Randy Hopper is the Founder and Managing Partner of Robert R. Hopper & Associates, L.L.C., a professional firm he founded in 1978. Robert R. Hopper & Associates, L.L.C. is based in Minneapolis, MN with shared offices in Washington D.C. Through his firm, he has enjoyed diverse and rewarding practice as a trial lawyer, litigating in both federal and state courts; as a lobbyist, where he has lobbied with the Congress and with the Executive Branch, including various agencies of the federal government with state governments; as an advisor and counselor to business; and, as an advisor in strategic communications and media relations. In these varied roles, Mr. Hopper’s 40 years of professional experience, with over three decades in private practice as a lawyer, focuses on four areas of practice:
• Complex Civil Litigation and Negotiation;
• Corporate Public Affairs and Government Relations;
• Advising and counseling business, academic and not-for-profit organizations; and,
• Strategic Communications and Media Relations.
As an experienced practitioner in each of these areas of Law, Politics and Media, Mr. Hopper emphasizes the importance of integration between them. This philosophy and practice is based on a view that most legal problems and dilemmas facing individual and corporate clients alike, often require strategies which are concomitantly effective in both the courtroom and the court of public opinion and when necessary, in the political and public policy arena. These strategies require thoughtful, persuasive communication to advocate a client’s interest or to creatively tell their stories. When litigation has ended or possibly been avoided; and when negotiation is required, strategic communication is also an imperative to ensure a desired outcome or resolution. Integrating these honed skills in all four areas defines the uniqueness of Mr. Hopper’s practice and evinces the breadth and depth of Robert R. Hopper & Associates, L.L.C. as a firm.
To that end, Mr. Hopper has been involved in several high profile cases of interest to the media. In this capacity, he has often represented clients when Crisis Management is necessary. By offering all of these skill-sets simultaneously, Mr. Hopper may serve as a spokesperson and advisor in media relations, as an advocate and counselor at law and as a lobbyist – all to assist clients in navigating through the crisis. If necessary, Mr. Hopper co-counsels with one of the country’s leading Crisis Managers and former White House Counsel to Presidents’ Clinton and Bush, Mr. Lanny J. Davis of Davis Goldberg & Galper PLLC and Trident DMG. When clients face such a dilemma, Mr. Hopper’s practice allows his clients to avail themselves of the attorney/client privilege while also addressing the media or dealing with the government.
Litigation and Negotiation
Throughout the course of his career, Mr. Hopper has represented both Plaintiffs and Defendants in litigation, including several of the largest cases in recent memory such as: the National Tobacco Litigation, which led to a $247 billion settlement; several mass tort cases; several of the largest antitrust cases; one of the largest train derailment cases; several of the largest environmental cases; and, one of the largest civil rights cases. He was also Lead Counsel in the high profile false-abduction case representing University of Wisconsin student, Audrey Seiler. This case received national media attention for several months as Mr. Hopper provided both trial advocacy through legal proceedings and served as a spokesperson with the national media on behalf of his client and her family.
Over the course of his 27 years in litigation practice, Mr. Hopper has been involved and participated in the prosecution of several major complex litigations and class actions, including cases involved in mass tort litigation, consumer fraud, products liability, toxic tort, antitrust, environmental law, civil rights, and commercial litigation. He has defended and represented corporations involving various areas of law, including matters of commercial litigation. Of particular interest has been Mr. Hopper’s focus on medical devices and pharmaceuticals including regulatory matters with the FDA and litigation matters. Additionally, Mr. Hopper has been involved in international litigation, traveling extensively throughout the U.K., Europe and Asia.
Strategic Communications and Media Relations
Mr. Hopper’s cases have been featured on Court TV and other major national and local media. In that regard, he has been interviewed and appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC’s 20-20, The CBS Early Show, CNN, CNBC, Larry King Live, The Dan Abrams Show, FOX TV, On The Record with Gretta Van Sustern, National Public Radio, and numerous local media in the Twin Cities.
Corporate Public Affairs & Government Relations/Advising & Counseling Corporate Clients
For several years, in his Corporate Public Affairs Practice, in addition to advising in legal matters, Mr. Hopper has provided counsel to corporate clients when they are facing a reputational crisis or as a preventative measure, when they may need to advance their policy and political interests. In this public affairs practice, Mr. Hopper has represented many of the leading publicly held companies in Minnesota and several privately held businesses.
