Recognitions – Fredrikson & Byron · Fredrikson

Children’s Law Center of Minnesota Honors Fredrikson & Byron with Distinguished Service Award

Fredrikson & Byron has been awarded the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from The Children’s Law Center of Minnesota (CLC)[1], an organization that promotes the rights and interests of Minnesota’s children in the judicial, child welfare, health care and education systems.

Click here[2] to view the press release.

Fredrikson & Byron is the First Private Law Firm to Receive the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award

Fredrikson & Byron has been recognized by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (LACDL) as a recipient of the 2018 Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award for the firm’s pro bono work relating to four death penalty cases in Louisiana. Fredrikson & Byron is the first private law firm to receive this award.

Click here[3] to view the press release.

Fredrikson & Byron Attorneys Recognized as North Star Lawyers

The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) recognized 58 Fredrikson & Byron attorneys as North Star Lawyers. North Star Lawyers are MSBA members who have provided 50 hours or more of pro bono service to low-income individuals or organizations that serve economically disadvantaged individuals during the 2018 calendar year.

Click here[4] to view press release.

Fredrikson & Byron Receives Neighborhood Development Center’s 2017 Inaugural Partner Award

Fredrikson & Byron received the inaugural Partner Award from the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC)[5], a nonprofit organization that works in communities throughout the Twin Cities to help emerging entrepreneurs develop successful businesses that revitalize their communities through neighborhood stabilization and job growth. Fredrikson was recognized for providing significant corporate pro bono legal assistance to NDC and its clients.

Click here[6] to view press release.

Fredrikson & Byron’s Pro Bono Team Honored with Global Citizenship Award Grand Prize

Fredrikson & Byron received the highest award for pro bono matters given by The American Lawyer.

Click here[7] to view press release.

Steven Kaplan Receives Minnesota Innocence Project’s 2015 Never Forgotten Award

Attorney Steven Kaplan (now retired) received the Minnesota Innocence Project’s Never Forgotten Award on October 8, 2015, for his tireless work in helping to free the wrongfully accused and convicted.

View Video[8]

Fredrikson & Byron Honored for Its Efforts in AmLaw’s Global Pro Bono Dispute of the Year

Fredrikson & Byron’s pro bono involvement with the Signal International Litigation was honored with eleven other law firms.

Click here[9] to view press release.

Two Fredrikson & Byron Pro Bono Teams Receive Minnesota Lawyer’s 2015 Attorneys of the Year Award

Attorneys from Fredrikson & Byron’s Signal Human Trafficking Team and the Larry Stigen Team were selected to receive the Minnesota Lawyer’s 2015 Attorney of the Year Award. Honorees were selected based on their leadership, involvement in major cases or other newsworthy events, excellence in corporate or transactional services, and public service. The nominations were submitted by judges, bar groups, clients and fellow attorneys. The honorees come from practice groups including criminal law, litigation, public service, intellectual property and in-house legal departments. Minnesota Lawyer will host its 16th Annual Attorney of the Year ceremony on February 18 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.

Click here[10] to view press release.

Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year

CassioppiAwardPlease join us in congratulating Joe Cassioppi[11], our Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year. Joe began volunteering with Children’s Law Center of Minnesota during his first few months as a new associate at Fredrikson & Byron. His first case was a tough one, involving a troubled young child who had been accused of inappropriately touching his foster sister. Like so many children who are brought up in abusive situations, Joe’s client had no way of knowing the behavior was not acceptable. Even at his young age, Joe’s client was charged with sexual misconduct, and faced a life labeled as a sexual predator. Undaunted, Joe began working with his client and the client’s public defender to fight the charges. Joe also worked with CLC staff and social workers to put a plan in place to assure that this child received necessary and appropriate guidance and counseling. Due to Joe’s involvement and continued mentoring, the client has thrived, was adopted and is now a successful young adult attending college. Since that first case, Joe has continued to represent children and vulnerable adults in difficult circumstances through Children’s Law Center and Volunteer Lawyers Network. Fredrikson & Byron is proud to recognize Joe’s dedication to providing pro bono legal services to the disadvantaged.

National Pro Bono Award for Death Row Defense Work

The American Bar Association (ABA) Death Penalty Representation Project (DPRP)[12] recently announced that Fredrikson & Byron is one of three law firms nationally that will be awarded its annual Exceptional Service Award at the Project’s 25th anniversary dinner in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011.

The award recognizes Fredrikson’s longstanding commitment of nearly 25 years to the representation of death-row inmates in Louisiana, according to Robin Maher, DPRP executive director. Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. has provided lawyers to assist death row prisoners in Louisiana, including the case of Dobie Gillis Williams, whose case was highlighted in the book by Sister Helen Prejean, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.

Click here[13] to view press release.

