ATTORNEY PROFILES

David Donna Leslie Gelhar Julius Gernes Darlene Evans Scott Festin Tom Flaskamp
Dan Gendreau Eric Holman Charles Hvass Shepard Jacobson James Kirshbaum David Koob
Daniel Mitchell Nicholas Mooney Steven Pattee G. John Veith Jessica Villella Paralegals


DAVID A. DONNA
Born in Chicago, Illinois; admitted to bar, 1983, Illinois; 1985, Minnesota; 1999, California; 2007, Pennsylvania; 2013, Wisconsin. Admitted to the following United States District Courts: District of Minnesota, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Western District of Tennessee, Eastern District of Louisiana, Eastern District of Kentucky, District of Maryland and Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Court.
Education/Honors:
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (B.S., 1979); Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D., with high honors, 1983). Listed in Best Lawyers in America, past 15 years. AV rating, Martindale Hubbell.
Presentations:
"FELA Basics and Trends", Marsh Railroad Roundtable, September 2008; "Litigation Strategies in General Liability Cases", National Restaurant Association Risk and Safety Managers Meeting, July 2008; "General Liability Roundtable", Marsh Restaurant Roundtable, June 2008; "Defending Food Borne Illness Cases", National Restaurant Association Risk and Safety Managers Meeting, January 2003; "Mediating a FELA Case", National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, February 2001; "Don't Buy Your Lawyer a Lamborghini!", Restaurant Risk Management Summit, June 2014.
Member:
Hennepin County and Minnesota State Bar Associations; State Bar of California; Defense Research Institute (DRI); National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Premises Liability Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Personal Injury Defense; FELA/Railroad Law; Automobile Litigation; Commercial Litigation.
 


LESLIE A. GELHAR
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota; admitted to bar, 1982, Minnesota; 2013, Ohio. Admitted to the following United States District Courts: District of Minnesota, and District of North Dakota.
Education/Honors:
University of Minnesota (B.A., 1979; J.D., cum laude, 1982). MSBA Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist.
Member:
Minnesota Bar Association; Defense Research Institute (DRI).
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Dram Shop Defense; FELA/Railroad Law; Automobile Litigation; Real Estate and Construction Litigation; Commercial Litigation.
 


JULIUS W. GERNES
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota; admitted to bar, 1988, Minnesota; 1995, Wisconsin; 2013, Iowa. Admitted to the following United States District Courts: District of Minnesota, and Western District of Wisconsin.
Education/Honors:
St. Olaf College (B.A., cum laude, 1984); William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1988). "Super Lawyer", Minnesota Law & Politics, 2003-2005; Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2009. AV rating, Martindale-Hubbell.
Member:
Ramsey County, Minnesota Defense Lawyers, and Minnesota State Bar Associations; Transportation Lawyers Association; Minnesota Trucking Association; National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Personal Injury Defense; Insurance Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Automobile/Trucking Litigation; Construction Defect; Dram Shop Defense; FELA/Railroad Crossing Litigation; Construction Defect Litigation.
 


DARLENE G. EVANS
Born in Michigan, admitted to Bar 1988, California. Admitted to the following United States District Court: Central District of California.
Education/Honors:
California State University, Los Angeles (BA 1983); Southwestern University School of Law – Los Angeles (J.D. 1988).
Member:
State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Practice Areas:
Workers’ Compensation Defense.
 


SCOTT D. FESTIN
Born in Chicago, Illinois; admitted to bar 2011, Minnesota. Admitted to the following United States District Court: District of Minnesota.
Education/Honors:
University of Iowa (B.B.A., 2006); Hamline University School of Law (J.D., 2011).
Member:
Transportation Lawyers Association; Minnesota Trucking Association; Minnesota State Bar Association; Hennepin County Bar Association.
Publications:
Co-Author, "Employee Driver or Independent Contractor?", Trucking Minnesota, October 2013.
Practice Areas:
Transportation and Logistics; Contracts; Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Insurance Defense; Construction Defect Litigation; Subrogation; Automobile Litigation; Product Liability Defense; Commercial Litigation.
 


