Lindquist & Vennum is pleased to announce that three of its attorneys have been recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as Minnesota 2014 Attorneys of the Year. Wallace Hilke, Debra Page and Mark Privratsky were chosen by a panel from submitted nominations based on procuring a successful result in an important case or business transaction, leadership in professional associations, the participation in newsworthy events in the legal community, or performing significant public services or in-house legal services.
Wally Hilke, a member of Lindquist’s Commercial Litigation practice, was recognized for his work on behalf of the ACLU-MN in reaching a favorable settlement for Riley Stratton, a middle school student who claimed that her first amendment rights were violated by Minnewaska School District administrators and staff. In 2012, the ACLU-MN filed a lawsuit against the Minnewaska School District for violating the student’s rights (she was a 6th grader at the time) when they unjustly punished her for content she posted on her Facebook page and forced her to turn over her passwords for her Facebook and email accounts. The school district agreed to pay $70,000 to settle the case. The case received international media attention with Hilke appearing on Good Morning America to discuss the case.
Deb Page, a member of Lindquist’s Real Estate practice, was recognized for her success resulting from the extensive amount of work involved for her Lindquist team in securing the liquor license approval from the city of Bloomington, MN, on behalf of her client Total Wine & More. For roughly a year, Total Wine responded to allegations from its competition and fought a well-organized opposition from the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association (MBLA) and liquor store owners. Page has served as the long-time counsel to Total Wine, as well as Sportsman’s Warehouse, Bader Development, and Jerry’s Enterprises. Her clients include regional and national retailers, real estate developers, contractors, restaurant and hotel owners and operators, manufacturers, distributors, and food processors. Page was also recently selected by Finance & Commerce as one of Minnesota’s Top Women in Finance for 2014.
Mark Privratsky, chair of Lindquist’s Intellectual Property practice, was recognized in the Group category as part of the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program Team. Other attorneys on the team include: Jay Erstling, Patterson Thuente IP; Neil Meyer, Myer & Njus; Jim Patterson, Patterson Thuente IP; and Amy Salmela, Patterson Thuente IP. The team was chosen for their tireless commitment to the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program (IAP), a Minnesota nonprofit organization that aims to expand access to the legal system by providing free legal assistance in transactional matters to low-income entrepreneurs and innovators and small nonprofits in Minnesota. Privratsky acts as a primary trainer for patent lawyers in the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program, serves on the America Invents Act Pro Bono Advisory Council and was recently named by LegalCORPS as a 2014 Volunteer of the Year.