Janet has more than 30 years of experience defending corporate clients in a variety of civil matters and arbitration proceedings. Her practice is focused on defense of complex construction and products liability litigation. She is devoted to client-driven results, whether the need is risk prevention, early resolution or trial. Her substantial civil trial and arbitration experience includes serving as first chair for more than 30 jury trials in state and federal court in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In a recent arbitration proceeding, Janet successfully enforced her client’s indemnity provisions in a contract entered after the effective date of the 2013 anti-indemnity amendments to Minn. Stat. §337.02, et al.
Since 1993, Janet has been certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association, a distinction achieved by less than one percent of women lawyers in Minnesota. She has also continuously held the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the most well respected legal directory in the legal community, for professional skills and integrity. Early in her career, she worked as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert H. Schumacher. Her pro bono work includes serving as a volunteer conciliation court referee.
Janet works with a wide variety of clients, including large construction companies, international manufacturers, high-profile non-profits and small businesses. She represents her clients directly, and in some circumstances, as defense counsel appointed by their insurance carriers.
- Secured a Rule 12 dismissal of commercial property damage lawsuit against a national pest control vendor in the Northern District of Illinois based on federal venue statutes.
- Cost-effective early settlement of payment bond claims on behalf of principal and surety sued on large public works project.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal of manufacturer after federal court granted motion in limine to exclude plaintiff’s expert.
- Represented product distributor / installer through summary judgment, obtained dismissal of large parts of plaintiffs case. Oakbrooke Infinity HOA, Inc. v Pulte Homes, Inc.
- Lead trial counsel for general contractor in suit alleging construction defects in local hospital.
- Successful representation of contractors in multiple construction defect matters involving confidential mission critical data centers.
- Multiple confidential arbitration proceedings.
- Successful pursuit of downstream contractors and insurers for indemnification and defense costs on behalf of general contractors, including recent settlement for 100% of construction costs, plus full reimbursement of all attorneys fees from subcontractor’s insurer.
- Serves as outside litigation counsel for general contractor with global offices.
Articles & Presentations
Janet is a frequent lecturer and author on topics related to the civil trial law and construction litigation. Her presentations include:
- “10 Mistakes You Are Currently Making With Your Construction Clients,” CLSA North American Construction Symposium, November 30, 2017
- “The Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Mandatory Arbitration Clauses,” Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, May 24, 2017
- Served on MDLA Trial Academy Faculty – January 2017
- “Cost-Effective Case Management: How to Control the Time and Expense of Resolving Disputes,” AGC Conference on Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management – February 2016
- International Masters in Trial Program, Berlin, Germany, ABOTA – 2014. Sponsored by the American Board of Trial Advocates, Stellpflug was selected as a member of the defense trial team. Part of a joint trial program with members of the German American Lawyers Association, the program was followed by panel discussions on the characteristics and differences in the two country’s legal systems examining the right to jury trial. The trial demonstration was conducted in the Kammegericht in Kleistpark, Berlin’s historic courthouse dating to 1913.
- Masters in Trial, Course Chair and Defense Team Coordinator, MILE and ABOTA – 2014
- Catastrophic Loss: Claims Handling, Legal & Evidentiary Issues and Insurance – 2013 Construction Law and Insurance Forum, Marsh USA-F&M
- The Exclusive Remedy Doctrine in Construction Site Cases, MTLA, 2002
- Developing a Better Crystal Ball – How to Assess Third Party Rights after O'Malley and Jackson, Minnesota CLE, 1997
- Effective Use of Experts, MWL CLE, 1995
- Subrogation in Personal Injury Cases – The Interplay, MCLE, 2013
- The Importance of Understanding Lambertson, MILE, 1997
Awards & Recognitions
- Board Certified as a Specialist in Civil Trial Law by the Minnesota State Bar Association
- Minnesota Super Lawyers® (Construction Litigation) – Since 2008
- Minnesota Super Lawyers® Top Women – 2015
- Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating (the highest possible rating for legal ability and adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability and diligence)
- Super Lawyers® Business Edition (Litigation) – 2014
- Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine – 2014
- Minnesota Super Lawyers® Top 100 Women – 2009