Representative Experience Overview
As a business and commercial-related trial lawyer, David has taken several cases to trial where he has secured, either through jury or bench trials, favorable verdicts for his clients. In addition, David has also secured favorable settlements for his clients over the years. For example, David recently secured a $6.5 million settlement for a client in a real estate matter involving allegations of fraud, a $1.3 million dollar settlement in a manufacturing dispute under the Minnesota Uniform Commercial Code, and a favorable royalty based settlement in an IP infringement matter.
In 2011, David was involved in a high-profile litigation matter involving an international transaction worth more than a $100 million dollars, where he was able to secure the transaction for his client and replace the management and board of directors for the opposing company.
In a case critical to the Chinese government, David represented Global Partners United (GPU). GPU, an American company principally based in the People’s Republic of China, was working closely with Chinese government officials to deliver natural gas throughout China. GPU owns exclusive rights in China and seven other Asian countries related to technology that is designed to extract natural gas from coal, a process referred to as “coal gasification” or “clean coal technology.” Critical to the Chinese government because of their current ecological challenges and the on-going infrastructure re-development efforts across China, this technology was poised to make a major impact.
China has an enormous surplus of coal deposits. For decades, they have burned coal to support their economy and development. Unfortunately, this practice has caused serious pollution level concerns in China, particularly in its larger cities. As a result, GPU had been working closely with the Chinese government and its officials to provide the government with the ability to extract natural gas from coal in an environmentally friendly way.
When David began working with GPU, the company had already spent more than $7 million in the technology and the company from whom it was to license the technology, Bixby Energy Systems. At that point, Bixby had not yet delivered on its obligations to GPU, putting GPU on the verge of disaster. Without being able to deliver on any of its obligations to its Chinese customers, GPU was poised to face multiple lawsuits in China.
Once David began working with the company, it was quickly discovered that Bixby’s primary officers had raised over $140 million from an estimated number of over 2,000 individual shareholders, but Bixby had no money and was insolvent. Most importantly, Bixby had not delivered on its obligations to GPU–their only customer – and it was unable to do so.
At that time, it was also discovered that Bixby was being investigated by at least four federal agencies, and that one of its primary financial officers had been previously convicted of bank fraud. David got to work quickly. He worked to commence an action in Hennepin County to have the court intervene through the appointment of a receiver to take control of Bixby and oust management. Next, he filed for immediate injunctive relief. The case quickly became highly contentious. After his case was filed, investors and some members of Bixby’s Board of Directors filed their own lawsuits, seeking relief similar to that which GPU was seeking. Soon, Bixby shareholders loyal to the current management team surfaced, creating multiple, on-going fights on many different fronts.
In only 60 days, working around the clock, David achieved a result that brought about the following: (1) Bixby’s management and certain members of its Board of Directors were ousted; (2) interim management and an interim Board of Directors for Bixby were appointed; and (3) Bixby began to deliver on its contractual obligations to GPU.
In a significant case from start to finish, David achieved an enormously successful result for his client. GPU is now delivering on obligations to its Chinese customers, it has not been sued by its Chinese customers, and it is on the verge of completing installation and testing of the first coal gasification system in China, which is poised to revolutionize the way energy is delivered to the Chinese people.
Complicated cases like this have become the norm for David. For example, before representing GPU, David recorded a $6.5 million settlement for a real estate development client in a fraud case and a $1.3 million settlement for a small specialty paper company client against a Fortune 500 company. He handles large, complicated litigation matters for the firm often and boasts a respectable book of business for a young litigator on the rise. He also works with the one of the firm’s oldest and largest clients, a true testament to the firm’s and clients’ belief in him. Clients feel he takes ownership of their issues in order to solve complicated problems. Even though most cases now settle out of court, David has the rare experience of serving as first chair litigator in both jury and bench trials.