Randall Tietjen



Randy Tietjen is a partner in the Business Litigation Group. In his thirty years as a lawyer, he has represented individuals and a variety of businesses and other organizations in an array of litigation matters, involving securities, antitrust laws, intellectual property, minority-shareholder claims, contracts, ERISA, fiduciary duties, trade secrets, and fraud claims, among other business-litigation torts. He has had clients in many areas of commerce, including banking, food and beverage, manufacturing, telecommunications, and healthcare. Randy has appeared in many federal and state trial courts and courts of appeal and he has handled international and domestic arbitrations and mediation. His practice also includes matters involving questions of professional responsibility for law firms and lawyers. For the past ten years he has served as the Ethics Partner for Robins Kaplan LLP.

Over the course of his career, Randy has devoted, on average, nearly two hundred hours a year to pro-bono matters, including civil-liberties cases and other matters raising constitutional issues. For many years, he organized and supervised lawyers at the firm who tried cases and argued appeals on behalf of (non-lawyer) guardians ad litem for children in the juvenile courts, usually involving parents who were potentially unable or unfit to care for their children. The lawyers tried cases in more than twenty counties in mostly outstate Minnesota, logging more than 25,000 pro-bono hours on behalf of children, for which the Minnesota Supreme Court gave an award to the law firm for recognition of its contributions to the welfare of so many children.

For twenty-some years, in his spare time, Randy searched in manuscript libraries and elsewhere for the letters of the legendary American lawyer Clarence Darrow (1857-1938). He located more than 2,200 of Darrow’s letters and annotated and published 500 of them to some acclaim under the title In the Clutches of the Law: Clarence Darrow’s Letters, with the University of California Press in 2013. Randy has contributed to other books, published several articles, and given many speeches and CLE lectures on a variety of subjects, including writing, constitutional issues, professional responsibility and legal ethics, intellectual property, and legal history.

In law school, Randy was the editor-in-chief of the law review and after law school he clerked for the Hon. C. Arlen Beam on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Randy is a member of the Minnesota and Hennepin County Bar Associations; PEN American Center (PEN); the American Civil Liberties Union; and, Scribes—American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects


Wilwal et al. v. Kelly et al. (D. Minn.), civil-rights and federal-tort claims.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia et al. v. DL Investment Holdings, LLC, et al. (D. Ga.), contract, fraud, and ERISA action.

Comcast Cable v. Minnesota Public Radio (Ramsey Cty, Minn.), contract matter.

Comcast Cable v. NSCC (Minn. Admin. Ct.), cable-franchise matter.

CompuCredit Holdings Corp. v. Akanthos Capital Management, LLC, et al., (11th Cir.), antitrust case.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh v. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, et al. (Allegheny Cty Crt of Common Pleas, Penn.), securities negligence and fraud matter.

Fair Isaac Corp. v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., et al., (D. Minn.), antitrust, Lanham-Act, and contract case.

In re Welfare of W.M.W. (Minn. Ct. App.), child-welfare, pro-bono matter.

Time Warner Cable, Inc. v. City of Minneapolis (D. Minn.), cable-television-franchise dispute.

Urban v. American Legion Department of Minnesota (Minn. Sup. Crt.), corporate vicarious liability, dram-shop case.

Afermov v. Amplatz et al., (Henn. Cty., Minn.), shareholder dispute.

In re Welfare of C.G.B (Minn.), child-welfare, pro-bono matter.

Walser Auto Sales, Inc. v. City of Richfield (Minn. Sup. Crt.), tax-increment financing and takings dispute.

Kennedy & Graven v. Holmes (D. Minn.), contract and ERISA matter.

Dakota Splash Inc. v. Campbell Soup Co. (D. S.D.), trademark-infringement case.

IDS Bond Fund, Inc. v. Gleacher NatWest Inc., (D. Minn.), securities and fraud matter.

Ecolab, Inc. v. Envirochem, Inc., (Fed. Cir.), patent-infringement case.

Zuri-Invest AG v. NatWest Fin. Inc., (S.D.N.Y.), securities and fraud matter.

Porous Media Corp. v. Midland Brake, Inc., (8th Cir.), contracts case.

A.M.W. v. Spring Lake Park School Dist. No. 16, (Minn. Sup. Crt.), personal-injury and governmental-immunity matter.

DeGeorge Financial Corp. v. Vogel et al. (D. Minn.), trade-secrets and breach-of-duty case.

Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., (8th Cir.), false-advertising and Lanham-Act case.

Miscellaneous Docket Matter, (8th Cir.), quashing subpoena.

Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Golden Triangle, (8th Cir.), contract matter.

Richenberg v. Perry, (8th Cir.), constitutional challenge to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of DoD.

Laidlaw Envt’l Servs. (TOC) v. Honeywell, Inc., (D. S.C.), contract and warranties case.

Angostura Inter’l Ltd. v. Melemed, (D. Minn.), constitutional challenge to the Minnesota Sales Representative Act.

Winkelman v. Strick Lease, Inc. (Henn. Cty., Minn.), personal-injury matter.

In re Workers’ Compensation Refund, (8th Cir.), constitutional challenges to state statute.

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2023-2024 editions)
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., cum laude, Editor in Chief (1989), Editor (1990) William Mitchell Law Review Regional Competition Finalist, Giles Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court (1989)
  • University of Minnesota, B.A.
Professional Associations
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (Former Member)
  • PEN American Center (PEN)
  • Scribes-American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects (Former Board Member and Member of Book-Award Committee)
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (board member, 2016 – present)


  • Messaging Your Case for the Jury and the Media
    Robins Kaplan LLP 2022 Trial Advocacy Seminar, Minneapolis, Minnesota (December 15, 2022)
  • The Elements of a Well-Drafted Engagement Agreement: Anticipating and Avoiding Problems at the Outset
    Robins Kaplan LLP Wealth Planning, Administration, and Disputes Annual CLE, Webinar (October 13, 2022)
  • Recent Developments in Professional Responsibility in Litigation
    The Future of IP and Technology Law Forum, New York, New York (May 11, 2017)
  • Punctuation
    Minnesota Court of Appeals "Quill and Bagel Society" (October 25, 2012)
  • Constitutional Decisions of Justice John E. Simonett
    William Mitchell College of Law (October 25, 2012)
  • The Legal Writer's Library
    Minnesota Court of Appeals "Quill and Bagel Society" (May 5, 2009)
  • The Letters of Clarence Darrow
    Arkansas Bar Association Annual Meeting (May 6, 2002)
  • Clarence Darrows High Standing Among Dead Lawyers
    William Mitchell College of Law Annual Awards Dinner (February 24, 2000)
  • Ten Points for Better Briefs
    Minnesota Institute for Legal Education (February 24, 1999)
  • Copyright Law for the Biographer and Documentary Editor
    Association for Documentary Editing, Annual Meeting (February 20, 1999)
  • Appellate Motion Practice
    Minnesota Institute for Legal Education (February 24, 1998)
  • Ethics in Motion Practice
    Minnesota Institute for Legal Education (February 24, 1996)
December 15, 2022
2022 Trial Advocacy Seminar
2022 Trial Advocacy Seminar
Minneapolis, MN
October 13, 2022
Motives and Opportunities
Randy Tietjen, Denise Rahne, Matt Frerichs - Annual CLE Event Presented by the Wealth Planning, Administration, and Fiduciary Disputes Group
Minneapolis, MN

  • Contributor to The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (4th ed., West), by Bryan A. Garner (contributing to the section on letters of engagement)
  • An Interview with the Lawyer Who Discovered Clarence Darrow’s Letters
    ABA Journal; Interview by Bryan A. Garner (November 1, 2013)
  • "An Inarticulate Premise Intuitively Felt"
    39 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 784-95 (2013)
  • Clarence Darrow and Edgar Lee Masters
    13 The Green Bag 411-25 (2010)
  • The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law (Contributor)
    Ed., Roger K. Newman (Yale, 2009)
  • For the Record: 150 Years of Law and Lawyers in Minnesota (Contributor)
    MSBA (1999)
  • Maynard E. Pirsig: A Chronology
    23 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 787-94 (1997)
  • Remembering Maynard
    23 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 809-12 (1997)
  • Interview with Walter Rogosheske, Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society Oral History Project
    Minnesota State Law Library (Sept. 26, 1995)
  • Cable Franchise Renewals and Transfers
    Practising Law Institute, No. G4-3933 (March-April 1995) (with Kathleen Marron, John Gibbs, and Sara Poulos)
  • International Litigation: The New Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
    Minn. Inst. Legal Edu. (1994) (with Annamarie Daley)
  • Discovery and Preparing for U S Litigation with Parties and Evidence Outside the U S
    Minn. Inst. Legal Edu. (1992) (with Thomas Hamlin)
  • Fire Insurance and the Elusive Coinsurance Clause
    16 Minnesota Trial Lawyer 14-15, 38-42 (1991)
  • Court Procedural Rulemaking and the Separation of Powers in Minnesota
    15 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 141-216 (1990) (with Maynard E. Pirsig)

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