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June Hoidal primarily serves as outside counsel to government entities that are plaintiffs in complex litigation. (Submitted photo)
June Hoidal primarily serves as outside counsel to government entities that are plaintiffs in complex litigation. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Affecting corporate behavior drives attorney’s practice

Name: June Hoidal

Title: Partner, Zimmerman Reed

Education: B.A., political science, University of Minnesota; J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

June Hoidal, partner at Zimmerman Reed, points to a case resulting in a favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling as a career highlight and a source of growth for the firm’s public client practice group, which she co-chairs.

Hoidal’s work included briefing before the Supreme Court as part of a team representing a state in an antitrust case against LCD screen manufacturers. The court unanimously ruled the state’s action was not removable to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act.

“I spent years geeking out about the issue, and then seeing the justices talk about it was pretty surreal,” Hoidal said.

Hoidal primarily serves as outside counsel to government entities that are plaintiffs in complex litigation. She represents two states in opioid litigation and another in litigation against Juul, the vaping device manufacturer.

“The cases we work on tend to have a big public impact,” Hoidal said. “I enjoy that a lot.”

 

Q: What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A: At the moment, Zoom. Otherwise ask me what my son is up to. He’s 9 and very active.

Q: What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?

A: I was on the debate team in high school. I loved the research. You’re constantly hunting for sources to support your position. I developed those research and argument skills pretty early, and from there the law just seemed like a natural place to go.

Q: What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A: “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien and “How to Do Nothing,” by Jenny Odell, which I started before the pandemic.

Q: What is a pet peeve of yours?

A: At the moment, people who come within 6 feet of me. Otherwise leaving out the Oxford comma and two spaces after a period at the end of the sentence.

Q: What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

A: The ability to have a positive impact on corporate conduct. I remember once filing a consumer class action against a large company, and soon after we filed our case the company stopped the conduct that we were alleging violated consumer laws. At that moment I realized how litigation is a powerful tool to address misconduct that we see in the world.

Q: Least favorite?

A: The inability to unplug from work. I am always constantly thinking about my cases.

Q: What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A: Long bike rides with my family. I live in the western suburbs so we bike a lot on the Luce Line or the Dakota Trail.

Q: If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

A: Even though I didn’t grow up here, I consider [Minneapolis] my hometown. I would take them to eat at Alma and then walk them over the Stone Arch Bridge.

Q: Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?

A: My partner, Carolyn Anderson, who is also the co-chair of our public client group. Besides being a great attorney, she’s exceptional at litigation strategy and an extraordinary leader. She has incredible empathy, an ability to tackle hard conversations, leads with grace and just sets the tone.

Q: What’s a misconception people have about working as an attorney?

A: That we’re in court all the time. I wish that were true, but for the vast majority of lawyers it’s not.

Q: What is your favorite depiction of the legal professional in popular culture?

A: Jim Carrey in “Liar Liar.” His son wishes that he would stop lying. He does and hilarity ensues. There’s a scene in the courtroom where Jim Carey is an attorney and says, “Your honor, I object.” The judge says, “Why is that?” And Jim Carrey says, “Because it’s devastating to my case.” The way he says that, I crack up every time.

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