Shannon M. McDonough


(952) 995-9500

Shannon's Assistant
Judy Skogmo

Shannon McDonough is the head of FMJ’s Employment and Litigation practice groups and is well-known for approaching her clients’ issues creatively, strategically, and passionately. She practices in the areas of unfair competition, employment litigation, commercial litigation, and employment and HR advising. Her practice is national in scope, having litigated or otherwise handled legal matters for her clients in over 38 states. Shannon’s number one priority is to position her clients for a favorable and optimal result. To do that, Shannon aggressively but practically prepares her cases to go to trial, which enables her clients to secure those favorable and optimal results by way of settlement, summary judgment or a verdict following trial.

Shannon’s unfair competition and commercial litigation practice includes representing companies or individuals facing disputes related to the enforcement of restrictive covenants or handling of all types of business disputes. She has a proven track record and a recognizable ability to quickly resolve disputes for her clients, large and small, which makes her a force in the legal community. Shannon’s unfair competition practice is fast-paced and she is prepared to quickly respond to issues, including violations of non-compete or non-solicitation agreements and allegations of taking trade secrets or other confidential company property. Shannon is prepared to promptly issue and/or respond to cease-and-desist letters, as well as seek or defend temporary restraining orders and injunctions in order to protect her clients’ rights.

As an employment litigator, she has defended employers in a variety of employment-related actions in both state and federal courts across the country. She has also handled charges involving the EEOC, Minnesota Human Rights Department and other state and federal agencies. Such litigation and administrative matters have included claims for: (i) discrimination based upon age, race, national origin, disability, gender and religion; (ii) sexual harassment (same sex and opposite sex) and other hostile work environment claims; (iii) ADA claims; (iv) FMLA retaliation claims; (v) whistleblower claims; (vi) ADEA claims; (vii) wage claims; (viii) violations of restrictive covenants; (ix) misappropriation of trade secrets; (x) breach of fiduciary duty and the duty of loyalty; and (xi) minority shareholder claims.

In addition to litigation, Shannon advises employers and provides training on proper hiring and firing procedures, harassment prevention, and other human rights issues. She also regularly represents individuals in analyzing and negotiating employment and separation agreements, or handling other disputes with their employers. Shannon has also served as a speaker on behalf of various organizations regarding employment-related topics.

Shannon is a co-founder of “FMJ Uncorked: A Night of Women, Wine, and Wisdom”, which is an event designed to connect business women from all types of industries. In addition to the event, Shannon co-created “FMJ Women Uncorked”, which is a newsletter for women in the business community that discusses various lifestyle and career topics.

Shannon was recognized early on as one of Minnesota’s “Rising Stars” in the legal profession from 1999 to 2002, and she has been named a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2003. In addition, she was named one of the Top 100 Minnesota Women Super Lawyers in 2009.


She is also a Fellow with Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society with limited membership, representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.

Drake University (BS magna cum laude 1992)
Drake University Law School (JD with honors 1995)

State Bar Admissions:
Minnesota State Bar (1995)

Federal Bar Admissions:
US District Court, District of Minnesota (1996)
US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (2002)
US District Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (2004)
US District Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit (2007)
US District Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit (2011)

Professional Memberships and Associations:
Order of the Coif
Phi Beta Kappa
Omicron Delta Kappa
Douglas K. Amdahl Inn of Court (2002-present)
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Member, The Trial Law Institute
Member, Diversity Law Institute
Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Pro Bono Representation:
Pro bono employment counsel to Hope Chest for Breast Cancer (2014 – present)

Practice Philosophy:
“I am a problem solver. I am fully prepared to aggressively defend my clients’ rights, but I am also reasonable and pragmatic in my approach. To obtain the best possible result for my client, I believe it’s important to listen to my clients concerning their issues, goals, and needs so that I can consider and implement multiple legal avenues and creative options to achieve their desired results.”

The Rest of the Story:
Shannon is a “foodie.” She loves trying out new restaurants and is always looking for the next new place in town. She also enjoys playing golf (which, for us Minnesotans, lasts about two months out of the year), and traveling with her family and friends. In fact, she almost always has a trip somewhere scheduled down the horizon and is preparing for her next adventure. An avid baseball fan, one of Shannon’s goals is to eventually visit every ballpark in the MLB. Her favorite one is, of course, Target Field, but Fenway Park is a close second.