LGN Federal Relations Policy Brief: Health Care & Prescription Drugs

The final four months of 2019 will be a “now-or-never” time for Congress to take substantive action to lower prescription drug prices. So far in the 116th Congress, the House and Senate have each taken actions on this issue. The House held nearly a dozen congressional hearings to examine the rise of drug prices, marked up and reported out about a half-dozen bills from three different committees. Of these, the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee dedicated more hearings on the issue and also seemed to have packaged together a broader bill than the other committees. The More Efficient Tools to Realize Information for Consumers (METRIC) Act (H.R. 2296), passed the E&C Committee last month shortly before the House left town for the August recess. In short, the METRIC Act would increase public disclosures of drug pricing information as well as more oversight over pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The bill awaits House floor consideration once the House comes back from its recess in September.

On the other end of the U.S. Capitol Building, the Senate held more than six separate hearings on the drug pricing issue. In total, six bills were marked up and reported out from three different committees – […]

2019-08-19T17:59:50-05:00Aug 19, 2019|

Yvonne Flaherty profiled by Minnesota Lawyer

LGN partner Yvonne Flaherty was profiled in the August 14, issue of Minnesota Lawyer in their “Breaking the Ice” section.

In the piece, Yvonne talks about what inspired her to become a lawyer, her favorite (and least favorite) aspects of the job, and some of her hobbies outside of the office.

To read the full profile, visit

2019-08-16T20:41:03-05:00Aug 16, 2019|

Five LGN Partners Named to 2020 Best Lawyers in America

Congratulations to LGN partners Richard Lockridge, Charlie Nauen, Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, and Karen Hanson Riebel for being named by Best Lawyers to their 2020 Best Lawyers in America list. They were recognized for their work in the following areas:

  • Richard Lockridge – Securities Litigation
  • Charles Nauen – Environmental Law & Environmental Litigation
  • Susan Ellingstad – Employment Law – Individuals & Employment Law – Management
  • Yvonne Flaherty – Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Karen Hanson Riebel – Class Actions – Plaintiffs

This year’s Best Lawyers rankings were based on an analysis of over 8.3 million peer nominations submitted earlier this year which are divided by geographic region and practice areas before evaluation on the basis of professional expertise. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo an authentication process to make sure they are currently practicing and in good standing.

2019-08-16T08:06:55-05:00Aug 16, 2019|

LGN Federal Relations Policy Brief: Federal Transportation Funding

Although Congress is out of session for its August recess and passing a large bipartisan infrastructure package is less likely to become reality, other major transportation and infrastructure initiatives have a real opportunity to pass a divided Congress and be signed into law by the president.

America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019 and the annual Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (“T-HUD”) appropriations bill are the two key pieces of transportation legislation we see potential impact or opportunity for our clients. With August recess underway and the presidential campaign’s paralytic effect on the legislative process around the corner, the transportation policy landscape will be significantly shaped in late 2019. For Minnesota cities and counties, this legislation is where a number of critical infrastructure projects will get federal funding, from rural and suburban highways to urban transit systems.

America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019, otherwise known as the surface transportation reauthorization bill, is the most significant transportation-specific legislation that will be taken up in September. This bill will replace the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation), the most recent surface transportation bill, which was passed by Congress in 2015 and expires at the end of September 2020. The FAST Act authorized $305 […]

2019-08-19T17:50:24-05:00Aug 12, 2019|

LGN volunteers with Habitat for Humanity

As part of the firm’s 40440 Initiative, Lockridge Grindal Nauen attorneys and staff volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes in our community for families in need.

Habitat for Humanity works in local communities across all 50 states in the US and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat builds strength, stability, and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing.

