About the firm

Workers’ Compensation Practice

At Cousineau, Waldhauser and Kieselbach, our defense of workers’ compensation matters begins prior to the inception of a claim.  We provide training for our clients on a consistent basis with up to date and vital knowledge on technical legislative changes, recent case law and necessary forms in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Upon the filing of a claim, we offer guidance and advise as to risk management to achieve a favorable and cost-effective result should the case result in litigation.

 

Our highly-experienced attorneys handle cases from the administrative level to the highest Court.  In a liberal construction State, we challenge presumptions and stress the Court’s compliance with statutory construction and legal requirements.  We deliver exceptional results using innovative methods, always keeping in mind our client’s goals and interests.

 

Our attorneys have been recognized by the legal community and have held the following positions and Awards, demonstrating our expertise and distinction:

  • Co-Chairman, American Bar Association, Sports Law Committee
  • Workers’ Compensation Committee, Defense Research Institute
  • Minnesota State Liaison, Defense Research Institute
  • Board of Directors, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law
  • Instructor, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Secretary, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Workers’ Compensation
  • Commissioner—Eagan Airport Advisory Commission
  • Marquis Who’s Who in American Law, 1990-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network
  • Charter Member, College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
  • Board of Governors, College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
  • Client Counseling Competition-First Place Midwest Region and National Finalist
  • Member, Larson’s National Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in Minnesota Law & Politics, Top 40 Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
  • Listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers, Workers’ Compensation
  • Listed in Leading American Attorneys
  • Listed in Guidebook to Law & Leading Consumer Lawyers for Minnesota
  • Listed in Minnesota Law & Politics “Who’s Who in Workers’ Compensation,”
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell

 

Our firm is also the exclusive Minnesota member of the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network, a nationwide and Canadian network of law firms created to provide employers and insurers access to the highest quality representation in workers’ compensation.

Our History

The law firm of Cousineau Waldhauser Kieselbach, P.A. (CWK) may have incorporated in 2016 but our lawyers are part of a rich legacy of dedicated and client-centric professionals that began nearly 70 years ago.  In 1948, Roy Mordaunt, an experienced litigator, and his son established a new law partnership in the Twin Cities, Mordaunt & Mordaunt.   The firm’s commercial practice included both civil litigation and workers’ compensation.

 

Henry Cousineau and Robert McGuire, two highly influential and respected lawyers (and our predecessor firm’s founding partners), joined Mordaunt & Mordaunt in the late 1950s, and in 1972 the firm became known as Cousineau, McGuire, Shaughnessy & Anderson.  By this time two distinct practice groups had emerged:  the Workers’ Compensation Group and the Civil Litigation Group.  The firm adopted the name Cousineau, McGuire & Anderson Chartered in 1990 and was rebranded Cousineau McGuire Chartered in 2005.

 

Many of CWK’s lawyers, including two of its named partners, spent virtually their entire legal careers building and nurturing the Workers’ Compensation practice group at Cousineau McGuire.  Jim Waldhauser joined the firm in 1978, and Tom Kieselbach, CWK’s president, joined in 1980.   John Thul, Mark Kleinschmidt, Tom Coleman, Dick Schmidt and Lisa Kinney each practiced in the Workers’ Compensation Group for over twenty years.

 

In 2016, after much deliberation and consideration of the interests of our clients and staff, the two successful practice groups at Cousineau McGuire decided to split into two firms.  The Civil Litigation Group became Cousineau, Van Bergen, McNee & Malone, P.A., and the Workers’ Compensation Group became Cousineau Waldhauser Kieselbach, P.A., with each firm retaining the Cousineau name, reputation for excellence, and many good memories of our years together.

Litigation Highlights

Ryan v. Potlach — A Win for Cousineau McGuire at the MN Supreme Court

 

Cousineau McGuire attorneys Natalie Lund and Jim Waldhauser successfully represented a Self-Insured Employer at the Minnesota Supreme Court in Ryan v. Potlatch Corporation. The decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court was issued July 13, 2016, and changes the law with respect to the closure of future consequential injuries in a Stipulation for Settlement. Prior to Ryan, the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals held for decades that future unknown consequential injuries could not be closed out in a Stipulation for Settlement. As such, an employee who claims a consequential injury arising after a settlement could merely file a new Claim Petition. A Petition to Vacate would not be necessary, and the employer and insurer would not get a credit for any benefits paid pursuant to the prior settlement agreement. This would allow an employee to obtain a double recovery of benefits. The WCCA upheld this precedent in Ryan, and Ms. Lund and Mr. Waldhauser appealed.

 

The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed and remanded, agreeing with the Self-Insured Employer that the WCCA had misconstrued the Supreme Court’s decision in Sweep v. Hanson Silo Co. Further, the Court agreed that Minn. Stat. 176.521 allows the parties to settle any claim for compensation, which includes future consequential injuries. The proper procedure for a consequential injury claim after a settlement is to file a petition to vacate.