Carolyn Anderson is Co-Chair of the firm’s Public Client & AG practice and leads the firm’s Securities & Financial Fraud practice groups. Carolyn has successfully represented small investors, institutional clients, and states in individual and nationwide consumer fraud, securities fraud, ERISA, and antitrust actions. She has served in a leadership role in obtaining numerous significant awards in both individual actions and multi-state actions. Carolyn has also successfully represented clients in individual and nation-wide litigation related to injuries from defective medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs.
Ongoing litigation highlights
- In the opioids litigation, Carolyn represents the State of Indiana and the State of Vermont in their opioid investigations and litigation related to pharmaceutical manufacturers, drug distributors, and pharmacies for their roles in the ongoing opioid crisis.
- Member of the Lead Counsel Committee in nationwide litigation involving CenturyLink customers alleging they were overcharged and billed for services they didn’t request or authorize.
- Class and Derivative Counsel on behalf of investors in the Morgan Keegan Open End Mutual Funds litigation. Involved in briefing, strategy, experts, discovery, and settlement: $125 million settlement reached after eight years of litigation, including resolution of claims against the auditor.
- Co-leading the legal team representing the State of New Mexico in its litigation against Visa and MasterCard, working with and reporting to the State in directing case strategy, working with experts, and serving as primary mediation counsel.
- Co-Lead Counsel and trial team member representing the City of Farmington Hills pension fund in its litigation relating to Wells Fargo’s securities lending program: $62.5 million settlement reached two days prior to trial was set to begin.
- Interim Co-Lead Counsel in an action pending in the District of Minnesota against fiduciaries of U.S. Bancorp Pension Plan for violations of ERISA.
- Leading the TVM (transvaginal mesh) litigation at the firm, representing hundreds of individual clients in the medical device litigation, including depositions, expert discovery, briefing, and litigation and settlement strategy.
- Representing a state attorney general’s office in an action brought by Google, regarding the legality and enforceability of a Civil Investigative Demand to Google issued by the Attorney General.
Working with a coalition of four Attorneys General and leading the legal team representing the State of Mississippi, asserting consumer fraud and antitrust claims in an action against LCD display manufacturers. During the course of litigation, the State’s claims were removed to federal court. The legal team successfully opposed this removal at the District Court and presented oral argument in a parallel MDL that resulted in a favorable order preserving the State’s claims. After Defendants’ successful appeal to the Fifth Circuit, the State petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court regarding a Circuit split on the removal standard. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Mississippi, reversing the Fifth Circuit’s decision and clarifying the standard for removal of state actions under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics, 134 S. Ct. 736 (2014).
Carolyn also led a legal team in a case brought by investors against American Express Financial Advisors, challenging that company’s practices and breaches of fiduciary duty with its investing customers. The case, brought under the Investment Advisor Act, resulted in a $100 million settlement. In prior representation, Carolyn represented large groups of investors with significant losses involving Merrill Lynch, AIG, and Lehman Brothers. Carolyn successfully represented Midwest farmers/shareholders who challenged an ethanol plant’s merger with Archer Daniels Midland; she was appointed Class Counsel in that matter. The case was resolved weeks prior to trial.
In addition to serving in positions of leadership in ongoing litigation, Carolyn represents pro bono one hundred faith-based not-for-profit organizations related to their losses from the $3.6 billion Petters Ponzi scheme. She was appointed by the federal judge to serve as Assistant Liquidating Trustee under the supervision of the Court and the Liquidating Trustee for assets being distributed to some of those investors. In United States v. Petters, No. 08-cv-05348 (D. Minn.), the Firm worked with the Department of Justice and the court-appointed receiver, to successfully recover and distribute millions of dollars to these victims pursuant to a settlement with Petters’ financier, Frank Vennes.
Carolyn maintains strong ties with the National Association of Attorneys General, individual state Attorneys General, state pension fund officers, and other institutional investors. She is a frequent lecturer at colleges and law schools and has served as a legal education faculty member on the topics of complex litigation, legal ethics, and securities law.
Carolyn graduated from Trinity College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Psychology. She received her law degree cum laude from Hamline University School of Law where she was a Dean’s Scholar, received the Cali Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law, and served on Hamline Law Review, where her case note article was selected for publication. Carolyn also studied law at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel in course-work focusing on Law, Religion, & Ethics. Carolyn was previously honored as Rising Star of Law and, from 2014 to 2018, has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by her peers in Minnesota.
Carolyn is admitted to practice before, and is a member in good standing of, the Bar of the State of Minnesota, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, First Circuit, Fifth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to these courts, Carolyn works on cases with local counsel nationwide.
Presentations and/or Publications
- “Dealing with Complex Litigation: Handling Large Cases,” MILE Seminar
- “Understanding the Jury,” Hamline University School of Law
- “The Class Action Process,” University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Business
- “Class Action Litigation: Civility, Strategy and Propriety,” Hennepin County Bar Association
- “The Philosophy of Law,” Lecturer, Wheaton College
- “The Mortgage Meltdown & Class Actions: How Did We Get Here and What’s Next?” Federal Bar Association Seminar
- “The Unraveling of a Ponzi Scheme: A Minnesota Perspective,” 35th Annual Federal Court Practice Seminar
- “Three Courts Weigh in on AGs Authority to Retain Outside Counsel,” ABA State & Local Law News (Fall 2013)
- Public Justice
- American Association of Justice
- Democratic Attorneys General Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Super Lawyer 2014-2018
- Best Lawyers in America (Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions) 2019
In The News
- Bloomberg, “20 Leading Litigators Named to Bloomberg Law Litigation Innovation Board” (September 13, 2016)
- Law360, “AG Demands Docs In Google’s Piracy Probe Fight” (July 23, 2015)
- Law360, “Ex-Dolan Brass Withheld BofA Info, Investors Tell 8th Circ.” (July 10, 2015)
- Reuters, “Regions Financial reaches $125 million settlements over funds’ collapse” (January 23, 2015)
- Star Tribune, “$62.5 million settlement approved in Wells Fargo securities lending case” (August 19, 2014)
- Law360, “Wells Fargo To Pay $62M To Exit Investor Class Action” (May 29, 2014)
- Star Tribune, “Petters Co.: Many watchers, but no one watching” (November 16, 2008)
- J.D., Cum Laude, Hamline University School of Law (Member, Hamline Law Review)
- Law, Religion, & Ethics Studies, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel
- B.A., Cum Laude, Psychology, Trinity College