Hal A. Shillingstad

Shareholder || Minneapolis, Sioux Falls

Hal Shillingstad is one of the founding shareholders of the Minneapolis Office. He has extensive experience in single plaintiff and collective actions involving employment law, commercial litigation, products liability and mass tort litigation nationwide. He also counsels clients on crisis management as part of the Firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Group in matters involving accidents, fires, and explosions at manufacturing and production facilities and assists clients in enhancing workplace safety.

Labor and Employment Law—Hal has successfully defended employers by obtaining defense verdicts, dismissals (voluntary and summary judgment ) and settlements in matters involving Title VII, Minnesota Human Rights Act, Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, reprisal, retaliation, whistleblower, harassment, wage and hour, breach of employment contract, wrongful termination, negligent hiring and retention, tortious interference with contract, promissory estoppel, shareholder oppression claims, ERISA violations, non-compete, unfair competition, and defamation. He also represents employers in labor arbitration proceedings.

Workplace Safety and Health—Hal specializes in crisis management for clients involved in workplace accidents resulting in fatalities, injuries, and/or significant property damage from fires and explosions. Hal works with the client to coordinate the company response, investigation, preservation of evidence, preservation of privilege, and responses to requests from investigative agencies such as OSHA, U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, and property insurers. He represents clients in connection with OSHA citations and contests. He also assists clients in developing safety audits at their facilities.

Commercial Litigation—Hal has represented clients in commercial disputes ranging from breach of contract, construction disputes, consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, food contamination, false advertising, insurance coverage (representing insurers), fraud, copyright, trademark, patent infringement, and groundwater contamination cases.

Products Liability/Mass Tort—Hal has represented clients in products liability and mass tort cases involving claims of manufacturing defects, design defects, failure to warn, duty to recall, breach of warranty, and occupational exposures cases involving death, personal injury and property damage. He has attended hundreds of accident scene investigations and has worked with engineers and occupational experts to develop defense strategies to successfully defend and try these cases.

Learn more about Hal A. Shillingstad

Hal’s experience is focused on complex litigation and crisis management. Clients hire Hal because of his broad experience and track record of success in matters involving employment law, commercial litigation, products liability, mass tort, premises liability and industrial accident investigations. Some representative examples of his experience are:

  • Defense verdicts, summary judgments, and voluntary dismissals in employment cases involving discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, whistleblower, wage and hour, drug testing, and shareholder oppression.
  • Defense verdict in high-profile discrimination case involving private country club that received national media attention.
  • Defense verdicts, summary judgments, and voluntary dismissals in products liability cases for Fortune 100 and 500 Companies involving multiple fatalities, personal injury, and property damages arising out of fires, explosions, and product failures.
  • Defense verdicts, summary judgments, voluntary dismissals, and successful resolution in commercial litigation cases involving service contracts, franchise agreements, trade secrets, non-competes, food contamination, and ground water contamination matters.
  • Defense verdict for Fortune 250 Company in the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of the most plaintiff friendly jurisdictions in the U.S., in a premises liability case involving a brain injury and millions in claimed damages.
  • Successful representation of clients in class and collective action matters involving deceptive trade practices, consumer fraud, drug testing, products liability, and TCPA violations.
  • Successful representation of client in copyright infringement matter resulting in voluntary dismissal and reimbursement of all attorneys’ fees incurred by client.    
  • Retained by U.K. global manufacturing company following multiple fatality incident at production facility to coordinate accident investigation, wall-to-wall safety audit, response to government investigations, and advice on third party liability issues arising from incident.
  • Retained by Fortune 500 company following explosion at manufacturing facility involving fatality and tens of millions in property damages to coordinate internal root cause investigation, response to investigation conducted by first party insurer, response to requests from third parties investigating loss, response to government investigation, and advice on third party liability issues arising from incident.
  • Retained by global manufacturing company to coordinate and manage safety audits at numerous facilities nationwide and overseas.
  • Lead counsel in occupational exposure cases involving class and mass tort allegations.
  • Trial counsel for defendant in five month Minnesota Tobacco Litigation case. 


  • J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, 1988
  • B.A., University of St. Thomas, 1984

Admittance to Practice

  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
  • US District Court, District of South Dakota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth and Eighth Circuits

Professional Activities

  • Minnesota State Bar Association (Past Member, Professionalism and Rules of Professional Conduct Committees)
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Adjunct Professor of Law for the William Mitchell College of Law Business Practicum Course (2008-2009, 2010)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Minnesota Management Attorneys Association


  • Ogletree Deakins Employment Law Briefing - "2018 Beer, Wine, and Spirits, Part II: How Management and HR Professionals Can Work Together to Reduce Burnout" - Minneapolis - July 11, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Beer, Wine, and Spirits, Part III: Preparing for the Winter Workplace – Holiday Parties, Drug Testing, and Inclement Weather" - Minneapolis - October 24, 2017
  • Minneapolis Webinar Series - "5 Things You Need to Know in 30 Minutes" - Minneapolis - November 18, 2016
  • Sioux Empire - "Legal Landscape 2016: What Employers Need to Know" - Sioux Falls - May 10, 2016
  • Minnesota CLE Employment Law Institute - "Navigating the Workplace Crisis – An Essential Guide to Protecting the Company and Its Employees From Further Harm" - St. Paul - May 1, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Navigating a Workplace Disaster – Protecting the Company and Its Employees from Further Harm" - San Antonio - May 1, 2015
  • Southwest Area Safety Association Webinar - "Workplace Safety: Establishing A Culture of Safety" - November 14, 2014
  • Ultimate Software Milwaukee Interactive HR Workshop - "Wearing the Uniform: Avoiding Appearance Discrimination Lawsuits" - Milwaukee - May 1, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Safety Symposium - "Rulemaking - OSHA Has Been Busy" - Las Vegas - May 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Hysterical Blindness, Flop Sweat, and Other Unbecoming Behavior to Avoid in a Workplace Crisis" - Las Vegas - May 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins National Webinar - "Snow, Snow, Go Away (But It's Coming Back Another Day): Find Some Shelter With a Good Inclement Weather Policy" - March 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "The Safety Dance: Preventing A One-Hit Wonder" - New Orleans - May 2013
  • University of Wisconsin 24th Annual Products Liability Conference - "The Safety Dance: Preventing a One-Hit Wonder" - Madison - September 2012
  • Private Company Quarterly Employment Law Briefing for Business Clients - "Are Your Documents Bulletproof? Ten Tips to Improve Your Employment and Severance Agreements" - St. Paul - August 2012
  • Private Company Quarterly Employment Law Briefing for Business Clients - "The Fair Labor Standards Act: What Supervisors and Managers Need to Know" - St. Paul - August 2012
  • Private Company Regional Supervisors Meeting - "Internal Investigations - Knowing the Boundaries" - Minneapolis - June 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Anatomy of a Workplace Crisis: When All Hell Breaks Loose" - Phoenix - May 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Threading the Needle - Navigating a Workplace Crisis into Industry Leadership" - Minneapolis - November 2011
  • Business and Legal Resources Online Employment Law Conference Webinar - "HR 101 - The Basic Employment Law Rules Your Frontline Managers Need to Know" - June 2011
  • Martindale Hubbell “AV” rating
  • Super Lawyer (2015- Present)
  • Lawsuit of the Year – Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics (2006)
  • Attorney of the Year – Minnesota Lawyer (2013)

Insights by Hal A. Shillingstad