David Schlesinger, a partner at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, is an experienced and skilled advocate for employees. With more than fifteen years of experience, David is an MSBA Certified Employment Law Specialist. For the last decade, he has been named a “Super Lawyer.” He has also been named a “Best Lawyer in America,” a “Best Lawyer in Minnesota,” and to the “Minnesota Power 30” list, among other accolades.
For David, there is nothing more professionally meaningful than when he is able to substantially improve his clients’ lives through his advocacy. His clients have awarded him a 10.0 "Superb" rating through Avvo.
David serves as the chair of the Legal Advisory Committee and on the board of directors of Gender Justice. He also taught Law in Practice at the University of Minnesota Law School, is the former president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association and serves as Vice President of the Labor and Employment Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
David has successfully litigated a wide variety of employment claims, including several significant cases involving gender, race and disability discrimination. His practice includes an emphasis on the intersection of employment and business disputes, including litigation of breach of fiduciary duty and minority shareholder claims. He has effectively defended employees from non-compete and trade secret claims brought by their former employers.
David is frequently asked to deliver presentations on employment law matters to groups of fellow attorneys. Topics have included employment agreements, equal pay rights, religious discrimination, hostile work environments, and wage and hour violations.
Admissions & Education
Arizona Supreme Court Minnesota Supreme Court 8th Circuit Court of Appeals 10th Circuit Court of Appeals 11th Circuit Court of Appeals U.S. District Court – District of Arizona U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota U.S. District Court – District of North Dakota
J.D. University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude B.A. Mary Washington College, cum laude
Speaking Engagements & Publications
“Litigating fitness for duty cases under the ADA,” Eighth Circuit NELA, St. Louis, Missouri, October 2022. “What you need to know regarding the Biden Administration’s Covid-19 Action Plan,” Minnesota CLE Webinar, September 2021. Covid-19 Employment Litigation, Minnesota Association for Justice Annual Convention, August 2021 Problem Employees: When the Problematic Behavior Stems from a Mental Health Condition, Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, July 2021. “New Minnesota Cases Strengthen Employee Rights – Top Takeaways from Diverse Perspectives,” 2021 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2021. “Minnesota Appellate Courts Strengthen Employee Protections,” MSBA Public Law and Appellate Sections, October 2020. "Winning Discovery Strategies," NELA National Convention, July 2020. “Advising Employees in the Wake of Covid-19,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, May 2020. “The Intersection of Legal Ethics and Mental Health – Our Clients, Our Colleagues, Ourselves,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2019. “Business Litigation: The Big Impact of the New Amended Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure – 7 Ways They Are Changing Discovery Practice,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2019. “Employment Discrimination Overview,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2019. “Sex Harassment After #Metoo – The Latest Cases, Laws and Practices.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2019. “The Big Impact of the New Amended Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure – 7 Ways They Are Changing Discovery Practice,” Strategic Solutions for Solo & Small Firms Conference, Duluth, Minnesota, 2019. "Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness," Minnesota CLE Webcast, July 2018. Co-presenter: Outside-The-Box Discovery Tools: Getting Creative With Discovery In The Era Of Proportionality,” National Employment Lawyers Convention, Chicago, June 2018. Co-presenter, “Practical Overview: Sexual Harassment Claims and Complaint Policies, Training and Response,” 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 2018. Co-presenter, “Winning the Harassment Case – Strategies and Tactics,” 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 2018. Co-presenter, “Rectifying Representation and Wrongdoing: Ethical Obligations and Aspirations of Whistleblowing,” Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2018. Co-presenter, “How to Manage Chronic Illnesses in the Legal Workplace,” Workers’ Compensation Institute, Minneapolis, April 2018. Co-presenter, “Eighth Circuit Employment Law Update,” Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, Minneapolis, April 2018. Co-Presenter, “New Developments in Pay Equity Law,” ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, Nassau, Bahamas, February 2018. Co-presenter, “The Evolving Landscape of Pay Equity Litigation and Legislation,” Minnesota State Bar Association, Minneapolis, December 2017. Co-presenter, “Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, August 