Jim is a common-sense private business attorney who helps business owners and entrepreneurs achieve their goals while solving the legal problems that impact their businesses.


Jim represents private and family businesses, offering a unique combination of business and legal advice required to guide such companies. Particularly familiar with the complex issues encountered by businesses today, Jim advises on key issues, ranging from strategic corporate transactions and shareholder/ownership matters to contract negotiations, dispute resolution, and regulatory matters.

Jim’s counsel also encompasses the purchase and sale of businesses, franchise matters, shareholder relationships, business and succession planning and start-up matters. He began his legal career as a business litigator, giving him a keen understanding of the balance between conflict avoidance and aggressive strategies to navigate the litigation process. Jim represents multiple business sectors with a strong focus on distributors, auto and truck dealerships, and banking and financial service companies. He chairs Stinson’s Private Business Group, giving him access to a team of professionals both inside and outside the firm to assist clients with legal and business needs. Jim also chairs the firm’s auto and truck practice.


Jim’s clients span a diverse array of industries including distributors, auto and truck dealers, community banks, manufacturers, technology companies, and other entrepreneurial and start-up companies.

General Business

  • Jim serves as outside general counsel to a Minnesota-based electronics distributor with sales in excess of $3 billion.
  • He represents one of nation’s largest distributors of sign and screen printing products in all aspects of business, including acquisitions, contract review, litigation advice and employment matters.
  • He represents a national manufacturer of consumer products on corporate matters, financing transactions, contract review, corporate compliance and regulatory issues, and employment matters.
  • He successfully closed multimillion dollar sale of large Minnesota-based construction company in transaction involving complex union and environmental issues.
  • Jim assisted family owned business in successfully acquiring a national manufacturing business in multimillion dollar transaction involving complex shareholder issues.
  • Jim successfully closed multimillion dollar sale of national distribution business and assisted owners in subsequent estate planning and succession issues.
  • He represents numerous family owned restaurants and franchisees on license and franchise matters.

Auto and Truck Dealers

  • Jim has successfully closed over 75 separate sales and acquisitions of auto dealerships and truck dealerships in transactions ranging from $1 million to $200 million in geographic areas including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois.
  • He regularly advises dealerships on franchise issues and manufacturer-related issues, including dealership factory requirements, manufacturer rights of first refusal, and dealership terminations.
  • Jim advises the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association on legislative changes and other legal matters involving Minnesota auto dealers; has structured and closed complex reorganizations of various dealerships in Minnesota to comply with Minnesota dealership franchise laws and satisfy manufacturer requirements.
  • He assisted a national truck dealership on sale of multiple dealerships in various states and handled negotiations with various manufacturers.
  • Jim structured and drafted complex shareholder agreements and succession-planning agreements for a large family owned auto dealership group.
  • He is outside general counsel to a number of Minnesota-based auto and truck dealership groups.

Community Banking

  • Jim has represented numerous community banks in the sale and purchase of financial institutions.
  • He represented a group of private investors in negotiations and acquisition of various troubled banks and advised a client participating in an FDIC bid process of failed banks, including advising on purchase and assumption agreements.
  • He advised the board of directors of a community bank on regulatory compliance matters involving regulatory enforcement action and handled complex negotiations with federal and state regulators involving enforcement action against the Minnesota community bank.
  • Jim represented an ESOP-owned bank in connection with the sale of the bank.

He managed and coordinated litigation efforts for a community bank involved in complex litigation where control of the bank was at stake.

News & Insights



Selected for inclusion multiple times in Super Lawyers®-Rising Stars

Selected to the 2023, 2024 editions of Best Lawyers in America©

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association

University of St. Thomas Alumni Association

American Bar Association

Minnesota State Bar Association

Cretin-Derham Hall President Advisory Council

Nativity of Our Lord Parish Council

Nativity Men’s Club

Coaching youth sports in Saint Paul Area (Highland Park Little League Softball and Baseball, St. Paul Travel Basketball Association)


  • Minnesota, 1997
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1998


University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1997

  • Order of the Coif
  • Minnesota Law Review, Note and Comment Editor, 1996-1997

University of St. Thomas, B.A., summa cum laude, 1994

  • Member of 1994 Division III men’s final four basketball team
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