Teresa Fariss McClain

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Robins Kaplan LLP
 | 800 LaSalle Avenue, Suite 2800
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-349-8500
Fax: 612-339-4181
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019
Selected To Rising Stars: 2011
Licensed Since: 2001
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff
Attorney Profile

A principal attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP, Teresa Farris McClain focuses her practice exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death litigation, with a particular emphasis on medical malpractice. In that regard, she assists clients throughout Minnesota and other parts of the Midwest who have suffered economic and noneconomic losses due to the negligence of health care practitioners and facilities. Located in the firm's main office in Minneapolis, Ms. McClain draws on her experience she obtained as a registered nurse practicing in both obstetrics and surgical intensive care prior to attending law school.

During her legal career, Ms. McClain has been able to obtain several seven-figure settlements and jury awards on behalf of her plaintiff clients. Some of her representative results include a $3.1 million verdict in a case involving hospital negligence, a $1.2 million verdict based on an emergency room error, and a $1.75 million settlement involving a medication mistake that resulted in her client becoming legally blind. These successes have led to recognition from Ms. McClain's peers, including her being named in 2014 to Minnesota Lawyer's annual list of Attorneys of the Year.

Admitted to practice before all Minnesota state courts, Ms. McClain is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Prior to attending law school, she received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Metropolitan State University. Her legal education came at what was then known as William Mitchell College of Law, and she was awarded her Juris Doctor in 2001. An active participant in several legal organizations, Ms. McClain's memberships include the Minnesota Association for Justice and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice (100%)


Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 1 years

Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019 Rising Stars: 2011

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About Teresa McClain

Admitted: 2001, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: https://www.robinskaplan.com/lawyers/teresa-mcclain


  • I was included in the 2019 National Law Journal's list of "Elite Women of the Plaintiff's Bar.", Elite Women of the Plaintiff's Bar, National Law Journal, 2019
  • Top Women Attorneys, 2013
  • Rosalie Wahl Moot Court, William Mitchell College of Law, 1999
  • Full Merit Scholarship, William Mitchell College of Law, 1997–2001
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer, 2014 - 2015
  • Minnesota Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2011
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Life Member
  • Service to Minnesota Women Award, Minnesota Women Lawyers, 2008
  • CALI Award (Top Grade in Class), Products Liability, Trial Advocacy and Professional Responsibility, William Mitchell College of Law
  • Super Lawyers, Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice, 2011 - 2018
  • First Place, William Mitchell College of Law
  • Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2014
  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2016

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Registered Nurse- Minnesota., 2019

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Immediate Past President, Minnesota Women Lawyers Foundation. MWL Foundation Board of Directors., 2019
  • Strategic Planning Committee, 2009
  • International Society of Barristers- Induction, March, 2019., 2019
  • Minnesota Association for Justice, Women's Section, Co-Chair, 2007-2009
  • American Bar Association, Member, 1997 – Present
  • Minnesota Association for Justice, New Lawyers Section, Co-Chair, 2005 - 2006
  • Ramsey County Bar Association, 1997 – Present
  • Minnesota Associate for Justice, Board of Governors, Member
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • Minnesota Association for Justice, Member, 1997– Present
  • Warren E. Burger Inn of Court, Master
  • Warren E. Burger Inn of Court, Member, 2008 – Present
  • Minnesota Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section, 2001 – Present
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • U.S. District Court
  • Community Action Committee, Co-Chair, 2005-2008
  • American Association for Justice, Member, 2004– Present
  • Minnesota Bar Association, Member, 1997 – Present
  • North Dakota
  • Ramsey County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2007 - 2009
  • MN ABOTA- Executive Board, 2018
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Mounds View Basketball Association Board of Directors- Secretary, 2018
  • 2018
  • St. Odilia Catholic Church Endowment Fund Committee 2017-Present., 2018
  • Voter Protection Project, 2004, 2008
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers, Board of Directors, 2008 - 2010
  • Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Board of Directors, 2002–2004
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers Foundation, Director, 2014
  • Appointment by the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court to an Exoneration Claim Panel #A15-0669.  Our Panel reviewed submissions by the claimant and by the State, and subsequently held a mediation.  Our panel's recommendation for compensation was submitted to and approved by the legislature., 2015
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers, Secretary, 2010
  • KSTP LawLine, MSBA New Lawyers, Volunteer, 2004–2006
  • St. Odilia School Council, 2011 - 2017
  • 2017
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers, Member, 1997– Present
  • Chrysalis Tubman Alliance, Volunteer Attorney, 2007- Present
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers, President, 2013
  • Catholic Community of Saint Odilia Shoreview, Minnesota, 2010-Present

