James C. MacGillis

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business & Corporate Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A.
 | 8000 Flour Exchange Building, 310 Fourth Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: 612-455-0503
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2018
Selected to Rising Stars: 2006, 2009 - 2010
Licensed Since: 1998
Practice Areas:
  • Business/Corporate (40%),
  • Real Estate: Business (20%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employer (20%),
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (20%)
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • Spanish
Attorney Profile

As a shareholder attorney at Trepanier MacGillis Battina PA, James C. MacGillis is committed to representing clients in Minnesota, including the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. He focuses his practice on the corporate, employment, and litigation needs of entrepreneurs and growing businesses.


Mr. MacGillis earned a Bachelor of Arts from John Carroll University and graduated with honors. He went on to receive a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1997. A year later, he earned a Master of Arts in public affairs from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.


Jim focuses on addressing growing businesses' need for professional assistance with employment and corporate matters promptly, efficiently, and effectively. Mr. MacGillis has nearly two decades of experience helping new business owners and burgeoning companies navigate legal concerns. For two years, he served as a small business development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Honduras. This experience, along with his creativity and deep understanding of the law, enables Mr. MacGillis to effectively advocate on clients’ behalf and obtain a desirable outcome. Fluent in Spanish and familiar with small and medium businesses, he is adept at working with a variety of clients.


A published author of articles regarding corporate law, Mr. MacGillis has also given seminars to several organizations including the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education and the Hennepin County Bar Association’s Business & Securities Law Section. As a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Mr. MacGillis is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and the Minnesota Supreme Court. 


Jim served as section chair of the Business & Securities Law Section of the Hennepin County Bar Association from 2008 through 2010. He is currently co-chair of the HCBA Oversight Committee for the Lawyer Referral & Information Service. Additionally, Jim has spoken before classes at the University of St. Thomas New Venture MBA Program. Jim regularly volunteers with the Hennepin County Self-Help Expungement Clinic, assists low income clients through the Volunteer Lawyers Network, and works with qualified businesses as part of the the Minnesota State Bar Association’s LegalCorps program.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Business/Corporate (40%): Business Formation and Planning, Limited Liability Companies, Partnership, Sub-chapter S Corporations, Contracts, Business Organizations

Real Estate (20%)

Employment & Labor (20%)

Mergers & Acquisitions (20%)

Focus Areas

Business Formation and Planning, Limited Liability Companies, Partnership, Sub-chapter S Corporations, Contracts, Business Organizations


Selected to Super Lawyers for 2 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 3 years

Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2018 Rising Stars: 2006, 2009 - 2010

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About James MacGillis

Admitted: 1998, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: http://trepanierlaw.com/james-c-macgillis/

Honors and Awards:

  • John Carroll University Honors Scholar
  • Alpha Signa Nu – Jesuit Honor Society

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1997
  • District of Minnesota, 1994
  • Minnesota Supreme Court, 1994
  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees
  • MacGillis Family Foundation (director)
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry
  • Minnesota Department of Human Rights
  • Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
  • Minnesota Board of Nursing Review
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • American Arbitration Association
  • HCBA Oversight Committee, Co-Chair
  • Hennepin County Bar Association Business & Securities Law Section, Co-Chair, 2009-2010

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • North Oaks Homeowners Association - Board of Directors, 2016
  • Cub Scouts Den Leader
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network - volunteer at Hennepin County District Court Self-Help Clinic

