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Christine Kain lettered as a student manager with the University of Minnesota football team. (Submitted photo)
Christine Kain lettered as a student manager with the University of Minnesota football team. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Tackling medical devices, water buffalo, RICO

Name: Christine Kain

Title: Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels

Education: B.A., history, University of Minnesota; J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Christine Kain, partner at Faegre Baker Daniels, relishes gaining expert knowledge on medical devices, food-borne illnesses and other subjects in her product liability practice.

“It probably drives my husband nuts,” Kain said. “I’ll come home and have random facts about school buses or water buffalo or dentistry.”

Kain’s work this year representing Cargill on a Faegre team that obtained a $35.2 million jury verdict and trebled $105.6 million judgment on a fraud and RICO against a distributor was a different story.

“That was probably one of the most interesting [cases], if not the most interesting case, I’ve worked on, to the point that even my husband would be interested to hear what happened that day,” Kain said.

Kain lettered as a student manager with the University of Minnesota football team. “I like to tell people I was a linebacker but nobody believes me,” Kain said.

Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A. Say hello. I’m happy to talk to anyone anywhere about pretty much anything at any time unless we’re in a movie. If anyone expresses an interest in my practice or asks me questions, I’m happy to talk until they stop me.

Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?

A. As a history major there were two avenues: teaching or the law. After being a teacher for a few years, I realized that wasn’t the avenue for me. The law was an opportunity to help people, talk a lot and get paid for it, and use the skills I learned as a history major.

Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A. Right now I’m stuck on a genre of female detectives at the turn of the century. Kind of Sherlock Holmes but by women.

Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?

A. I am a big proponent of the Oxford comma. I believe it is important and it truly can change the meaning of a sentence if you don’t use it. As we’ve seen from recent case law coming out of the 1st Circuit, it changed the outcome of a case. My law firm has a policy against using the Oxford common in publications. In my profile on the website they actually took the Oxford comma out of my sentence listing (personal interests), which included the Oxford comma.

Q. What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

A. The constantly changing cases that require us to learn new areas, new law, new facts. I’m also a very competitive person, so litigation scratches that itch for me as well.

Q. Least favorite?

A. That constant tick-tock of the clock that is figuratively or literally always hanging over our heads. I didn’t realize how omnipresent it was or how much it was weighing me down until I was on maternity leave and I found myself thinking in billable increments whenever I would fold laundry or feed the baby.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. I recently returned to tennis after taking a couple of years off after having a baby. It’s nice getting back on the court and being able to go and play for fun but also channel some of that extra energy or competitive drive by hitting the ball as hard as I can.

Q. Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?

A. [Retired Minnesota Supreme Court] Justice [Alan] Page, whom I was lucky enough to clerk for, for a year. What I found most admirable about him is his commitment to education and his commitment to diversity, which tie together in his Page Education Foundation.

Q. What if any is your favorite depiction of the law, the legal professional in popular culture?

A. Initially I thought I should go with “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which I do love. But really my favorite lawyer movie is “My Cousin Vinny.” They couldn’t be more different but appeal to probably the two different natures that a lot of lawyers have internally.

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