Throughout his career Tom has been at the leading edge of the law. As an assistant (and later deputy) Minnesota attorney general, he brought the state’s first antitrust enforcement actions against health care providers (E.g., Minnesota v. Southern Minnesota Health Alliance, 1990-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶ 69,080 (Minn. Dist. Ct. 1991)
; made Minnesota the first state to bring consumer protection actions against consumer fraud and other unlawful practices on the internet (Minnesota v. Granite Gate Resorts, Inc., 568 N.W.2d 715 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997), aff’d 576 N.W.2d 747)
, and was principal in-house counsel in the Minnesota Tobacco Litigation, including a principal drafter of the Consent Judgment (State of Minnesota v. Philip Morris, Inc., et al, Ramsey County File No. C1-94-8565 (Order of May 8, 1998)
that later became a model for the industry reforms of the Master Settlement Agreement.
Tom continued his innovative practice after joining Lindquist & Vennum in 1999, representing a suburban city in a unique challenge to the planning powers of a regional planning agency (City of Lake Elmo v. Metro. Council), 674 N.W.2d 191, 198 (Minn. Ct. App. 2003)
; and bringing a class action challenge to the state’s Medicaid cost recovery practices (Schultz v. Commissioner of Human Services, Ramsey County File. No. 62-cv-05-5756); advising health plans as they implement health care reform. He is also proud to have saved one of his favorite hunting companions from being classified as a “dangerous dog.” (In re: Molly, 712 N.W.2d 567 (Minn. Ct. App. 2006)
Because of his state and general litigation background, Tom’s particular areas of expertise are antitrust and consumer fraud litigation and counseling, complex litigation and regulatory/administrative law cases. He represents large and small clients faced with state investigations, especially before the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Commerce, and has written and lectured about state investigative processes
. He regularly represents individuals and small businesses in professional licensing and regulatory matters before many state agencies, including the Department of Commerce, Department of Human Services, Department of Labor and Industry (OSHA and Labors Standards) and health licensing boards.
Tom greatly values the firm’s encouragement of pro bono activities. He is fluent in Spanish and has focused his pro bono service on helping people in Minnesota’s Hispanic and immigrant communities. He is on the Board of Directors, and immediate past-president, of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.
At Lindquist & Vennum, Tom is a member of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice Group and also heads up the Regulatory and Public Law Group.
In 2011, Tom was selected as a member of the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange Governance Work Group. The Minnesota Department of Commerce established the work group to identify key issues related to the governance of a Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange. The Exchange Task Force will use this information in developing a structure for the Exchange, as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Honors and Awards
Recent Lectures and Continuing Education Presentations (Partial)
- 2011 Leonard E. Lindquist Pro Bono Award
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2000–2010
- National Association of Attorneys General, President's Distinguished Service Award, 1998
- “Interacting Effectively With Government Antitrust Enforcers,” MSBA Antitrust Section, April 25, 2011
- Computer and Technology Law Institute, "Antitrust for Technology Lawyers: Patents and Beyond," MSBA, October 28, 2010 (with Bruce Little)
- Health Law Institute, "Current Topics in Antitrust," MSBA, June 10, 2010
- Health Law Institute, "Antitrust Update," MSBA, September 16, 2009
- Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Regulation in Minnesota, "Public Enforcement of Statutory Fraud Laws: Authority and Remedies," MSBA, May 1, 2009
- "Antitrust Overview for Credit Professionals," Credit and Finance Development Division of the National Association of Credit Managers, October 14, 2008
- Health Law Institute, "Antitrust and Health Care: A Collision of Values," MSBA, June 2007
- Elder Law Institute, "Schultz v. Commissioner of Human Services," MSBA, October 2005 (with DeAnne Hilgers)