Charles K. Maier

“As a lifelong competitor, my clients find that my passion to win extends beyond the playing fields into the courtroom.”

Charlie Maier is an experienced, strategic litigator and trusted choice for individuals and businesses facing complicated and acrimonious disputes, including:

  • Business owner and shareholder disputes regarding fiduciary duties, valuations, and governance.
  • Complex business transaction disputes, including breach of asset or stock purchase agreements, joint ventures, securities, real estate, professional malpractice, and fraudulent transfers.
  • Trust, estate, and probate issues, including the transfer of business ownership and assets.
  • Challenges related to post-sale duties, financial discrepancies, and other issues that surface — sometimes years later — after companies have merged or been acquired.
  • Products liability disputes, in a variety of industries, including agriculture, automotive, and manufacturing.

Charlie has particular experience advising closely held and family-owned businesses.

Clients benefit from his analytical and mathematical acumen, especially when financial reporting issues are of primary importance.

Charlie’s extensive litigation experience has included representing manufacturers against claims of products liability, personal injury, and wrongful death, including cases involving tires, fuel hoses, wheel rims, truck trailers, acetylene torches, folding tables, and agricultural equipment.

He has argued appellate cases before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Supreme Court, the North Dakota Supreme Court, and various U.S. Courts of Appeal.

Charlie is among a distinguished group of trial lawyers to be named a Litigation Counsel of America Fellow for his accomplishments in litigation and his ethical reputation. The invitation-only group comprises less than 1% of all trial lawyers in the U.S.

In addition to leading in the courtroom, Charlie has served in firm leadership as a practice group chair, board member, and past managing officer of the firm. He is a volunteer for many community-based organizations, including a longtime youth football coach.


Shareholder Disputes

  • Represented majority owners of manufacturing business against claims of shareholder oppression brought by their sons. After a four-day jury trial, and post-trial motions, the corporation was able to redeem the minority shareholders stock at a substantial discount. Darin Wurm et al. v. Production Stamping, Inc. et al., No. 86-CV-14-3128 (Wright Cty. Minn. Dist. Ct.).
  • Represented company and majority owner against minority shareholder claims of oppression in a family owned agricultural business, after a four-day Court trial, resolved by settlement. Daybreak Foods, inc. v. Brent Rehm, No. 2017CV000094 (Jefferson Cty. Wisc. Circuit Ct.).
  • Represented corporation and majority owner from claims of minority shareholder oppression. Able to obtain a successful pretrial settlement resolving years of disputes over family business, a large agricultural business. Jerome Schuler v. Minn-Kota Ag Products, Inc., Court File No. 84-CV-363, Wilkin County, Minn. Dist. Ct.).
  • Represented the owners of a web-based business in obtaining a temporary restraining order against a former employee and shareholder who was competing. The case was favorably resolved by unwinding the client’s purchase of the former shareholder’s stock.
  • Represented the part owner of a distribution company in a four-day arbitration involving claims by the other owners of conversion and other wrongful conduct. An arbitration award in favor of the client was four times more than the last settlement offer.
  • Represented the majority owner of a construction company against claims by a minority owner involving conflict of interest transactions and breach of fiduciary duties, and successfully opposed a motion for a temporary restraining order and receivership.

Complex Business Litigation Matters

  • Represented winning prosper for city bus service against claims of conflict of interest and alleged noncompliance of proposal through multiple appeals and trial. Rochester City Lines, Co. v. City of Rochester, 868 N.W. 2d 655 (Minn. 2015); Rochester City Lines, Co. v. City of Rochester, 868 N.W. 2d 655 (Minn. 2016); Rochester City Lines, Co. v. City of Rochester, 913 N.W. 2d 443 (Minn. 2018).
  • Prevailed after two-day jury trial, and post-trial motions, on claims seeking recovery of inter-company loan on unjust enrichment and money had and received grounds. Decision was affirmed on appeal. Production Stamping, Inc. v. Wurm Partnership, No. A17-1846 (Minn. Ct. App. 2018).
  • Prevail after a two-day jury trial, which determined client had no liability under a personal guaranty for a real estate lease entered into by a business the client sold. Decision was affirmed by the North Dakota Supreme Court. Steriling Dev. Group Three, LLC v. Carlson,
  • Obtain complete defense verdict after a four-day court trial on claims of breach of oral contract and promissory estoppel related to an alleged lease transaction, which the Eighth Circuit affirmed in full. InCompass, Inc. v. XO Communications, LLC, 719 F.3d 891 (8th Cir. 2013).
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a property developer and service provider dismissing claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, unjust enrichment, and breach of an alleged joint venture. The decision was affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Horizon Engineering Services Company v. Lakes Entertainment, Inc., et al., Case No. A10-1682 (Minn. Ct. App. June 13, 2011).

Trusts and Estates Litigation

  • Represented beneficiary in her father’s estate in claims against her brother for minority interests in the family owned business. Successfully obtained settlement to redeem her 25% interest. Mary Kelley v. James Dochniak and Jefferson Properties, Inc., (Court File No.: 27-CV-14-16176, Henn. Cty., Minn. Dist. Ct.).
  • Represented three children challenging their mother’s Trust on the grounds of undue influence in changes made shortly before death. Successfully reached settlement prior to trial. In the Matter of Barbara G. Schuler Revocable Trust, File No.: 09-2017-CV-02304, Cass Cty., ND Dist. Ct.).
  • Represented a widow seeking full compensation for redemption of her deceased husband’s stock in a closely held corporation. The amount obtained was 70% more than initially offered. Fox v. First Byte Computers, Inc. et al, No. 27-CV-08-1401 (Henn. Cty., Minn. Dist. Ct.).
  • Represented business in claim against the estate of a former employee with embezzled significant funds prior to his death.

Litigation Related to Buying and Selling Businesses

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment dismissing a multimillion-dollar claim of lost profits for alleged breach of a letter of intent by the potential seller of a business.
  • Represented the buyer of a product line in an action seeking damages and rescission of a contract when the product failed. After moving to exclude the defendant’s expert and opposing the motion for summary judgment, settlement ensued. Zimmer Spine, Inc. v. Encore Medical, LP, No. 08-CV-06261 (D. Minn.).

Court Memberships

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Wisconsin


  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • “Minnesota Super Lawyer®,” Thomson/Reuters, 2012–2019
  • Client Choice Award
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 2018–2019

Professional Affiliations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • North Dakota Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Woodbury Athletic Association, youth sports coach
  • Woodbury Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church, Trustee and Leadership Council

Press releases

Photo of Charles K. Maier
  • Minneapolis

    80 South Eighth Street
    500 IDS Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55402
  • Fargo

    210 Broadway Street
    Suite 401D
    Fargo, ND 58102


Sarah Bagwell


University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1992

University of Wisconsin - Madison, B.S., with distinction, 1989, Phi Beta Kappa