Nicholas J. Bullard
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
- 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
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Honorable James B. Loken, 2015-2016
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
News & Press Mentions
Events & Speaking Engagements
- 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)
Industries & Practices
Healthcare & Life SciencesExplore This Practice View client achievements related to this practice View resources related to this practice
- Commercial Litigation
- ERISA Litigation
- Healthcare & Life Sciences
- Healthcare Litigation
Professional & Civic
- 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