Purdon, Johnson to join Robins Kaplan law firm

FARGO - Tim Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota, and Brendan Johnson, his counterpart in South Dakota, will be joining Robins Kaplan, a national law firm based in Minneapolis.

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U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon
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FARGO – Tim Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota, and Brendan Johnson, his counterpart in South Dakota, will be joining Robins Kaplan, a national law firm based in Minneapolis.

Neither Purdon nor Johnson would comment on reports that both will join Robins Kaplan when they resign next month from their positions as the top federal lawyers in their states. Both were appointed by President Barack Obama.

U.S. Department of Justice rules prohibit them from commenting while still in office.

Purdon will open an office for Robins Kaplan in Bismarck, while Johnson will open an office in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Both Purdon and Johnson, who have worked closely on criminal justice issues on Indian reservations, describe each other as friends as well as colleagues.


“Brendan and I are going to work together,” Purdon said Wednesday, the day Johnson announced in Sioux Falls, that he will resign March 11. Purdon announced last week that he will resign March 12.

Johnson is the son of former Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., who retired in January after serving since 1997.

Before being appointed as U.S. attorneys, Purdon and Johnson were involved in the private practice of law. Purdon was a partner in the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, Johnson was a partner in the South Dakota firm of Johnson, Heidepriem, Janklow, Abdallah and Johnson.

Robins Kaplan has more than 220 lawyers in offices in six major cities and has been involved in what it calls a number of “landmark cases,” including suing the tobacco industry.

The firm has represented clients in North Dakota, and categorizes North Dakota as one of its practice groups.

“Personal connections and geographic proximity deeply root us to the Williston area, giving us an insider’s perspective to mineral rights claims and other state-specific property disputes,” the Robins Kaplan website said.

Robins Kaplan also describes itself as a law firm with the expertise to “assist those dealing with losses caused by catastrophic personal injuries and medical malpractice.”



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U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson

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