Meet The Authors


Megan Anderson

After I became a lawyer, I got a fortune cookie with a fortune that read “You would make a good lawyer.” As fortune would have it, I was lucky to have already chosen to be an attorney – a job that combines my love of reading, writing, advocacy, and my desire to help others and “do justice.” When I decided as a college student at Duke University to go on to law school, it was a leap of faith. I had no lawyers in my family and no lawyer friends, but I had taken some classes over the years involving mock lawyering, first amendment law, and gender issues that sparked my interest in the law. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School, I practiced for a few years with a firm that did plaintiffs’ side employment law. I then moved to Gray Plant Mooty, where I have focused my practice on management-side employment law. As a management-side lawyer, I find my past experience as a plaintiff-side lawyer gives me a unique and invaluable perspective. As a management-side lawyer, I also get to do “justice” every day by advising and training employers to comply with the law in the first place and by helping them defend against legal claims when they do arise. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and my two wonderful daughters, reading, exercising, digging in my flower beds (during the few summer months we have in Minnesota), and occasionally taking lessons to learn something new (ice skating and knitting being my most recent endeavors).

Sam Diehl

I didn’t debate in high school, and I didn’t want to be a lawyer growing up. I wanted to be a Marine. But one closed door often leads to other good things, and I’m thankful to have found a profession that includes occasional skirmishing. More rewarding, however, is to work with clients to prevent problems before they grow into disputes.

Prior to law school I worked in policy and politics in Washington, DC, and still enjoy armchair policy-making. I am married to a wonderful woman and am grateful for our three tremendous children. Despite my personal misgivings about the Twitter and Facebook world we now work in, if you can’t beat it, join it. So here I am, writing for a modern workplace blog.

Neil Goldsmith

I am one of those dreaded “always wanted to be a lawyer” folks, but now that I have been practicing for several years, I have come to learn that I enjoy being a lawyer for very different reasons than the reasons I went to law school. Sure, winning an oral argument or nailing down a slippery deponent is fun, but it’s not what drives me. For me, being a lawyer is not just about being argumentative, adversarial, or aggressive. It’s about solving problems for my clients. I know my job is to make their lives easier and I bring that approach to every matter I work on, whether it’s drafting agreements and policies, defending a high profile lawsuit, crafting a union campaign strategy, or responding to a government investigation. I love partnering with business and HR leaders to solve complex labor and employment issues, and frankly, I love being helpful.

My past jobs include camp counselor, congressional intern, sandwich maker, study abroad advisor, radio station intern, health club attendant, and writing instructor. Working with different people in different industries on very different matters has allowed me to appreciate the diversity of issues that can arise in the workplace. I always enjoy learning about a new business or industry and try to use this knowledge to help my clients every day.

When I’m not working, I enjoy rooting for the Wisconsin Badgers, Minnesota Vikings, Twins, and Timberwolves, running and biking the lakes with my wife and two daughters, and traveling across the country. I am also a regular at my synagogue and perform committee work for my childhood summer camp in Wisconsin, where my lovely wife and I met many years ago.

Meghann Kantke

My pastor dad and teacher mom have always told me that “People are the best investment.” My experience as a teacher, youth leader, mentor and friend has proved this adage to be true and, like my parents, I seek to live this out in my chosen profession as well my personal life. Whether I’m drafting a vacation policy or helping an employer navigate a coming union election, my work as an employment and labor law attorney is gratifying because it touches the day-to-day lives of real people. I hope to contribute to my clients’ business success by helping employers craft conditions in which the people who drive their businesses can be successful.

Prior to attending law school, I worked for a leadership development company where I was able to assist employers across the globe utilize research-based tools for talent management and employee development. Prior to that, I taught English to children and adults in Ostrava, Czech Republic. My work history also includes part-time gigs as a waitress, barista, retail worker, test prep instructor, and research assistant, among others.

I’m a Texas girl happily married to a Minnesota man. I’m a recent graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law and a not-so-recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma. Taking an ecumenical approach to sports fandom, I cheer for the Denver Broncos and the Minnestoa Twins in addition to my beloved Sooners.

Monica Kelley

When I was growing up, I never knew what I wanted to be. I loved books, so I just stayed in school for a long, long time. After accumulating a few degrees in French, I spent several years following faculty jobs and teaching French from Georgia to Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. I liked teaching, but after a few moves I was ready to settle down and explore a long-held interest in the law. My mother was vindicated—she always knew that’s what I should do.

I went to law school, clerked for a Minnesota Supreme Court justice, and started practicing in employee benefits. Probably not exactly what my mother had in mind, but it suits me to a tee. I’ve never looked back. I love helping employers work through benefits and compensation issues, from the most basic to the really complicated, and everything in between.

