International Society of Primerus Law Firms
Shamus P. O'Meara
Practice Areas:

Minneapolis Attorney
Shamus P. O'Meara

Phone: 952.831.6544


Languages: English

Shamus O’Meara is the Managing Shareholder at O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A. representing school districts, businesses and local governments in complex liability, construction and transactional matters. He serves as a mediator and arbitrator for construction and commercial disputes, and on the American Arbitration Association Large Case Panel for construction matters.  He presents nationally on school safety and construction topics, and has been recognized as an Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, and a Super Lawyer by Minnesota Law & Politics for his construction and education practice.

Shamus represents owners, contractors and other parties involved in the construction process.  He negotiates and handles all aspects of construction contract placement, public and private bidding, insurance and bonding issues, coordinates with various construction professionals, and handles claims and litigation involving construction projects.

Shamus also represents clients in all areas of education law, and serves as an expert witness in school safety and emergency management matters.   He has worked with the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. and Minnesota Departments of Education, U.S. Attorneys Office, FBI, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, school districts, and many state and national education organizations to promote safety awareness and crisis management in schools and on campuses.

Shamus has considerable board and leadership experience in the areas of facilities management, indoor air, school safety and emergency management, developmental disabilities, and legal defense and management.


  • William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1991


  • State and Federal courts in Minnesota
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Admitted pro hac vice in several jurisdictions


  • Minnesota Super Lawyer, Minnesota Law & Politics (2006 – 2014)
  • The Arc Minnesota 2012 Public Policy Award
  • Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer (2005)

Areas of Practice:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Law
  • Construction Law
  • Education Law
  • Employer Liability
  • General Liability
  • Government Liability
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Products Liability
  • Property and Fire
  • Realtor & Title Company Liability
  • Self Insurance
  • Subrogation
  • Toxic and Mass Tort


  • American Arbitration Association – Construction and Commercial Arbitrator
  • American Arbitration Association – Large Case Panel
  • American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Construction Law Section
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (Past Director; Founding Chair, Construction Law Committee)
  • Minnesota Construction Association
  • National Council of School Attorneys (Past Director)
  • Minnesota Council of School Attorneys
  • Minnesota School Boards Association Disaster Response Team
  • Minnesota School Safety Legislative Task Force
  • Minnesota Association of School Business Officials
  • Autism Society of Minnesota (Advisory Board)
  • Minnesota Diversified Industries (Advisory Board)
  • United States Civil Rights Commission State Advisory Committee (Past Chair)
  • Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (Past Chair)
  • Disability Justice (Past President)
  • Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention & Visitors Authority (Founding Co-Chair)
  • Minnesota Self-Insurers Association
  • Minnesota Indoor Air Association (Founding Co-Director)
  • Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce
  • Edina Chamber of Commerce

Author & Speaker:

(Selected List)

