Aaron R. Hartman

Aaron is a trial attorney who focuses first on practical solutions that advance the client’s business objectives. He has a particular drive to resolve cases on their merits and through meaningful business agreements.

Aaron provides advice and litigation representation to a diverse array of industries, including financial services, medical device manufacturers and distributors, technology, and professional services. He has briefed, argued and/or tried to conclusion or other resolution contract disputes involving executive compensation, salesperson commissions, and non-compete agreements; management and governance disputes involving the statutory and common law duties of employees, officers, directors and owners in companies small and large; employment discrimination matters involving disabilities, ERISA and whistleblower claims; and regulatory matters involving transportation, banking, securities and pollution control.

Representative Experience

Partnership Claim Defense
Defended partner against common law partnership claims seeking fifty percent (50%) of the client’s profits from an educational services enterprise. After a four-day court trial, the plaintiff received $0 in damages, and the client was awarded money judgment on counterclaims.

Medical Device Manufacturer Non-Compete Defense
Defended medical device manufacturer in restrictive covenant dispute with major local competitor. Following discovery and an evidentiary hearing in which permanent injunction was denied in material respects, the matter was resolved to the client’s satisfaction.

Breach of Administrative Services Contract
Obtained summary judgment in favor of financial services administrator against customer that refused to pay for services rendered.

Loan Guarantors Defense
Defended loan guarantors in collection action seeking more than $3 million in damages resulting from borrower’s default on real estate development loan. After successfully opposing the lender’s motion for summary judgment (which included numerous references to the absolute and unconditional nature of the guaranty), the matter was resolved to the clients’ satisfaction.

Securities Industry Non-Compete Dispute
Represented securities broker-dealer in restrictive covenant dispute against former employees and their new employer. Following a fully-contested evidentiary hearing in FINRA arbitration, the client was awarded $290,000 in damages for breach of contract.

Lender Expense Recovery
Recovered all amounts owed to lead lender, including attorneys’ fees, from participant in action to recover expenses incurred by lender in connection with real estate participation loan.

Software Development Dispute
Represented software developer in dispute concerning services rendered pursuant to a license and development agreement. Following a fully-contested evidentiary hearing in JAMS arbitration, the client was awarded $30 million in compensatory damages.

Securities Industry Employment Contract Dispute
Represented terminated employee in dispute concerning guaranteed compensation owed under employment contract. Following a fully-contested evidentiary hearing in NASD arbitration, the client was awarded more than $940,000 in compensatory damages for breach of contract.

Speaking Engagements

  • “ADA Lawsuits and Employment Issues Seminar,” featured speaker, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association Spring Conference, May 7, 2018.
  • “Top Five Sources of Litigation Problems for Restaurants and Retail Businesses,” panelist, Minnesota Real Estate Journal Restaurant & Retail Summit, April 27, 2017.
  • “Labor Pains: Top Issues Facing Restaurant Owners in 2017 and Strategies for Coping,” presenter, Foodservice News webinar, February 8, 2017.
  • “Practical Suggestions for Keeping Your Commercial Real Estate Clients Out of Court (and What to Do When Litigation Seems Inevitable),” Minnesota Real Estate Law Institute, November 14, 2013.
  • “A Modernizing SEC: New Rules on Social Media and Private-Placement Advertisements, Minnesota New Law Series, Minnesota Institute for Continuing Legal Education,” September 30, 2013.


Areas of Practice

Business Litigation


Minnesota State Bar
U.S District Court – District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court – District of Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals – Eight and Ninth Circuits


University of Michigan, B.A.
University of Minnesota Law School J.D.


Federal Bar Association
Minnesota State Bar Association
Hennepin County Bar
Association, Civil Litigation and Real Estate Sections

Recent Publications

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Bar and Retail Store Owners Continue to Grapple with the Effects of Equality Legislation
Limiting Your Exposure to Drive-By Lawsuits
The Minnesota Supreme Court Weighs in on Non-Compete Clauses

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