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Aaron Van Oort
Aaron Van Oort

2021 Attorneys of the Year: Aaron Van Oort

circle-excellenceBy even the loftiest of legal standards, Aaron Van Oort of Faegre Drinker had quite a 2021.

Among other cases, Van Oort served as lead appellate counsel for Xcel Energy in successfully securing a certiorari denial in a Minnesota energy regulation appeal.

Xcel Energy prevailed in a Minnesota energy regulation matter when the Minnesota Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal challenging a Minnesota statute that gives existing owners of electric transmission facilities a right of first refusal to build new transmission lines that will connect to their existing facilities.

“Xcel was certainly one of the highlights because of the combination of the constitutional issue and the importance of it to Xcel,” Van Oort says.

A decade into a False Claims Act case, Boston Scientific hired Van Oort to join their case and lead the summary judgment effort. Van Oort led the briefing team and argued the motion, and the court ruled for Boston Scientific in a complete defense victory.

A relator named Stephen Higgins alleged that Boston Scientific fraudulently induced the Food and Drug Administration to approve two types of implantable defibrillators by supposedly failing to disclose information that revealed a design defect. He argued that by allegedly obtaining device approval through fraud, Boston Scientific caused physicians to certify that the defibrillators were medically necessary devices and to submit false claims for payment to federal health insurance programs.

A district court granted Boston Scientific’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the entire case.

That sort of matter is where Van Oort sees his practice headed.

“As our firm has gotten bigger and more national, I’ve been able to focus more on appellate work,” he says. “I’ve also been able to do that across a wider range of courts throughout the country.”

Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2021 here.

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