John Thomas Brandt

John Thomas Brandt: Attorney with Merrigan Brandt Ostenso Cambre, P.A.


- Voted Super Lawyer by Minnesota Journal of Law & Politics (2000)

John grew up in NE Minneapolis where he attended Edison High School. Following graduation, John played hockey in the USHL, and he later went on to St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota to be an All-Conference hockey player, captain of the golf team, and honor student. John then enrolled at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, where he obtained his law degree in 1991.

John lives in rural Hennepin County, and he has two high-school-aged children and a dog named Sidney (for Sidney Crosby, of course). He keeps himself busy coaching hockey, golfing, fishing, gardening, and by acting as an ATM and taxi driver for his children.

Representative Cases:

- Minor Child v. Biological Father — We brought a paternity action on behalf of a minor child against the biological father. The court determined that the original lump sum settlement with the biological mother was not enforceable against minor child, and we obtained a lump sum award of child support from the biological father.

- Kost v. Peterson, Anoka County, Minnesota — (1990). As a law clerk, John researched and drafted a brief which persuaded the trial judge to follow a Minnesota Court of Appeals dissenting opinion on whether an “urban vs. rural” distinction was a question of fact or a question of law. The trial court ruled as opined by the dissent that the question should be one of fact.

- Anonymous Client v. Insurance Company — (1994). John convinced an insurance company that the co-insurance statutory requirements had not been followed when his client obtained co-insurance fire coverage. The client ended up receiving insurance proceeds for 100% of its loss rather than being penalized and receiving less than 70% of its loss. This resulted in the client receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars more in benefits.

- Siwek Lumber & Millwork, Inc., et al., v. City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota — (1995). John obtained summary judgment against the City of Minneapolis, which precluded the City from asserting immunity defense claims. The City had negligently maintained a fire hydrant, the failure of which allowed a lumberyard fire to burn out of control. The client received a very favorable settlement.

- Struthers v. Struthers, Hennepin County, Minnesota — (1994). John negotiated a settlement in a marital dissolution case which the opposing party later attempted to vacate. The trial court denied the motion to vacate, and that decision was then affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

- Miller v. Stanchfield Motors, Inc., Anoka County, Minnesota. John defended Stanchfield Motors, Inc. in a personal injury lawsuit, and he obtained a directed verdict (the judge directed judgment in favor of John’s client before allowing the jury to decide).

- Smothers v. Insurance Restoration Specialties, Inc., Anoka County, Minnesota. John successfully defended a negligence claim against his client by asserting a claim of spoliation of evidence. The judge sanctioned the opposing party by suppressing key evidence, resulting in summary judgment in favor of our client.

- Metropolitan Airports Commission v. Vossberg, et al., Hennepin County, Minnesota — (1996). John represented a client in an eminent domain proceeding. He defeated the plaintiff’s motion for a “quick-take” of the client’s property, and he obtained a favorable settlement for the client.

- Real Estate Management v. City Billiards, Inc., Hennepin County, Minnesota (2004). Despite the landlord’s claims of numerous violations of a lease, ordinances, and statutes, John went to trial and defeated the landlord’s attempt to evict the client.

- Lubinski v. Ramsey County Sheriff, Ramsey County District Court. Our client was denied a permit to carry a gun because of a gun-related crime to which he had previously pled guilty. The judge ruled in our client’s favor, and he was given his permit to carry a gun. The sheriff was ordered to pay costs and attorneys’ fees and attorneys’ fees of John’s client.

Areas of Practice (44)

  • Business Law
  • Business Formation
  • Business Litigation
  • Business Planning
  • Buying and Selling of Businesses
  • Closely Held Business Law
  • Family Business Law
  • Joint Ventures
  • Limited Liability Company Law
  • Partnership Law
  • Professional Practices
  • Small Business Law
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Franchises and Franchising
  • Business Enterprises
  • Family Law
  • Adoptions
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Divorce
  • Military Divorce
  • Premarital Agreements
  • Spousal Support
  • Visitation Rights
  • Paternity
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Charitable Giving
  • Asset Protection
  • Estate Litigation
  • Estate Planning
  • Guardianship and Conservatorship
  • Wills and Probate
  • Living Wills
  • Contested Wills
  • Real Estate
  • Easements
  • Commercial Leasing
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Condominium Law
  • Cooperative Housing Law
  • Homeowners Association Law
  • Landlord and Tenant Law
  • Residential Real Estate

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
952-777-5492  Phone
952-933-3451  Fax
University Attended:
St. Mary's University of Minnesota, B.A., Member Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honor Society, 1987
Law School Attended:
William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 1991
Year of First Admission:
1991, Minnesota
Payment Information:

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    Hopkins, Minnesota

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