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John A. Knapp

p (612) 604-6404   f (612) 604-6804 
University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., with distinction, 1974
Saint John's University, B.A., Government, 1971
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John is a shareholder with Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., and is experienced in legislative and regulatory representation, as well as public utility, environmental, insurance and general corporate law. He began his legal career with the Minnesota Legislature serving from 1974 to 1976 as an Assistant Revisor of Statutes. Since entering private practice, he has represented clients before federal, state and local legislative and regulatory agencies. John's specific areas of experience and expertise include:

  • Administrative law, including representation of clients before the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Pollution Control Agency, Public Utilities Commission and other regulatory bodies
  • Legislative representation, including strategy development, communications and advocacy
  • Insurance and financial services law
  • Ethics, campaign finance and election law
  • Energy and environmental law

John is also deeply involved in his community, and is a member of numerous legal, charitable and community organizations.  He is a graduate of St. John's University and the University of Iowa Law School.


Governor's Rules Reform Task Force
—Appointed by Governor Ventura, October 2002

Bar Admissions
Iowa Supreme Court
Minnesota Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Community Involvement
  • American Bar Association
    • Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)
      • Chair, Insurance Regulation Committee, 2004-2005
      • Chair, Corporate Counsel Committee, 2008-2009
    • Business Law Section
      • Vice Chair, Government Affairs Practice Committee, 2011-2012
      • Co-Chair, Government Affairs Practice Committee, 2012-2015
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Leadership positions – Administrative Law Section, Public Utilities Section
  • Ramsey County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Public Affairs Council
    • Director, 2003-present
  • Minnesota Governmental Relations Council
    • President, 1993-1994
    • Director and Executive Committee Member, 1990-1995
  • Citizens League
    • Development Committee
  • Mortgage Association of Minnesota
    • Chair, Law Committee, 1984-1989
  • Federation of Regulatory Counsel
  • Minnesota Taxpayers Association
    • Board of Directors, 1998-2011
  • Minnesota Forest Industries, Inc.
    • Chair, Government Relations Committee, 1997-2003
  • State Law Resources, Inc.
    • Director, 2008-2012
    • Co-chair, Insurance Practice Group, 2007-2014
  • Cretin-Derham Hall
    • President's Advisory Council, 2005-present
  • University of Minnesota Law School – Institute for Law and Politics
    • Advisory Board, 2007-present
  • University of St Thomas Law Mentor Externship Program, 2002-Present
  • William Mitchell College of Law Mentorship Program, 2004-2007
  • Catholic Charities of the Twin Cities
    • Director, 2012-2016
    • Executive Committee Member, 2013-present
    • Chair, Advocacy and Community Relations Committee, 2013-present
    • Chair, Dorothy Day Center Task Force, 2013-2014

Honors & Awards
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer for Pro Bono Service, 2014
  • "The 75 Most Influential People in the Twin Cities," Minnesota Monthly, February 2013.
  • "The Black Book: 100 Minnesotans You Should Know," Twin Cities Business, December 2012
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2007-2014
    • "Minneapolis Best Lawyers Administrative/Regulatory Lawyer of the Year," 2014
    • "Minneapolis Best Lawyers Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year," 2012
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2004-2014
  • Ranked as “AV Preeminent” in LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review ratings
  • Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America®
  • Top five lobbyists in the state, St. Paul Legal Ledger, 1998
  • Chosen as one of the state's top lobbyists, Minnesota Law & Politics, 2000
Qtd. Richert, Catharine. "Tougher disclosure rules dropped from campaign finance bill." MPR News. 20 May 2013.

Qtd. Richert, Catharine. "Minn. campaign board may ask for more power over political ads." MPR News. 11 December 2012.

Qtd. Shaw, Charley. “Rising GOP tide lifted some lobbyists’ boats.” Politics in Minnesota. 15 Jun. 2011.

Qtd. "Dayton's Cabinet: A Bargaining Chip?" Politics in Minnesota: The Weekly Report (22 Apr. 2011).

Co-author. "Minnesota Responds to Citizens United." Newsletter of the ABA Business Law Section Committee on Government Affairs Practice. Vol. 1, Issue 3. (Summer 2010).
  • ABA Business Law Section's Business Law Today. 28 Oct. 2010.

Co-author. "The Hatch Act: It's Not Just for Federal Employees Anymore." Newsletter of the ABA Business Law Section Committee on Government Affairs Practice 1 (Fall 2009).
  • Newsletter of the ABA Business Law Section. Mar. 2010.

Author. "Recent Developments in Insurance Regulation.” Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal Vol. 39 No. 2 (Winter 2004).
Author. "State Initiatives in Rulemaking Reform (1995-200).” FORC Quarterly Journal of Insurance Law and Regulation Vol. XII Edition IV (2 Dec. 2000).
Author. "Regulatory Reform: The States Lead the Way.” FORC Quarterly Journal of Insurance Law and Regulation Vol. VII Edition VI (1 Dec. 1995).
Author. "Minnesota Foreclosure Relief Act: How it Works.” 1 Minn. Real Est. L. J. 190 (1983).
Panelist. "Shining the Light on Money: Campaign Finance and the Need for More Disclosure." Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Minneapolis, MN. 19 February 2014.

