Vanessa J. Szalapski

Vanessa J. Szalapski



No matter the challenge, clients depend on Vanessa to quickly understand the issues and tenaciously advocate on their behalf to successfully resolve their disputes.

Vanessa is an associate in Dorsey’s Health Litigation Group. Her practice focuses on litigation in the healthcare industry, including general commercial, medical malpractice, ERISA, and civil rights litigation. Vanessa also has significant experience advising and running internal and external fraud investigations in the financial services sector, as well as experience in general commercial, shareholder, and trust litigation in state and federal courts across the country.

Vanessa also maintains an active pro bono practice representing healthcare and other non-profits in litigation and 501(c)(3) applications as well as assisting low-income individuals with expungement applications.

Education & Admissions

Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 2014), magna cum laude; Order of the Coif

Dartmouth College (B.A., French and English, 2010), cum laude; with honors; Lawrence and Sheila Harvey Prize for outstanding growth in French language and literature; James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar; Inducted into the Wearers of the Green, Dartmouth College Athletic Hall of Fame


  • Minnesota
  • District of Minnesota


  • French


Representative Work

Healthcare Industry

  • Won healthcare client $1.7 million arbitration award against a pharmacy for breach of contract and fraudulent prescription practices.
  • Achieved full dismissal of a putative class action for a Minnesota hospital.
  • Advised a healthcare insurance company on litigation risks associated with a new advertising campaign.
  • Represented healthcare clinic in lawsuit alleging improper disclosure of protected health information under the Minnesota Health Records Act.
  • Achieved full dismissal in a case brought against a Minnesota hospital alleging civil rights, constitutional, and discrimination claims.

Trust Litigation

  • Secured full dismissal of all trustee breach of fiduciary duty claims in complex family trust and business case.
  • Won full defense verdict in breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit.
  • Successfully overturned district court's full denial of trustees' request for fees incurred in litigation, resulting in new law on standard for trustee fees in litigation under Minnesota's new Trust Code.

Fraud Investigations

  • Advises financial services client's Internal Investigations Team on internal fraud investigations.
  • Assists and runs financial services client's external fraud investigations.

Other Litigation

  • Won full defense summary judgment order in False Claim Act qui tam action.
  • Achieved full dismissal of appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court for failure to adhere to procedural requirements.
  • Achieved full dismissal of alleged shareholder's claims against parent company for lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Achieved full indemnification settlement for a pro bono client in Minnesota state conciliation court.

Professional & Civic

Community Involvement

  • Gold Test Figure Skating Judge
  • President and Executive Board Member of the Dartmouth Alumni Club of the Midwest
  • Board member of the Minnesota Figure Skating Scholarship Committee


North Star Lawyer logo

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2015-2018
Vanessa J. Szalapski