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Steven Andrew Smith

Partnersmith@nka.com

Overview

Named one of “The Best Lawyers in America” for the last six years and named to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list for each of the last 16 years, Steven Andrew Smith brings a high level of trial experience, attention to detail, and personal service to each of his cases. Steve’s devotion to his client’s cause and open-mindedness have earned him wide respect in the legal community.

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Biography

With multiple plaintiffs’ verdicts in each of the last three decades, Steve is both familiar with and comfortable in the courtroom. Steve’s trial experience includes trials to verdict in discrimination, whistleblower, reprisal/retaliation, commission, contract, disability, sexual harassment, and wage and hour claims. In addition to his trial successes, Steve has litigated several notable cases having substantial effect on employees’ rights under state and federal employment laws.

Steve is often invited to lecture on employment issues both nationally and locally because of his easy-going demeanor and professionalism. He has also authored a number of articles on employment law issues. Steve was honored as the recipient of the 2014 Karla Wahl Dedicated Advocacy Award, given for “ceaseless and courageous efforts” to protect and advance the rights of Minnesota employees.

Admissions & Education

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court – District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Wisconsin
  • J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, 1995, cum laude
  • B.A. Concordia College, 1990

Speaking Engagements & Publications

  • “#metoo: The Plaintiff’s Attorney’s Perspective.” Fredrikson & Byron Annual Employment Law Seminar, 2018.

