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Heidi Silton typically represents mid-sized businesses in large class actions against international companies. (Submitted photo)
Heidi Silton typically represents mid-sized businesses in large class actions against international companies. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Antitrust attorney zeros in on price fixing

Name: Heidi Silton

Title: Partner, Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen

Education: B.A., history, Valparaiso University; J.D., William Mitchell College of Law

Heidi Silton, partner at Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen, has an antitrust practice that includes cases alleging price fixing of products ranging from seafood to pharmaceuticals.

Silton, whose complex business litigation work takes her across the country, typically represents mid-sized businesses in large class actions against international companies.

“I tell my kids the United States has laws so that everybody can work from an even playing field or as even as it can be,” Silton said.

Silton, for example, represents Hennepin County in an antitrust case in Pennsylvania that involves alleged price fixing of more than 150 generic drugs. Others involve allegations of price fixing of tuna and salmon.

A member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, Silton is the hiring partner for associates. She also mentors attorneys at the firm and elsewhere.

 

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

A: Be real. I’m not a huge fan of small talk. If somebody starts by telling me something that is a passion of theirs that gets us away from small talk.

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

A: There aren’t many opportunities with a history major. I was also interested in politics when I was in high school and college, something that I learned over time probably is not suited to me. So when I was trying to figure out what could I do, law made sense.

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

A: The book I’ve been telling people about is “Just Mercy,” by Bryan Stevenson. I have a high school-aged son who read it for class. As part of our diversity and inclusion programming at our law firm, we talked about starting a book club. We’re going to have our first meeting, I think, in June and we decided to use that book so I’m going to hopefully lead a discussion on that then.

Q: What is a pet peeve of yours?

A: Bullying. Sometimes in law that is what you see on TV or that’s something people think is a way to get things done and I don’t agree with that.

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

A: Because of the size of the cases I work on there are a lot of firms involved on the plaintiffs’ side and therefore there’s a lot of collaboration in litigating the case. I love that collaborative aspect.

Q: Least favorite?

A: Sometimes that cooperation breaks down and it becomes hyper-competitive.

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

A: I love traveling. I also do a lot of hiking with my dog, and I’ve done a lot of that in the last six weeks.

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

A: I grew up in Duluth and would take people to Canal Park and walk along the pier.

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

A: I worked with Dan Gustafson (Gustafson Gluek) on a big antitrust case probably 20 year ago. He is a well-known lawyer locally and nationally. With no lawyers in my family, how do you know how to be a good lawyer?

Working with him helped me understand that you can be you and you can still be a really good lawyer regardless of who you are. He had a significant impact on me finding my own path.

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

A: I have two totally different movies that I think are great. “My Cousin Vinny.” Law is a serious business but a little fun in life is also important. The other is the “RBG” documentary. She’s an amazing icon and inspiration and in some ways the American dream.

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