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David M. Aafedt

p (612) 604-6447   f (612) 604-6847 
William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1997
Pomona College, B.A., Government, 1992
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David served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office until 2003, when he joined Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. While at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, David served as counsel to the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Health, and represented the State of Minnesota, the Governor, the Attorney General, and various state agencies in business, consumer and charities litigation, investigations, market conduct examinations, and civil enforcement proceedings. David was also heavily involved in numerous Attorney General audits and consumer investigations pursuant to the Office’s consumer, non-profit, and charitable organization oversight.

Since joining Winthrop & Weinstine, David’s practice mirrors his practice while at the Attorney General’s Office.  He uses his extensive experience to advocate on behalf of his clients in a wide range of settings in all 50 states, including state and federal regulatory matters, business, consumer and non-profit litigation, as well as state and federal investigations, market conduct examinations, and unclaimed property audits. David was recognized by Best Lawyers in America© as “Lawyer of the Year” for Administrative/Regulatory Law in 2017, and has also been listed in Insurance Law. He has also consistently been selected to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list for Administrative and Regulatory Law.

David serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota, as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel ("FORC"), and as a member of the Executive Council for both the Health Law and Administrative Law Sections of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

David is also a member of the firm’s Board of Directors.

He and his wife live in Edina with three kids and a black lab.

David’s more detailed practice descriptions are set forth below.

Insurance Regulatory & Insurance Litigation
David represents insurers, reinsurers, and producers in their interactions with state insurance departments, Attorneys General, revenue departments, and other state and federal regulators. Specifically, a significant part of his practice is devoted to working with industry clients in conjunction with market conduct examinations, unclaimed property audits, investigations, civil investigative demands, enforcement actions, surplus lines regulation, premium tax and premium assessment issues, licensing and appointment matters, and insurance fraud investigation and reporting.

David also handles a wide variety of insurance litigation, including class action and coverage disputes in all lines of insurance; unfair and deceptive business practices; sales and suitability; bad faith and unfair claims handling; excess and surplus lines; and producer commission and non-compete disputes.

He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel (“FORC”), a nationwide association of attorneys specializing in insurance regulatory law, and has been named in Best Lawyers In America®  for Insurance Law and Administrative/Regulatory Law. He was listed as "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for Administrative/Regulatory Law in 2017.

Business, Consumer, and Charities Litigation
Both in private practice and while at the Attorney General’s Office, David has litigated and arbitrated numerous business disputes, including claims involving breach of contract, civil theft, common law fraud, charities fraud, professional fundraiser fraud, consumer fraud, state and federal false claims, deceptive trade practices, false statements in advertisement, trade secret, non-compete, and defamation, among others.  David is also a certified arbitrator and mediator pursuant to Rule 114 of the Minnesota Rules of General Practice for the District Courts.

Health and Dental
David formerly represented the Minnesota Department of Health’s Managed Care, Health Facilities Complaints, Health Economics, and Environmental Health divisions, and the Attorney General’s Office in conjunction with health care litigation, audits and investigations, and enforcement actions.

David now represents health and dental providers, trade associations, and health care businesses in a variety of capacities, including litigation and enforcement proceedings, health care licensing board investigations, compliance and regulatory matters, as well as federal, state, and private payer billing audits and investigations.  David also serves as outside “general counsel” to dozens of health care professionals and practice groups, where he advises them on, among other issues, state and federal privacy laws, including data breaches; public and private payer reimbursement issues; fraud, waste and abuse, anti-kickback and Stark; credentialing, privileging and peer review processes; the purchase or sale of a medical or dental practice or business; and general corporate governance, management, and employment issues. David also routinely works with health care providers and practice groups to conduct internal compliance investigations in an effort to identify potential compliance risks, and ensure that appropriate procedures and training are in place moving forward.

Administrative and Regulatory Law
At the Attorney General’s Office and now in private practice, David has represented hundreds of clients before legislative bodies, and state and federal regulators. In addition to David’s insurance and health care regulatory expertise, he has extensive experience advising clients in conjunction with their oversight by, or interaction with, among others, the Minnesota Office of Attorney General (consumer, non-profit and charitable organization, and residential utilities oversight), Minnesota Office of the Governor, Minnesota Legislature, Department of Administration (data practices, contracts and procurement), Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce (insurance, real estate brokers and appraisers, securities, debt collectors), Department of Health (see above), Department of Human Services (licensing, Office of Inspector General), Department of Labor and Industry (OSHA and Construction Codes and Licensing), Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, Department of Public Safety, Public Utilities Commission (energy and telecommunications), as well as the Boards of Medical Practice, Dentistry, and Nursing.

