Lori Swanson

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Lori Swanson
Lori Swanson 2013.jpg
Swanson in 2013
29th Minnesota Attorney General
Assumed office
January 2, 2007
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Mark Dayton
Preceded by Mike Hatch
Personal details
Born (1966-12-16) December 16, 1966 (age 48)
Political party Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Residence Eagan, Minnesota
Profession Politician

Lori Swanson (born December 16, 1966) is the Attorney General of the US state of Minnesota. She was elected on November 7, 2006, and took office on January 2, 2007, succeeding Mike Hatch, who declined to run for re-election in order to run for governor. She is the first woman elected Minnesota's Attorney General.[1]


Swanson served as Deputy Attorney General during Mike Hatch's first term, and as Solicitor General during his second term. She also served as chair of the Consumer Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington D.C. in 2006. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her J.D. magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul.[1][2]

Swanson was re-elected on November 2, 2010, defeating Republican challenger Chris Barden.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

Swanson was named one of the “Top Ten Lawyers in America” by the national publication Lawyers USA in 2009.[4][5] In 2012 the national publication HealthLeaders Magazine named Swanson one of 20 Americans who is making a difference in health care.[6] She also received the Robert Drinan “Champion of Justice” award from the National Consumer Law Center, a Washington-based non-profit organization that acts as a national clearing center and publisher for consumer lawyers and other legal advocates.[7] She was also a recipient of the Pro Patria award by the Department of Defense for her work on behalf of armed service personnel.[8] In 2010, Swanson was named Public Official of the Year by the Minnesota Nurses Association. The Drum Major Institute of New York designated Swanson’s predatory mortgage legislation on one of the ten top public policies proposed in 2008.[9]


In 2009, Swanson filed a lawsuit against National Arbitration Forum (NAF), at that time the largest consumer arbitration organization in the country.[10] NAF had been criticized by consumer advocacy groups, U.S. Senators, and Public Citizen for bias against consumers.[11] Swanson alleged that NAF was owned by a group of equity funds that also were simultaneously affiliated with a national debt collection agency, Axiant, and the administration of the largest collection law firm at the time, Mann Brakken.[12] In July 2009 NAF signed a consent order with Swanson agreeing to stop arbitrating consumer claims. Shortly thereafter, Axiant and Mann Bracken went out of business.[13][14]

In 2012, Swanson filed a lawsuit against Accretive Health of Chicago, a hospital collection agency.[15] The lawsuit resulted in hearings before the U.S. Senate[16][17] and the issuance of a multi-volume compliance report involving Fairview Health Systems in Minnesota.[18] In July 2012, Accretive signed a consent order under which it paid a $2.5 million civil penalty and agreed not to do business in Minnesota for up to six years.[19] Accretive is believed to be the only current member of the New York Stock Exchange which is affirmatively barred from doing business in a state. In September 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that Accretive’s actions at Fairview Health Systems subjected patients to “abuse and harassment,” and resulted in violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), the federal anti-patient dumping law.

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2010 Race for Attorney General – General Election (Unofficial)
    • Lori Swanson (DFL) 52.9%
    • Chris Barden (GOP) 41.27%
    • Bill Dann (IP) 5.06%
    • David Hoch (Resource Party) 0.69%
  • 2010 Race for Attorney General – DFL Primary
    • Lori Swanson 85.61%
    • Leo F. Meyer 14.39%
  • 2006 Race for Attorney General – General Election
    • Lori Swanson (DFL) 53.24%
    • Jeff Johnson (GOP) 40.72%
    • John James (IP) 4.05%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson". Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Attorney General Lori Swanson – Biography". Project Vote Smart. December 16, 1966. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ritchie, Swanson re-elected in Minn. SOS, AG races". Albert Lea Tribune. AP. November 2, 2010. 
  4. ^ Scheck, Tom (December 21, 2009). "Swanson picked as one of “Top Ten Lawyers of the Year.”". MPR News. 
  5. ^ "Inside Track: Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson". Star Tribune. December 27, 2009. 
  6. ^ Commins, John (January 11, 2013). "HL20: Lori Swanson—Taking a Stand on Bill Collection Efforts". HealthLeaders. 
  7. ^ Ziegler, Suzanne (October 22, 2009). "Attorney general honored for consumer advocacy work". Star Tribune. 
  8. ^ "Attorney General Swanson Receives "Pro Patria" Award". April 21, 2009. 
  9. ^ "The Attorneys General: Lori Swanson (D)". National Association of Attorneys General. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Swanson v. National Arbitration Forum, Hennepin County District Court, State of Minnesota, file #27-cv-09-18550
  11. ^ Berner, Robert; Grow, Brian (June 4, 2008). "Banks vs. Consumers (Guess Who Wins)". Businessweek. 
  12. ^ Swanson v. National Arbitration Forum, Hennepin County District Court, State of Minnesota, file #27-cv-09-18550
  13. ^ Hopkins, Jamie Smith (February 26, 2010). "Mann Bracken put in receivership in lieu of bankruptcy filing". The Baltimore Sun. 
  14. ^ Switzky, Bryant Ruiz (February 1, 2010). "Demise of Axiant, Mann Bracken means chaos, lost jobs". Washington Business Journal. 
  15. ^ State of Minnesota v. Accretive Health, United States District Court, District of Minnesota Case No. 12-cv-00145 (RHK-JJK)
  16. ^ Full Committee Field Hearing - Ensuring Patients’ Access to Care and Privacy: Are Federal Laws Protecting Patients? U.S. Senate, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, May 30, 2012
  17. ^ "Sen. Franken Questions Accretive, Fairview on Debt Collection Practices at Field Hearing". Franken.senate.gov. May 30, 2012. 
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ Kennedy, Tony; Lerner, Maura (July 31, 2012). "Accretive is banned from Minnesota". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Mike Hatch
Minnesota Attorney General
2007 –
Succeeded by