Heley, Duncan & Melander, PLLP

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Donald R. McNeil

Donald R. McNeil is a successful business trial attorney with over twenty-four years of legal experience. He serves clients in a variety of business disputes, including business divorce in closely held companies, shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, buy-sell agreements, non-competes, executive compensation disputes, and contract matters. Don also represents clients before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (previously NASD), including customer claims for unsuitable or speculative investment recommendations, and registered representatives in employment disputes. He has also presented seven cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court on important and significant legal issues. For the last five years, Law & Politics magazine recognized Don as one of the Top 40 Business Litigators in Minnesota. Don is also a champion for children with disabilities and is active in the disability community on legislative and policy-making matters to assist the vulnerable and disabled. Don graduated third in his law school class before serving as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Mary Jeanne Coyne of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Don practiced with Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman before joining Heley, Duncan & Melander as a partner.  He currently serves as the firm’s managing partner.  Don is a husband and father of three, and as a former 400 meter trackster likes to remind people that the “older he gets, the faster he was.”

Client Services:

Business Litigation

Competition and Intellectual Property Litigation

Construction Defect Litigation

Securities Fraud and Broker-Dealer Litigation in FINRA forum

Employment Litigation

Admitted to Practice:


United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals for Seventh, Eighth and Federal Circuits

United States District Court for District of Minnesota

United States District Court for Western District of Wisconsin


Civil Trial Specialist, as certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association

Professional Activities:

Member, Minnesota State Bar Association

Member, Hennepin County Bar Association

Arbitrator, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Representative Cases:

  • P.H.T. Systems v. Tropical Flavors et al., 2006 LEXIS 563 (Minn. Ct. App. 2006) (involving Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act)
  • Lennon v. Travertine Corp., 683 N.W.2d 267 (Minn. 2004) (involving complex commercial dispute relating to land development in Palm Springs)
  • SHAL v. Onvoy, 669 N.W.2d 344 (Minn. 2003) (involving complex business arbitration)
  • Infinity Products v. Premier Plastics, 2004 LEXIS 4784 (8th Cir.) (defense verdict in distributor dispute)
  • M.S. v. John G. Kinnard & Co., NASD #00-00527 (obtaining defense verdict in selling away case)
  • Watson v. MTC, 553 N.W.2d 406 (Minn. 1996) (landmark governmental immunities decision)
  • Special School District #1 v. Dunham, 498 N.W.2d 441 (Minn. 1993) (involving Minnesota Human Rights Act)
  • Corazalla v. Quie, 478 N.W.2d 197 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991) (involving real estate dispute)

Publications and Presentations:

  • Speaker: “FINRA Arbtration: Representing Clients and Arbitrating” (MSBA 2012)
  • Panelist: 2010 Upper Midwest Securities Litigation Forum
  • Co-Author, “NASD Arbitration of Securities Disputes” (Bench & Bar 2003)
  • Chairperson, “NASD Securities Arbitration in a Recovering Market” (2004)
  • Chairperson, “NASD Securities Arbitration in a Bad Economy” (2003)
  • Chairperson, “Hot Trends in Securities Arbitrations” (2002)

Community Activities:

  • Current Member of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) Advisory Council (2013).  The ASD Advisory Council provides input into the development of a Medical Assistance benefit for children with ASD through Reform 2020: Pathways to Independence, and the Autism Housing with Supports Study for children with severe autism authorized by 2012 Laws of Minnesota, Chapter 247, Article 4, Section 50.
  • Current Co-chair, Minnesota Legislative Taskforce reviewing caseloads for special education (2013)
  • Past President and Current Board Member, PACER Center, a national organization helping families and children with special needs based in Minnesota.
  • Past President, Hamline Law School Alumni Association (2006-08)
  • Former Board Member, Volunteer Lawyers Network, Ltd. See State v. Cassidy, 567 N.W.2d 707 (Minn. 1997) (reversing conviction involving tribal tobacco transportation in pro bono matter).
  • Member, Minnesota Legislative Taskforce reviewing special education laws and regulations (2008-09)

Awards and Recognition:

  • Featured in Attorney at Law magazine, May 2015
  • Recognized each year since 1999 by the Minnesota Law & Politics magazine in its annual survey as one of top 4.5% of Minnesota Super Lawyer attorneys
  • Consistently achieved the highest rankings (AV rating) by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory


B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College, 1985, with honors

Law School:

Juris Doctorate (High Honors), Hamline University School of Law, 1989

Managing Editor, Hamline University Law Review and was a special editor for the “Non-Posnerian Law and Economics Symposium”, Vol. XII, No. 2 (1989)

Donald R. McNeil


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952.841.0041 facsimile


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Jackie Spencer

952.841.2501 direct dial