Blake Shepard, Jr.

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"Litigation can be a highly stressful and frustrating process for all parties involved, whether they are individuals, small companies or large corporations. As a litigator, I take pride in being a forceful, practical and compassionate advocate for my clients. I listen carefully to their goals and concerns, and focus on achieving their goals as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible."

Blake Shepard focuses his practice on complex litigation matters, and has extensive experience in the areas of commercial litigation, product liability and personal injury litigation, and trust and estate litigation. Before joining Siegel Brill, Blake practiced for nearly 30 years as a partner in a large Minneapolis law firm, where he successfully represented Fortune 500 companies, privately held entities and individuals in a wide variety of product liability, trust, tort and commercial cases in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Blake has served as national, regional and Minnesota counsel in individual, coordinated and class action product liability cases. His product liability experience includes representation of manufacturers in mass tort, wrongful death, catastrophic injury and commercial warranty cases; FDA and CPSC recall proceedings and post-recall litigation; workplace injury and construction accident cases; toxic exposure cases; and fraud, consumer protection and false advertising claims. He has successfully tried cases in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest and has obtained dismissals for clients through summary judgment and motions to dismiss in jurisdictions throughout the country. Blake has successfully argued cases in state and federal appellate courts and participated in the successful defense of a client in a case argued before the United States Supreme Court.

Blake’s broad commercial litigation experience includes a wide range of engagements involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty and conflict of interest; breach of contract and warranty; bankruptcy clawback actions; fraud, racketeering and consumer protection claims; and government regulatory actions and investigations.

He has devoted significant time and resources to the pro bono representation of clients seeking Social Security disability benefits. In 2007, Blake received the Hennepin County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for Excellence in the Private Sector for his work on behalf of disabled clients.

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Lead counsel in $600 million charitable trust case involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty and conflict of interest.
  • Lead counsel for pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation with former supplier alleging breach of manufacturing and supply agreement.
  • Minnesota counsel in federal mass tort litigation for a manufacturer of a recalled Class-III medical device.
  • Trial counsel for trust beneficiaries in suit against trustees for breach of fiduciary duty and conflict of interest.
  • Lead counsel for innocent investors in multiple clawback cases by Bernard Madoff Bankruptcy Trustee.
  • Trial counsel for manufacturer and distributor of agricultural chemicals in multiple wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits arising from anhydrous ammonia release.
  • Minnesota counsel for manufacturer of CPSC-recalled cribs in putative class action alleging claims for breach of warranties and consumer protection violations. In a decision later affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, a Minnesota federal court judge granted our motion to dismiss, holding that the lead plaintiffs had not suffered compensable injury.
  • Lead counsel for European camp stove manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary in California state court class action including claims for consumer protection violations and breach of warranty.
  • Lead counsel for manufacturer of life safety equipment and heating and cooling systems in several commercial warranty lawsuits in Texas and Illinois.
  • Lead counsel for component supplier in $20 million lawsuit by gas regulator manufacturer to recover costs associated with product recall.
  • Member of national trial team for manufacturer of agricultural feed storage silos in dozens of fraud, consumer protection, racketeering and class action lawsuits.

OF NOTE

  • Appellate counsel in successful appeal to South Dakota Supreme Court in $600 million charitable trust case involving claims against trustees for breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Trial counsel in South Dakota case resulting in a significant damage award and removal of two trustees of family trust for breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Successful defense of product manufacturer in fraud and RICO case argued before the United States Supreme Court.

EDUCATION

Boston College Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1984
Dartmouth College, B.A., cum laude, 1980

MEMBERSHIPS/LICENSES

American Bar Association
Minnesota State Bar Association
Hennepin County Bar Association
Minnesota Justice Foundation, former member, Board of Directors

ADMISSIONS

Minnesota
District Court for the District of Minnesota
Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
United States Supreme Court

INTERESTS

Hockey, skiing, and spending time with family.