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The POWER 30: Tom Conlin and Stacy Deery Stennes

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Tom Conlin and Stacy Deery Stennes

Tom Conlin and Stacy Deery Stennes, Conlin Law Firm

The POWER 30: Tom Conlin and Stacy Deery Stennes

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Conlin Law Firm

There are no silos in either the North Dakota or Minnesota offices of Conlin Law Firm. The whole office works on all the cases. “Anyone who answers the phone can tell you anything about your case,” Stacy Deery Stennes said.

Their personal injury, medical malpractice and products liability practice covers the spectrum of what can go wrong in people’s lives, she added. But what they both like about it, in addition to helping injured people and their families, is that there is always something new to learn. “Every case is a new mystery,” Tom Conlin said. Sometimes the mystery is how something negligent could possibly have happened, but sometimes it’s a piece of medical or mechanical knowledge that demonstrates how things are supposed to be done, Stennes said.

They have a busy trial practice, here and in North Dakota. But recently, “We’ve spent a fair amount of time error correcting in appeals court,” Conlin said. Notably, in Kutcka v. Gateway Building Systems, a man working for a subcontractor was killed and the worker’s compensation would cover at most 20% of the value of the case, Conlin said. The North Dakota trial court said that a 2019 statute prevented  a third-party claim against the contractor, but the Supreme Court reversed and remanded.

The firm settled for eight figures the case of a man who was injured when a balcony fell off a building, and who then had a stroke in the hospital. Changing roles, the attorneys assembled medical experts who said that the stroke and any medical malpractice did not damage the client, putting all the liability for severe injuries on the building.

Trial practice is getting back to normal, Conlin said. “My opinion is that more cases are going to trial right now than before the pandemic. We’re still hearing from judges that they are backlogged but we are getting [court dates], he said.”

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