Throughout his 30 years of practice, Jon has focused on helping clients successfully resolve breach-of-contract disputes. Although he has litigated virtually every kind of contract imaginable, Jon has particularly extensive experience with insurance coverage disputes, Uniform Commercial Code issues, real estate and construction litigation, federal healthcare reimbursement, and False Claims Act cases. Whether it be through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, administrative hearing, motion practice, trial, appeal or providing behind-the-scenes advice, Jon helps his clients resolve their contract disputes as effectively and economically as possible. Recent examples of his practice include:
- Obtaining two summary judgments in Minnesota U.S. District Court on behalf of a manufacturer against an insurer. One judgment declared that the insurer had a duty to defend the client from a breach-of-contract claim; the other that the insurer had to reimburse the client both for the settlement that Jon helped the client negotiate and for the client’s attorneys’ fees.
- Obtaining summary judgment in Minnesota U.S. District Court on behalf of a medical device manufacturer declaring that a $50 million excess liability insurer had a duty to indemnify the manufacturer for its settlements of various product liability claims, arguing a summary judgment motion as to the insurer’s duty to pay for the defense of those suits, and negotiating a final settlement with the insurer.
- Obtaining a summary judgment in Minnesota U.S. District Court that dismissed a $2 million claim for indemnification against a client. The dispute arose out of a settlement agreement the client had signed with an insurer without consulting counsel.
- Representing various financial institutions and other entities in recovering millions of dollars of losses under their fidelity bonds.
- Representing a provider of Medicare-covered services in two actions against the federal government for reimbursement in Pennsylvania U.S. District Court. One action tried to a conclusion and the other then settled, resulting in a total of recovery of nearly $10 million. In awarding attorneys’ fees, the federal judge stated: “Plaintiff relies on Mr. Bye’s significant expertise in a very complex area of the law. We find that he has such expertise. We find that he is an extremely able lawyer with a mastery of the arcane world of Medicare law and its regulations. He made our job easier.”
- Representing a provider of Medicare-covered services in convincing the Texas U.S. District Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to hold that the Medicare Act’s requirement of exhaustion of administrative remedies did not preclude the court’s mandamus jurisdiction over the provider’s claims.
- Representing relators in various False Claims Act qui tam cases alleging millions of dollars of fraudulent billing of the United States Government.
- Obtaining summary judgment in Minnesota U.S. District Court rejecting a supplier’s claim that its liability for the million dollars in damage caused by its selling of defective products was limited to the $960 price of those products.
- Representing a Minnesota corporation in the Ohio Court of Appeals in obtaining a decision rejecting a seller’s contention that its terms and conditions of sale applied to the parties’ transaction.
- Assisting a major Twin Cities commercial property owner in successfully negotiating resolution of several million-dollar construction disputes without resorting to litigation.
- In an American Arbitration Association proceeding on behalf of condominium purchasers, obtaining class certification and then a class decision that declared unconscionable a buy-back option in owners’ purchase agreements.
- Representing numerous individual homeowners in various Minnesota state courts in claims against contractors relating to mold and/or moisture-intrusion issues in houses. Many of the claims were settled in pre-trial mediation.
- Representing a client in Illinois U.S. District Court, in Hennepin County (Minnesota) state court and ultimately in the Minnesota Court of Appeals to successfully reduce a $1 million breach-of-contract claim to no more than $34,000, based on a contractual limitation of liability and obtaining an award of attorneys’ fees.
Jon’s clients echo the Pennsylvania federal judge, saying that Jon excels at quickly grasping the unique aspects of their situation, applying the complexities of the law to it, and then presenting their case in common-sense terms that make favorable decisions by the judge, jury or arbitrator seem easy.
Since 2010, Jon has served on the Management Committee of Lindquist & Vennum. For the last 20 years, Jon has chaired the firm’s Public Service Committee. For the last 15 of those years, the firm has met the Pro Bono Institute’s Pro Bono Challenge by having at least 3 percent of its lawyers’ time donated to help people in need. Unlike any other major firm we are aware of, Lindquist & Vennum has achieved this with the participation of every lawyer in the firm. In 2006, The American Lawyer recognized our firm’s pro bono contributions, ranking us first among the nation’s top 200 law firms in the percentage (94.5%) of attorneys who each contributed 20 hours or more of pro bono work during the year, a figure the magazine referred to as “staggering.”
In 1997, in recognition of Jon’s efforts organizing the firm’s pro bono efforts, Lindquist & Vennum awarded him the Leonard E. Lindquist Pro Bono Award. Since 2006, he has served on the board of the Volunteer Lawyers Network, which matches volunteer attorneys with people at an economic disadvantage in Hennepin County. He also currently serves on the Volunteer Lawyers Network Benefactors Board, and the Hennepin County Bar Foundation. Jon also volunteers as a Dakota County (Minnesota) Conciliation Court Referee and as a Harassment Court Mediator in Ramsey County (Minnesota).
Jon is also an active member in the Dartmouth Lawyers Association, believed to be the only undergraduate alumni law association in the country.Community Involvement
Honors and Awards
- Volunteer Lawyers Network, board member
- Volunteer Lawyers Network Benefactors, board member
- Hennepin County Bar Foundation, board member
- Hennepin County Civil Counsel Project, member
- Dakota County Conciliation Court Referee
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2011-2013