Tiana Towns

Tiana Towns




Tiana’s dispute resolution approach is simple: she simply does good work, focuses on being responsive, and is uncommonly relatable when working with our clients.  As a senior associate in Dorsey’s Trial Department, Tiana works on a wide range of commercial litigation matters, but her focus is on real estate, construction and design, and intellectual property litigation in state and federal courts.

As a senior member of Dorsey’s real estate litigation team, she leads teams handling real estate-related disputes for property owners, developers, investors, tenants, lenders, joint ventures and public-private partnerships, and many other parties in and out of court.  Tiana's second focus is on intellectual property litigation, specifically trademark, copyright, and advertising disputes, in state and federal courts.  Tiana also has experience counseling clients in prosecuting and obtaining state, U.S. and international trademark and copyright registrations, and representing them before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Tiana also maintains an active pro bono practice representing indigent criminal defendants in state and federal courts, providing criminal expungement services, and representing tenants in housing court.

Education & Admissions

Howard University School of Law (J.D., 2014), Bryant Moore Co-Chair, Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court Team; Student Attorney, Howard University Trademark and Intellectual Property Clinic

University of California at Riverside (B.A., Psychology/Law and Society, 2010), with Honors


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


Representative Litigation

Construction and Real Estate Litigation

  • Represented retail property manager to obtain temporary restraining order preventing contractor from removing fixtures and total shutdown of the shopping mall.
  • Represented a commercial tenant in breach of lease dispute in 2-week bench trial.
  • Currently representing a commercial property owner in multi-party easement dispute.
  • Currently representing subcontractor in complex multi-party dispute involving construction defect and delay claims on an accelerated track with the three-week hearing scheduled just six months after the filing of the statement of claim.
  • Representing a water utility company in a dispute caused by a private developer’s damage to a 100-year-old brick masonry sewer.
  • Counsels clients on all aspects of construction and design matters, including contract negotiation and interpretation, project financing agreements, dispute avoidance, claim development, expert retention and coordination, insurance recovery, and mechanics' liens.
  • Advises commercial landlords and tenants in all aspects of leasing, including representation of big box retail tenants, institutional office landlords, and mid-market retail users.

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Representing an aviation company in claims of trademark infringement in federal court and defending opposition action brought by same entity before the TTAB.
  • Representing health insurance company and self-funded employee benefit plans in class action claims and counterclaims alleging benefits due and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Girl Scouts of the United States of America v. Boy Scouts of America, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Representing Girl Scouts USA in a suit against Boy Scouts of America for trademark infringement, dilution, tortious interference and related unfair competition claims.
  • Cirrus Aviation Services, LLC v. Cirrus Design Corporation, U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.  Sole associate on team representing the owner of a registered uncontestable mark in trademark infringement claim under the Lanham act. Tiana has worked on all aspects of the case drafting the initial cease and desist letter sent in 2014, and counseling and assisting client with its application to obtain a federal trademark registration.
  • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. Mark Taheri, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 2016.  Obtained consent judgment requiring defendant to change its MAYO DENTAL name.

Commercial Litigation

  • Represented a performing arts company in weeks-long jury trial.  Result: Company not liable for multiple negligence claims, avoiding over $3 million dollars in liability.
  • Represented an individual trustee in week-long bench trial defending claims of breach of fiduciary duty claims in complex family trust dispute.  Result: Complete defense judgment.
  • Representing pharmacy benefits manager in multiple class action lawsuits involving claims for benefits, prohibited transactions, and breaches of fiduciary duty based upon alleged fiduciary breaches, disloyalty, and prohibited transactions in receipt of “spread” from pharmacies.  In Re UnitedHealth Group PBM Litigation, No. 16-cv-3352, 2016 U.S. Dist. Minnesota; and In Re Cigna Corporation PBM Litigation, No. 16-cv-1702, 2016 U.S. Dist. Connecticut.
  • In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation: Represented board in lawsuit seeking to enjoin Medtronic’s proposed acquisition of Covidien.  Result: Injunction denied and case dismissed.
  • Bushansky v. OneBeacon Insurance (U.S. Dist. Minn): Represented defendants in litigation challenging Intact Financial Corp.’s $1.7 billion purchase of OneBeacon Insurance.  Plaintiffs withdrew their motion for a preliminary injunction and dismissed their securities fraud claims with prejudice prior to the shareholder vote.
  • FINRA arbitrations. Counsel for major broker-dealer firm in numerous customer and industry arbitrations.
  • Webster v. Daniels, Case No. 14-1049 (7th Cir. May 1, 2015): Pro bono counsel for intellectually disabled federal prisoner seeking review of death sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2241. Member of team that obtained a favorable ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, in high-profile death penalty matter.

News & Resources


COVID-19’s Impact on Commercial Evictions and Landlord-Tenant Relations in Minnesota
“Construction Arbitration: Unique Joinder and Consolidation Challenges” Dispute Resolution Journal
“Construction Arbitration: Unique Joinder and Consolidation Challenges” Dispute Resolution Journal, forthcoming
“Construction Arbitration: Unique Joinder and Consolidation Challenges,” Dispute Resolution Journal
Jay-Z Has 99 Problems, and. . . Lack of Diversity Is One
“Three Factors Toward One Successful Retention,” DRI Newsletter of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Kim K’s “Kimono” – A Snapshot of Cultural Appropriation
Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair for Consumer Oppositions
The SCOTUS Nominee on IP
“Sleevey Wonders” are “Arm Tight” in California Lawsuit
Graffiti Artists Tag Camuto Fashion House for Copyright Infringement
Copyrighting a Dream
Likelihood of “Initial Interest” Confusion Powers The University of Houston to Preliminary Injunction Win in Law School Name Battle
Strike a Pose and Say “Trademark”
Trademark Wars: Fox’s “Empire” Strikes Back

News & Press Mentions

Up & Coming Attorneys, Unsung Legal Heroes Announced
Tiana Towns: Blazing a Path for Others to Follow
TaraLynn Casperson and Tiana Towns Selected for 2020 LCLD Pathfinder Program
Tiana Towns and Tien Cai Win ABA Construction Forum Diversity Scholarships
Dorsey Secures Groundbreaking Reversal of Death Sentence
Dorsey Nationally Ranked and Named Trademark Law Firm of the Year by "U.S. News – Best Lawyers" Best Law Firms
Dorsey Represents Underwriters in Tactile Medical IPO

Select Presentations

  • Presenter, Real Estate Institute, “Drafting and Enforcing Remedy Provisions For Commercial Landlords,” November 2018
  • Presenter, “False Advertising and Product Disparagement,” September 2016
  • Presenter, Springboard For the Arts, “Copyright Law for Creative Professionals,” April 2016

Industries & Practices

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction & Design
  • Construction Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Real Estate & Land Use
  • Trademark, Copyright & Advertising
  • Trusts & Estates Litigation

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, Member
  • Minnesota Black Women Lawyers Network, Board Member


   North Star Lawyer logo

  • Named "Minneapolis Ones to Watch" in Commercial Litigation by Best Lawyers®, 2021
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2014-2019
  • 2019 ABA Construction Forum Scholarship Recipient
  • 2020 LCLD Pathfinder Program
  • May 2020 Attorney At Law, Attorney of the Month / Lawyer of the Next Generation
Tiana Towns