Steven L. Theesfeld

Steven L. Theesfeld


Tel: 612-244-2908

Fax: 612-344-1689


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Assistant: Mary Brewer

Tel: 612-244-2921

Fax: 612-344-1689


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Steven L. Theesfeld’s practice is devoted to appellate litigation and complex subrogation losses.

In his appellate practice, Steve has argued over 50 cases in various state and federal appellate courts. His work has:

  • Clarified that de novo is the correct standard of review on a district court decision dismissing an equitable subrogation claim where the facts are undisputed. Melrose Gates, LLC v. Chor Moua, et al. (Minn. February 17, 2016)
  • Established the right to equitable health insurance subrogation in Minnesota. Time Ins. Co. v. Opus Corp., 519 N.W.2d 470 (Minn. Ct. App. 1994).
  • Found a way around contractual anti-subrogation exculpatory clauses by alleging non-intentional willful and wanton conduct. Gage v. HSM Elec. Prot. Servs., Inc., 655 F.3d 821, 825 (8th Cir. 2011).
  • Further delineated the scope of Federal specific personal jurisdiction for subrogation claims against product manufacturers which purposefully avail themselves of the privilege of doing business in a State. Pope v. Elabo GmbH, 588 F. Supp. 2d 1008 (D. Minn. 2008).
  • Established the proper jury instructions for General Contractor/ Subcontractor Negligence subrogation actions under North Dakota’s new Modified Comparative Fault Statute. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of Am. v. Williams Co. Const., 2014 ND 160, 851 N.W.2d 164, 169, 588 F. Supp. 2d 1008 (D. Minn. 2008).

In his civil litigation practice, Steve has tried and won several jury and court cases. In addition to handling subrogation cases in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Steve is licensed to practice in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, and also litigates cases across the United States. Steve offers Yost & Baill’s clients a frank and intelligent assessment of subrogation claims and appeals in the areas of: fire loss, product defects, insurance coverage, water loss, negligent construction and other complex loss.

Steve joined Yost & Baill as an appellate and litigation associate. Today, he continues his appellate and subrogation litigation practice as a partner managing Yost & Baill’s upper Midwest practice. Steve earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (cum laude) and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He previously worked for the accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers and a large Minnesota insurance Defense law firm.

Steve has been a member of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) since its inception, presented seminars at local and national NASP conferences, written several articles for the organization, and has assisted in the re-writing of the Certified Subrogation Recovery Specialists (CSRP) guidebook. He currently serves on NASP’s Appellate Amicus Committee. Steve also served six years on the Minneapolis Attorney Ethics Board.

Steve, his wife, and children enjoy living in the Twin Cities.


  • J.D., University of Wisconsin
  • B.B.A., (cum laude) University of Wisconsin

Admission to Practice

  • Minnesota State and Federal Courts
  • Wisconsin State and Federal Courts
  • North Dakota State and Federal Courts
  • South Dakota State and Federal Courts
  • Nebraska State and Federal Courts
  • US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

Honors & Awards

  • Current member, NASP Amicus Committee

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • U.S. Supreme Court Bar
  • U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Bar
  • U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Bar
  • Minnesota State Bar
  • Minnesota Federal Bar
  • Wisconsin State Bar
  • Wisconsin Federal Bar
  • North Dakota State Bar
  • North Dakota Federal Bar
  • South Dakota State Bar
  • South Dakota Federal Bar
  • Nebraska State Bar
  • Nebraska Federal Bar
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Member, South Dakota Chapter of DRI
  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals


