William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2006, Magna Cum Laude, Dean's List

St. Olaf College, B.A., 2001, Cum Laude, Dean's List 

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit 
  • U.S. District Court District of Nebraska 
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Whether you are a small business going through litigation for the first time or you are a Fortune 500 company seasoned in the litigation process, Ellen approaches each case as a strategic team player with the goal of finding an efficient, business-oriented resolution so that you can get back to work. Ellen has litigated hundreds of cases in state and federal court, and she wins trials because of her ability to connect with the jury and out-prepare the other side. She has a tireless work ethic and keen ability to collaborate with the in-house counsel, human resource executives, and business owners with whom she works every day.    

Recognized by the bench and bar as one of the youngest Minnesota attorneys named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2018 and 2019 Midwest Labor and Employment Stars, Ellen routinely defends various employment, shareholder, and education-related claims in the courtroom and in agency settings. She regularly represents employers seeking to enforce non-competition agreements and other post-employment restrictive covenants, and also defends against claims involving restrictive covenants. Ellen has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers every year from 2011-2019. She has also been elected to multiple trial organizations for excellence in the courtroom, including the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) and the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). 

Ellen is also seasoned in investigations and training for her clients, and believes in partnering with her clients to navigate day-to-day issues in order to avoid litigation altogether. She counsels clients on a wide variety of workplace issues including hiring, promotion, disability accommodation, compliance with wage-and-hour and leave laws, discipline and termination. She assists clients in drafting employment policies, employee and executive contracts, and separation agreements. Ellen is a frequent public speaker across the country on various topics related to her practice.

Honors & Awards

  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star- Midwest
  • Rising Star, Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2011-2019


  • Defended age discrimination and interference with FMLA claims brought by 71 year old sales person who sold credit services but had performance issues and was terminated.
  • Defended cable and wire manufacturer against claims of personal injury and wrongful death for alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products.
  • Defended claims by 3PL for nonpayment due to delays in delivery and challenge to purported lien rights for goods in transit.
  • Defended employee and his new employer against claims of breach of non-compete agreement and tortious interference. The case went to trial, but after the Plaintiff presented its case, the Court granted Defendants' Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law. 
  • Represented employer in defending claims brought by Plaintiff employee -- three gender, age, and race EEOC discrimination and retaliation charges under Title VII and then sued for the same claims in federal court.
  • Resolve threatened lawsuit by former manager against a regional bank alleging sex and pregnancy discrimination and workplace harassment.
  • Succeeded on motion to dismiss homeowner's complaint against bank, alleging that bank violated the Home Affordable Modification Program by not giving homeowners a loan modification.
  • Succeeded on motion to dismiss homeowner's complaint, alleging claims for violation of Minn. Stat. 58.13, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and misrepresentation, and violation of Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act.
  • Successfully defended employees and their new employer against claims of breach of non-compete agreement and tortious interference.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment dismissing failure to pay overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of employer on Family and Medical Leave Act discrimination claim and state law claims alleging tortious interference with contract.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of employer in a Section 1981 retaliation claim and state law defamation claim.

Professional Affiliations

Minnesota Women Lawyers, Member 


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Ellen contributes to Minnesota Employer, Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits and Labor blog intended to provide practical employment law information concerning federal and state employment laws for Minnesota employers. Posts discuss employment issues, litigation, legislation and other matters that have an impact on employers.