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • "Annual Business Renewals Will Prevent Administrative Dissolution by Secretary of State", Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (August 1, 2014)
  • "Stock Transfer to Spouse to Dilute Stock Levied Against by Creditors Violated Minnesota Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act", Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (August 28, 2014)
  • "The Trouble with Equality: 50-50 “Partnerships” and the Dangers of Impasse", Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (September 1, 2014)
  • "Unjust Enrichment Claim Not a Viable Alternative to Piercing Corporate Veil", Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (January 12, 2015)
  • "Minnesota Court of Appeals Holds Attorney Personally Liable for Law Firm Judgment", Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (August 17, 2015)
  • "Tips for Preventing, Deterring, and Identifying Employee Fraud", Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (June 1, 2015)
  • “The Dilemma of Disparity: Applying the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to Sentence Departures Based on HIV Infection,” Minnesota Law Review (v. 81, 1996)
  • “Supreme Court Clarifies ADA Definition of Disability,” Hinshaw & Culbertson Labor & Employment Update (August 1999)
  • “ADA Claim Not Barred by SSDI Disability Claim,” Hinshaw & Culbertson Labor & Employment Update (June 1999)
  • “Switching Gears: Trading in the View from the Office,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota (March 2002)
  • "Settling for an Unsecured Judgment May Be Unsettling," Trepanier Law Office Business Law Update (September 3, 2002)
  • "Agreements to Agree: Are they Enforceable?" Trepanier Law Office Business Law Update (January 9, 2003)
  • “Hip, Hip, HIPAA! Will You Be in Compliance by April 14, 2003?” Minnesota Transport Services Association Newsletter (March 2003)
  • “Non – Compete Agreements: Can They Be Assigned Under Minnesota Law?” The Hennepin Lawyer (August 2009)
  • “8th Circuit Rejects S Corporation Owner’s Characterization of Reasonable Compensation,” Trepanier & MacGillis Website (May 1, 2012)
  • “Employers Free to Disclaim Future Changes to Handbook Provisions,” Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (May 9, 2012)
  • “Eighth Circuit Limits Definition of “Fiduciary” in Creditor’s Effort to Declare Debt Nondischargeable,” Trepanier & MacGillis Website (July 30, 2012)
  • “Considerations for Incorporating Your Entity in Delaware vs. Minnesota,” Trepanier & MacGillis Website (August 1, 2012)
  • “Life is a Circular Thing: Eighth Circuit BAP Finds Creditors’ New Value Contributed By Other Creditors,” Trepanier & MacGillis Website (November 14, 2012)
  • “It’s Time to Update Your Corporate Minute Book,” Trepanier & MacGillis Website (January 1, 2013)
  • “U.S. Supreme Court Decision Narrows Definition of Supervisor,” Trepanier & MacGillis Website (July 11, 2013)
  • “New Notice Requirements for Employers Under the ACA,” Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (Oct. 1, 2013)
  • “Governor Dayton Approves Minnesota Adoption of Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act,” Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (May 6, 2014)
  • "How to Avoid Exposure to the 3.8% Passive Investor Tax," Trepanier MacGillis Battina Website (June 1, 2014)
  • “Contract Drafting for Public Procurement Officers,” Minnesota Chapter of the National Institute of Government Purchasing (Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 1999)
  • "Business Structures for the Entrepreneur," New Venture MBA program at the University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sept. 1999, Feb. 2000, Sept. 2001, Sept. 2002)
  • "Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace," Ridgeview Medical Center Business Medicine Division (Chaska, Minnesota, December 2002)
  • "The Assignability of Non – Compete Agreements in Minnesota," Hennepin County Bar Association Business & Securities Law Section (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2009)
  • “Selecting a Business Entity for Your New Firm,” Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 30, 2012)
  • "Starting Your Own Solo or Small Firm Practice," Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 11, 2012)
  • Minnesota Law Review, Managing Editor

Representative Clients:

  • Software developers, computer service firms, trucking and storage companies, bio-energy consultants and developers, retail business owners, 2010


Educational Background:

  • MA in Public Affairs, University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, 1998
  • John Carroll University, B.A. cum laude, 1992

Industry Groups

  • Construction And Remodeling
  • Medical Technology
  • Restaurant
  • Software
  • Trucking
Office Location for James C. MacGillis

8000 Flour Exchange Building
310 Fourth Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-455-0503


James C. MacGillis:

Last Updated: 4/19/2018

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