2010 Beacon of Justice Award

Fredrikson & Byron and our Immigration Group[14] received the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s[15] 2010 Beacon of Justice Award which honors law firms that have made a significant contribution to pro bono representation in the area of immigration law. Immigration lawyer Loan Huynh[16] accepted the award on behalf of Fredrikson & Byron at the organization’s annual dinner on October 6, 2010 in Washington DC. Many pro bono partner organizations, along with a client and a law student intern, wrote letters of support on behalf of the work performed by the group and other lawyers within the firm.

In communication to the firm announcing the choice of Fredrikson & Byron, the award review committee stated that they “were genuinely moved by the investment of time and legal representation that your law firm provided on a variety of the immigration issues to protect vulnerable clients. Congratulations, we are thrilled to acknowledge the depth and importance of your work with the legal aid and defender services community.

We congratulate all memberof the Immigration Group[17] on this well-deserved recognition.

Pat Kelly Received Lifetime Recognition Award

Pat Kelly[18] received a Lifetime Recognition Award from Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at the organization’s annual luncheon. Pat has been involved with the organization for many years, including serving as Board Chair for two extra years beyond his tenure, where he successfully chaired the Capital Campaign, and was involved in opening the Mexican Consulate’s office in St. Paul. Pat was also instrumental in the development of Linea Legal Latina, a collaboration between CLUES, Fredrikson & Byron, and Volunteer Lawyers Network that provides pro bono legal services to native Spanish speakers in their own language.

Nicole Moen

Nicole Moen Received Pro Bono Award

Nicole Moen[19] received the 2010 Pro Bono Publico Award: Private Sector. She was honored at the annual fundraiser for the Hennepin County Bar Association on March 9, 2010 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis.

Moen is a senior associate in Fredrikson & Byron’s Litigation Group. She represents clients in civil, regulatory, and white collar criminal matters. Her practice focuses on health litigation, white collar and regulatory defense, and business and commercial litigation. Moen is a member of the firm’s pro bono committee and represents clients in a number of pro bono matters. As part of her pro bono work, she volunteers at legal clinics, giving advice and brief service in the areas of consumer credit, housing, and family law. Moen has also represented a number of individuals in court, including securing custody for foster parents in a highly-emotional and strongly-contested adoption. Her work has also included assisting nonprofit organizations on issues as diverse as securing the right of churches to ban guns on their premises to upholding a voter referendum on instant runoff voting. In addition, Moen has for many years represented an Algerian citizen who was being detained at Guantanamo Bay. She traveled to Cuba numerous times for meetings with her client and—because of her fluency in French—served as both an attorney and translator. Her client was recently sent home to Algeria. Nicole is also frequent speaker about the unique legal issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay detention and has written an article about her experience representing a Guantanamo Bay detainee. She is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and clerked for the Honorable John R. Tunheim, United States District Judge of the District of Minnesota.

Jim Baillie, Fredrikson & Byron Attorney Jim Baillie

Jim Baillie Received David Graven Public Service Award

The Minnesota State Bar Association honored Jim Baillie[20] with one of its highest awards this spring when they selected him to receive the David Graven Public Service Award. The award is given annually by the Association and recognizes a member who exemplifies the high standards of the profession in combination with a commitment to public community service. The Association recognized Jim’s commitment to pro bono and the needs of low-income individuals, along with his service to the public through his leadership roles at Volunteer Lawyers Network, the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Hennepin County Bar Association, and numerous committees and sections of the American Bar Association. While serving those organizations, Jim developed many pro bono programs to service low-income individuals, including a model for the delivery of bankruptcy pro bono services that has been replicated across the country. Jim is a national leader and spokesman for pro bono who serves as an inspiration for others.

Associate Volunteer of the Year

Nicole Moen, Fredrikson & Byron Attorney Nicole Moen, Fredrikson & Byron Volunteer of the YearNicole Moen[21] has been a passionate advocate for individuals who face barriers to justice since she joined Fredrikson & Byron as a first-year associate in 2004. She has averaged more than 100 hours of pro bono each year. Throughout her career, Nicole has volunteered to attend clinics, where she gives advice and brief service in the areas of consumer credit, housing, and family law. Nicole has also represented a number of individuals in court. She has secured custody for foster parents in contested adoptions and cleared a consumer debt issue for a man who had his identity stolen. Nicole’s work has included assisting a number of nonprofits on issues as diverse as securing the rights of churches to ban guns on their premises, to upholding a voter referendum on Instant Runoff Voting. Most of Nicole’s work, however has revolved around the representation of an Algerian man detained at Guantanamo Bay. Nicole has worked tirelessly on his behalf, often translating his French for others, to make sure that he is assured his rights as set forth in our Constitution and is granted a fair trial on the charges brought against him. In connection this representation, she has traveled to Cuba on several occasions, argued motions before the U.S. District Court in Washignton, D.C., and worked with a team of prominent lawyers throughout the country who are representing other detainees. To date, Nicole has logged more than 1,000 hours ensuring that this client is granted due process under the law. Fredrikson & Byron is proud of Nicole and her work on behalf of the indigent.

