MINNEAPOLIS — December 16, 2020. Winthrop & Weinstine is pleased to announce that Thomas Boyd, Michael Rosow, David Davenport and Justin Jenkins have been recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as “Attorneys of the Year” for their remarkable work in 2020.
Thomas Boyd and Michael Rosow were honored for their work in successfully reversing multi-million dollar judgments against their clients—and correcting the misapplication of Minnesota law. Despite their good faith and honest due diligence, our clients have been pursued by a bankruptcy trustee in claw-back litigation in connection with the Tom Petters Ponzi Scheme. They endured ruinously expensive and emotionally devastating litigation that resulted in multi-million dollar judgments based on a “Ponzi Scheme Presumption” theory that originated in federal bankruptcy courts. However, states like Minnesota have rejected this judicially-created presumption as contrary to the state’s legislatively-enacted policies. The trustee also obtained pre-judgment interest at Minnesota’s 10-percent statutory rate accruing from September 2010—which effectively doubled the judgments against our clients. Boyd and Rosow convinced the Eighth Circuit the “Ponzi Scheme Presumption” is contrary to Minnesota law, thus protecting honest people like our clients. The Eighth Circuit also rejected the application of state pre-judgment interest rates, which will have broad applicability beyond Ponzi scheme cases to reduce disproportionate threats of pre-judgment interest.
David Davenport was recognized for his major victory on behalf of a non-profit organization against Aggregators who threaten the preservation of affordable housing nationwide. Davenport helped Opa-locka Community Development Corporation secure full ownership of 216 units of affordable housing, after OLCDC’s partners sought to sell the apartment community to a third party in violation of OLCDC’s ROFR. In a summary judgment decision, the Court issued a decisive ruling in favor of OLCDC on all issues, dismissed all claims and defenses presented by the defendants, and ordered them to specifically perform under the ROFR by transferring the property (valued at $27 million) to OLCDC for less than $100,000 under the LIHTC program. The outcome earned significant media attention noting its impact on existing and future affordable housing developments; and 20 LIHTC industry leaders recognized this important result in a Letter of Support. The case in Opa-locka, where 47% of residents are in poverty and 57% are Black, showcases the threat that Aggregators pose to the LIHTC program’s ability to effect social justice and improve racial equity. With this precedential win, Davenport helped enable OLCDC to support a vibrant, underserved community, by having resources to improve access to health, education, employment, art, safety and affordable housing.
Justin Jenkins was selected for his work representing the Trustee of the Sidney A. Goodman Irrevocable Trust and the Personal Representative of the Estate of John Goodman in defending claims by various family members seeking a constructive trust over The Goodman Group, an owner and operator of dozens of senior, nursing and residential living facilities across the United States, and damages in excess of $40 million, contrary to the intentions of Sidney and John Goodman. After a six week bench trial, the Court entered a judgment in favor of his client on all claims and awarded no relief or damages to the petitioners.
Honorees will be profiled in the Attorneys of the Year magazine and honored at a virtual awards event on February 17, 2021.