Brian Dillon concentrates his practice on complex business litigation, trusts and estates litigation, and administrative and regulatory defense. Clients value Brian’s diverse range of litigation experience, which gives him a broad legal perspective that is unmatched by most of his peers.
In complex business litigation, Brian focuses on resolving shareholder disputes and other disputes among closely held and family-owned business owners. Brian regularly advises businesses and their officers, directors, and shareholders involved in disputes over corporate governance, treatment of minority shareholders, use and misuse of corporate funds, and business succession plans. Brian has extensive experience prosecuting and defending cases involving claims of fraud, embezzlement, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty. Brian’s clients in this area come from all types of industries and include product manufacturers, financial service companies, IT service providers, software developers, health care companies, government contractors, and real estate developers.
Brian also practices extensively in probate and U.S. Tax Court, helping to resolve disputes over the administration of trusts or estates, will contests, and matters of guardianship and conservatorship. Brian’s deep familiarity with probate and U.S. Tax Court procedure ensures that his clients’ interests are protected, and his down-to-earth manner comforts and supports clients through these matters, which are often charged with emotion.
In the administrative and regulatory space, Brian helps clients conduct internal investigations and respond to external ones. He defends clients who are subject to government enforcement and licensing actions, and he helps them develop and implement effective compliance programs. Brian also has substantial skill in state and federal campaign finance laws and is regularly called upon to advise nonprofit advocacy organizations on political advocacy campaigns.
Brian also leads the firm’s eDiscovery: Data, Records & Information Governance team. In that role, Brian helps clients develop document retention policies and procedures that are appropriate for their business needs and is regularly called upon to help navigate the increasingly expensive electronic discovery process in a creative and cost-effective manner.
Before joining the firm, Brian served as an assistant attorney general in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, where he prosecuted cases under Minnesota’s health, consumer protection, financial services, and antitrust laws. Brian is a Wisconsin native and regularly practices in Wisconsin courts.
Outside of work, Brian enjoys recreational sports of all kinds, fishing, backpacking, and spending time with his family.
Complex Business Litigation
- Represented majority owners of a product manufacturer in dispute among shareholders involving claims of minority shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty, culminating in a six-day jury trial that ultimately reconsolidated ownership of the entity in its majority owners.
- Represented majority owners of a grain elevator company in dispute among shareholders involving claims of fraud, embezzlement, minority shareholder oppression, and breach of fiduciary duty that ultimately reconsolidated of ownership of the entity in its majority owners.
- Represented owner of an ethanol plant in a dispute with its prior owners involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty and improper squeeze-out of minority owners.
- Represented a radio broadcasting company in a civil fraud and embezzlement action against former bookkeeper, resulting in a favorable judgment of $1.5 million and an additional restitution order in connection with a related criminal action.
- Represented court-appointed receiver of companies used to operate a Ponzi-scheme in an effort to obtain relief for defrauded investors, asserting claims primarily under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
- Represented franchisor in dispute with franchisee involving alleging wrongful termination of franchise agreement between the parties and violation of the Minnesota Franchise Act, culminating in three-day arbitration.
- Represented livestock breeder in claims arising from a dog attack, culminating in two-day trial and successful jury verdict.
Trusts and Estates Litigation
- Represented personal representative of an estate in petition for redetermination of deficiencies in federal estate tax involving disputes over transfers during life, debts of the decedent, and expenses and property not subject to tax, resulting in favorable settlement.
- Represented beneficiary of a trust in claims against trustees seeking removal of trustees for breach of fiduciary duty and unfitness to effectively administer the trust.
- Represented daughter of a decedent in a successful will contest, resulting in favorable settlement after establishing through extrinsic evidence that the will did not reflect the true intent of the decedent.
- Represented estate of decedent in an action against the decedent’s former business partner in action to enforce contractual rights between the parties and for breach of fiduciary duty.
Administrative and Regulatory Defense
- Represented government and nongovernment entities in complex litigation and investigations involving alleged violations of the False Claims Act, state and federal health care regulations, false advertising and fair trade practice regulations, government contracting regulations, and campaign finance regulations
- Represented a nonprofit corporation in appeal of a state agency’s decision to deny grant funding, resulting in a favorable judgment of $875,000
- Represented board of directors of a large insurance company in an internal investigation over a troubled development project, conducting numerous witness interviews and overseeing the review of some 1.2 million emails over a two-month period.
- Represented non-profit political advocacy organizations in cases involving claims under Minnesota’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.
- Represented a medical imaging company in a civil dispute alleging Stark and Anti-Kickback violations
- Represented financial services company in responding to numerous investigations by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Attorney General’s Office.
