Susan M. Holden: Exploring the Diverse Talents

2024 Feature Nominations

Few attorneys possess the versatility and expertise that Susan M. Holden brings to the table. With a remarkable career spanning more than three decades, Holden established herself as a skilled litigator and a sought-after neut-
ral for alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Her dedication to both traditional courtroom proceedings and innovative ADR techniques exemplifies her passion and commitment to delivering justice and fair resolution for her clients.

Holden’s journey in law began with a solid foundation in litigation, one that she crafted the old-fashioned way through long hours, dedication and a sincere thirst for knowledge. Law school classes filled her nights, while her days were spent as a full-time clerk for SiebenCarey, PA (formerly Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum, & Carey Ltd.) This clerkship came as a direct result of professors who wholeheartedly recommended the young law student.

Recognizing Holden’s analytical skills and in-depth understanding of legal precedents impelled by a consummate enthusiasm, they were anxious to pair her with a firm that would appreciate and benefit from these traits. They also knew this was a firm where all her potential could be realized and nurtured. It was the perfect match. So much so, that Holden still calls this firm “home” and today is a senior partner and shareholder.

Harry Sieben, a founding partner of the firm, was quick to notice Holden’s strengths and generously shared his time and expertise.

“Harry was a great mentor both before I became a lawyer and after,” she says. “In my second year of clerking, one of our partners who handled product liability litigation died unexpectedly and Harry assumed those cases. He needed an experienced clerk, and I was given the opportunity to work with him. I traveled with him, helping him prepare for depositions and hearings, which was great training for me. It also gave me the opportunity to talk with him about what it took to build a successful practice. He hired me as soon as I passed the bar.”

A skilled trial lawyer, Holden has amassed many successes over 30-plus years of trial experience, including post-pandemic. Just in the past year alone, Holden won seven-figure recoveries for her clients in two jury trials where the defense offers going in were $10,000 or less.

Holden’s ADR practice has also grown over the years, particularly after serving as chair of the special master panel in the I-35W bridge collapse special compensation process. She is frequently selected as mediator, arbitrator or special master.

She also is an active participant in a variety of distinguished legal organizations. Holden is the recipient of numerous honors, her most recent, and also one of the most prestigious is the 2023 Professional Excellence Award presented by the Minnesota State Bar Association, in recognition of outstanding efforts to advance the legal profession and the administration of justice.

She has served as president of the Hennepin County Bar Association, the Minnesota State Bar Association, and the Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and finds bar leadership particularly rewarding, “I’ve been able to work with many wonderful attorneys outside my practice, helping to strengthen the profession and the justice system that serves our society.”

It’s been a rich and rewarding career so far, says Holden, and one she’s still as passionate about as the day she started. “If I had to wrap up my legal career tomorrow, I’d be really satisfied with the practice that I’ve had, the people I’ve been able to help, and the incredible opportunities I’ve had.”

Susan Cushing

Susan Cushing is the associate editor of Attorney at Law Magazine as well as a staff writer. She has been contributing to the magazine for more than eight years.

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