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225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402
Main:(612) 604-6400 | Fax:(612) 604-6800 |  A Professional Association


Committed to delivering the highest level of client service

Focused on finding legal solutions that support business goals

A business litigator who helps with all aspects of business

Genuine and easy to talk to

Adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School


When you work with me, you'll know that I take pride in seeing that you get a return on your investment and a premium level of legal service. I will fight for you tooth and nail. I work to understand your problems and seek resolutions that further your personal and business goals.
—Joe Windler
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Joseph M. Windler

p (612) 604-6646   f (612) 604-6846 
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2007
University of Wisconsin, B.A., History & Political Science, 2004
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Joe Windler is truly a client-focused attorney who uses his legal experience to seek resolutions that align with the client’s personal and business goals. He focuses his practice on business and commercial litigation, and since joining Winthrop & Weinstine, he has added a variety of general business and administrative experience that makes him a great advisor to his clients.  

Joe’s active administrative and regulatory practice has involved representing insurers, insurance brokers and agents, and dentists and physicians in connection with state licensing and investigative matters and market conduct examinations. In addition, Joe has represented energy providers, developers and ratepayers in rate, permitting and resource planning matters before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.  Joe has also represented a natural propane provider in significant litigation brought against it by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.   

Though most of Joe’s practice is in general commercial litigation, he also works on cases in administrative and regulatory law and employment law.  His works includes a wide variety of litigation matters, including those involving securities litigation and arbitrations, distribution chain disputes, franchise related matters, the Americans with Disabilities Act, product liability, FACTA, FDCPA, fraud and consumer fraud, FLSA, discrimination cases, shareholder disputes, breach of warranty and breach of contract, and life insurance disputes. Joe’s well-rounded legal knowledge gives him insight into his clients’ businesses and allows him the strategic forethought to be as full-service as his clients need. The types of clients Joe works with range from Fortune 500 companies to individuals in a variety of industries such as investment services, banking, food service, dentistry, energy, construction, capital venture and insurance. Joe also has extensive experience litigating supply chain manufacturing, dealer/distributor/sales, product liability, and UCC disputes, including actions enforcing and interpreting "terms and conditions." (See “Cases” tab for specific experience.)  

Joe takes pride in working with clients to find practical solutions that fit the client’s business goals. He is well known for being easy to talk to, and adds value by listening to clients and sending them in the right direction, whether it be a case or finding a new partner for other non-legal needs. “My clients are more important than the work,” Joe said. “I want to give them confidence to run their business and to be effective leaders.”  

In addition to his legal practice, Joe is an active member of the community. Within the firm, he serves on the Diversity and Recruiting committees. Joe is also chair of Winthrop & Weinstine’s Community Service committee, using his organizational skills to mobilize staff and attorneys to participate in charitable causes, and is the lead of the firm’s Summer Associate program. Outside of the office, Joe is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Bar Admissions
Minnesota, 2007
Wisconsin, 2013
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit

Representative Cases
  • Won on a motion to dismiss on behalf of broker-dealer and custodian of retirement accounts on breach of contract action brought by former third-party beneficiary.
  • Prevailed on motion for summary judgment on action for breaches of express warranty, contract, and implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose and merchantability. As a result, approximately two-thirds of plaintiff's multi-million dollar claim was dismissed.
  • Won on a motion to dismiss on behalf of mortgage reinsurer in a class action brought by Minnesota counties that alleged that reinsurer had violated Minnesota statute for allegedly failing to say recording fees for conveyances.
  • Successfully obtained dismissals on behalf of a majority shareholder and numerous officers & directors in multi-state litigation involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, corporate looting, and illegal funneling of money to a politician.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement in federal bankruptcy court on behalf of a majority shareholder in adversary proceeding brought by liquidating trustee.
  • Successfully obtained a dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims against an insurance company by an insured. The dismissal was affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
  • Won on a motion to dismiss on behalf of a large pizza company’s franchisee in a class action that alleged state and federal minimum wage violations.
  • After being retained on the last day of discovery, successfully appealed an award of summary judgment against client on a claim of breach of a personal guarantee.
  • Represented 3-time winner of Tour de France against major bike manufacturer for breach of license agreement.
  • Member of multiple trial teams, including team that obtained a settlement for client for 100% of available damages on 3rd day of trial of breach of contract action.
  • Wide range of experience including drafting pleadings, conducting discovery, taking and defending depositions, arguing dispositive and non-dispositive motions, negotiating and drafting settlements, and representing clients at trial in state, federal, bankruptcy and family court.

