Mr. Eric J. Magnuson
Robins Kaplan LLP
800 LaSalle Avenue 2800 LaSalle Plaza
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone    (612) 349-8548

Type of Case: Civil and Criminal
Admitted to practice:
Supreme Court
1st Circuit, 2nd Circuit, 3rd Circuit, 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, 6th Circuit, 7th Circuit, 8th Circuit, 9th Circuit, 10th Circuit, 11th Circuit, D.C., Federal

After serving as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 2008-2010 and focusing almost exclusively in state and federal appellate courts, Eric is regarded as one of the most effective appellate lawyers in Minnesota and the 8th Circuit. In more than 35 years of practice, he has handled hundreds of appeals involving a wide range of issues including the constitutionality of the public school finance system, employment law, trust and probate matters, trade secrets, business contracts, corporate fraud, insurance law, and professional liability. Eric speaks regularly on appellate topics, as well as matters of public interest. He has served as an associate professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and teaches at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.


  • B.A., University of Minnesota, 1972
  • J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, 1976, cum laude.

Practice Focus:

  • Chair of Appellate Practice Group in a firm with approximately 275 lawyers in general practice with heavy concentration on litigation. Civil appeals in state and federal courts. Personally involved in more than 500 appeals, covering a wide variety of areas.


  • Federal Appeals: Jurisdiction and Practice, Co-author, (Thomson Reuters, 2014) Eighth Circuit Appellate Practice Manual, Co-Editor, Contributing Author, (First through Sixth Edition) Minnesota Practice: Appellate Rules Annotated, Co-Author, Thomson Reuters (1983-present) The Art of Advocacy: Appeals, Co-Editor, Matthew Bender (2014) Eighth Circuit Summary Guide, (Minnesota CLE, First through Fourth Edition), Co-author Minnesota Appellate Court Summary Guide, (Minnesota CLE, First through Seventh Edition), Co-author

Representative Cases:

  • Handled over 500 appeals in state and federal courts in nearly all areas of substantive law, including intellectual property, trade secrets, general business disputes, constitutional litigation, class actions, insurance related litigation, election laws, arbitration and professional liability and licensure. Lead counsel for challenger in 2010 Minnesota Gubernatorial recount, Emmer v. Dayton Lead counsel for plaintiffs in 2012 Congressional and state redistricting litigation, Hippert v. Ritchie, No. 86-CV-11-433 (Minn. Dist. Ct., Wright County) & No. A110152 (Minn. Sup. Ct.) Lead counsel for House of Representatives Majority Caucus in 2011 State Government Shutdown litigation

Honors and Awards:

  • Fellow and Past President, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (1998-present) Named "Appellate Attorney of the Year in Minnesota" Global Law Experts (2015) Named "Top 10 Minnesota Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers (2015-2016) Named "North Star Lawyer" by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services (2014-2106) Recipient, Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Litigation Section Advocate Award for significant contributions to improve civil justice (2015) Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2013-Present) Named a “Litigation Star”, Legal Media Group Benchmark Litigation Survey: Appellate (2013) Chambers USA (2012-2013, 2015-2106) Listed in The Best Lawyers in America Appellate Practice (2007-present) and Commercial Litigation (2006-2008, 2012-2014) Awarded 21st Century Award, Campaign for Legal Aide (2010) Named Top 10 Minnesota Lawyers, Minnesota Law & Politics (2015) Named Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer (2000) Awarded Distinguished Alumnus Award by William Mitchell College of Law (2000)

Nature of Firm's Practice:

  • National litigation, focusing on intellectual property, commercial disputes, and mass torts, representing businesses and individuals

Other Information:

  • Recent Articles ◾Briefly: Stare Decisis and Unpublished Opinions Minnesota Lawyer (October 13, 2016) ◾Briefly: What are the Limits of Sua Sponte Decision Making? Minnesota Lawyer (September 15, 2016) ◾Briefly: To Moot or not to Moot: What was the Question? Minnesota Lawyer (August 11, 2016) ◾Briefly: Maximizing Your Chances for Oral Argument DR (August 2016) ◾Briefly: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends Minnesota Lawyer (July 14, 2016)) ◾Briefly: What You Need to Know About New Appellate Rules? Minnesota Lawyer (June 17, 2016) ◾Briefly: When to Cite Unpublished Appellate Decisions Minnesota Lawyer (May 16, 2016)