Richard B. Allyn



Particular experience litigating large catastrophic property losses, significant environmental sites, and complex trust disputes.

Examples of losses include the Northeast Power Outage of 2003, World Trade Center 7 building collapse, numerous power plant losses, water damaged structures, a food processing plant, warehouses, a telephone switching station, major office buildings, an airplane hangar, a grain elevator, chemical spill, paper mills, a commercial horse barn, mining facility, and a world famous painting. These losses involved fires, explosions, floods, construction defects, pollution and environmental damage, mold, electrical malfunctions, chemical spills, arson and terroristic acts.

Counsels and represents private corporations, insurance companies, and individuals involved in coverage disputes, including property, liability, E&O, environmental, directors and officers, life insurance, crime and fidelity, employment practices, construction and builders-risk, as well as antitrust, fraud, and wrongful market conduct cases in court and arbitration. Represented special insurance risk programs for cities, schools and nonprofits.

  • Arbitrator and mediator in cases involving insurance issues. 
  • Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School teaching the Insurance Law Clinic.

As Minnesota Solicitor General, supervised the Attorney General’s principal litigation office where he had years of experience in motion, civil and criminal trial and appellate litigation, including insurance related cases.  During this time, he presented two arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court; Malone v. White Motor Co., 425 U.S. 497 (1979), and Marquette National Bank v. First Omaha Service Corp., 439 U.S. 299 (1978).  

Subsequently, Mr. Allyn served as the Chief Deputy Attorney General. Previously headed the Criminal Division.  Experience included trials, appeals and Grand Jury presentations.


Represents the White Bear Lake Restoration Association pro bono in a lawsuit concerning declining water levels in White Bear Lake. The Court found that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources failed to protect the popular lake by mismanaging groundwater pumping permits in the area. The DNR was ordered to take several actions to maintain sustainable water levels in the lake. Contested case litigation continues brought by cities opposed to court-ordered relief.

Represented mineral rights owners in a putative class action against the State of North Dakota and others for the alleged unlawful taking of mineral interests along navigable waters in the State and wrongful lease of those interests for the extraction and production of oil and gas.

Substantial work for a significant family trust that overcame contentious opposition to liquidating $1,000,000,000 assets to fund a non-profit foundation.

Recovery v. United States for PCB contamination under the Clean Water Act.

Silver Lake Dam Collapse: Multi-million-dollar recovery for damage to powerhouse from catastrophic upstream dam collapse.

Rouge Powerhouse explosion: Multi-million-dollar arbitration award for boiler explosion.

Chicago Flooded Tunnel Cases: Multi-million-dollar recoveries for several large buildings damaged by a sudden break in the freight tunnel system under the Chicago loop.

Illinois Bell Hinsdale Central Office Fire: Recovery from a telephone switching station fire caused by runaway electrical arcing.

Co-lead counsel in a trial defense of a multi-million dollar claim against insurance company. The six-month trial resulted in a jury verdict for insurer.

Resolution of a number of claims for pollution coverage, professional errors and omissions, and other liability issues.

Falk Industries Factory Explosion in Milwaukee:  Defense of negligent engineering and inspection claims in fatal LP gas explosion.

Mount Du Lac Snow Sports v. Bruckelmeyer Bros, et al: Defense of an engineering firm against design defect allegations by a ski lodge.

Northstar Lawyer
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2023-2024 editions)
  • Recipient of “Private Practice Pro Bono Award,” Minnesota Justice Foundation (2020)
  • Named "Attorney of the Year," Minnesota Lawyer (2017)
  • Named a "North Star Lawyer" by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services (2015-2016, 2022-2023)
  • Named a "Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance Law," American Lawyer Media (2013)
  • "Professional Excellence Award," from the Minnesota State Bar Association, awarded to a group of lawyers who represented survivors of the 35W Bridge Collapse on a pro bono basis (2009)
  • Member, Board of Advisors, University of Minnesota Law School
  • Trustee and Officer, Gunflint Trail Historical Society
  • Board of Commissioners, Bass Lake Rehabilitation District, St. Croix, Wisconsin – water and land use issues
  • (Retired) Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, St. Paul, Minnesota
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court, Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. (1969)
  • University of Minnesota, B.A.
Professional Associations
  • American Bar Association (Tort and Insurance Practice Section)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Drafting Insurance Clauses for Real Estate Documents
    2014 Real Estate Institute, Minnesota CLE and Minnesota State Bar Association, Minneapolis, MN (November 18, 2014)
  • Advanced Theories of Recovery and Subrogation 201
    Fall Leadership Meeting, ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Minneapolis, MN (October 11, 2013)
  • What Do I Need to Know About School Law? Ask a Panel of Lawyers
    Minnesota School Boards Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota (January 17, 2013)
  • September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks: Duties of Corporate Directors and Officers in Preparation and Execution of Disaster Avoidance and Recovery
    ABA TIPS, Teleconference (September 16, 2011)
  • Insurance Coverage for Intellectual Property
    Insurance Law 2005, St. Paul, Minnesota (August 23, 2005)
  • Service Interruption Claims After Disaster
    The Loss Executives Association (June 17, 2004)
  • Getting Something Back Subrogating After the Catastrophe
    ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section, New York, New York (November 5, 2001) and The Loss Executives Association, Portland, Maine (February 24, 2002)
September 30, 2020
WEBINAR | Minnesota Justice Foundation 2020 Virtual Awards Celebration
Richard Allyn - Minnesota Justice Foundation


Links to full publications and news releases.
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