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 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2011
Licensed Since: 2001
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff
    Attorney Profile

    Teresa Fariss McClain, a Partner at Robins Kaplan LLP, has devoted her career to advocating for individuals, first as a registered nurse in the areas of labor and delivery and high-risk obstetrics, later as a critical care nurse and now as an attorney, obtaining justice for those who have been harmed by medical errors or medical negligence.  Ms. McClain has obtained multiple seven-figure settlements and jury awards on behalf of her plaintiff clients, including, 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. She graduated with honors from William Mitchell College of Law in 2001, and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Donald P. Lay of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. McClain is a member of several invitation only organizations, including American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), American Bar Association Foundation Fellow, International Society of Barristers, and is a Master in the Warren E. Burger Inns of Court. She is a Past President of Minnesota Women Lawyers, and Minnesota Women Lawyers Foundation, and serves on the Boards of Minnesota Women Lawyers, and the Minnesota Association for Justice. She is also a Board member and serves as Secretary of the Mounds View Basketball Association.

    Practice Areas
    • 100%Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff
    Focus Areas

    Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Delayed or Incorrect Diagnosis, Informed Consent


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 7 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 1 years

    Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020 Rising Stars: 2011

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    About Teresa McClain

    Admitted: 2001, Minnesota

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


    • Named to Best Lawyers in America., Best Lawyers in America, Plaintiff's Medical Malpractice, Best Lawyers, 2020
    • Named a "North Star Lawyer" by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services., North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar , 2020
    • "Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” National Law Journal., Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar, National Law Journal, 2019
    • Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2014
    • 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, 2013 - 2020.
    • First Place, William Mitchell College of Law
    • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2016

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Registered Nurse- Minnesota.

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • International Society of Barristers- Induction, March, 2019., 2019
    • Co-Director, Exceptional Advocates Trial Training Program (“EATP”), Robins Kaplan, LLP., 2019
    • Chair, Robins Kaplan Gender Diversity Work Group.
    • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Minnesota ABOTA Chapter Executive Committee, Membership Chair.
    • President, Minnesota Women Foundation.
    • President, Minnesota Women Lawyers., 2014
    • President - Elect, Minnesota Women Lawyers., 2013
    • Treasurer, Minnesota Women Lawyers., 2012
    • Secretary, Minnesota Women Lawyers, 2011
    • Minnesota Associate for Justice, Board of Governors.
    • Warren E. Burger Inn of Court, Master
    • American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
    • Ramsey County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2007 - 2009
    • Minnesota Association for Justice, Women's Section, Co-Chair, 2007-2009
    • Strategic Planning Committee, 2009
    • American Bar Association, Member, 1997 – Present
    • Ramsey County Bar Association, 1997 – Present
    • Minnesota Supreme Court, 2001
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
    • American Association for Justice, Member, 2004– Present
    • Minnesota Association for Justice, Member, 1997– Present
    • Community Action Committee, Co-Chair, 2005-2008
    • Minnesota Association for Justice, New Lawyers Section, Co-Chair, 2005 - 2006
    • Minnesota Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section, 2001 – Present
    • U.S. District Court
    • Minnesota Bar Association, Member, 1997 – Present
    • North Dakota
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • North Star Lawyer, more than 50 hours of pro bono service for clients in immigration matters., 2019
    • Immigration Law Center of Minnesota.  Represents clients in Naturalization, DACA, and removal proceedings., 2020
    • Mounds View Basketball Association Board of Directors- Secretary, 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
    • 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
    • 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, Author, 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, William Mitchell Law Review, 2005
    • The Power of Relationship Currency: Navigating AAJ [and Other Organizations] to Build Your Brand and Business Speakers: Ashleigh Raso, Teresa Fariss McClain, & Rachel Gusman Moderator: Lori Andrus., Panelist, The Power of Relationship Currency: Navigating AAJ [and Other Organizations] to Build Your Brand and Business, American Association for Justice (AAJ), Legal, 2020
    • 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


    • $2,000,000 settlement in a Minnesota wrongful death medical malpractice case concerning a pediatric patient who died as a result of an adverse reaction to medication., 2020
    • $875,000 South Dakota wrongful death medical malpractice settlement., 2020
    • $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
    •  $1,100,000 settlement was reached with a Twin Cities Health Care provider following the wrongful death of a 77-year-old male related to a misdiagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm in the Twin Cities of Minnesota., 2019
    • $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
    • $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
    • 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
    • $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
    • $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
    • Confidential settlement of $1,500,000 in birth injury case in which child suffered hypoxic ischemic injury, resulting in cerebral palsy, 2012
    • $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
    • 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
    • Wrongful death medical malpractice settlement related to a delay in diagnosis of cancer, $450,000, 2011
    • $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
    • $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 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

    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:

    • Metropolitan State University St. Paul, Minnesota, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 1996, 1996
    • Madison Area Technical College Madison, Wisconsin, 1981
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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: 7/7/2020

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