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Clifford M. Greene

Clifford M. Greene Esq.

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Class Action & Mass Tort
Education Law
Employment Law
Governmental & Public Agency
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Clifford M. Greene, Esq., joins JAMS in Minneapolis after a distinguished career as one of Minnesota’s preeminent trial attorneys. Mr. Greene has represented clients in complex business, employment and product liability actions. He also regularly represented diverse government entities and public officials in high-profile disputes.

Mr. Greene is a recognized authority on federal practice and procedure, chairing the District of Minnesota’s Local Rules Advisory Committee at the invitation of three different chief judges. He has lectured widely on federal jurisdiction, attorney-client privilege, government liability and legal writing and advocacy.

Drawing on his litigation experience, Mr. Greene is regularly retained to arbitrate or mediate disputes and serves federal and state courts as a special master.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Certified mediator and arbitrator qualified under State ADR Rule 114 (Civil Roster)
  • Appointed as special master by federal and state courts

Representative Special Master Assignments

  • Shareholder Suit: Appointed to address pretrial management and resolution of discovery disputes in intra-family shareholder litigation; appointed by then Chief Judge Ivy Bernhardson, Hennepin County, Minn.
  • Insurance Class Action: Appointed to manage class action issues, including class identification methodology; appointed by Judge W. Howard, Hennepin County, Minn.
  • Discovery Master: Appointed to resolve discovery disputes, including whether certain alleged “settlement communications” were subject to discovery; appointed by Judge King, Dakota County, Minn.

Representative Arbitration Proceedings

Representative matters heard to award as an arbitrator:

  • Business Contract Dispute (“Best Efforts”): Respondent’s predecessor-in-interest agreed to use “best efforts” to market claimant’s product; claimant contended that respondent failed to honor its “best efforts” obligation, causing compensable damages
  • Alleged Misrepresentation by Franchisor: Did franchisor make actionable misrepresentations to franchisee, upon which franchisee reasonably relied, when deciding to acquire a franchise? If so, did claimant (franchisee) prove an entitlement to recover the damages sought?
  • Interpretation of Licensing Agreement Resolving an Intellectual Property Dispute: Address disputes over the scope and application of a licensing agreement to various technical products, including the evaluation of claims and defenses regarding the amount of royalty payments owed under the agreement

Representative Mediations

Throughout his career, Mr. Greene has been called upon to mediate a wide range of disputes, including the following:


  • Wrongful discharge/breach of contract
    • Alleged misrepresentation of credentials as justification for executive’s termination
    • Dispute between employer and executive search firm regarding entitlement to fee
  • Discrimination
    •  Title VII, sex harassment and gender discrimination
    •  FMLA and disability claims
  • Whistleblower/Retaliation
  • Civil rights
    • Appointed by the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department to mediate a discriminatory discharge claim

Business Disputes and Professional Liability

  • Noncompete and nonsolicitation
  • Breach of contract for wrongful termination of supplier agreement
  • Tradename/Unfair Trade Practices

Securities, Finance and Professional Liability

  • Investment losses resulting from alleged misconduct by trust
  • Alleged attorney liability for failing to protect claimant from losses in a Ponzi scheme

Government, Education and Schools

  • Conflict between city and boat club regarding dockage and operating restrictions
  • Malicious prosecution allegations that competitor provided false information to county, resulting in criminal charges

Business/Employment Litigation

As advocate and counselor, Mr. Greene has addressed a variety of government liability scenarios, including the following:

  • Business and commercial
    • Breach of contract
      • Various claims involving the adequacy and performance of complex business software
    • Breach of warranty
      • Various suits alleging delivery of defective or nonconforming goods by industrial component manufacturers
    • Wrongful competition (antitrust, Lanham Act)
      • Evaluation of claims against competitor for alleged misrepresentation of product performance and/or comparative advantages
      • Antitrust claims arising from alleged accumulation of dominant market share (requiring market definition)
    • Misappropriation of trade secrets
      • Suits alleging unlawful utilization of trade secrets, usually in context of former employee joining competitor
    • Misrepresentation and fraudulent inducement
      • Suit by dissatisfied student at for-profit college alleging misrepresentations regarding job placement of graduates
  • Employment
    • Wrongful discharge
    • Whistleblowers
    • Discrimination, including race, gender, affectional preference, age, et al.
  • Securities
    • Suits alleging unsuitability of investments by broker
  • Products liability
    • Industrial products (various)
    • Drugs and medical devices (various)
    • Prefab mobile home (alleged to have been defectively wired)
  • Negligence and torts
    • Wrongful death arising from electrocution of painters whose metal ladder contacted uninsulated power line
    • Injury to driver of personal vehicle struck by electrical poles transported by utility truck
  • Class actions and multi-district litigation

