Joseph Sayler Photo

Joseph Sayler

  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Associations
  • Memberships & Associations
  • Practice Areas
  • Case Work

Attorney Joe Sayler is nationally recognized and known for his passionate, tireless representation of seriously injured individuals and their families. Joe focuses his practice on holding railroads and other wrongdoers responsible for their conduct.

Individuals and their families all across the country have enlisted Joe’s legal expertise and drive for highly specialized cases involving harm caused by railroads. This includes Minnesota, California, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, and over 25 other states.

Joe has represented numerous railroad workers, protected under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), who have been injured on the job, and has achieved several record recoveries.

Joe has litigated railroad cases across the country, ranging from Washington to Florida, in thirty different states, with a great deal of success. Joe has also been a part of the two largest sanctions awards in the country against railroads for their destruction of evidence and discovery abuses. This includes the recent $5.8 million sanction award in Kowalewski v. BNSF, which followed a $15.3 million dollar verdict. Joe has been named a “Super Lawyer” and “Rising Star” for personal injury and FELA litigation. He is on the executive committee for the Railroad Law Section for the American Association for Justice. He is a member of Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys, for which he has written two amicus or “friend of the court” briefs for the United States Supreme Court in landmark FELA cases, one of which the court cited twice in their majority opinion. The firm acts as designated legal counsel for the UTU and BLET, and has represented injured railroad workers for every major union and craft in the country.

Joe has been asked to author several professional articles on important legal issues by law reviews and other prestigious publications. This includes several articles on sanctioning railroads for their litigation misconduct.


  • Car Accidents & Personal Injury
  • Railroad & Train Accidents
  • Catastrophic Injuries & Wrongful Death
  • William Mitchell College of Law — St. Paul, Minnesota, J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence, cum laude
  • University of North Dakota — Grand Forks, North Dakota, B.S., Criminal Justice, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Attorney and Practice Magazine's Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney
    Attorney and Practice Magazine's Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates

Associations & Licenses

  • Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys
  • Minnesota Association for Justice
  • Inns of Court
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • North Dakota Bar Association
  • Represented clients in over 26 jurisdictions with special permission of courts


  • Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney, Attorney and Practice Magazine, 2022
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates, Certified Lifetime Member, since 2016
  • Super Lawyers, since 2019
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2014-2018

Top 10-Personal Injury Attorney BannerMulti-Million Advocates Forum

SL Rating Joseph Sayler  Super Lawyers Rising Stars

Representative Cases

  1. Kowalewski v. BNSF (Co-counsel for record FELA verdict in Minnesot Kowalewski, was exposed to toxic fumes in a railyard because BNSF provided defective equipment and that allowed tanker cars to couple at twice the allowed speed, causing them to vent. BNSF lied to him about what product he was exposed, destroyed evidence, fabricated documents, and engaged in other misconduct. The jury awarded more than $15.3 million for his injuries. The court then ordered the BNSF to pay an additional $5.8 million as a sanction for its misconduct.
  2. Deibert V. DMVW Railroad (Believed to be a record injury settlement against the DMVW. Accident occurred when DMVW’s tracks washed out and the locomotive crashed into the hole created by the washout. Primary injury was PTSD).
  3. Shinkle v. BNSF Railway (Railroad worker in Spokane, WA, sustained a traumatic brain injury while working for BNSF. Railroad insisted on accusing Mr. Shinkle of faking this career-ending injury. BNSF was caught destroying evidence and the court determined they were completely liable for the injury. BNSF faced sanctions after trial. Halfway through trial, a favorable settlement was reached).
  4. McBride v. CSX (Landmark FELA case at United States Supreme Court. Joe authored an Amicus Curiae brief that was expressly relied upon twice in majority opinion. The decision preserved important rights of injured railroad workers in FELA cases.)

Appellate Work

  1. McBride v. CSX (Amicus Curiae brief cited twice in majority opinion at the United States Supreme Court)
  2. Weissman v. AIG (8th Circuit Court of Appeals)

What Clients Are Saying About Joseph...

    The effort and time that Joe put into our case was amazing. We have no magic words to show our appreciation. I never really wanted to know a personal injury lawyer, but Joe changed that for us. We are truly grateful for all that Joe did.

    I couldn’t have asked for a more patient and professional attorney...He put my mind at ease more times than I can count and I appreciate his demeanor and his patience.

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