2008 Beacon of Justice Award

Fredrikson & Byron was honored with the 2008 Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association. This award honors law firms that have provided significant pro bono representation to people on death row, specifically recognizing those firms whose commitment to pro bono death penalty representation goes above and beyond the norm. Fredrikson was one of 15 firms nationally to be so honored. Our commitment to working on death penalty cases goes back a number of years. A team led by Clint Cutler[22], Tom Fraser, and John Koneck[23] tirelessly represented Dobie Gillis Williams from 1987 through January 1999. Mr. Williams’ spiritual advisor, Sister Helen Prejean, highlighted this case in her book The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Steve Kaplan and Richard Kyle, co-counseling with the Capital Post-Conviction Center in Louisiana and Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo University of Law, currently represent Damon Thibodeaux, an innocent man who has been on death row in Louisiana since his conviction in 1997.

MEDA Volunteer of the Year

Fredrikson & Byron has a proud, strong history of working with the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA). Founded in 1971 by Fredrikson lawyer John Stout[24] and other community leaders, this organization works with entrepreneurs of color, providing invaluable business and legal assistance to help them foster community stability and growth. This year, two Fredrikson lawyers were recognized for their assistance to MEDA and one of its clients.

Lynn Gardin, Fredrikson & Byron Attorney Lynn GardinLynn Gardin has worked with MEDA for a number of years, beginning in 1995 when she drafted the original MEDA Bank Consortium agreements that allowed the sharing of risk between five banks and created a pool of millions of dollars in capital to finance MEDA clients. In 2007, Lynn began to redraft the agreements to meet new regulatory requirements. As MEDA Director George Jacobsen stated at the award luncheon: “With an efficient and no-nonsense approach to business, Lynn has been a reliable and wise sounding board, advisor and legal expert for MEDA for more than a decade. …She has been steadfast in her attention to detail and responsive to crafting documents upon which a half dozen attorneys could agree. We are so thankful for her commitment!”

Lynn continues to advise MEDA and give her time so that MEDA resources are maintained and protected to ensure their availability to future MEDA clients.

“The Multi-Bank Lending Consortium is a much-needed funding source, and it has been my pleasure to work with MEDA and the banks in connection with the Consortium.”

– Lynn Gardin

Phil GoldmanPhil Goldman has assisted many individuals and small businesses throughout his legal career, including many through MEDA. Jorge Mendoza came to MEDA with an idea on how to grow papayas more efficiently and with fewer chemicals. Jorge, who spoke little English, had received basic business training through the Neighborhood Development Center. He sought additional resources and technical assistance, including invaluable information on how to protect his idea, through MEDA. Phil, a lawyer in our intellectual property group, worked with him for more than a year to pursue a patent for Jorge’s unusual idea. With the assistance of MEDA consultant Edgardo Rodriguez, Jorge successfully filed a patent application (which is now pending) for his specialized agricultural methods. Phil also nominated Jorge for an inventor’s award, which was presented to Jorge at the 2007 Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association Authors and Inventors Award dinner.

When asked why he volunteers, Phil states that he is reminded of his own grandfather, who immigrated from Hungary in the early 20th century).

“My grandfather had nine kids and earned his living hauling ice. My aunt once uncovered a drawing he had made of preformed interlocking blocks—an idea before its time but much the same as the entire industry uses today. I can only wonder how his life might have been changed, and in turn, my father’s and even mine, had there been someone around to help him with even initial steps in progressing with his idea. Hopefully, Jorge’s life might change a bit because of his creative ideas, and his children and grand- children will not have to wonder.

– Phil Goldman

Fredrikson & Byron salutes both Lynn Gardin and Phil Goldman (now retired) for their commitment to provide pro bono legal services to MEDA and its clients.

Jim Dorsey, Fredrikson & Byron Attorney Jim Dorsey

Fredrikson & Byron’s Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award

Few lawyers have contributed more to the local and global community through public service and pro bono than Jim Dorsey[25]. As Chair of Fredrikson & Byron’s Pro Bono Committee for nearly 10 years, Jim helped shape the firm’s pro bono policies and programs through active participation and leadership. Jim was a co-founder and is a former officer and current board member of the Advocates for Human Rights; he has traveled to many countries to investigate human rights abuses, and he currently represents an Algerian detainee at Guantanamo Bay. Throughout Jim’s career he has worked diligently to uphold the rights of individuals—either through direct representation or by challenging unfair or unconstitutional laws. For example, Jim represented the NAACP in Hollman v. Cisneros, a major housing discrimination case that resulted in changing how a public housing program is run. But it is Jim’s consistent representation of low-income people that garners the respect of his colleagues and earns him this recognition. Jim has been a volunteer with Volunteer Lawyers Network for over 25 years, attending clinics to meet with individuals and representing them in court proceedings involving everything from debtor/creditor issues, traffic or drivers license issues, landlord/tenant issues, to administrative law hearings. He has been a Guardian ad Litem in Hennepin County, representing the best interests of children in child abuse and neglect hearings, and he advises and encourages newer lawyers on pro bono. Fredrikson & Byron is proud of Jim Dorsey’s accomplishments, dedication, and commitment to pro bono.

