Bill Pentelovitch, partner in Maslon's Litigation Group, is featured in the cover article "The Greater Good: Bill Pentelovitch has been pushing Minnesota forward for nearly a half century" for the 2019 edition of Minnesota Super Lawyers Magazine, which includes the noteworthy stories of selected attorneys recognized as 2019 Super Lawyers list. The article highlights Bill's 45-year legal career at Maslon—from early inspirations to pivotal moments throughout his life, with a focus on several key pro bono and business litigation matters.
Noting that Bill “has built one of the state's most prominent business litigation practices,” the article recounts numerous high-stakes achievements for clients including a $200 million patent royalty dispute brought against Medtronic for which Bill was able to get all claims dismissed via summary judgement. Medtronic In-house attorney, Chad Hanson, offered, "Bill always finds a path to the endgame….he's one of the best on his feet in front of a judge. He'll know the record and keep his cool when he's getting grilled."
Amidst his thriving private practice, the article credits Bill’s longstanding commitment to the “greater good” through his attention to handling cases that have had a significant impact on civil liberties issues including racial equality and reproductive rights. Several of Bill's key civil-rights-focused cases at Maslon are featured, including a historic desegregation case in 1978—Booker v. Special School District No. 1—where he worked alongside former Maslon partner Chad Quaintance in representing the plaintiffs, successfully arguing that the Minneapolis School District was "intentionally segregating schools to the detriment of all school children." Bill shared, "That case set me on the course of working on cases that had some social significance."
"Bill is the amazing trial lawyer every client should want protecting their interests in high-stakes litigation," says Haley Schaffer, a former Maslon attorney who is now senior counsel at 3M. "He is also a remarkable person who dedicates a tremendous amount of time to his community and pro bono clients. I am very lucky to have had Bill as a mentor and colleague."
The magazine details several additional cases of impact, including representation of Planned Parenthood to challenge a Minnesota statute requiring parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion, negotiation with "civic authorities on behalf of protestors at the 2008 Republican National Convention," and pro bono representation in 2012 of a coalition "challenging a proposed constitutional amendment that would requires Minnesota voters to present valid, state-issued IDs at the ballot box."
In closing, a statement is shared from Paul Anderson, a former Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court: "I always appreciated attorneys like Bill because they make the system work. He doesn’t mind taking some unpopular cases to show how the rule of law is supposed to work in a democratic society."
Bill has spent his entire 45 year legal career at Maslon, trying hundreds of jury, bench, and arbitration trials, as well as many dozens of appeals in state and federal courts. For over three decades, he has practiced nationally in the areas of non-compete, trade secret, unfair competition, intellectual property licensing, royalty, and distribution disputes. Bill also has an extensive practice in the area of ownership and governance disputes in closely-held corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships.
In addition to his primary areas of concentration, Bill's wide-ranging trial practice has encompassed virtually every type of dispute in which businesses can become embroiled. He has represented a wide variety of financial institutions, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing companies, real estate and construction companies, and professional service firms in breach of contract, business tort, and statutory liability cases.
Bill previously served as board chair of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota Foundation as well as a member of the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, of which he is the immediate past board chair. Through the ACLU-MN, he has provided significant pro bono representation with particular focus on voting and civil rights matters. Bill is also a former member of the boards and executive committees of the Sabes Jewish Community Center and the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.
To read the full article on Bill Pentelovitch, go to: "The Greater Good: Bill Pentelovitch has been pushing Minnesota forward for nearly a half century."