Steven M. Cerny

Steven M. Cerny is a partner at Santi Cerny, PLLC, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Steve provides services to clients in the areas of litigation, employment law, and business law, in addition to providing outside general counsel services to companies in a variety of industries. Steve has been recognized as a top-rated attorney by his peers and SuperLawyers® for the past nine years.


Steve represents clients in virtually every type of employment-related case, including discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour, overtime, misclassification, non-competition, non-solicitation, medical leave, and trade secrets. Steve also represents clients in business disputes, including member and shareholder disputes, and contract disputes. Steve has a unique focus in handling matters that involve temporary restraining orders and injunctions.


Steve partners with business owners and human resources professionals to provide advice and counsel on all aspects of the employer/employee relationship, on compliance with federal, state, and local laws, and on taking preventative measures to minimize the risk of litigation. Steve also works with companies to prepare employment agreements and HR policies and procedures. Steve has conducted internal corporate investigations and provides training for managers and human resources professionals. Steve also advises individuals on employment law matters.


Steve provides a variety of business and corporate law services to clients, including entity selection, incorporation, contract drafting and negotiation, owner and investor agreements, mergers and acquisitions, protection of intellectual property, succession planning, and general business matters.


Steve serves as outside general counsel to clients providing a comprehensive approach to managing the legal needs of a business, identifying and mitigating risks, integrating and collaborating with senior management, and providing insightful and strategic advice and counsel. Steve works with clients in a variety of industries, including information technology, professional services, manufacturing, printing, retail, lodging, transportation, healthcare, and restaurant and food services.

Steve graduated from William Mitchell College of Law with honors, served as an Assistant Editor of the William Mitchell Law Review, participated in moot court where he won regional and national awards, and he has since taught at Mitchell Hamline School of Law as an Adjunct Professor.

  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • American Bar Association – Litigation Section, Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Minnesota State Bar Association – Civil Litigation Section, Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Ramsey County Bar Association
  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., cum laude
    • William Mitchell Law Review, Assistant Editor
    • Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court, Quarter-Finalist, Donald E. Pease Best Brief Award
    • Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing
    • Dean’s List
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, B.A. in Psychology and Political Science, cum laude
  • Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren, Ltd., Minneapolis, MN
  • Meagher & Geer, PLLP, Minneapolis, MN
  • Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., Milwaukee, WI (Clerk)
  • Speaker, “Keys to Success and Wealth, and Legal Pitfalls to Avoid,” MONEY Bootcamp, Winner’s Edge Consulting Seminar, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, May 2017
  • Speaker, “Employment Law Series: Minnesota’s New Marijuana Laws and How They Affect Employers,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 22, 2014
  • Speaker, “Investment & Securities Fraud Seminar,” Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 10, 2013
  • Speaker, “The Practical Realities of Practicing Closely Held Business Law: What You Didn’t Learn in Law School,” The MSBA’s New Lawyers Section, Minneapolis, Minnesota , April 2013
  • Author, The Intersection Between Social Networking and Litigation: Discovery and Authentication of Social Media Evidence, 1 Reynolds Cts. & Media L. J. 479 (2011)
  • Speaker, “Social Media and Litigation,” Media In Modern Trial Practice, Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Courts & Media, Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, California, November 2011
  • Adjunct Professor, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Mentor, Alumni-Mentor Program, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Coach, Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Volunteer, Pro Se Project, Federal Bar Association
  • Super Lawyers®, Rising Star, 2014 – 2022
  • “Suit alleges web-post retaliation,” Minnesota Lawyer, December 23, 2021
  • “EEOC drops discrimination suit against St. Paul company that fired disabled worker,” StarTribune, December 10, 2018
  • “EEOC says St. Paul firm’s firing of disabled worker was discriminatory,” StarTribune, May 3, 2017
  • “EEOC Sues Minnesota Company Over Disability Discrimination,” Law360, May 4, 2017
  • “Minnesota increases minimum wage for employees,” Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, August 8, 2014
  • “Wage and hour battles on the rise,” Idaho Business Review, June 24, 2014
  • “Wage and hour battles on the rise,” Minnesota Lawyer, June 19, 2014
  • “State department says it’s ready for ‘ban-the-box’ enforcement,” StarTribune, January 6, 2014
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers Magazine, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 Issues