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R. John Wells



Legal Specialist

R. John Wells is a trial attorney practicing primarily in the areas of Toxic Torts, Transportation Litigation, and a variety of oil and gas matters. He takes a targeted approach with each case and quickly identifies the most critical issues tailored toward achieving his client’s overall litigation goals.

More About John

In the Toxic Tort arena, John represents manufacturers, contractors, and premises owners. This work involves developing and implementing defense strategies in a variety of exposure scenarios, including allegations of bystander or take-home exposure, low-dose theories, and faulty or speculative product identification.

In Transportation law, John has represented transportation companies, including Class I Railroads, in various types of litigation, including personal injury, employment, and property damage claims. He has also represented manufacturers whose products were used on locomotives. In this capacity, John has tried several cases to verdict in jurisdictions across the Upper Midwest. John has obtained successful pre-trial resolution of other cases through motion practice. John’s in-depth knowledge of railroad and transportation law provides his clients with a competitive advantage when faced with significant litigation.

Additionally, John has defended a wide variety of companies in oil and gas matters, including pipeline strikes, blowouts, and cases involving serious burns and other catastrophic injuries. These cases often involve complicated factual, technical, and legal issues, and John’s work analyzing the terms of multifaceted indemnity agreements has resulted in significant protections for his clients early in litigation.

Member Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Douglas K. Amdahl Inn of Court
  • Minnesota State Bar Association

Representative Cases

  • Plaintiff v. various defendants (2022) Analysis of complex arrangement of oilfield indemnity agreements results in client obtaining full indemnification and defense protection early in the litigation
  • Plaintiff v. Railroad (2019) Defense verdict in a FELA case alleging unsafe workplace resulted in the development of tinnitus
  • Plaintiff v. various defendants (2015). In a living mesothelioma case with product identification, obtained summary judgment in Minnesota state court on behalf of various electronic manufacturers.
  • Plaintiff v. various defendants (2017). In a deceased mesothelioma case with product identification, obtained summary judgment in federal court in Wisconsin on behalf of a valve manufacturer.
  • Plaintiff v. various defendants (2017). In a deceased mesothelioma case with product identification, obtained summary judgment in Minnesota on behalf of a manufacturer of foundry products.

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Practice Areas

  • Product Liability Defense
  • Toxic Torts
  • Transportation


  • State of Colorado (inactive and in good standing)
  • State of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • State of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
  • State of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • State of Wyoming (inactive and in good standing)


  • J.D., University of Denver-Sturm College of Law
  • B.A., Valparaiso University

Outside of the Office

When John isn’t supporting his clients, he’s supporting local organizations through volunteer and charity work. He has devoted time assisting conservation groups and enjoys serving his local church community. You can often find him attending concerts, spending time with family, or enjoying the outdoors hunting and fishing.