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Michael J. Rothman

"Above all, 

I love helping people handle serious 




900 IDS Center

80 South 8th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Mike Rothman stays at the forefront of law and government.  He works on emerging federal and state issues with three decades of experience and expertise.  Mike provides both legal and consulting services.


Mike focuses on Commerce and Regulated Industries in litigation, administrative and transaction matters, with extensive experience in state and local politics.


Mike served as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce from 2011-2017. He ran for Minnesota Attorney General in 2018.


During his tenure as Commerce Commissioner, Mike oversaw a state agency with a $450 million biennial budget and 330 employees, regulated over 20 industries, and licensed approximately 350,000 individuals and entities to do business in Minnesota.  Mike’s top priorities included a clean energy future, strong financial and energy sectors, and financial capability and empowerment from kindergarten to retirement.


The industries and programs Mike oversaw included:


  • Insurance

  • Securities

  • State banks and credit unions

  • Lending

  • Real estate

  • Consumer protection

  • Energy regulation on behalf of the public in utility sector

  • Renewable energy resource programs

  • Conservation improvement programs

  • Energy information

  • Minnesota’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and Weatherization Assistance Program

  • Siting and permitting of large energy facilities

  • Weights and Measures

  • Petrofund

  • Unclaimed Property

  • Telecommunications.


In the Governor’s Cabinet, Mike served as a member of the Governor’s Health, Environmental, and Cybersecurity sub-cabinets.


Mike served in leadership roles in state regulatory associations, including:


  • President, North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) (2016-2017), Treasurer (2015-2016), Board of Directors (2014-2017)

  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Executive Committee (2013-2015), President of Midwest Zone (2015), member (2011-2017)

  • Council of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), member (2011-2017)


Mike served as a member of many Minnesota State Boards and Task Forces:


  • Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (2011-2017)

  • Co-chair, Climate Change Subcommittee of the EQB (2015-2017)

  • Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board (2011-2017)

  • Rural Finance Authority (2011-2017)

  • Governor’s Council on Freight Rail (2016-2017)

  • Governor’s Health Care Financing Task Force (2015-2016)

  • Governor’s Health Care Reform Task Force (2011-2012)

At the federal level, Mike was nominated by President Barack Obama in January 2016 to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB).


In 2015-2016, Mike served as a member of the United States Treasury Department’s Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee with eighteen principal members from across the financial regulatory sector, both federal and state, providing strategic, policy-level direction on a range of critical infrastructure matters.


Prior Experience


Before Mike's tenure as Commerce Commissioner, he practiced law in Minnesota and California for 18 years. 


  • Winthrop & Weinstine (2002-2010)

  • Barger & Wolen (1996-2002)

  • Loeb & Loeb (1996)

  • Rubinstein & Perry (1993-1995)


Mike taught law as an Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law and Regulation at the University of Minnesota School of Law in 2005-2007.


Prior to practicing law, Mike worked in the Minnesota State Senate in 1989-1992 as staff to the Assistant Senate Majority Leader, with major legislative initiatives including work on the overhaul of insurance regulation laws.


Mike was a Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Gary L. Crippen on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, St. Paul, in 1988-1989.


Bar Admissions


  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1995

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2002

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1995

  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 1988

  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1993

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2000

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 2000

  • California Supreme Court, 1993

  • Minnesota Supreme Court, 1988




  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1988

  • Carleton College, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, 1984




  • Eighth Circuit Editor, Reference Handbook on Insurance Company Runoff and Receiverships (5th ed., 2009)

  • Co-author, Minnesota Insurance Law Deskbook, ch. 8, “Excess Insurance,” Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (3rd ed., 2007)

  • Co-author, “Recent Developments in Excess Insurance, Surplus Lines Insurance, and Reinsurance,” ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (Winter 2006)

  • Co-author, “Recent Developments in Insurance Regulation,” ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (Winter 2004)

  • Author, “The Supreme Court Set to Address Clash Between Exercise of Federal Jurisdiction Powers and States’ Rights to Regulate Insurance Insolvencies,” Mealey’s Litigation Reports, Reinsurance (May 1996)


Select Seminars Taught


  • 2017 Health Law Institute, MCLE (June 2017)

  • “2013 Update from Minnesota's Regulatory Agencies,” MSBA (November 2013)

  • “And Now a Word from Our Regulators...,” MSBA Consumer Law Section (March 2014)

  • Upper Midwest Securities Litigation and Enforcement Forum, ABA Section of Litigation (June 2012)

  • Regional Communications Law Forum, MCLE (May 2012)

  • Insurance Law for Employment Lawyers, MCLE (October 2010)

  • Insurance Law for Litigators, MCLE (August 2010)

  • “Insurance Receivership and Run-Off: The Next Level,” ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Session (2009)

  • “Cross-Border Insurance Insolvency,” International Association of Insurance Receivers (IAIR) Issues Forum at National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) (Summer 2009)

  • “Excess Insurance,” Minnesota Insurance Law Deskbook, Minnesota State Bar Association (2007, 2009)

  • “Get SMART: The Future of Insurance Regulation,” Minnesota Department of Commerce sponsored NAIC Midwestern Zone Staff Retreat (2005)

  • “Optional Federal Charter–Update,” Insurance Regulation Committee of the ABA, and Federation of Regulatory Counsel (2003)


Awards & Honors


  • Credit Union National Association, Desjardins Financial Education Award for State Government Policymakers, 2014

  • The Insured Retirement Institute, Champions of Retirement Security Award, 2014


Community, Professional Associations & Memberships


  • Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, Board Member (2019-present)

  • Minnesota State Bar Association

  • American Bar Association

    • Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Insurance Regulation Committee, vice chair (2004-2005)

  • Federation of Regulatory Counsel (FORC), chair & vice chair

    • Board Member (2006-2010)

  • Minnesota Urban Debate League (MUDL)

    • Founding and Honorary Board Member (2004-present)

  • Dr. Jane Goodall Presentation, Event Planning Committee (2010)

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