Substantive Law Background:
I started my career at Morrison & Foerster in Washington D.C. doing litigation in the fields of antitrust, savings and loan and oil pipeline work. In 1988, I accepted a position with the St. Paul office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP (now Robins, Kaplan), where I handled personal injury and medical malpractice cases. In 1991, I moved to the Mass Tort department in Minneapolis. I first worked on the firm’s national breast implant litigation, where we handled cases throughout the country. In 1995, I joined the firm’s tobacco team representing the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield against the tobacco companies. After tobacco, I continued to handle a combination of mass tort, personal injury and medical malpractice cases on behalf of injured clients. My mass tort practice focused on the medical device and drug industry (hip implants, heart valves, fen/phen and other drugs). I was the lead lawyer on the Minot Train Derailment cases, and handled gas explosion, plane crash and medical malpractice cases as well. My practice was nationwide, and I became well versed in the area of negligence law, civil procedure, evidence and litigation generally, both in state and federal courts.
Decision Making Training:
In 2010, I was appointed as a Minnesota State District Court Judge sitting in Anoka County. In Anoka, all the judges handle all types of cases, including blocked family and civil cases. In my 9 years on the bench, I presided over 12 civil jury trials and multiple civil and family court trials and substantive hearings. Each case was a learning experience, and consistent with my private practice training, preparation was essential. I prepared for each case by reading and analyzing all submissions prior to any hearings. I was blessed with excellent law clerks, and together we educated each other in the substantive law, which was much broader than my previous experience, and the evolving art of order writing. As a judge, I focused on hearing the evidence, making detailed factual findings, tying those findings into the law, and rendering timely and thoughtful orders. I will bring this training and experience to the arbitration setting.