Susan M. Coler

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment & Labor Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Halunen Law
 | 80 South Eighth Street, Suite 1650
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-605-4098
Fax: 612-605-4099
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2004, 2006, 2008 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1991
Practice Areas:
  • Employment & Labor: Employee (50%),
  • Health Care (30%),
  • Government Contracts (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    Attorney Susan M. Coler is a Partner and member of the Halunen Law Qui Tam/False Claims Act (FCA) Practice Group, a team of attorneys solely dedicated to litigating False Claims Act and other whistleblower cases across the country. She represents whistleblowers who challenge illegal corporate conduct, including fraud against the government from a variety of industries such as procurement, defense, small business, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals.

    Susan represented a relator in an FCA claim against Abbott Laboratories that resulted in a civil settlement of $800 million (total settlement of $1.5 billion). It was the fifth largest civil healthcare recovery ever achieved under the FCA. Her expertise also takes her to less visible but significant cases and causes across the United States.

    As a Labor and Employment Law Specialist, Susan has also brought successful retaliation claims in connection with qui tam/FCA cases and as stand-alone actions. Susan regularly speaks at local, regional, and national legal conferences on whistleblower-related topics, the False Claims Act, and employment law. Susan received the 2015 Karla Wahl Dedicated Advocacy Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association. She is rated as AV®-Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review, has been named to the Super Lawyer list every year since 2008, and is named on the Super Lawyer’s list of Top 50 Women Attorneys in Minnesota.

    After graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in music from Loyola University Chicago, Ms. Coler earned master’s degrees in music history and pastoral studies. She received her law degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, graduating cum laude and serving on the Northwestern University Law Review. She holds a law license in both Minnesota and Illinois.

    *AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 50%Employment & Labor: Employee
    • 30%Health Care
    • 20%Government Contracts
    Focus Areas

    Whistleblower, Hospital Law, Nursing Home, Health & Health Care Law


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 17 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2004, 2006, 2008 - 2021

    Certificates and Credentials

    MSBA Board Certified Specialists

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    About Susan Coler

    Admitted: 1991, Minnesota

    Professional Webpage:


    • Super Lawyer, 2008
    • Karla R. Wahl Dedicated Advocacy Award, Annual award given by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association to honor someone who exemplifies dedicated advocacy, 2015
    • AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
    • Northwestern University School of Law, Cum Laude, Order of the Coif

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    •  MSBA Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Federal Bar Association
    • National Employment Lawyers Association, Minnesota Chapter
    • National Employment Lawyers Association
    • Tax Payers Against Fraud
    • Minnesota
    • Illinois
    • Board Member for Gender Justice since 2014

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Board Member and Chair of Legal Advisory Committee for non-profit agency, Gender Justice, 2020

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • “Hot Topics in Electronic Discovery,” Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, 2008
    • Overview of recent cases, recent DOJ guidance, and settlement issues , Panelist, Developments in Qui Tam Law, Gray Plant Mooty Health Law Conference, Health Law Attorneys And Compliance Personnel, 2019
    • Overview of information that will help employment lawyers assist employees in identifying whether they have a claim under the False Claims Act and whether they have experienced retaliation as prohibited by the Act., Panelist, “False Claims Act 101 – What’s a Whistleblower to Do?” Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, 2018., Plaintiff's Employment Lawyers, 2019
    • Northwestern Law Review, Northwestern University School of Law, 1987 – 1989
    • “False Claims Act 101 – What’s a Whistleblower to Do?” Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, 2018
    • “The MHRA Right to a Jury Trial—When Does It Apply?” Minnesota NELA, 2014
    • “The False Claims Act – Opportunities and Pratfalls,” Minnesota Association for Justice, 35thAnnual Convention, 2017
    • "Attacking Mass Layoffs," NELA' National Convention, 2009
    • "Representing Immigrant Workers: The Intersection of Employment, Immigration and Human Trafficking Law,"Minn. NELA Monthly Meeting, 2008
    • "High-Caliber Litigation of Employment Cases in an Ever Expanding E-World," NELA Eighth Circuit Conference, 2008
    • "Rethinking Remedies: Effective Approaches to Changing a Discriminatory Workplace," Strategic Conference on Title VII Class Actions, Impact Fund 2007
    • "Attacking Releases and Waivers: A Plaintiff’s Perspective," Employment Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, 2007
    • "Class Actions: Do Big Cases Against Big Defendants Get a Small Office, Big Money, Big Problems or Both?" NELA Eighth Circuit Conference, 2006
    • "Handling Class Actions Under the ADEA," Impact Litigation: Representing Workers in Class, Collective & Multiple Plaintiff Actions, NELA, 2005
    • "Developments in Minnesota Whistleblower Law," MSBA Mid-Winter Labor and Employment Section Lunch Meeting, 2005
    • "Punitive Damages After Kolstad," Employment Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, 2002
    • "Resisting and Limiting Defense Access to Medical and Other Private Information," NELA National Convention, 2001
    • "Handling Class Actions under the ADEA," Employee Rights and Employment Law Journal (Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology) (With Laurie A. McCann, Cathy Ventrell-Monsees) ,Vol. 10, Number 2/ 2006.
    • There's No Smoking Gun: Proving Discrimination & Retaliation by Pretext, National NELA Convention, 2016
    • New Developments in the False Claims Act and Retaliation, NELA 8th Circuit Conference, 2012
    • “Recent Developments: Retaliation and Post-Dukes Class Litigation”, Minnesota CLE Webcast, 2012
    • Cutting-Edge ADEA Issues in Litigation, Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2014
    • Pratfalls, Cat's Paws, and Fact Questions: Maximizing the Potential in Employee Retaliation Claims, Minnesota CLE Telecast, 2016
    • Whistleblowers and the False Claims Act, Legal Journal on Business 1570, 2013
    • Tips and Strategies for Intersectional Discrimination Claims, Minnesota NELA, 2014
    • There's No Smoking Gun: Plaintiff's Perspective on Proving Discrimination and Retaliation by Pretext, Minnesota Employment Law Institute, 2015
    • Practical Issues in Damages Calculations, Taxpayers Against Fraud National Conference, 2017
    • Resisting and Limiting Defense Access to Medical and Other Private Information, NELA National Convention, 2001
    • The False Claims Act -- Opportunities and Pratfalls, National Association for Justice, 35th Annual Convention, 2017
    • Employment Law: Navigating Lincoln's Law -- The False Claims Act for Employment Lawyers, Minnesota CLE Webcast, 2017
    • Not to be Overlooked -- The Nuts and Bolts of 3730(h) Claims, Taxpayers Against Fraud National Conference, 2016
    • Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, False Claims Act 101 – What’s a Whistleblower to Do?, 2018
    • "Ethical Issues in Class Actions," NELA National Convention, 2010
    • "Family Responsibilities Discrimination:  New Resources and another Lens for Analyzing and Winning Gender and Caregiver Discrimination Cases," Minn. NELA Monthly Meeting, 2009

    Educational Background:

    • University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, M.M., Music History
    • Loyola University, M.P.S., Pastoral Studies
    • Mundelein College, B.A., Music, summa cum Laude

    Industry Groups

    • Compliance
    • Government Contracting
    • Health Care
    • Pharmaceuticals
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    Office Location for Susan M. Coler

    80 South Eighth Street
    Suite 1650
    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    Phone: 612-605-4098

    Fax: 612-605-4099

    Susan M. Coler:

    Last Updated: 5/13/2021

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