In many ways, I was destined for criminal defense. As the son of a criminal defense lawyer, I grew up hearing stories about courtroom battles and complicated cases. I graduated from Moorhead High School and served in the United States Navy. Following my Honorable Discharge, I enjoyed a successful career in sales. Selling helped me understand why people care about what they care about. This skill set has helped me far more than almost anything I learned in law school.
I clerked for a criminal defense lawyer in St. Paul after my first year of law school. In my second year, I worked in a large office of public defenders, representing people in court every day. My additional work on criminal appeals helped confirm my belief that I needed to be in a courtroom actually defending people charged with crimes.
I have represented people charged with crimes ranging from disorderly conduct and domestic assault to obscure financial crimes like defeating security on personalty, to murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The criminal justice system does a bad job at understanding those charged with crimes. When I represent someone, I try to understand who they are, which helps me serve their interests better.
Some people come to me wanting to take their cases to trial in hopes of a not guilty verdict. Others want to be helped through a difficult and scary process with the least damage to their lives. I am always clear with my clients about what can and cannot be done, and then I work to get the best possible outcome for them.
When you’re charged with a crime, the immense power of the government is arrayed against you. The government has police to arrest you, talk to your friends and family, tap your phone, execute search warrants, give deals to other people in exchange for testifying against you, and many other things that may be hard to see. When I represent someone, I do all I can to counter-balance the state’s power. I help each of my clients understand what can and cannot happen in a criminal case; my client then can help me understand the facts of his or her life so that I can build the best possible defense.