I believe in our country’s dispute resolution systems. My passion lies in mastering those systems, thinking critically about the avenues of relief they offer, and operating strategically within them to obtain optimal outcomes for my clients. Keeping in mind each client’s distinct business, goals, and risks, I engineer strategies that meet the complexities of every case.
Patrick “Gus” Cochran is an associate at Ciresi Conlin, where his practice focuses on complex commercial and intellectual property litigation. Gus’s casework spans state and federal courts across the country in cases commonly including allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary business information or technology, breach of contract, fraud, and other business torts. Additionally, Gus has lead counsel experience, managing all facets of litigation for businesses and individuals asserting claims of breach of contract, consumer fraud, violations of Minnesota’s Termination of Sales Representative Act, Minn. Stat. § 325E.37, and material nondisclosure in connection with real estate transactions.
Prior to joining the firm, Gus completed a two-year clerkship with Judge Eric C. Tostrud of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Before that, Gus practiced in the business litigation group of an Am Law 50 law firm.
Gus graduated salutatorian from Mitchell Hamline School of Law. During law school, he clerked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, logged more than 1,000 appearances in felony court as a certified student attorney for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, and externed for U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson. Working with Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners, Gus advanced the rights of indigent clients in a variety of civil lawsuits, and he assisted pro se parties with criminal expungements, eviction expungements, and marital dissolution as a volunteer with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. Gus also served as Assistant Editor on the Mitchell Hamline Law Review and Policy Editor on the Law Journal of Public Policy & Practice. Before law school, Gus earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Loras College.
Defended leading manufacturer of yearbooks, class rings, and school regalia in federal lawsuit by a competitor seeking “tens of millions of dollars” in damages after 21 independent sales representatives left the competitor to do business with the client manufacturer. The competitor asserted claims of trade secret misappropriation; violations of Minnesota’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act (MDTPA); tortious interference with the sales representatives’ non-compete, non-solicit, and confidentiality covenants; and tortious interference with the competitor’s prospective business relations with more than two thousand customer schools. Successfully obtained dismissal on a motion to dismiss of the MDTPA claim. Later achieved favorable outcomes in voluminous discovery motion practice, and obtained orders requiring the competitor to identify its trade secrets with heightened particularity and to identify all documents comprising its alleged trade secrets. The case resolved with a mediated settlement near the completion of document discovery.
Defended public health insurance company against claims of securities fraud by shareholders of formerly acquired health tech company. Filed motion to dismiss invoking contractual forum-selection clause, prompting plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss all claims.
Lead counsel on behalf of sales representative company asserting claims for violations of Minnesota’s Termination of Sales Representative Act, breach of contract, and tortious interference with contract against global manufacturer of water filtration products. Case resolved with settlement in early stages of discovery.
Lead counsel on behalf of arbitration claimant asserting claims of fraud, consumer fraud, and material nondisclosure under Minn. Stat. § 513.57 in connection with real estate transaction. Case resolved with pre-hearing settlement.
Defended healthcare NGO against claims of retaliation by whistleblower under the False Claims Act. Case resolved with a settlement near the completion of document discovery.
Defended franchisor of international chain of fitness clubs against claims by association of current and former franchisees in connection with third-party ransomware attack.
Represented franchisor of national restaurant chain in asserting claims against franchisees for breaching franchise agreements spanning sixteen restaurants.
Obtained summary judgment and permanent injunctive relief on behalf of plaintiff challenging Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s requirement that she register as a predatory offender. Court found BCA’s application of registration statute violated Minnesota’s statutory presumption against retroactive application of laws.
Experienced as lead counsel for tenants in rent escrow actions and criminal-expungement petitioners.
Harry A. Sieben Award, Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter (2019)
North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association (2019, 2020)
Recent Community/Professional Service
Working Group Member (Trade Secrets), Sedona Conference
Member, Warren E. Burger Inn of Court
Member Representative, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice
Volunteer & Member of Curriculum Committee, Court Camp (FBA of Minnesota)