Stephen P. Safranski’s complex commercial litigation and appellate practice focuses on antitrust, unfair competition and trade regulation, and consumer-protection matters, including defending high-stakes class actions and handling significant appeals in these areas.
Mr. Safranski represents major national clients in the food and grocery, hospitality, retail, and cable and telecommunications industries, including Best Buy, Cargill, Carlson Hotels, Comcast, SuperValu, and Time Warner Cable.
Beyond his proven trial advocacy and appellate skills, Mr. Safranski is known for his innovative litigation strategies and exceptional case management skills. For example, in major pending MDL antitrust class action litigation, In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation, Mr. Safranski has served as lead counsel supervising an ultra-lean litigation team handling all aspects of the case, including all the major district court hearings and arguments, two Eighth Circuit appeals, and managed a related investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
Their efforts defeated class certification and terminated the FTC investigation. Building on this success, Mr. Safranski is now defending manufacturer Graco, Inc., in a nationwide antitrust class action, and using an innovative strategy, obtained the early dismissal of the litigation.
Mr. Safranski’s litigation skills are aided by his in-depth understanding of the 21st century issues confronting the food and beverage, grocery, and cable and telecommunications industries. For instance, Mr. Safranski has published extensively and counseled several clients in the food and beverage industry on food labeling and antitrust issues and managing litigation risk in those areas.
Mr. Safranski’s pro bono work includes representation of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, including serving as co-lead counsel in a Minnesota Environmental Rights Act trial to prevent the construction of a 450-foot cellular tower adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness—a case that Twin Cities Business Magazine hailed as one of the “Top 10 Business Lawsuits of the Year.”
Mr. Safranski also serves on the Friends Board of Directors, and he is a member of the University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors and a board member of the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services Campaign for Legal Aid.
Before joining Robins Kaplan LLP, Mr. Safranski practiced at a national law firm based in Chicago, Illinois, and previously served as a law clerk for Magistrate Judge Raymond L. Erickson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
Mr. Safranski is an outdoor enthusiast and avid fisherman. He has been recognized by the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame as the holder of the Catch-and-Release World Record Tiger Muskellunge for 10-pound test line.
- University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., (1997)
- Northwestern University, B.A., Political Science (1993)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Minnesota
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
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