- J.D., University of Minnesota School of Law, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif (1992); Editor, Journal of Law & Inequality
- Temple University, B.B.A., summa cum laude, Economics (1988)
- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, Los Angeles, California, Associate (1994-1997)
- United States District Court, District of Minnesota, The Honorable James M. Rosenbaum, Law Clerk (1992-1994)
Jeanette Bazis is an experienced and highly-regarded litigator whose practice has focused largely on federal courts. Drawing on her experience on the Federal Practice Committee, her years of leadership in the Federal Bar Association, as well as her prior experience as a federal district court clerk, Jeanette has deep knowledge of the inner workings of the federal courts in Minnesota.
Jeanette also appreciates the unwritten nuances as well as the written rules governing practice in Minnesota courts, having served on the Minnesota Supreme Court Civil Justice Reform Task Force.
Jeanette is a litigator who understands business, its formation, its operation, its governance, and the disputes that frequently arise between businesses, and between businesses and their employees. Many of Jeanette’s business litigation cases arise at the intersection of intellectual property and employment law. Jeanette regularly represents clients in trade secret litigation and cases involving the enforcement of restrictive covenants. She merged business litigation and IP skills to return the 1960’s smash hit “Louie Louie” to its rightful owners.
Jeanette solves problems for clients in uncharted territories. Her persistence and advocacy in structuring the creative settlement of an emotionally charged high-profile dispute with the federal government and private plaintiffs earned Jeanette and her colleague Mark Johnson 2012 Attorney of the Year honors from Minnesota Lawyer.
Leadership in the community and mentoring of women in the legal profession has been a major focus of Jeanette’s career. Jeanette served as President of the Infinity Project, whose mission is to increase the gender diversity of the state and federal bench in the Eighth Circuit. Her work with the Infinity Project earned her second Attorney of the Year recognition in 2013. She also is active in Minnesota Women Lawyers, serving on the President’s Leadership Circle from 2009-2014.
Jeanette has been recognized by her peers as a Minnesota Super Lawyer since 2008—including as among the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers and as a Business Litigation Super Lawyer. She was named a “Best Lawyer” by U.S. News—Best Law Firms in 2014.
- Represented financial institution in a federal action to recover tens of millions of dollars in losses incurred as a result of unsuitable investments of client’s cash collateral in the defendant bank’s securities lending program.
- Defended numerous public companies from securities fraud claims.
- Brought an action on behalf of a satellite communications service provider in connection with breach of an exclusive distribution agreement for a Department of Defense contract.
- Defended former minority shareholders of a corporation against attempts by the corporation to pierce the corporate veil to recover $20-plus million in environmental remediation costs. Achieved outright dismissal of claims by the plaintiff in the midst of discovery and motion practice.
- Obtained a $1.3 million jury verdict as trial co-counsel in an action to recover under a theft insurance policy following embezzlement by the client's top executive.
- Represented a public utility in an action against dozens of insurers to recover over $100 million under commercial general liability policies for environmental investigation and remediation costs. After several trial days, the defendant insurers settled with our client.
- Represented a publicly held technology company in a successful effort to avoid delisting by NASDAQ.
- Assist both public and private companies in internal investigations and lawsuits addressing financial improprieties by executives and employees.
- Represent victims of Ponzi schemes to recover lost funds and lost investments.
- In a currently pending matter, successfully appealed the dismissal of claims against a bank for aiding and abetting the Ponzi schemers’ fraud.
- Routinely represent clients in closely held business disputes. For instance:
- Brought a successful action against our client’s joint venture partner for financial improprieties, recovering millions of dollars for the client on the eve of trial.
- Successfully defended privately-held parent company in a lawsuit charging the management of a wholly-owned subsidiary with engaging in a fraudulent management buyout.
- Represented a former law firm partner in connection with his severance and recovery of his share of the firm’s contingency fees.
- Recently brought a successful 26-defendant lawsuit in federal court and FINRA on behalf of a financial services company to enforce its departed employees’ non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements, achieving a favorable settlement after a stipulated temporary restraining order.
- Represent clients in actions before administrative agencies, state and federal courts and FINRA involving non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information, wrongful termination, and other employment disputes. Represent employers in a wide range of discrimination lawsuits, and wage and hour disputes. Also represent clients in executive compensation and severance disputes. Conduct workplace investigations.
