University of Chicago Law School, J.D., With Honors

College of St. Benedict, B.A., Summa Cum Laude

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota


  • Honorable Roger L. Wollman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
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Susan Gelinske is a member of the Business Litigation section and practices primarily in the areas of:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Commercial litigation and arbitration
  • Advertising and marketing law, promotions and sweepstakes
  • Food industry

Insurance Coverage and Recovery
Susan’s insurance coverage practice focuses on the corporate policyholder.  She assists clients through the insurance coverage life cycle. Her experience includes:

  • Policy review – Assisting clients in considering types of coverage to be obtained given the client’s business, reviewing proposed policies, and evaluating whether terms more favorable to the client should be sought.
  • Claim analysis – Assisting clients in analyzing the clients’ insurance program for available coverage, determining whether claims, whether first-party or third-party loss, are covered under the available policies, and evaluating the merits of coverage to determine a strategy for negotiating with the carrier.
  • Coverage litigation – Working with carriers to reach an understanding on coverage for a claim, and representing policyholder clients in litigation against carriers for coverage, should that become necessary. Susan’s coverage litigation experience includes claims involving asbestos, products liability, personal injury, directors and officers, fiduciary liability, environmental and financial claims.  
  • Carrier insolvency – Navigating insurance liquidations to pursue and obtain recoveries for corporate policyholder clients. 

Susan's practice has involved the chemical manufacturing, food manufacturing, agriculture, travel, health care service, funeral home and financial services industries.  In addition to practicing insurance coverage and recovery law, Susan also is a commercial litigator, and this experience complements her coverage practice both with respect to strategy for coverage cases and understanding third-party loss issues. 

Advertising and Marketing Law

  • Advertising and marketing law – Assisting clients in developing and implementing advertising campaigns and reviewing the advertising of clients’ competitors for potential claims.
  • Sweepstakes and contests – Providing guidance to clients on promotion structure and execution, and assisting clients in preparing promotion rules.

Food Industry
Susan has worked with a number of food-related clients and has a strong understanding of the numerous complex regulatory and competitive issues her clients face in the many facets of their businesses. Susan’s experience includes:

  • Product issues – Assisting clients in handling issues such as tampering and foreign object complaints, and helping evaluate product withdrawal, recall and liability issues.
  • Food production contracts – Assisting in drafting and evaluating various types of contracts in the food industry, including agricultural grower agreements, supply agreements and promotion agreements.
  • Food industry employment issues – Working on various employment issues in the food industry, including a class action regarding religious accommodation.
  • Animal welfare – Providing counsel on animal welfare issues.
  • Providing guidance on food labeling, claims and competitive issues. 


  • Represents a bankruptcy religious organization in Minnesota coverage litigation with over 11 insurance carrier groups, providing coverage over 60 years, including London Market Insurers, insolvent carriers, occurrence-based carriers and claims-made carriers. Litigation was commenced to obtain coverage for sex abuse claims. Briggs has successfully negotiated policy buy outs/claim releases totaling $115 to $122 million dollars.
  • Provided advice to Financial Institution on changes needed to financial institution’s errors and omissions policies to ensure coverage is available for anticipated claims resulting from the new DOL Fiduciary Rule.
  • Errors and Omissions Coverage – Financial Institution: Prepared preliminary submission of proof of claim under financial services bond and errors and omissions policy seeking coverage for theft by third-party insurance broker of surrender proceeds from numerous annuities. Claim is in its early stages.
  • Represented client in obtaining coverage for historical environmental claims.
  • Represented client in obtaining coverage for benzene claims.
  • Obtained carrier's participation in settlement of corporate dispute.
  • Represented specialty chemical manufacturer in litigation with multiple carriers (including multiple layers) to obtain coverage for asbestos mass tort liabilities.
  • Succeeded in obtaining carrier’s participation in construction dispute settlement.
  • Successfully obtained stay of Minnesota action and pursued Texas action leading to coverage for settlement of significant antitrust claim.
  • Pursued and obtained payment for clients in insurance liquidation proceedings.

  • Provided guidance on numerous issues impacting poultry producer.
  • Represented food manufacturer in dispute with employees over religious accommodation.
  • Represented food manufacturer in dispute with product supplier.
  • Prepared sweepstakes and contest rules for numerous clients.

  • ERISA Class Action: Defended a pension plan against ERISA claims by several women seeking pension service credit for their 1950s and 1960s service.
  • Advised client on compliance with telemarketing laws in all 50 states.
  • Advised wireless telecommunications carriers on compliance with federal and state requirements for universal service programs in numerous states.
  • Represented long-distance company in federal court proceedings regarding intercarrier compensation dispute for Voice over Internet Protocol traffic.
  • Represented telecommunications carriers nationwide in litigation regarding intercarrier compensation.
  • Represented wireless carriers in obtaining eligible telecommunications carrier designation from Federal Communications Commission and various state public utility commissions.

Professional Affiliations

Hennepin County Bar Association, Member

Minnesota Women Lawyers, Member