Richard M. Dahl

Richard M. Dahl

Minneapolis, Minnesota
America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators 2017® Recipient Award

Rich Dahl is a founding shareholder in the firm of Madigan, Dahl & Harlan.  For the past 30 years, he has been actively engaged in a nationwide practice in the above-reference areas representing both companies and individuals in a broad range of sophisticated commercial matters.  He is licensed in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeal.  Rich has been AV rated by Martindale Hubble for many years.

Rich graduated (Cum Laude) from Hamline School of Law in 1983, where he was a published author and served as a primary editor of the Hamline Law Review. He received his B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) and Master's Degree (with honors) in Public Administration from Northern Michigan University (NMU). While attending NMU on an athletic and academic scholarship, Rich was honored as an All American by the NCAA. 

During the past thirty years, Rich has represented numerous members and licensees of the beverage alcohol industry in administrative, licensing, regulatory, transactional and litigation matters.   Rich’s diverse litigation practice has included the following representative cases:

  • MillerCoors, LLC v. Larrys Distributing Co., Inc. et al — Wisconsin State Court.
    Represented two highly successful Wisconsin beer distributors opposing brewer's efforts to terminate the Defendant's multi-million distribution rights. MDH asserted the Distributors were protected under with the Wisconsin Dealership Law and successfully defeated the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, after which, Plaintiff dismissed its claims and abandoned its termination efforts awarding Defendants new distribution agreements.
  • Mountain Beverage Co., LLC v. The Foursome, Inc. d/b/a Co-Orrison Distributing, Ltd. and d/b/a Orrison Distributing, Ltd. — Colorado Arbitration.
    Represented a Colorado beer distributor who received a 1.1 Million Dollar arbitration award following the termination of certain distribution rights.
  • Klindworth v. Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota Community, d/b/a Treasure Island Resort and Casino — Minnesota State Court.
    Represented Prairie Island in a negligence, dram shop, and wrongful death claim arising out of a two-car fatal automobile accident resulting in the death of a young college student. The case was satisfactorily resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement prior to trial.
  • Nott Company v. Todd N. Palmer, et al — Minnesota State Court.
    Successfully defended a Minnesota Distributor in which Plaintiff sought damages in excess of 3.3 Million Dollars for claims alleging tortuous interference with a non-compete agreement, interference with business relationships, and unjust enrichment. Following a two week trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of MDH's client dismissing all of the Plaintiff's claims.
  • Lucent Technologies, Inc., et al v. Entegris, Inc. f/k/a Fluoroware Corp. et al — Florida State Court (Orange County).
    Defended a Minnesota-based high-tech valve manufacturer in a subrogation case in which Plaintiff sought damages in excess of 52 Million Dollars arising out of a hydrochloric acid spill, in the clean room of a microchip fabrication facility located in Orlando, Florida. Following extensive nationwide discovery and motion practice, the case was ultimately resolved before trial pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement.
  • New Generation Food Co. v. Dairyland Products, Inc. — Minnesota State Court.
    Obtained a jury verdict, dismissing Plaintiffs multi-million dollar damage claims after a month long jury trial where the Defendant was accused of misappropriating Plaintiff’s trade secrets and proprietary formula in violation of the Minnesota Trade Secrets Act.
  • Chuck H E Vogel et al v. Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. et al — Wisconsin State Court.
    Successfully represented two of four shareholders in a shareholder dispute involving a company with annual sales in excess of 2.5 Billion Dollars.  Following extensive litigation, the dispute was satisfactorily resolved in accordance with a confidential settlement agreement.
  • Peer Rating 5.0/5.0 AV preeminent

Areas of Practice

  • Alcohol Beverage Law and Litigation
  • Administrative Law
  • Business/Civil/Commercial Litigation
  • Business/Corporate/Commercial Law
  • Distribution and Franchise Law and Litigation
  • Contracts
  • Insurance Defense

Litigation Percentage

  • 80% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1983
  • Wisconsin, 2012
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1984
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Tribal Court, 1999


  • Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. cum laude - 1983
    • Law Review: Hamline Law Review, Editor/Student Writer, 1981 - 1983
    • Law Review: The Hamline Public Law Research Center, Associate Member, 1982 - 1983
  • Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan
    • M.A. - 1981
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Public Administration
  • Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan
    • B.S. summa cum laude - 1979
    • Major: Political Science/Secondary Education

Published Works

  • Anatomy of a 2007 Residential Construction Defect Case, Minnesota CLE, May, 2007
  • How to Maximize the Homeowner's Recover, Minnesota CLE, 2007
  • How to Skin the cat in a Wet Home Case Using ADR, Minnesota CLE, 2007
  • Sovereign Immunity - Discretionary Function Exemption to the Tort Claims Act: 5, Hamline L. Rev., Vol. 5, 103-121, 1982

Representative Clients

  • Hudson Insurance Group
  • New Horizon Academy
  • Applied Power Products
  • Schlagel, Inc.
  • Winroc
  • Entegris, Inc.


  • DuPont Dow Elastomers, LLC
  • White Earth Band of Ojibwe


  • The Modern Residential Moisture Intrusion Claim, Lorman
  • Anatomy of a Residential Construction Defect Case, MN State Bar Assoc. of Continuing Education (CLE)
  • Construction Claims Handling, R.J. Ahman Company
  • Child Care Claims Handling, New Horizon Child Care Inc.

Honors and Awards

  • AM JUR Award Winner
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Silver Gavel Honor Society
  • Dean's Honor Roll, 1980 - 1983
  • Class Rank
  • National Dean's List, 1975 - 1980
  • NCAA - All American Athletic and Academic Scholarship Award Winner

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member, 1983 - Present
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member, 1983 - Present
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association, Member, 2012 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Dunkley, Bennett, Christensen & Madigan, P.A., Partner, 1983 - 2003

Pro Bono Activities

  • University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2006 - 2007
  • Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, 1999 - 2001
  • Minnesota for ISTEA, 1998 - 1999
  • Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, 1985 - 1988
  • Special Olympics (Judge), 1976 - 1979