Through his Washington, D.C. practice, Mr. Hopper has lobbied and successfully passed amendments to various legislation including FRSA – the Federal Rail Safety Act; and, he has engaged in administrative lobbying through Federal Rulemaking Procedure to amend RESPA – the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Most notably, in 1997, Mr. Hopper was selected as a member of an exclusive lobbying team in Washington D.C. which worked to conform components of the National Tobacco Settlement to Federal Legislation. While there, Mr. Hopper was the lawyer in charge of the Castano Washington D.C. office for this tobacco settlement lobbying effort. Additionally, Mr. Hopper has experience in regulatory lobbying and Administrative Law, practicing in matters with several Federal Governmental Agencies.
State Attorneys General Practice
A principle feature of Mr. Hopper’s Governmental Relations Practice is his involvement with State Attorneys General where he has represented Attorneys General and their states in litigation and where he has represented private corporate clients in matters involving State Attorneys General.
Past Professional Experience
For 20 years, Mr. Hopper was a Senior Partner with Zimmerman Reed Law Firm (1990-2010) serving on the firm’s Management Committee and as the Partner in charge of the firm’s Political Action and Government Relations Programs. During this time, Mr. Hopper, along with his partners, was instrumental in strategically developing Zimmerman Reed into a national law firm. As a Senior Partner, Mr. Hopper was responsible for managing up to 40 staff members, including Associate Attorneys, Paralegals and Administrative Assistants; managing a multimillion dollar budget; and, managing and leading several strategic alliances with attorneys from around the country.
Prior to joining Zimmerman Reed, Mr. Hopper practiced with Larkin, Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren in that firm’s governmental relations and litigation departments (1988-1990).
Mr. Hopper has also held numerous positions in the public and private sector including: as a Counselor in an urban education program through the not-for-profit Communities in Schools, Inc., working with students in inner-city Atlanta and in both Harlem and the South Bronx, New York City (1976-1979); as a Manager of Public Affairs for Cummins Engine Company, Inc. and as a Senior Program Officer in its corporate philanthropic foundation (1979-1981); as a Director of State Development Planning for the State of Minnesota; and, as a Special Advisor serving Minnesota Governor Al Quie on an Economic Development program focused on Entrepreneurship (1981-1983). Mr. Hopper worked as a Policy Advisor at the Minnesota Business Partnership (MBP) where he worked closely with CEOs from the 100 largest companies in Minnesota, elected officials, state agency staff and others on a range of public policy issues relevant to business and all Minnesotans (1983-1985).
Mr. Hopper has been consistently rated AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review, in both practice and ethics, the highest possible ranking for a lawyer under the Martindale Hubble system, America’s most preeminent, peer-reviewed lawyer rating system.
Mr. Hopper graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1976 from the University of Tennessee, where he majored in Pre-Med and Psychology. In his senior year in College, Mr. Hopper was admitted into a special Off-Campus/Independent Study Program where he worked under the supervision of Professors of Psychiatry and Psychology in a residential chemical dependency rehabilitation center with adolescents. While in this special study program, Mr. Hopper focused on Addiction Medicine, during which, he wrote a Senior Thesis on “The Foundations for Psychological Theory”.
Following undergraduate study, Mr. Hopper conducted graduate study in public policy, with a concentration on Political Philosophy, at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota (1978), followed by further graduate study in Social and Business Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City (1978-1979). At Union, he wrote his Thesis on the “Social Ethics of Reinhold Niebuhr”.
Upon graduation from Law School with a Doctorate in Jurisprudence, Mr. Hopper was awarded the “Excellence in Trial Advocacy” Award, having been distinguished earlier that year by the ATLA-Association of Trial Lawyers of America – through a National Moot Trial Competition, as a finalist and one of the top ten student trial advocates in the United States.
PROFESSIONAL ADMISSIONS, ACADEMIC AFFILIATIONS AND TEACHING
Mr. Hopper is admitted to practice and is in good standing in all State District Courts in Minnesota and several Federal Courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota; and, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Hopper is a member in good standing of the Federal Bar Association, American Bar Association, the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Hennepin County Bar Association. Mr. Hopper is also a member of the Minnesota Governmental Relations Council; The International Churchill Society and he is a founding member of the Winston S. Churchill Center for Policy Studies, Washington D.C.
