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NJL People: Donald M. Lewis

This is not the Don Lewis mentioned in recent law publications regarding dueling lawsuits.  However, Don is a 1978 Harvard Law grad, a co-founder of this Minneapolis law firm, and actively engaged in complex employment and health care matters, with a focus on investigations and class action defense. 

Don is masterful at handling critical and sensitive predicaments for clients. He has the experience, integrity, and stature that give extraordinary credibility to the solutions he crafts for those facing legal challenges, like finding an exit from a business dispute before the first deposition, or resolving a criminal inquiry before the first charges are filed.

Don also finds great satisfaction in solving problems for his clients that improve someone’s livelihood and personal well-being, often turning to other disciplines and engaging other professions.

When Don is not devoting his time to client matters, you can find him in the kitchen, cooking something with a Cajun roux. He also enjoys watching documentaries, playing poker, tending gardens, and taking his grandkids to Nokomis beach.

Key Practice Experience

Key Industry Experience

  • Retail
  • Health care providers and payers
  • Manufacturing
  • Educational institutions
  • Governmental agencies

Representative Matters


  • Lansdale v. UPS (disability discrimination) (2019)
  • Sellner v. MAT Industries (whistleblower retaliation) (2018)
  • Lee Hayes v. Special School District No. 1 (employment discrimination/defamation) (2008)
  • St. Paul Travelers v. One Beacon (non-solicitation injunction) (2006)
  • United States v. Stagni (criminal tax) (2006)
  • United States v. Radtke (criminal tax) (2003)
  • Hulsey v. Minneapolis Public Schools (drug testing) (2001)
  • Mitchell v. Ford Motor Company (personal injury) (1996)
  • Theresa Graham v. Special School District No. 1 (whistleblower) (1994)
  • Dunham v. Special School District No. 1 (employment discrimination) (1994)
  • THS Northstar v. W.R. Grace (asbestos property damage) (1994)

Employment Litigation

  • Freckleton/Just v. Target Corporation (FCRA class action) (2017)
  • EEOC (Hill) v. Target Corporation (employment discrimination in Philadelphia) (2007)
  • EEOC (Stanley) v. Target Corporation (employment discrimination in Milwaukee) (2007)
  • Black v. Target Corporation (employment discrimination) (2000)

Other Litigation

  • Borden and Jefferson County School District v. Millennium Inorganic Chemicals (Mississippi lead paint litigation) (2001-2005)
  • Minnesota Attorney General v. Dey Inc. (pharmaceutical pricing fraud) (2003)
  • Ince v. Health Partners (health care subrogation) (1999)
  • Gundacker v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (FCA whistleblower) (2000)
  • Hollman v. Cisneros and Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (racial segregation) (1995)
  • Sweeney v. Unisys Corp. (wrongful death) (1991)

Investigations and Special Appointments

  • Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman Investigation (2019)
  • Hennepin Healthcare EMS Ketamine Review (2018-2019)
  • Walker Art Center Scaffold Review (2017-2018)
  • Special Prosecutor, Jeronimo Yanez-Philando Castile Investigation (2016)
  • City of Minneapolis Al Flowers arrest investigation (2014)
  • General Counsel to the Independent Lay Task Force Appointed by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (2013-2014)
  • Lilydale Regional Park Landslide Investigation (2013)
  • Special Prosecutor/Thomas Berkelman (2001)
  • University of Minnesota Men’s Basketball Investigation (academic fraud) (1999-2000)

Criminal Prosecutions

  • As Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, tried approximately 25 cases to jury verdict

Recognitions and Honors

  • 2018 Profiles in Courage Award, Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL)
  • 2018 Outstanding Director (work on HealthPartners’ Board of Directors), Twin Cities Business
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, American Law Institute, and American Bar Foundation
  • National Black Prosecutors Association Founder’s Award (2011)
  • Listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers (1997-2007, 2017-2022)
  • Minnesota Lawyer “Attorney of the Year” (2000)

Professional Associations

  • American Employment Law Council
  • Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (Co-Founder and Board of Directors)
  • National Bar Association (Board of Governors)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • National Employment Law Council

Community Engagement

  • AMICUS (Chair and Board of Directors)
  • Monitors Club
  • HealthPartners (Chair and Board of Directors)
  • Sigma Pi Phi, Omicron Boule
  • University of Minnesota Health Law and Life Sciences Joint Degree Program (Advisory Board)
  • William Mitchell College of Law (Board of Trustees)

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