Aaron Van Oort is a legal strategist, class action litigator, and appellate lawyer who co-chairs the Faegre Baker Daniels appellate advocacy group. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia at the United States Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Richard Posner at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Aaron has represented clients in 12 of the 13 United States Courts of Appeal, as well as in the United States Supreme Court and in state appellate courts. In recent appeals, he has successfully obtained reversals of jury verdicts in both federal and state courts, Vaidyanathan v. Seagate US LLC , 691 F.3d 972 (8th Cir. 2012); Klapmeier v. Cirrus Industries, Inc. 2015 WL 5194755 (Minn. App. Sept. 8, 2015), and successfully obtained interlocutory review and reversal of an order certifying a Rule 23 class on environmental claims, Ebert v. General Mills, Inc., 823 F.3d 472 (8th Cir. 2016). His appellate clients have included General Mills, Seagate, the NFL, Bank of America, Capital One, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Koch Industries and Xcel Energy.
Class Action Defense
Aaron has defended more than 100 class actions across the country. In recent cases, he won summary judgment on behalf of the National Football League (NFL) against retired players' publicity-rights claims, Dryer v. National Football League, Civ. No. 09-2182, Slip Op. (D. Minn. Oct. 10, 2014), negotiated and secured final approval of a nationwide class settlement in MDL litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, In re: Capital One Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation, 80 F. Supp. 3d 781 (N.D. Ill. 2015), defeated certification of a putative California class seeking to certify employment classification claims, Juarez v. Jani-King , 273 F.R.D. 571 (N.D. Cal. 2011), and won dismissal of a putative nationwide class alleging consumer fraud claims, Taradejna v. General Mills, Inc., 909 F.Supp.2d 1128 (D. Minn. 2012). His class action clients have included 3M, Google, the NFL, the National Hockey League, Capital One, General Mills, Jani-King International, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, American Family Insurance, Koch Industries and Life Time Fitness.
Representative cases that Aaron has briefed or argued on appeal include:
- McLeod v. General Mills, Inc., ___ F.3d ___, 2017 WL 1363797 (8th Cir. Apr. 14, 2017). Representing General Mills, successfully obtained order compelling individual arbitration of ADEA claims, reversing the decision below.
- Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc. v. Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC, 843 F.3d 736 (7th Cir. 2016). Representing Aventine, successfully obtained reversal of judgment below with instructions to enter judgment for Aventine on all claims in commercial contract case.
- Ebert v. General Mills, Inc., 823 F.3d 472 (8th Cir. 2016). Representing General Mills, successfully obtained interlocutory review of and reversed order certifying a Rule 23 class on environmental claims.
- Hugunin v. Land O’Lakes, Inc., 815 F.3d 1064 (7th Cir. 2016). Representing Land O’Lakes, successfully defended grant of summary judgment against plaintiff’s trademark claims.
- Dryer v. National Football League, 814 F.3d 938 (8th Cir. 2016). Representing the NFL, successfully defended grant of complete summary judgment against publicity-rights and Lanham Act claims brought by retired players.
- Klapmeier v. Cirrus Industries, Inc., 2015 WL 5194755 (Minn. App. Sept. 8, 2015). Representing Cirrus, successfully obtained reversal of $10 million jury verdict on non-disparagement claim, with direction to enter judgment for Cirrus.
- Wells v. Holiday Companies, Inc., 862 N.W.2d 492 (Minn. App. 2015). Representing Holiday, successfully defended grant of summary judgment against putative class claim brought under gift-certificate statute.
- Marshall v. National Football League, 787 F.3d 502 (8th Cir. 2015). Representing the National Football League, successfully defended final approval of a class settlement of publicity-rights claims against multiple objectors.
- Nicaj v. Shoe Carnival, Inc., 768 F.3d 622 (7th Cir. 2014). Representing Shoe Carnival, successfully defended Rule 12 dismissal of putative FACTA class actions.
- National Parks Conservation Ass'n v. U.S. E.P.A., 759 F.3d 969 (8th Cir. 2014). Representing Xcel Energy, successfully obtained reversal of order denying right to intervene in environmental litigation.
