Joseph M. Barnett

Joe Barnett is an experienced litigator with nearly 20 years of experience representing clients in both Minnesota and North Dakota. He joined Hellmuth & Johnson’s litigation practice in 2012 and has focused his practice in real estate, construction, probate, and business law. Joe assists his clients with a variety of legal issues including:

  • Complex multiparty litigation
  • Commercial disputes, including real estate conflicts, business disputes, probate matters, and negligence actions
  • Construction disputes, including construction defect matters and liens
  • Business law and litigation
  • Insurance claim matters
  • Trust, will, and probate litigation
  • Land use, mineral rights, and real estate disputes

Joe’s construction practice involves the representation of a significant number of clients faced with construction defect allegations or claims, as well as representing property owners and community associations in claims for property damage. He helps his clients efficiently and successfully navigate complex legal issues to achieve favorable results. “Handling complex litigation involving numerous parties requires a broad range of abilities and experience because every case is unique,” explains Joe. “It’s my job to anticipate the unexpected and to navigate those issues to my client’s best advantage.”

Joe has successfully handled matters in various state courts, arbitrations, Minnesota Court of Appeals, and the Minnesota Supreme Court. He has also appeared in hundreds of mediations in jurisdictions throughout the Midwest to resolve cases prior to trial.

In 2011 and 2013, Joe was named to the Minnesota Super Lawyers® Rising Stars list. Recognition on this list is based upon peer designation and is only awarded to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Rising Star selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors; only 2.5% of attorneys in Minnesota are chosen each year.

Joe is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, North Dakota, United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, United States District for the District of North Dakota and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Circuit.



  • Obtained a directed verdict for Glacial Ridge in a case involving allegedly defective road pavers installed by the client
  • Obtained a defense verdict on a claim exceeding $1 million for work on a prominent Minneapolis building and monetary award on a counterclaim against Mortenson Construction for unpaid work on behalf of Central Roofing
  • Obtained partial summary judgment against the State of North Dakota in a case involving an unconstitutional law affecting mineral rights and royalty payments
  • Obtained a judgment in favor of John Koppi d/b/a Arbor Barber in a lien action involving removal of tornado damaged trees on a large property
  • Obtained a harassment restraining order in favor of Meadow Creek Condominiums against a unit owner that was defaming the board of directors online and successfully defended the restraining order at the Minnesota Court of Appeals
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing claims against a large Minnesota contractor and its owner in his individual capacity
  • Obtained numerous judgments and settlements on behalf of homeowners against contractors for defective workmanship
  • Obtained numerous settlements against insurance companies involving coverage disputes
  • Successfully resolved numerous business and property disputes through mediation and direct negotiations, saving clients from expensive litigation

In The News

Thought Leadership


  • Admitted to the Minnesota State and Minnesota Supreme Court Bar, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and the U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit.
  • Member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Sixth District Bar Association, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association and Defense Research Institute.


  • Participated in the Rosalie E. Wahl Moot Court Competition, and completed two courses at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

Honors & Awards

  • Named by Super Lawyer magazine to its 2011 and 2013 Minnesota Rising Stars list of attorneys, a roster that includes only 2.5% of young lawyers from the state.

Past Seminars