  • Building Better Futures:  Hot Topics in School Construction, MSBA Leadership Conference (2015)
  • Civil and Human Rights for School Districts, Student and Employee Rights, MSBA Leadership Conference (2015)
  • What School Administrators Should Know About K-12 Security, Wisconsin State Education Convention (2015)
  • Coverage for Contractual Indemnification & Additional Insureds (2014)
  • Keeping a Climate of Safety, Prepared Response Webinar (2014)
  • Equal Access to Justice for People With Disabilities, MDI Annual Meeting (2014)
  • School Security Design: Planning to Mitigate Risk and Avoid Liability, ABA Construction Lawyer (2014)
  • Legal Issues Involving the Possession of Telematics Data (2014)
  • School Law Panel, MSBA Leadership Conference (2014)
  • Subcontractor Exposure: 2013 Amendments to the Minnesota Anti-Indemnification Statute
  • Plan for Safety, American School Board Journal (2013)
  • Partnering for School Safety, MASBO Fall Conference (2013)
  • Making Schools More Secure, MASBO Fall Conference (2013)
  • Keeping a Climate of Safety, MSBA Summer Conference (2013)
  • Making Your Schools More Secure, MSBA Summer Conference (2013)
  • The Fourth ‘R’ of a Crisis:  Recovery, MSBA Journal (2013)
  • Keeping Schools and Students Safe, National Council of School Attorneys Annual Conference (2013)
  • School Safety and the Law:  Keys to Responding to School Emergencies, National School Boards Association Annual Conference (2013)
  • Joint Safety and Security Summit, Connecticut Associations of Boards of Education, Superintendents, Principals and Business Officials (2013) (Hartford)
  • National Webinar, Planning For and Managing the School Crisis You Hope Never Comes, National School Boards Association and Council of School Attorneys (2012)
  • School Safety and Anti-Bullying Update, MSBA Leadership Conference, Chair (2013)
  • School Law Panel, MSBA Leadership Conference (2013)
  • Special Education Law, updated Feb 2013
  • Access to Justice for People With Developmental Disabilities, Minnesota Attorney General’s Office CLE   (2012) 
  • Emergency Plan Inclusion, American School Board Journal (2011) 
  • Responding Effectively to the Media in Times of Crisis, Minnesota School Boards Association Leadership Conference, Chair (2010 & 2011)
  • Ensuring a Voice for People With Developmental Disabilities in the Justice System, Robins Kaplan CLE (2011)
  • Best Value Training Program for Schools and Public Entities, Minnesota School Boards Association Leadership Conference, Chair (2010) 
  • Access to Justice for People With Developmental Disabilities, Minnesota CLE Webcast (2010 & 2011)
  • Digital Imaging Solutions for Schools and Businesses, Minnesota School Boards Association Leadership Conference,  Chair (2010 & 2011)
  • The Quiet Passion of Shamus O’Meara, Minnesota Super Lawyer (2011)
  • Partnering for School Safety – a Comprehensive Education and Law Enforcement Approach to School Safety and Violence Prevention, National School Boards Association Annual Conference (San Diego 2009, Orlando 2008); Risk Management and Finance Summit for Nonprofits (2008)
  • People With Disabilities and our Legal System – A Federal Bar Initiative, Minnesota Federal Bar Association (2009)
  • School Construction and the New “Best Value” Contracting Law (2008)
  • Practical and Legal lessons From K-12 Incidents of Violence, U.S. Department of Education National Higher Education Conference (2008)
  • Information Sharing for School Safety, Minnesota School Safety Conference (2008)
  • Preventing Targeted Violence in Schools, Crimes Against Children in Indian Country (2008)
  • The Minnesota School Safety Center, Minnesota School Boards Association Leadership Conference, Chair (2008)
  • Wrongful Death Damages in Minnesota, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (2008)
  • Recent Age Discrimination Litigation, Minnesota Council of School Attorneys Annual Conference (2008)
  • Brief of Amicus Curiae National School Boards Association, Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, No. 06-1037, Supreme Court of the United States (2007)
  • Partnering for School Safety, Minnesota School Boards Association Leadership Conference, Co-Chair (2007); MSBA Journal (2007); U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools School Security Officials and Safe School Center Directors Conference (2005)
  • School Security and Disaster Planning, National School Plant Managers Association Conference (2007); Tenth Annual Upper Cumberland Safe & Accountable Schools Institute (Nashville 2007)
  • Avoiding Building Design and Construction Problems, National School Plant Managers Association Annual Conference (2007); National Business Institute (2007); Minnesota Association of School Maintenance Supervisors (2006)
  • Statewide Symposium , Minnesota Attitudes About People with Developmental Disabilities, Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, Autism Society of Minnesota, ARC of Minnesota, Minnesota State Council on Disability, United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota, Self-Advocates of Minnesota, Chair (2007);Almanac interview, Twin Cities Public Television, (Feb. 23, 2007)
  • The Betterment or Added Benefit Defense, Construction Lawyer (Spring 2006); American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Annual Conference (New Orleans 2005)
  • School Safety and Violence Prevention in Minnesota, Minnesota School Boards
  • Association Leadership Conference, Co-Chair (2006)
  • Digital Partnering With the Legal Profession, The Verdict (2006)
  • The Home Buyer’s Warranty Option in Minnesota, The Builder’s Club (2006)
  • Construction Defect Claims in Minnesota, Lorman Education (2006)
  • How’s Your Mechanical Project?, Minnesota Association of School Business Officials Conference (2006)
  • Defense Perspectives on Education Law, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Conference (2006)
  • Digital Partnering for People With Developmental Disabilities (with U.S. Sen. Coleman & U.S. Rep. Ramstad) (2006)
  • Managing the Imperfect Storm, Minnesota District Judges Association Conference (2006); Minnesota Indoor Air Association Conferences (2004-2007)
  • The 25 Year Water Claim, Minnesota Defense (2005); HarrisMartin Mold (2005)
  • Joint Powers and Partnership Arranements for School Districts, Minnesota School Boards Association Leadership Conference (2005)
  • Legal and Practical Approaches to Construction Contracting and Disaster Response, Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust Safety and Loss Control Workshop (2004); Minnesota Association of Townships Seminar (2004)
  • Summary, Minnesota Department of Education Health and Safety Policy, Minnesota School Boards Association Leadership Conference (2004)
  • Selecting and Using Experts in Mold Cases, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (2003)
  • Environmental Issues for Schools: Mold, Lead, Toxic Building Sites, and Other Unmentionables, National School Boards Association Annual Conference (San Francisco 2003)
  • Construction Considerations in Mold Litigation: Investigation, Causation, Mitigation & Remediation, HarrisMartin Mold (2006); Minnesota Defense (2002, 2003); American Conference Institute Conferences (Miami, New York, Toronto, San Francisco (Co-Chair) (2001, 2002)
  • The Owner’s Role, Construction Contracting for Public Entities, Lorman Education (2002)
  • Proving the Mold Claim, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (2002)
  • Mold: The Litigation Blossoms, An Advanced Course, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Seminar, Co-Chair (2002)
  • Indoor Air Quality, National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys Inquiry Journal (2001)
  • Mold in Buildings, The Legal Issues, Midwest Conference and Symposium on Indoor Air Quality (2001-2003)
  • Defense & Coverage Considerations in Construction Mold Cases, Northwest Claims Seminar (2000)
  • Pitfalls in Standard Construction Contracts, League of Minnesota Cities Loss Control Quarterly (2000)
  • AIA Contract Analysis, (1998, 2002)

Contact This Firm

O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.

7401 Metro Boulevard
Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55439-3034
United States

Law Firm Contact: Dale O. Thornsjo

Tel: 952.831.6544

Fax: 952.831.1869



Member Since: 2006

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