Patrick R. Martin

Shareholder || Minneapolis

Pat Martin is an experienced employment defense lawyer and one of the founding shareholders of the Minneapolis office. He has successfully defended employers by obtaining dismissals, summary judgments, defense verdicts, decertification, and other favorable results in lawsuits involving Title VII, the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), WARN, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Sarbanes-Oxley, the FLSA, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Minnesota Ch. 181, discrimination, harassment, and whistleblowing. Further, he has defended and prosecuted several commercial, non-competition, and trade secret lawsuits. Although Pat focuses his practice on defending employers in Minnesota and Iowa courts, he also provides employment counseling, including on RIF and WARN issues. Pat is admitted in the state and federal courts of Minnesota and Iowa, as well as the Eighth Circuit.

Pat has repeatedly been named a “Top 100” Minnesota Super Lawyer for all practice areas, according to Twin Cities Business and Mpls. – St. Paul Magazine. Pat has also been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in Employment Litigation for 15 years and as a “Top 40 Employment Super Lawyer” for Minnesota for several years. Further, Pat is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, listed in Chambers and Partners, and recognized in Best Lawyers of America.

Pat frequently presents at employment law and human resources seminars, including on topics relating to social media, RIFs, and discrimination. He also regularly moderates judges’ panels concerning employment litigation.

Pat has served as the President for the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the second largest FBA chapter in the United States. With almost 900 members, the FBA Minnesota Chapter runs several award-winning programs that enhance the practice of law in federal courts. He also serves as a youth hockey coach for the Roseville Area Youth Hockey Association (2004-2019).

Before entering private practice, Pat clerked for Judge Kalitowski on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. While at the University of Minnesota Law School, Pat actively participated in Trial Practice, National Moot Court, Civil Clinic, and the American Indian Law Student Association. Before law school – while attending Mankato State (now Minnesota State Mankato) – Pat played college hockey on the 1991 Mavericks team that finished second in the NCAA tournament for Division II and III hockey, and the 1990 team that made it to the Final Four. His teammates voted him the “Best Hustle Award” winner for three of four years.