  • “Top 7 Reasons Employers Get Sued.” Minnesota CLE, 2018.
  • “2018 Retaliation Update – The Effect of Key Federal and State Cases.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2018.
  • Testified before Minnesota House of Representatives on Sexual Harassment, March 26, 2018.
  • Panelist, Appellate Practice, Minnesota Employment Lawyers Association, 2018.
  • Sexual Harassment Panelist. Mitchell Hamline College of Law, 2018
  • "Harassment: Plain Talk About the How, the Why, the What and the How."  Dorsey & Whitney, 2017.
  • “Employment & Labor Law: Federal & Minnesota Specialist Examination Course.”  Minnesota CLE, 2017.
  • Panelist, Minnesota Supreme Court Cases, National Employment Lawyers Association, 2017.
  • “What to Expect When Your Employees Are Expecting: How to Avoid Common Employer Mistakes.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2017.
  • “2017 Retaliation Update – The Effect of Key Federal and State Cases.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2017.
  • “Civil Litigation A to Z - Initial Pleadings and Service of Process in Federal Court.” Minnesota CLE, 2017.
  • "Federal District of Minnesota Civil Practice Deskbook 2017 Update. Chapter Author.  Minnesota CLE, 2017.
  • Pregnancy Accommodation and Non-Discrimination.  Editor.  Minnesota CLE, 2017.
  • The Complete Employment Lawyer. Chapter Editor.  Minnesota CLE, 2017.
  • “Problem Employees – Pitfalls and Solutions.” Minnesota CLE, 2016.
  • Mock Trial. Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms, 2016.
  • “Pregnancy Accommodation and Discrimination 5 Tough Cases.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2016
  • “2016 Retaliation Update – The Effect of Key Federal and State Cases.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2016.
  • Mediation simulation. University of Minnesota, 2016.
  • “The Complete Employment Lawyer - Title VII, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, ADEA, and Discrimination.” Minnesota CLE, 2016.
  • “Employment & Labor Law: Federal & Minnesota Specialist Examination Course.”  Minnesota CLE, 2015.
  • “View from the Plaintiffs’ Bar – What Makes a Claim Attractive or Unattractive and Common Mistakes Employers Make.” American Conference Institute, 2015.
  • “Ethical Issue Spotting: Mock Mediation and Settlement Approval Hearing for Exotic Dancer Class & Collective Action.” Practicing Law Institute, 2015.
  • “2015 Retaliation Update – The Effect of Key Federal and State Cases Plus Changes to the Minnesota Whistleblower Law.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2015.
  • “What to Expect When Your Employees Are Expecting: How to Avoid Common Employer Mistakes When the Stork Arrives in the Workplace.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2015.
  • “2014 Retaliation Update – The Effect of Key Federal and State Cases Plus Changes to the Minnesota Whistleblower Law.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2014.
  • “Continuing Developments in Disability Litigation: The Impact of Mental Health Diagnosis on Accommodation and Related Issues.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2014.
  • “Employment & Labor Law: Federal & Minnesota Specialist Examination Course.”  Minnesota CLE, 2014.
  • Chapter Four: The Complaint and Commencing the Action. Federal District of Minnesota Civil Practice Deskbook, 2014.
  • “ADA Compliance: Getting It Right – ADA Reasonable Accommodation and the Interactive Process.” Minnesota CLE, 2013.
  • “Employment Law Series: Minnesota Law on Unlawful Deductions - Karl v. Uptown Drink.” Minnesota CLE, 2013.
  • The Canary Sings Again: New Life for the Minnesota Whistleblower Act. Bench & Bar of Minnesota, 2013.
  • “Problem Employees – Pitfalls and Solutions: When the Problematic Behavior Stems from a Mental Health Condition.” Minnesota CLE, 2013.
  • “Employment Law Mediation From All Sides.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2013.
  • “When the Interactive Process Fails: The Fight Over ADA Reasonable Accommodation.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2013.
  • “Employment and Civil Rights Seminar.” Federal Bar Association, Pro Se Project Seminar, 2013.
  • “Exiting Your ‘Comfort Zone’ and Entering the ‘Employment Zone.’” Federal Bar Association, Pro Se Project Seminar, 2013.
  • “Avoiding Litigation: Preventing Blunders in Employment Terminations.” Fulbright Forum, 2013.
  • “Mediation of Employment Cases.” Dorsey & Whitney, 2012.
  • “Age Discrimination – The Current Legal Landscape in a Nutshell.” Minnesota CLE, 2012.
  • “Employment Law Series: Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make When Dealing With Pregnant Employees.” Minnesota CLE, 2012.
  • “Show and Tell: Best Practices for Handling Government Investigations.” ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Annual Conference, 2012.
  • “Top Ten Mistakes Employers Make When Dealing with Pregnant Employees.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2012.
  • “Eighth Circuit Update.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2012.
  • “Employment & Labor Law: Federal & Minnesota Specialist Examination Course.”  Minnesota CLE, 2011. 
  • “Drafting Noncompete Agreements: The Employee Perspective.” ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Annual Conference, 2011.
  • Panelist “ADA Litigation.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2011.
  • “Eighth Circuit Update.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2011.
  • “The New ADAA and the Proposed Regs: The Effect of ADA Amendments on Litigation – Putting Theories into Practice.” Minnesota CLE, 2011.
  • Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. Senior Legal Fair, 2010.
  • What the New "ADA Shift" Means for Your Clients: The ADA Amendments, the “New” ADA Regulations and Stepped-up Enforcement, Minnesota CLE, 2010.
  • “Employment & Labor Law: Federal & Minnesota Specialist Examination Course.”  Minnesota CLE, 2010.
  • “Pleading Strategies in Employment Law Cases.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panel, 2010.
  • “Eighth Circuit Update.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2010.
  • EEOC Investigator Training, 2010.
  • “How to Take the Depo of an HR Director.” University of Minnesota, Labor and Employment Law, 2010.
