Lori A. Johnson

Special Counsel

Lori is sought out for her excellent and aggressive advocacy and keen eye for strategy. During her career, she has represented clients ranging from individuals and small businesses to institutions with billions of dollars under management in matters ranging from small contract disputes to highly sophisticated securities fraud class actions. She has also successfully represented many clients in shareholder, corporate governance, and family business disputes. Lori thinks of herself as a divorce lawyer for businesses and loves learning about the intricacies of her clients’ companies, guiding them through difficult times and navigating the way to a successful resolution.

When not representing clients, Lori can be found cooking, gardening, reading, and spending time with her husband, three children, and Bonus, their dog.

  • Key Practice and Industry Experience
  • Representative Matters
  • Recognitions and Honors
  • Professional Associations

Key Practice Experience

  • Shareholder, partnership and family business disputes
  • Fraud claims, including in receivership and bankruptcy proceedings
  • Contract disputes
  • Business torts
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Non-competes and other business competition disputes
  • Counsel to Special Litigation Committee
  • Health care business disputes
  • FINRA arbitration
  • Nationwide complex class action litigation

Representative Matters

  • Finn v. Moyes (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2014-2017). Represented Jerry Moyes, the founder of Swift Transportation in a case brought by Patrick Finn, as Receiver for First United Funding and Corey Johnston. Johnston ran a Ponzi scheme through his business in which he defrauded banks by overselling participations in loans. After his criminal conviction, the Receiver sued Moyes, a borrower who repaid his loans in full, for claims of fraudulent transfer, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, among others. After prevailing on almost every issue in the parties’ cross-summary judgment motions, Moyes settled for a fraction of the original damages claimed by the Receiver. See Finn v. Moyes, No. 14–1293 (JRT/TNL),2017 WL 1194192 (D. Minn. March 30, 2017).
  • Scarlett v. White (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2016-2017). Represented majority shareholders in wine industry shareholder case in which a former shareholder alleged breach of fiduciary duty and attempted to force litigation in Minnesota, his state of residence. Prevailed on motion to transfer case to California to be consolidated with prior litigation there based on “first-filed” rule of federal court procedures.
  • Petters Bankruptcy Proceedings – Fraud and Claw-Back Claims (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota, 2010-2016). Represented the trustees and receiver in adversary proceedings arising from one of the largest Ponzi schemes ever, a multi-billion dollar scheme operated by Tom Petters. The adversary cases included claims against many investors who profited from the scheme, as well as fraud claims against a primary lender to the Petters organization.
  • Defended a registered representative against claims of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and conversion, and brought a successful counterclaim for defamation, conversion, unjust enrichment and other claims against the broker-dealer, reaching a substantial seven-figure settlement for our client just prior to the FINRA arbitration.
  • Represented a physician in a shareholder dispute between deadlocked partners in a medical practice, settling the matter prior to arbitration with our client gaining complete control of the corporation.
  • In re AOL Time Warner, Inc. Securities and ERISA Litigation, MDL No. 1500, No. 02 Civ. 5575 (SWK) (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York 2002 -2007). Represented the Minnesota State Board of Investment and a class of investors in a securities fraud class action against AOL Time Warner that ultimately settled for $2.65 billion on behalf of defrauded shareholders.

Recognitions and Honors

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Kevin S. Burke
  • Dean’s List, all academic years
  • Staff member, Minnesota Law Review, University of Minnesota Law School

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

Community Engagement

  • FBA Pro Se Project, volunteer attorney
  • MWL Partner Leadership Council
  • Volunteer attorney for The Advocates for Human Rights