One of the top law firms in Minnesota, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd. includes more than 70 lawyers, serving clients’ legal needs throughout the state, the country and around the globe. As a full-service law firm, Larkin Hoffman provides counsel and legal guidance in more than 20 areas of law including Corporate; Land Use/Real Estate; Renewable Energy; Franchising; Litigation; Government Relations; Employment; Environmental; Health; Intellectual Property and Tax and Estate Planning/Family Law.
Construction & Surety
Corporate & Finance
Data Privacy & Cybersecurity
Eminent Domain & Inverse Condemnation
Employment, Labor & Benefits
Estate Planning & Probate
Franchise & Distribution
Intellectual Property & Technology
Property Tax Appeals
May 2020: Christopher Yetka of Larkin Hoffman, won a significant victory, obtaining the first award of bad faith damages in Minnesota’s Federal District Court after an evidentiary hearing in the Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina v. Amit Sela case. There have been a number of awards in state court since the bad faith statute was enacted, but this is the first ruling of its kind in Federal Court. On April 21, 2020, Judge Patrick Schiltz issued an order which, in addition to confirming $493,789 in hail loss damages stemming from a prior jury trial, awarded $214,394.50 in bad faith damages pursuant to Minnesota Statute §604.18. “This case is a vindication for Mr. Sela, who was accused of fraud by his insurance carrier and forced to prove he did nothing wrong when all he wanted was payment for his hail-damaged property,” said Yetka. “Instead of protection, he got unfounded accusations.” The opinion addresses a number of important issues apart from being the first of its kind in the Minnesota Federal District Court. Click here to read the full announcement.
November 2019: Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman has launched the Travel Technology Newsletter, which features insights into the technologies that power the travel industry and on leisure and group bookings from attorneys with substantial expertise in the travel and hospitality field, including in-house counsel from leaders in the industry. Topics to be covered will include online booking systems, online search services, global distribution systems, property management systems, central reservation systems, revenue management systems and other technologies and services unique to the travel industry, with an emphasis on legal and contracting concerns unique to those systems and services. The newsletter is edited by hospitality group chair Mark Robertson. Before joining Larkin Hoffman, Mr. Robertson spent 17 years with Hilton Worldwide, where he managed business and legal issues, including international and domestic operations and services for more than 3,500 owned, leased, licensed, franchised and affiliated properties across ten different hotel brands.
August 2019: Commercial trial attorney Christopher Yetka has joined Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman as a member of its commercial litigation practice group. He has enforced the coverage rights of policyholders across the country in cases relating to nearly every type of insurance policy. He has also represented and counseled financial institutions, utilities, medical device companies, construction companies, product manufacturers, transportation, agricultural and technology companies. Mr. Yetka is a fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, vice chair of the insurance coverage litigation committee of the American Bar Association, and a program committee member of the Minnesota chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.
July 2019: Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman has been named one of the country’s Top 50 Construction Law Firms® by Construction Executive magazine in its inaugural ranking of firms. Construction Executive magazine is published by Associated Builders and Contractors Services Corporation and serves as “the leading source for news, market developments and business issues impacting the construction industry.” Construction Executive reached out to hundreds of law firms throughout the United States with a dedicated construction practice. The law firm selections were based on information submitted by the firms including firm size, revenue, construction practice size and other information. The ranked law firms are featured in the annual construction law special section published in the June 2019 edition of the magazine.
April 2019: Tim Rye, Henry Pfutzenreuter, John Kvinge and Andrew Moran have been named shareholders at Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman. Mr. Rye is a litigator who advises clients on real estate valuation and property tax appeals. He was named a 2018 “rising star” by Super Lawyers. Mr. Pfutzenreuter advises clients in litigation, with a focus on franchise and distribution, employment and commercial disputes. He was also named a “rising star” by Super Lawyers in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Mr. Kvinge represents clients facing complex matters including contractual disputes, closely held company buyout litigation, trade secret, copyright and other intellectual property matters, employment discrimination defense, medical and professional licensing board inquiries, and premises liability and personal injury defense. Finally, Mr. Moran represents and advises businesses in commercial litigation and employment law matters. Super Lawyers named him a “rising star” in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the Minnesota State Bar Association named him a “North Star Lawyer,” which is a program that recognizes members who provide indigent clients 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services per year.
