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James Gempeler
James Gempeler

Up & Coming: James Gempeler

After handling criminal law cases for the last four years, St. Paul attorney James Gempeler is gaining acclaim for his expertise in a relatively obscure but important subject area.

Gempeler “is a resident expert in expungement law,” making him “one of the best young lawyers in the country,” asserts Daniel Adkins, head of Adkins Law Group and a co-founder at Gempeler’s new firm called North Star Criminal Defense.

Adkins notes Gempeler has been particularly adept in dealing with the intricacies of the 2014 amendments to expungement statutes and has written and spoken on the subject. “He [Gempeler] has been consulted and cited for his mastery by commentators,” Adkins adds.

Besides passionately serving clients, Gempeler is also voluntarily parlaying his legal expertise to help many veterans. He gained North Star Lawyer recognition for his pro bono work for the Minnesota Assistance of Counsel for Veterans, which holds a monthly walk-in clinic where he assists veterans with criminal matters and expungement petitions. He also volunteered with the LRIS Legal walk-in clinic as a defense and expungement attorney.

“What I find most rewarding is I can positively impact a person’s life with my work,” Gempeler says. “My job is to work through each case as best as possible to not only raise the appropriate legal defenses, but to also counsel my client on how he or she can put themselves in a better position to get a favorable plea deal. And once I’m done with a case, I am often able to look back and know that not only did we get a favorable result, but we also put the client in a position to succeed going forward. As an expungement attorney, [I know that] getting a criminal record sealed can have a significant positive affect on a person’s life.”

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