Christopher H. Yetka Partner
Christopher has experience in enforcing policyholder rights in many areas. He been involved in high-stakes insurance bond and professional liability claims for financial services and medical device companies. He has helped clients resolve insurance disputes involving MCS-90 endorsement claims under commercial auto policies for transportation companies. Christopher has opposed the application of the pollution exclusion stemming from environmental cleanups and, on behalf of construction company clients, avoided business risk exclusions. He has also handled insurance disputes stemming from employment practices claims and resolved coverage claims for directors and officers.
In addition, Christopher represents businesses and individual clients in other aspects of commercial litigation and counseling. He has served as lead counsel in claims involving railroad defense, employment practices, product liability, personal injury, minority shareholder disputes, contract and warranty disputes, antitrust, and psychological negligence. Chris also litigates conservatorship, guardianship and trust claims, and recently tried a trust case that lasted seven days before the Hennepin County District Court on behalf of a beneficiary.
Christopher does not believe in needless arguing or prolonged acrimony, nor is he daunted by the prospect of trial. He clearly communicates his analysis of a client’s chance for success upfront and is dedicated to making even the most complicated issues as simple and easy to understand as possible. Because many of the litigation claims in which he is involved are complex by nature, Christopher’s skill in understanding the details of a case without getting bogged down in the minutia is valuable. This approach is particularly important when he takes a case to trial, where he focuses on the broader issues and arguments in order to present persuasive, definitive arguments that make sense to decision-makers.
Originally from the Midwest, Christopher’s sincere and direct communication style frequently make him persuasive in and out of court. In recent years, Christopher has tried a number of cases both to the trial court and juries, where he presented the facts and arguments based on careful initial case evaluation and the practical application of the law.
Prior to joining the national practice at Barnes & Thornburg, Christopher was a partner at one of the largest Minneapolis-based law firms.
Professional and Community Involvement
Invited member, American College of Coverage Counsel
Past chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, American Bar Association
Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
Member, Risk and Insurance Management Society Program Committee (Minnesota Chapter)
Member, Minnesota Trucking Association
Benefactors Board, Volunteer Lawyers Network
Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2015-2018; Rising Star, 2004, 2005, 2007