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:

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

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. 
  • Carrier insolvency – Navigating insurance liquidations to pursue and obtain recoveries for corporate policyholder clients. 

Susan’s coverage litigation experience includes claims involving asbestos, products liability, personal injury, directors and officers, fiduciary liability, environmental and financial claims.  Her 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. 

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.
  • Food labeling and claims – Developing this experience while in-house at General Mills, where she provided legal counsel to products teams in the Big G cereals (kid brands) and Snacks divisions. Susan worked with product developers, regulatory personnel and marketers from product inception to sale, providing legal guidance on product labeling and claims, among other things. She continues to work in this area with current clients, providing guidance on food labeling, claims and competitive issues.
  • 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.

Commercial Telecommunications Litigation
Susan has a diversified commercial litigation practice and has represented clients on a myriad of contract- and tort-based commercial issues.  She also works on telecommunications matters as part of the firm’s Telecommunications practice group. Her experience includes representing carriers in various types of contract and regulatory disputes.

Susan also worked as in-house counsel for General Mills, where she practiced food law, promotions, marketing, advertising and sweepstakes law, and litigation.


  • Represented client in obtaining coverage for benzene claims.
  • Represented client in obtaining coverage for historical environmental claims.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Advised client on compliance with telemarketing laws in all 50 states.
  • Advised wireless telecommunications carriers on compliance with federal and state requirements for Lifeline/Link-Up 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