February 2019: Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman has tapped Wayne Schertler to become its new chief operating officer. Mr. Schertler will provide executive leadership and strategic guidance for all administrative and financial functions of the firm. Working with the management committee and board of directors, he will lead the firm’s strategic planning to maximize long-term growth and stability and identify emerging trends, opportunities and challenges. He will also oversee the firm’s budget and manage relationships with outside service providers. A certified public accountant, Mr. Schertler received his B.S. in accounting from Portland State University.
December 2018: Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman shareholder Phyllis Karasov has been elected to the firm’s board of directors. Ms. Karasov leads the firm’s labor and employment practice and manages its blog. She advises businesses in the construction, manufacturing, education, nonprofit and healthcare sectors, providing counsel in all areas of human resources. A former National Labor Relations Board attorney, she is often called upon to represent clients in labor matters, including arbitrations, collective bargaining agreements and union contracts. Besides Ms. Karasov, the other members of the firm’s board include Paul Smith, president, Tamara O’Neill Moreland, Thomas Oppold, Paul Plunkett, Joseph Fittante and Patrick Cole.
November 2018: For the second time in as many months, Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman’s intellectual property appellate team succeeded in convincing the Patent Trial & Appeal Board to reverse the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in ex parte reexamination proceedings filed by accused infringers against its clients’ patents. USPTO had rejected the patent owners’ claims as “obvious” over a combination of several “prior art” patents. Overcoming obviousness rejections by USPTO during prosecution of a patent application or during an ex parte reexamination or inter partes review can be a major challenge for patent owners. In both appeals, the firm’s intellectual property appellate team argued that the USPTO examiner failed to provide a sufficient rationale to support the proposed combinations of the prior art and engaged in improper hindsight to arrive at its obviousness conclusions. In the latest PTAB decision reversing USPTO, PTAB held that it was “persuaded by the Patent Owner that the Examiner’s alleged rationales for combining the prior art are conclusory and lack rational underpinning to support the legal conclusion of obviousness.” The two PTAB decisions can be found here: Ex Parte Genesis Attachments Appeal No. 2018-007445; Ex Parte Richard Gramm Appeal No. 2018-006732. Questions concerning these appellate victories should be directed to David Swenson, John Cotter or Thomas Oppold.
September 2018: The Minnesota Supreme Court last month affirmed lower court rulings striking down a nearly $1.4 million fee that the City of Woodbury sought to charge Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman’s client Martin Harstad as a condition for approving his 183-unit residential development. Woodbury called the fee a “major roadway assessment,” which the city maintained was justified because new residential development “pays its own way and that all associated costs for the installation of public infrastructure to serve new residential development be the sole responsibility of the developing property owner.” The Court instead called it an “infrastructure charge” which it held was unenforceable because “no part of Minn. Stat. § 462.358 [the statute on which Woodbury relied] authorizes a statutory city to impose an infrastructure charge.” The Supreme Court said that, “Had the Legislature intended to authorize a city to condition subdivision approval on a ‘cash fee’ for infrastructure improvements, it would have used those precise terms . . . . The Legislature did not do so.” Larkin Hoffman’s team of Rob Stefonowicz, Gary Van Cleve, Peter Coyle and Bryan Huntington represented Mr. Harstad in the litigation. The entire opinion of the Court can be found here.
July 2018: Paul Smith has been elected president of Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman. He previously chaired the firm’s business litigation department, served as a member of its board of directors and was the firm’s general counsel. Mr. Smith succeeds Bill Griffith, who was initially elected in June 2012 and served six years as the firm’s president. Mr. Smith focuses his practice on commercial disputes, product liability, insurance coverage and construction litigation. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, Hennepin County Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute.