- Represented general contractor in responding to numerous investigations by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
- Represented bullion coin dealer in responding to numerous investigations by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Pro Bono Matters
- Volunteer attorney for the Minnesota Advocates, obtaining grants of asylum for African immigrants on the grounds of political, gender, and social group persecution
- Volunteer attorney for the Children’s Law Center, representing children in CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection or Services) and related proceedings.
- Volunteer attorney for the Volunteer Lawyers Network, regularly staffing the self-help center at the Hennepin County Government Center.
- June 27, 2019
- September 24, 2014
- August 18, 2014
- “The Federal Trade Commission Act & Privacy Protections,” presenter, Minnesota CLE, Legal Guide to Privacy and Data SecurityAugust 18, 2014
- "The Litigator’s Duty of Technical Competence: Predictive Coding—Ethics, Adoption, and Defensibility"May 14, 2014
- “Responding to Government Investigations: A Practical Anatomy,” panelist, GPM White Collar RoundtableOctober 30, 2012
- “An Insider’s View of Health Care Fraud Enforcement: What’s on the Radar of State and Federal Agencies and Private Litigants,” panelist, GPM 16th Annual Health Law ConferenceJuly 1, 2012
- “Priorities at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Under the New Administration—A Conversation with New U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones,” panelistSeptember 1, 2009
- April 17, 2020
- Litigation Alert: Supreme Court Denies Review in Landmark ADA Case on Website Accessibility — What Does this Mean for Your Business?October 11, 2019
- February 27, 2019
- TECP Alert: Court of Appeals Issues Important Opinion on Entitlement to Attorney Fees and Trustee RemovalJanuary 31, 2019
- January 18, 2019
- TECP Alert: Minnesota Court Rules Trust Beneficiaries are Entitled to Interest on Delayed Payments of Specific GiftsOctober 2, 2018
- Nonprofit Alert: Political Advertising on Social Media — New Requirements Emerge in Advance of the 2018 ElectionsSeptember 7, 2018
- March 15, 2017
- Litigation Update: Big Changes Coming to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in Effort to Curb Costs, Decrease DelaysSeptember 1, 2015
- Nonprofit Alert: Disclaimer Requirements Apply to All Forms of Non-Media Communications Disseminated for the Purpose of Influencing an ElectionOctober 7, 2014
- “Preparation for Minnesota Federal and State Discovery Conferences: A Practical Approach,” coauthor, William Mitchell Law ReviewApril 10, 2014
- Litigation Update - Rules of Civil Procedure Continue to Adapt to the Realities of Electronic DiscoveryDecember 30, 2013
- December 20, 2013
- Privacy Alert – FTC Action May Turn Traditional Concepts of Privacy Enforcement and Franchise Law on Their HeadsDecember 17, 2013
- “2013 Legislature Adopts Important Amendments to Minnesota Campaign Finance Laws,” GPM Nonprofit AlertJuly 16, 2013
- White Collar Update: The Minnesota False Claims Act: Expanded to Conform to Its Federal Counterpart and Maximize Medicaid Fraud RecoveriesApril 23, 2013
- August 1, 2012
- February 8, 2012
- September 21, 2011
- December 1, 2010
- February 1, 2010
- White Collar Update: The Department of Justice Under President Obama and Attorney General Holder: Priorities and ExpectationsApril 29, 2009
- January 1, 2009
- “Quality of Care as a Basis for False Claims Act Liability: Is the Proof Insurmountable?,” coauthor, The Sedona Conference JournalSeptember 16, 2008
In the News
- March 6, 2019
- September 13, 2018
- January 13, 2017
- March 1, 2016
- December 14, 2015
- March 29, 2014
- November 8, 2013
- July 21, 2020
- July 5, 2019
- June 14, 2019
- July 5, 2018
- April 26, 2018
- July 5, 2017
- July 5, 2016
- May 5, 2016
- July 9, 2012
- January 3, 2011
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Wisconsin State Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Judicial intern, Wisconsin Supreme Court
- Minnesota Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), board member, former board president
- The Advocates for Human Rights, volunteer attorney
- Minnesota Diversity In Practice, volunteer attorney mentor
- Dane County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), former board president
- “Minnesota Super Lawyer®,” Thomson Reuters, 2016-2019
- “Minnesota Rising Star,” Thomson Reuters, 2012-2013
- “North Star Lawyers,” Minnesota State Bar Association, 2015, 2018
80 South Eighth Street500 IDS CenterMinneapolis, MN 55402
- General Business & Complex Commercial Litigation
- Political Advocacy & Election Law
- Real Estate Litigation & Disputes
- Shareholder Disputes
- Trust & Estate Litigation
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Investigations & White-Collar Defense
- Government Relations
- Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations
- Bankruptcy Litigation
- Health Care Litigation
- eDiscovery: Data, Records & Information Governance
- Complex Financial Litigation
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Tax Court
University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., with honors
University of Notre Dame, B.A., with honors, Economics and Environmental Science
- Phi Beta Kappa