CONFLICT, DISPUTES, AND CHALLENGES 
ARE INEVITABLE.
We provide the strategic, outcome-driven
solutions you need.

ABOUT

Astute, practical counsel. It’s the foundation of every service The Cullen Group offers. Whether you run a business, law firm, or in-house legal department, we’ll help you tackle complex challenges and provide the strategic, outcome-driven solutions you need to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.

 

The common thread to Mary’s many successes is her people skills, patience, and ability to bring together multiple stakeholders with different and often strongly held views, including whether and how a dispute should be resolved in the first place. These allow her to navigate the complexities of the relationships and pave the way toward resolving difficult, high-risk disputes.

The common thread to Mary’s many successes is her people skills, patience, and ability to bring together multiple stakeholders with different and often strongly held views, including whether and how a dispute should be resolved in the first place. These allow her to navigate the complexities of the relationships and pave the way toward resolving difficult, high-risk disputes.

PROVEN,
PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE
PEOPLE
SKILLS PAVE
THE WAY

Founder Mary Cullen has extensive experience as a trial lawyer at a top-tier international law firm and as associate general counsel at a Fortune 100 science company, where she managed global litigation, dispute resolution, and enterprise risks. She has litigated, mediated, and arbitrated hundreds of client disputes; run big cases in multiple jurisdictions across the country and around the world; and managed teams and projects of all sizes.

SERVICES

Experience, preparation, vision.

The levers for getting you to your win.

 

In addition to direct representation, we provide:

  • Litigation portfolio evaluation and management

  • Legal operations projects

  • Value-based billing and negotiation

  • Special projects

  • General counsel and chief litigation counsel services

  • Mediation, arbitration, and serving as court-appointed special master

 

TEAM

MARY CULLEN

 

Mary is an experienced trial lawyer and a former partner at Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels) in Minneapolis, where she worked for 22 years.

 

During that time, she tried more than 25 cases, including federal and state jury and court trials, arbitrations, and administrative hearings. She has substantive experience in complex commercial litigation, employment, general contract and business torts, product liability, environmental law, personal injury, insurance, intellectual property, real estate and construction, mergers and acquisitions, technology, securities litigation, and affordable housing. She also has experience in class action litigation and multi-district litigation.

 

After leaving Faegre, Mary served as associate general counsel at 3M for seven years. She managed global enterprise risks and reputational exposure in connection with the highest-profile disputes, directed the defense and prosecution of complex legal actions, and oversaw direct outreach to federal and state regulators, NGOs, and other company stakeholders.

 

She also personally managed litigation, arbitrations, and disputes in jurisdictions across the United States and around the world, including Israel, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Germany, Austria, France, the United Kingdom, and many other western European countries.

 

REPRESENTATION MATTERS

  • Led the 3M team in a $75 million breach of contract and environmental matter in the High Court of Justice in London. The States of Guernsey alleged that its use of a 3M product led to extensive environmental contamination at the Guernsey Airport. Three weeks into the trial, Guernsey dismissed all claims and made a substantial contribution to 3M’s legal costs.
     

  • Led the 3M team in a $200 million breach of contract and fraud matter in the Southern District of New York. The claims arose out 3M’s sale of its European pharmaceutical business to Meda, a Swedish company. Meda sought damages in excess of $200 million, plus punitive damages. The judge ruled entirely in 3M’s favor.
     

  • Led the 3M team in a $25 million breach of a royalty agreement claim. 3M acquired a dental products company and disputes and litigation about earn-out provisions and other matters were settled through a settlement and second royalty agreement. Claimants alleged 3M breached the royalty agreement and began arbitration seeking $25 million. The arbitrator ruled entirely in 3M’s favor.
     

  • Led the 3M team in a $50 million breach of an acquisition agreement claim in the High Court of Justice in London. Claimants asserted 3M breached its obligations after it acquired BacLite, a product intended to provide a rapid culture-based screening test for the MRSA virus. The High Court ruled in favor of 3M on virtually every important issue. 3M later filed defamation claims against involved parties in federal court in the United States. The cases received widespread media attention on both sides of the Atlantic.
     

  • Lead counsel for Ramsey County where plaintiffs sought $20 million in tort claims. The jury returned a complete defense verdict for Ramsey County.
     

  • Lead counsel for Seagate Technology in a patent case brought by Siemens accusing Seagate hard disc drives of infringing Siemens’ patented GMR sensor technology. Following a six-week jury trial in the Central District of California, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for Seagate. The trial was covered by IP Law360, Bloomberg, and other news organizations.
     

  • Lead counsel for Wyeth in a trade secret trial involving Premarin, a billion-dollar product and leading hormone replacement therapy drug. The court granted Wyeth a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from developing the first generic version of Premarin. DELETE: a leading hormone replacement therapy drug.
     