When I’m not doing that, I still like travelling to France, but mostly I stay busy right here in Minnesota with a son who wants to be a musician, a daughter who wants to be an actress, and a husband who, like me, enjoys every day seeing what they’ll do next.

Dorrie Larison

Yes, it’s true, I was a debater in high school. Anyone who was debater in high school will tell you that it sets you on a path. Probably a path you cannot really control. You are bound to always think about the contrary argument, you always organize your thoughts in a particular way, and you always take steps to analyze things from different viewpoints. Shortly after high school another ex-debater who was older than me told me: “Don’t worry you’ll get over it – someday you will think differently.” Well, I’m here to say that he was wrong.

I tried to change my ways; however, the reality is I like to think like a debater. What better profession for someone who thinks like a debater than a lawyer? So, following college, after six years of other jobs, including a two year stint as a paralegal, I decided that being a lawyer was something I wanted to do. After twenty plus years of lawyering I have never regretted that decision. I love the challenges. I love the discussions. I love working with my clients to solve problems. If I wasn’t a lawyer what would I be? Who knows? Maybe a job in government? Or, maybe even a blogger.

Dean LeDoux

Who knew that living a cliché could end up being so enjoyable and rewarding? As far back as the start of junior high school (so far back it was not yet known as “middle school”), I was for some reason doggedly determined to become a lawyer – which in my mind always meant a trial lawyer. By that early time, it had already become painfully apparent that I was not likely to have the physical stature required to be a professional athlete, or even a firefighter. I was, however, blessed with a near super-human mouth, capable of producing an almost constant stream of words, and with a quick tongue (which was not always fully appreciated by my junior high teachers or parents). Those skills, along with an insatiable love for the sound of my own voice, and a freakishly early-developed interest in politics, naturally caused me to pick the law as my profession long before I needed to pick out my first razor. I was undeterred by the fact that I would need to first become the initial member of my family to ever attend college, that I didn’t know any actual lawyers, or that I didn’t have any meaningful grasp on what it might actually mean to be a lawyer. What I lacked in objective reasoning, I more than made up for in stubborn single-mindedness. Decades later, when I would encounter similarly myopic, uninformed and star-struck law students, through my involvement in recruiting new lawyers, I would often shake my head and attempt to suppress laughter at the absurdity of my less-than-thoughtful career decision-making process.

Sometimes, however, everything works perfectly according to plan – no matter how crazy that plan may be. I’ve been living the dream of being a trial lawyer for 25 years, with a wide range of experience and interests, including a focus on employment litigation for about a decade. When not living the dream, or laughing at the ridiculousness of my pursuit of that dream, I like to spend my time playing tennis, following our Twins (a both joyous and sometimes rather frustrating pursuit), listening to my daughter’s glorious singing voice, and spending time with my wonderful family. My family, including my loving wife and rapidly growing daughter and son, tolerates having a habitual litigator as a father and spouse, although they have on occasion confessed weariness at being cross-examined (always done in a gentle and caring way, of course).

Mark Mathison

Managing a staff of 150 or so employees in a fast-paced, high turnover foodservice environment was how I mostly spent my first career. After law school I chose to practice employment and labor law because I thought I could use insights from my real-world management experience in advising and advocating for employers on workplace issues. Those insights make me especially sensitive to how managers and employees will work together when a dispute or a matter I am advising on is over and their work life goes on. That concern guides my work with clients every day. A major influence from my first career was running a union election campaign to persuade employees they would be better off without a union. In that process I became intrigued by the work of the labor lawyers I had interfaced with, which drove my choice to make traditional labor law a major focus of my practice when I started here at Gray Plant. I have three terrific children, one a recent college grad, one who will graduate soon, and an eleven year old boy who is about to recycle his parents into the world of adolescence. With my wife Cheryl, who is a Lutheran pastor, I love to bicycle and spend free time at home. We go to the theater fairly often, where I sometimes revisit my earlier days acting on local stages.

Matthew Webster

I like people.

My interest in the law started as a high-school English and English Language Learner teacher, trying to counsel my students on the many issues kids in a Texas border town face. When I started law school at the University of Minnesota, I quickly realized that law was both fascinating and fulfilling. My legal studies only further deepened the desire to advocate and represent people which had begun in a classroom. I have loved law ever since I learned it is the art of managing relationships, of helping people navigate conflict.

Employment law is such a great practice area because everyone encounters it throughout their lives. Having worked as a waiter, summer farmhand, factory worker, teacher, high-school soccer referee, coach, and camp counselor in Maine, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Minnesota, I know firsthand the importance of the employer-employee relationship. From employee handbooks and employment agreements to union negotiations and employment-based immigration, I love employment and labor law because I get to counsel and collaborate with people all day.

When I’m not at Gray Plant Mooty, I enjoy long-distance running, gardening, backpacking, home-brewing, and raising chickens with my wife Katie.