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Gerald H. Fornwald

Let’s identify and cure obstacles before they become problems.

My Approach

The connecting theme through my two different areas of practice is helping people and businesses get through very difficult situations, and identifying or quelling problems – that they might not have even been aware of – before they bubble up and burst.

In the healthcare regulatory and compliance area, I help providers keep their licenses – their livelihoods – intact. With so many regulations, governing bodies, and complicated processes, these are often fraught and stressful times. Healthcare is strictly regulated because it is so vitally important to the communities we serve. We need to be sure we’re providing it in the correct way and following the proper path – and I get real energy from helping my clients do that.

Shareholder disputes are nicknamed “corporate divorces” for a reason – these matters can be brutal, contentious disagreements for clients, often with friends, close family, or others with whom they have been doing business for years. Since graduating from law school, I have constantly been involved in one or more shareholder disputes, which means that I have seen any and all issues that may come up – and the last thing anyone wants in a dispute of that nature is a surprise.

In both cases, because I have firsthand experience seeing how difficult these matters can be, I fervently advise clients on how to protect themselves to avoid issues in the future.

Groundbreaking Moment in my Career

In 2016, I was litigating a contentious shareholder dispute, and it was both the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me professionally. It just about broke me. I can look back in hindsight and say that it turned out well, but it took me to the point where I seriously considered whether I wanted to continue to practice law.

What brought me out of it was two-fold: first, the realization that I was feeling the same uncertainty my clients feel - that this might be the end of a beloved career - and I wanted to do everything I could to spare them that feeling. Second, that I had built up the skills and knowledge, and was confident in my ability to stack up against anything. Together, I knew that continuing to represent my clients was important work I needed - and in the end, really wanted - to be doing.

Honors & Awards

Benchmark Litigation

Under 40 Hot List, 2016-2017
Local Litigation Star, 2016-2018
Future Star, 2015

Minnesota Super Lawyers®


Minnesota Rising Stars

Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2012

2005 Excellence in Employment Law Award

Minnesota Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section


Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Associations & Memberships

Minnesota Bar Association

Co-chair, “Barrister’s Breakfast”