Taylor co-chairs Moss & Barnett's Professional Liability team where she focuses on litigation, loss prevention, risk management, and serves as outside general counsel for her clients. As a business litigator, Taylor’s approach is aggressive, but disciplined. She is a trusted advisor to her clients and is dedicated to achieving results that advance her clients’ goals. Taylor works vigorously to find creative and comprehensive solutions to her clients’ problems. While she stands ready to litigate, Taylor also strategically resolves disputes early, before litigation erupts, to serve her clients’ best interests.
Taylor works closely with her clients to ensure they receive reasoned, practical, and exceptional legal representation. She has litigated cases in federal and state courts throughout Minnesota and the United States focusing on:
- Professional liability claims against accountants and attorneys
- Business and personal torts
- Shareholder and trust disputes
- Employment-related disputes, including non-compete negotiation and litigation, breach of contract, discrimination, and retaliation claims
- Commercial and residential real estate litigation
Prior to practicing law, Taylor served as a law clerk for the Honorable Elizabeth H. Martin in Minnesota District Court’s Tenth Judicial District.
- Successfully defended a $10 million failed audit claim. Our client, a CPA firm, audited the financial statements of a company that later sold all of its assets and made financial warranties in the asset purchase agreement. The company and its sole shareholder were then sued by the asset buyer for breaching those financial warranties. Alleging negligence and negligent misrepresentation in connection with the audit, the company and its shareholder then sued our client, claiming that the CPA firm was responsible for the costs incurred to defend the lawsuit brought by the asset buyer and the amount paid to settle that case. We obtained dismissal of all of the company’s claims on a motion to dismiss and dismissal of the shareholder’s remaining claims on a motion for summary judgment.
- Successfully defended against a city’s attempt to use an emergency injunction to accomplish an unlawful taking. A Minnesota city attempted to secure an easement by temporary injunction over a stormwater retention basin, buffer areas, and other infrastructure on our client’s land, which were the remnants of an abandoned development project. Our team convinced the court to deny the city’s motion for a temporary injunction and secured dismissal of the city’s action, in which it was seeking a permanent easement over our client’s land.
- Defense of $8 million claim for theft of trade secrets, including employee disloyalty, breach of non-solicitation agreement, and aiding and abetting. Our client was charged after successfully recruiting more than half the plaintiff company’s workforce for a new branch of its truck parts company. Plaintiff contended that the employee “lift-out” irreparably damaged their North Dakota business. After a three-week jury trial in North Dakota federal court, the jury returned a defense verdict on all counts.
- Successfully defended commercial landlord against multi-million-dollar breach of contract claim involving the question of which party was required to pay the cost to build out a large sporting goods retail store, after the complex commercial lease was found to be ambiguous. After a week-long trial, the court found that the sporting goods tenant was on the hook for its own multi-million-dollar build-out costs.
- Exoneration of Ponzi scheme auditor. Our client, a CPA firm, was accused of negligently failing to detect the fraud after the collapse of a massive Ponzi scheme resulting in $116 million in damages. After a two-week trial, the arbitration panel rejected the claim and awarded a total defense victory to our client.
- Successful resolution of a non-compete and non-solicitation dispute. Client was a top executive of a national retail grocery, supply chain, and wholesale distribution company. After leaving the company to take a position at one of its largest competitors, our client and his new employer were sued in federal court for breach of a non-competition and non-solicitation agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and interference with contractual relations. After persuading the court to refrain from issuing a temporary restraining order against our client that would have prevented him from working for the competitor, we successfully settled the dispute, and our client now enjoys unencumbered employment with his new employer.
- Settling a former shareholder’s claims. The majority owner of a successful company was sued by a former minority shareholder she had previously bought out. Our team of trial lawyers first persuaded the court to dismiss the employment claim, then resolved the rest of the claim successfully.
- Honorable Elizabeth H. Martin, Minnesota District Court, Tenth Judicial District
William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.; cum laude
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, B.A.; summa cum laude; with distinction; awarded best undergraduate honors thesis
- North Dakota
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Honors & Recognitions
Minnesota Rising Stars (2014-present)
Best Lawyers: One to Watch (2021)
News & Insights
- Peter J. Kaiser and Taylor D. Sztainer Appointed Adjunct Directors to Moss & Barnett Board of Directors07.24.2023
- Moss & Barnett Advocate (Winter 2023 edition), 03.21.2023
- Moss & Barnett Advocate (Winter 2023 edition), 03.21.2023
- Moss & Barnett Advocate (Spring 2021 edition), 05.26.2021
- The Best Lawyers in America, 08.20.2020
- Moss & Barnett Congratulates Our Lawyers Listed to Minnesota “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” Lists for 202007.20.2020
- Moss & Barnett Advocate (Fall 2019 edition), 12.16.2019
- Moss & Barnett Congratulates Its Lawyers Named to Minnesota “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” Lists for 201907.05.2019
- Moss & Barnett Congratulates Its Lawyers Named to Minnesota “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” Lists for 201807.05.2018
- Moss & Barnett Congratulates Its Lawyers Named to Minnesota “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” Lists for 201707.05.2017
- Moss & Barnett Congratulates Its Lawyers Named to Minnesota "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars" Lists for 201607.05.2016
- Moss & Barnett Congratulates Its Lawyers Named to Minnesota "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars" Lists for 201407.07.2014
- Risk and Accounting FirmsPresented to multiple Minnesota-based Accounting Firms, 11.10.2022 and 11.11.2022
- MNCPA Management & Business Advisors 2022 Virtual Conference, 06.14.2022
- Washington, D.C., 10.17.2019
- Accountants' Liability 2018 Presented by ALI-CLE, Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, Washington, D.C., 10.18.2018
- Moss & Barnett Fall 2014 Firm Newsletter, 10.01.2014
- Employment Law Legislative Update, 04.11.2014
- Spring 2012 Firm Newsletter, 04.02.2012
- American Bar Association, Litigation Section
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
- Voting trustee, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, The Fund for Legal Aid
- Lead co-chair of Associates’ Campaign, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
- Mentor, William Mitchell College of Law
- Vice chair of outreach committee, Minnesota State Bar Association – New Lawyers Section
- Parent volunteer, Heilicher Jewish Day School and Sabes Jewish Community Center Early Childhood Center
- Volunteer lawyer for “American Legal Profession” course, University of Minnesota Law School