Andrew M. Carlson

Shareholder; Business Litigation

Andy is based in the firm’s Minneapolis office and represents businesses and governmental entities in litigation and regulatory proceedings in Minnesota and across the United States. He practices principally in the areas of:

  • Telecommunications
  • State tax litigation
  • Business litigation

Telecommunications

Andy represents telecommunications companies, particularly wireless carriers, on issues such as regulatory compliance and interconnection litigation. He has extensive experience with eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) proceedings, including representing clients seeking to be designated as ETCs and assisting clients in developing regulatory compliance programs for ETC compliance. Andy was also part of a team that secured victory for the nation’s largest wireless carrier in a case, litigated from federal district court to the U.S. Supreme Court, that presented the first test of state legislative authority over wireless rates and business practices.

His recent telecommunications experience includes:

  • representing a municipal electric utility in connection with pole attachment matters;
  • representing a wireless carrier in state interconnection arbitration proceedings following from the FCC’s 2011 Connect America Fund Order;
  • merger and regulatory proceedings before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission;
  • analysis of ADA requirements applicable to hospitality industry websites; and
  • compliance analysis and responding to claims relating to federal and state telemarketing and auto-dialing requirements. 

Andy is currently the treasurer, and past president, of the Communications Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Representative Cases
Ronan Tel. Co. v. Alltel Commc’ns, Inc., No. CV 06-99-MDWM (D. Mont. Feb. 2, 2007) (substantially granting motion to dismiss access tariff claims as preempted)

NPCR, Inc. v. Boyle, No. 4:04cv3236 (D. Neb. Dec. 5, 2006) (reversing state commission’s denial of ETC designation)

State Tax Litigation

Andy has represented Minnesota counties and cities, as well as banks and owners of commercial and multi-family property, in property tax litigation. His property tax experience includes several lengthy trials before the Minnesota Tax Court and in Minnesota District Court, as well as multiple proceedings before the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court, concerning the valuation of large agri-business special purpose properties. He also represents businesses in the Minnesota Tax Court on matters involving state sales and other taxes.

His recent tax litigation experience includes representing:

  • a Minnesota utility with regard to property tax assessment;
  • Fortune 1000 companies in Minnesota Tax Court proceedings relating to exemptions from Minnesota sales tax;
  • a Minnesota county in complex property tax litigation involving a major former industrial property; and
  • a Minnesota county in property tax litigation involving an ethanol facility.  

Representative Cases
In re Southern Minn. Beet Sugar Co-op, No. A10-255 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 21, 2010) (affirming district court’s valuation of agri-business facility)

Southern Minn. Beet Sugar Co-op v. County of Renville,

737 N.W.2d 545 (Minn. 2007), (affirming Tax Court’s determination that certain improvements were taxable real property and that agri-business facility was a "special purpose property")

Business Litigation

Andy has litigated a wide variety of business cases before federal and state courts. Recent business litigation experience includes:

  • representing Minnesota companies whose assets were damaged in Hurricane Sandy with regard to insurance coverage;
  • second-chairing a trial concerning a shareholder dispute and buyout that resulted not only in a victory, but an award of attorney’s fees for the client;
  • defending an asset-based lender against third-party claims arising from a debtor’s bankruptcy; and
  • litigating an auditing malpractice claim related to a Ponzi scheme.  

Andy is admitted to practice in all Minnesota state and federal courts and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has been admitted to practice pro hac vice before various federal courts, state courts and public utilities commissions. He is a member of the American Bar Association, as well as the Hennepin County and Minnesota State Bar associations. He is also active in the Minnesota High Tech Association.

Andy serves on Briggs’ Pro Bono Committee and is a former member of the board of directors of the Minnesota Justice Foundation. He provides pro bono services through the Children’s Law Center, including arguing and winning a decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals (In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of T.T.B.), reversing a district court order that closed the child’s juvenile protection case even though the child was still in need of services.

Andy received his B.A. from Carleton College, where he was a double major in English and music. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he graduated cum laude and was executive editor of the Minnesota Journal of Global Trade. Prior to joining Briggs, Andy was a law clerk for Judge Stephen C. Aldrich in Hennepin County District Court. Before that, he was a founder of and partner in Peppermint, a company providing Internet marketing and distribution for independent musicians. He joined Briggs in 2004.