Twice recognized as an “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer magazine, Dan Oberdorfer is experienced at litigating and counseling in the area of complex employment disputes, including non-competes, discrimination and harassment, retaliation, defamation, breach of contract and minority shareholder disputes. A former journalist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for more than a decade, Dan uses his interviewing skills to learn his clients’ businesses and their objectives. Dan prides himself in prompt, efficient, and loyal client service. When his clients become involved in a lawsuit, arbitration or informal dispute, he provides an early assessment of the strength of their case, so with his help, they can immediately steer the matter to their maximum advantage. Dan’s work as a litigator also helps him counsel clients on employment practices and high-risk employee situations, and helps him gain insight into when legal entanglements are unnecessary.
In 2007, Dan and colleague Dominic Cecere were recognized as Minnesota Attorneys of the Year for their successful prosecution of a trade secrets lawsuit on behalf of the St. Paul Pioneer Press against its former publisher and the rival Star Tribune newspaper, Dan’s former employer. Dan’s and Dominic’s team used forensic computer evidence to win a decisive court order prohibiting the former publisher from working at the Star Tribune for one year based on trade secret violations. The case made headlines from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times, and was named the No. 5 news item among Editor & Publisher’s top 10 news-industry stories of 2007.
In 2013, Dan was a member of a team of Stinson Leonard Street lawyers that was also recognized as Minnesota Attorneys of the Year for the successful prosecution of a minority shareholder oppression lawsuit on behalf of one owner of a closely held manufacturing business. The bench and jury trial, believed to be the longest in Nicollet County history, resulted in a series of judgments in the shareholder’s favor totaling almost $22 million, including punitive damages judgments against the defendant corporation and two principal shareholder/board members of almost $5 million total. As part of the court’s judgment, the company was ordered to purchase the client’s ownership interest at fair value and pay his attorney’s fees. The verdict was upheld in all respects on appeal. Twin Cities Business Journal listed the case among the top 10 lawsuits of 2013, and Dan and the team were honored by the 2013 Attorney of the Year award. Dan’s experience in this lawsuit has helped him advise closely held businesses on strategies for avoiding similar disputes.
A Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist, Dan co-authored a book on employment law, which Thompson West published in its West’s Legal Forms series in 2003. Dan also co-authors annual outlines on Minnesota defamation and privacy law that are published by the Minnesota Libel Resource Center.