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • CLE for lawyers, focused on presentation skills for trial lawyers., Moderator, Jurors Live- Pulling the Curtain Back, Robins Kaplan 2018 Trial Advocacy Seminar, Legal Industry, 2018
  • The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death: Four Years or Two? Medical Malpractice Conference, Minnesota Institute for Legal Education, 2002 
  • CLE directed toward trial lawyers., Course Chair and Speaker, Trial Lawyer Medical School Boot Camp, Minnesota Association for Justice, Legal, 2018
  • William Mitchell College of Law, Hatchey Ambassadors Mentor, 2014
  • The Robins Kaplan Justice Report - Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring 2018
  • The Robins Kaplan Justice Report - Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring 2017
  • Empathy as a Critical Trait for Trial Lawyers, Minnesota Association for Justice, Duluth, Minnesota, February 23, 2018
  • Liability & No-Fault Medicare Set-Asides Seminar, Minnesota Association for Justice, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 12, 2017
  • Panel Discussion: Ask Me Anything, Women Trial Lawyers Conference, Minnesota Association for Justice, Nisswa, Minnesota, November 3, 2017
  • What to do About Medicare Set-Asides, Minnesota Association for Justice, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 20, 2017
  • Medical Malpractice, Panel, Minnesota Association for Justice, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 15, 2015
  • Goose v. Gander: Defense Duty to Disclose Defendant's Testimony, Medical Malpractice Conference, Minnesota Association for Justice/Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, March 6, 2014
  • Medical/Legal Implications for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, University of Minnesota, March 29, 2010
  • Medical/Legal Implications for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, University of Minnesota, March 29, 2008
  • Handling Medical Negligence Claims, National Business Institute, December 6, 2007
  • Nursing Law in Minnesota, National Business Institute, January 28, 2005
  • No Harm, No Foul, No Accrual? Medical Malpractice Conference, Minnesota Trial Lawyers, Minnesota Defense Lawyers, and Hennepin County Bar Association, January 6, 2004
  • William Mitchell College of Law, Adjunct Professor
  • Duty of Informed Consent: What Standard Applies, Minnesota Trial Lawyer, Spring 2010
  • No Harm, No Foul, No Accrual, Minnesota Trial Lawyer, Summer 2005
  • The Expert Affidavit Statute, Unsheathed, Minnesota Trial Lawyer, Mark Hallberg and Teresa F. McClain, Fall 2002
  • Medical/Legal Implications for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, University of Minnesota, March 3, 2008
  • Handling Medical Negligence Claims, National Business Institute, December 6, 2007
  • Nursing Law in Minnesota, National Business Institute, January 28, 2005
  • No Harm, No Foul, No Accrual? Medical Malpractice Conference, June 16, 2004


