Jessica J. Nelson

P 612.268.7006 | F 612.268.7001


Jessica Nelson represents clients in high-stakes business and employment litigation.  She has extensive experience in complex multi-party cases and class actions in the areas of mortgage-backed securities, ERISA, antitrust, breach of contract, indemnification, fraud, and commercial disputes. Jessica also defends clients in a wide range of employment and employee benefits matters, including discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour, and ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims.

She has appeared before state and federal district and appellate courts, the American Arbitration Association, and various state and federal agencies.

Jessica spent two years as a law clerk in the chambers of the Honorable James M. Rosenbaum, then Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.



  • University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2005 (J.D.), summa cum laude
  • University of St. Thomas, 2000 (B.A.), summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 2005

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

  • Represented client in more than 100 cases stemming from the mortgage crisis. Recovered over $1.3 billion in settlements and secured $90 million in judgments following trials.
  • Defending pharmacy benefit manager in putative class-action lawsuits alleging violations of ERISA and RICO. Defeated class certification.
  • Representing pork and beef producers in multiple consolidated lawsuits, putative class actions, and multi-district litigation alleging antitrust violations.
  • Defended employer in suit alleging breach of contract, age discrimination, good faith and fair dealing, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Won summary judgment on all claims and defeated plaintiff’s cross-motion. Decision affirmed on appeal.
  • Represented employer in arbitration before AAA regarding withdrawal from multi-employer pension plan. Won arbitration, reversing entire withdrawal and liability assessment.
  • Prevailed in multiple employment arbitrations, successfully defending employers against breach of employment contract claims.
  • Defended employer in putative class action. Defeated class certification and won summary judgment.
  • Represented employer in suit alleging negligent retention and negligent supervision. Successfully moved for summary judgment on all claims and prevailed against plaintiff’s motion for punitive damages.
  • Represented churchwide organization in putative class action arising out of the termination of a defined benefit pension plan. Obtained dismissal of ERISA and consumer fraud claims on Rule 12 motion in federal district court. Defended against state law breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, and alter ego claims until favorable settlement reached.
  • Represented clinic and hospitals in suit by employee alleging claims involving negligent supervision, negligent retention, breach of medical privacy laws, breach of contract, misrepresentation, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Obtained dismissal of several claims on Rule 12 motion.
  • Successfully defended third-party employee benefits plan administrator against claim for benefits. Obtained dismissal of all claims against client on Rule 12 motion to dismiss in federal district court.
  • Represented employer in wage and hour, FLSA collective action, venued in federal district court. Successfully moved to have case decertified, and then successfully moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiffs were properly classified as exempt.
  • Defended video game producer against breach of contract and tortious interference claims. Successfully obtained dismissal of all claims prior to discovery on Rule 12 motion.
  • Represented estate in lawsuit to enforce the terms of a prior settlement agreement. Successfully obtained summary judgment for the estate, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, and defeated defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment. Decision affirmed on appeal.
  • Represented corporation in putative class-action lawsuit alleging consumer fraud and false advertising claims. Successfully obtained summary judgment for client and prevailed against plaintiffs’ class certification and punitive damages motions.
  • Represented candidate in 2008 U.S. Senate election contest. Drafted appellate briefs to Minnesota Supreme Court on constitutional and election law issues.
  • Represented payroll corporation in qui tam lawsuit alleging False Claims Act claims. Motion to dismiss granted; case dismissed with prejudice.
  • Defended company, officers and directors in class-action lawsuit in federal district court regarding company’s decision to maintain company stock in its 401(k) plan.

  • Saint Paul’s Outreach, Board of Directors, Secretary
  • Church of St. Joseph, Liturgical Cantor

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • Minnesota Lawyer, Attorney of the Year, 2021
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2017-2019
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2014-2015

  • “Employment Law Day,” Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, 2014-2018
  • “Red Flags for Trustees: Detecting Weak Points In Your Fiduciary Armor,” Benefits Magazine, June 2014
  • “FMLA Master Class,” Family Military Leave, May 2013
  • “Becoming the Integrated Lawyer: Practical Tips on How To Find Joy and Purpose in Your Work,” University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2012
  • “Employment Law Update,” Paramount Seminar, Minneapolis, 2010