Co-Head of Product Liability and Consumer Disputes, United States
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Related services and key industries
Ben Hulse leads the defense of corporate clients in class actions, mass torts and commercial disputes. His clients have included leading companies from many sectors of the economy, including medical devices, food, health and fitness, oil and gas and banking and insurance.
A versatile lawyer, Ben has led all aspects of the largest-scale litigations, including legal strategy, discovery, multi-jurisdiction coordination, trials and advising on public relations and corporate communications. Clients frequently call upon him to argue critical motions and appeals. Ben also represents companies in all scales of commercial disputes, where he has won cost-effective court victories and forged creative settlements.
One of Ben's clients, formerly an in-house counsel at one of the world's largest energy companies, says Ben is "truly one of the best I've worked with, one of the smartest and someone who wins over judges and opposing counsel with his calm presence. I rate him better than many of the famed trial lawyers we used. I can't recommend him enough."
Before joining the firm, Ben was a partner at a Minneapolis-based litigation boutique that Benchmark Litigation ranked as the Minnesota Firm of the Year for six consecutive years. He served as a law clerk for the Hon. James B. Loken of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
- JD, with honors, University of Chicago Law School, 2002
- AB, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1999
- Illinois State Bar
- Minnesota State Bar
- Federal and state MDLs. Won a complete defense verdict for one of the world's largest manufacturing companies in a product liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) bellwether trial in Minnesota Federal District Court. The jury agreed with the defense that the warming device did not cause surgical site infections. The Eighth Circuit affirmed on appeal. Also won summary judgment for the client in a related Minnesota state-court consolidated proceeding, which the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed.
- Lead counsel for of the same company in a 900-plaintiff state court products liability proceeding. Responsible for all aspects of the litigation, including bellwether case workup, trial, briefing, and appeals. Won an 8th Circuit decision that defeated the plaintiffs' strategy to dramatically expand the litigation.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) litigation. Won summary judgment based on federal preemption for medical device manufacturer in 44-case "mini MDL" in Minnesota state court where the plaintiffs alleged that ICD batteries failed prematurely. Affirmed on appeal.
- Environmental class actions. Defeated class certification in environmental class action in Minnesota federal court involving a former US food company research facility. Defeated class certification and won dismissal of nearly 90% of plaintiffs in environmental suit against a US manufacturing corporation in Cook County, Illinois.
- Food marketing class actions. Won dismissal of kosher food product class action against a US consumer packaged goods holding company, and two granola bar class actions against a US food company on motions to dismiss. Hired after class certification in a probiotic yogurt class action against the US food company in California federal court; obtained decertification of the class's claims for damages, including its claim for punitive damages. Successfully resolved the remaining claims without drawing any objectors.
- Commercial litigation. Co-trial counsel for leading technology company in dispute concerning large-scale IT outsourcing agreement. Plaintiff sought more than $100 million in damages against firm client. Following three-week bench trial, court entered complete judgment for firm client, including client's $18 million counterclaim.
- Fuel dealer franchise litigation. Defended a large energy company in suit challenging "zone pricing" as illegal price discrimination. New Jersey court granted summary judgment to the energy company. Won concurrent Third Circuit appeal from denial of preliminary injunction. Also won summary judgment for the energy company in class action by franchisee dealers challenging fuel pricing.
- Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2015 - 2024
- Super Lawyer, Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2017 - 2023
- The Best Lawyers in America - Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action - Defendants, Best Lawyers, 2019 - 2024
- The Best Lawyers in America - Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers, 2023-2024
- The Best Lawyers in America - Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, Best Lawyers, 2023-2024
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America, Lawdragon, 2024
- Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2019
- Contributing author, "A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions", American Bar Association, Third Edition, 2021
- "Mock Examination of Expert Witness," Consumer Brands Association Legal Forum, Palm Springs, CA
- "The Ethics of Internal Investigations, Domestic and Abroad," ABA Section of Litigation, Food and Supplements Workshop, Omaha, NE
- "Best Practices and Strategies for Managing Discovery in National and Multi-Forum Parallel Litigation," NAMWOLF Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN
- "The Changing Landscape of the Food and Beverage Industry," Association for Corporate Growth, Upper Midwest Connection Conference, Minneapolis, MN
- American Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Eighth Circuit Bar Association
October 06, 2023
September 08, 2023
Benchmark Litigation recognizes Minnesota, Texas offices and names 14 US lawyers to lists of 2023 stars
October 10, 2022