Admitted in 2013, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
2013, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
2013, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
2013, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
2014, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Class of 2009
J.D., cum laude
Winner, Merit Scholarship (75% of Tuition); Winner, Stephen & Lois Bergenson Endowed Scholarship; Editor, Journal of Law & Practice; National Trial Advocacy Competition; CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Torts I and Business: Agency, Partnerships, and LLC’s
Lawrence University of Wisconsin
Class of 2006
B.A., English & Political Science
Winner, Faculty Scholarship Award; Dean’s List; Judicial Board; Vice President and Finance Chairman, Student Senate; Vice President for Programming, Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity
Bjornson v. Soo Line R.R. Co., et al., No. 0:14-CV-4596-JRT-SER (D.Minn. June 15, 2015): Magistrate Judge Steven Rau recommended striking two affirmative defenses pleaded by the railroad. The first defense, based on the language of 49 U.S.C. 20109(f), suggested that a railroad employee who challenges discipline through his or her union under a Collective Bargaining Agreement is precluded from filing a lawsuit that the railroad's actions violate Federal statute. The Court concluded that the defense was “legally insufficient” as being foreclosed by the plain language of the statute. The second defense, based on a Department of Transportation regulation that directs plaintiffs to provide the Department of Labor 15-days' notice in advance of filing a Federal claim, suggested that failure to do so deprived the Court of jurisdiction. The Court rejected the railroad's argument, finding that Article III Courts owe “no deference to the Department of Labor's interpretation” of the statute.
Grimes v. BNSF Railway Co., 746 F.3d 184 (5th Circuit, 2014): Fifth Circuit vacated district court's dismissal of FRSA case, finding that district court's application of collateral-estoppel doctrine was erroneous because the investigatory hearing was conducted by the railroad and the Public Law Board's review was limited to the closed record prepared by the railroad, the procedures of the PLB were not adequate to allow for the doctrine to apply in FRSA cases.
Kennedy v. Soo Line Railroad Co., d/b/a Canadian Pacific (Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota
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