Cortney G. Sylvester (Cort)


Cort’s academic curiosity, analytical abilities, and experience on his feet allow him to easily communicate a complex legal or factual position clearly and concisely. He strives to create persuasive, well-researched arguments to win favorable results for his clients. His goal is to harness his lifelong love of intellectual combat to defend his clients’ business interests against external threats.

When Cort is not working, you can find him coaching high school debate and speech, or playing golf.

  • Key Practice and Industry Experience
  • Representative Matters
  • Recognitions and Honors
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Community Involvement

Key Practice Experience

Key Industry Experience

Representative Matters

  • Shores v. Komatsu: Industrial equipment product liability, tried to defense verdict.
  • Nesladek v. Ford Motor Co.: Automotive product liability, summary judgment obtained and affirmed on appeal.
  • Beckefeld v. Kelley Co.: Industrial equipment product liability, summary judgment.
  • McDaniel v. Bieffe: Motorcycle helmet product liability, partial summary judgment and settlement.
  • Cyberstar Computer v. Euler Solutions: Contract dispute, tried to partial verdict for client.
  • Ginkel v. Babel, et al.: Contract dispute, tried to verdict for client.
  • Rasmussen v. Yamaha: Motorcycle product liability, favorable motions and settlement.
  • Froland v. Yamaha: Motorcycle product liability, settlement.
  • Gulbranson v. Yamaha: Motorcycle product liability, settlement.
  • Dwelly v. Yamaha: Watercraft product liability, favorable motions and settlement.
  • Hammes v. Yamaha: Motorcycle product liability, favorable motions, partial trial and settlement.
  • Bolander v. Bolander: Employment and shareholder dispute, tried to verdict for client, affirmed on appeal.
  • Vaden v. Bell Helmets: Motorcycle helmet product liability, settlement.

Recognitions and Honors

  • Editorial Board, Michigan Law Review

Publications and Presentations

  • “Use of Regulations in Litigation,” MDLA Mid-Winter Conference, 2007.
  • “Digital Defense Wins More than Virtual Super Bowls,” Defense Research Institute Electronic Discover SLG, 2007.
  • “The Risk-Utility Test in Product Liability Litigation,” MDLA Mid-Winter Conference, 2005.
  • “Choosing Statutes of Limitations: A Good Place for More Interest in Conflicts of Law,” Minnesota Defense, Summer 2003.
  • “Economic Loss: Commercial Contract Law Lives,” 27 William Mitchell Law Review 417 (2000).
  • Products Liability for the Minnesota Paralegal, November 1998, Institute for Paralegal Education.
  • “Remarriage and Wrongful Death Damages: Long Separated but Ripe for Reconciliation,” Minnesota Defense, Winter 1994.

Professional Associations

  • Chair, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Product Liability Committee
  • American Bar Association, including Sections of Litigation, Product Liability and Appellate Practice
  • Minnesota Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Chair, Recreational Products Specialized Litigation Group of DRI Products Liability Committee

Community Engagement

  • Minnesota Astronomical Society
  • Minnesota Debate Teachers Association
  • National Forensics League