Tien T. Cai

Tien T. Cai



Tien advises public and private clients nationwide on complex commercial business multi-million dollar transactions at all stages of the construction process from avoiding pitfalls, contract drafting, bids and performance to possibly mechanics liens, mitigation, mediation, arbitration, litigation and trial.
Tien helps clients resolve conflicts early through dispute resolution and motion practice and is a qualified neutral civil mediator. Tien also advises clients on easements, employment contracts and zoning and planning.

Education & Admissions

University of California, Hastings College of Law (J.D., 1997)

University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1992)


  • California
  • Minnesota
  • District Court of MN
  • District Courts of CA, Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Districts
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals


Representative Experience

  • Represented subcontractor in multi-million dollar delay and acceleration claims relating to renovation of California international airport;
  • Complete recovery for California road contractor’s differing site condition and delay claims against government agency;
  • Prevailed on summary judgment and obtained insurance coverage for construction claims involving North Dakota air force base;
  • Complete defense in comparative negligence claim in Wisconsin involving million dollar printing press;
  • Prevailed at trial and on appeal on Minnesota contractor’s multi-million claim relating to waste water treatment plant;
  • Prevailed on summary judgment which forced settlement of Minnesota housing discrimination case.

Industries & Practices

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction & Design
  • Construction Litigation
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Energy & Natural Resources

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Construction Law Section and Civil Litigation Section
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Prepared non-profit tax filing;
  • Tried California easement case and obtained complete defense for client;
  • Obtained insurance coverage for defense of Illinois client in class action under Telephone Communications Protections Act and aided in achieving nominal settlement;
  • Advised client on hospital contract and malpractice law suits;
  • Advised client on southern CA zoning and planning and employment contract;
  • Overnight volunteer for Shepherd of the Lake Church’s homeless shelter, Families Moving Forward;
  • Advise schools, churches and cities of Prior Lake and Savage on buffer zones, xeriscaping and native plants;
  • 2016 Nominee of John Coskran Volunteer Award in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191;
  • Successfully saved and extended ISD 191’s orchestra program;
  • Mentored and financially supported summer enrichment programs for families in need;
  • Served on Prior Lake Athletics for Youth’s Track Board; and
  • Cooked for 75 women at homeless shelter on the first Saturday of each month.


North Star Lawyer

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2018-2019
  • Minnesota Law and Politics Rising Star 2000
Tien T. Cai