TOM M. FLASKAMP
Born in Minneapolis, MN: admitted to the bar, 1990, Minnesota; 1997, Montana; 2007, Wisconsin; 2011, Oklahoma. Admitted to the following United States District Courts: District of Minnesota, Eastern District of Wisconsin, District of Colorado, District of Montana, Northern District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas, Southern District of Oklahoma, Western District of Oklahoma, Central District of Illinois, Northern District of Illinois, District of New Mexico, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Education/Honors:
Arizona State University (B.S., 1982); William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., with honors, 1990).
Member:
Hennepin County and Minnesota State Bar Associations; Warren E. Burger Inn of Court (Past President); American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota (ACTLM).
Certifications:
Minnesota Civil Trial Specialist (MSBA)
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Premises Liability Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Automobile Litigation; Personal Injury Defense; FELA/Railroad Law.
 


DAN J. GENDREAU
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota; admitted to bar, 1993, Wisconsin; 1996, Minnesota. Admitted to the following United States District Courts: District of Minnesota, District of Eastern Wisconsin, District of Western Wisconsin and District of Northern Illinois.
Education/Honors:
University of Notre Dame (B.A., cum laude, 1987);University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D.,cum laude, 1993).
Presentations:
"The Before and After of Negligent Security Claims; How to Prevent and Respond to Violent Criminal Activity," DRI Retail and Hospitality Seminar, Chicago, IL., May 2012.
Member:
Minnesota Bar Association; State Bar of Wisconsin.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Real Estate and Construction Litigation; Commercial Litigation.
 


ERIC E. HOLMAN
Born in Shenandoah, Iowa: admitted to the bar, 2003, Minnesota; 2008, Wisconsin. Admitted to the following United States District Court: District of Minnesota.
Education/Honors:
University of Iowa (B.B.A., magna cum laude, 1999); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 2003); “Rising Star,” Minnesota Law & Politics (2010, 2013, 2014).
Member:
Hennepin/Ramsey County and Minnesota State Bar Associations; Minnesota Defense Lawyer Association; Defense Research Institute; National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.
Publications:
Co-Author, “Social Host Liability in Minnesota,” Bench & Bar, Vol. 54, No. 1 1, Dec. 2007.
Practice Areas:
FELA/Railroad Law; Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Premises Liability Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Automobile Litigation; Personal Injury Defense; Insurance Defense; General Civil Litigation Defense.
 


CHARLES T. HVASS
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota; admitted to bar, 1975, Minnesota; 1994, North Dakota; 2013, Texas. Admitted to the following United States District and Supreme Courts: Court of Claims, District of Minnesota, District of North Dakota, District of Colorado, Southern District of Texas, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Court, Supreme Court of the United States, Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota, Supreme Court of Minnesota and Supreme Court of Texas.
Education/Honors:
University of Minnesota, (B.S., 1972); University of Minnesota, (J.D. with honors, 1975); Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 1983 to present.
Presentations:
“WHO’S WHO? IN WRONGFUL DEATH”, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Volume LIV, Number XI, December, 1997; “Handling Burn Cases”, MTLA MINNESOTA TRIAL LAWYER, Volume 22, No. 1, Winter, 1997; “The New Commandments of Cross-Examination”, Litigation, Vol. 28, No. 4, Summer, 2002; “The Civil Litigation Quiz”, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Volume LXV, Number IX, October, 2008; Innovative Investigative Techniques, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1994; Trial Preparation and Trial Notebook Seminar, PERC, 1995; Cross-Examination and Impeachment, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1996; Minnesota Products Liability, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1996; How to Examine Witnesses Effectively, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1997; Living Legends of the Law, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1997; An Independent Exam of Independent Medical Examiners, 1998; How to Investigate and Gather Evidence, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1998 and 2006; Getting Big Verdicts and Settlements in a Personal Injury Case, 1998; Representing Burn Victims, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1999; Human Anatomy, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1999; Teaching Electrons to Dance – the fusion of the art and drudgery of trial practice, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2005; Products Liability, Clarion Legal, 2005; Mitigation of Damages, Minnesota Association of Justice, 2008; Wrongful Death, Minnesota Association of Justice, 2008; Power Deposition Practice, Continuing Legal Education, 2009; Wrongful Death, “The Tape Measure Approach to Life”, Minnesota Association of Justice, 2010.
Member:
Defense Research Institute (DRI), Minnesota Association for Justice (Past President) (1975-2010); Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association; American Association for Justice (Board of Governors; State Delegate; Secretary of Aviation Section; Vice Chair of Aviation Section; Chair of Aviation Section; Aviation Advisory Committee; Nation Publications Committee; Chair of Lawyer Pilots Association Sub-Committee), (1975-2010); Fellow, International Society of Barristers (Board of Governors; State Chair); American Bar Association; Committee on Aviation and Space Law, Section of Tort and Insurance Practice (Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect; Chair); Minnesota State Bar Association (Civil Litigation Section Governing Council; Board of Governors; Bar-Media Committee; Law Practice Management Committee); Hennepin County Bar Association; Lawyers Pilots Bar Association; Supreme Court Committee on the Appellate Rules; Minnesota Supreme Court Uniform Local Rules Task Force; Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota Rules of Practice. Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota Rules of Practice.
Certifications:
AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, National Board of Trial Advocacy—Civil Trial Specialist, 1988 to present; Minnesota Civil Trial Specialist, Civil Litigation Section, 1988 to present.
 