2017. Moderator/Presenter, “Employment Agreements 101: The Tips and Tricks Every Lawyer Should Know,” ABA Webinar, July 2017. Co-Presenter, “Title VII & The Equal Pay Act: Dynamic Duo When Challenging Sex Discrimination in Compensation,” National Employment Lawyers Association 2017 Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, June 2017. Co-Presenter, “The Evolving Landscape of Equal Pay Legislation, Litigation and Regulation,” 2017 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2017. “Pay Equity: Increasing Enforcement and Emerging Issues,” ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 2017. “Remembering my father, and the struggle for civil rights in 2017,” MinnPost, January 18, 2017. “Fair Pay or Comparable Worth? California’s New Fair Pay Act,” PLI’s Seminar: Cutting-Edge Employment Law Issues 2016: The California Difference, San Francisco, California, 2016. Co-author of “Joint Employer and Independent Contractor Issues,” published in The FMLA Handbook, Second Edition, 2016 (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education). “Turning the Tables on Employer Counterclaims,” Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, 2016. “Equal Pay Act Collective Actions,” American Bar Association, Midwinter Conference of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, San Juan, Puerto Rico 2016. “Federal Litigation 101,” National Business Institute Video Webcast, 2015. “The Art of Trial Preparation” National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015. “How NELA Affiliates Operate,” National Employment Lawyers Association Affiliate Leader Training, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015. “Equal Pay Act Update,” American Bar Association, Midwinter Conference of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 2015. “Mental Health and the Legal Workplace,” Minnesota Employment Law Series CLE Webcast, 2014. “The Art of Trial Preparation,” Eighth Circuit National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, 2014. “Wage and Hour 301: Wage and Hour Cases in Minnesota and Developing Trends.” Minnesota National Employment Lawyers Association, 2014. Coauthor of “The Canary Sings Again: New Life for the Minnesota Whistleblower Act,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota (September 2013, Volume LXX, Number VIII at 14-18). "20 Tips to Make Litigation Practice Just a Little Easier." Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms Conference, Duluth, MN, 2013. “Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Employment – Returning to Work.” Minnesota Employment Law Series CLE Webcast, 2012. "Your Boss Did What? Employment Law 101 and the ABC's of Finding a Good Case." Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms Conference, Duluth, MN, 2012. “Top 10 Tips to Maximize Economic & Compensatory Damages in Employment Cases.” National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA, 2012. National Academy of Arbitrators Panel: The Voice of Experience in Employment Arbitration, 2012. "Religious Discrimination and Accommodation in the Workplace." MSBA Program, 2012. "Appeals in Employment Law Cases." Minnesota CLE Webcast Panel, 2011. "Kasten: The New FLSA Retaliation Standard." Thomson Reuters Webinar Panel, 2011. The Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under Minnesota Law, Bench & Bar of Minnesota (July 2010, Vol. LXVII, No. VI at 30 - 34, 2010). "Hot Issues in Debtor-Creditor Practice: Successor Liability and Fraudulent Transfer: Risks for the Successor Business." Minnesota CLE, 2010. "Labor and Employment Law Section: Litigating Against the Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under State and Federal Law." Hennepin County Bar Association, 2010.
Titles, Awards, & Memberships
Named one of “The Best Lawyers in America”, 2022-2023 Named to “Power 30 List for Employment Lawyers” by Minnesota Lawyer. Board Member and Chair, Legal Advisory Committee, Gender Justice. Fellow, American Bar Foundation. MSBA Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist. According to the MSBA, “The certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. Certified attorneys have demonstrated superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field and can use the designation of specialist to advertise their credentials. . . This achievement has been earned by fewer than 3% of all licensed Minnesota attorneys.” Named to the Super Lawyers list, Minnesota Super Lawyers, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, and Twin Cities Business, 2013-2022 Named to Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers list, 2020-2022 Adjunct Associate Professor teaching Law in Practice, University of Minnesota Law School, 2011 to 2018 Former President, Minnesota Chapter National Employment Lawyers Association Governance Committee Member, National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) Treasurer, Eighth Circuit NELA Named to the Rising Stars list, Minnesota Super Lawyers, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, and Twin Cities Business 2012 American Bar Association Member Federal Bar Association Member Minnesota State Bar Association Member