Public Sector and Non-Profit
- Achieved dismissal of action against school district for alleged violations of campaign finance reporting and fair campaign practices statutes in connection with school levy questions.
- Represented public-sector securities lending participants in a federal action to rescind the defendant bank’s investment of participants’ cash collateral in an unsuitable structure investment vehicle. Settled for 96 cents on the dollar.
- Regularly defend school districts in employment and civil rights litigation, and in high-stakes personal injury lawsuits.
- Defended one of state’s largest school districts in a high-profile dispute with the federal government and six private plaintiffs regarding alleged Title IX and Minnesota Human Rights Act violations, reaching a settlement that has become a model for districts nationwide.
- Conduct internal investigations and defend litigation for social service organizations in sensitive and high-stakes matters.
- Initiate and defend lawsuits to protect clients’ rights in their trademarks, trade dress and copyrights.
- Represents clients in disputes over patents and patent ownership.
- Successfully represented a national affinity marketing corporation in a dispute with a competitor over their respective trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, reaching a business resolution early in the case after an informal exchange of information.
- Hubbard Feeds, Inc. v. Animal Feed Supplement, Inc., 182 F.3d 598 (8th Cir. 1999). Successful defense of trademark infringement action brought by international animal feed company against manufacturer of animal feed supplement. Awarded summary judgment by federal court dismissing all trademark-related claims.
- Peterson v. Highland Music, Inc., 140 F.3d 1313 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, Gusto Records, Inc. v. Peterson, 525 U.S. 983 (1998). At summary judgment stage, and on appeal, successfully represented the performers of the popular "oldies" song, “Louie Louie,” enabling them to recapture ownership of their master recordings because of nonpayment of royalties.
- Represented an ousted LLC member in an action to pursue his ownership rights in a patent. After the first day of trial, the former co-member defendant signed over all ownership rights in the patent to our client.
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts of California
- State Bar of Minnesota
- State Bar of California
- University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors (2016-present)
- Federal Bar Association
- FBA Foundation Board of Directors
- President-Elect (2016-present)
- Treasurer (2015-2016)
- Secretary (2014-2015)
- Board Member (2007-present)
- Board of Directors, Minnesota Chapter (2004-2016)
- Executive Committee, Minnesota Chapter (2004-2016)
- Diversity Committee, Minnesota Chapter
- Co-Chair (2014-2015)
- Member (2012-present)
- FBA Fellow (2007-present)
- FBA Eighth Circuit Vice President (2006-2008)
- Infinity Project
- President (2013)
- Board Member (2009-present)
- Minnesota Women Lawyers
- MWL President's Leadership Circle (2009-2014)
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section, Governing Council
- American Bar Association
- Section of Litigation, Section of Intellectual Property
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Federal Public Defender Reappointment Committee (2013)
- Federal Practice Committee, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
- Member and subcommittee chair (2008-2011)
- Minnesota Supreme Court Civil Justice Reform Task Force, Member (2011)
- U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, Chair (2007-2008)
- Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference Planning Committee (2007-2008)
AWARDS AND OTHER RECOGNITION
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2018)
- Named "Up and Coming" by Chambers USA (Litigation) (2016-2017)
- Named as Minnesota Lawyer "Attorney of the Year" (2012-2013)
- Super Lawyers
- Named "Super Lawyer," Minnesota Super Lawyers (2008-2017)
- Named as one of the "Top 100 Super Lawyers," Minnesota Super Lawyers (2016)
- Named as one of the "Top 50 Women Super Lawyers," Minnesota Super Lawyers (2013-2016)
- Named as one of the "Top 100 Women Super Lawyers," Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics (2008, 2009)
- Named as "Business Litigation Super Lawyer," Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition (2009, 2010)
- Named as a "Rising Star," Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics (1998-2004)
TEACHING & LECTURING
- Tenure/Continuing Contract Laws: Are They Failing Our Students? 2016 School Law Conference, Minnesota CLE, Panelist (November 2016).
- Hennepin County Bar Association Law Firm Leadership, Panelist (May 2015).
- Participant, Leadership Summit on Gender Equity in the Law (April 2015).
- Public Sector Retaliation and Whistleblowing: Practical Advice for the Employment Attorney, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, Panelist (May 2013).
- Ethics: When Employment Litigation Involves Executives, Labor and Employment Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, Moderator (November 2012).
Employment Litigation, Investigations and Counseling
Government and Constitutional Litigation
Internal Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense