While he said he has a general litigation practice at Fredrikson & Byron P.A., it has always included protection of businesses from unfair competition and government overreach.
“It’s a fascinating combination of business and law,” Wind said.
The key is to protect competition, not a particular entity, he said. “It’s not illegal to be big and successful.”
Sometimes the companies face off over contracting practices, such as exclusivity, Wind said. One such case ended with a determination that the defendants did not conspire against the plaintiff grocers.
“Competition laws, at their root, are about fair play and not about being against success,” he said. “The questions are how people were successful and what it means to prop the plaintiff up. We’re not preventing other people from being good.”
Another busy area of practice last year for Wind was shareholder disputes. Usually the case comes down to a shareholder or group who doesn’t like the management of a company. Then the issue becomes fair value and whether the person leaving has to accept a discounted price, or what it will take to end the relationship with the unhappy shareholder.
“Sometimes there’s no good way out. What you can do is agree on a process. It’s like a parent telling one child to cut the cake and the other child to choose a piece first,” he said. Sometimes mediation will resolve the case before trial.
Wind believes the key to trial is to understand your fact-finder and help them see the story from the client’s perspective. Usually, the key to winning is for the fact-finder to understand the path that got the client to the present point.
Telling the story so the fact-finder can relate to it is the “whole ballgame,” he said