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NJL People: Christopher T. Ruska

Chris divides his legal practice between the labor and employment and the business litigation teams.

In the employment law realm, he has developed expertise in advising and resolving restrictive covenant and trade secret matters. He also defends employers against individual and class-based employment lawsuits, charges, and demands. Additionally, Chris practices labor law, helping businesses effectively manage their workforces, remain compliant, and avoid litigation amid various union-organizing dynamics.

For the business litigation team, he focuses on appellate advocacy work, writing briefs, devising winning trial strategies, and crafting arguments for businesses with cases in numerous federal and state courts of appeal.

Chris is accustomed to juggling multiple cases and has a knack for writing hard-hitting legal analyses for complex matters, thanks to a couple of years managing his own docket as a law clerk to three judges at the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. His experience in the court system allows him to look at cases from the unique perspective of the judge.

When he’s not being a lawyer, Chris acts as a “judge” — refereeing professional and NCAA Division I soccer games throughout the country.

Key Practice Experience


  • Wisconsin Court of Appeals – Honorable Lisa Stark, Honorable Tom Hruz, and Honorable Mark Seidl, 2018-2020

Key Industry Experience

  • Retail
  • Financial
  • Banking
  • Tech

Representative Matters

  • BTM Global Consulting v. Centium Consulting (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Obtained summary judgment on misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of non-compete, breach of confidentiality, and related tortious interference claims in dispute between NetSuite implementation companies.
  • J. Swanson & Co. v. Ighodaro Consulting (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary injunction on sale-of-business non-compete claim.
  • ImageTrend, Inc. v. Locality Media, Inc. (D. Minn.) – Obtained dismissal of trade secret misappropriation, tortious interference, and corporate defamation claims in dispute between computer software companies
  • Boston Scientific v. Shockwave Medical (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order, and subsequent motion for temporary injunction following expedited discovery, in medical device industry case involving field clinical specialist employees.
  • IWCO v. Nahan (D. Minn) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order in trade secrets dispute between direct marketing competitors.
  • Duncan LLC v. Allied Valve, Inc. (D. Minn) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order in breach of confidentiality and trade secrets dispute.

Publications and Presentations

  • “Crash Course for In-House Counsel: Updates from the Minnesota Legislature,” Minnesota CLE, September 20, 2023
  • “Lessons Learned from an Almost Trade Secrets Trial,” ALFA Labor & Employment Seminar, September 19, 2023
  • “Minnesota Welcomes Recreational Marijuana & Bans Non-Competes: An Employment Law Perspective,” American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota, August 23, 2023
  • Banning Noncompetes,” Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Webinar, July 5, 2023
  • Is It Time to Scale Back Non-Compete Agreements?” Human Resources Director, August 15, 2022
  • The Changing Face of the Non-Compete Agreement,” Benefits Pro, August 1, 2022

Professional Associations

  • ALFA International
    • Young Lawyers Section
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Section
    • Appellate Law Practice Section
  • Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Eighth Circuit Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • The Advocates for Human Rights, pro bono attorney
  • Mentoring soccer referees, Twin Cities

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