Practice Overview

Christopher Yetka is a commercial trial attorney focusing his practice on insurance recovery disputes. He has successfully enforced the coverage rights of policyholders across the country in cases relating to nearly every type of insurance policy. He has represented and counseled financial institutions, utilities, medical device companies, construction companies, product manufacturers, and transportation companies, agricultural businesses and technology companies. Chris has successfully represented beneficiaries in trust actions, and minority shareholders in business disputes. Chris provides advice to general counsel in the areas of legal and regulatory compliance, records management and document retention, and in the evolving area of cyber security. Chris has also worked with human resources professionals and general counsel in labor and employment matters.

Chris is a Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, a Vice Chair (and former Chair) of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the ABA, and a Program Committee Member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS).

Chris also authors the Insurance Insight Series on the Larkin Hoffman Real Estate and Construction Blog. The series focuses on common insurance issues that are faced by businesses, including who should be included as insureds, common exclusions and how to avoid gaps in insurance coverage.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained jury verdict in Federal Court on behalf of a policy holder who was falsely accused of fraud by insurer and was granted bad faith damages after an evidentiary hearing, the first such award after hearing in Minnesota Federal District Court.

  • Provided counsel to clients on litigation strategy, ownership interests, cyber security and threats, compliance, and issues relating to mergers and acquisition.

  • Obtained $2,000,000 jury verdict on behalf of homeowners’ association in coverage action against property insurer, where additional claim for bad faith was added and tried before case settled.

  • Received award after trial on behalf of beneficiary against trustee, proving by clear and convincing evidence that trustee had breached its fiduciary duty and acted in bad faith.

  • Obtained a jury verdict on claim for breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing on behalf of corporate policyholder sued for breach of contract by insurer, where insurer sought $250,000. Successfully defended verdict on appeal.

  • Provided advice and counseling in employment matter relating to pension and application of seniority, reviewed investigation findings, worked with human resources and general counsel to negotiate severance.

  • Advised clients on issues of compliance and regulation, including HIPAA, relating to cyber security, records management, document retention and notification.

  • Managed numerous matters obtaining defense from insurance carriers who initially denied their duty and obtained six-figure settlement on behalf of company under its crime insurance policy.

  • Resolved large financial bond claim based on theft from employee at bank, advised and counseled client on regulatory compliance, litigation hold, legal obligations and records management.

  • Obtained summary judgment for numerous financial institutions, stemming from nationwide Ponzi scheme.

  • Obtained summary judgment for furnace manufacturer in gas explosion case (upheld on appeal).



Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit

  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota

  • U.S. District Court, Colorado

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas


Education

  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN; J.D, cum laude, 1993

  • Macalester College, St. Paul, MN; B.A., magna cum laude, 1990


Honors

  • Super Lawyer,® Super Lawyers magazine, 2015-present

  • American College of Coverage Counsel, Fellow

  • Marquis Who’s Who


Professional Associations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Vice Chair and former Chair
  • Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc., Minnesota Chapter, Program Committee Member
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Member of Benefactor’s Board