  • Lead counsel for plaintiffs in a multi-party contract dispute. After a four-week trial, plaintiffs were awarded damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
     

  • Lead counsel for Compellent Technology in a two-week arbitration in Colorado. All trade secret misappropriation and intentional tort claims were defeated.
     

  • Lead counsel for a real estate developer in a complex commercial lending case. Following an evidentiary hearing, the court awarded a TRO and preliminary injunction against Heller Financial in the Northern District of Illinois.
     

  • Lead counsel for a coalition of non-profits and the City of Minneapolis in a case involving extensive mortgage fraud in North Minneapolis. Obtained an Order appointing a receiver for 250 abandoned properties in Minneapolis, MN.

MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION

Mary is a qualified neutral under MN Rule 114 and is on the
Minnesota Supreme Court’s list of qualified neutrals. She serves as a mediator for private parties, Washington Country District Court, Ramsey County District Court, and the Minneapolis Department of Human Rights. 

EDUCATION

  • J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN; 
    graduated magna cum laude

  • B.A., College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Supreme Court for the State of Minnesota

  • United States District Court for the District of Minnesota

  • United States Supreme Court

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

  • United States District Court for the District of Arizona

 

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

  • Super Lawyer, Minnesota Law & Politics, multiple years

  • Hennepin County Bar Association Distinguished Service Award for pro bono service, 2008

  • President’s Award, Minnesota Bar Association, 2001

  • John C. Benson Pro Bono Award, Faegre & Benson, 2000

  • Frequently requested lecturer at seminars on trial advocacy and litigation techniques and strategy 

 

 

CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS

  • Federal Bar Association, current member

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, current member;
    former chair of Construction Section

  • Minnesota Women Lawyers, current member

  • Washington County Bar Association, current member

  • Association of Corporate Counsel, current member 
    Ramsey County Bar Association, past member

  • Hennepin County Bar Association, past member

  • American Bar Association, past member

  • Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc.,
    past board member (2011–2016)

  • Wildlife Science Center, past board member
    (2011–April 2014); past chair (2012-2014)

  • William Mitchell College of Law, member, board
    of trustees (2001–2011); past chair (2008–2010)

  • Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, past board
    member (March 2004–March 2010)

TEAM

ELLIE VILENDRER

 

Ellie Vilendrer is a top-rated corporate attorney (AV-rated on Martindale Hubbell, Super Lawyers Rising Star, Top Women Attorneys, rated 10/10 on Avvo.com, and Up-And-Coming Attorney) and founder of Vilendrer Law, PC, a law firm serving a wide range of regional, national, and international businesses in the areas of commercial dispute resolution, business transactions, intellectual property protection, and employment law.

 

Ellie is frequently invited to speak for national audiences on the topics of negotiation strategy. Her articles on negotiation have been published in leading national legal publications; she also achieved the best outcome in a scored negotiation among 60 professional negotiators from around the world in 2015. Ellie is currently conducting an unprecedented national study on dispute resolution to help disputants and attorneys reach resolution faster.

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE

We understand business because

we’re experienced in business.

 

Both Mary and Ellie have founded, operated, grown, and sold successful start-ups.

ELLIE is the founder of Thrivir Corp, which provides negotiation training, consulting, and executive coaching. She also co-founded and was the COO of Hitsfu Corp., a distinguished high-tech, predictive analytics company.

MARY is a founding member of T3 Enterprises, a start-up that developed, manufactured, and sold two products for construction industry use — CORK (now marketed under the trademark HoleMole) and EWOC, an environmentally friendly concrete wash-out system. Both products received patents and won the Most Innovative Product award at the World of Concrete, the world’s largest construction trade show. The company was sold in 2017.

CORK

EWOC

 

BELIEFS

Driven by our beliefs,

every step of the way.

 

WE BELIEVE

in fairness, justice, advocacy, speaking up for others, facing and resolving conflict, and challenging the status quo.

 

WE BELIEVE

in operating at the intersection of law, business,

and common sense.

 

WE BELIEVE

the courts are but one tool among many to resolve conflict.

WE BELIEVE

that trust, collaboration, and transparency are the pillars for strategic dispute resolution.

 

WE BELIEVE

in leveling the playing field and ensuring the same rules apply to everyone.

 

WE BELIEVE

in yes and in getting from your dispute to your win — your business objective — by advancing your interests.

 

Thank you for your interest in The Cullen Group.

For more information, please contact Mary Cullen.

THE CULLEN GROUP

16250 Morgan Avenue North

Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

(651) 300-8421

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© 2019 THE CULLEN GROUP