Nicholas J. Bullard
PEOPLE

Nicholas J. Bullard

Partner
bullard.nick@dorsey.com

Overview

DEDICATED, EFFECTIVE, AND EFFICIENT—NICK HAS A TRACK RECORD OF DELIVERING CLIENTS COST-EFFECTIVE VICTORIES IN LITIGATION AND APPEALS.

In his very first case, Nick helped erase over $300 million in potential liability for a client—without the need for any costly discovery—in what was described as “a rare and arguably unprecedented victory” (Bloomberg BNA). Since then, Nick has built a record of securing similar cost-effective results for clients.

Nick’s practice focuses on three primary areas: (1) employee benefit and ERISA litigation, (2) healthcare-related litigation, and (3) appellate matters. In his ERISA practice, Nick represents plan fiduciaries, employers, insurers, and service providers on the full range of ERISA issues. In his healthcare practice, Nick provides comprehensive representation to hospitals and health systems, managed care organizations, pharmacy benefits managers, and health care technology companies. He also maintains a robust appellate practice.

Across his practice, Nick has a reputation for strong briefing and clear oral advocacy—with the power to persuade judges and juries. Nick’s recent successes include convincing a trial court to deny class certification in an ERISA action, obtaining a jury verdict on behalf of hospital system after a multi-week trial, and persuading a federal appellate court to affirm dismissal of a class action seeking $840 million in damages.

Outside the courtroom, Nick is a contributing author of the ABA Employee Benefits Law Treatise, the firm’s Supreme Court Updates, the Minnesota CLE Litigation Forms Deskbook, and the Media Libel Law 50-State Survey. He also writes on cutting-edge ERISA litigation issues, serving as the co-founder and manager of the firm’s ERISA Insights Blog.

 

Education & Admissions

University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 2015), summa cum laude; graduated first in class; Wisconsin Law Review; Order of the Coif

University of Wisconsin - Madison (B.A., 2012), with distinction

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Clerkships

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Honorable James B. Loken, 2015-2016

Experience

Representative Litigation

ERISA

  • Secured complete dismissal of ERISA class action against Fortune 50 company, alleging fiduciary mismanagement of $35 billion 401(k) plan.
  • Secured complete dismissal of ERISA class action against one of the nation’s largest employee-owned companies, alleging $840 million in losses from mismanagement of an employee stock option plan.
  • Defeated class certification in punitive class action of ERISA health plan participants against of the largest pharmacy benefit managers.
  • Successfully resolved numerous individual ERISA claims for benefits, including dismissal of claims under the Mental Health Parity Act.
  • Defended healthcare payors in payor-provider disputes involving ERISA claims and ERISA preemption.

Healthcare

  • Obtained jury verdict on behalf of hospital system after multi-week trial.
  • Defeated motion for preliminary injunction against hospital system, challenging sensitive internal policies.
  • Successfully resolved breach-of-contract actions on behalf of pharmacy benefit managers.

Appellate

  • Persuaded federal appellate court to affirm dismissal of bad faith insurance claim against a third-party administrator of healthcare plans.
  • Persuaded federal appellate court to affirm dismissal of defamation claims against media organization.
  • Persuaded state appellate court to uphold constitutionality of state utility statute.
  • Drafted amicus curiae brief that helped convince federal appellate court to affirm dismissal of complex ERISA case involving defined benefit plan.
  • Persuaded federal appellate court to affirm dismissal of an ERISA class action involving “stock drop” in employee stock option plan.
  • Persuaded the Minnesota Supreme Court to extend the “fair report privilege” to press reports of official statements by law enforcement agencies.

News & Resources

Articles

The Supreme Court Update - May 23, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - May 16, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - May 9, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - April 29, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - April 22, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - April 17, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - April 12, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - March 20, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - March 15, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - February 29, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - February 8, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - January 22, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - January 18, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - January 8, 2024
The Supreme Court Update - December 21, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - December 13, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - December 11, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - December 5, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - November 13, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - November 6, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - October 16, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - September 29, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - June 30, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - June 29, 2023
The Supreme Court Update - June 27, 2023

News & Press Mentions

Dorsey Partner Nick Bullard on the 9th Circuit AT&T Ruling
Supreme Court Update: Three Decisions From the Last Term that Impact Litigation Risks
Super Lawyers Recognizes 27 Dorsey Attorneys in Minneapolis
Amicus Brief Prepared by Dorsey & Whitney Team Highlighted During SCOTUS Argument
Dorsey Partner Nick Bullard Comments on High Court ERISA Decision on Excessive Fee Suits
Dorsey & Whitney Names 10 New Partners
Nick Bullard Featured in Minnesota Lawyer as Up & Coming Attorney
Dorsey Launches ERISA Insights Blog

Podcasts

Supreme Court Update: Three Decisions From the Last Term that Impact Litigation Risks

Legal Writings

  • Federal Courts Open the Gates to Minnesota Punitive-Damages Claims, Bench & Bar of Minnesota (July 5, 2023) (co-author, Luke Wetterstrom)
  • A Doctrine Adrift: Wisconsin’s Public Trust, 22 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 1 (2018)
  • Judicial Capacity and Executive Power, 102 Va. L. Rev. 765 (2016) (co-author, Andrew Coan)
  • Policing Executive Power, Daily Journal (2014)
  • Pushing the Reset Button on Wisconsin’s Governmental Immunity Doctrine, 2014 Wis. L. Rev. 801 (2014)
    • Cited by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Engelhardt v. City of New Berlin, 921 N.W.2d 714 (Wis. 2019) and Melchert v. Pro Elec. Contractors, 892 N.W.2d 710 (Wis. 2017)
  • Contributing Author, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Law, 2nd Ed. 
  • Contributing Author, Media Libel Law 50-State Survey (2018-2019)

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Co-Chair, Ethics Committee, ABA Subcommittee on Employee Benefits
  • Contributing author, ABA Employee Benefits Law Treatise
  • Contributing author, Minnesota CLE Litigation Forms Deskbook
  • Contributing author, Media Libel Law 50-State Survey
  • Contributing author, Dorsey & Whitney Supreme Court Updates
  • Manager, ERISA Insights Blog

Accolades

  • Named “Up and Coming Attorney” by Minnesota Lawyer©, 2022
  • Listed in “Minneapolis Ones to Watch” in Commercial Litigation by Best Lawyers®, 2023 and 2024
  • Listed as a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Super Lawyers©, 2023
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2017-2019
  • Graduated first in law school class
Nicholas J. Bullard