  • $1,150,000 settlement on behalf of an infant who suffered a brain bleed and permanent right sided blindness and hydrocephalus as a result of a medication error in which he was given the wrong medication at an excessive rate while he was a patient in a hospital intensive care unit. The settlement will provide needed resources for the child to obtain medical care, therapy, and adaptions to manage his disability throughout his life. , 2019
  • Molloy v. Meier Extends Genetic Counseling Duty of Care to Biological Parents and Establishes That Legal Damages Must Occur Before a Wrongful Conception Action Accrues for Statute of Limitations Purposes, 31 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. No. 3, 939-956 (2005), Mark Hallberg and Teresa Fariss McClain
  • $175,000 settlement on behalf of client who suffered a vertebral compression fracture during a car crash.  Subsequent treatment by neurosurgeon included kyphoplasty procedure, which worsened pain.  Subsequent treating orthopedic surgeon was critical of kyphoplasty procedure, and was expected to testify that kyphoplasty procedure was contraindicated under the circumstances, and resulted in need for subsequent lumbar fusion to stabilize spine at L2-4, 2009
  • Confidential settlement of $1,500,000 in birth injury case in which child suffered hypoxic ischemic injury, resulting in cerebral palsy, 2012
  • $475,000 settlement in a medical malpractice wrongful death case involving the death of a 34 year old woman from undiagnosed infectious endocarditis, which led to aortic valve damage and heart failure, causing death, 2014
  • $3 million settlement. A veteran Marine and ironworker, underwent spine surgery at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.  The surgeon left a hemostatic product at the site of spine surgery at the completion of surgery.  The hemostatic dressing absorbed fluids and became a compressive mass against the spine, causing permanent injury. The case was administratively reviewed and when settlement negotiations failed the case was filed in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota. The case settled 2 weeks approximately one month before trial was scheduled to begin., 2018
  • $600,000 settlement on behalf of minor child who suffered a brachial plexus injury when shoulder dystocia was encountered during birth. Plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of defendant obstetricians for failing to obtain an obstetrical ultrasound to check fetal size prior to delivery, and negligence in the delivery of the child. Settlement was structured with expected lifetime benefits of $1, 275,000, 2009
  • A $1,000,000 confidential settlement was reached in an auto case where the plaintiff suffered a whiplash injury when she was rear-ended at low speed, resulting in disabling chronic subjective dizziness, 2011
  • $1,100,000 settlement involving negligent upstaging of endometrial uterine cancer in a 46 year old patient, from contained and curable endometrial cancer to metastatic and incurable peritoneal cancer, caused by the failure of the gynecologist to perform endometrial biopsy prior to performing a minimally invasive hysterectomy using a power morcellator. The use of the morcellator negligently spread the cancer throughout the peritoneum. Despite aggressive treatment, the patient died from widespread peritoneal cancer approximately 18 months later, 2014
  • $3.175 million verdict.  Jeanne and Wayne Shellum v Fairview Health Services. A Hennepin County jury returned a verdict finding that Fairview Southdale Hospital was negligent in the care provided to Mrs. Shellum during eye surgery performed in 2011, and that as a result of its negligence, Mrs. Shellum suffered a severe  post operative infection in her eye, resulting in loss of sight in her left eye, and eventually loss of the left eye.  The jury awarded a total of $3,174,506.91, $2, 650,000 to Mrs. Shellum for pain and suffering, and $470,000 to Mr. Shellum. , 2018
  • A Dakota county jury returned a $1.1 million verdict in a wrongful death case involving medical negligence by a family-practice physician employed by a large healthcare organization. Teresa Fariss McClain, representing the surviving husband and heirs of a woman who died after suffering a cardiac arrest hours after being released from a hospital, presented testimony at trial establishing that by failing to complete a thorough evaluation to rule out an acute coronary event through monitoring and diagnostic testing prior to discharging the woman, a family-practice physician failed to follow accepted standards of practice for physicians in similar circumstances. The jury found that the defendant, operating through its employee family-practice physician, was negligent in the care provided to the deceased woman, and that the physician’s negligence was a direct cause of her death, 2006
  • $1.725 million medical malpractice settlement in a case venued in Hennepin County in which plaintiff alleged that a medication error by a health provider led to significant injury. A confidentiality agreement prevents disclosure of any additional facts., 2012
  • Wrongful death medical malpractice settlement related to a delay in diagnosis of cancer, $450,000, 2011
  • Verdict of $1,414,090.28 was returned on August 5, 2016 in Hennepin County District Court for a client who brought a claim against her auto insurance company for underinsured benefits. She is a 30 year old single woman who teaches science at Minnetonka High School she was sideswiped by an underinsured at-fault driver, resulting in a whiplash injury and chronic daily headaches, 2016

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Selected to Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year, 2014


  • Authored leading article in Spring 2018 firm newsletter entitled, "Medication Errors Still a Leading Cause of Injury and Death Despite a Decade Devoted to  Reduction of Adverse Drug Events.    MEDICATION ERRORS STILL A LEADING CAUSE OF INJURY AND DEATH, DESPITE A DECADE DEVOTED TO REDUCTION OF ADVERSE DRUG EVENTS , Robins Kaplan Justice Report, Legal Industry
  • Authored article regarding the MN Court of Appeals affirmation of $3.17 million verdict for my client, Shellum v. Fairview Health Services., Robins Kaplan Justice Report, Plaintiff Personal Injury Bar

Educational Background:

  • Madison Area Technical College Madison, Wisconsin, 1981
  • Metropolitan State University St. Paul, Minnesota, Associate Degree in Nursing, 1996
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Office Location for Teresa Fariss McClain

800 LaSalle Avenue
Suite 2800
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 612-349-8500

Fax: 612-339-4181

Teresa Fariss McClain:

Last Updated: 10/16/2019

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