Joel Schroeder is a partner at Best & Flanagan, and focuses his practice on labor and employment law, non-compete, trade-secret and other commercial litigation. Joel primarily defends companies in federal and state court litigation and advises employers on the patchwork of federal employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the False Claims Act (as well as state and local equivalents). He has represented Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses, individuals and a foreign government.
Courtroom Work and Trials
Joel’s litigation practice is extensive. Though many lawsuits can and should settle, Joel is eager to take a case to trial when the opposing party is unwilling to resolve the case on terms favorable to his client. Joel has won multiple dispositive motions and has tried cases to judge and jury. In recent years his trial experience has included:
- A race-discrimination contested hearing before the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights;
- A promissory-estoppel jury trial in Minnesota state court;
- A fraudulent misrepresentation and Equal Pay Act trial in Minnesota federal court; and
- A trade-secret, tortious interference, and computer fraud trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Joel has litigated a wide variety of commercial disputes, including shareholder disputes and cases involving allegations of violations of the False Claims Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, fraud, and other federal statutes. Joel has extensive experience prosecuting and defending non-compete and trade-secret cases across the country, both securing and defeating motions for TROs and preliminary injunctions.
Employment Counseling and Investigations
Joel’s litigation experience allows him to proactively advise clients before a lawsuit begins and work with clients to resolve workplace issues involving hiring and pay practices, disability accommodations, leaves of absences, wage and hour compliance, restrictive covenants, performance management, and employment separations. Joel’s goal is to provide clients with peace of mind and a clear, go-forward strategy.
When a neutral third party is needed, Joel is retained by companies to investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment, fraud, and other misconduct. As a Spanish speaker, Joel is one of a handful of investigators in the region who have the ability to interview Spanish-speaking witnesses in their native language.
Local Counsel Services and Community Connections
With deep knowledge of local practice and procedure, Joel is frequently retained by national law firms to serve as local counsel for civil litigation matters venued in Minnesota.
Joel is active in the community and serves in leadership roles at the local and national level of the Federal Bar Association (FBA). He is a director of the Minnesota Chapter of the FBA and, along with U.S. District Magistrate Judge Kate Menendez, currently serves as co-vice president of legal education for the Chapter. He is also a board member of the national Labor & Employment Section of the FBA. Joel is a longtime volunteer with the Tubman Pro Bono Safety Project, working with battered women and children to secure orders for protection in Hennepin County District Court.
University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2004, J.D., cum laude
Law Journal, Symposium Editor
Washington University in St. Louis, 2000, B.A., Political Science and Spanish, with honors
State of Minnesota
U.S. District Court of Minnesota
- Federal Bar Association, National Labor & Employment Law Section — Governing Board and Co-Chair of the Standing Committee on Legislation and Congressional Relations
- Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter — Director (2015-2018) and Co-Vice President of Legal Education (2017-2018); Director and Co-Vice President of Monthly Meetings (2016-2017)
- Minnesota Bar Association, Member
- Hennepin County Bar Association, Member
- Minnesota Management Attorneys’ Association, Member
- SocMed, Board Member
- University of St. Thomas School of Law, Mentor Program
- Washington University in St. Louis, Executive Co-Chair of 10 and 15-Year Reunions
- Tubman Safety Project, Volunteer Attorney
- Super Lawyer, Employment Litigation – Defense, Minnesota Law & Politics, 2017
- Rising Star, Employment Litigation – Defense, Minnesota Law & Politics, 2011-2016
Although I’m from Minnesota, I’ve spent a lot of time in Spanish-speaking countries—including 9 months in Spain and 4 months in Colombia. Outside of the office, you will find me sneaking in a jog every now and then and keeping up with my two young daughters.