Moderator. "Transparency in Political Activity." American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL. 3 Aug. 2012.

Speaker. "There's an Election Coming! What Corporate Counsel Need to Know About Political Law." Hennepin County Bar Association. Live Webcast. 19 Jan. 2012.

Speaker. "Lobbying for a Successful Transaction: Government Affairs to Impact the Regulatory Setting and as a Mergers and Acquisition Tool." American Bar Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. 8 Aug. 2010.

Program Chair & Moderator. “Citizens United v. FEC: An Overhaul of Campaign Finance Laws.” American Bar Association, Business Law Section Spring Meeting. Denver, CO. 23 Apr. 2010. Panel.

Speaker.  "The Basics – Laws Governing Candidates and Campaign Finance." How to Run for Office Series. Minnesota Association of Realtors’, Minneapolis. 20 Aug. 2009.

Speaker. "Recent Developments in the Life Settlement Industry.” TIPS Mid-Winter CLE. American Bar Association.  Bonita Springs, FL. 15 Jan. 2009.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 19 Dec. 2008.
Course Chair & Speaker. "Annuity Suitability Under the Microscope.” ABA Annual Meeting, Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section.  American Bar Association. 8 Aug. 2008.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 15 Feb. 2008.
Speaker. "Emerging Litigation and Regulatory Developments in Insurance Law - A Symposium."  Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section.  American Bar Association. 8 Nov. 2007.
Speaker. “The Republican National Convention is Coming to Town.” Minnesota Governmental Relations Council. 22 Aug. 2007.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 12 Jan. 2007.
Speaker. “Campaign Finance Laws: Legal Constraints on Corporate Political Activity in Minnesota.” Minnesota Governmental Relations Council. 1 Sept. 2006.
Course Chair & Speaker. "It's Not Elementary, My Dear Watson: Undercover Investigations, Attorney/Client Privilege, and Other Legal and Ethical Issues.” ABA Annual Meeting. Honolulu, HI.  5 Aug. 2006.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 6 Jan. 2006.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 14 Jan. 2005.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 23 Jan. 2004.
Speaker. “Legislative Update 2003.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education. 27 Jun 2003.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 10 Jan. 2003.
Speaker. “Code of Ethics.” Minnesota Governmental Relations Council. 15 Nov. 2002.
Speaker. “Legislative Update 2002.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education. 4 June 2002.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 11 Jan. 2002.
Speaker. “Lobbyist and PAC Reporting Update.” Minnesota Governmental Relations Council. 17 Oct. 2001.
Speaker. “Legislative Update 2001.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education. 13 June 2001.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 12 Jan. 2001.
Speaker. "Strategies for Productive Dealings with Regulatory Agencies."  Public Affairs Council. Washington, D.C. 4-5 Jan. 2001.
Speaker. “2000 Administrative Law Update and Professionalism Aspirations: The Civility Wars.” Minnesota State Bar Association. 28 June 2000.
Speaker. “Legislative Update 2000.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education. 8 June 2000.
Speaker. "Legal Constraints on Corporate Political Activity in Minnesota."  Public Affairs Council.  4 Feb. 2000.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 12 Jan. 2000.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 29 Jan. 1999.
Speaker. “Lobbying 101: Practical Lobbying Tips and 1999 Legislative Preview.” Minnesota State Bar Association. 16 Dec. 1998.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Advanced Minnesota Legislative Process Seminar.” Minnesota CLE. 19 Dec. 1997.
Speaker. “Annual School Law Conference.” Minnesota CLE. 14 Nov. 1997.
Speaker. “6th Annual Seminar on Campaign Finance Law.” Minnesota Governmental Relations Council. 23 Oct. 1997.
Speaker. “What’s Next? Telephone and Electric Competition in Minnesota.” Minnesota CLE. 10 Jan. 1997.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “Minnesota Legislative Process II.” Minnesota CLE. 13 Dec. 1996.
Speaker. “1996 Administrative Law Update.” Minnesota CLE. 20 June 1996.
Speaker. “Lobbyist Law Seminar.” Minnesota Governmental Relations Council. 11 June 1996.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “The Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 15 Dec. 1995.
Course co-chair & Speaker. Administrative Procedures Act Reform. Minnesota CLE. 15 Aug. 1995.
Speaker. “1995 Administrative Law Update.” Minnesota CLE. 22 June 1995.
Speaker. “Legislative Update 1995.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education. 22 June 1995.
Speaker. "Lobbying the New Congress."  American Bar Association. Washington, D.C. 3 Mar. 1995.
Course co-chair & Speaker. “The Minnesota Legislative Process.” Minnesota CLE. 13 Dec. 1994.
Speaker. “Gifts to Public Officials.” Minnesota CLE. 22 July 1994.
Speaker. “Legislative Update 1994.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education. 16 June 1994.
Speaker. “Managing the Inside/Outside Counsel Relationship.” Minnesota State Bar Association. 16 Oct. 1990.
Speaker. “Mortgages and Contracts for Deed.” Minnesota CLE. 16-17 Oct. 1985.

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