Heley, Duncan & Melander, PLLP

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Seth A. Nielsen

Seth practices in the areas of complex business transactions and litigation, trust and estate planning and litigation, ADR, and real estate matters. In litigated matters, he represents both plaintiffs and defendants, ranging from individuals and small business owners to Fortune 500 companies. His experience spans multiple industries and technologies including financial markets, e-commerce, retail products, and medical devices. Seth leverages his background in economics and experience owning and operating numerous businesses to continually learn about his clients’ businesses, goals, and objectives, and translates this knowledge into value-driven business solutions.

In addition to his trial and estate planning practice, Seth is a qualified civil neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice. While some disputes require litigation, many do not. Seth is a strong proponent of helping parties focus on what matters most and developing creative solutions to resolve seemingly unresolvable disputes.

Seth also has significant experience representing pro bono clients in family law and child protection cases. Seth has helped clients obtain divorce, modify custody, and secure grandparents’ visitation, and has helped children seek protective services and navigate the foster care system. Seth has also served on the board of directors of numerous local nonprofits, and is a graduate of the HCBA’s Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community (“LINC”) program. He currently serves on the board of The Link and the Collaborative Community Law Initiative.

Seth attended law school at William Mitchell College of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude. While in law school, he represented clients as a certified student attorney through the school’s Civil Advocacy Clinic. He was also selected to compete on the school’s mock trial team, and in multiple moot court competitions.

Client Services

  • Business Litigation
  • Trust and Estate Planning and Litigation
  • Real Estate Transactions and Litigation
  • Business Transactions and Corporate Formation
  • Contract Review and Drafting
  • Employment
  • Mediation and Arbitration of Business, Trust and Estate, and Real Estate Disputes

Admitted to Practice

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • South Dakota

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association, Member of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member of Residential Real Estate Committee
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member of Probate and Trust Law Section

Publications and Presentations

  • “Accountants’ Liability,” Financier Worldwide (January 2017)
  • “Legal Implications of Social Media—Part II,” Best Buy (August 2016)
  • “FAA Regs For Small Drones — A Step In The Right Direction,” Law360 (July 2016)
  • “Trusts and Estate Law: South Dakota Dynasty Trusts 101” (July 2016)
  • “Legal Implications of Social Media—Part I,” Best Buy (June 2016)
  • “12 Best Practices When Executing Wills and Trusts,” Estates and Trusts Magazine (September 2015)
  • “The Indian Arts and Crafts Act—A Powerful Tool,” Law 360 (June 2015)
  • “Medical Device Patent Litigation,” Minnesota State Bar Association MN (April 2011)

Community Involvement

  • The Collaborative Community Law Initiative, Member of Board of Directors, Co-Chair of Development and Marketing Committee
  • The Link, Member of Board of Directors
  • Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, Volunteer Attorney representing children in foster care.
  • Neighborhood Justice Center, Volunteer Attorney representing indigent clients in criminal matters.
  • University of St. Thomas, Volunteer Mock Trial Coach for law school and undergraduate mock trial teams

Awards and Recognition

  • Rising Star (2018) Minnesota Law & Politics
  • Named a “North Star Lawyer” by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services (2013-2016)
  • CALI Award of Excellence for Patent Litigation (2009)
  • CALI Award of Excellence for Business Law Clinic (2008)


William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude (2010; National Tax Moot Court Competition (2009 Semifinalist); American Association for Justice Mock Trial Competition (2009 Semifinalist); Rosalie E. Wahl Moot Court Competition (2009 Quarterfinalist); Civil Advocacy Clinic (2009)

University of St. Thomas, B.A. in Economics and Political Science, magna cum laude (2004)

Selected Litigation Results*

Aeon v. Lowry Grove Partnership, et al., No. 27-CV-16-9809 (Hennepin County District Court Sept. 22, 2016): Obtained dismissal of equitable claims to acquire title to a mobile home park where statutory right of first refusal had terminated.

Nunez v. Best Buy, No. 0:15-cv-03965 (D. Minn. June 7, 2016): Obtained dismissal of consumer class action involving deceptive pricing claims.

Anchor Bank v. Ameriprise, et al., Nos. 27-CV-14-4597, 27-CV-14-6014 (Hennepin County District Court): Represented Ameriprise in cases involving allegations of improper recruiting practices. All claims resolved successfully before trial.

Mandel v. Multiband, et al., No. 27-CV-14-12877 (Henn. County District Court, July 9, 2015): Obtained summary judgment dismissing of wrongful termination claims of former CEO; dismissal affirmed on appeal, No. A15-1133 (Minn. Ct. App. March 28, 2016).

Pepin County v. Bechel, No. 2015-CV-15 (Circuit Court of Pepin County, Wis. 2015): Successfully negotiated favorable settlement of highway contract dispute.
Tried five-day arbitration in highly complex shareholder dispute.

Edge Capture, et al. v. Barclays, et al., No. 09-CV-1521 (N.D. Ill.): Represented independent software vendor in patent infringement matter involving automated derivative and equity trading technology. All claims resolved successfully before trial.

minSURG International v. Osteotech, et al., No. 8-10-CV-01589 (M.D. Fla.): Represented Osteotech in patent infringement matter involving surgical technique and related equipment for facet fusion procedures. All claims resolved successfully before trial.

Spine Solutions v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, et al., No. 07-CV-2175 (W.D. Tenn.): Represented Medtronic in patent infringement matter involving artificial lumbar discs. All claims resolved successfully before second trial to resolve damages issues on remand from the appellate court.

*Past results are reported to provide an indication of the type and scope of litigation experience, and should not be construed as a representation or expectation of future results in any other case. Each case is dependent upon its own unique facts and applicable law.


Seth A. Nielsen


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Jamie Baumgart

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