Shareholder; Business Litigation
Eric is a shareholder in the firm of Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association. After serving as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 2008 to 2010, he rejoined Briggs’ Business Litigation Section, and is a member of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. Eric practices principally in the areas of:
- Appellate law
- Business litigation
Eric’s practice has focused almost exclusively in the state and federal appellate courts for more than 30 years, and he is regarded as one of the most effective and respected appellate lawyers in Minnesota and the 8th Circuit.
In his more than 35 years of practice, Eric has developed a strong presence in appellate law. He has handled hundreds of appeals involving a wide range of issues, including the constitutionality of the public school finance system, employment law, trust and probate matters, trade secrets, business contracts, corporate fraud, insurance law and professional liability.
Eric’s approach to client service involves collaboration. Working as a team member alongside general counsel and other private practice attorneys (both inside and outside the firm), he works to ensure the best possible representation for the client. He provides a full range of appellate consulting services, from evaluating appeals and procedural issues, to reviewing and critiquing briefs, and providing moot court review, all in addition to fully briefing and arguing cases himself.
Eric regularly speaks on appellate topics, as well as matters of public interest. He has served as an associate professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and has taught at the Humphrey School of Public Policy.
He also writes and edits federal and state appellate treatises, including West Publishing’s Minnesota Practice: Appellate Rules Annotated, Minnesota CLE’s Eighth Circuit Appellate Practice Manual, and Matthew Bender’s The Art of Advocacy: Appeals. He is currently writing the 4th edition of Federal Appeals:Jurisdiction and Practice.
He is the founding president of the 8th Circuit Bar Association, a fellow and past president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and a longtime member of the American Bar Association, having served as co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the Section on Litigation, and in the same capacity for the Appellate Advocacy Committee of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.
Eric is admitted to practice in Minnesota state and federal courts; the U.S. Court of Federal Claims; the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals; and the U.S. Supreme Court. His advice and counsel has been sought by a wide variety of clients and parties in these courts, and his contributions have ranged from consulting on pending matters to acting as amicus counsel to briefing and arguing appeals handled by others in the trial courts.
Business Litigation and Other Experience
Although he is primarily an appellate lawyer, Eric regularly consults with trial attorneys on complex procedural and substantive issues in anticipation of appeal. His comprehensive legal consultation covers all aspects of pre-trial practice, monitoring the course of trials to ensure that proper record is made, and handling significant post-trial motions and arguments.
His experience is not limited to standard litigation matters, however. Eric was lead counsel for the plaintiffs in state and federal redistricting litigation following the 2010 census, and represented the Minnesota House of Representatives Majority Caucus in litigation arising out of the shutdown of state government in 2011 when the legislature and the Governor could not reach agreement on a state budget.
In 2012, he was asked by the administration of Governor Mark Dayton to serve as chair of a federally appointed task force to make recommendations regarding changes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, in response to federal litigation.
Eric is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society. He has been listed in Chambers USA and is recognized as a "Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation: Appellate. Eric has been selected continuously by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, and has been recognized in the Annual Guide to Appellate Law in America. He has been repeatedly listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers and was recognized as one of the designation's top 10 in 2007, before joining the Minnesota Supreme Court. Eric also was listed as one of the state's top 25 appellate lawyers in 2005. In 2000, he was honored as an "Attorney of the Year" by Minnesota Lawyer.
After graduating cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in 1976, Eric clerked for the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Honorable Robert J. Sheran. He joined Briggs and Morgan in 2007 after practicing nearly 30 years with another Twin Cities law firm, where he was successful in establishing a broad-based appellate practice. After a short time with Briggs, he was named the 21st Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in June, 2008.