attorneys in the field to discuss special types of liens. The seminar accompanied the release of the new, 11th edition of the Debtor-Creditor Handbook, for which our office has authored a chapter on surety bonds since 1984.