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Kerri J. Nelson


Kerri J. Nelson


Practice Groups

Insurance Coverage, Employment Litigation/Advice, Real Estate Litigation

Industry Groups

Insurance, Non-Profit Organizations, Real Estate and Residential Property Management


Ms. Nelson focuses her practice in the areas of insurance coverage litigation, complex business litigation, and employment and housing law. Her insurance coverage practice encompasses both coverage analysis and coverage litigation, while her employment law work includes employer defense, advice, and human resource counseling.

Ms. Nelson has obtained many favorable results for clients through jury trials, summary judgment motions, and federal and state agency determinations. She regularly represents insurers, companies, and employers in both trial and appellate courts across multiple jurisdictions.

Ms. Nelson serves as Co-Chair of the Insurance Law Section of the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association. She recently served on the Board of Directors for the Hennepin County Bar Association and as Chair Emeritus of the association’s Civil Litigation Section. Ms. Nelson graduated magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law, where she served as assistant editor of the William Mitchell Law Review.

Education & Admissions


  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2006
    • Founder’s Scholarship, 2003-2006
    • William Mitchell Law Review, Assistant Editor
    • Case Note Published in Vol. 31, No. 2
    • Civil Advocacy Clinic, 2005-2006
  • Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A., cum laude, 1989
    • Alexis English Prize for Writing
    • National Merit Scholarship and Partners in Scholarship
    • English Department, Teaching Assistant

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • Minnesota


Representative Cases

Part of appellate team that obtained reversal of significant portion of federal court’s summary judgment order in insurance coverage dispute, for mutual insurance company client; Church Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ma'Afu, 657 F. App'x 747, 758 (10th Cir. 2016).

Obtained no-damages verdict in employment dispute for assisted living community client after a federal jury court trial.

Part of trial and appellate teams that obtained summary judgment in public school client’s favor in employment dispute and subsequent affirmation of order on appeal; Fischer v. Minneapolis Pub. Schs., 16 F. Supp. 3d 1012 (D. Minn. 2014), aff’d, 792 F.3d 985, 986 (8th Cir. 2015).

Part of team that obtained favorable summary judgment ruling for insurance company client in insurance coverage dispute.

Obtained summary judgment on behalf of counterclaim defendant against defamation and other related claims.

Obtained dismissal of more than two-thirds of plaintiff’s claimed potential damages through partial summary judgment and motions in limine after jury trial.

Obtained partial summary judgment on behalf of defendant in personal injury lawsuit.

Professional & Civic

Bar Associations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
    • Board of Directors, 2013-2018
    • Civil Litigation Section
      • Chair Emeritus, 2016-2019
      • Co-Chair, 2009-2016
      • Chair, 2008-2009
      • Vice Chair, 2007-2008
    • Member Engagement Task Force, 2015-2016
    • Finance and Planning Committee; Chair, 2012-2013; member, 2010-2013
    • Board of Directors, Council of Sections Representative, 2009-2010
  • Federal Bar Association
    • Communications Committee, Minnesota Chapter, 2009-2018

Professional Associations

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
    • Insurance Law Committee, Co-Chair, 2020-present
  • Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Association of Women Contractors
    • Education Committee, 2013-2018

Civic Involvement

  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Conciliation Court Clinic, 2011-2016
  • Free-Daptive Divers, Board of Directors, 2016-present


Honors & Awards

  • Up and Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer, 2013
  • Selected to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers, 2020-present
  • Selected to the Minnesota Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers, 2014-2016
Kerri J. Nelson
Rated by Super Lawyers

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  • Insurance Law 101, co-presenter with R.A. Williams, Central Minnesota Multi Housing Conference and Products Show, Brooklyn Center, Minn., April 19 and June 8, 2017
  • CGL Policy Occurrences, Exclusions and Exceptions—Complex Issues, co-presenter, National Business Institute Webinar, April 6, 2017
  • An Attorney's Guide to CGL Policy and Coverage, co-presenter with A.E. Reisbord, National Business Institute Webinar, May 20, 2016
  • Commercial General Liability Policy: The Complete Guide for Attorneys, co-presenter with A.E. Reisbord, National Business Institute Webinar, December 9, 2015