Specific Cases
  • Disability Support Alliance v. Heartwood Enterprises, LLC, 2016 WL 740411 (D. Minn. Feb. 24, 2016)
  • LightStyles, Ltd. v. Marvin Lumber & Cedar Co., 2015 WL 4078808 (M.D. Pa. July 6, 2015)
  • Walkup v. Smith, et al., Court File No. 27-cv-14-16945 (Hennepin County District Court 2015)
  • County of Ramsey v. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., 776 F.3d 947 (8th Cr. 2014)
  • Spectro Alloys Corporation v. Fire Brick Engineers Co., Inc., 52 F. Supp. 3d 918 (D. Minn. 2014)
  • County of Ramsey v. Merscorp Holdings, Inc., et al., 962 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (D. Minn. 2013)
  • Marvin Lumber and Cedar Co., et al., v. Sapa Extrusions, Inc., 964 F. Supp. 2d 993 (D. Minn. 2013)
  • Baker v. Best Buy Stores, LP, et al., 812 N.W.2d 177, 2012 WL 539196 (Minn. Ct. App. 2012)
  • Benincasa v. The Lafayette Life Insurance Co., 2011 WL 5967300 (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 2011)
  • In re Northern States Power Co., Case No. A10-397, 2010 WL 4608342 (Minn. Ct. App., November 16, 2010)
  • Grace Capital, LLC v. Mills, Case No. A09-1857, 2010 WL 3396817 (Minn. Ct. App., August 31, 2010)
  • Meecorp Capital Markets, LLC v. PSC of Two Harbors, LLC, Case No. Civ. 09-2067, 2010 WL 2946984 (D. Minn., July 22, 2010)
  • Bailey ex rel. v. Border Foods, Inc., Case No. Civ. 09-1230, 2009 WL 3248305 (D. Minn., October 06, 2009)
  • Bankey v. Phillips & Burns, LLC, Case No. 07-2200, 2008 WL 2405773 (D. Minn., June 11, 2008)

Articles & Presentations
Speaker. "Accessibility Compliance for Small Businesses: ADA/MDHR Lawsuits." 2017 Business Law Institute. Minnesota CLE. 2 May 2017.
Qtd. Reinan, John. "Doctor, lawyer, wheelchair user: It's the same person. And he's filing disability lawsuits by the bundle." Star Tribune. 31 May 2016.

Speaker. "ADA Lawsuits Infosession." Hopkins Business & Civic Association. 25 May, 2016.

Qtd. Du, Susan. "'Abusive' Disabilities Lawyer Paul Hansmeier Loses Against St. Paul Landlord." City Pages. 29 February 2016.

Qtd. McKinney, Matt. "St. Paul Landlord Wins Case Against Serial ADA Litigant." Star Tribune. 25 February 2016.
Community Involvement
  • Board of Directors, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - MN Chapter
    • Chair of the Board
  • Board of Directors, Paul's Pals
  • Member of Firm’s Diversity & Recruiting Committee
  • Head of Summer Associate Program
  • Head of Community Service Committee
  • Adjunct Professor at University of Minnesota Law School
  • Mentor, University of Minnesota Law School Minority Mentorship Program
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Minnesota Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Ramsey County Bar Association

Honors & Awards
  • Lifeblood of Big Climb MPLS, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 2016
  • "Under 40 Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2017
  • "Future Star," Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2018
  • Minnesota Rising Stars, Super Lawyers®, 2011-2017
  • Up & Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer 2012
  • Journal of Law & Inequality, Executive Editor
  • Child Advocacy Clinic, Student Director
  • Research Assistant for Professor Barry Feld
  • Student Employment and Labor Law Association, Treasurer
  • Judicial Extern for the Honorable John Tunheim, U.S. District Court of Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota Law School Public Service Program Honoree, 2007
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Press Releases

August 16, 2017
Benchmark Litigation Names Three Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys to “Under 40 Hot List 2017”

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

October 27, 2016
Joe Windler Awarded Lifeblood of Big Climb MPLS Award by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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

July 05, 2016
Seventeen Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named “Rising Stars”

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”

July 07, 2015
Fourteen Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Named Rising Stars

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

July 07, 2014
Fourteen Attorneys Named Rising Stars

January 02, 2014
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., Announces New Shareholders and Associates

July 08, 2013
Super Lawyers® Names Fourteen to Rising Stars List

January 01, 2013
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., Announces New Shareholders and Associates

July 09, 2012
Thirteen Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys on Super Lawyers®-Rising Stars List 2012

June 29, 2012
Joseph M. Windler Selected as "Up & Coming Attorney" by Minnesota Lawyer

July 12, 2011
Thirteen Winthrop & Weinstine Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in Rising Stars

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

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