Mary Knoblauch is a labor and employment and business litigator with more than 25 years of experience of enthusiastically representing her clients dealing in business and employment-related disputes and problems. 

Mary provides service-oriented, practical advice and counsel to clients, as well as zealous experienced representation in court, arbitration and labor settings. Her clients are from a wide range of industries including medical device, consumer goods, financial services, health care, manufacturing and food processing. She has a particular emphasis on non-competes, unfair competition, employment contract disputes, and employment discrimination.

Mary's experience includes many jury and bench trials, and arbitrations, as well as appeals and motion practice. In complex business disputes, Mary effectively manages and conducts multi-party and multi-state discovery. At every turn, Mary works closely with and strategizes with her client to reach their desired outcome.

She also counsels employers on a full range of employment and labor law issues including wage and hour compliance, leave laws, drug testing, development of employee handbooks and personnel policies, legal developments under the National Labor Relations Act, and situations involving the discipline and discharge of an employee.

Confidential AAA Arbitration

Pursued significant accounting malpractice claims against a Big Four accounting firm on behalf of a group of individual clients. After months of discovery and a two-week arbitration hearing, Anthony Ostlund was able to negotiate a settlement for its clients.

Successfully Prevented a Former Executive of Mayo Medical Laboratories From Working for a Competitor

Obtained a temporary restraining order for Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories (MML) preventing a former physician/executive from working for a competitor of MML. The case later settled when the former executive agreed not to work for MML’s largest competitors for two years, and returned all confidential information. The former executive also made a significant payment toward the litigation expenses Mayo had incurred.

Misappropriation and Breach of Fiduciary Duty Defense

Successfully represented a medical device company and several of its sales representative employees against claims of misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference.

Asset Manager Defense

Defended asset managers against claims of “corporate raiding,” misappropriation of trade secrets, and violation of Lanham Act.

Enforcing Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreements

Represented a manufacturing company in lawsuit against former employee for breach of non-compete and confidentiality agreement and successfully received a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction prohibiting ongoing violation of non-compete agreement and further misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information and a favorable monetary judgment following trial.

ESOP Litigation

Successfully represented the trustee of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) and the ESOP-owned company in federal district court asserting claims against a former officer and former shareholders and directors of the company that arose out of the defendants’ sale of company stock to the ESOP and the company.

Antitrust Defense

Defended a large U.S. medical equipment rental company against claims of antitrust and tortious interference in federal district court in Texas and successfully settled the case after favorable discoverable and pretrial motions.

Defended Bank Against Former Employee

Obtained summary judgment for publicly-traded national bank against former employee’s claims of violation of the Minnesota Whistleblower statute, a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), and a violation of Minnesota’s wage statute.

Disability Discrimination Defense

Obtained summary judgment for employer in federal district court on former employee’s claim of disability discrimination.

Racial Discrimination and Harassment Defense

Obtained summary judgment for employer and individual supervisor on employee’s claims of racial discrimination, racial and sexual harassment, aiding and abetting by supervisor, reprisal and retaliation, defamation, and negligent retention and supervision.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Appeared on behalf of employer in one of the first Eighth Circuit appeals involving a claim under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

General Employer Defense

Numerous successful defenses of employers in various settings: state court, federal court, arbitration, grievance proceedings and administrative proceedings.

Advice and counsel to clients daily in need of practical approaches to working through workplace issues and disputes.

Asylum Success

Successfully represented an Ethiopian woman seeking asylum in the United States.

Board Member and Former Chair, The Fund for Legal Aid

At-large Member, Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection

Former Fourth District Member, Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection

Co-Founder, Former Co-Chair and Steering Committee Member, The DFL Lawyers Committee

Member, Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church

Received 2013 Best Alley Garden Award from Metro Blooms  Read More

Member, MSBA Civil Litigation Section Council 

Former Member, Federal Practice Committee of the U.S. States District Court, District of Minnesota 

Member and Former Chapter President, Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association 

Member and Former Vice-President for the Eighth Circuit, Federal Bar Association   

Member, Minnesota Management Attorneys Association 

Member, American Bar Association, Developing Labor Law Committee 

Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law: The Board, the Courts and the National Labor Relations Act

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

Member, Minnesota Women Lawyers

Private Agreements Do Not Rule When It Comes To Enforcing Remedy Provisions Of Non-Competes, Attorney at Law Magazine - Minnesota Edition, August 2018

The 2017 Tax Bill’s Quick Response to the #MeToo Movement Has Changed How Sexual Harassment Claims Are Settled, Minnesota Lawyer - Partner Content, July 2018

Federal Agencies Heighten Focus on Joint Employers as the Sharing Economy Expands, Attorney at Law Magazine - Minnesota Edition, March 2016

Whose Friends Are They? Protecting Rights to Social Media Contacts, Attorney at Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition, August 2015

Don't Let the EEOC Take the Air Out of Your Severance Agreements, Attorney at Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition, April 2014

Employers Beware: Social Media Policies and the National Labor Relations Act, Attorney at Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition, July 2013 (co-authored with Jacob T. Schutz)

The FMLA After Five Years, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, February 1999 (co-authored with Gena A. Braten)

New Developments in Non-Compete and Tortious Interference Litigation, Minnesota CLE Employment Law Series, October 2015

Minnesota CLE Employment Law Series: Employer Policies and Rules - What Union and Non-Union Employers Need to Know, November 2013

Effectively Dealing with Pro Se Litigants in Civil Litigation, HCBA Civil Litigation Section, April 2011

Minnesota CLE Employment Law Series: Developments in Post-Employment Restrictions, December 2009

Individual Employee Rights Under the NLRA: Protected Activity Under § 7 and Weingarten presented at the National Labor Relations Act Basic Law and Procedures seminar, April 2007

The Impact of the National Labor Relations Act in the Non-Union Workplace, Minnesota Labor and Employment Law Institute, November 2001

Managing Initial Hiring Decisions and Implementing Good Employment Practices, The General Practitioners Guide to Advising the High-Tech Start-up Company, Hennepin County Bar Association CLE, June 2001

Experts with a Twist: The Use of Non-Traditional Experts in Employment Litigation, Minnesota Management Attorneys Association, October 2000

Mock Securities Arbitration Proceeding, In-house training seminar for local brokerage firm, July 2000

Collective Bargaining and NLRA Issues Raised by the Americans with Disabilities Act, National Labor Relations Act Basic Law and Procedure sponsored by the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, October 1999

Ethics in Dispute Resolution of Employment Law Claims, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 1999

Employment Issues and Acquired Employees, Closely Held Businesses CLE sponsored by Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, May 1999

Nonemployee Access after Lechmere: What’s Wrong with Girl Scout Cookies?, American Bar Association Developing Labor Law Midwinter Meeting, 1996


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