Julian Zebot focuses his legal practice on probate, fiduciary, and trust litigation as well as business and commercial litigation. He has counseled and represented individual and business clients in both federal and state courts as well as arbitration proceedings, and he has handled matters for clients at all stages of the litigation process, including mediation, trials, and appeals.
Julian's probate, fiduciary, and trust litigation practice has involved many different types of contested estate, trust, probate, and elder law matters, including will/trust contests (including claims of undue influence and diminished capacity), construction/interpretation disputes, accounting actions, breach of fiduciary duty claims, fiduciary removal actions, trust instruction proceedings, financial elder abuse claims, and creditor claims against estates. He has also developed a niche practice representing and counseling parties involved in complicated multi-jurisdictional trust litigation, often involving parallel lawsuits in different states, and has familiarity with associated trust situs, venue, and jurisdictional issues. Within his practice, Julian has represented both institutions and individuals in a variety of contexts, including corporate and individual trustees, personal representatives, attorneys-in-fact, beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors.
With respect to his business and commercial litigation practice, Julian has broad experience litigating and resolving claims of unfair business practices and competition, including breach of contract claims, business torts, breach of restrictive covenant claims, ownership disputes, litigation under the Minnesota Termination of Sales Representatives Act ("MTSRA"), Lanham Act claims, class actions, and other complex commercial litigation, including litigation involving financial service businesses, manufacturers, companies with sales forces, and family and other closely held companies.
When not litigating and resolving disputes, Julian is a frequent author and speaker on topics relating to probate, fiduciary, and trust litigation, fiduciary risk management, and professional ethics. Among other board and bar committee responsibilities, he is a member of the litigation committee of the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association and serves as Vice Chair of the Ethics and Malpractice Committee of the ABA's Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section. Julian is recognized on the 2018 Minnesota Super Lawyers® list, and he was on the Minnesota Rising Stars list from 2010-2-17.
- Currently represents the former special administrator of the estate of an iconic musician with respect to the client's discharge from liability.
- Represented heirs and beneficiaries in trust contest proceeding and successfully negotiated a stipulation staying litigation in favor of a parallel lawsuit pending in a different jurisdiction.
- Represented individual client in litigation surrounding the proceeds of the client's father's estate and obtained a jury verdict in favor of the client.
- Represented an individual partner in a lawsuit regarding a failed real estate development and helped to obtain voluntary dismissal of claims against the client.
- Represented, as part of a team of attorneys, a Fortune 500 manufacturer in a putative environmental liability/mass tort class action lawsuit and helped to obtain a defense jury verdict.
- Represented, as part of a team of attorneys, an officer and director of a wind energy development company in litigation regarding acquisition of the company and assisted in obtaining a favorable resolution for the client.
- Represented individual guarantors in litigation regarding defaulted loan obligation and helped to obtain a favorable resolution for the clients.
- Represented watch manufacturer in litigation regarding termination of its sales representative firm and obtained a favorable resolution for the client.
- Represented, as part of a team of attorneys, an LLC pursuing breach of fiduciary duty and negligence claims on behalf of investors in a futures hedge fund against the fund's former manager and helped to obtain a favorable resolution for the client.
- Represented a bank in litigation involving a mortgage repurchase agreement and helped to negotiate dismissal of claims against the client.
- Represented, as part of a team of attorneys, a bank in securities lending litigation and served as appellate counsel during trial.
- Represented income beneficiaries in litigation relating to charitable remainder unitrusts and helped to obtain a favorable order deferring decision on the merits to pending litigation in a different jurisdiction.
- Represented a publicly traded manufacturer in arbitration stemming from its former sales representative firm's termination of the contract between the parties and helped to negotiate a favorable resolution.
- Represented a bank/corporate trustee in litigation relating to a family trust's plan of distribution and obtained court approval of the plan by way of a negotiated settlement.
- Represented a bank/corporate trustee in litigation involving multimillion-dollar claims relating to the investment of the trust's portfolio and successfully obtained the client's full and complete discharge from liability.
- Represented a medical device manufacturer and its sales representative in unfair competition litigation involving a competitor.
- Represented a manufacturer in a natural resources damages lawsuit brought by the State of Minnesota.
- Represented a multi-national marketing company in a breach of contract and tortious interference with contract dispute with a former vendor and a former employee; case settled after successful negotiation.
- Represented the officers and directors of an online brokerage service in a putative securities class action lawsuit and won dismissal of all the claims.
- Represented, as part of a team of attorneys, a non-controlling shareholder in a closely held medical device company in squeeze-out litigation and helped to obtain a favorable resolution for the client.
- Thulin v. Thulin, 2018 WL 256735 (Minn. Ct. App. Jan. 2, 2018).
- Larkin v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2014 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1077 (Minn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2014).
- Larkin v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 927 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2012).
- Paulson et al. v. 3M Company, C2-04-6309 (Washington County District Court, Minnesota). Defeated motion seeking class certification of a 67,000 member putative class claiming chemical exposure via drinking water contamination (2007) and obtained a defense verdict on the merits after a seven-week jury trial (2009).
- Cargill, Inc. v. JWH Special Circumstance LLC, 959 A.2d 1096 (Del. Ch. 2008).
- Lietz v. Northern States Power Co., 718 N.W.2d 865 (Minn. 2006).
- Vohs v. Miller, et. al., 2004 WL 1490177 (D. Minn. July 1, 2004).
- Ex parte Armstrong (Tex. Crim. App. 2017). Member of team of Maslon lawyers serving as pro bono counsel for Douglas Tyrone Armstrong, a Texas death row inmate convicted of capital murder in 2006. The team successfully secured the vacation of Armstrong's death sentence by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2018
Light of Justice Award, Texas Defender Service, 2018
Recognized on Minnesota Super Lawyers® list, 2018 (Minnesota Super Lawyers® is a designation given to only 5 percent of Minnesota attorneys each year, based on a selection process that includes the recommendation of peers in the legal profession.)
Recognized on Minnesota Rising Stars list as part of the Super Lawyers® selection process, 2008, 2010-2017 (Minnesota Rising Stars is a designation given to only 2.5 percent of Minnesota attorneys each year, based on a selection process that includes the recommendation of peers in the legal profession.)
North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2013-2017 (North Star Lawyer is a designation that recognizes members who provide 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services in a calendar year.)
Pro Bono Award, for commitment to pro bono service, Maslon LLP, 2014