Energy Law
David has represented a wide range of clients, such as utilities, wind energy developers, rate payers, and other interested parties, in matters before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and Minnesota Department of Commerce, including rate cases, resource planning dockets, and certificate of need, siting and route permitting, and environmental review proceedings.  David has also represented a national propane provider in significant litigation brought against it by Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.  David also serves on the Public Utilities Commission’s Advisory Committee on rulemaking for Certificate of Need and Site and Route Permits for Large Electric Generating Plants and High-Voltage Transmission Lines.

Bar Admissions
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Representative Matters

Insurance Regulatory & Insurance Litigation
  • In the Matter of the Excess Surplus Status of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, 624 N.W.2d 264 (Minn. 2001) — Represented the Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce in a matter requiring a non-profit health plan service corporation to divest itself of $470 million in tobacco settlement proceeds as a result of exceeding statutory surplus requirements.
  • Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co. et al. v. Minnesota Special Compensation Fund et al., 2006 WL 3371968 — Obtained a $5.2 million recovery against the State of Minnesota and its workers’ compensation regulator as a result of erroneous premium assessments made against a group of client insurance companies.
  • State of Minnesota, by its Attorney General v. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CV-07-581 — Represented a life insurance company in conjunction with a Minnesota Attorney General lawsuit relating to the suitability of the sale of equity indexed annuities to Minnesota consumers.
  • State of Minnesota, by its Attorney General v. American International Group, Inc., Ramsey County District Court File No. 62-CO-06-001632, and Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Association (WCRA) et al. v. American International Group, Inc., et al., Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CV-08-10705 — Represented AIG and various insurers in litigation relating to alleged underreporting of workers’ compensation premiums to state and quasi-public agencies.

 Business and Consumer Litigation

  • Corey Baker et al., v. Best Buy and Chartis Warranty Guard, Inc., 812 N.W.2d 177 (Minn. Ct. App. 2012), rev. denied (Minn. April 25, 2012) — Affirmance of dismissal of putative class action brought against Chartis Warranty Guard for alleged breach of contract, as well as consumer fraud and false statement in advertisement act claims, in conjunction with service plan contracts offered by electronics retailer.
  • Ferrellgas v. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, Ramsey County District Court, (2010) — Represented client in responding to multiple civil investigative demands and in litigation against the Attorney General, where Minnesota’s consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices act claims were at issue.
  • State of Minnesota, by its Commissioner of Public Safety v. CMI of Kentucky, Inc., U.S.D.C. File No. 08-CV-603 — Breach of contract and copyright infringement case brought by State against manufacturer of the Intoxilyzer breath-alcohol testing device.
  • In Re: Source Code Evidentiary Hearings in Implied Consent Matters and In Re: Source Code Evidentiary Hearings in Criminal Proceedings, 816 N.W.2d 525 (Minn. 2012) — Represented amicus curiae CMI, Inc., in consolidated statewide proceedings, which affirmed the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 5000 EN breath-alcohol testing device.
  • Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce et al. v. Susan Gaertner et al., 439 F.3d 481 (8th Cir. 2006) — Waged successful constitutional challenge on preemption grounds, which led to state statutes prohibiting certain federal electioneering activities being struck down.

Health and Dental

  • Deerwood Dental, P.A., et al. v. Minnesota Department of Human Services, et al., U.S.D.C. File No. 09-CV-1109 — Obtained a $5.0+ million recovery for group of dental clinics that were wrongfully excluded from Minnesota’s Critical Access Program.
  • State of Minnesota, by its Attorney General v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Henn. Cty. Dist. Ct. — Represented the Minnesota Attorney General in an enforcement matter against a non-profit health service plan corporation for wrongful denial of eating disorder and chemical dependency treatment for minors and young adults, resulting in an $8.0+ million settlement.
  • State of Minnesota et al., v. United States of America and Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S.D.C. File No. 99-CV-01831 — Represented the State of Minnesota in litigation against the federal government over the unlawfully low Medicare Plus Choice reimbursement rates paid in Minnesota.

