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Breaking the Ice: Handling issues so clients can focus on business

Todd Nelson//December 20, 2018//

Breaking the Ice: Handling issues so clients can focus on business

Todd Nelson//December 20, 2018//

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 Name: Joshua Dorothy

Title: Shareholder, Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan

Education: B.A., history, Denison University; J.D., Hamline University School of Law

Joshua Dorothy, shareholder at Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan, uses his legal skills to help businesses meet their goals as an outside general counsel.

Some clients want Dorothy to handle specific issues while some are looking for more, which is where he said he especially can add value.

“I like being a strategic partner to clients in advancing their business interests and in helping them get to a mutually agreeable place with their businesses partners — customers, vendors, employees or co-owners — so they can focus on what they do best, which is running the business,” Dorothy said.

Dorothy said he also enjoys helping to form, sell and expand companies, answering operational questions and giving owners “some comfort about the legal risks in their compliance with relevant laws.”

Dorothy, long interested in public policy, worked for the Minnesota Senate for four years before going to law school and for four more during his part-time legal studies.

Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A. Saying hello and talking to me about what drives you to get out of bed every morning or what drives you to be at the event we’re at.

Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?

A. The job I had at the Legislature was in large part to follow committee hearings and floor debates in the Minnesota Senate and summarize what was going. Some of the attorneys who worked for the Senate said they thought I was doing a good job of distilling these legal issues down for a lay audience and that that was a big part of what lawyers do and that they thought that I should go to law school.

Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A. I recently downloaded Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Though I have a general cultural awareness of “Frankenstein,” I had never read it and after seeing the show at the Guthrie, I thought I should read the original “Frankenstein.”

Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?

A. The misuse or confusion of the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. I would point out that “i.e.” means “identical” whereas “e.g.” means “for example.”

Q. What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

A. The ability to be a strategic partner with my clients and to learn more about their businesses and where they would like to take them and to help them turn out the best or at least a better path for them to get there.

Q. Least favorite?

A. Unnecessary adversarial posturing between lawyers. Even transactional lawyers sometimes fall into the need to posture for the benefit of clients or themselves and make things adversarial when they don’t need to be.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. I’m a big performing arts nut so my wife and I go to a lot of shows around town, primarily at the Minnesota Opera and the Guthrie. But we go to a lot of other companies around town too.

Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

A. I didn’t grow up in Minneapolis proper, but I would claim Minneapolis as my hometown, so I would take them to see a show at the Guthrie.

Q. Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?

A. I treasure the experience that I had and admire very deeply the two judges I clerked for — Judge Jill Halbrooks and Judge Louise Bjorkman of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Very levelheaded judges who taught me a lot about the importance of direct writing.

Q. What’s a misconception people have about working as an attorney?

A. One of the biggest misconceptions that TV and movies help foster is that the law moves very quickly or that if it’s moving slowly that is because of nefarious purpose or intent. The law sometimes moves as people perceive it kind of slowly, but it does so because people are trying to get it right.

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