Since 1984, Norman Baer has devoted his work to the effective and efficient resolution of business disputes.
Norm combines an active intellectual curiosity with the skills to understand complex problems, identify and focus on the essential elements in dispute, and forcefully advocate for his clients. Norm is ready, willing and able to try the disputes that cannot be favorably resolved through negotiation. His reputation for being willing and able to go to trial enhances his ability to get successful resolutions without the time and expense that are inherent in trial.
Norm represents clients with claims to pursue and those with claims asserted against them. He represents individuals, partnerships and all types of corporate entities in their capacities as owners, buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, guarantors, investors, developers, manufacturers, distributors, inventors, farmers, employers, independent contractors, and more. The cases handled by Norm involve subject matters that range from real estate development to software development and everything in between.
Norm was admitted to practice in 1985. He joined Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A. in 1988 and is a principal in the firm. From the start, Norm’s practice has focused on business and commercial litigation and trial work. Norm has been designated by his peers as a "Super Lawyer" for more than a decade and, in 2013, was named a Minnesota “Attorney of the Year.”
A summary judgment hearing regarding disputed terms of a Use Agreement led to negotiations that resulted in the MSFA’s purchase of our client’s real estate on very favorable terms.
Successful defense against claims that our client’s inadvertent delivery of wrong product resulted in millions of dollars of unsaleable processed chicken.
Successful challenge to tenant’s claim of a right to extend its rent-free lease for an additional 10 years. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s judgment in Camelot’s favor. This decision helped clear the way for the redevelopment of Block E.
Represented Maple Bank on claims arising from its role as a "participant" in a loan originated by Alliance Bank. Obtained a jury verdict in favor of our client for the full amount of the participation interest and all interest accrued through trial. The trial court also awarded our client its fees and costs.
Obtained jury verdict for Northstar Produce rejecting multi-million dollar tortious interference claims asserted by a competitor which had previously employed the founder of Northstar and other Northstar employees.
Successfully negotiated a settlement in favor of the conservators of an elderly gentleman against a number of defendants that had pursued a scheme by which they purchased approximately $40 million dollars of insurance on Mr. Margolis’ life, later sold the insurance and appropriated virtually all of the economic benefit for themselves.
Obtained jury verdict for a limited partnership in a breach of contract and fraud claim related to the failed development of a tax credit financed multi-family affordable housing project. Successfully retained verdict against post-trial motions and appeals to the Nebraska Court of Appeals and Nebraska Supreme Court.
Successfully pursued claims totaling more than $65 million for breach of contract and fraud on behalf of a closely-held manufacturing company against a $2.5 billion corporation. Case settled after four days of trial in federal court in Spokane, Washington.
Represented a buyer of software development services, Achieve Software Corp., which was sued for failure to make contract payments. Client countersued for the developer's failure to perform as required by the contract and industry standards. The case was arbitrated as required by contract. The arbitration resulted in a $30 million judgment in favor of our client. The arbitration award was confirmed by the federal district court in California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Successfully defended the buyer of a nationwide apartment portfolio valued at more than $100 million sued by a competitor which had unsuccessfully tried to buy the same portfolio. Primary claim was for tortious interference. The case was tried to a jury in US District Court in Minnesota and resulted in a finding of no liability for our client.
Represented the plaintiff class of disabled employees in ERISA insurance benefit claims against Ceridian. After trial resulting in judgment for the defendant, the Eighth Circuit reversed and remanded for a determination of an appropriate remedy for our clients. Final settlement was reached in 2001 restoring plaintiffs’ benefits, reimbursing plaintiffs for millions of dollars of expenses incurred while the benefits had been withheld, and paying all of plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys’ fees. Settlement value was approximately $15 million.
Volunteer, Harvest Preparatory School and Seed Academy
Volunteer, Second Harvest Heartland
Board Member, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, 2006-Present
Chairman of the Board, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, 2012-2014
Member, Federal Bar Association
Governing Council, Civil Litigation Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association (former member and officer)
Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
Member, National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP)
Student Mentor, University of St. Thomas School of Law
Pleading in the Alternative or Painting Yourself Into a Corner?, Attorney At Law Magazine, Twin Cities Edition, December 2013
What Do Fracking in North Dakota and Gambling in Minnesota Have in Common?, Attorney At Law Magazine, Twin Cities Edition, co-authored with Kristin B. Rowell, January 2013
New Twists in Sexual Harassment?, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, October 1998 (co-authored with Gena A. Braaten)
Law Firm Partnership Agreements: Who Needs 'Em, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, March 1997 (co-authored with Douglas L. Elsass)
Hennepin County Bar Association - Representing a Landowner in the Context of a Stadium Development, December 12, 2013
Minnesota State Bar Association - 2013 Real Estate Institute: Practical Suggestions for Keeping Your Commercial Real Estate Clients Out of Court (and What to Do When Litigation Seems Inevitable), November 15, 2013
University of St. Thomas School of Law: Adjunct Professor teaching Evidence, Spring 2011 and 2012
Fredrikson & Byron Legal & Business Education; Cross Examination: The Technology, the Basics, and an Opportunity to Practice in Federal Court, October 21, 2005
Minnesota State Bar Association – Fraud, Misrepresentation & Deceptive Trade Practices, March 11, 2005
Minnesota State Bar Association - Fundamentals of Organizing Minnesota Corporations (7/29/04 and 8/7/03)
Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC), MN Chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association and University of St. Thomas School of Law - Leadership Institute in Corporate Counseling Forum (12/5/02)
Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC), MN Chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association, University of St. Thomas School of Law, and William Mitchell College of Law - Leadership Institute in Corporate Counseling Forum - When Disaster Strikes - Ethical Communication Through the Media (2/21/02)
Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) - Leadership Institute in Corporate Counseling Forum - Non-Compete Agreements (5/1/01)
The Center for Professional Programming, William Mitchell College of Law - Religious Leaders and the Law: How to Prevent Legal Problems (5/27/99)
Minnesota Institute of Legal Education - ERISA Litigation Representing the Plaintiff (2/11/98)
Minnesota State Bar Association - 5th Annual Civil Litigation Institute (11/7-8/97)