Two Former US Attorneys Join Robins Kaplan LLP


Two former U.S. attorneys have recently joined the national law firm Robins Kaplan LLP as partners in the firm’s Government and Internal Investigation Group.

Brendan Johnson, former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota, and Tim Purdon, former U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota will head the firm’s newest offices in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Bismarck, North Dakota according to a law firm press release. Both also join the firm’s Personal Injury Group, and Johnson will focus on commercial litigation.

Their focus will be on developing the firm’s work with American Indian tribes.

“We are thrilled to welcome Brendan and Tim to Robins Kaplan, and couldn’t envision two more qualified lawyers to expand our national internal investigations and white-collar crime capabilities, as well as our work on behalf of tribal communities,” said Martin Lueck, Chairman of Robins Kaplan’s Executive Board.

Johnson, South Dakota’s top federal prosecutor for five and a half years, has managed a broad range of cases including financial and healthcare fraud, public corruption, violent crime, narcotics, and trafficking according to the release. His work has drawn frequent praise – especially human trafficking cases where he received the 2014 Shared Hope International Pathbreaker of the Year Award. Under his watch, more than 30 men were prosecuted for criminal sex trafficking, resulting in more life sentences than any other federal district. In his time as South Dakota’s district attorney, Johnson helped increase prosecutions by more than 90 percent on the state’s largest reservations by developing a community prosecution strategy.

Purdon, who has been a U.S. attorney since August 2010, has handled a broad range of cases with a focus – much like Johnson – on combatting sex trafficking and violent crime. Purdon designed an anti-violence strategy for North Dakota Indian reservations that dramatically improved communications between the U.S. attorney’s office and tribes ultimately leading to an increase in reservation prosecutions district-wide by more than 80 percent. Purdon is also credited with designing the U.S.A.O.’s victim-centered strategy to counter the increasing threat of sex trafficking in North Dakota the release said.

Both men were nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to their respective state attorney’s offices. Prior to those positions with the Department of Justice they had been in private practice.

“As a longtime colleague and friend, I couldn’t be more excited to continue my partnership with Tim at Robins Kaplan,” said Johnson. “We look forward to bringing our experience to clients nationally, as well as in North Dakota and South Dakota.”

“Throughout my 20-year career as an attorney—both in private practice and as U.S. Attorney—I’ve worked hard to protect the people of North Dakota. The opportunity to continue that mission with the great attorneys at Robins Kaplan and with my close friend Brendan has me excited about the next chapter in my career,” added Purdon.

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