Paul is a partner in Taft’s Commercial Litigation practice. He has first-chair litigation experience in trials, commission hearings and ADR. Paul represents clients ranging from small business owners to Fortune 500 companies on all types of business disputes and practices principally in the areas of commercial litigation, construction litigation, railroads, eminent domain and estates and trusts litigation.

Commercial Litigation

Paul represents a broad range of corporate clients in his general commercial litigation practice including litigation on mass torts, jurisdictional disputes, supplier agreements, commercial contracts, shareholder and partnership disputes, land-use and zoning, business transaction disputes, general contract claims, mass tort actions and insurance coverage disputes.


In Paul’s railroad practice, he represents Class I carriers in mass torts and commercial matters. Paul has a deep knowledge of the way railroads do business. He represents railroads in litigation over derailments, Carmack claims, handling carrier agreements, short-line sales, rate disputes, haulage agreements and trackage rights agreements. On behalf of one Class I carrier, Paul obtained dismissal of another carrier’s $13 million claim on summary judgment. On behalf of another carrier, he has attained jurisdictional and preemption based dismissals of other cases.

Eminent Domain

Paul’s eminent domain practice focuses on the representation of owners, railroads and utilities. He represents landowners from initial negotiations through condemnation trials. Paul is a long-time member of the Hennepin County Bar Association’s Eminent Domain Section, where he served as the secretary, vice-chair and chair. He is a regular CLE presenter on topics such as litigation strategy under Minnesota’s recent statutory enactments under Chapter 117. On behalf of landowners, Paul has secured a number of large condemnation awards, with several vastly exceeding the compensation offered by the condemning authority. He also has secured multiple awards reimbursing owners for their attorney and expert fees incurred in condemnation litigation.

Wealth Transfer Litigation

In wealth transfer litigation, Paul typically represents corporate fiduciaries. He has prosecuted and defended against claims involving breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and negligence. Paul works closely with lawyers in Taft’s Estate Planning practice to achieve meaningful results on litigated matters.


  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Construction (2024)

  • Up & Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer (2013)


  • William Mitchell College of Law (2005)

    magna cum laude

  • Michigan Technological University


  • State - Minnesota
  • Federal - 1st Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - District of Minnesota
  • Federal - District of Maine

Notable Matters

Construction Litigation

  • Regularly represent national home builder/developer in mass party construction defect litigation.
  • Regularly represent national home builder/developer on additional insured coverage matters.
  • Represented power generation entity regarding the design and construction projects using various project delivery systems including EPC, design, supply, furnish and install.
  • Represented specialty chemical manufacturer in litigation with multiple carriers (including multiple layers) to obtain coverage for asbestos mass tort liabilities.
  • Represented builder client in action commenced by homeowners association (HOA). Matter was confidentially resolved in client’s favor at fourth mediation session one month before scheduled three-week jury trial.
  • Represented owner in construction defect litigation involving the construction of new corporate headquarters; obtained injunctive relief against contractor’s effort to arbitrate claims and settled case favorably.


  • Obtained dismissal of Carmack Amendment claim alleged to be in excess of $150 million.
  • Obtained dismissal of mass tort claims stemming from derailment on jurisdictional and forum non conveniens grounds.
  • Negotiated favorable resolution of clean-up costs associated with anti-freeze spill for Class I carrier against tank-car owner.
  • Obtained declaratory relief for Class I carrier against short-line railroad on rates and defeated $13 million claim on summary judgment
  • Represented Class I carrier against other Class I carrier in private arbitration over haulage and trackage rights agreements.
  • Defended thousands of claims and numerous trials stemming out of a North Dakota derailment.

Eminent Domain

  • Regularly represent Class I railroad in condemnation proceedings initiated in Minnesota.
  • Represented commercial property owner in department of transportation condemnation action and obtained settlement after commission hearing over two and half time larger than condemnor’s offer.
  • Obtained $2 million+ settlement on behalf of restaurant owner in condemnation proceeding after two-week long commission hearing.
  • Secured numerous orders and settlements reimbursing property owners for attorney and expert fees.

Estates, Trusts and Fiduciary Litigation

  • Obtained complete defense verdict for large bank in two-week trial and recovered all attorney and expert fees against plaintiff.
  • Defended corporate fiduciary against claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented trust beneficiary in action against trustees on claims for breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty that resulted in favorable resolution terminating the trust.

Commercial Litigation

  • Obtained several dismissals based on lack of jurisdiction.
  • Defended mortgage lender/servicer in lawsuit related to alleged violations of TILA, RESPA, state foreclosure statutes and other consumer fraud claims, and in breach of contract lawsuit related to sale of mortgages.
  • Obtained favorable resolution for products manufacturer in lawsuit by former sales representative over commissions dispute after dismissal of claims without prejudice.
  • Obtained one of three judgments on a personal guaranty for a private investor and defeated debtor’s argument that personal liability for judgments was limited to $1 million guaranty cap.
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in litigation following the acquisition of mid-size company to pursue indemnity claims for breach of representations and warranty in an asset purchase deal, and negotiated a multimillion-dollar settlement payment.
  • Prosecuted claims for reinsurance broker against competitor for violation of non-compete agreements and unfair competition; obtained injunctive relief and favorable resolution.
  • Prosecuted claims for reinsurance broker for unpaid commissions on placements.

Speeches and Publications

  • 2016-03-17, Paul Hemming Featured in Hennepin County Bar Association Blog