In a North Dakota trial that lasted nine days, a successful real estate agent lost his business because of rumors that he was a cocaine user who used the illegal drug during a golf tournament. He sued the country club where he played and three individuals and secured a $2 million verdict from a jury.
Parker has a different business case now before the Court of Appeals. S. Brian Lipschultz was a trustee of the Otto Bremer Trust that owned the controlling share of the Bremer Financial Corporation, which included Bremer Bank. Lipschultz and the trust sold stock in BFC, which led to litigation brought by the Office of the Attorney General. Ramsey County District Court Judge Robert A. Awsumb removed Lipschultz as trustee, and that is now before the appellate court.
Lipschultz has a strong position, Parker said. Based on the judge’s findings, the conclusions of law are an abuse of discretion, Parker said, noting that the value of the trust grew during his client’s tenure. Removal of Lipschultz also is contrary to the intent of Otto Bremer, settlor, Parker argues. The only violations found by the court were de minimus use of office facilities, which was repaid, one grant that was returned and later replaced, and actions by Lipschultz the judge found offensive. “[T]he trial court, without citing any law or legal standard, simply stated that there ‘is no room in the charitable world for animosity and vindictiveness to infiltrate or impact the decision-making of a charitable trustee,’” Parker wrote.
Parker is involved in other well-publicized litigation. He represents MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who is being sued by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic for statements he allegedly made about voting machines. “I view it as a First Amendment issue,” Parker said, because the criticism was directed at the government.
The government’s actions may damage attorneys’ reputations, Parker acknowledges. “I try to do top grade work. I’m not worried,” he said.