University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 1987, Cum Laude

Macalester College, B.A., 1981, Summa Cum Laude 

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit 
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Photo of Diane B. Bratvold
Diane B. Bratvold
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Diane Bratvold is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation Section and Appellate Practice Group. In her more than 25 years of practice, Diane’s primary focus has been handling civil appeals and practices primarily in the areas of:

  • State and federal appellate law
  • Business litigation

State and Federal Appellate Law
Diane has handled many appeals involving a wide range of issues, including constitutional law, employment law, trust and probate matters, trade secrets, business contracts, property law, insurance law, ERISA litigation, complex civil procedure, product liability and tort liability. She frequently represents various amici, both public and private, in the appellate courts. She also frequently consults or has been admitted pro hac vice for appellate matters in North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Diane is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School, where she has taught “Appellate Advocacy” since 2002. She regularly speaks on general appellate topics at various industry seminars, CLEs and conferences. She also is a contributing author to several respected appellate publications, including a chapter on post-decision appellate procedures for the Eighth Circuit Appellate Practice Manual; chapters on brief writing, appellate procedure and oral argument in Matthew Bender’s Art of Advocacy: Appeals; and “Appellate Process” in West Publishing’s Minnesota Practice: Methods of Practice. She recently edited the second edition of Minnesota Courtroom Evidence Deskbook for Minnesota CLE, which was published in 2013. Diane also is the 8th Circuit editor for Certworthy.

Business Litigation
Although Diane’s primary focus is appellate law, she also regularly consults with trial attorneys on complex matters that show potential for future appeals. Comprehensive legal consultation covers all aspects of pre-trial practice, including advising on dispositive motion practice, monitoring trials to ensure that a proper record is made, and handling significant post-trial motions and arguments.

In her service to the community, Diane has handled pro bono asylum appeals for the low-income clients of Advocates for Human Rights. In one case, she won an appeal to the Eighth Circuit on behalf of an Ethiopian native and citizen who sought asylum based on past persecution and fear of future persecution due to her ethnic identity and political activity. In addition, Diane volunteers for music and educational programs at her family’s church and local high school, including service on a local music board and a foundation that provides grant to a wide variety of community and social service groups.

While Diane was in law school, she was note and comment editor of the Minnesota Law Review.

Honors & Awards

  • Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2010
  • President's Award, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, 2010
  • Woman of Achievement, National Association of Women Business Owners, 2007
  • Top 50 Women Super Lawyers, Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • Top 100 Lawyers, Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • Top Appellate Lawyer, Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Law
  • Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation: Appellate 
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers


Professional Affiliations

Minnesota Supreme Court, Member, Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure

Minnesota State Bar Association

  • Member
  • Former Chair, Appellate Section Council
  • Former Member, Court Rules and Administration Committee
  • Volunteer, Pro Bono Unemployment Compensation Appeals

Eighth Circuit Bar Association

  • Former President
  • Former Treasurer
  • Former Minnesota Director

American Academy of Appellate Lawyers

  • Board of Directors
  • Committee service on program development and member screening

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

  • Chair
  • Appellate Advocacy Committee
  • Member, Amicus Curiae Committee

Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) Member, Amicus Curiae Committee

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights Pro Bono Asylum Appeals 

National Foundation for Judicial Excellence, Member, Program Committee

Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society

  • Board of Directors
  • Co-Chair, Preservation Committee