Learn more about Patrick R. Martin
  • Birts v. St. Jude Medical (D. Minn. 2019) (granting summary judgment with no discovery on §1981 race claim for inability to prove elements and on MHRA, ADEA, and Title VII claims for untimeliness).
  • Life Time, Inc. v. Glory Gains, LLC, Glory Gains Gym, LLC, Hock, Barnett, Boyce, Henderson, Patramanis, Sollenberger, & Upton (D. Minn. 2018) (rejecting arguments concerning consideration and inconsistent enforcement of non-compete agreements, and granting preliminary injunction against all 9 defendants, including 6 personal trainers in Arizona who left Life Time to work for a competing business)
  • Naguib v. Trimark Hotel Corp. (8th Circuit 2018, D. Minn. 2017) (summary judgment granted and affirmed on all six claims of whistleblowing under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, Phipps retaliation, MHRA retaliation, MHRA retaliatory harassment, MHRA age discrimination, and claimed FMLA violations; the Hotel’s Director of Housekeeping of 41 years made several reports that the Hotel had engaged in illegal conduct, including (1) her supposed refusal to testify falsely in a deposition about the Hotel’s upkeep (which allegedly led to a $20mm forced Hotel renovation) (2) her report that the Hotel was requiring employees to get notes from their mosque to wear headscarves at work, and (3) her forced vacation, which she viewed as retaliation arising from discrimination claims pursued by her son; despite Naguib’s many and varied complaints, the District Court and the Eighth Circuit both held that Naguib could not prove pretext and that the Hotel had legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons in terminating her employment – namely, the Hotel’s investigation showed that Naguib had engaged in wage and hour violations of shaving time from housekeepers).
  • Mobile Mini v. Vevea, Citi-Cargo, & LSI (D. Minn. 2017) (in a non-compete case, the Court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss and found subject matter jurisdiction (i.e., the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000 and must include future attorney fees on a tortious interference claim); the Court also granted a preliminary injunction based on violations of a non-solicitation of customers provision and, in doing so, essentially became the first court in the country to grant an injunction based on customer solicitations occurring through LinkedIn (i.e., sending status updates to LinkedIn connections that described the products sold and urged recipients to “call me today” for a quote))
  • Sightpath Medical, LLC v. Kohler (D. Minn. 2017) (following TRO hearing concerning breach of a non-compete and hearing on defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of venue, the Court found that Minnesota is a proper venue (even though the defendant worked and lived in Tennessee) and entered a stipulated permanent injunction order preventing competition within 25 miles of 157 customer sites)
  • Kim Craft v. Panera LLC (D. Minn. 2016) (summary judgment granted in case involving claims of defamation, hostile environment sexual harassment, retaliation, and breach of contract)
  • Newkirk v. GKN (N.D. Iowa 2016) (43-page opinion granting initial and partial Rule 12 dismissal and summary judgment based on no discovery, including dismissing claims for race discrimination, promissory estoppel, wrongful termination, defamation, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress; the remaining claims were later dismissed, as well)
  • Goss v. Stream Global Services, Inc. (N.D. Iowa 2015) (Rule 12 dismissal of hostile environment race claims because a single comment – although “reprehensible and offensive” – is not sufficiently severe and pervasive to create a hostile work environment)
  • BMC v. Mahoney (D. Minn. 2015) (granting preliminary injunction and applying TX law to non-compete signed after employee started working, and also rejecting arguments on merger clause and consideration)
  • Larson v. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (D. Minn. 2014) (summary judgment granted in age discrimination case for insurance brokerage and Rule 12 dismissal of paramour favoritism sex discrimination claims)
  • Baker v. Life Time Fitness (D. Minn. 2014) (summary judgment granted in race discrimination case for national fitness center company concerning tennis pros)
  • Glaser v. GKN (N.D. Iowa 2014) (summary judgment granted in Title VII retaliation case for international production company where plant manager reported inappropriate comments made by area manager and was fired 11 days later; court held that “reporting of a single, profane phrase, without context, does not constitute protected activity” under Title VII)
  • Allied Sales Drivers Local No. 289 and Teamsters Local No. 120 v. Sara Lee (D. Minn. 2013, 8th Circuit 2014) (summary judgment granted  (affirmed on appeal by Eighth Circuit) for a large, national bakery and food services company in an outsourcing breach of contract case against the Teamsters, which involved a $1.5 million pension claim and 161 pleadings on file)
  • Coker v. Parker Hannifin (N.D. Iowa 2014 (N.D. Iowa 2014) (summary judgment granted in race discrimination case for manufacturer)
  • Savage-Sipe v. Wells Fargo (D. Minn. 2011) (summary judgment for a national bank in an employment lawsuit alleging significant breach of contract and Minn. Stat. §181.13 damages)
  • Williams v. TA Operating LLC (S.D. Iowa 2012) (summary judgment granted for a national rest stop company in a case alleging FMLA, public policy, contract, and other claims)
  • Sharp v. Moore Wallace North America, Inc. (S.D. Iowa 2012) (summary judgment granted for an international manufacturer in a case alleging public policy and other claims)
  • O’Neal v. Niscayah, Inc. (D. Minn. 2011) (summary judgment in 181.13 lawsuit in a case alleging commission violations against an international security company; District of Minnesota extended Lee v. Fresenius to apply to commissions in addition to paid time off (PTO))
  • Denial of injunction in the District of Minnesota for a large food services company in a case against the Teamsters
  • Decision in favor of investment advisor in a class action case that there is no right to a jury trial under WARN
  • Decision in favor of national bank that plaintiff’s Facebook and other social media posts are discoverable
  • Dismissal of Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing matter in the financial services industry before the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Dismissal of virtually all of a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing matter for a high tech company before the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Aggressive defense of a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing appeal for a large food distributor, which led to voluntary dismissals by both claimants
  • Denial of TRO in the District of Minnesota involving a non-compete arising from the sale of a medical supply business
  • Granting of an injunction in the District of Minnesota in a commercial dispute
  • Defense verdict in a District of Minnesota age discrimination trial in the funeral services industry
  • Reversal of a bankruptcy court case and lifting stay to proceed with commercial arbitration
  • Convinced jury to grant extremely limited award in damages-only trial involving significant facial lacerations and scars
  • Defense verdict in the District of Minnesota in civil fraud case
  • Decertifying ADEA age discrimination representative action in the District of Minnesota
  • Responding to Department of Labor audit of an employer’s wage and hour practices under the FLSA, which included convincing DOL investigator that most employees at auto repair company were exempt
  • Dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction in a multi-million dollar municipal bond case
  • Defense judgment in a five-week disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation, and retaliation trial in the financial services industry (affirmed on appeal)
  • Summary judgment granted and affirmed in a commercial banking matter involving RICO and other claims
  • Successfully opposed a state agency’s assessment of more than one million dollars relating to the transfer of an unemployment compensation experience rating due to alleged successorship
  • Employment law advising for several companies, including nationwide employment law advising for large liquid egg producer, airline services company, auto and auto finance company, and fitness and lifestyle company
  • Several other summary judgments, trials, and appeals involving employment and commercial matters in state and federal courts


  • J.D., cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 1995
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Mankato State University, 1991

Admittance to Practice

  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Professional Activities

  • Federal Bar Association – Minnesota Chapter (Board of Directors – 2000-2015; President for 2011-2012; President-Elect for 2010-2011; Co-Chair of Federal Prisoner Transportation – 2007-2010; Vice President of Membership – 2006-2007; Vice President of Legal Education – 2005-2006; Vice President of Special Events – 2004-2005)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section, Board of Governors – 1998-1999)
  • Hennepin County Bar Association (Governing Council – 1998-1999)
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Management Attorney’s Association (MMAA) (2006-2015)
  • Volunteer lawyer, FBA Pro Se Project
  • FBA’s 32nd Annual Federal Practice Seminar, Course Chair (Minneapolis, June 2006)


