Neal Buethe focuses his practice on employment, benefits and labor, nonprofit and education matters. He practices principally in the areas of:

  • Employment litigation and counseling
  • Nonprofit organization and education law
  • Trust litigation
  • Executive contract review, drafting and negotiation
  • Commercial litigation and shareholder disputes

Neal has more than 35 years of experience in complex commercial litigation and employment law cases, both trial and appeal. He has litigated major shareholder disputes (with particular experience in disputes between medical professionals); discrimination, arbitration, and harassment suits; employee theft claims; the enforcement of covenants not to compete; and significant trust cases, serving as counsel to both beneficiaries and trustees.

In addition to his litigation work, a large percentage of Neal’s practice involves representing several major private foundations, public charities, religious organizations, and social service agencies as their general counsel. He advises these clients on corporate governance, tax compliance, employment, and other aspects of nonprofit law and has specific familiarity with unique legal issues regarding religious organizations. He also has been counsel to the members of a statewide professional educators’ association for more than 35 years and handled more than 150 cases in that role.

Neal is a qualified neutral under Minnesota Practice Rule 114. He is an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School, where he teaches appellate advocacy.

Neal has published employment law articles in Minnesota Bench & Bar, William Mitchell Law Review, and Hamline Law Review. Since 1989, his article on “Covenants Not to Compete in the Sale of a Business” has been used nationwide in the Matthew Bender Business Torts series.

Previously, Neal was a clerk with the Minnesota Supreme Court. While in law school, he was an editor of the Notre Dame Law Review and received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers award.


  • Honoree, Chambers USA: Labor & Employment, Recognized Practitioner

  • Honoree, Top Lawyers, Labor and Employment Law, Minnesota Monthly (2022 – present)

  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Labor Law – Management (2013 – present)

  • Honoree, Minnesota Super Lawyers


  • University of Notre Dame Law School (1985)
  • University of Notre Dame, M.A. (1982)
  • College of St. Thomas, B.A., summa cum laude (1980)


  • State - Minnesota
  • Federal - 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - District of Minnesota

Notable Matters

  • Defended employer against claims of disability discrimination, reprisal and aiding and abetting, violation of Minnesota’s whistleblower statute, negligence and intentional interference with economic advantage.
  • Represent a major state-wide Foundation as its general counsel.
  • Represent major Twin Cities public charities as its general counsel.
  • Represented political associations and parties in recount campaign finance and PAC matters.
  • Representing a religious community involving general employment matters, including in regard to insurance matters, personnel issues and compliance with Minnesota law.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association


  • Minnesota State Bar Association

    Member, Certified Labor and Employment Specialist

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys


  • St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

    Board Member

Community Involvement

  • Ramsey County District Court

    Conciliation Court Referee (2005-present)