Charmaine K. Harris’s practice focuses on medical device, products liability defense, and other complex litigation. She is a lead associate for a Fortune 500 Company defending its product liability and premises liability claims arising in state and federal courts nationwide. In that role, Ms. Harris conducts discovery depositions, represents the client at mediations, and negotiates settlements. Ms. Harris has also defended asbestos and employment-related disputes.
Before attending law school, Ms. Harris was a senior medical design engineer in Medtronic, Inc.’s Neuromodulation business unit. As a medical device engineer, she designed, tested, and improved spinal cord stimulation devices. She is a named inventor on five patents for these devices. Her prior career as a medical device engineer gives her a sophisticated understanding of technologically complicated cases.
Ms. Harris is a former Board member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL). MABL’s mission is to promote and support the professional development of Black lawyers, judges and law students in Minnesota. She is also a member of the Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL), dedicated to advancing the success of women lawyers. Ms. Harris served as co-chair of the 2016 MWL Annual Conference. She is admitted to practice in Minnesota, the District of Minnesota, and the District of Colorado.
- William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 2011), Rosalie E. Wahl Moot Court, 2009
- Brown University (B.S. Biomedical Engineering, 1998)
- Minnesota Lawyer Up & Coming Attorney Award
- Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers Award
- Barbara A. Wrigley Intellectual Property Scholarship
- Gareis v. 3M Company (Bair Hugger™). Part of litigation team that won a complete defense verdict for one of the world's largest global innovation manufacturing companies in the first product liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) bellwether trial in Minnesota Federal District Court. The jury agreed with the defense that the warming device did not cause surgical site infections. This case is one of more than 4,500 cases in the Minnesota MDL all involving numerous complex novel scientific legal issues. With Mr. Blackwell’s leadership, the defense team has secured dismissal of all Minnesota State cases, prevented Plaintiffs from adding punitive damages, won a significant motion to compel, securing more than $11,000 in fees and costs for client. The verdict was widely covered in the media.
- Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Cases. Won summary judgment for Medtronic, Inc., one of the world’s leading medical device companies, in the first of 44 cases pending in Minnesota state court. Plaintiff alleged that her Virtuoso implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) was defectively manufactured and failed prematurely. The court agreed with Blackwell Burke that Plaintiff’s ICD was manufactured within federally approved requirements, and all of Plaintiff’s claims are preempted by federal law. This case was designated by the parties as a bellwether to test Medtronic’s preemption defense. 43 other similar cases are pending.
- Mohr v. Mobil 1 Corporate. Won complete defense verdict in Minnesota Conciliation Court on behalf of Exxon Mobil against Plaintiff who claimed that Mobil 1 motor oil destroyed his vehicle’s engine.
- Bray v. Starbucks. Won summary judgment for Starbucks Corporation d/b/a Starbucks Coffee Company in Minnesota state court. Plaintiff alleges Starbucks discriminated against him in a public accommodation based on his status as a transgender male. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded this case of first impression and a trial on the merits is pending.
- Flushable Wipes Class Action. In this putative nationwide class action, multiple municipalities allege that flushable wipes are clogging their sewer systems. The firm’s defense of one of the largest global producers of consumer products specializing in wet wipes and coffee filters, is underway.