Tom “best exemplifies the pursuit of the practice of law as a profession, including a spirit of public service and promotion of the highest possible level of competence, integrity and ethical conduct.” Hennepin County Bar Association Attorney Professionalism Award


Tom’s commitment to the legal profession is well-recognized. He was honored by the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit as the Minnesota recipient of the Richard S. Arnold Award for Distinguished Service and Lifetime Achievement. He was honored as an "Attorney of the Year" by Minnesota Lawyer. He was the recipient of the Hennepin County Bar Association Attorney Professionalism Award. For almost a decade, Tom served as chair of the Hennepin County Bar Association Bar Memorial Committee and of the HCBA "Vintage Lawyers" group. He served as president of the Hennepin County Bar Association, and is now serving as President of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He also serves on the Board of Minnesota CLE and The Amicus Society. He co-chaired the panel for the 8th Circuit Judicial conference on "Baseball and the Law" at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.

Tom is also committed to diversity & inclusion. He was recently named as the firm's 2019 Champion of Diversity and Inclusion. He was recently selected as a Minnesota Lawyer 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Honoree, in the "Legacy" category. Tom served for two terms as an at-large member of the Minnesota State Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council. He also serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of the Federal Bar Association Minnesota Chapter. He served on the Board of Directors of Global Rights for Women, and on the Board of Directors of The Givens Foundation for African American Literature. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Landmark Center in Saint Paul, which is one of Minnesota’s most significant historic buildings and the location for many years of Minnesota’s U.S. District Court. He just finished serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Swedish Institute, most recently as its chairman. Tom was also honored as the recipient of the St. Olaf College Outstanding Service Award.


Tom serves in the defense against an alleged TCE vapor intrusion matter involving a major manufacturing facility; defended against a supply contract lawsuit against a major pharmaceutical company, and represents a major participant in a "Trust Instruction Proceeding" (TIP) in Minnesota.

Tom has handled business and commercial litigation involving mechanical heart valve contract supply disputes, sales representative contractual commission disputes, shareholder disputes, investor/broker claims, computer technology and equipment, condemnation and adverse possession, and real estate development option agreements (e.g., Minnesota Court of Appeals: 2009WL 2928761 (Minn. App.)).

He has defended products ranging from trucks to table saws, and from exploding electrical switch gear and natural gas pipelines to saline-filled breast implants.

Tom’s longtime work with the design, professional and construction communities has included defending claims ranging from sinking buildings to sagging high school gymnasium roof trusses. His employment-related work encompasses a wide range of non-compete and duty-of-loyalty litigation.

His insurance, reinsurance and risk management work has included STOLI-related federal life insurance litigation (such as a recent federal court trial in Duluth), broker professional negligence and agent liability, coverage disputes and litigation, non-compete litigation, policy analysis, drafting and negotiation, regulatory Department of Commerce matters, space satellite reinsurance brokerage, reinsurance treaty interpretation, and attorney general civil investigative demands (CIDs).

Tom was on the trial team in a multi-week jury trial in Hennepin County District Court involving professional negligence relating to reinsurance brokerage services.

His corporate work has ranged from brewery-related lease negotiations; to the creation and sale of a highly sophisticated, engineering-related, invention-based emerging corporation; to advising businesses on doing business with Native American tribes; to law firm and corporate "divorces," break-ups and lawyer transitions; to more traditional corporate transactions and transitions.

In the financial enterprise world, Tom has served as lead defense counsel in credit cardholder class action litigation, and as counsel in lender liability claims, bankruptcy and workout matters, receivership proceedings, and credit card fraud investigation. Not surprisingly, he has sometimes described his practice as "Door Law" (meaning, whatever comes in the door.)

He was chosen to serve as a panel member on a multi-week, multimillion dollar computer-related AAA contract arbitration in Portland, Oregon, and has served as mediator in commercial and law firm disputes, as well.

News & Insights




Recognized as a "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America® in Insurance Law in Minneapolis

Named among The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance law, banking and finance litigation, construction litigation and real estate litigation

Ranked as Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2015 - 2018

Selected every year for inclusion in Super Lawyers®

Included in the national Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers as one of Minnesota’s top attorneys in business litigation

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

Hennepin County Bar Association Attorney Professionalism Award recipient

Leonard, Street and Deinard Pro Bono Award

Litigation Counsel of America, Inductee

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, History Committee

Norway House, Past Board Member

Federal Bar Association, Past Board Member

Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Committee, upon the appointment of then Chief Judge Paul Magnuson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Past Committee Member

St. Olaf College Alumni Association, Past Board Member

The Playwrights’ Center, Past Board Member

The Izaak Walton League (Bush Lake), Past Board Member

St. Olaf College "Liberal Arts and the Law" Conferences, Past Co-Chair; and Past Co-Chair, "Ole Law," "Ole Biz," and "Ole Med" Conferences

Minnesota State Bar Association, Arts Law Committee, Past (and Founding) Chair

Arts Midwest Task Force on Freedom of Expression, Past Member

Minneapolis Arts Commission, Past Member

Bloomington Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission, Past Member

Bloomington City Council’s Bush Lake Advisory Committee; and also the Bloomington City Council’s Task Force on Public Facilities, past member (leading to the approval, design, construction and completion of Bloomington’s new city hall, police station and public works facility)

Bloomington Charter Commission

Minneapolis Club

West Immanuel Lutheran Church, Star Prairie, Wisconsin; and Mindekirken, the Norwegian Lutheran Church of Minneapolis

Practices & Industries


  • Minnesota
  • Connecticut (retired status) 


University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 1977

  • Connecticut Law Review, Administrative Editor

Yale University, M.A.R., 1971

St. Olaf College, B.A., 1969

  • Phi Beta Kappa 
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