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Tom Conlin

Toll-Free: (888) 296-3062

I keep a quote on my desk that really resonates with me: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Proverbs 31:8. This is what I am driven to do every day. I have made it my life’s work to use my voice to help those who need it most, helping clients reclaim their lives as fully as possible after an injury or loss and improving safety in our community at the same time.  

 

Experience

Tom Conlin has an exceptional record of helping families and individuals get back on their feet after experiencing a serious injury or the loss of a loved one. Since 1982 his clients have been families, children, or spouses who have suffered through one of life’s great burdens, a serious personal injury or a wrongful death, resulting from someone’s negligence. 

Mindful of the stresses a lawsuit can place on an injury victim or family, Tom carefully investigates potential cases before he agrees to take them on, so that when a client makes the difficult choice to sue, there is likely to be a real benefit from that decision. Tom feels that offering injury victims a knowledgeable and compassionate ear—even if he does not ultimately take their case—is part of his service to the community. People often remark that their time talking with Tom was the first time they really felt “heard” regarding their injury.

Tom has been recognized by his peers as a preeminent trial lawyer of high esteem and personal character by his induction as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, marking him as one of the top trial lawyers in the country.  He has also been invited to the high honor of Fellowship in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and will soon be inducted there.

Tom is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the MSBA, and has twice received the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Professional Excellence Award.  A native of Williston, ND, Tom is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of Notre Dame.

Selected Case Results

Condon v. St. Alexius Medical Center: $3,500,000 verdict, North Dakota Medical Malpractice. Represented a 30-year-old woman who suffered a stroke after the defendant surgeon cut into the innominate artery during a biopsy procedure. A Bismarck, ND jury returned a verdict in the amount of $3.5 million. 

Vail v. S/L Services, Inc.: Oilfield injury to employee. the North Dakota Supreme Court considered certified questions from the District Court regarding employer’s immunity from liability for negligent injury to an oilfield employee, establishing that ignorance of the law does not preclude a finding of a willful violation of N.D.C.C. § 65-04-33, and allowing injured employee’s suit against employer to proceed.

Brunsting v. Lutsen Mountain Corp: Ski injury case. Leading case in the Eighth Circuit regarding Federal Rule of Evidence 803(2) (excited utterance).  After win in the Eighth Circuit, case settled.

Pro Bono Legal Services for the Survivors of the I-35W Bridge Collapse.  Provided free legal services as part of a consortium of lawyers to the over 100 survivors and the 13 families who lost loved ones on August 1, 2007 when the I-35W Bridge in downtown Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River.  In total, more than $77 million was recovered, consisting of a compensation fund from the State of Minnesota, additional compensation from the construction company which placed thousands of pounds of construction material on the bridge the day it collapsed, and a $40 million settlement of claims from the company hired by the State to provide engineering services on the bridge. An additional $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees was recovered, donated in its entirety to the construction of a memorial. 

$4.2 million settlement: Defective Snowmobile. Represented a man who suffered a spinal cord injury when the steering of a snowmobile broke because of defect in manufacturing and design. The Recovery obtained will provide for his future care needs and pay for necessary modifications to make his home safe.

$2.55 million settlement: North Dakota Oilfield Injury. Represented an oilfield worker who suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of a commercial driver at a tanker cleaning facility. Recovery paid back past medical costs and provided for future medical expenses and loss of income.   

$1.8 million settlement in piling injury case. Young engineer suffered spinal cord injury (paralysis, quadriplegia) when road construction worker toppled piling without clearing the area of other personnel.

Brockman v. Sun Valley. Settlement followed by verdict, over $1M: Respiratory Injury from Zamboni Poisoning. Represented 14 topflight amateur players who, while competing in a hockey tournament in Sun Valley, Idaho suffered respiratory injury when someone closed the ventilation, flooding the arena with caustic nitrogen dioxide gas each time the Zamboni ran between periods.
 In the aftermath of the game, one of the players had to be airlifted to Billings, Montana, for treatment. Everyone survived, but all suffered lung injuries. One case was settled for $400,000, after which a federal jury in Boise returned a verdict totaling almost $1M.

Recognition

  • Fellow, the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Prospective Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Named to the Minnesota Super Lawyers List (2008-Present)
  • Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Certified Civil Trial Specialist (Minnesota State Bar Association)
  • Named one of “The Best Lawyers in Minnesota” by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine
  • Recipient of the “Professional Excellence Award” by the Minnesota State Bar Association (2006 and 2009).  
  • Adjunct Professor, Legal Practicum in Torts, William Mitchell College of Law (2005-2006)
  • Recipient of the “Public Service Award” by the Minnesota State Bar Association (2005)

Community Service

  • Minnesota Jury Instruction Guides Bar Committee—Products Liability (2014)
  • Legal Services Advisory Committee (2005-2011)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee (2001-2006); Co-chair (2004-2006)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Assembly, (2004-2009; 2011)
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Board of Governors (2004-2005)
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Affiliation Agreement Advisory Group (2005-06)
  • Pro Bono Consortium, I-35W Bridge Collapse (2007-2010)
  • Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund Task Force
  • Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, Pro Bono Committee, Chair (1994 – 2003)
  • India Association of Minnesota, Board of Directors (1994-1996)

Articles

  • Going Pro Se: Children and The Law
    Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (August 2000)
  • All Aboard the Preemption Train: How a Lot of Railroad Common Law Liability Went the Way of the Roundhouse
    Minnesota Trial (Spring 2001)

Speeches 

  • The Malpractice Damages Cap: An uncertain remedy for the catastrophically injured
    North Dakota Association for Justice Spring Seminar (May 2018) (with Stacy Deery Stennes)
  • Voir Dire
    MAJ Boot Camp for New Trial Lawyers (2017)
  • Top Verdict Outcomes of 2013: feature verdict
    Minnesota Association for Justice seminar (2014) (with Stacy Deery Stennes)
  • A New Look at Apportionment of Fault in Dram Shop Cases
    Minnesota Association for Justice Annual Convention (August 2012) (with Stacy Deery Stennes)
  • NITA North Central Regional Advocacy Program
    Faculty Member – William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota (various dates)
  • Final Arguments and Voir Dire
    NITA North Central Regional Advocacy Program (May 21, 2003)
  • Preemption: Lost and Found
    Minneapolis, MN (November 19, 2002)
  • Expert Witnesses
    Minneapolis, MN (June 5, 2002)
  • Products That Injure and Kill People – Ethical Considerations in Products Liability Litigation
    New Orleans, LA (April 26, 1997)
  • Federal Preemption
    Minneapolis, MN (April 11, 1997)
  • New Methods for Proving Damages
    Minneapolis, MN (November 22, 1996)
  • Direct Examination of the Expert – Making the Presentation Memorable
    Minneapolis, MN (October 24, 1996)
  • Product Liability: Where Does Corporate Responsibility End and Personal Responsibility Begin
    Commentator - Minnesota Public Radio “Mid-Morning” (July 17, 1996)
  • Litigation for Legal Assistants and Attorneys
    Minneapolis, MN (November 22, 1994)
  • Dealing with the Auto Accident Case in Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN (September 23, 1994)

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