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Todd A. Noteboom, Stinson LLP
Todd A. Noteboom, Stinson LLP

The POWER 30: Todd A. Noteboom

Todd Noteboom spends a lot of time these days representing businesses who have the attention of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

The AGO brought a case seeking to remove the trustees of the Otto Bremer Trust, an effort spurred by the trustees’ decision to sell shares in Bremer Financial Corp., owner of Bremer Bank. The court removed one trustee, and that is contested.

Litigation between Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer Financial Corp. is coming next year, but not for long if Noteboom and Dorsey & Whitney’s James Langdon prevail in pending motion practice.

Tax laws require the bank to give away 5% of its wealth each year. It can’t do that and still pay dividends without “cannibalizing” the trust, Noteboom said. “We want the trust to get back to business,” which is philanthropy, he continued.

Noteboom is also handling several state claims against businesses include Exxon, Koch and Juul-API over climate change, he said.

His practice also includes defending class action — work that has grown since the Class Action Fairness Act took effect in 2005. The statute, known as CAFA, 28 U.S.C. Sections 1332(d), 1453, and 1711–1715, expanded federal subject-matter jurisdiction over many large class-action lawsuits and mass actions in the United States.

“It created mechanisms that hadn’t existed that allowed cases to be brought in federal court,” Noteboom explained.

It also provides for more exacting review and enforcement of the requirements for class actions under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, of numerosity, commonality, typicality and adequate representation, Noteboom said. “It’s important to be in federal court,” he explained. There’s a more developed body of federal law, and the courts are familiar with it and its attendant rules, he said.

Noteboom’s background includes growing up as a musician and in performing arts. He continues to nurture that as a member of the board of the Guthrie Theater and chair of the board of the Children’s Theatre Company. “Theater is coming back. We’re rounding a bend [post-pandemic],” he said. A recent gala raised over $1 million to the Children’s Theatre Company, he said.