After Ryan Bies got his degree in biology from Luther College in Iowa, he knew he wasn’t done with higher education just yet. But presented with an opportunity at a seemingly promising medical start up and to possibly strike it rich, Bies took a flier and tried his hand at sales. He hated it.
After three years, he rebooted and headed to the University of St. Thomas, where he earned a J.D. in 2006.
Bies, who started out at Dougherty as summer clerk, always intended to work in family law. After he was hired on by the firm, he soon found himself working as a prosecutor in Apple Valley – one of the several south metro suburbs where Dougherty has the city attorney contract.
“I enjoy doing both,” Bies says. “As a prosecutor, you don’t have to a client sitting next to you, calling the shots. You get to make the critical decisions. Family law pulls together a lot of different things – it’s not just parenting time and custody – but it’s also a lot more stressful.”
Bies has prepared briefs in two cases that have reached the Minnesota Court of Appeals. In State v. Latham, the court upheld the convictions Bies obtained against a man accused of violating a restraining order; in Suleski v. Rupe the court sided with Bies’ client in a parenting time dispute that arose after the client’s spouse moved out of town.
“That was probably my best accomplishment,” he says of the latter. “Not every client is appreciative but he really was. It was one of those cases where you think, ‘This is why I do family law.’”
A South Dakota native, Bies, 37, likes to play golf and tennis. He named his daughter Madison in honor of the Madison River, a tributary to the Yellowstone River where he goes on occasional fly fishing outings.