2019-08-09T14:07:52-05:00Aug 9, 2019|

LGN Federal Relations Policy Brief: Proposed rule change for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

LGN’s Federal Relations Group is closely monitoring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) proposed rule change that was released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) on July 24th, 2019. This proposed rule entitled “Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” would eliminate “broad-based categorical eligibility,” a voluntary standard that states can use to automatically qualify recipients of non-cash welfare assistance for SNAP benefits. Once enacted, this proposed rule would have significant direct impacts on state and local governments, families and children.

States currently have the flexibility to use broad-based categorical eligibility and 43 states chose to utilize this option. If enacted, the USDA’s proposed rule change would narrow categorical eligibility for SNAP. Under SNAP’s current categorical eligibility rules, states are not required to review a person’s total assets and can consider program applicants with incomes above 130 percent of the federal poverty level. This flexibility allows recipients of all non-cash, in-kind, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) services to be considered for SNAP eligibility. The USDA’s proposed rule would narrow these eligibility rules to apply only to individuals receiving TANF benefits for subsidized employment, work supports, or childcare benefits.

According to estimates from the USDA, this […]

2019-08-06T07:18:28-05:00Aug 6, 2019|

Lockridge Grindal Nauen welcomes Alana Petersen as Managing Director of Federal Relations

Lockridge Grindal Nauen (LGN) is pleased to announce a major addition to its growing Federal Relations team with the hiring of Alana Petersen as Managing Director of Federal Relations for the firm’s 30-year old Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Petersen will manage the day-to-day operations of the firm’s Federal Relations team based in Washington, D.C. and brings over 25 years of in-depth policy experience and political instinct to this role, having previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and State Director for both U.S. Senator Tina Smith and U.S. Senator Al Franken.

In addition to her extensive work in Washington, Ms. Petersen served as Campaign Manager for Senator Smith’s successful 2018 campaign. She has also advised numerous statewide campaigns in Minnesota.

“Alana is the perfect person to lead the continued expansion and growth of our Washington, D.C. office,” said LGN partner, Rebecca Kanninen, who alongside Ted Grindal leads the firm’s local, state, and federal government relations practice. “Her broad understanding of issues impacting both government and businesses in the Midwest, coupled with her keen political insight developed over years of running statewide and federal campaigns, will greatly benefit our clients. We are thrilled to welcome her to LGN.”

Ms. Petersen comes to the […]

2019-08-06T12:26:01-05:00Aug 1, 2019|

LGN collects books for Read Indeed Book Drive

Lockridge Grindal Nauen attorneys and staff collected over 100 books to donate to Read Indeed as part of a firm-wide book drive.

Read Indeed is a nonprofit literacy organization founded in 2009 by an 8 year old right here in Minnesota. Since its inception, Read Indeed had collected and distributed more than 3 million books to kids in need. The organization has donated books in all 50 states and 17 countries.

2019-08-06T09:45:48-05:00Jul 31, 2019|

LGN Clothing Drive Benefits Ready for Success

LGN collected a wide variety of gently-used and new professional clothing, accessories, and new personal care items as part of a clothing drive benefiting Ready for Success, a program of Project for Pride in Living (PPL). Ready for Success provides low-income women and men with these donated items which are suitable for both job interviews and the workplace.

2019-08-06T09:51:12-05:00Jul 31, 2019|

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz visits LGN

LGN was pleased to welcome Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to our offices on July 17, 2019 for a special reception with the firm’s attorneys, staff, and clients.

Governor Walz visited with attendees on a wide range of issues facing the state, including education, transportation, and bonding. The Governor also visited with attendees on his experience working in a bipartisan manner with the Republican-controlled State Senate and the DFL-controlled State House.

2019-07-18T15:18:43-05:00Jul 18, 2019|

Lockridge Grindal Nauen named a 2019 Best Law Firm For Women by Working Mother

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is proud to announce Working Mother has named our firm among its “Best Law Firms for Women” for 2019. This recognition, given to only 60 firms throughout the country, signifies that LGN is a firm that uses best practices to recruit, retain, promote and develop women attorneys. To determine which firms are included in the list, the Working Mother Research Institute considers attorney demographics at different levels, schedule flexibility, paid time off and parental leaves, and development and retention of women.

