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Announcing the 2016 Attorneys of the Year

Once again, Minnesota Lawyer is proud to announce our Attorneys of the Year for 2016 and our Outstanding Service to the Profession winners. We are awed and humbled by our colleagues who have, among other things, won significant cases at the U.S. Supreme Court and the Minnesota Supreme Court, won releases from prison for their clients, increased access to justice, vindicated First Amendment and other constitutional rights, put an end to a long and painful search for Jacob Wetterling’s killer, created notable bar association activities (along with performing the day-to-day work for the bars) and nurtured and cared for other lawyers.

The recipients of these awards will be recognized at the 17th annual Attorneys of the Year awards program on Feb. 16, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis.  Please join us.


Imran Ali – Washington County Attorney’s Office

Virginia Bell – Collaborative Community Law Initiative

Blair Buccicone – Anoka County Attorney’s Office

Edward Cassidy – Fredrikson & Byron, PA

John J. Choi* – Ramsey County     (COE)

John Dornik* – Siegel Brill     (COE)

Susan E. Ellingstad – Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.

Richard L. Hendrickson – Richard L. Hendrickson, PA

Cathryn Middlebrook        – Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender

Jacqueline M. Schuh – Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A.

David Schultz – Maslon LLP

Philip Sieff* – Robins Kaplan LLP   (COE)

Robin Wolpert* – Minnesota State Bar Association      (COE)



Appeals Self Help Clinic

Dean Eyler

Erik Hansen

Liz Kramer

George H. Norris

Liz Reppe

Katherine Barrett Wiik

Jennifer Young


Halo Electronics Trial Team

John Dragseth

Michael Kane

William Woodford


Latino Legal Experience Team

Gerardo Alcazar

Ann M. Anaya

Bryan Browning

Judge Jeffrey M. Bryan

Judge Ann D. Montgomery

Tara C. Norgard

William J. Otteson

Nelson Peralta

Judge Peter M. Reyes*     (COE)

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu


Petters Bankruptcy Team

Adam Ballinger

Mark Enslin

Kirstin Kanski

Douglas Kelley

Mark Larsen

James Lodoen

Michael Olafson

George Singer

Jeff Smith

Daryle Uphoff*     (COE)


Reid Sagehorn Litigation Team

Robert Bennett*     (COE)

Paul C. Dworak

Joe Friedberg*     (COE)

Ron Rosenbaum (posthumous)

Winthrop & Weinstine’s Affordable Housing Team

Jeffrey Koerselman

John Nolde

John Stern



Culberth & Lienemann, LLP – Celeste Culberth* and Leslie Lienemann*   ( both COE)

McEllistrem, Fargione, Landy, Rorvig & Eken, P.A. – Paul McEllistrem and Andy Rorvig

Pine County Attorney’s Office – Reese Frederickson and Michelle Skubitz

Ramsay Law Firm, PLLC – Daniel Koewler and Charles Ramsay*   (COE)

TSR Injury Law – Richard Ruohonen* and Charles Slane*   ( both COE)

United States Attorney’s Office – Julie Allyn and Steve Schleicher


Outstanding Service to the Profession

Justice Christopher Dietzen – Minnesota Supreme Court

Loretta Frederick – Battered Women’s Justice Project

Professor Eric S. Janus – Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Lawyers Concerned For Lawyers

J. Patrick Plunkett – Larkin Hoffman

Justice Esther Tomljanovich


*COE means Circle of Excellence, for an attorney who has been named Attorney of the Year more than once

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