Kari Berman is a partner in the Minneapolis office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practice. With over 25 years of practice in commercial litigation, Kari has significant experience in corporate governance, complex business transactions, contract negotiations, internal investigations, investigations by government agencies, merger and acquisition including due diligence and related issues, and advising senior executives on legal issues as they arise. She also has experience in professional liability defense, including legal and accountancy malpractice claims. She has successfully represented clients in SEC and FINRA investigations and frequently represents companies and their governing boards with both litigation and corporate strategic issues. She also serves as FDA counsel for medical device manufacturers and advises them on regulatory matters internationally.

Kari has litigated many cases in federal courts across the country involving non-competition agreements and alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. She regularly assists clients with implementing corporate policies, prevention of employment-related claims, and lawsuit avoidance by ensuring compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Kari routinely represents clients in shareholder disputes, contractual disputes, restrictive covenants, trade secret violations, intellectual property issues, fiduciary breaches, and other similar matters. Additionally, she advises companies on lawsuit avoidance by ensuring compliance with various federal and state laws, including but not limited to unlawful employment practices prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the False Claims Act, and other state and federal laws. Her practice also includes representing clients in connection with various regulatory compliance issues, Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) issues, and tax disputes with the IRS and Minnesota Department of Revenue. Kari also provides legal counsel and defense in connection with claims arising under HIPAA, Stark Law, and state and federal anti-kickback laws. She has also provided advice and counsel to clients facing litigation involving alleged Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) violations as this complex body of law evolves.

Kari is a trusted adviser of companies in the structure, negotiation, and drafting of commercial agreements with third parties, along with assisting business teams in meeting business needs while complying with legal corporate and administrative requirements. She also represents clients at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, the Minnesota Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other state and federal government departments.

In addition to her busy legal practice, Kari is on the board of directors of the Ronald McDonald House, Upper Mid-West and is an adjunct professor of appellate advocacy at the University of St. Thomas Law School (in Minneapolis). She is also a long-time contributing editor for the Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook.

Kari has state-wide recognition in Minnesota, where she served as a governor-appointed member of the Minnesota Sentencing Guideline Commission and as a governor-appointed commissioner of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which administered a $207 million annual budget, with oversight of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and its numerous reliever airports. Kari graduated from Columbia University, Barnard College with a degree in English literature and from Hamline University School of Law.

Publications

  • Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook, 1st Edition
  • Public Accounting Report
  • Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook, 2nd Edition
  • Business Insurance Magazine

Pro Bono & Philanthropy

  • Board of Directors, Ronald McDonald House, Upper Mid-West
  • Adjunct Professor, Appellate Advocacy, University of St. Thomas Law School
  • Contributing Editor, Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook
  • Commissioner, Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC)
  • Past Advisory Committee Member, William Mitchell College of Law, National Security Forum
  • Past Commissioner, Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission

Professional Presentations

  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Webinar, 2021 Update: Biometric Information Privacy Act, February 10, 2021

Admissions

  • State Bar Admissions
    • Minnesota

Admissions

MN

Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Past Advisory Committee Member, William Mitchell College of Law: National Security Forum

Awards & Honors

  • Policy Fellows Program, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Rising Stars in the Legal Profession, Minnesota Law & Politics, January 2000
  • Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR)
  • Resolution No. 2081 Commendation, Metropolitan Airports Commission
  • P.A. Women At The Table, Briggs and Morgan

Education

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Juris Doctor

Columbia University, Barnard College

Bachelor of Arts, English Literature

Representative Matters

  • Represented individual lenders with exposure close to $1 billion in connection with the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Tom Petters, which was the largest such scheme in Minnesota history. After protracted and complex litigation, the matter was resolved favorably.
  • Represented a defendant in an SEC investigation into a $195 million Ponzi scheme, and provided expert testimony in federal court in connection with the related criminal prosecution.
  • Represented the defendant in multidistrict litigation involving product liability claims centering on suicides alleged to have been caused by use of a smoking cessation product. The matter settled.
  • Represented the defendant company in several Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions in federal courts throughout the country centering on classification of delivery drivers and various wage payment issues.
  • Represented a private lender and affiliates in clawback litigation arising from a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme and related Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Successfully represented a client in litigation that included a civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) claim that was tried and resulted in a multi-million dollar jury verdict.
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