SEB updated
  • Sarah E. Bushnell
  • Shareholder
  • Chair - Business Litigation
    Chair - Employment Law
  • Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 612-375-5913  direct dial
  • 612-339-7655  fax

vCard Print Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A.

Sarah focuses her practice on efficiently solving a variety of complicated business and employment problems consistent with her clients’ goals. Sarah also defends professionals in regulatory investigations and malpractice actions. Clients appreciate Sarah’s creativity and skill and the time she takes to discuss the legal process and strategic options with them – from before a case goes into litigation and through all appropriate appeals. She has been selected for inclusion on the Minnesota Super Lawyers® list for the years 2013-2022 and is included on the Top 50: Women Minnesota Super Lawyers® list for 2016 and 2019.

Sarah volunteers for the domestic abuse ministry at her church. Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.

Selected for inclusion on the Minnesota Super Lawyers® list, 2013-2022 
Selected for inclusion on the Minnesota Rising Stars® list, 2007, 2008, 2012
Selected for inclusion on the Top 50: Women Minnesota Super Lawyers® list, 2016, 2019


Harvard Law School, J.D., 2002
Northwestern College, B.S., 1999

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts, 2003
Minnesota, 2003
Wisconsin, 2018
Supreme Court of the United States, 2015
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2005
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2016
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2015
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2016
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2017
Wisconsin Supreme Court, 2018


  • "Effective Drafting for Employment Settlement Agreements," Bench & Bar of Minnesota, July 2017
  • “Loss of Chance, New Medical Malpractice Risk in Minnesota,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota, November 2013
  • “Arbitration Agreements & Collective Action: The Consumer, the Class, and the FAA,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota, November 2011

Professional Associations and Memberships

Centennial Theatre Boosters, Vice President
Christian Legal Society of Minnesota 
Christian Legal Society (National)
Federal Bar Association
Harvard Club of Minnesota
Hennepin County Bar Association
Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Trial Academy, 2017 Faculty
Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association

Minnesota State Bar Association
Supreme Court Bar Association



Representative Cases

Dickhausen v. St. Paul Pub. Sch., et al., A19-0403, 2019 WL 4008050, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2019). Affirming summary judgment in favor of defendant employer on MHRA retaliatory discharge claims.

Rosario v. Kariel Staging & Decor, Inc., 2017 WL 4839114, at *1 (Minn.Dist.Ct.). Substituted as trial counsel for defendant employer after summary judgment was denied on claims of retaliatory discharge, failure to pay overtime, and unlawful deduction from final paycheck; the court found in favor of defendant on the retaliatory discharge claim and ordered defendant to pay $77.85 in overtime with attorney fees but finding that “[d]efendant acted in good faith” with respect to the overtime claim.

Ritter v. Auntie Ruth’s Furry Friends (Hennepin County District Court File No: 27-CV-13-15423). Obtained summary judgment against age discrimination and retaliation claims; Court of Appeals reversed; obtained a district court ruling that amendment to Minnesota Human Rights Act creating a right to jury trial was not retroactive and the prior bench trial provision was not unconstitutional; won complete defense verdict after the subsequent bench trial.

Albert v. Meridian Services Inc., No. 0:12-cv-02704-DWF-JJK (D. Minn. May 13, 2014). Summary judgment for defendant on claims of retaliation and age, race, national origin, and disability discrimination.

Albert v. Principal Fin. Grp., No. CIV. 12-1224 DWF/FLN, Doc. 174 (D. Minn. May 29, 2015)
Obtained permanent litigation injunction against employee who brought serial litigation against former employer and others.

Ritter v. Auntie Ruth's Animal Care and Wellness, Inc. d/b/a Auntie Ruth's Furry Friends, File No: 27-CV-13-15423 (Henn. County May 8, 2015)
Successfully defended against constitutional challenge to the judge trial provision of the Minnesota Human Rights Act and won a complete defense verdict after a bench trial.

Zutz v. Nelson, No. A14-0573, 2014 WL 7344058 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2014), rev. denied (Mar. 25, 2015), cert. denied petition (U.S.), Oct. 5, 2015
Successfully attained and defended summary judgment for defendants in seven year old defamation case and obtained appellate ruling that defendants engaged in public participation within the meaning of the Anti-SLAPP law, opening the way for a defensive attorneys’ fees award.

Albert v. Principal Fin. Grp., 586 F. App'x 255 (8th Cir. 2014)
Successfully defended summary judgment in favor of employer on ERISA claims by former employee.

Unity Healthcare, Inc. v. Cnty. of Hennepin, No. 14-CV-114 JNE/JJK, 2014 WL 6775293 (D. Minn. Dec. 2, 2014)
Obtained Rule 12 dismissal of race discrimination claims in business interference case.

Tarek ibn Ziyad Acad. v. Islamic Relief USA, 794 F. Supp. 2d 1044 (D. Minn. 2011)
Successfully defended charter school authorizer against school’s motion for preliminary injunction based on constitutional, contract, and tort claims; action voluntarily dismissed.

TCF Nat’l Bank v. Bernanke, 643 F.3d 1158 (8th Cir. 2011) 
Represented debit card issuer on expedited appeal of denial of preliminary injunction on constitutional challenge to the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 that reduced debit interchange fees below cost.

Am. Civil Liberties Union of Minn. v. Tarek ibn Ziyad Acad., 788 F. Supp. 2d 950 (D. Minn. 2011) 
Obtained affirmative summary judgment on contractual indemnification claim after more than two years of complex and contentious constitutional litigation that attracted significant media attention.

Pellett v. TCF Bank, N.A., No. 0:10-cv-03943-DSD-FLN, Doc. 58 (D. Minn. Nov. 24, 2010) 
Successfully objected to magistrate judge order staying determination of motion to compel individual arbitration of purported class action claims pending Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) ruling on transfer of the case to a multidistrict litigation in Florida; individual arbitration compelled and conditional transfer order of JPML ultimately vacated.

Mala Geoscience AB v. Witten Tech., Inc., No. 06‐1343(RMC), 2007 WL 1576318 (D.D.C. May 30, 2007)
Lead firm for petitioner on successful motion to partially vacate AAA arbitration award where arbitrator exceeded his authority by arbitrating in Washington, D.C. a dispute the parties had agreed to arbitrate exclusively in Sweden

Crosstown Holding Co. et al. v. Associated Banc‐Corp., No. A‐05‐2317, 2006 WL 2405835 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 22, 2006)
Defended purchaser of bank branches against claims by unsuccessful competing bidder; judgment on the pleadings based on collateral estoppel ordered and affirmed on appeal.

Witzman v. Krohnke et al., No. A04‐1407, 2005 WL 757892 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 5, 2005)
Successfully represented Faegre & Benson and one of its retired partners in former client’s appeal of summary judgment on multimillion dollar legal malpractice claims.

Practice Areas

Legal Team