“I view my role as a criminal defense lawyer in a very holistic way. If someone is in trouble with the law, they sometimes might have deeper problems that we can address. I use my role as an attorney and advocate to get to the bottom of what’s going on, so that my client doesn’t have to call me again in the future.”
Earlier in his career, Sam spent over seven years as a criminal prosecutor for cities like Burnsville, Plymouth, Chanhassen, Lakeville, South St. Paul, Farmington, Northfield, Cannon Falls, and Hampton. Soon Sam realized he could better help people by defending those accused of a crime rather than prosecuting them. Who better to defend your interests in a criminal case than a lawyer who has worked on the other side? Sam has a lot of success negotiating with prosecutors because he used to be one. This benefits his clients because Sam knows how to negotiate and how best to represent his clients in front of a judge. Knowing both sides of the law allows Sam to apply his passion for helping others directly to the work he does every day.
Sam is also a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota State Bar Association, a certification held by less than 3% of Minnesota attorneys.
In 2018, Sam won Attorney of the Year for his work in helping people clean up – and even expunge – criminal matters from their records. Sam believes there is no reason a criminal matter needs to haunt a person forever. Depending on the severity of the case, expungement is possible in as early as two-to-three years.
“Everything I do in my work with clients feeds my deep desire to help people. I look at my role as a criminal defense lawyer as helping my clients move confidently into the next phase of their life. If my client needs help with chemical dependency or mental health, I will refer them to the right experts.”
Sam has tried countless cases in courts around the State of Minnesota and consistently obtains positive results for his clients. Sam is licensed to practice in Minnesota and Wisconsin and represents clients throughout both states.
Interesting Facts About Sam
Before law school, Sam played in a local band where he sang and played the guitar. Sam still frequently gets roped in to be the appointed family wedding singer. He also holds advanced certification as an open water scuba diver and has enjoyed many dive trips to destinations like the Virgin Island, Honduras, and Vietnam. Sam has five kids ranging in age from newborn to 10-years-old. Sam and his wife Anna are very active in the lives of their children and Sam enjoys coaching his kids’ sports teams.
Minnesota State Bar Association:
Governing Council Member
Elections & Appointments Committee – Past Chair
Practice Management & Marketing Section – Past Chair, Treasurer
New Lawyers Section – Past Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary
Dakota County Bar Association – President
Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota – Board of Directors
Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice
American Bar Association – House of Delegates
American Bar Association Standing Committee on Specialization
Minnesota Supreme Court – Board of Continuing Legal Education
Minnesota State Bar Foundation Board of Directors
Hennepin County Bar Association
Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Douglas Amdahl Inn of Court
American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division – Past Conferences Director
Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
Fellow of the Hennepin County Bar Foundation
Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, William Mitchell College of Law, 2007
Recipient of the CALI Award of Excellence in Criminal Law
Master’s Degree, Public Administration, Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2006
Bachelor of Science Degree, Business Administration, Metropolitan State University
Named Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer 2018
Selected by Super Lawyers as Rising Star, 2014 – 2020
Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, Minnesota State Bar Association 2015
Award: ABA-YLD Outstanding Single Project, 2012 – 2013
Named Up and Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer 2010