SHEPARD A. JACOBSON
Born in Orange, California; admitted to Bar, 1993, California. Admitted to the following United States District Court: Central District of California.
Education/Honors:
Cornell University (B.A., 1989); Loyola Law School – Los Angeles (J.D. 1993)
Presentations:
Sterling Education: Workers’ Compensation Law and Practice; Iranian American Lawyers Association: Recent Developments In California Workers’ Compensation Law; Los Angeles Paralegal Association: Workers’ Compensation Law.
Teaching Experience:
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law: West Los Angeles College: Law Office Management & Procedures, Legal Procedures, Legal Research, Legal Ethics, Legal Document Preparation, Computerized Case Management Software, Online Legal Research; Obtained Etudes Online Teaching Certificate- Instructor: El Camino College: Advanced Legal Research & Writing, Legal Ethics, Law Office Management & Procedures; Computerized Case Management Instructor: University of California, Los Angeles (Extension Program): Workers’ Compensation: A Comprehensive and Practical Approach, Law Office Management & Procedures; Instructor: Fullerton College: Workers’ Compensation, Online Legal Research, Legal Research in the Law Library, Computerized Forms Preparation, Law Office Management & Procedures.
Member:
State Bar of California; Los Angeles County Bar Association; California Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Association.
Practice Areas:
Workers’ Compensation Defense.
 


JAMES J. KIRSHBAUM
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota; admitted to bar, 1986, Minnesota. Admitted to the following United States District Court: District of Minnesota.
Education/Honors:
University of North Dakota (B.A., 1980); William Mitchell College of Law (J.D. 1985).
Member:
Minnesota State Bar Association; Hennepin County Bar Association.
Practice Areas:
Personal Injury Defense, Automobile Liability, UM/UIM and No-Fault, Premises Liability Defense, Member of Panel of Certified No-Fault Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association, Certified Arbitration and Mediation Neutral, State of Minnesota.
 


DAVID J. KOOB
Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota; admitted to bar, 1999, California; 2000, Minnesota. Admitted to the following United States District Court: District of Minnesota.
Education/Honors:
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (B.A. 1995); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1998). Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law.
Member:
Minnesota State Bar Associations; Hennepin County Bar Association; Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association; Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Premises Liability Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Personal Injury and Insurance Defense; FELA/Railroad Law; Product Liability Defense; Real Estate and Construction Litigation; Automobile Litigation; Commercial Litigation.
 


DANIEL R. MITCHELL
Born in Ely, Minnesota; admitted to bar, 2003, Minnesota. Admitted to the following United States District Court: District of Minnesota.
Education/Honors:
University of Minnesota (B.A., 1995); William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 2003)
Member:
Minnesota State Bar Associations; Dakota County Bar Association; Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association.
Practice Areas:
Insurance Defense; Personal Injury Defense; UM/UIM and No-Fault; Premises Liability Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Wrongful Death; and Automobile/Trucking Litigation. Certified Neutral Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association.
 


NICHOLAS F. MOONEY
Born in Alexandria, Virginia; admitted to Florida Bar, 1985, North Carolina, 2015. Admitted to the following United States District Court: Middle District of Florida.
Education/Honors:
University of Tampa (B.S. Business Management, 1982) NCAA Division II Swimming All American; Stetson University College of Law (J.D., 1985); Law Review. BV+ rating, Martindale Hubbell; 1999 State of Florida Prosecutor of the Year.
Presentations:
Legal Aspects of RICO Investigations & Prosecutions; Legal Aspects of Financial / White Collar Crime; Legal Aspects of Interception of Communications.
Practice Areas:
Premises Liability Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Personal Injury; Wrongful Death Defense; Product Liability Defense; Automobile Litigation; Commercial Litigation.
 


