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Our business litigation practice embraces the wide variety of commercial disputes facing private and public companies today. Areas of particular expertise include intellectual property, antitrust, securities, employment, professional liability, and construction disputes.

Our attorneys are experienced in handling matters involving complex financial instruments and transactions, trade secrets, and professional liability issues, and are regularly called upon to teach and write about these issues.


Most cases can and should be resolved short of trial. Some cannot. Our attorneys are experienced and respected trial lawyers with deep trial experience in state and federal courts. In fact, Greene Espel is often retained shortly before trial to assist or replace existing litigation counsel.

Complex Financial Instruments and Transactions
We regularly litigate disputes concerning complex financial instruments and investment vehicles such as hedge funds, low income tax credits, tax increment financing, venture capital, mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, Real Estate Investment Trusts, and trust indentures. We litigate these cases on behalf of financial institutions, securities professionals, investment firms, and individuals. We make these complex instruments and transactions accessible and understandable to judges and juries.

Class Actions and Multi-Party Cases
We have defended and prosecuted complex class actions involving allegations of securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty in the corporate context, and other business torts.

Financial Experts
We work closely with financial experts and consultants to refute allegations of market manipulation in mortgage-backed securities, to trace millions of dollars in real estate transactions, to defend securities professionals on issues of due diligence, and to defend the practices of broker-dealers and investment advisors.

Pre-Litigation Investigations
Frequently, we are contacted by institutions interested in pursuing potential litigation concerning misconduct that they believe may have occurred. In these cases, we have successfully utilized a quick but thorough pre-litigation investigation to uncover the facts necessary both to bring the case and to resolve it quickly. Our experience has shown that a thorough pre-litigation investigation can save the client time and money where the results of the investigation provide the wrongdoer with little or no defense.

Responding to a Crisis
We are often contacted by clients facing legal and public relations crises. These matters require the immediate mobilization of attorneys, paralegals, and experts to assist the client through the emergency. Recent examples include:

  • When a “whistleblower” went public with allegations of widespread misconduct at the Minnesota facility of a national firm, we were retained to interview dozens of employees, review thousands of documents, and respond to regulators, law enforcement authorities, and the media. We mobilized a team of attorneys, paralegals, experts, and others to respond to the emergency, learn the facts, and resolve the matter.
  • During litigation on the East coast, a national securities firm was ordered to make dozens of Minnesota employees available for depositions immediately to address allegations of wrongdoing. We were retained to represent the employees, who faced serious allegations relating to a court-ordered settlement. Within days, we mobilized a team of attorneys and paralegals to master the litigation facts and the documents related to each employee. Within weeks, all employees were interviewed and prepared for their depositions.
  • A national health care firm learned through an article in a local newspaper of allegations of misconduct at its Minnesota facility. Within days, we assembled a team of attorneys and paralegals to conduct interviews of current and former employees in three states. We prepared a detailed report responding to the allegations. The report convinced regulators and potential private litigants not to pursue the allegations.
X. Kevin Zhao
Mark Johnson
Davida Williams
Gina Tonn

Practice Contact

Mark L. Johnson


Events & Presentations

  • May 1, 2023. Faris Rashid and X. Kevin Zhao to Present at Minnesota CLE's 2023 Business Law Institute Read More
  • May 6, 2019. Event (5/6/2019): 2019 Business Law Institute Read More


Greene Espel Recognized in 2024 "Best Law Firms" Among Nation's Top Firms

The firm has been ranked in the first tier in Minneapolis – the highest ranking available in each city – in nine practice areas.

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Jeanette Bazis Named to Minnesota Lawyer's POWER 30 for Business Litigation

To create the Power 30 list, Minnesota Lawyer interviewed respected Minnesota attorneys and leaders, reviewed outcomes of significant cases, and consulted the Minnesota Lawyer archives for “people whose achievements and influence we recognize as powerful business litigators in Minnesota.”

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Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Greene Espel for Litigation in Minnesota; Jeanette Bazis, Sybil Dunlop, and Kate Swenson Named Notable Practitioners

This year’s recognition highlights the firm’s “widely respected litigation group able to provide expertise across a range of commercial disputes, including both class actions and single-plaintiff claims.” 

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