Pamela H. Nissen

For 19 years, Pam has worked extensively with jointly-trusteed benefit plans in a broad spectrum of matters and issues. She has served as plan counsel to pension, health and welfare, vacation, training, and industry promotion plans. 


Pam focuses on providing high quality, practical legal representation in a timely and cost-effective manner. While her primary focus has been ERISA work, she has also been extensively involved in civil litigation matters and health care compliance issues including a high complexity laboratory’s compliance with CLIA regulations. 



Pam works with trustees and serves as plan counsel representing plans in matters related to:

  • Benefit plan administration
  • Representing fiduciaries
  • Claim appeals
  • Compliance
  • Plan drafting
  • Trust Agreements
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
  • Participant communications
  • Service provider agreements
  • Investment manager agreements
  • Subrogation
  • Department of Labor audits
  • Policy manuals

Pam has developed a number of special participant communication materials for topics ranging from pension applications to COBRA notifications to claim appeal brochures. Pam has been instrumental in developing policies for employee benefit plans relating to withdrawal liability and auditing and collection procedures.

Pam has developed a niche practice area in ERISA in her role as plan counsel relating to the collection of employer contributions and related damages, having worked on more than 1100 cases and in conjunction with plan administrators, collecting more than $23 million in damages for employee benefit plans throughout her career. She has worked on numerous cases involving corporate fraud investigations and has worked with forensic accountants to uncover millions of dollars of corporate fraud.


In addition to her ERISA practice, Pam represents both plaintiffs and defendants in matters involving:·

  • Products liability
  • Trade secrets
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • False Claims Act
  • Discrimination
  • Corporate fraud
  • Contract disputes
  • Defamation
  • Whistleblower
  • Ground water contamination
  • Article 9 security interests
  • Warranty
  • Anti-trust
  • Environmental law matters

Her clients include employee benefit plans, small to mid-size businesses, employees, employers, individual homeowners, as well as foreign-owned businesses including a produce importer based in Mexico.

Pam is efficient, organized, and thorough in her approach to Fund Counsel work as well as litigation, and is adept at sorting through the issues presented to her clients and formulating arguments from the facts of the case. She utilizes appropriate resources to provide high quality representation in a timely and cost-effective manner for her clients.

Examples of representative matters Pam has handled include:

  • Successful defense of a corporation against claims of trade secret violations and breach of contract claims.
  • Successful defense of an international importer of product liability claim.
  • Representation in an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals case that established alter ego liability for a non-signatory employer.
  • Representation in a federal court case regarding definition of plan terms and fiduciary obligations with respect to interpretation.
  • Representation in a federal court case that defined the scope of a contributing employer’s obligations with respect to maintaining records and corresponding liability for its failure to do so.
  • Representation in a federal court case defining liability for corporate officers.
  • Successful defense against ground water contamination claim.
  • Successful judgment against defendant for fraud, RICO and theft of medical supplements. 



Pam has worked with medical laboratories involving regulations associated with CLIA, CMS Medicare compliance billing issues, private insurance billing issues and FDA compliance. She has worked with a high complexity laboratory in the successful defense against condition level citations and threatened revocation of its CLIA certificate. 

Pam is admitted to practice in Minnesota state courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin. Pamela is a member of the Minnesota State, Hennepin County, American, and Federal Bar associations.

She received a B.A. in Political Science from the College of Saint Benedict and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota. During law school, she was a member of the National Moot Court. She previously was a shareholder with another Twin Cities law firm prior to the formation of Anderson, Helgen, Davis & Nissen in 2009. She is active in her community and has served as a board member and Treasurer for the Edina Volleyball Association.

   More Detail

    • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Hennepin County Bar Association
    • Federal Bar Association
    • Health Care Compliance Association
    • State of Minnesota
    • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
    • U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
    • College of Saint Benedict, B.A., Political Science
    • University of Minnesota, J.D., cum laude

    • Minn. Laborers Health and Welfare Fund v. Scanlon, 360 F.3d 925 (8th Cir. 2004)
    • Malcolm v. Guerra, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92918 (D. Minn. 2007)
    • Reed v. Mesabi Bituminous, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45343 (D.Minn. 2011), adopted by 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44975 (D.Minn. 2011)
    • Ruiz v. IBEW Local 292 Pension Plan, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91723 (D.Minn. 2006)
    • Nowicki v. Minn. Laborers Health and Welfare Fund, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26063 (D.Minn. 2006); 37 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 2622 (2006)
    • Malcolm v. Harden & Harden, Inc., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19184 (D.Minn. 2004)
    • Brady v. Imperial Developers, Inc. 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13239; 178 L.R.R.M. 2701
Pamela H. Nissen, Pamela Nissen, Pam Nissen

Pamela H. Nissen


Telephone:  (612) 332-1030

Fax:  (612) 332 2740


Primary Areas of Practice:

ERISA, Multiemployer Trust Funds, Corporate Fraud Investigations, Employment Law, Employee Benefits, General Business Litigation, Health Care Compliance.