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Norman M. Abramson

Shareholder

Norman M. Abramson

Shareholder

Practice Groups

Intellectual Property Litigation, Trust and Estates Litigation

Industry Groups

Financial Services, Technology

Overview

With nearly 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer, Mr. Abramson focuses his practice on trust and estates litigation and intellectual property litigation.

Mr. Abramson has substantial experience in trial and appellate work in the areas of trust and estates litigation, fiduciary litigation, will contests and instrument validity disputes, advising trustees and other fiduciaries on duties and actions, account disputes, and other probate proceedings. He has been involved in several high profile trust and estates lawsuits in Minnesota, including the Pamela Andreas Stisser Trust and In re Williams Trust matters.

Mr. Abramson has also litigated a wide variety of trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, false advertising, patent, inventorship, and other intellectual property litigation. He regularly advises clients in building their brands and intellectual property portfolio as well as maintaining, protecting, and defending these assets.

Education & Admissions

Education

  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1993
  • Boston University, B.A., cum laude, 1990

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • Minnesota


Experience

Representative Cases

Trust and Estates Litigation
Successfully tried case on behalf of personal representative to construe will so that the terms “children” and “descendants” reflected testator’s intent to devise his estate to his step-children; In re Estate of Leonard Marihart (Big Stone Cty. Minn. 2014).

Successfully tried case to terminate a trust on behalf of surviving grandchild by petitioning that a claimed measuring life for the trust was ambiguous and violated the Rule Against Perpetuities and was therefore invalid; In re Trust of Lytton Shields (Ramsey Cty. Minn. 2014).

Matter involving the establishment of a constructive trust over real property deeded to one sister by donor for the disputed benefit three sisters; Lisa Snyder, et al. v. Heidi Freeman (Hennepin Cty. Minn. 2014).

Represented at trial and before Supreme Court trustee’s opposition to multi-million dollar claims by the personal representative of decedent’s estate; In Re Pamela Andreas Stisser Grantor Trust Under the Second Amendment and Restatement of Trust Agreement Dated June 6, 2001, No. A10-1646 (Minn. 2012).

Significant trial and appellate decisions on duties of trustee, damages for breach of trust and use of attorney/client privilege for lawyers representing trust; In re Williams Trust, 631 N.W.2d 398 (Minn. Ct. App. 2001); 2000 WL 1920038 (D. Minn. 2000) 591 N.W.2d 743 (Minn. Ct. App. 1999).

Intellectual Property Litigation
Copyright infringement matter involving photographs posted on website; BWP Media USA, Inc. v. Leighton Enters., Inc., No. 3:13-CV-620 (W.D. Wis. 2014).

Dispute involving the use of a copyrighted work in a television advertisement; Lucky Break Wishbone Corp. v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc., et al. (D. Minn. 2011).

Lead counsel in successful defense of trademark infringement and dilution claims brought by producers of Lord of Rings movies against travel agency that operates under the name Hobbit Travel; Saul Zaentz Co. v. Wozniak Travel, Inc., 627 F. Supp. 2d 1096 (N.D. Cal. 2008).

Lead counsel in opposing trade dress infringement claim based on the plaintiff’s registration of a color blue for ice fishing shelters; Clam Corp., Inc. v. Innovative Outdoor Solutions, Inc., 2008 WL 5244845, 89 U.S.P.Q.2d 1314 (D. Minn. 2008).

Represented plaintiff in gray market/counterfeiting unfair competition matter regarding auto parts sold under plaintiff’s trademark; Kia Motors America, Inc. v. Autoworks Distributing, 2009 WL 499543, 90 U.S.P.Q.2d 1598 (D. Minn. 2009).

Successfully prosecuted breach of contract claims and defended trademark infringement and cyber-squatting claims; Convey Compliance Systems, Inc. v. 1099 Pro., Inc., 443 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 2006).

Patent inventorship dispute; Stern v. Columbia University, 434 F.3d 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2006).

Represented plaintiff in business method patent infringement matter; Entegris, Inc. v. ReSource America, et al. (D. Minn. 2004).

Trial addressing successor liability and remedies for transferring trademarks post trial to avoid judgment creditors; Cieslukowski v. Norton Motorcycles, et al., 2002 WL 31045846 (D. Minn. 2002).

Significant case addressing misuse of trade dress, unfair competition, and false advertising; Heidi Ott v. Target, et al., 153 F. Supp. 2d 1055 (D. Minn. 2001).

Professional & Civic

Bar Associations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Minnesota Bar Association
    • Trust and Estates Litigation Subcommittee
    • Subcommittee on drafting Minnesota Trust Code, article 4 and decanting, member, 2013-2015
  • Ramsey County Bar Association
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association

Professional Associations

  • International Trademark

Civic Involvement

  • Cardozo Society
    • Executive Steering Committee, 2004-Present
    • Co-Programming Chair, 2004-2007
  • St. Paul Jewish Community Center
    • Board Member, 2000-2009
  • Temple Israel
    • Board Nominating Rules Committee, 2014-2015
    • Co-Chair, 5 Year Plan Subcommittee on Social Action/Justice

Accolades

Honors & Awards

  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2014-2017
  • Rising Star list, Minnesota Law & Politics, 2002-2007

Publications

  • Trusts and Conflict of Laws Problems, co-author with S. Gary, Bogert’s The Law of Trusts and Trustees, Ch. 16, 2014

Seminars

Trust and Estates Litigation

  • Legal Update: Payment of Fiduciary Attorneys’ Fees, presenter, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual, May 2018
  • The Estate Planning & Probate Trust Law 40 Cases Every Probate Lawyer Must Know Inside and Out, presenter, Minnesota CLE, September 2014 and February 2016
  • How An 18th Century Term of Art That ‘Really Means Nothing’ Led to Ten Years of Litigation: The Minnesota Supreme Court’s 2012 Decision on the Effect of General Directives to Pay Debts in Trust Instruments, presenter, August 2013

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Standing out in a Crowd and Introduction to Trademark Law, presenter, Carlson School of Business, University of Minnesota, 2002-2014