One of the first cases I ever tried to verdict was on behalf of a large U.S. company that manufactured wooden yachts. I was given the opportunity to truly co-chair the case with my mentor, an incredibly seasoned and well-respected trial veteran. Even as a young lawyer, he and our client trusted me to take the case and run with it, including traveling to Turkey to depose the owner of the company we were suing. After two years of fierce litigation on both sides, we won a $10 million jury verdict in federal court. I had a very worthy opponent, too, which made it an even sweeter victory.
There’s a perception of litigators as being argumentative to a fault, thriving on confrontation. While I can certainly hold my ground – and do on issues important to my clients – it’s not always in the best interest of their businesses to pound a path to the courtroom.
My clients come to me when they have a problem that they need to solve, whether it’s deciding whether to sign a vendor contract, or whether to enter into litigation with a former employee. It’s important to get details right on the front-end to avoid repercussions later, which means really getting to know my clients’ businesses inside and out.
When it comes to litigation, I guide my clients through the difficult and sometimes emotional process. Your business is your baby, and it can be natural to feel that it’s being attacked when being sued for breach of contract, perhaps, or if a former employee has stolen trade secrets. But motivation can’t be dictated by personal animosity, and I help my clients take the emotion out of a naturally fraught process, to find the answer that’s right for their business.
For some closely held businesses, I serve as outside general counsel, acting as a sounding board for their day-to-day issues. In this capacity, I love being able to work with my clients as a partner in their businesses, being able to connect them with the experts at the firm that can address a specific issue, and save them the cost of maintaining an internal legal department.
Groundbreaking Moment in My Career
Insurer's Duties to Defend and Indemnify: Minnesota
Co-author. Thomson Reuters WestLaw. Practical Law.
Avoid Courting Disaster from Vague Business Contracts
Twin Cities Business.
Honors & Awards
Local Litigation Star
Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2020
Benchmark Litigation, 2013-2015
Minnesota Super Lawyers®
Top 50 Women, 2014-2019
Top 100, 2018
Top 50 Women in Business
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2013
40 Under 40
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2011
Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2009-2012
Up & Coming Attorney
Minnesota Lawyer, 2008
Associations & Memberships
Litigation Counsel of America
Minnesota State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Hennepin County Bar Association
Ramsey County Bar Association
Board of Directors, 2016-present
Minnesota Grape Growers Association
Board of Directors, 2016-2017
Minnesota Humanities Center
Board of Directors, 2010-2013
Marketing Committee, 2010-2013
Greater Twin Cities United Way
Member, Women's Leadership Council, 2009-2013
Co-Chair, Women's Giving, 2013-2014
Co-Chair of Membership, Women United, 2014-2017
Minnesota Zoo Board of Directors
Member, Governance Committee, 2010-present
Chair, 2014 and 2015 Beastly Ball
Minnesota Zoo Foundation Board of Directors
Vice Chair, July 2017-present
National Association of Women Business Owners - Minnesota Chapter
Board of Directors, 2013-2017
Co-Chair, Programs Committee, 2014-2016