I was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, where my dad grew up. We moved to a suburb of Minneapolis in 1962 when I was 5. My dad was a blue-collar tradesman who could do anything from build large commercial buildings to fine furniture to rebuild engines. So I grew up around that stuff. We bought a fishing resort in the fall of 1972 and moved to Northern Minnesota. Hard work and long days in season but we met so many people from the 5-state area who stayed at the resort and became long-term friends. I graduated from Bemidji High School in 1976 and went to college only to play football. No plan for what I wanted to do. A fellow defensive back told me to go into Industrial Education because "you get to work on all the machines" - so that is what I did. The student teaching experience left me second guessing a teaching career. Got married in 1979 after playing in the homecoming game. My wife was headed into teaching. An uncle, who was a lawyer, was back to my parent's resort and after discussing my lack of desire to teach he told me to go to law school and he would give me a job. So, by mere happenstance I went to law school, graduating from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1985. My wife Diane and I raised our 4 children in the Bemidji area. Diane retired from teaching about 6 years ago and spends much time with our 6 grandchildren. We have just completed a new home on a lovely chain of lakes and love lake living. In October 2000 I attended Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College (famed Wyoming trial attorney), am past president of the Minnesota Association of Justice and frequent presenter on and have written extensively on all aspects of trial skills. For about 10 years I have studied significantly in the field of neuro-linguistics and neuro-semantics and breaking down every aspect of trial practice from presence to story structure to semantic use of space in the courtroom. My practice is limited to personal injury with much emphasis on product liability. I am licensed in Minnesota, North Dakota, Alaska, Red Lake Nation and Leech Lake tribal courts.
The relationship you form with your lawyer is the difference that makes a difference. The insurance adjusters sense the difference, and the jurors see the difference. When we know your story we can tell your story in a way that the felt sense is that of a lived experience. That is what it motivates the adjuster or jurors to act make it right. That is true justice.
North Dakota, 1985
U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1985
U.S. District Court District of North Dakota, 1986
Red Lake Nation Tribal Court
Court of the White Earth Band of Chippewa
University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Anatomy of a Personal Injury Trial - "Direct Examination of Lay Witnesses" Minnesota Trial Lawyers Assoc. February 2005
Dram Shop & Liquor Liability – Course Chair – Lectures: “Claims for Furnishing Alcohol to Minors” & “Undermining the Defense Toxicologist and Bartender/Staff on Cross Examination – Minnesota Trial Lawyers Assoc. April 2005
Getting Your Evidence and Expert Testimony Admitted Into Court in North Dakota, June 2005
Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Seminar – MLTA - Multiple
Cann, Haskell, D'Albani, Schueppert, Hazelton & Rodgers, 1993 to 1999
Durnaske & Hazelton Law Offices, Partner, 1987 to 1993