STEVEN D. PATTEE
Born in Harlan, Iowa; admitted to bar, 1996, Minnesota; 2002 Wisconsin; 2014 North Dakota. Admitted to the following United States District Courts: District of Minnesota, District of Western Wisconsin.
Education/Honors:
University of Iowa (B.S., 1993); University of Iowa College of Law (J.D., with distinction, 1996). Named Rising Star of Minnesota Law (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2011); Profiled as one of Minnesota’s “Up and Coming Lawyers” by Minnesota Lawyer (April 2001); AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell
Member:
American Bar Association,Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Defense Research Institute, Wisconsin State Bar Association, North Dakota State Bar Association, Dakota County Bar Association.
Presentations:
January 2007, Wichita, KS “Drafting Denial Letters and Avoiding Bad Faith Claims” NAU Country Insurance Company; March, May, June 2007, “The Arbitration Process in Federal Crop Insurance Claims” Rain & Hail, LLC; June 2007, Ramsey, MN “Avoiding Bad Faith Claims Through Effective Claim Handling and Communication” NAU Country Insurance Company; August 2007 Minneapolis, MN “New Lawyer Experience – Personal Injury Basics” MCLE; January 2008 Minneapolis, MN “Trying a Personal Injury Case" MCLE; February 2008, Memphis, TN “Investigation, File Documentation, and Bad Faith Avoidance in Crop Insurance Claims” NAU Country Insurance Company; March, April, June, 2008, “Documenting the Claim File to Win at Arbitration” Rain & Hail, LLC; July 2008, Minneapolis, MN “New Lawyer Experience – Personal Injury Basics” MCLE; March 2009, Manhattan, KS and Des Moines, IA “Drafting Denial Letters and Avoiding Bad Faith Claims” Crop1 Insurance; July, August 2009, “New Lawyer Experience – Personal Injury Basics” MCLE; May 2011, Ramsey, MN “Top Ten Things To NOT Do When Handling a Claim” NAU Country Insurance Company; December 2011, Ramsey, MN “Investigation and Documentation of Crop Insurance Claims” NAU Country Insurance Company; April 2015, Fergus Falls, MN “Navigating the Arbitration Process in Federal Crop Insurance” Rain & Hail, LLC.
Publications:
Dram Shop 101: Liquor Liability for New Attorneys, Minnesota Defense, Fall 2001; Application of Subrogation Waivers in Light of Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. A.C.C.T., Inc., Minnesota Defense, Fall 1998.
Practice Areas:
Insurance Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Dram Shop Defense; Federal Crop Insurance Claims and Compliance; Restaurant/Hospitality Law; Automobile/Trucking Litigation; Alternative Dispute Resolution.
 


G. JOHN VEITH
Born in Washburn, Wisconsin; admitted to bar, 1993, Minnesota; 2008, Wisconsin. Admitted to the following United States District Courts: District of Minnesota, District Court, Central District of Illinois, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Education/Honors:
State of University of New York, Potsdam (B.A. 1989); William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul (J.D. 1993). Selected as “Rising Star,” Minnesota Law & Politics, 2000-2007.
Member:
American Bar Association; Minnesota State Bar Association; Wisconsin State Bar Association; Hennepin County Bar Association; Defense Research Institute; Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association; member, Douglas Amdahl Inn of Court.
Presentations/Publications:
Panelist, “Effective Independent Mediation Examinations,” Twins Cities Claim Association, Winter Seminar, 2011; The Changing “Joint and Several” Liability Landscape, 2008.
Practice Areas:
Personal Injury Defense; Insurance Defense; Wrongful Death; Premises Liability Defense; Property and Casualty Loss; Construction Defect; Subrogation; Product Liability Defense; Automobile Litigation; Insurance Coverage; Complex Civil Litigation; Business Tort Litigation.
 


JESSICA S. VILLELLA
Born in Vero Beach, Florida; admitted to bar, 2005, Florida; 2014, Minnesota.
Education/Honors:
University of Central Florida (B.A., cum laude, 2001); Florida Coastal School of Law (J.D., 2005).
Member:
Minnesota State Bar Association; Hennepin County Bar Association; Florida Bar Association.
Practice Areas:
Personal Injury Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Product Liability Defense; Automobile Litigation.
 