Pat Kelly, Fredrikson & Byron Attorney Pat Kelly, Comunidades Latinos Unios En Servicio

Pat Kelly Awarded the Community Builder of the Year Award

Pat Kelly[26] was awarded the Community Builder of the Year award from Comunidades Latinos Unidos En Servicio (CLUES) on December 20, 2007. This exceptional award is given only to individuals who serve with the utmost distinction and dedication to the organization, and is the highest award CLUES gives to an individual. Pat was recognized for his outstanding support and leadership, including his leadership relating to the opening of a new Mexican Consulate office in St. Paul, and the development of Linea Legal Latina, a legal hotline serving Spanish-speaking individuals.  Pat has served on the Board of CLUES since June 2000. He has served as Chair of the Facilities Committee and currently serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

Linea Legal Latina

Fredrikson & Byron Awarded and Recognized for Development of Linea Legal Latina

Fredrikson & Byron was also given an award and recognized for its leadership on the development and implementation of Linea Legal Latina, a legal hotline and clinic developed in collaboration with CLUES, Volunteer Lawyers Network and the Hispanic Bar. This unique program offers brief legal advice to Spanish-speakers who would not otherwise have access to the legal system. Additionally, the program serves as a referral source to appropriate organizations that can assist.

Fredrikson & Byron Received ABA National Public Service Award

Fredrikson & Byron was chosen to receive the American Bar Association Section of Business Law’s National Public Service Award. The National Public Service Award is presented annually to one individual and to one law firm or corporate legal department that have demonstrated a commitment to providing free legal services to the poor in a business context.

John Stout, Fredrikson & Byron Attorney John Stout, Champion of the Year MEDA

John Stout Received MEDA’s First-Ever “Champion of the Year” Award

John Stout[27] was honored with the first-ever “Champion of the Year” award by MEDA (Metropolitan Economic Development Association) at its Annual Recognition Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on June 13, 2006. The award recognized John’s 35 years of providing vision, direction, and support to minority entrepreneurs. In 1971 John, along with eight other local business people, co-founded MEDA to provide a business-focused response to increasing social unrest and barriers to full participation in America’s free enterprise system. John has served on the MEDA board of directors continuously since the founding of the organization, chaired the Board, and served on most committees, including the executive committee. In addition, John assisted MEDA and its then President, Esperanza Guerrero-Anderson, with the creation of the Milestone Growth Fund, which he chairs, and the establishment of the bank consortium behind MEDA’s loan program. In accepting his award, John recalled that: “In 1971, the vision was to help ethnic entrepreneurs gain access to, and participate in, the free enterprise system – and it is as relevant today as it was in 1971.” He also recognized the contributions of his assistant, Kristi Marchessault, who has interacted with the MEDA staff and assisted John with his MEDA service for 35 years, and thanked the leadership of Fredrikson for the firm’s steadfast support of MEDA from its inception.

John’s unwavering support has helped build strong leadership on the Board of Directors  and on the staff level. He has seen MEDA through the creation of the Pacesetter Program, the spin-off of Milestone Growth Fund and the establishment of the bank consortium behind the Loan Program. John believes the role MEDA plays in bringing ethnic minority businesses and corporations together is critical to our community.”

 – Yvonne Chung Ho


  1. ^ The Children’s Law Center of Minnesota (CLC) (
  2. ^ Click here (
  3. ^ Click here (
  4. ^ Click here (
  5. ^ Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) (
  6. ^ Click here (
  7. ^ Click here (
  8. ^ View Video (
  9. ^ Click here (
  10. ^ Click here (
  11. ^ Joe Cassioppi (
  12. ^ American Bar Association (ABA) Death Penalty Representation Project (DPRP) (
  13. ^ Click here (
  14. ^ Immigration Group (
  15. ^ National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s (
  16. ^ Loan Huynh (
  17. ^ Immigration Group (
  18. ^ Pat Kelly (
  19. ^ Nicole Moen (
  20. ^ Jim Baillie (
  21. ^ Nicole Moen (
  22. ^ Clint Cutler (
  23. ^ John Koneck (
  24. ^ John Stout (
  25. ^ Jim Dorsey (
  26. ^ Pat Kelly (
  27. ^ John Stout (

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