April 2018: Michael Salchert and Lynn Baldus have joined Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman. Mr. Salchert advises dentists, veterinarians, and optometrists in corporate, real estate and transactional matters including the sale and purchase of professional practices, employment issues and general business matters. He is a graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law. Mr. Baldus works with business owners in matters involving corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, entity formation, business succession planning and related matters. He has experience working with businesses ranging from family farms to multistate corporations. He received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.
January 2018: Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Founded in 1958, the firm began as a small law firm in a suburban mall, eventually becoming a regional “go-to” firm in real estate and land use law and a nationally recognized leader in franchise and distribution law. It is now one of the largest full-service firms in Minnesota, with 80 attorneys providing legal services to a wide variety of ?organizations, from ?small businesses and nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies, in ?many areas of practice including ?corporate and governance matters, litigation, real ?estate, land use, government relations, labor and employment, intellectual property, ?information technology, ?franchising and taxation.
November 2017: Charles Modell of Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman received the Lew Rudnick Award at the 40th annual American Bar Association Forum on Franchising in Palm Desert, California, on October 19, 2017. The Rudnick Award honors franchise lawyers who, over the course of their careers, have made substantial contributions to the development of the ABA Forum and to franchise law as a discipline. Mr. Modell has been a leader in franchising for decades, sharing his wisdom and insights in scores of speaking engagements, over fifty published articles and service to the franchise industry’s most important organizations. He is only the ninth recipient of the award.
August 2017: Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman’s land use practice launched its North Star Land Use blog earlier this month. The blog’s primary contributors include Peter Coyle, Bill Griffith, Jacob Steen and Matthew Bergeron. North Star Land Use will identify and discuss land use issues and trends arising in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest with a perspective that is grounded in broad, substantial experience. In recent posts, the authors have written about obstacles that developers face, how property owners may be impacted by a recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, possible zoning changes in St. Paul and amendments to the Metropolitan Council’s regional plan. To read the blog, click here.
July 2017: David Swenson has joined Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman as a member of its intellectual property practice group. An experienced litigator and prominent Federal Circuit practitioner, Mr. Swenson advises clients on the valuation and management of IP assets, plus related business strategies. He has earned a reputation as an innovative trial lawyer and thoughtful appellate advocate. Mr. Swenson defends technology companies, as well as their patents and other IP, in venues including the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the International Trade Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission, in addition to federal district courts nationwide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.
May 2017: Joe Fittante, Chuck Modell, Andrew Perrin and Jim Susag of Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman were named “Legal Eagles for 2017” by Franchise Times, an industry publication. Mr. Fittante was one of only 15 attorneys to be included in the publication’s Legal Eagles Hall of Fame for 2017. Attorneys selected for the Hall of Fame have made the Legal Eagles list for 10 years. They also have dedicated their practices to franchise work and made a noteworthy impact on the industry. Each year, Franchise Times conducts independent research to identify the top franchise attorneys in the United States and Canada. Attorneys are selected based on nominations by colleagues and clients, as well as an established track record of service to the franchise industry.
February 2017: Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman‘s property tax appeals practice this month launched its Minnesota Property Tax Review blog. Tim Rye will be the blog’s primary contributor and will focus on Minnesota property taxes through discussion of legal and valuation issues, Minnesota tax court holdings and commercial real estate market activity in and around the Twin Cities. In recent posts, Mr. Rye has addressed recent property valuation irregularities in the Twin Cities and provided an analysis of whether properties should be assessed based on investment value or market value. The firm’s property tax appeal attorneys conduct commercial property tax reviews and file appeals in Minnesota and the upper Midwest on behalf of clients in the retail, office, industrial, warehousing and other commercial real estate investment sectors. Also at Larkin Hoffman, its franchise and distribution practice has launched the Franchisor Attorneys blog. The blog provides information to those considering franchising their business and business owners operating emerging and mature franchise systems. The firm’s franchise and distribution practice advises owners of franchise companies of all sizes on issues such as methods of expansion, preparation and registration of franchise documents and maintenance of franchise relationships.