Leah is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who assists clients facing various legal challenges, including government enforcement actions, constitutional litigation, fraud and other business tort claims, and regulatory challenges. She works closely with clients to develop and execute a legal strategy that serves their business objectives, especially in complex, high-stakes and contentious cases.
Prior to joining Fredrikson & Byron, Leah served as the sole Assistant Solicitor General for the State of Minnesota. In that role, she worked on a wide variety of regulatory, administrative and civil issues, specializing in complex constitutional and tort litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. Leah worked on significant matters on behalf of the Governor’s Office, Secretary of State, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Department of Human Services, Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections, Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Revenue, among others. Because of that experience, Leah is uniquely able to help clients dealing with a variety of government enforcement issues and to identify and challenge unconstitutional governmental actions or laws.
Leah is a talented appellate attorney, experienced on appeals involving complex and sensitive legal issues. She also has significant experience drafting amicus briefs and advising other attorneys in the preparation of their appeals, including on the preservations of appellate issues, reviewing briefs and preparing for oral argument.
Leah has successfully served as first chair on significant cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and in both Minnesota and United States District Court.
- Represents medical device company against civil fraud claims asserted by the United States Attorney’s Office, seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages.
- Advised and litigated election law issues both on behalf of and against Minnesota Secretary of State.
- Routinely represents health providers in civil litigation, including civil enforcement actions, medical malpractice, and disputes with insurance companies, and other matters.
- Managed and oversaw prosecution of complex multi-billion dollar emerging contaminant environmental case under Minnesota Pollution Control Act, Minnesota Environmental Rights Act. Obtained a favorable $850 million dollar settlement for client.
- Represented client in case alleging that a Minnesota law regulating energy purchases violated the Commerce Clause and Preemption Clause of the U.S. Constitution, including before the United States District Court and Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Defended medical device companies, such as pain pump manufacturer, from product liability claims.
- Provided appellate representation on various issues, including environmental review under MEPA, commerce clause challenges to state regulations, and obtaining affirmance of permits issued by the MPUC.
- Successfully represented client in a case involving alleged violations of the Minnesota Education Clause, Due Process and Equal Protection claims, both before the trial court and in the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
- Successfully defended client at both tax court and Minnesota Supreme Court against hundreds of claims asserted under United States Compact Clause, protecting client from over a billion dollars in damages.
- Successfully argued before both the Minnesota Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in defense of extending immunity to client accused of defamation.
- Represented client on seminal case establishing the existence of waiver as applied to attorney-client conflicts, successfully obtained a reversal of both trial court and court of appeals decisions.
Articles & Presentations
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Moderator, Trends in Opioid Litigation, American Bar Association—Health Law Section, July 2020
- Presenter, Qui Tam Cases: The Impact of the Granston Memo in Practice, American Bar Association—Health Law Section, May 2020
- Moderator, Amicus Curiae and the Art of Befriending the Court, Appellate Practice Institute, February 2020.
- Fireside Chat with Former Solicitor General Alan Gilbert, Minnesota State Bar Association, May 2019.
- Co-presenter, “Administrative Appeals – From OAH to the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” Minnesota CLE, November 2018
- Speaker, “First Amendment Rights of Public Access to Court Records,” Minnesota CLE, June 2015
Honors & Education
- William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2008, valedictorian
- University of Iowa, B.A., 2001, with honors
- Minnesota, 2008
- United States Supreme Court, 2015
- Eight Circuit Court of Appeals, 2012
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 2010
- Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch®, Commercial Litigation, 2022-2023, Appellate Practice, 2023
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2019-2020
- Managing Editor, Journal of National Security Forum, 2007-2008
- Assistant Editor, William Mitchell Law Review, 2006-2008
- Judicial Law Clerk, Honorable Judge Paul A. Magnuson, United States District Court, 2009-2010
- Judicial Law Clerk, Justice Paul H. Anderson, Minnesota Supreme Court, 2008-2009
- American Bar Association, Health Law Section, Liaison to the Litigation Interest Group, 2019-Present
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Appellate Practice Section, Member of Governing Council, 2018-Present
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Appellate Practice Section, Secretary Treasurer, 2021-2022
- Minnesota Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee, Appointed Member, 2016-Present
- United States District of Minnesota Federal Bar Association
- Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society