Joseph M. Windler
There isn’t a wall I won’t run through for my clients.
Contact: P /612.604.6646E /firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2007
- Public Service Program Honoree, 2007
- Executive Editor, Journal of Law & Inequality
- Student, Director, Child Advocacy Clinic
- Treasurer, Student Employment and Labor Law Association
- Research Assistant, Prof. Barry Feld
University of Wisconsin, B.A., History & Political Science, 2004
- National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Minnesota Supreme Court, 2007
U.S. District Court, D. Minn., 2008
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, D. Minn., 2008
U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Cir., 2009
The business world is complex, and it is the rare case that it has a rigid, black-and-white answer. Together, I work with clients to determine what a win means for them individually, and develop a strategy and a plan to achieve that goal. I am driven by the advocacy of working on behalf of my clients, helping them get from point A to point B, and solve their problems along the way. I thrive on the adrenaline of litigation, and will run through any wall to help my clients. I am a fierce advocate, and my clients rely on me to assist in their most serious matters.
I was elevated to partner at Winthrop & Weinstine after six years of practice. I have been recognized as a Rising Star by Minnesota Super Lawyers every year since 2011. I am a trial attorney who has significant experience in assisting clients in litigation, regulatory, and business and employment matters. I help clients navigate all aspects of their business problems.
I am the Chair of the firm’s Recruiting Committee, and also serve on the Diversity Committee and as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.
My wife and I live in Edina, Minnesota, with our son and daughter. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, fishing, running and watching sports.
Practicing Business & Commercial Litigation
I represent clients in a wide variety of litigation matters, including those involving government investigations and enforcement actions, securities litigation and arbitrations, distribution chain disputes, franchise related matters, the Americans with Disabilities Act, product liability, FACTA, FDCPA, fraud and consumer fraud, FLSA, employment, discrimination, shareholder disputes, breach of warranty and breach of contract, and life insurance disputes. My clients range from Fortune 500 companies to individuals in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, financial services, investment services, banking, food service, energy, construction, capital venture and insurance. I also have extensive experience litigating supply chain manufacturing, dealer/distributor/sales, product liability, and UCC disputes, including actions enforcing and interpreting “terms and conditions.”
- Successfully moved to dismiss two separate cases alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In both cases, the court held that the defendants mooted the plaintiff’s claims by removing all alleged architectural barriers prior to responding to the plaintiff’s complaint. Both cases were dismissed at the motion to dismiss stage. These are the first cases known in the 8th Circuit that have held that where the architectural barriers in dispute have been removed, the plaintiff’s claims are moot and should be dismissed.
- Obtained summary judgment and dismissals at the responsive pleading stage in cases alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on behalf of creditors.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a marketing company in a collection action for unpaid services. As part of the result, obtained complete dismissal of counterclaims and award of attorneys’ fees.
- Successfully represented both employees and employers in connection with unpaid commissions claims.
- Brought winning motion to dismiss on behalf of the trustee of an estate in a breach of fiduciary duty case.
- Brought successful motion to dismiss on behalf of a creditor against claims that creditor violated the automatic bankruptcy stay in connection with debtor’s bankruptcy.
- Secured favorable settlement on behalf of a broker-dealer in connection with an investor’s FINRA arbitration suitability claim. Obtained sanctions award against claimant.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national retail shoe store in a nationwide class action based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Plaintiffs were seeking eight figures in damages and fees.
- Successfully represented more than 100 businesses in defending Americans with Disabilities Act and Minnesota Human Rights Act claims, including through successful summary judgment.
- Obtained summary judgment on a national window manufacturer’s declaratory judgment claim against a former dealer in connection with the former dealer’s threatened litigation, despite the existence of a release executed by the parties.
- Summary judgment obtained on behalf of a national window manufacturer on claims of breach of warranty and product defect brought by homeowners.
- 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.
- Boitnott v. Border Foods, Inc., 361 F. Supp. 3d 858 (D. Minn. 2019)
- Boinott v. TCF Banking & Savings, F.A., 2018 WL 6727067 (D. Minn. Dec. 21, 2018)
- American Bio Medica Corp. v. Bailey, et al., 341 F. Supp. 3d 142 (N.D.N.Y.)
- Safe Step Walk-In Tub Co. v. CKH Industries, Inc., 2018 WL 4539656 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2018)
- Disability Support Alliance, et al. v. Heartwood Enterprises, LLC, 885 F.3d 543 (8th Cir. 2018)
- America Bio Medica Corp. v. Bailey, et al., 2018 WL 4278270 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 2018)
- 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 Cir. 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. Nov. 16, 2010)
- Grace Capital, LLC v. Mills, Case No. A09-1857, 2010 WL 3396817 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2010)
- Meecorp Capital Markets, LLC v. PSC of Two Harbors, LLC, Case No. Civ. 09-2067, 2010 WL 2946984 (D. Minn. Jul. 22, 2010)
- Bailey ex rel. v. Border Foods, Inc., Case No. Civ. 09-1230, 2009 WL 3248305 (D. Minn. Oct. 6, 2009)
- Bankey v. Phillips & Burns, LLC, Case No. 07-2200, 2008 WL 2405773 (D. Minn. Jun. 11, 2008)
40 & Under Hot List
Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2019
Practicing Energy Legislative & Regulatory
I represent energy providers, developers and ratepayers in rate, permitting and resource planning matters before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. I have also represented a natural propane provider and a telecommunications company in significant litigation brought by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
- CenterPoint Energy Rate Cases (2015-present)
- Xcel Energy Rate Cases (2015-present)
- In the Matter of Xcel Energy’s Proposed Nuclear Uprate for the Prairie Island Indian Community
40 & Under Hot List
Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2019
Also experienced in
Attorney General Investigations & Enforcement Actions
Regulatory Audits, Investigations & Enforcement Actions
Construction & Real Estate Litigation
Financial Services Litigation
Honors & Awards
Lifeblood of Big Climb MPLS
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 2016
Under 40 Hot List
Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2017
40 & Under Hot List
Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2020
Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2020
Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2011-2020
Up & Coming Attorney
Minnesota Lawyer, 2012
Friend of the Retailer
Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, 2018
Associations & Memberships
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - MN Chapter
Board of Directors
Chair of the Board
Board of Directors
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.
Diversity Committee, Member
Recruiting Committee, Chair
University of Minnesota Law School
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