 Honors & Awards

  • "Local Litigation Star," Benchmark Litigation (2015-2018)
  • "Dream Team," Leaders in Health Care Award, Minnesota Business (2014)
  • Best Lawyers in America© 
    • Minneapolis Lawyer of the Year: Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2017
    • Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2017-2018
    • Insurance Law, 2013-2018
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers® - Administrative and Regulatory Law (2011-2017)
  • "Future Star," Benchmark Litigation (2012-2014)
  • Minnesota Rising Stars®, (2003-2009) 


Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Better Business Bureau of Minnesota & North Dakota, Board of Directors (2010-present)
    • Chair of the Board (2013-present)
    • Vice-Chair of the Board (2012-2013)
    • Executive Committee (2011-present)
    • Finance Committee (2010-present)
  • Federation of Regulatory Counsel, Chair, Board of Directors
  • Law Firm Alliance, Board of Directors
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Minnesota Bar Association
    • Administrative Law Section
      • Chair (2005-2006 and 2008-2009, 2014-present)
      • Executive Council Member (2004-present)
    •   Health Law Section
      • Vice Chair (2016-present)
      • Secretary (2015-2016)
      • Treasurer (2014-2015)
      • Executive Council Member (2011-present)
  • Hennepin and Ramsey County Bar Associations
  • Health Law Institute
    • Planning Committee (2012)


Press Releases

January 10, 2018
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., Announces New Board of Directors

October 23, 2017
David Aafedt Elected to Fifth Term as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

September 21, 2017
David Aafedt Elected Chair of MSBA Health Law Section

August 15, 2017
Twenty-Nine Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named to 2018 “Best Lawyers In America” List

July 05, 2017
Thirty Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers List

March 13, 2017
David Aafedt Elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel

October 24, 2016
Benchmark Litigation 2017 Recognized Winthrop & Weinstine as “Highly Recommended”

August 24, 2016
David Aafedt Elected to Fourth Term as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

August 15, 2016
Twenty-Six Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named to 2017 “Best Lawyers In America” List

July 05, 2016
Forty-Six Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

October 29, 2015
Benchmark Litigation 2016 Recognized Winthrop & Weinstine as “Highly Recommended”

August 25, 2015
David Aafedt Re-elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

August 17, 2015
Twenty-Five Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named to 2016 “Best Lawyers In America” List

July 07, 2015
Twenty-Nine Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers List

November 04, 2014
Benchmark Litigation 2015 Recognized Winthrop & Weinstine as "Highly Recommended"

October 31, 2014
2014 BBB Torch Award for Ethics Winners Announced

September 02, 2014
Winthrop & Weinstine Recipient of Leaders in Health Care Award

August 18, 2014
Twenty-One Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named to 2015 “Best Lawyers In America” List

August 15, 2014
Shareholder David Aafedt Re-elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

July 07, 2014
Twenty-Eight Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers List

November 19, 2013
Benchmark Litigation 2014 Recognizes Winthrop & Weinstine as “Highly Recommended”

August 21, 2013
David M. Aafedt Elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

August 15, 2013
Twenty-One Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named to 2014 “Best Lawyers In America©” List

July 08, 2013
Twenty-Four Attorneys Named as Super Lawyers®

January 21, 2013
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. Attorney David M. Aafedt Elected to National Board of Directors

September 19, 2012
Twenty Two-Attorneys from Winthrop & Weinstine Named to “Best Lawyers in America” List

July 09, 2012
Twenty-Three Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named as Super Lawyers®

January 17, 2012
Winthrop & Weinstine Announces 2012 Board of Directors

July 12, 2011
Minnesota Super Lawyers® Includes Over Twenty Attorneys at Winthrop & Weinstine

December 21, 2010
Winthrop & Weinstine Celebrates This Holiday Season with the Help of Local Talent

Articles & Presentations
Co-Presenter. "As the Pendulum Swings: Collaborating to Curb Opioid Prescribing." 2017 Health Law Institute. Minnesota CLE. 15 June 2017.

Speaker. "Fundamentals of Board Governance in Highly Regulated Industries." PIAA Leadership Camp. 17 May 2017.

Qtd. "Commenting on Past Employee Behavior Is Thorny Issue." Healthcare Risk Management. AHC Media. 1 April 2017.

Panelist. "For-Profit Versus Non-Profit Delivery of Health Care." Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association 120th Annual Meeting. 23 February 2017.

Co-author. "Hackers want your medical data." Minnesota Business Magazine 3 Dec. 2014

Co-author. "Importance of Open Payments website to drug and medical device manufacturers." Minnesota Business Magazine 4 Nov. 2014

Co-author. "Final Rule on the 'Sunshine Act': Be Ready to Comply." Minnesota Physician. May 2013.

Co-author. "Sunshine and Scrutiny: Managing Compliance with the ACA's Sunshine Provisions from a Provider Perspective." Minnesota Physician. Nov. 2012.

Speaker. "Dentistry and the Law: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure." Saint Paul District Dental Society 2012 Midwinter Meeting, St. Paul, MN. 20 Jan. 2012.

Qtd. Stawicki, Elizabeth. "Judge approves breathalyzer settlement." MPR. 16 July 2009. Web. <>.
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