“LGN has long been committed to building a firm that reflects the diversity of our community as well as the clients we serve. We are extremely proud that women make up half of LGN’s attorneys,” said Harry Gallaher, the firm’s managing partner. “As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, we have reaffirmed this commitment and our continued support of all the women and diverse employees at our firm.”

“It’s heartening to see the progress women lawyers are making at firms committed to fully utilizing these attorneys’ abilities,” said Meredith Bodgas, editor-in-chief of Working Mother. “The war for talent is increasing incentives for law firms to invest in retaining women lawyers, which is why we’re seeing more women’s initiatives and […]

2019-07-16T09:50:38-05:00Jul 16, 2019|

Five LGN Attorneys named North Star Lawyers for Pro Bono Work

The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) has recognized Stephanie Chen, Arielle Wagner, Kate Baxter-Kauf, Rachel Kitze Collins, Elizabeth Odette (not pictured) as North Star Lawyers for their pro bono work.

North Star Lawyers are MSBA members who have provided 50 hours or more of pro bono service to low-income individuals or organizations that serve economically disadvantaged individuals during the 2018 calendar year. Over 930 North Star Lawyers provided over 110,500 total hours of pro bono service with an estimated value of $27.6 million in free legal advice. Download the list of North Star Lawyers for 2018.

2019-07-15T16:37:23-05:00Jul 15, 2019|

13 LGN Attorneys recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, including four of the state’s Top 100 MN Super Lawyers and four of the Top 50 MN Women Super Lawyers

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is proud to announce that thirteen of the firm’s attorneys were selected as 2019 Minnesota Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

A special congratulations to LGN partners Charles Nauen, Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, and Karen Hanson Riebel who were named as four of Minnesota’s Top 100 Super Lawyers. This is the seventh year in a row that Charles Nauen has been named as a Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyer.

Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, Karen Hanson Riebel, and Heidi Silton were named as four of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Minnesota for the second year in a row. We are proud that this is the fifth year in a row in which at least three of LGN’s women partners have been recognized in this category.

LGN’s Super Lawyers

W. Joseph Bruckner, Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, H. Theodore Grindal, Richard Lockridge, Charles Nauen, Karen Hanson Riebel, Robert Shelquist, and Heidi Silton have been named Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers recognizes the top 5% of outstanding lawyers in […]

2019-07-08T15:43:16-05:00Jul 8, 2019|

Lockridge Grindal Nauen Welcomes Maureen Kane Berg, Kailey Mrosak, and Jessica Servais as the Firm’s Newest Attorneys

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is pleased to welcome Maureen Kane Berg, Jessica Servais, and Kailey Mrosak as the firm’s newest attorneys. Maureen Kane Berg practices in the firm’s data breach, antitrust law, business litigation and securities litigation practice groups. Ms. Berg graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Law School, after which she clerked for the Honorable E. Grady Jolly on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She has been a litigator for a large Chicago firm and a founding partner of a Birmingham, Alabama firm where she successfully represented the class of nearly 40 million people who had paid exorbitant late fees for video rentals at Blockbuster, Inc. During a hiatus from her legal career, Ms. Berg became a published and produced playwright. Ms. Berg resumed her legal career in 2017 and she is excited to be working on the cutting-edge cases brought by LGN on behalf of both individuals and businesses. Jessica Servais represents businesses, institutions, and consumers in complex […]

2019-07-02T16:39:01-05:00Jul 2, 2019|

Ted Grindal commemorates opening of Minikahda Club golf course with fellow board members

Ted Grindal was one of 12 past presidents to commemorate the opening of The Minikahda Club’s golf course Wednesday June 26th.  The membership voted to re-grass the golf course 19 months ago and the course has been closed 11 months. Ted was President of the Club during the initial closure and still serves on the Board of Governors of the Club as Immediate Past President.

