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John R. Shoemaker

Civil rights Attorney at Bloomington, MN

5.0   9 reviews
  • Licensed for 39 years
    State MN
    Acquired 1984
    Authorized to Practice No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About John

Learn John’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Civil rights
    Denial of public services and other rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, denial of housing in violation of the Fair Housing Act, and emotional support animal discrimination.

    21 years

  2. Lawsuits and disputes
    State and Federal Court litigation including in the areas of civil rights, municipal licensing, regulatory and building-housing-fire code litigation, commercial and real estate litigation, and creditor-debtor rights disputes.

    39 years

  3. State, local, and municipal law
    Municipal regulatory law, business licensing, building-housing-fire codes and associated administrative procedure, and administrative procedure and civil litigation challenging local, county and state administrative actions.

    21 years

  4. Appeals
    Administrative Appeals, and civil litigation appeals in State and Federal Appellate Courts.

    39 years

  5. Contracts and agreements
    Corporate entity creation and organizational documentation and filings, trademark and copyright, contracts for purchase or sale of businesses and real and personal property, lease agreements.

    39 years

  6. Landlord or tenant

    21 years

  7. Real estate
    Real estate litigation

    31 years

I have been a licensed trial and appellate attorney for 38 years in Minnesota in both State and Federal Courts.  I represent individuals, small business owners, commercial and residential landlords and tenants, real estate investors, real estate management companies, and plumbing, heating and air conditioning companies.

I also represent claimants under Federal law for discriminatory denial of housing and other Fair Housing Act violations, and individuals facing service and/or emotional animal discrimination in violation of federal law. My civil rights practice also includes representation of individuals who have been denied their civil rights to public services or faced other discrimination in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

My areas of practice include:

  • personal injury; 
  • business entity formation and ongoing concerns;
  • contract formation, disputes and resolutions;
  • purchase and sale of business assets;
  • creditor-debtor disputes and remedies;
  • real estate matters and litigation;
  • landlord - tenant disputes, negotiations, and litigation;
  • local-state-federal government regulations, licensing, claims, defenses and related litigation; 
  • Minnesota Human Rights Act administrative claims and defenses;
  • state and federal civil rights claims, defenses and litigation;
  • federal fair housing regulation, claims and defenses, HUD administrative housing complaints and related federal litigation; and
  • federal firearm and dealer licensing issues and litigation.

I am admitted to practice before the Minnesota Federal District Court in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri, the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., and all Minnesota State District and Appellate Courts.

My personal interests include playing guitar, listening to classical, jazz, rock and blues music, and football and hockey. 

Photos and videos


Shoemaker & Shoemaker, PLLC
Highland Bank Building, Suite 410
5270 West 84th Street
Bloomington, MN, 55437

