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David M. Aafedt

The biggest risks are not only those known and unaddressed, but also those unknown.

My Approach

I served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office until 2003, when I joined Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

While at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, I served as counsel to the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Health, and represented the State of Minnesota, the Governor, the Attorney General, and various state agencies in business, consumer and charities litigation, investigations, market conduct examinations, and civil enforcement proceedings. I was also heavily involved in numerous Attorney General audits and consumer investigations pursuant to the Office’s consumer and charitable organization oversight.

Since joining Winthrop & Weinstine, my practice mirrors my practice while at the Attorney General’s Office.  I use my extensive experience to advocate on behalf of clients in a wide range of settings in all 50 states, including state and federal regulatory matters, business, consumer and charities litigation, as well as state and federal investigations, market conduct examinations, and unclaimed property audits.

While working at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and in my cases since joining Winthrop, they all present with unique legal issues coupled with unique public policy issues. I counsel clients as to the best strategic approach to engage with – or respond to – state and federal regulators.

I was recognized by Best Lawyers in America© as “Lawyer of the Year” for Administrative/Regulatory Law in 2017 and 2019, and have also been listed in Insurance Law.  I have also consistently been selected to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list for Administrative and Regulatory Law.

I also serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota, as Immediate-Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel (“FORC”), and have served as Chair of the Executive Councils for both the Health Law and Administrative Law Sections of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

I am also a member of the firm’s Board of Directors.

My wife and I live in Edina with three kids, a Black Lab, and a Bernese Mountain Dog.

A Pivotal Moment in My Career

Following law school, I took my father’s advice and applied for – and got hired – as a law clerk, a summer associate, and then as Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. I am grateful every day that I did. While there, I was exposed to people, the regulatory, investigative, and enforcement processes, and areas of the law that I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to experience. I could not have asked for a better foundation for a practice. With that background, I am able to use the deep knowledge of government to the benefit of my clients.

Honors & Awards

Twin Cities Business

Notable Partners in Law, 2022

Twin Cities Business

Notable Nonprofit Board Member, 2022

Minnesota Super Lawyers®

Administrative and Regulatory Law, 2007-2023

Local Litigation Star

Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2023

"Dream Team," Leaders in Health Care Award

Minnesota Business, 2014

Best Lawyers in America®

Minneapolis Lawyer of the Year: Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2017, 2019
Insurance Law, 2013-2024
Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2017-2024
Healthcare Law, 2024

Future Star

Benchmark Litigation, 2012-2014

Rising Stars

Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2003-2009

Litigation Counsel of America

Senior Fellow

Associations & Memberships

Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota and North Dakota

Board of Directors, 2020-present
Public Policy Committee Co-chair, 2021-present

Better Business Bureau of Minnesota & North Dakota

Board of Directors, 2010-present
Chair of the Board, 2013-2023
Vice-Chair of the Board, 2012-2013
Executive Committee, 2011-present

Minnesota State Bar Association, Administrative Law Section

Chair, 2005-2006 and 2008-2009, 2014-2015
Executive Council Member, 2004-present

Minnesota State Bar Association, Health Law Section

Chair, 2017-2018
Vice Chair, 2016-2017
Secretary, 2015-2016
Treasurer, 2014-2015
Executive Council Member, 2011-present

Federation of Regulatory Counsel

Chair, Board of Directors, 2012-present
Chair, 2017
Vice-Chair, 2016

University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

Assistant Adjunct Professor, 2016-present
Guest Lecturer, 2013-2015

Health Law Institute

Planning Committee, 2012, 2017-present

Law Firm Alliance

Board of Directors, 2013-2017

American Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

Hennepin County Bar Association

Ramsey County Bar Association