  • “Advanced Employment Issues: What the Employment Attorney Needs to Know About Bankruptcy.” Minnesota CLE, 2010.
  • “Choosing the Claims, the Court and the Defendants.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panel, 2009.
  • “Eighth Circuit Update.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2009.
  • Federalism’s False Hope: How State Civil Rights Laws Are Systematically Underenforced in Federal Forums (and What Can Be Done About It). Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal, 2008.
  • Frieler v. Carlson Marketing Group, Inc. – Minnesota Now Accepts the Ellerth and Faragher Defense in Sexual Harassment Cases.” Minnesota CLE, 2008.
  • “Wage and Hour Class and Collective Panel.” 34th Annual Labor & Employment Law Institute, 2007.
  • Recent Developments in Employment Law Panel: “Class Actions, Emotional Distress Claims, Sanctions.” 33rd Annual Federal Bar Association Practice Seminar, 2007.
  • “Eighth Circuit Update.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2007.
  • “Whistleblower and Retaliation Law.” Minnesota CLE, 2007.
  • “Valuing Damages and Analyzing Mitigation Efforts.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2006.
  • Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders: What is a Tangible Employment Action?” Sixteenth Annual NELA Convention, 2005.
  • “We the People: Reclaiming the Justice System.” Sixteenth Annual NELA Convention, 2005.
  • “Hot Topics in Employment Law for Employment Law Litigators.” 31st Annual Federal Bar Association Practice Seminar, 2005.
  • “Mock Discovery.” 31st Annual Federal Bar Association Federal Practice Seminar, 2005.
  • “When a Current Employee Accuses Your Company of Wrongdoing – Managing the Situation and Avoiding Unlawful Retaliation.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2005.
  • “Can I Fire Her? Working Through 3 Tough Fact Scenarios.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2005.
  • “FLSA Retaliation Cases: An In Depth Look at an Infrequently Used Claim.” EEO Committee Midwinter Meeting, 2005.
  • “Part II of a Three-Part Trial Skills Workshop: Witness Prep, Cross Examination, Trial Technology, Objections and Using Exhibits to Strengthen Your Case.” Minnesota NELA, 2005.
  • “Nuts & Bolts.” Hennepin County Bar Association, 2004.
  • “Hospitality Law.” Hospitality Minnesota, 2004.
  • Kammueller v. Loomis Fargo.” NELA, 2004.
  • “The Definitive Guide to Employment Law for HR Professionals in MN.” Council on Education Management, 2004.
  • “Emerging State and Federal Employment Law Issues.” Council on Education Management, 2004.
  • “Harassment in the Workplace: Weighing the Evidence.”  EEOC Training for Investigators and Employees of Human Rights Agencies, 2004.
  • Open Forum Moderator: “Desert Palace v. Costa.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2004.
  • “Can I Fire Her?  Working Through 3 Tough Fact Scenarios.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2004.
  •  “Is Pretext Dead – Or Should It Be?” Minnesota NELA, 2003.
  • Presenter, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2002.
  • “Managing Employee Discipline.” Council on Education Management, 2002.
  • “New Lawyers Nuts and Bolts.” Hennepin County Bar Association, 2002.
  • “Americans with Disabilities Act.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 2002.
  • “Statutes of Limitations.”  Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 2001.
  • Presenter, 28th Annual Labor & Employment Law Institute, 2001.
  • “New Lawyers Brown Bag:  Brief History of Employment Law.” Hennepin County Bar Association, 2001.
  • “Personnel Law Update.” Council on Education Management, 2001.
  • Civil Pretrial Practice Institute.  Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 2001.
  • “Basic Employment Law:  Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make.” All District Legal, 2001.
  • “New Lawyers Nuts and Bolts.” Hennepin County Bar Association, 2001.
  • “Federal Law Clerks: Motions in Limine and Summary Judgments.” American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Seminar, 2000.
  • “Intake Through Trial – The Ethics of Employment Litigation.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2000.
  • “What I Wish I Had Known….” New Lawyers - National Practice Institute, 1999.
  • “Personnel Law Update.” Council on Education Management, 1999.
  • Civil Pre-Trial Practice Institute. Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1999.
  • “Ethics In Jury Trials.” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1999.
  • “10 Danger Signs During the Intake Process of Potential Employment Law Cases.” Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, 1999.
  • New Lawyer’s Institute: “Nuts and Bolts.” Hennepin County Bar Association, 1998.
  • “Litigating Sexual Harassment – Perspectives of a Plaintiff and Defendant.” Hennepin County Bar Association, 1998.
  • “Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace.” Minnesota Law & Politics, 1997.
  • “Love In The Workplace.” Minnesota Law & Politics, 1997.
  • “Handling an Employment Law Case: Tips From Both Sides.”  Hennepin County Bar Association, 1997.

Titles, Awards, & Memberships

  • “The Best Lawyers in America” 2014-2019
  • “Super Lawyer,” Minnesota Super Lawyers, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, and Twin Cities Business 2002-2019
  • “Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers” Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, and Twin Cities Business 2007, 2016, 2018 and 2019
  • 2014 Recipient of Karla Wahl Dedicated Advocacy Award from MN NELA
  • “Top 40 Employment Law Lawyers,” Minnesota Law and Politics
  • “Top Lawyer,” Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine
  • “Who’s Who in Employment Law,” Minnesota Law and Politics
  • Recipient of “2011 Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award” from the United States District Court - District of Minnesota
  • Martindale Hubble, AV® Preeminent™ rating
  • Federal Bar Association
  • National Employment Lawyers Association Member
  • Minnesota National Employment Lawyers Association Member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association Member
  • Hennepin County Bar Association Member

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