Our own John Hinderaker has been recognized as a “super lawyer” in the annual “super lawyers” issue of Minnesota Law & Politics for the past several years. In its just-published August/September “super lawyers” issue, Minnesota Law & Politics names John “Super Lawyer of the Year.” The cover features a split screen image of John, one side in uniform toting a briefcase, the other side in pajamas wielding a laptop.
The cover story by Jessica Thompson — “The Blog Is Mightier Than the Sword” — profiles John at length, from his days as a college radical, to the sobering effect of his law school education, to his attainments as an accomplished professional with a hobby that has brought him public notice. Thompson writes:
Most people around town know John Hinderaker from his 15 minutes of fame. After all, it’s not every day that a guy from Minneapolis topples a network giant and a television icon over the course of just 12 hours, all from the comfort of his desk….
With all the attention, perhaps it’s no surprise that Hinderaker is tired of talking about John Hinderaker the blogger. He’d rather talk about John Hinderaker the attorney — a role he’s played with success at Faegre & Benson for more than 30 years. With close to 100 jury trials under his belt and consistent multimillion-dollar wins, Hinderaker is one of the most successful commmercial litigators in the state.
Thompson takes the testimony of John’s formidable adversary Paul Varela (of Virginia’s Watt Tiedler law firm) in the recent Miller Park lawsuit that John litigated with great success for his client:
“There’s a certain personality that’s drawn to litigation, and everyone wants to be the biggest dog in the room. He was able to keep his eye on the goal.”
Varela even testifies to John’s good humor:
“He’s got a lively intellect, and he makes me laugh. It’s not like he’s ‘ha-ha’ funny, like Chris Rock, it’s more that he’s got a lot of personality. You can say a lot of things about John Hinderaker, but he’s not boring.”
Thompson also takes the testimony of John’s Faegre & Benson partner Gerry Nolting, who has worked with John for 25 years:
“John speaks his mind and says what he believes, and he isn’t guided by what is the politically correct view of the day…For the entire time I’ve known John, he’s never said stuff because that’s what he thinks people want to hear. It’s just the opposite. He’ll say what he believes and if you agree with it, that’s fine, and if you don’t, that’s fine too.”
And Thompson gives John the last word:
“I actually enjoy the litigation business, I think more so than most lawyers who do this for a living. I find it endlessly fascinating. I love the fact that you learn so much. Every case is an education…”
As John’s long-time colleague, I would add in Chaucer’s words with respect to the education each case affords him, “gladly would he learn and gladly teach.” And as his long-time friend, I would add that among the things he’s taught me is the highest form of charity — helping others without letting them know that you’re helping them.
All in all, the man glimpsed in the Law and Politics profile of the Super Lawyer of the Year is a man in full.