Since he was a young boy, Mr. Hopper has held a strong interest in the human brain and in the scientific fields of Neuroscience and Neurobiology. He is a member of the Neuroscience Advisory Committee at the Minnesota Medical Foundation at the University of Minnesota. Mr. Hopper also serves on the University of Tennessee Association of Psychology Alumni Board and is serving as an advisor to the University of Tennessee Graduate School at the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Law regarding a new course in neuroscience and the law.
Mr. Hopper has also been a member of the adjunct faculty at William Mitchell College of Law in 1987-88 teaching a course he created entitled “Corporate Ethics and Advising Corporate Clients”. In the spring of 2012, Mr. Hopper introduced a new course and externship into the Clinical Program at the University of Tennessee College of Law focused on the “State Attorneys General Practice”. Mr. Hopper teaches this course that includes State Attorneys General as visiting lecturers. Mr. Hopper has also lectured at the University of Tennessee on Neuroscience and Ethics and is beginning work on a new course in Neuroscience and the Law, which he will introduce and teach at the UT College of Law in collaboration with the Graduate School at the College of Arts and Sciences.
During his career, Mr. Hopper has chaired the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar “Dealing with the Media in a High Profile Case”; he has been on the faculty of the CLE “Complex Litigation”; and he has spoken at numerous legal seminars relating to his practice. In 2009, and again in 2010, Mr. Hopper spoke at University of Tennessee College of Law and the Howard Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy where he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Mr. Hopper’s speeches were titled, “The Importance of Corporate Responsibility in an Era of Greed, Mistrust and Malfeasance: The Public Policy and Legal Implications for Changing the Way We Do Business”; and, “THINK! Using Good Judgment and Making Good Decisions in a Digital, Sound-Bite, Attention Deprived World”. More recently Mr. Hopper was a guest lecturer at the Haslem School of Business at the University of Tennessee lecturing on “Capitalism, Markets and Ethics – the Insights and Implications of recent brain research and Neuroscience”; and, in October of 2014 in a colloquium at the UT College of Law and College of Arts and Sciences where he spoke on “Neuroscience in the Coming Decades: Implications for the Law, Public Policy and Ethics”.
Mr. Hopper is a member of the Neuroscience Advisory Committee at the Minnesota Medical Foundation at the University of Minnesota. In the spring of 2017, Mr. Hopper was an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota College of Law, co-teaching Neuroscience and the Law.
For several years Mr. Hopper has dedicated his time and has been personally committed to addressing the high school dropout problem in our country. To that end, he has served as a member of a “select group of prominent Americans” who comprise the National Leadership Council of the organization, Communities in Schools, Inc., the largest and most effective dropout prevention program in the country. He regularly does Pro Bono legal work to help parents, children, and adolescents.
HOBBIES, SPORTS AND MEMBERSHIPS
Mr. Hopper enjoys participation in several sports including golf, squash racquets, swimming and sailing. He is an avid outdoorsman through upland bird hunting, for which he raises AKC and Field Dog Registered Irish, English, and Gordon Setters. Additionally, Mr. Hopper has been passionately involved with the sport of fly-fishing for the past 40 years, having fished in both fresh and salt waters. He has been a member of Wild Wings Hunting Club, Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, the Ruffed Grouse Society, Sailor’s World Yacht Club, and the Minnetonka Yacht Club. He is also a member of Wayzata Country Club and a longtime member of the Minneapolis Club, the private, pre-eminent business and professional club in Minneapolis for the past 100 years.
Mr. Hopper is CEO of Creekside Farms Racing, L.L.C., a thoroughbred racing business, which buys, sells and breeds thoroughbreds. He is also a member of TOBA – the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the Thoroughbred Club of America, in Lexington, KY.
Mr. Hopper is married to Paula J. Prahl who has held jobs as a Senior Officer at Honeywell, Inc. and Best Buy Corporation. Paula is presently working in finance and investment banking as Global Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Varde Partners, a $12 billion global investment fund. They make their home in Medina, MN.