Faegre Baker Daniels LLP celebrates the life and legacy of our friend and colleague, Gerard M. Nolting, who passed away on October 8, 2012, at age 57.
Nolting will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues at Faegre Baker Daniels. He joined the Minneapolis office of Faegre & Benson LLP as an associate in the litigation group in 1980 and quickly developed a reputation as a tenacious trial lawyer in his handling of multiple jury trials. He became a partner in 1988.
Nolting was a lead member of the plaintiffs' trial team in the Exxon Valdez litigation, in which 2,000 commercial fisherman and fishing-related businesses sued for damages as a result of the 1989 oil spill. The plaintiffs' team obtained a $5 billion punitive damage judgment, then the largest in United States history. Nolting worked on the case from its inception in 1989 until the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 which ended the case.
Starting in 2010, Nolting led the Faegre Baker Daniels team representing more than 1,500 commercial fishermen and businesses following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst spill in U.S. history. His clients included shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers, and finfishers across the Gulf, and also included a large number of first-generation Vietnamese immigrants. Nolting's tireless efforts were instrumental in achieving the epic $7.8 billion global settlement.
Nolting was an outstanding, hard-working lawyer who contributed significantly to the success of the litigation practice and the firm as a whole. Even as he litigated the high-profile Exxon and BP cases, he maintained a full docket of litigation for other clients. While specializing in environmental claims, he also litigated commercial, product liability, antitrust and trade secret disputes. He was also a valuable resource and mentor to the firm's lawyers and staff.
In July 2012, Nolting was recognized as a Top Rated Lawyer: Commercial Litigation by The American Lawyer magazine.
Colleagues and clients remember Nolting for his sharp mind, uncommon persistence and endurance in confronting obstacles, unfailing devotion to his clients, and his passion for work and life. He was devoted to his wife, Elissa Mautner, and their two daughters, Annie and Maggie, who survive him. Nolting graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin School of Law in 1980, where he was an editor of the law review. He received his bachelor's degree magna cum laude in 1977 from the University of Vermont.
A memorial service will be scheduled soon. Memorials preferred to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.