Heley, Duncan & Melander, PLLP

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Eric R. Heiberg

Eric R. Heiberg represents design professionals, environmental consultants, consulting firms, contractors, owners, and other businesses as an advisor, contract negotiator and litigator.  Eric has negotiated hundreds of contracts on behalf of his clients and he has successfully mediated, arbitrated and litigated lawsuits in the areas of construction law, design professional liability, employment law, and mechanic’s liens.  Eric also acts as a counselor to his clients during the contracting and construction process.

Design Professionals

Eric represents design professionals from company formation and licensing through the contracting process and the performance of the project.  Should a dispute arise, Eric has extensive experience in advising his clients how to avoid or minimize liability.  I the event that a dispute must be litigated, Eric is on the approved counsel list for most of the professional liability insurers in Minnesota and works as a zealous advocate to protect his client’s interests.

Eric has extensive experience representing Architects, Engineers, Interior Designers, Land Surveyors, Professional Geologists, Environmental Consultants, Owner’s Representatives, Construction managers and others in the design professional and construction industry and he understands the construction process so that he can give his clients real world advice based upon the issues confronted in the field.

Employment Law

Eric also advises his clients in employment matters including non-compete agreements, handbook creation and updates, separation agreements, severance agreements, wage and hour laws, discrimination and retaliation litigation, and harassment and employment practices training. By getting to know each client’s culture, he is able to provide salient advice in the face of the often rapidly changing employment regulations and enforcement activities of the State and Federal agencies. He also provides advice to his clients regarding business succession and mergers and acquisition, particularly in professional services firms.

Environmental Risk Transfers

Eric has also successfully negotiated a number of environmental liability transfer agreements for his clients in connection with the sale and/or development of environmentally impacted property. These deals involve extensive negotiation of the contract terms, insurance policy language, and dispute resolution terms.

Speaking Engagements and Legislative Efforts

Eric frequently speaks on design professional liability, licensing, and ethics.  Many of his clients hire him to complete the 2 hour ethics training required by Minnesota and other states every 2 years.  Eric also speaks to groups on employment law, environmental risk transfers, and legal liability in the construction process. Eric is a board member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Licensed Architects, a member of the legislative and risk management committees at ACEC Minnesota and an active member of the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers.  Eric was a drafter for and testified on behalf of the 2013 revisions to Minnesota Statutes Section 541.051 (Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose for Improvements to Real Property) and a coauthor in 2014 of Minnesota Statutes Section 604.21 (Indemnity Agreements with Licensed Design Professionals).

Client Services:

Contract Law and Negotiation

Construction Advices and litigation

Employment law

Licensing law

Environmental law

Commercial litigation

Admitted to Practice:



United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

United States District Court for the District of Minnesota

Professional Activities:

Member, Minnesota State Bar Association

Member, Hennepin County Bar Association

Board Member and Counsel to Minnesota Chapter of Association of Licensed Architects

Member, ACEC Minnesota Legislative Committee and Risk Management Committee

Affiliate Member Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers

Reported Cases:

  • Aviation Charter v. Aviation Research Group/US, 416 F.3d 864 (8th Cir. 2005)
    (interpreting the defamation standard for consultants rating businesses after
    analyzing public records)
  • United States v. Premises Known as 7725 Unity Avenue North, 294 F.3d 954
    (8th Cir. 2002) (Addressing priority of unrecorded mortgage in a drug forfeiture case)
  • Bauman v. Chaska Building Center, Inc., 621 N.W. 2d 795 (Minn. Ct. App. 2001)
    (Defining scope of homestead exemption as the homeowner’s equity in the property
    up to $200,000.00.)
  • Smith v. Woodwind Homes, Inc., 605 N.W. 2d 418 (Minn. Ct. App. 2000).
    (Interpreting the Statute of Frauds in relation to a promise to satisfy a mortgage).
  • Nationsbanc Mortg. Corp. v. Security Bank & Trust., 600 N.W. 2d 481 (Minn. Ct. App. 1999)
    (Defining the time in which a judgment creditor’s lien attaches to a parcel of property).


State-by-State Guide to Architect, Engineer, and Contractor Licensing, First and Second editions, North Dakota Chapter and Montana Supplement.

Recent Articles

Real Life Ethical Issues for the Practicing Architect,  April 2017, presented to Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Licensed Architects.

Legal Issues in Consulting Engineering,  Co-presenter Annually at the ACEC of Minnesota Fundamentals in Consulting Engineering series every April since 1998.  Most recent April 2017.

Real Life Construction Contract Administration Dilemmas,  January 2017, Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Top 10 Contract Clauses Every Design Professional Should Understand,  October 2016, Presented at Dennis J. Linder and Associates Annual Meeting.

Ethics 101 for the Practicing Architect,  March 2016, presented to Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Licensed Architects.

Indemnification Agreements in Light of the New Anti-Indemnification Law for Design Professionals,  January 2016.  Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Ethics 101 for the Design Professional,  September 2015.  Presented at Dennis J. Linder and Associates Annual Meeting.

20% of the Fee and 80% of the Liability: Navigating the Minefield of Construction Administration,  February 2015.  Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Paperless Office for Design Professionals, February 2014.  Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Engineering Project Records:  What you need to know to Protect Your License and Your Business,  March 2012.  Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Joint Ventures in Construction Projects: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire, January 2012. Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Clear as Mud: The Murky Status of the Statute of Limitations and the Statute of Repose for Minnesota Consulting Engineers, 2011. Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Congratulations on your registration! What have you gotten yourself into?, 2010. Presented to the ACEC Minnesota Emerging Professionals.

Tiptoeing through the Construction Administration Minefield, 2009. Presented to ACEC Minnesota.

Top Ten Clauses for the Design Professional, 2008. Presented to AIA Minnesota.

Liability Issues for Lighting Designers in Minnesota, 2007. Presented to the Illuminating Engineering Society of Minnesota.

Actions Speak Louder than Words; Liability of Design Professionals for Site Safety, 2005. Presented to AIA Minnesota and ACEC Minnesota.

Undergradute: B.A., St. Olaf College

Law School: Juris Doctorate, cum laude, William Mitchell College of Law

Community Activities:  Eden Prairie Hockey Association Board Member, Secretary and Coach; Presenter to Eden Lake Elementary “KEY” Classes on Trials and Justice.


Eric R. Heiberg


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Jeanne Baynes

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