Michael D. Reif



Michael Reif provides insight, analysis, and advocacy for complex business, insurance, privacy, and financial industry disputes. Mr. Reif has served clients in a variety of fields including banking and securities fraud, consumer retailing and franchising, telecommunications, Native American issues, and TCPA class action defense. In addition, he counsels clients on TCPA, CCPA, GDPR, Can-Spam, and CASL  and advises on cybersecurity, incident response, mobile marketing, and data security best practices. His experience also includes a two-year Federal court judicial clerkship and multiple individual pro bono client representations.

Mr. Reif’s extensive experience in insurance litigation includes his handling of both liability and property claims from investigation through litigation, as well as representation in matters concerning first- and third-party coverage, subrogation, and bad faith disputes.

Mr. Reif has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes financial services litigation involving fraud, mortgage-backed securities, and securitization trustee obligations. He provides analysis of all things financial in The Daily Dose, a roundup of each weekday’s top business news published daily on the Robins Kaplan Trial Attorneys Blog. Since 2018, he has been named number one in JD Supra’s Readers’ Choice Awards in Finance & Banking and Securities. 

Prompted by his experiences as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow reservations in southeastern Montana and as a research assistant on Indian Country publications to then-Professor and former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn, Mr. Reif also focuses his practice on legal issues affecting Native American communities. He is a member of the firm’s American Indian Law and Policy Group and has represented Tribes in matters ranging from tribal lending to industrial hemp.

Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Mr. Reif is deeply committed to his community. Particularly interested in education, he serves as an instructor in the University of Minnesota Law School's Law in Practice course and a volunteer at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. In 2011, he received the Francis Xavier Award for his tutoring work at Cristo Rey. Mr. Reif also serves as the firm’s liaison to the Binger Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School and regularly partners with the Center to provide pro bono immigration representation in bond, removal, asylum, and habeas corpus proceedings. In 2017, he received the Robins Kaplan Pro Bono Award.

Mr. Reif has served as an assistant adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School since 2009 and was a Law Clerk to the Honorable David S. Doty, U.S. District Court, Minnesota from 2006-2008.


Kelley v. BMO Harris Bank, N.A.: Part of the trial team for Douglas Kelley, the Trustee of the BMO Litigation Trust, related to one of the largest Ponzi scheme cases in U.S. history. In November 2022, Robins Kaplan secured a $564 million jury verdict, the largest in Minnesota history. In June 2023, a federal judge in St. Paul issued an Order for BMO Harris Bank to pay pre-and post-judgment interest on the $564 million jury verdict, bringing total liability to over $1 billion in favor of the client.

McDougall v. CRC Industries, Inc. et al. No. 20-1499 (D. Minn. 2023): Part of the trial team that helped secure a landmark $7.75 million verdict against CRC Industries for its failure to prevent the foreseeable misuse of its aerosol dust remover products. The verdict follows the 2019 death of Cynthia McDougall, who was killed in a vehicle crash after an individual who huffed CRC Duster struck her car head-on. This is the first dust remover case of its kind to go to trial.

Fillner v. City of Rochester, et al.: District of Minnesota (2020): Our client was unresponsive in the back of her minivan when a City of Rochester police officer reached in and yanked her out and onto the pavement in one motion. She sustained physical injuries to her upper right arm bone including displacement and the bone being broken into three or more fragments. Surgery was required to repair and additional surgeries may be required in the future.

Kraft Foods Group, Inc./Mondelez International, Inc. v. Starbucks Coffee Company: Counsel representing Kraft in a three-year arbitration regarding a breach of contract after Starbucks unilaterally terminated its agreement, cutting off Kraft’s exclusive rights to sell, market and distribute Starbucks roast and ground coffee in grocery and other retail outlets. The arbitration resulted in a $2.7 billion cash award to Kraft.

Represented a financial institution in a multi-year toxic residential mortgage backed securities action that resulted in a series of confidential settlements with defendant banks and rating agencies.

Represented a guardian ad litem pro bono in juvenile protection proceedings that secured a termination of parental rights and parenting time modifications to ensure the protection of endangered minors.

Represented businesses fighting Telephone Consumer Protection Act claims by putative class actions, achieving successful resolution for his clients through summary judgment and individual settlements on terms favorable to defendant corporations.

