Elizabeth Sorenson Brotten

Managing Partner

Liz Sorenson Brotten is Managing Partner of Foley Mansfield's Minneapolis office, a member of the firm's Executive Committee, and the chair of the firm's Product Liability Practice Group. She devotes her practice to defending product manufacturers, suppliers, and installers in high-risk product liability and toxic tort cases. Her experience includes serving as national coordinating counsel in the defense of asbestos claims pending throughout the country and defending one of the largest product liability lawsuits in North Dakota history following a catastrophic train derailment. Liz defends clients in asbestos, benzene, and Legionnaire's Disease cases throughout the upper Midwest. She has tried cases to verdict in both Minnesota and North Dakota courts.

Liz is also experienced in defending commercial disputes throughout the upper Midwest, including the representation of manufacturers in breach-of-contract claims and claims of violations of dealership protection laws. A native of northwestern North Dakota, Liz assists clients in agricultural and oil and gas industries with drafting and negotiating agreements vital to their business operations.

Liz is a leader in both state and national defense organizations. She serves on the Defense Research Institute’s Women in the Law and Toxic Tort & Environmental Law national steering committees. Locally, Liz serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association and co-founded its Women in the Law committee.

Within the community, Liz has served on the board of directors of the Hennepin County Bar Foundation, which promotes equal access to justice for the people of Hennepin County, and Norway House, a national education center that serves the greater community of Norwegian-Americans. Liz has also traveled to rural Guatemala as a volunteer, to assist with the construction of infrastructure projects.

An Academic All-American distance runner in college, Liz enjoys competing in races and traveling. She has completed the Boston and Chicago Marathons.

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  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Montana
  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, District of Montana
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Toxic Tort / Mass Tort
  • Product Liability
  • William Mitchell College of Law, JD, magna cum laude, 2006
  • Concordia College, B.A., Psychology & Political Science, summa cum laude, 2003
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Steering Committee
  • Women in the Law Steering Committee
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA):
    Board of Directors
    Co-Founder, Women in the Law Committee
  • Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. Marti, 162 F. Supp. 3d 868 (D. Minn. 2016).
  • BNSF Railway Co. v. Standard Steel LLC, Case No. 09-2015-CV-03337 (Cass Cty. N.D.).
  • James Rheault v. A.O. Smith Corporation, et al., 09-2014-CV-01773 (Cass Cty. N.D.).
  • Judy Geier, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Douglas Geier v. A.H. Bennett Co., et al., 09-2014-CV-01765 (Cass Cty. N.D.). 
  • Shirley Mertz v. 999 Quebec, Inc., et al., 780 N.W.2d 446 (N.D. 2009).
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association President's Award, 2018 & 2020
  • Minnesota Rising Stars®, 2011-2020
  • Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota, Super Lawyers, 2012-2020
  • Up & Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer, 2010
  • DRI On-Demand CLE, Co-Presenter, Succession Planning: Failing to Plan is a Plan to Fail (2023).
  • Minnesota State Bar Association CLE, Navigating Workplace Well-Being in a Remote Hybrid World (Feb. 2, 2023).
  • Perrin Conferences National Asbestos Litigation Conference, Panelist, Young Lawyers Lunch (Sept. 2022).
  • DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar, Co-Presenter, Asbestos Medicine 101: Strategies for Defending “Other Cancer” and Asbestosis Claims (Nov. 14, 2019).
  • The National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) Annual Conference, Co-Presenter, Double Trouble: Plaintiffs’ Two-Prong Attack on Products that Integrate Talc & Asbestos (Sept. 27).
  • Perrin National Asbestos Litigation Conference, Moderator, The Insurance & In-House Counsel Perspectives Roundtable (Oct. 1, 2018).
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) Trial Techniques Seminar, Co-Presenter, Partnering for Success: Managing Relationships between In-House Counsel and Outside Counsel,  (August 16-18, 2017).
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI) Asbestos Medicine Seminar, Co-Panelist, Take Home101 (November 2, 2017).
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) Trial Techniques Seminar, Leaning in to Your Career (August 28, 2017).
  • Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association (EECMA) Annual Conference, Co-Presenter, Homeward Bound:  The Risk of Household Exposure Claims in Asbestos Litigation (April 27, 2017).
  • DRI Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Seminar, Moderator, Science as a Second Language: How to Teach the Jury about Uncertainty and Science (March 24, 2017).
  • The National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) Annual Conference, Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Litigation Update (September 23, 2016).
  • Minnesota State Bar Association CLE, The View from 10 Years Out – How to Set Yourself Up for Early Success (September 8, 2016)
  • Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Board Member
  • Norway House, Founder's Council Member, Past Board Member
  • Bridge Builders Guatemala, Volunteer
  • A Matter of Trust: North Dakota’s Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Transparency Act’s Disclosure Requirements Survive Constitutional Challenge, IADC Civil Justice Response and Toxic & Hazardous Substances Litigation Newsletter (Jan. 2021).
  • Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: Are E-Cigarettes an Emerging Mass Toxic Tort?  HarrisMartin’s MDL Mass Tort & Class Action Monitor (Aug. 28, 2020).
  • Minnesota Chapter, Product Liability Defenses: A State-by-State Compendium, DRI (2018).
  • Destination: Outside Your Comfort Zone, Super Lawyers Magazine, Florida, 2019. Read this article.
  • Talc and Ovarian Cancer: A Products Liability Powder Keg? Minnesota Defense, Vol. 37, Issue 3 (Fall 2016)
  • Colleague Corner: “Reputation Building Begins on Day One,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota (Nov. 2016).
  • North Dakota Chapter, Duty to Defend Compendium, Defense Research Institute (2016).
  • Depositions of In-House Counsel, Deposition Manual, Defense Research Institute (2016).

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