Minnesota Law

Spring 2024
Raising the Bar

Alumni Interrogatory: June Hoidal ’03

Like the marathons she runs, June Hoidal’s ’03 legal cases require endurance, focus, and a commitment to making it to the finish line.

June Hoidal ’03
Photo: Tony Nelson

Attorney June Hoidal ’03 had been preparing for months. Now it was time to bring her preparation, drive, and psychological edge to the moment. 

Then, before it even started, it was over. 

This was not one of the cases Hoidal had settled right before a trial was to start; rather, this was the 2023 Twin Cities Marathon, canceled because of extreme heat. 

Hoidal has been logging miles on the pavement and court docket for years and both have long appealed to her sense of focus and ability to see things through to a successful conclusion. 

It’s that sense of preparation and drive that makes her an equally formidable competitor in a race and as an opponent in court. Just ask the folks at e-cigarette makers Juul and Altria. 

They called things off at the last moment, too, settling a case for $60.5 million in May 2023 that Hoidal had helped bring to trial for the state of Minnesota. The suit alleged the defendants violated Minnesota’s consumer protection laws, breached its duty of reasonable care, and created a public nuisance. 

“That was a key moment in my career because of what was at stake,” says Hoidal, who recently became a managing partner at Zimmerman Reed. “The state claimed that the e-cigarette makers targeted marketing to children in Minnesota. The Attorney General appointed us outside counsel to work with his office to litigate this case. We were in trial for about three weeks before the case settled on the eve of closing arguments. That was a pretty intense experience going to trial on a case that was closely watched. Minnesota had a history of standing up to tobacco companies for years and it was my pleasure to join them in this fight.” 

According to Hoidal, this case marked the biggest settlement per capita for any state with a case of this kind.. Many other states brought similar cases against the same defendants, but Minnesota was the only one who took it to trial. 

Hoidal’s experience extends beyond the walls of the courthouses of the North Star State and includes participation in a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“We represented the state of Mississippi in an antitrust case on a jurisdictional issue and it was a 9-0 victory,” says Hoidal, who served as a law clerk to Honorable Arthur J. Boylan for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota in 2011 and was previously an attorney for then-Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett from 2005 to 2007. “Essentially it had to do with where a public enforcement case can be brought by an attorney general. At the moment of oral arguments, to sit there and hear the justices talking about a case you worked on and to witness the caliber of lawyering at that level, it was a terrific experience.” 

Hoidal today may be most known for her focus on public pensions and securities. “We’ve handled financial fraud and securities fraud cases and we represented, as another example, a retirement system in a class action that settled,” she says. “It can be complicated work and very rewarding.” 

Hoidal says she has wanted to be a lawyer for so long that she can’t remember when she wasn’t dreaming of making an argument. She cut her teeth on the high school debate team. Her experience as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota made her want to stay at the U for the law school experience as well. 

“The people were a huge difference-maker,” she says. “So many of the students from law school days have formed my community. Two of my classmates are just down the hall. I met my husband, Sten-Erik Hoidal ’04, at Minnesota Law. The joke many say is that law students barely have a life, but I truly found so much of my life at the Law School.” 

She has found kinship with the people in her firm as well. 

“Whether it’s writing a brief for the Supreme Court, preparing a witness for testimony at trial, or meeting with a client, June’s attention to detail and her dedication to doing truly excellent legal work are unmatched,” Behdad Sadeghi, a Zimmerman Reed partner, says. “Just as important, June is a great person to work with. She supports her colleagues through thick and thin, and puts a premium on collaboration, hard work, and mutual respect.” 

Zimmerman Reed partner Charles Toomajian ’14 says that Hoidal also underscores her thoughtfulness for others on her team. “She cares enough to put you in positions that amplify your strengths, cares enough to carve out opportunities for your growth, and cares about you as a person outside of the office,” he says. “It’s a dream situation for a newer attorney to have a mentor like that, and it makes you want to do a better job and become a better lawyer.” 

Hoidal is still pondering whether she will run the Twin Cities Marathon this year. 

“I might run but I actually completed my goal,” she says. “I had put so much into it that I found another marathon and ran it the next weekend after Twin Cities was canceled. It’s like in law — you have to be ready for anything.