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J. Ashwin Madia, Madia Newville LLC
J. Ashwin Madia, Madia Newville LLC

The POWER 30: J. Ashwin Madia

Minneapolis attorney J. Ashwin Madia has been out of the courtroom for two years and cannot wait to get back. He’ll soon be trying a case in Hennepin County and hopes to have three more this year. That would be four trials in nine months, which doesn’t faze him. Meanwhile, he’s deep in discovery and motion practice.

Madia Newville represents employees wrongfully terminated from their employment.

“We try cases routinely,” Madia said, which he thinks is a model not many employment lawyers use.

The firm doesn’t take all the cases it could, but works them hard and invests money in them, he said.

“Trial preparation starts when the complaint is drafted,” Madia said.

“We think doing work on the front end gets you past summary judgment. Then you’re in the driver’s seat,” said Madia.

If the defendants are boxed in during depositions and you prep your client well enough, you’re well on your way, and doing all the work on the front end makes everything easier, he said. Then the defendants have to do the right thing or face a jury, and a jury is a “great source of justice,” Madia continued.

But he really didn’t want to do Zoom trials. “I like being there with the jurors.”

While he doesn’t like Zoom trials, he loves Zoom depositions.  At the end of it, he has a recording that he can review any time. He can review the witnesses and the mark-ups on the documents.

Some lawyers prefer to settle cases, and winning is better than losing, but losing has its value, Madia said.

“It’s learning,” he said. “You can’t let fear control you because if you do, you won’t try anything.”

Madia believes in juries because he sees that jurors really take the job seriously.

“It’s the earnestness they bring to the task,” he said.

Even when lawyers think they have a less-than-ideal juror, they may be surprised.

For example, Madia tried a case in North Dakota on behalf of a physician who was fired in retaliation for sticking up for another physician who was discriminated against. North Dakota may not be the most progressive state in the country, Madia said, but the jury came back with a $2.1 million verdict.