- Keiran v. Home Capital, Inc., 720 F.3d 721 (8th Cir. 2013), abrogated, 135 S. Ct. 790 (2015). Representing Home Capital, successfully defended award of summary judgment on TILA claims over the opposition of the CFPB.
- Kolmar Americas, Inc. v. Koch Supply & Trading LP, 512 Fed. Appx. 84 (2d Cir. 2013). Representing Koch, successfully defended award of summary judgment in complex contract dispute.
- Vaidyanathan v. Seagate US LLC , 691 F.3d 972 (8th Cir. 2012). Representing Seagate, successfully won reversal of jury verdict on employment claim that plaintiff had obtained through an incorrect jury instruction.
- Brady v. NFL, 638 F.3d 1004, 640 F.3d 785, 644 F.3d 661 (8th Cir. 2011). Representing the NFL, successfully stayed and then reversed antitrust preliminary injunction against the NFL's player lockout.
- Clifford v. Crop Production Services, Inc., 627 F.3d 268 (7th Cir. 2010). Successfully defended complete grant of summary for Crop Production Services against crop damages claims.
- Siemens AG v. Seagate Technology, 369 Fed. Appx. 118 (Fed. Cir. 2010). In a billion-dollar patent case, successfully defended complete defense verdict and judgment of invalidity on appeal.
- Krueger v. Zeman Constr. Co., 781 N.W.2d 858 (Minn. 2010). Successfully defended dismissal of business discrimination claim, persuading Minnesota Supreme Court to limit the cause of action to the parties to the contract.
- Savig v. First Nat'l Bank of Omaha, 781 N.W.2d 335 (Minn. 2010). On behalf of amici curiae Capital One, successfully persuaded Minnesota Supreme Court to allow banks to garnish joint bank accounts without fear of common law tort liability.
- Minnesota Lawyer — Attorneys of the Year, 2015
- Faegre Baker Daniels — Baker Benson Pro Bono Award, 2015
- Best Lawyers in America — Appellate Law, 2012-17; Antitrust Litigation, 2013, 2015-17 (Minnesota Antitrust Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2017)
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business — Litigation: Appellate, 2010-16
- Minnesota Super Lawyers — Appellate, 2013-16
- American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
- Minnesota State Bar Association — Chair of Appellate Section
- U.S. Supreme Court, Hon. Antonin Scalia, 2000-01
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, Hon. Richard A. Posner, 1999-2000
- Recent Developments in Class Action Law
Panelist, PLI Consumer Financial Services Institute, New York, April 2017
- Evaluating Proposed Class-Action Settlements
Panel Moderator, Duke Class-Action Settlement Conference, San Diego, October 2016
- Supreme Court Review
Panelist, Colorado Law, July 2016
- The U.S. Supreme Court's Big New Decisions
Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2016
- Consumer Finance Class Action Litigation and Settlement Trends and New and Emerging Procedural Considerations
Panelist, American Conference Institute's 23rd National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, July 2015
- Recent Developments in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Litigation
Banking Law Institute, Minneapolis, 2013
- Unclaimed Property and the Life Insurance Industry
NOLHGA Legal Seminar, Boston, 2012
- They Have No Class: Strategies for Dealing With Class Action Litigation
Complex Litigation Seminar, Minneapolis, 2010
- Petitioning for Review in the United States Supreme Court
Third Annual Appellate Practice Institute, Minnesota CLE, 2009
- Defending FACTA Class Actions
Eighth Annual Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, American Conference Institute, New York, NY, 2009
- Common Law and Statutory Fraud — Establishing Credibility Through Surgical Analysis and Pleading
Minnesota CLE, 2008
- The Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act: A Case Law Update
Minnesota CLE, 2005
- Class Action Point and Counterpoint
Hennepin County Bar Association, 2004
- Consumer Fraud
Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 2003
- Certiorari Practice in the U.S. Supreme Court
Chapter co-author, Eighth Circuit Appellate Practice Manual, 7th ed., 2016
- ABA Appellate Practice Compendium
Contributing Author, 2013
- Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practice Regulation in Minnesota
- 8th Circuit Appellate Practice Manual
Contributing Editor, 6th Edition, 2013