Brian Toder's thirty-year trial practice has focused on business litigation, numerous national class actions where he has served as co-lead counsel, federal criminal defense cases highlighted by three consecutive jury trials resulting in acquittals, and maritime law cases where he brings to his practice his experience as a former ship's master.
Several of his high profile cases have caused significant changes in Minnesota and national law, including Jensen v. Walsh which established the right to punitive damages in cases involving only damage to property; and Capital Records v. Jammie Thomas, the first of more than 25,000 downloading, copyright infringement cases that went to trial and established that simply making copyrighted works available does not constitute an act of infringement.
For his efforts, Brian has been perennially recognized as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters, most years for civil litigation and white collar criminal defense, but more recently he was the only maritime lawyer in the state recognized as a Super Lawyer in that practice area. For his role on the plaintiffs' federal trial team in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation, Brian was a co-recipient of the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice's "1995 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award." For 20 consecutive years he has been rated AV by Martindale-Hubble, its highest rating.
Brian served as a member of the Operations Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association and as co-chairman of its 2007 state convention. Locally, he has completed his third term as a member of the District II Ethics Committee and nationally, he sits on the Committee on Regulation of Vessel Operations of the Maritime Law Association of the United States where he holds Proctor certification.
Active in the community, Brian’s service includes membership on the Board of Directors of the History Theatre in St. Paul where he also served as its vice president. In the Port of Duluth, Minnesota Brian is a member of the Duluth chapter of the Propeller Club of the United States.
A private pilot and skydiver, he is a member of Lawyer-Pilot's Bar Association and the United States Parachute Association.