PARALEGAL PROFILES

Sharon Arbeiter Brenda Christensen Lisa Fitch Elizabeth Greywitt Jody Hanson Adam Hall Colleen Jackson Lori Kaderly Angela Seurer Melissa Turner
SHARON E. ARBEITER
Sharon came to our firm in 2010. She has twenty-five years experience as an insurance defense paralegal and handles a wide variety of claims for our national accounts.
Education:
BA, St. Cloud State University, Cum Laude 1985. JD, William Mitchell College of Law 1990
Practice Areas:
FELA/ Railroad; Restaurant/Hospitality Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Insurance Defense.
 
BRENDA K. CHRISTENSEN
Brenda started working as a legal secretary in 1989 and began working as a paralegal in 1997. She is involved in all aspects of case handling and works exclusively on national accounts.
Education:
Metropolitan State University (Liberal Arts); Legal Assistant Certificate and Applied Science Degree (graduated with honors), North Hennepin Community College, 1991.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense.
 
LISA K. FITCH
Lisa has worked as a paralegal since 1996 for insurance staff counsel and private law firms. She is involved in all aspects of claim and case handling and works on a wide variety of claims for our national accounts.
Education:
University of Hartford (A.A., 1983); University of Connecticut (B.A., 1985); University of Hartford (Certificate, Legal Assistant/Paralegal Program, 1994).
Practice Areas:
FELA/ Railroad; Restaurant/Hospitality Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Automobile/Trucking Litigation; Workers’ Compensation.
 
ELIZABETH A. GREYWITT
Elizabeth has been working as a paralegal since 2006. She is involved in all aspects of claim and case handling and works on a wide variety of claims for our national accounts.
Education:
Associates of Applied Science/Paralegal, North Hennepin Community College, 2007. Elementary Education, Iowa State University.
Member:
Minnesota Paralegal Association (MPA), National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), and The National Notary Association.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Defense; Defense Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense.
 
JODY J. HANSON
Jody has been working as a paralegal since 1997. She is involved in all aspects of claim and case handling and works on a wide variety of claims for our national accounts.
Education:
College of St. Benedict
Practice Areas:
Products Liability Defense; Insurance Defense; Personal Injury Defense; No-Fault Defense; Construction Defect Defense.
 
ADAM P. HALL
Adam has been working as a paralegal since 2006. He is involved in all aspects of claim and case handling and works on a wide variety of claims for our national accounts.
Education:
Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies, Minnesota School of Business, 2006.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense.
 
COLLEEN M. JACKSON
Colleen came to our firm in 2010. She has nineteen years experience as a litigation paralegal and handles a wide variety of claims for our national accounts.
Education:
University of New Mexico, working toward a BA in History and English. Paralegal Studies, Pensacola Jr. College 1994.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Insurance Defense; Automobile/Trucking Litigation.
 
LORI J. KADERLY
Lori has worked as a litigation paralegal since 1996. She is involved in all aspects of claim and case handling and works on national accounts.
Education:
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, (B.A., 1995); Minnesota Paralegal Institute (Paralegal Certificate, 1996); Registered Paralegal Credential (2007).
Member:
Minnesota Paralegal Association (Board of Directors, 2007); National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; Insurance Defense; Automobile/Trucking Litigation; FELA/Railroad.
 
ANGELA M. SEURER
Angela has worked as a litigation paralegal since 2016. She is involved in all aspects of claim and case handling and works on national accounts.
Education:
Winona State University (B.S. Paralegal Studies, 2013); Minnesota Army National Guard, Aviation Operations Specialist (2011-current).
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense.
 
MELISSA M. TURNER
Melissa has worked as a litigation paralegal since 1998. She is involved in all aspects of claim and case handling and works on a wide variety of claims for our national accounts.
Education:
University of Houston, Texas (B.S., 2009); Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, Texas (A.S., 1998). Graduated with Honors in Legal Studies and Psychology.
Practice Areas:
Restaurant/Hospitality Defense; Premises Liability Defense; Personal Injury Defense; FELA/Railroad; Automobile/Trucking Litigation; Workers Compensation; Mass Tort; and Social Security Disability.