Sean Somermeyer

Sean Somermeyer

Partner

Sean is a nationally-recognized education lawyer and litigator who defends the interests of colleges, universities, and secondary schools. Sean’s work has resulted in precedential decisions from appellate and trial courts that protect the important and varied missions of schools. Sean also represents and counsels education institutions, businesses, and non-profits on the legal challenges they face.

Practice Areas

Education

Sean represents education institutions nationally on a broad range of matters and serves as outside general counsel for a number of schools. He regularly advises clients on matters involving Title IX; faculty issues; state and federal government investigations; student conduct and discipline; privacy; and disability accommodations.


Employment

Sean counsels employers on non-competition agreements, employee classification, and employee hiring, discipline, and discharge. He helps employers prepare employment agreements, separation and severance agreements, and policies. Sean also leads both independent and internal investigation teams on employment-related matters.

Litigation

Sean has served as lead defense counsel in federal and state court, as well as in administrative proceedings and arbitrations, on disputes involving Title IX and related claims; discrimination and harassment; whistleblowing and wrongful termination; trade secrets and non-compete claims; and business torts. Representative decisions include:

  • Shank v. Carleton College, 993 F.3d 567 (8th Cir. 2021) (affirming summary judgment on Title IX and related claims and clarifying deliberate indifference framework)
  • Doe v. Univ. of St. Thomas, 972 F.3d 1014 (8th Cir. 2020) (counsel for amicus curiae in favorably resolving common law standard for negligence claims against private colleges and universities)
  • Simons v. Boston Scientific, 765 Fed. Appx. 773 (3d Cir. 2019) (affirming summary judgment for defendant on claims of whistleblowing, disability discrimination, and FMLA)
Education, Certifications & Memberships

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Education

  • University of Minnesota Law School – J.D.
    • Magna Cum Laude
    • Minnesota Law Review
  • University of Minnesota – B.A.
    • Magna Cum Laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Professional

  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath – Partner
  • Faegre Baker Daniels – Associate, Partner
  • Faegre & Benson – Associate

Memberships

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • Federal Bar Association – Minnesota Chapter

Pro Bono

  • Reentry Court – U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network – Legal Access Point Clinic – Hennepin County
  • Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office – Pro Bono Appeals

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