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Kai H. Richter is an experienced attorney who has fought for the rights of everyday people throughout his legal career. As one of the leaders of Nichols Kaster’s Consumer Class Action Team, Kai has handled a number of cases on behalf of consumers against banks, mortgage servicers, debt collectors, and other large companies. Kai successfully argued before the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Lass v. Bank of America, N.A., 695 F.3d 129 (1st Cir. 2012), and has negotiated several class action settlements that have made a combined total of more than $170 million in relief available to consumers nationwide. In addition, Kai leads the firm’s ERISA litigation team, and is currently spearheading several cases involving breach of fiduciary duty claims against companies for mismanagement of their employee retirement plans.
Prior to joining Nichols Kaster in April 2010, Kai managed the Complex Litigation Division of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, where he supervised and handled a large number of consumer enforcement cases. For example, in June and September of 2009, Kai co-chaired a three-week trial involving claims for fraudulent sales of annuities and legal plans to over 1,200 Minnesota senior citizens, and won a favorable judgment from the trial court. In addition, he also spearheaded a significant enforcement action against Sprint Nextel relating to wrongfully-imposed contracts and early termination fees.
Kai also has several years of prior experience representing plaintiffs in private practice, including two landmark class actions. For example, in Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a statewide wage and hour class action against Wal-Mart, Kai briefed and successfully co-argued the issue of class certification and significantly participated in the three-month trial of the case, paving the way for a multi-million dollar payout to Wal-Mart’s Minnesota workers. In addition, Kai was one of only three plaintiff trial attorneys in Grutter v. Bollinger, a landmark class action lawsuit against the University of Michigan Law School that was decided by the United States Supreme Court in 2003.
Kai received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1999 and received a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1995. He also has taught legal writing at Hamline University and previously served as a co-director of the Robert F. Wagner Moot Court Program at the University of Minnesota Law School.