Ryan M. Theis

Ryan is a commercial litigation and trial attorney who represents individuals, contractors, developers, property owners and business owners. Throughout his time at Hellmuth & Johnson, Ryan has first chaired numerous trials to victory and achieved several judgments and settlements in excess of $1 million dollars for his clients. Ryan also regularly argues before the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Ryan’s achievements have resulted in him being selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Star and Best Lawyers in America: One’s to Watch lists for several years running. Ryan is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is limited to trial lawyers who have achieved verdicts or settlements in excess of $1 million dollars.

Experienced in alternative dispute resolution methods, Ryan strives to resolve each of his client’s disputes favorably short of litigation without sacrificing money, time or resources. However, he does not back down from a fight if the situation demands a trial. He thrives in pressure and takes it as an opportunity to find a way out of tough situations however narrow the road to success might seem. He also makes it easy for his clients to deal with the challenges posed by litigation by helping them identify the options they have and making them confident in their stance.

Clients value Ryan’s honesty and competitive nature when they find themselves in an unfortunate position, often through no fault of their own. With his breadth of experience as an attorney, Ryan is in a unique position to help these clients achieve a favorable result. Not everyone is wired to be a litigator. It can be stressful, and the prospect of positive resolution can be bleak at times. Ryan relishes these challenges and strives to make the process as stress-free as possible for his clients.

Ryan is a 2016 cum laude graduate from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law (formerly William Mitchell). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Ryan is licensed to practice in the Minnesota State and Federal courts. Ryan is also a Minnesota Rule 114 Qualified Neutral.



Examples of Ryan’s successes include:

  • Defended advertising company and shareholders against claims from terminated shareholder in 5-day arbitration trial. Terminated shareholder sought $1,900,000 in damages for wrongful termination, oppression, and breach of fiduciary duties, but awarded only $375,000, representing the fair value of his ownership. Terminated shareholder’s claims for wrongful termination, oppression and breach of fiduciary duties were dismissed with no award.
  • Obtained $180,000 verdict in 3-day bench trial for gasket manufacturer against test machine manufacturer for breach of contract. Test manufacturers claims for breach of contract dismissed.  Verdict affirmed in entirety on appeal.
  • Obtained $2,500,000 judgment for property owner against tenant for breach of lease agreement.
  • Obtained $1,900,000 judgment against product distributor for sale of defective hoverboard responsible for a house fire.
  • Obtained $1,200,000 judgment against farming company for breach of contract and livestock theft.
  • Negotiated $1,600,000 settlement for client’s ownership of company against partners.
  • Negotiated $1,200,000 settlement for property owner against general contractor for damage to building stemming from settlement issues.
  • Negotiated $700,000 mediated settlement in action against courier for property damage sustained to cargo in interstate transport.
  • Obtained affirmative summary judgment against property owner for overcharging CAM and taxes to tenant.
  • Obtained affirmative summary judgment on liability against highway construction contractor for damaging 600 vehicles in reconstruction of Highway 694.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of sellers in real estate action against buyers’ claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of warranty.
  • Obtained summary judgment against insurance company, including recovery of all legal fees, for the insurance company’s failure to accept client’s tender of defense.
  • Successfully defended numerous clients against allegations of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).

In The News


  • Minnesota Justice Foundation Achievement in Volunteer Public Service

Honors & Awards

  • Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star® – 2023
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America – Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Construction, Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2022-2024
  • Minnesota Rule 114 Qualified Neutral

Past Seminars