Public Sector Disputes

As advocate and counselor, Mr. Greene has addressed a variety of government liability scenarios, including the following:

  • Disputes involving law enforcement arising in investigation, disciplinary and liability settings, including the investigation of alleged officer misconduct, the evaluation and prosecution of officer discipline (including termination), the defense of litigation arising from disciplinary actions and  the defense of police officers and public agencies arising from state and federal (Section 1983) liability claims
  • The valuation, resolution and/or trial defense of discrimination, employment and personal injury claims arising in public school and state university settings
  • Inter-governmental disputes involving conflicting jurisdictional assertions by differing agencies (e.g., handled inter-agency disputes about competing/conflicting jurisdiction over governing school siting authority)
  • Defamation claims involving public officials and public employees
  • Drawing from police and other government liability scenarios, in 2019 Mr. Greene taught Civil Rights Liability as distinguished practitioner in residence at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
  • Mr. Greene has also negotiated complex public-private transportation agreements (commuter rail and light rail) with freight railroads on behalf of various state and local agencies.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Recipient, Douglas K. Amdahl Public Attorney Career Achievement Award, Minnesota State Bar Association, Public Law Section, 2021
  • Recipient, Lifetime Achievement Award for Transformational Leadership, International Leadership Institute (Minneapolis/St. Paul), September 2020
  • Honoree, Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award (for exemplifying excellence in legal practice, community service and lifelong learning), Minnesota Cardozo Society, 2013
  • Cover Profile, There’s No “I” in Greene, Minnesota Super Lawyers Magazine, July 2014
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2008–2020
    • Lawyer of the Year, 2020
    • Minneapolis Litigation - Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year, 2018 
  • Named Local Litigation Star - Minnesota, Benchmark Litigation: The Guide to America's Leading Firms and Attorneys, 2010–2020 
  • Named Leading Commercial Litigator, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business: The Client's Guide, 2009–2020
  • Selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2003–2020

Selected Teaching Engagements

Mr. Greene is a sought-after lecturer, speaking widely to law students, judges and fellow attorneys. Representative courses include:

Academic Experience

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

  • Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, 1998, 2018–2019
    • Civil Rights Law, 2019
    • Civil Procedure, 2018
    • Federal Courts, 1998
    • Advanced [Scientific], 1998
  • Adjunct Professor, 1981
    • Torts
    • Coordinator, Legal Research and Writing Program

University of Minnesota Law School

  • Adjunct Professor, 2000
    • Law of Evidence

Selected CLE Speaking Engagements

2019 Presentations

  • “Protecting Client Confidences: Asserting and Maintaining the Attorney-Client Privilege: Pressure on the Privilege,” Minnesota CLE, September 2019
  • “The Long-Awaited Sequel: Quick-Draw Litigation,” Minnesota CLE, March 2019
  • “It Just Got Personal: Major Changes in Personal Jurisdiction Law,” Minnesota CLE, March 2019

2018 Presentations

  • “Attorney-Client Privilege for Business Attorneys,” HCBA Corporate Council Section, March 2018

Civic and Other Engagements

  • Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 1998, 2018–2019
    • Adjunct Professor, 1983–1984
    • Associate Professor, 1981–1982
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota Law School, 2000
  • Member, National Faculty, Professional Education Group, 1991–2011
    • Presented 33 programs in 15 states addressing government liability and litigation
    • Chair, Committee on Police-Community Relations, Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Racial Bias in the Judicial System, 1991-1993
  • Member, Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights, 1982–1985
  • Member, Minneapolis Police Chief Selection Advisory Committee, 1995–1996
  • President, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota, 2010–2012
  • Trustee, William Mitchell College of Law, 1997–2006
  • Trustee, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 2016-Present
  • Member, Federal Practice Committee (Minnesota)
  • Chair, Federal Local Rules Advisory Committee, District of Minnesota, 1989–2001
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Committee on Pro Bono in the Public Sector, 2004–2007
    • Founding Member, Section of Litigation

Background and Education

  • Co-Founder/Attorney; Greene Espel, PLLP; 1993–2020
  • Senior Attorney/Shareholder; Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, Ltd.; 1976–1993
  • J.D., cum laude, Cornell Law School, 1976
    • Editor, Cornell International Law Journal
  • B.A., cum laude, Government, Harvard College, 1973
    • Winner, Ames Prize



This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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