Paula D. Vraa

Professional Profile
Paula focuses her practice on appeals, insurance coverage disputes, product liability claims, and professional malpractice defense cases. She has briefed and argued many civil appeals on a wide range of issues in the appellate courts. Paula is adept at working with trial counsel to ensure that potential appellate issues are identified, preserved, and presented to the appellate courts in a manner that has the highest likelihood of success. She is a former law clerk of Judge Harriet Lansing of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and an adjunct Professor of Law at Mitchell Hamline Law School. Paula has co-authored a chapter on The Appellate Process for the Minnesota Practice series.

In addition to appeals, Paula has several areas of litigation on which she concentrates. She represents insurers and policyholders in coverage disputes, which gives her a balanced and reasonable approach that ensures good results. She has defended product manufacturers and property owners in asbestos-related litigation.  Paula also represents professionals in malpractice cases, including guardians, trustees, accountants, insurance agents, and personal representatives. She has been involved in cases and legislation over the sale and installation of auto glass in Minnesota.

Paula is also involved in numerous community and bar activities. She has served on the Minnesota State Bar Association Appellate Section Council, has sat on a non-profit board, is a former Scoutmaster of her local troop, and has done pro bono work for various non-profit organizations and individuals. She enjoys hiking, farming and traveling.

Law School
William Mitchell College of Law, magna cum laude, 1991

University of Minnesota, cum laude, 1988

Minnesota State Bar Association, Appellate Practice Council
American Bar Association
DRI, Appellate Advocacy Committee
Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
Minnesota State Bar Association

Minnesota; Federal District Court, Minnesota; U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit; Federal District Court, Western District of Wisconsin; Wisconsin

Publications & Seminars
Co-Author, The Appellate Process, 5 A Methods of Practice (4th ed. 2007)

Co-Author, Public Policy Considerations for Exculpatory and Indemnification Clauses: Yang v. Voyagaire Houseboats, Inc., 23 William Mitchell Law Review 1315-33 (2006)

Co-Author, Insurance Settlements, MDLA Release Deskbook (5th Ed. 2006)

Co-Author, Focusing the Penalty: New Limits on Punitive Damages, Bench and Bar of Minnesota (April 2007)

Reported Decisions
Greer v. Professional Fiduciary, Inc., 792 N.W.2d 120 (Minn. 2010)

Zutz v. Nelson, 601 F.3d 842 (8th Cir. 2010)

Westchester Fire Ins. Co. v. Wallerich, 563 F.3d 707 (8th Cir. 2009)

Kelly v. Ellefson, 712 N.W.2d 759 (Minn. 2006)

Yang v. Voyagaire Houseboats, Inc., 701 N.W.2d 783 (Minn. 2005)

Illinois Farmers Ins. Co. v. Glass Service Co, 683 N.W. 2d 792 (Minn. 2005)

CFI of Wisconsin, Inc. v. The Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 230 F.R.D. 552 (W.D. Wisc. 2005)

Schwickert, Inc. v. Winnebago Seniors, Ltd., 680 N.W.2d 79 (Minn. 2004)

Koltunski v. Western National Mut. Ins. Co., 271 Wis.2d 819, 677 N.W.2d 732 (Wis. App. 2004)

Ag Partners Coop v. Pommerening, 2003 WL 22181653 (Minn.App. 2003)

Dodd v. Leviton Mfg. Co., Inc., 2003 WL 21147151 (Minn.App.2003)

City of Lakeville v. Heritage Commons, LLC, 2003 WL 1908165 (Minn.App. 2003)

Zimmerman v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America, 593 N.W.2d 248 (Minn.App. 1999)

Thomas v. Western Nat. Ins. Group, 562 N.W.2d 289 (Minn. 1997)