- Owner and Attorney
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.
Areas Of Practice
- Workers' Compensation
- Social Security Disability
- Minnesota, 1982
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1982
- U.S. Federal Courts, 1982
- U.S. District Court District of North Dakota, 1982
- North Dakota, 1982
- University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, North Dakota
- J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 05/1982
- Honors: Moot Court, Dean's List
- St Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 00/1979
- Major: English
- Lecturer, CLEs and Private Seminars
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- Minnesota Bar Association, Member
- AAA, Member, Attorney Panel
- Hennepin County Bar Association, Member
- Minnesota State Bar, Member
- Federal Bar Association
- National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives (NOSSCR)
- Minnesota Association for Justice
Past Employment Positions
- Arvenson, Donoho, Lundeen, Hoff, Svingen and Athens (Fergus Falls, Minn.), General Practice Attorney, 1982 to 1984
- Peterson Law Office, Staff Counsel, 1986 to 1988
- Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A., Senior Associate Trial Lawyer, 1996 to 1998
- Thomas J. Lyons & Associates, Trial Lawyer, 1984 to 1986
- Peahl and Day, Senior Trial Attorney, 1988 to 1996
- Pi Delta Pi