Donald R. McNeil is a successful business trial attorney with thirty 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 and regulatory matters.
Don has also presented seven cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court on important and significant legal issues. 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. He is also a popular mediator for business and employment disputes and is on the Minnesota Supreme Court roster of qualified neutrals. For more information, see www.mcneilmediation.com.
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. 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.”
- Civil Trial Specialist, as certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association
- Business Litigation
- Competition and Intellectual Property Litigation
- Securities Fraud and Broker-Dealer Litigation in FINRA forum
- Employment Litigation, including Executive Compensation
- Mediation of Business and Employment Disputes
- 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
- Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
- Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
- Member, Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association
- Member, Financial Planner Association
- Arbitrator, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
- Sorenson v. Options Residential, Inc., 896 N.W.2d 549 (Minn. Ct. App. 2017) (involving injuries to resident of adult foster care)
- P.H.T. Systems v. Tropical Flavors et al., 2006 LEXIS 563 (Minn. Ct. App. 2006) (involving Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act)
- Turner v. MSI, 675 N.W.2d 622 (Minn. 2004) (involving coverage dispute)
- 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)
- Speaker: Legal Landmines in Buying and Selling a Financial Planning Practice (FPA Symposium 2017)
- Speaker: “FINRA Arbitration: 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)
- “She left her special-needs son at a hospital, police say. Now moms are rallying behind her” | The Washington Post | December 2019
- “Special-ed reform: Paperwork exacerbates funding challenges, proponents say” | MINNPOST | January 2019
- Member, Minnesota Department of Education School Finance Work Group (2019-2020)
- Member, Minnesota Department of Education work group on Prior Written Notice in Special Education laws (2019).
- Member of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) Advisory Council (2013).
- 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.
- Member, Minnesota Legislative Taskforce reviewing special education laws and regulations (2008-09)
- 2016 Pro Bono Publico Private Sector Award from Hennepin County Bar Association ( for commitment to providing legal services to the disadvantaged and educating the general public about the law)
- 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, and more recently as Top 40 Business Litigator.
- Consistently achieved the highest rankings (AV rating) by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
- B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College, 1985, with honors; and trackster (400 meters).
- Juris Doctorate (High Honors, third in class), Mitchell 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)