  • Minnesota CLE Employment Law Institute - "U.S. District Court Judges Speak – Summary Judgment, Injunctions, Trial Practice and More!" - St. Paul - May 21, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Workplace Detox: Strategies for Managing Malcontents and Toxic Employees" - Phoenix - May 9, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "2018 Beer, Wine, and Spirits, Part I: The Nontraditional Workplace – Navigating Flexible Work Arrangements in Compliance with the FLSA, ADA, and Other Requirements" - Minneapolis - April 10, 2018
  • MRA Employment Law Update – Minnesota and Federal - "From Water Coolers to Snapchat: Preventing Sexual Harassment and Bullying in a Modern Workplace" - Minnetonka - March 16, 2018
  • ACC Minnesota (Practice Group Luncheon) - "I Can't Believe They Did That" - St. Louis Park - December 13, 2017
  • Minnesota CLE Employment Law Institute - "The Magistrate Judges Speak – Settlement Conferences, Motions, E-Discovery, and More!" - St. Paul - May 22, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Dazed and Confused? Marijuana and Prescription Drug Issues at Work" - San Diego - May 4, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "What Do You Mean I’m Their Employer? Recent Developments in the 'Joint Employer' Doctrine" - Minneapolis - November 10, 2016
  • Minnesota CLE Employment Law Institute - "U.S. District Court Judges Speak – Summary Judgment, Injunctions, Case Management, Settlement Conferences, Trial Practice and More!" - St. Paul - May 23, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "O Canada! Labor (Or Labour) And Employment Law North Of The Border" - Chicago - May 5, 2016
  • Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc. - "BYOD and Social Media" - St. Louis Park - June 24, 2015
  • Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc. - "Managing Millennials: Understanding Generational Differences" - St. Louis Park - June 24, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Nebraska Law Update" - Omaha - June 2, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Iowa Law Update" - Des Moines - June 1, 2015
  • Minnesota CLE Employment Law Institute - "In-House Benchmarking on Close-Call Questions – A Game Show for In-House Counsel" - St. Paul - May 18, 2015
  • Minnesota CLE Employment Law Institute - "U.S. District Court Judges Speak – Summary Judgment, Injunctions, Trial Practice and More!" - St. Paul - May 18, 2015
  • Cedar Valley SHRM - "BYOD and Social Media" - Cedar Falls - March 10, 2015
  • Siouxland SHRM - "Siouxland Law Update and Legal Outlook" - Sioux City - January 22, 2015
  • Siouxland SHRM - "Legislative Update: A Roadmap for Employers in 2014" - Sioux City - September 17, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "BYOD – Avoiding “Bring Your Own Disaster" - Minneapolis - September 16, 2014
  • 31st Annual Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute - "In-house Counsel Panel - Benchmarking on Hot Topics" - St. Paul - May 19 - 20, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Bring Your Own Device, Beware Your Lost Data: Tech, Terrors, and Trials" - Las Vegas - May 8 - 9, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "High Effort, Higher Stakes: Effective Management of Electronic Discovery" - Charleston - November 2013
  • 30th Annual Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute - "The Social Media Revolution 2013 - What's New?" - St. Paul - May 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Leaving Lawyers to Their Own Devices - The Hazards of Mobile Devices" - New Orleans - May 2013
  • 29th Annual Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute - "The Social Media Revolution 2012 on Steroids - Meet Google +, Shocking Facebook Apps, and Unusual Social Media Sites" - St. Paul - May 2012
  • 28th Annual Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute - "The Social Media Revolution 2011 in 3D - Meet Foursquare, WikiLeaks, and Shocking Facebook Apps" - St. Paul - May 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "The Social Media Revolution 2011" - Chicago - May 2011
  • 2010 Iowa SHRM State Conference - "The Social Media Revolution 2010" - Des Moines - September 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Don’t Let Social Media Catch You in Left Field" - Minneapolis - September 2010
  • 27th Annual Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute - "The Social Media Revolution 2010 – From Facebook Firings to Twittering Away the Workday" - St. Paul - May 2010
  • ABA National Conference on EEO Law - "Tweeting from a Work Meeting or ‘Do I Really Have to Friend My Boss?'" - San Antonio - March 2010
  • Ranked in Chambers USA
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Minnesota – Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyer for more than 10 years
  • Top 40 Employment Super Lawyer
  • Chambers and Partners
  • AV Preeminent Rating – Martindale-Hubbell
  • As FBA Minnesota Chapter President, part of the leadership team that won the ABA’s prestigious 2011 Harrison Tweed Award for the Pro Se Project