Ted was one of the few lucky members to play the golf course immediately after the opening ceremony. Summer has now truly officially began with the course opening at The Minikahda Club.

2019-08-14T11:01:48-05:00Jun 28, 2019|

LGN’s Federal Relations Team Monitors Surprise Billing Legislation

LGN’s Federal Government Relations Group is closely monitoring the “surprise medical bills” legislation that is moving forward in the U.S. Senate and House with bipartisan support. These healthcare bills are noteworthy for two reasons. First, the bills could affect any Minnesotan with a self-insured employer-sponsored health plan. According to the ERISA Industry Committee, there are about 181 million Americans who get health care through their employer, and about 100 million of them are in self-insured plans.

Secondly, in a polarized political atmosphere and divided government, the “surprise medical bills” legislation is unique: it is significant healthcare policy with a chance of becoming law because there are bipartisan bills moving through both chambers of Congress and President Trump is publicly supportive. Further, adding pressure to the atmospherics around the bills, President Trump issued an executive order on June 24th to compel the disclosure of prices in health care. Among other things, the executive directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue a rule that would require hospitals to disclose actual prices that patients and insurers would pay in an easily understandable format and also require providers and insurers to share information on patients’ out-of-pocket costs prior to getting services.

The […]

2019-06-25T12:03:16-05:00Jun 25, 2019|

Ted Grindal co-presents CLE at MSBA Health Law Section Annual Meeting

LGN partner Ted Grindal co-presented a CLE session at the annual meeting of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Health Law section on May 29, 2019. The session, entitled “Minnesota Health Care at Tipping Point – 2019 Legislative Update” focused on recent changes to health care law passed during the recently concluded 2019 Minnesota legislative session.

Ted frequently speaks and presents on health care topics and has been named one of the state’s Top 100 Influential Health Care Leaders by Minnesota Physician.

2019-06-18T21:39:34-05:00Jun 18, 2019|

LGN supports MN Urban Debate League Mayors’ Challenge

LGN was proud to sponsor the Minnesota Urban Debate League’s Mayors’ Challenge Tournament on June 4, 2019. The event featured Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, the other guest judges who oversaw this year’s debate, and this year’s Champion of Change honoree, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.

LGN Partner Gregg Fishbein and Associate Kate Baxter-Kauf both serve on the Minnesota Urban Debate League’s Advisory Board. The MNUDL is a program of Augsburg University which provides resources and programming to support competitive academic debate in Twin Cities high schools and middle schools. The mission of MNUDL is to empower students through competitive academic debate to become engaged learners, critical thinkers, and active global citizens who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities. Currently, MNUDL serves more than 1000 students at 39 partner schools and has seen sustained growth in student participation since its inception in 2004.

2019-08-02T13:49:52-05:00Jun 6, 2019|

Kate Baxter-Kauf interviewed on Above the Law podcast

LGN attorney Kate Baxter-Kauf was interviewed on a recent episode of Above the Law’s “The Jabot” podcast, which focuses on the challenges women and other diverse populations face in the legal industry.

In the episode, Kate talks about her path to working in plaintiffs’ side work, getting through law school with an infant, and ways law firms can empower their women attorneys.

You can listen to the full episode here on Spotify or via Apple podcasts here.

2019-06-06T17:02:30-05:00Jun 6, 2019|

Charlie Nauen receives Hubert H. Humphrey Award

Congratulations to LGN partner Charlie Nauen on receiving the Minnesota DFL’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award. The award was presented at the DFL’s annual Humphrey-Mondale dinner before an audience of 1,500, including keynote speaker Nancy Pelosi, elected officials, party leaders, and representatives from Minnesota’s unions and businesses. Prior to his acceptance speech, Charlie was introduced via the following video featuring Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter as well as his friend and law partner Ted Grindal.

Please join us in congratulating Charlie on this great honor.

2019-06-03T22:13:05-05:00Jun 4, 2019|