[UPDATE #2: (Sept. 2010) Third-party Maslon Borman Edelman & Brand is apparently out of the case.]
[UPDATE: (July, 2010) Originally commented on in early June in light of the apparent secrecy of the case, this case was “all sealed up” but now somewhat less so in light of last week’s order by U.S. Mag. Judge Janie Mayeron (D. Minn.). Plaintiff has now filed redacted unsealed pleadings here. Defendants and third-party defendants’ “Joint and Several Answer” is here. The allegations, in a nutshell, are that Afremov counsel in underlying litigation encouraged Afremov to amend his tax returns to help the strategy in the underlying litigation but the allegedly recommended amendments also appear to have resulted in Afremov’s criminal liability for tax evasion (to which he pled guilty). Afremov alleges that his lawyers in the underlying action spearheaded this rather risky strategy; they, in turn, appear to take the position that the confessed tax evader tricked them and that he was not misled (or badly advised) by them.]
[Original Post:] Michael Afremov has been in litigation for several years now related to AGA Medical, in which he was one of three founding shareholders and directors.
As can happen over time in hotly disputed litigation, advocates have morphed into parties as Afremov (now represented by Geoff Jarpe and others at Winthrop & Weinstine) has turned his sights on his former lawyers at the New England firm of Sulloway & Hollis, which, in turn, has recently dragged in former Minnesota counsel for Afremov, the Maslon firm.
But unfortunately for the media or those interested in news and developments in Minnesota civil litigation, until recently, the current litigation pending in U.S. District Court before U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Schiltz and Mag. Judge Janie Mayeron had been all sealed up. What gets sealed? What does not? Why was this case? The Federal Judicial Center issued a study on the subject in 2009.