State Farm Auto Insurance v. Xiong (Ramsey County District Court, Minnesota): Represented an Americorps Volunteer accused of negligence in a car accident subrogation case. Acting as first-chair counsel at trial, Mr. Reif persuaded the jury to return a verdict in favor of his client.

Smile Center v. Delta Dental of Minnesota (Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota): Represented Delta Dental of Minnesota as of the part of a litigation team defending Delta against potentially fraudulent reimbursement claims brought by a dental provider. Mr. Reif prepared the summary judgment motion that helped lead to a settlement that included recovery of more than $3.85 million for state-funded health plans.

Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators
JD Supra Top Author 2023
Super Lawyers Michael Reif
Northstar Lawyer
Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year 2013
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2023-2024 editions)
  • Listed in “500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon (2023-2024)
  • Named a "Top Author" by JD Supra (2018-2023)
  • Named a "Minnesota Rising Star," Super Lawyers (2014-2019)
  • Named an “Up & Coming Lawyer,” Minnesota Lawyer (2015)
  • Named a "North Star Lawyer" by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services (2013-2016, 2022-2023)
  • Named "Attorney of the Year," Minnesota Lawyer (2013)
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Board of Directors
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Benefactors Board
  • VLN Dignity Center
  • St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce PAC, Vice-Chair
  • The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Governing Member
  • DFL Lawyers Committee, Co-Chair
  • Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Writing & A.P. U.S. History Tutor
  • St. Thomas Academy Alumni Board (2007-2015)
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
Spoken Languages
  • French
  • Spanish
  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., magna cum laude (2006); Minnesota Law Review, Managing Editor
  • Boston College, B.A., History, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa (2002)               
Professional Associations
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

  • Combating Cyber Events
    Panelist, Loss Executives Association 91st Spring Meeting (June 9, 2022)
  • AI on the Edge: Legal Considerations for Artificial Intelligence Systems from Peripheral Devices
    Panelist, Second Annual AI Legal Summit, Webinar (May 12, 2021)
  • Scrapping Over Scraping: U.S. and UK Perspectives on Data Litigation
    Panelist, Robins Kaplan LLP and Lewis Silkin LLP, Webinar (April 27, 2021)
  • Smart Phone Privacy and Data Security – How to Assess and Minimize Risk in the Current Reality
    Co-Presenter, Minnesota CLE, Webinar (February 9, 2021)
  • The Law of the Smart Phone: Smart Phone Privacy Primer
    Minnesota CLE, Webinar (August 7, 2020)
  • Cyber Incident Response Training through Interactive Experience
    Panelist, IAPP, ISACA, and Robins Kaplan LLP (October 2, 2019)
  • World Refugee Luncheon
    Robins Kaplan and Minnesota Freedom Fund, Minneapolis Minnesota (June 20, 2019)
  • Incident Response Planning A Tabletop Experience
    Conference of Tribal Lending Commissioners, Las Vegas, Nevada (March 25, 2019)
  • Industrial Hemp in Indian Country
    Hemp Industries Association Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado (September 1, 2016)
  • Tribal Enterprise - Tribal Marijuana: A Year in Review, Outlook and Lessons Learned
    National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Santa Fe, New Mexico (November 18, 2015)
  • Protecting Your Clients’ Credit Cards
    Webinar, International SalonSpa Business Network (June 30, 2015)
  • EMV Adoption
    Presentation to Franchisee network, Edina, Minnesota (January 22, 2015)
  • TCPA Compliance
    Presentation to Franchisee network, Bloomington, Minnesota (January 23, 2014)
  • Ediscovery
    In-House Training for Insurance Adjusters, Chicago, Illinois (May 18, 2010)
May 5, 12, and 19, 2021
WEBINAR | Second Annual AI Legal Summit
Steven C. Carlson, Kevin M. Pasquinelli, Michael D. Reif, David A. Prange - Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT)
September 10, 2020
WEBINAR | Volunteer Lawyers Network Riverfront Celebration 2020
Michael Reif - Volunteer Lawyers Network of Minnesota
August 7-12, 2020
WEBINAR | Minnesota CLE The Law of the Smart Phone Webcast Series
Michael Reif, Aaron Fahrenkrog, Shui Li - Minnesota CLE
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