University of Washington School of Law, J.D., 1997
University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1994
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
- Honorable Donovan W. Frank, U.S. District Court, St. Paul, Minnesota
Julie Firestone is a member of the Business Litigation section and the Financial Markets group. Julie practices primarily in the following areas:
- Complex commercial disputes and class actions
- Securities litigation and arbitration
- SEC and FINRA regulatory investigation and enforcement
- Shareholder and partnership disputes
Julie is co-chair of the ABA Securities Litigation Committee.
Julie represents corporations, investment firms, broker-dealers, insurance companies, issuers of securities, registered representatives and insurance agents in class actions, regulatory proceedings and other adversary matters. Julie’s litigation practice includes representing clients in securities litigation, shareholder derivative actions, and closely-held corporate disputes. She also focuses on regulatory compliance and customer complaints. Julie’s legal experience includes matters involving securities fraud, breach of contract, common law fraud, RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, suitability, selling away and unauthorized trading.
Significant cases resolved by Julie include:
- Represented insurance company in nationwide class action alleging a fraudulent scheme and RICO enterprise in the issuance of IUL policies.
- Defended registered representative in FINRA arbitration involving claims of breach of a joint venture, resulting in zero award.
- Represented pharmaceutical company in nationwide "stock drop" class action involving alleged false and misleading financial statements.
- Arbitrations in which the arbitration panel granted summary dismissal of all claims, including fraud and securities laws violations, against the broker-dealer on statute of limitations grounds.
- Action by the Department of Commerce against an insurance agent, alleging that the agent demonstrated untrustworthiness, financial irresponsibility and incompetence, in which the Department sought revocation of agent’s license; after evidentiary hearing, Commissioner ruled that no discipline be imposed on the agent.
- FINRA investigation of a registered representative, in which FINRA sought a suspension and fine, which concluded with a mere letter of caution and no suspension or fine.
- Partnership dispute before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) on behalf of the claimant with no signed partnership agreement, which resulted in a six-figure award for the claimant.
- FINRA arbitration on behalf of the broker-dealer against a former registered representative, in which the arbitration panel issued an award against the representative for all losses incurred by the broker-dealer arising out of the representative’s selling away activities, including recovery of all attorneys’ fees.
Julie also provides pro bono representation to disadvantaged and disabled persons who have been denied government services or been victimized in business disputes and to refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Julie has argued cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals.
Honors & Awards
- Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2014
- Minnesota Rising Star, Minnesota Super Lawyers
- Defended insurance company in putative class action in which plaintiff alleged insurance company and its affiliates committed RICO conspiracy to falsely report their “shadow insurance” transactions to inflate the insurance company’s financial condition. Obtained dismissal with prejudice on motion to dismiss before the district court, which held that claims were preempted by the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Dismissal was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice on statute of limitations grounds of claims that insurance company committed fraud and deceptive practices involving the churning of annuities, and successfully defended the dismissal on appeal before the Tenth Circuit.
- Defended an insurance company in an action brought by the Minnesota Attorney General alleging that the sale of deferred annuities to seniors and other suspect classes was deceptive, violated consumer protection statues and the sales were not suitable.
- Defended insurance company in actions brought in various different jurisdictions by individuals who failed to opt out of a class action. All of the actions were dismissed on Motion.
- Lead counsel in the revision of an insurance manufacturer's revision of its suitability systems to comply with newly published and adopted regulations.
- Represented an insurance company in an investigation by a state insurance commissioner, based upon a customer complaint regarding the sale of an equity-indexed universal life policy.
- Represented broker-dealer in the successful defense of a class action, bankruptcy clawback and 250 arbitrations brought in Michigan arising out of a massive Ponzi scheme.
- Represented insurance company in the successful defense and resolution of a class action comprised of 76,000 elderly customers who held $21 billion of fixed deferred annuities brought against the manufacturer and distributor of the annuities.
- Represented insurance company in the successful dismissal and settlement of an action brought in Mississippi federal and state court involving alleged forgery by the insurance company's agent to obtain insurance proceeds.
- Represented issure of securities in the successful defense of a class action securities claim brought against a publicly traded company, its principals and its largest shareholder.
Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
ABA Securities Litigation Committee, Co-chair (August 2017- Present)
ABA Securities Litigation Committee, Membership Subcommittee, Co-chair (2015-2017)
ABA Securities Litigation Committee, Securities Arbitration Subcommittee, Co-chair (2013-2015)
SEC Enforcement Subcommittee, Co-chair (2010-2013)
Washington State Bar Association, Member
- July 26, 2017
- Briggs and Morgan and Industry Professionals Discuss the DOL Fiduciary/Conflict of Interest Rule (Fiduciary Duty Rule) and Related Prohibited Transaction ExemptionsNovember 7, 2016
- March 7, 2016
- March 30, 2015
- December 22, 2014
- June 18, 2014
- May 2, 2014
- July 18, 2011
- December 15, 2008
- December 11, 2007
- April 20, 2017
- The DOL Fiduciary Duty Rule Forum, Briggs and MorganOctober 31, 2016