  • 2019
    -NASP Subrogation Litigation: Skills and Management Conference – Rancho Mirage, CA. “New Ways to Get Around the Government Immunity Defense- Constitutional Takings Clause”
  • 2018
    -NASP Annual Conference – Orlando, FL. “Increasing Recoveries by Playing the Spread – Fire Spread Analysis”
  • 2017
    -NASP Annual Conference – Austin, TX. “Preparing Your Expert for Depositions and Handling Difficult Expert Situations”
    -NASP Subrogation Litigation: Skills and Management Conference – Scottsdale, AZ. “Litigating CGL Exclusions in Construction Defect Cases:  Arguments and Strategies for Establishing Coverage.”
  • 2015
    -NASP Annual Conference – Reno, NV. “The Evolution of ‘Your Work’ Exclusion and Strategies for Keeping Your Subrogation Claim Out of Its Grasp,” co-presenter with Teirney Christenson
    -NASP Annual Conference – Reno, NV. “NASP Amicus Committee Presents: Briefly Stated: 10 Steps for Better Written Arguments”
    -NASP Annual Conference – Reno, NV. “NASP Amicus and Legislative Affairs Committee Update: The Mother Lode”
  • 2014
    -NASP Annual Conference – Orlando, FL. “To Appeal or Not to Appeal…That is the Question!”
    -NASP Annual Conference – Orlando, FL. “Making Sense of the Sutton Rule,” co-presented with Robert Gaul, Steven Smith and Alyssa Endelman
    -NASP Annual Conference – Orlando, FL. “Legislative Affairs/Amicus Committee Update,” co-presenter with Kammy Poff, Joe Willis, John Kolb, Laura Schmidt and Hobie Hind
    -Subrogation Litigation: Skills and Management Conference – Amelia Island, FL. “Top Ten Tips for Better Oral Arguments,” co-presenter with Judge R. Rosenberg
    -Iowa Symposium, West Des Moines, IA. “How the Amendment of FRCP 26 Impacts Expert Reports”
    -Iowa Symposium, West Des Moines, IA. “The Economic Loss Doctrine and Subrogation”
  • 2013
    NASP Annual Conference – San Diego, CA. “How to Write Demand Letters and Negotiate To Get Results,” co-presenter with Jenai Rayford
  • 2012
    Webinar presentation for NASP, “Beds are Burning: The MN Supreme Court’s New Permission to Subrogate Against Negligent Tenants”
  • 2011
    NASP Annual Conference – Orlando, FL. “Using Gross Negligence or Willful and Wanton Negligence to Defend against Contractual Exculpatory Clauses”
  • 2008
    NASP Annual Conference – Hollywood, FL. “Increasing Subrogation Recoveries Through Persuasive Writing”
  • 2006
    NASP Midwest Conference. “ERISA and Health Insurance Subrogation in the Age of Knudson”
  • 2004
    NASP Annual Conference – Atlanta, GA. “Efficient Subrogation through Six Sigma Methodology”
  • 2003
    NASP Annual Conference – Reno, NV. “Governmental Immunity and Subrogation”
  • 2001
    NASP Annual Conference – Reno, NV. “Subrogation under Standard AIA Contracts”
  • 2000
    -NASP Annual Conference – Orlando, FL. “Getting around Waivers of Subrogation”
    -2000 MLBA State Conference. “Tips and Requirements for Employee Handbooks”
    -NASP Minnesota Chapter Meeting. “Contractual Limitations to Subrogation”
    -NASP Minnesota Chapter Meeting. “Subrogating against Government Entities”
    -Metropolitan University. “Employment Law 101”


  • The Agelessness of Abraham Lincoln’s Advice to Attorneys” – NASP Magazine, Fall 2015
  • Steven and Marie Cheung-Truslow co-wrote Chapter 160, “Bringing Subrogation Claims” in the omnibus national insurance treatise entitled “New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition” published by LexisNexis in Fall 2015
  • “The Beginning of a Golden Age of Subrogation in Minnesota?”
  • “Mastering the Made Whole Rule,” 2002, Subrogator

Significant Reported Decisions

  • Melrose Gates, LLC v. Chor Moua, et al., (Minn. February 17, 2016)
  • Gage v. HSM Elec. Prot. Services, Inc., 655 F.3d 821 (8th Cir. 2011)
  • Pope v. Elabo GmbH, 588 F. Supp. 2d 1008 (D. Minn. 2008)
  • Stollmeyer v. May, 580 N.W.2d 58 (Minn Ct. App. 1998)
  • Time Ins. Co., v. Opus Corp, 519 N.W.2d 470 (Minn. Ct. App. 1994)
  • Progressive Ins. Co., v. Rivero, 509 N.W.2d 378 (Minn. 1993)
  • Garvis v. Employers Mut. Cas. Co., 497 N.W.2d 254 (Minn. 1993)


  • “It was a great [Washington Court of Appeals] oral argument today. The panel was ‘hot’ in that they basically had questions during the entire oral argument…The panel was very well read and I believe this will be an interesting, and perhaps difficult, decision for them. Steve did an excellent job!” – (Kudos from local counsel to the client in a case against a major auto manufacturer)
  • “Congratulations! Well done, Steve!” – (Fortune 500 Corporate Counsel Client after winning week-long federal trial)
  • “Hi Dan, just wanted to say what a GREAT JOB Steve and you did [at our trial]!!!! Thanks for making a nervous process easier to handle!! Take care!” – Stacy C., insured
  • “Thanks Steve for all your and Dan’s work on the case. It was a great result.” – Bob T., subrogation client
  • “Hi Jeff & Steve: Nice work on presenting the new information on Ram v. Rohde in last Thursday’s webinar! You made it very interesting and informative.” – Ranae, Subrogation Senior Adjuster