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5.0 / 5.0
  9 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Mary | October 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
He has the experience you need
I highly recommend John Shoemaker for every aspect of Real Estate Law. I have had the opportunity to work closely with him as he fought for my landlords' and my tenants' civil rights, property rights and economic rights. I have witnessed his "full court press style" of fighting for people all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The decisions that he has obtained  have singlehandedly changed the landscape of housing rights and preserved for every one in every socio-economic class the ability to rise up and survive economically going forward.  After working with dozens of attornies I can't think of another one who is as quick on his feet, as passionate or as skilled as Mr. Shoemaker. I've also never encountered one who has the guts and perseverance to fight the good fight all the way to the top for all of us.  Mr. Shoemaker isn't fighting for a big retainer or a one time profit, he's fighting for justice for all of us and for his client to gain economic compensation for being damaged. He has been my first call for help for almost a decade and he will remain my first call for help and my first referral for those who need help. If you have been damaged if your rights have been disregarded or you want to blow the whistle, you could not have a better Advocate to help make you whole again. 
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Posted by Tim | October 4, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
John Provided Exceptional Guidance On Complex HUD Complaint
The City adopted an inspection scheme targeting minority tenants in transitional neighborhoods. We hired John to draft the HUD complaint. The work quality, responsiveness and his knowledge were above expectations. The cost was below what we anticipated. We would highly recommend him for complex fair housing inspection policy issues.
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Posted by Myke | May 17, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My lawyer
John was excellent on patience to getting legal actions accomplished in the 2nd amendment catagory
Posted by Rick | May 17, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I hired the Shoemaker Law firm “John” to represent me in a personal matter. John was very friendly and knowledgeable and if he was unsure of something he would consult his brother Paul. Between the two of them I feel that my situation was handled professionally, discreetly and very equitable. I wouldn’t hesitate to have John represent me again.
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Posted by anonymous | May 16, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Top notch attorney
He is very detail oriented and is extremely thorough. He knows his topics and does extensive research to one up the competition. Very respected by his peer attorneys and Judges as well.
Posted by Frank | May 16, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
This is you guy!
I had a lawsuit against the government for wrong doing and illegal acts towards my business that lasted for 13 years in Federal Court. I was very surprised at John's skill level. Not only did he know the law he was very accurate in recognizing the abusive litigation tactics of the other side and responding to them. He worked hard......even on the weekends and sometimes called me late at night because he was working on my case and wanted to talk to me about some details. It was expensive and he did not charge me for every little thing like most Attorneys do. If I were to need another Attorney for something, I would be afraid to have anyone other than John Shoemaker for my Attorney. He genuinely cared about the wrong done to me and wasn't in it only for the money. I'll bet the farm on this guy any day.
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Posted by Kevin | July 27, 2015
Ethical, Hard Working, Honest Attorney
John Shoemaker is an ethical, hard working honest attorney. John has been our attorney representing us on landlord issues for several years now. He is always attentive and works tirelessly to get the job done. He is extremely intelligent. I would highly recommend John Shoemaker.
Posted by Andrew | July 2, 2015
Aggressive and intelligent attorney
John Shoemaker is an aggressive and intelligent attorney. I've worked with him on a number of landlord tenant cases. He's practices his civil litigation skills effectively in both state and federal courts. He understands the court system very well.
Posted by James | June 24, 2015
James W. Milsap's evaluation of attorney John R. Shoemaker
Attorney Shoemaker exceeded all expectations for any job he has undertaken. He is trustworthy and always willing to spend whatever time is necessary to assure that I completely understand any topic raised, Mr. Shoemaker is very knowledgeable about any subject relative to my case, and has always kept me totally informed. I would gladly recommend him to anyone looking for a competent attorney.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 300-400 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.0 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Shoemaker & Shoemaker, PLLC
  • 1995 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • William Mitchell College Of Law
  • 1991 - 1992
  • Partner
  • Murnane, Conlin, White & Brandt, P.A.
  • 1988 - 1995
  • Associate Attorney
  • Saliterman & Siefferman, PC
  • 1987 - 1988
  • Associate Attorney - Commercial Litigation
  • Bassford Heckt Lockhart & Mullin, P.A.
  • 1985 - 1987
  • Appellate Law Clerk to Justice Gerald VandeWalle
  • North Dakota Supreme Court
  • 1984 - 1985
  • Combat Medic
  • 82nd Airborne Division, United States Army, Fort Bragg, NC
  • 1977 - 1980
View all work experience


  • University of North Dakota School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1984
  • Methodist College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1981

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Lowry et al. v. City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Public Housing Authority
  • Successful motion to transfer state-law-claims class action from federal district court to state trial court; successfully opposed motion in state court to dismiss lawsuit. The case is pending.
  • Stacey Marable, et al. v. City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, et al.
  • Obtained Court of Appeals' decision that for first time provides public housing tenants with same city services as private tenants have enjoyed for decades. City and Public Housing settled with Marable family which was approved by the court.
  • Ellis v. City of Minneapolis
  • Successfully opposed City's motion for judgment. On City's appeal, successfully argued before the Minnesota Court of Appeals resulting in a decision affirming the denial of judgment for the City.
View all legal cases


  • Minnesota Association for Justice
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Member
  • 1996 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • Twin Cities Business and Minnesota Super Lawyers magazines
  • 2000
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • Twin Cities Business and Minnesota Super Lawyers magazines
  • 1999


  • The Minnesota Sentinel
  • NICS Gun Registration Plans Threaten Individual Freedoms
  • 2004
  • Minnesota Libertarian
  • The disarming of innocents follows the terrorist killings at Columbine High
  • 1999
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Fair Housing Act Developments Impacting Inner-City People of Color
  • Fair Housing
  • 2017

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (4)
Endorse John
Landlord or tenant Attorney | May 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"John has been an invaluable resource for me regarding litigation generally, and landlord/tenant issues specifically. I do a fair amount of landlord/tenant work and when I have a question John is always the first person I call. He has an in-depth knowledge of the law, as well as the practical side of dealing with government regulations. He is a zealous advocate for landlords and an attorney I would highly recommend."
Real estate Attorney | Sep 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"They don't come much sharper than John Shoemaker. If you're looking for someone fearless, experienced, and brilliant, look no further."
Litigation Attorney | Mar 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known John for many years. He is an excellent civil litigator and does not shy away from a tough complex case. I strongly endorse this attorney."
Litigation Attorney | Nov 16
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have worked with John Shoemaker on a variety of civil litigation matters for more than 10 years. He consistently displays exemplary knowledge of the law and rules and an unparalleled dedication to serving his clients. I am happy to endorse this lawyer."