Governor Mark Dayton Reappoints Jerry W. Blackwell to the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has announced his reappointment of At-Large Attorney Member Jerry W. Blackwell to the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection.  The Commission was created for the purpose of soliciting judicial candidates, evaluating applicants and recommending nominees to the Governor for appointment.

The Commission is committed to providing equal access to the judicial selection process for all interested individuals and is governed by 2011 Minnesota Statutes 480B.01

Mr. Blackwell is the founding partner, CEO and Chairman of Blackwell Burke P.A.  He serves as national and trial counsel for several major corporations.  He is an experienced trial lawyer with nationwide experience defending class actions, commercial, products liability, and other complex cases. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and his firm was named a 2014 “Best Law Firm in Minnesota” by U.S. News & World Report. Mr. Blackwell is a founder of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL). He has been named a Minnesota Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, a BTI Client Service MVP, and a BTI Client Service All-Star. He was a 2014 recipient of the National Bar Association Cora T. Walker Award for leadership; has received the Minnesota Minority Business Owner of the Year Award (2008); his law firm was named “Business of the Year” by the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce in 2014; and the firm also received the General Mills Supplier Diversity “Excellence in Service” Award (2013).

Blackwell Burke P.A., a 13-attorney firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serves as national trial and litigation counsel for several Fortune 500 companies.  The firm has extensive experience in class action defense, commercial litigation, food industry defense, labor and employment, and products liability.  The firm has represented corporate clients in practically every jurisdiction in the country, as well as foreign countries.

For more information about Mr. Blackwell or Blackwell Burke P.A., please contact Kandy Branch at 612-343-3235.

Partner S. Jamal Faleel Named a 2015 LCLD Fellow

Blackwell Burke P.A. Partner S. Jamal Faleel has been selected as a Fellow of the 2015 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). Mr. Faleel joins this prestigious group of more than 220 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are personally committed to creating a truly diverse legal profession. The purpose of the landmark Fellows Program created by the LCLD is to identify, train, and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession.

According to LCLD President Robert J. Grey, Jr., the LCLD Fellows Program offers participants “an extraordinary rich year of relationship-building, virtual and in-person training, peer-group projects, and extensive contact with LCLD’s top leadership.”

The LCLD Fellows Program, which has trained more than 600 mid-career attorneys since 2011, is one of LCLD’s most important initiatives. Other programs include a national mentoring initiative serving mentors and mentees, a 1L Scholars program involving more than 200 first-year law students, and programming for members through CLE presentations and other platforms.

Mr. Faleel represents Fortune 500 companies and businesses in complex, high-stakes litigation, including products liability defense, class action defense, and commercial litigation matters. Mr. Faleel currently serves as national counsel for a Fortune 500 company in its products liability litigation, defending the company in state and federal courts across the United States. He recently helped secure a defense victory on behalf of a Fortune 500 company in a high-profile shareholder derivative litigation lawsuit relating to a proposed inversion merger. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the matter after the court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunctive relief and found that the Plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their claims. Mr. Faleel is a member of the Hennepin County Bench and Bar Committee and the Hennepin County Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He also serves as a trustee of a local non-profit educational institution.

For more information about Blackwell Burke P.A. or Mr. Faleel, please contact Kandy Branch at 612-343-3235. To see more about the LCLD, visit

Brendan M. Kenny Discusses Product Liability Trials to Watch in 2015

Law360 interviewed Blackwell Burke P.A. attorney Brendan M. Kenny for a recent article discussing product liability trials that court watchers will be following in 2015.  Mr. Kenny identified bellwether trials in pelvic mesh litigation and in tobacco suits spawned by the decertified Engle class. Mr. Kenny explained that pelvic mesh cases involve sympathetic plaintiffs alleging serious injuries affecting the most intimate aspects of their lives. He also noted that the next Engle progeny trial addresses the tobacco defendants’ request that the judge recuse himself from the trial because his wife had died from emphysema after smoking cigarettes manufactured by one of the defendants. The full article is available to Law360 subscribers here.

 Brendan M. Kenny is the founder of the Twin Cities E-Discovery Forum and a member of the Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program’s National Outreach Committee. He was named an “Up & Coming Attorney” by Minnesota Lawyer in 2013 and a Super Lawyers® Rising Star in 2014. These recognitions highlight those lawyers within their first 10 years of practice who have already distinguished themselves by their achievements.  Before joining Blackwell Burke P.A., Mr. Kenny was a Deputy Attorney General in the California Attorney General’s Office in San Francisco where he gained first-chair trial experience. Since joining Blackwell Burke, Mr. Kenny has focused his practice on toxic tort, products liability, and other complex litigation.

 Blackwell Burke P.A., a litigation and trial boutique in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serves as national trial and litigation counsel for numerous Fortune 500 companies.  The firm is ranked as ‘highly recommended’ by Benchmark Litigation and honored as a “Go-To Law Firm” for the Top 500 Companies by Corporate Counsel magazine.  The firm has represented corporate clients in practically every jurisdiction in the country, as well as several foreign countries.

 For more information about Blackwell Burke P.A. or Mr. Kenny, please contact Kandy Branch at 612-343-3235.