Sarah is a member of the Litigation practice group in DeWitt’s Minneapolis office. She focuses her practice in general civil litigation, with an emphasis in construction law and personal injury defense. She takes pride in working with clients to provide legal services with responsiveness and cost-efficiency. A strategic thinker by nature, Sarah is well-versed in high-level motion practice, as well as being a go-to attorney for discovery planning and trial preparation.
Sarah regularly represents general contractors, engineers, subcontractors, and homebuilders on cases related to residential and commercial buildings, associations, and data centers. For construction industry clients, Sarah is adept at working with clients and expert witnesses to determine true damages and contractual delineation of duties to aid in settlement positioning.
In her general litigation practice, Sarah has defended individual and corporate clients on a national counsel and local counsel basis in a variety of matters ranging from wrongful death to dram shop to products liability/warranty in courts across the country. Her experience as national counsel for several restaurant and retail chains gives her a unique perspective on issues facing those industries.
Sarah has additional experience in the area of creditor’s rights and remedies, leveraging her background in debt collection to assist individuals and businesses in pursuing and enforcing judgments. She has also defended creditors against FDCPA claims, and handles workers’ compensation subrogation and general insurance subrogation claims for select clients.
- Mediated settlement of complex construction defect matter for large subcontractor client relating to condominium project with damage claim exceeding $5 million.
- Successfully pursued claims for defense and indemnity on behalf of general contractor against subcontractors as additional insureds to obtain contribution to defense costs and settlement in construction defect case with damage claim exceeding $20 million.
- Secured dismissal for architect client sued on construction defect matter relating to condominium project based on expert evidence that showed construction did not match plan documents.
- Cost-effective early settlement of payment bond claims on behalf of principal and surety sued on large public works project.
- Contract drafting and review of agreements for construction clients, including bid packages and contract documents for public projects, and purchase agreements for homebuilders.
- Successfully opposed motion to compel, opposed motion for default judgment, and vacated administrative default leading to favorable settlement for seller of used machine in wrongful death/product liability matter.
- Drafted successful summary judgment motion that dismissed claims against railroad company that exposure to diesel exhaust caused lung cancer, based on argument that plaintiff had lack of sufficient expert opinion.
- When engineering client had acted as an expert for developer’s counsel, only to be sued for subrogation by the same counsel acting for developer’s insurer, served a motion to disqualify opposing counsel leading to voluntarily withdrawal and favorable settlement.
- Secured hundreds of judgments in favor of creditor clients in consumer debt matters, both original creditors and debt buyers, including over 400 conciliation court appearances and extensive summary judgment motion practice in courts across Minnesota.
- Successfully opposed numerous exemption claims on bank garnishment and wage garnishments to secure release of funds for creditor clients.
Sarah takes pro bono service seriously, as has been certified as a North Star Lawyer, a program recognizing attorneys who provide essential volunteer legal services by meeting or exceeding 50 hours of pro bono service per year.
Sarah regularly volunteers with the Minnesota Assistance Counsel for Veterans VETLAW program, providing pro bono legal clinics to advise veterans on a variety of issues, including personal injury claims, general civil litigation, criminal expungement, and estate planning.
Sarah is the Minneapolis office firm captain for the Fund for Legal Aid’s Associate Campaign, which aims to bring awareness and funding to Minnesota Legal Aid programs.
Sarah has also handled matters for private clients on a pro bono basis, including pursuing property damage matters on behalf of veterans, and defending a sub-leasee in a fire damage case through summary judgment and appeal.
Articles and Presentations
- “Tender Tales: Pursuing and Responding to Requests for Defense and Indemnity.” Presentation for Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Retail and Hospitality Section, May 17, 2018. A look at common ways rights to defense and indemnity arise in the context of retail and hospitality cases, and what strategies can be employed on either side of the exchange.
- “Professional Liability Law.” Presentation for HalfMoon Education as part of Engineering Law and Ethics program, May 10, 2018. Discussing the grounds and requirements for professional liability claims against engineers in Minnesota, including types of claimants, damages available, defenses, and interplay of insurance on claims process.
- “Getting to Know Sarah Roeder.” Hennepin Lawyer Magazine, January-February 2018. Cover article focusing on Sarah’s leadership and work as the Chair of the Hennepin County Bar Association’s 2,000+-member New Lawyers Section.
- Moderator: “Health Care Law Basics and Careers.” Panel presentation for Minnesota State Bar Association New Lawyers Section, October 13, 2016.
- “Meet HCBA Member... Sarah Roeder.” Hennepin County Bar Association, October 3, 2016. Interview with Nick Hansen of the HCBA regarding the importance of networking and community involvement in building practical skills and confidence for new lawyers.
- “Builders’ Rights Under Minnesota’s Right to Repair Statute.” Attorney at Law Magazine – Twin Cities Edition, March 2015. A look at the obligations – and limitations – under Minnesota’s Right to Repair law, including advice for builders for investigation and handling of warranty claims under Minnesota Statute Chapter 327A.
- “Mediation and Settlement 101: Know Your Options.” Presentation for Builders Association of the Twin Cities, January 27, 2015. A program focused on the challenges and opportunities to settlement in construction and engineering cases, including negotiations, and what types of agreements can be used to resolve a claim.