I graduated St. Olaf College in 1979. In 1982, I graduated the University of North Dakota Law School. After graduating from law school, I practiced law in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, working as a general practice attorney.
I represented individuals injured in work and other accidents. I represented farmers in many different disputes. I represented persons denied unemployment compensation. I represented criminal defendants. I worked as a divorce attorney. I was court appointed to represent juveniles in parental rights matters. I represented individuals in contested commitment proceedings. I represented workers compensation claimants and Social Security disability claimants.
I enjoyed my general practice experience. It taught me a lot about working with folks from many backgrounds, from farmers, to the unemployed, to alleged criminals, to injured persons. I learned something from every client. I still do today. My small town general practice experience continues to influence how I approach the law.
After working in a general practice, I switched gears and practiced exclusively representing persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. Thereafter, I worked for many years as an attorney representing insurers and their insureds in personal injury and workers compensation matters.
I learned a lot from this experience too. My insurance industry experience also influences my current practice, as I know the tricks, tactics, and strategies used by insurance companies to force injured workers into inappropriate settlements or to end payments to injured workers earlier than the law would provide.
Armed with more than 30 years of legal experience in Social Security disability and workers compensation, I continue to serve Minnesotans and others injured at work or disabled from employment. My years in general practice and while representing the interests of employers and insurance companies provide me with invaluable experience and insights into how the insurance industry operates. I try to keep my clients one step ahead of the opposition, with tenacious pursuit of benefits for injured and disabled individuals.
I remain passionate about my practice of law and have presented numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars on both workers compensation and Social Security topics. I recently co-hosted the Eighth Circuit Social Security program, a multi-day seminar held within the Federal Eighth Circuit, and will host this again in 2016. Sponsors of the seminar include Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, the Minnesota Bar Association, and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives. I also participated as a coach in high school Moot Court competitions.
A proud St. Paul native, I live in a St. Paul suburb, where I serve as Deputy Mayor and Councilperson. I was a Planning Commission member for many years and currently serve on the local Cable Commission.
When not practicing law, I enjoy spending time with my wife (who also happens to be a lawyer) and two daughters. I take advantage of Minnesota’s many outdoor pursuits, including fishing, hunting with my pudelpointer (Rye), climbing, cross country and downhill skiing, and travel.
Nelson Law Office - Owner and Attorney
Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A. -- Senior Associate Trial Lawyer, practicing in the area of worker's compensation
Peahl and Day — Senior Trial Attorney for Home Insurance Company practicing in the areas of auto accidents and legal malpractice
Peterson Law Office — Staff counsel to Great American Insurance Company practicing in the area of workers compensation and personal injury.
Thomas J. Lyons & Associates — Trial Lawyer, representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases
Arvenson, Donoho, Lundeen, Hoff, Svingen and Athens (Fergus Falls, Minn.) — General practice attorney, including workers compensation and Social Security disability
MN State Bar Association, including officer in the Social Security Disability Section
MN Association for Justice (MNAJ), including Workers Compensation Section
Sustaining Member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives