Our Team

Experienced. Diverse. Collaborative. Successful. These are just a few of the ways to describe our team. Together, our staff provides a new and better way to serve clients, and individually we each contribute to this mission in our own way. When you choose Sapientia, you may work with an individual, but you benefit from the collective wisdom of our team.

Alex BeebyAndrea MejiaChristopher ProczkoDavid G. WatsonJohn LevyJonathan A. StraussKathy LuikensKarl J. JohnsonKen EdstromLorenz (Larry) FettRobin WolpertSonia Miller-Van OortKatie TholkesTowle Neu
< >

Alex Beeby

T: 612.756.7114
E: alexb@sapientialaw.com>
VCard: Download VCard

Alex is a bankruptcy and commercial litigation attorney with a background founding and building a successful community-owned business. Alex represents individuals and businesses seeking to protect their financial rights or facing financial difficulties.

Alex has represented debtors, creditors, and other clients in bankruptcy cases and related litigation. He has successfully defended clients from trustee lawsuits and has represented businesses in successful Chapter 11 reorganization. Alex has also represented creditors including successfully obtaining relief from the bankruptcy stay and involuntary conversion to Chapter 7 liquidation. Alex also has experience in bankruptcy appeals within the Eighth and Second Circuits—including one case which the United States Supreme Court subsequently agreed to hear. Alex also has experience providing employment law representation to clients.

Before joining Sapientia, Alex practiced in the Twin Cities at mid-large firm. Alex also clerked for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kesha L. Tanabe in her first year as a judge. In law school, Alex had externships with the U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank, with Minnesota State District Court Judges Joseph Bueltel and Karen Duncan, and in the Rice County Attorney’s Office. Prior to law school, Alex helped to found Just Food Co-op, where he served in various management roles for nine years, helping to build the co-op into an established, successful business that is still serving the Northfield, Minnesota, community today.

Alex also has a history of extensive community involvement, including service on numerous community and organization boards and committees. As a result of his service, Alex was honored with a fellowship in the Humphrey Institute Policy Fellows program and attended the Blandin Community Leadership Program. Alex is also active in the Minnesota Bar Association bankruptcy section and presents CLEs and edits and writes legal publications.

J.D., summa cum laude, Mitchell Hamline School of Law (2016)
B.A., Augsburg University (2010)

Court Admissions
State of Minnesota
State of Montana
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Favorite Travel Spot: Montana
Favorite Sport: Fütball
Theme Song: “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Favorite Part of Being a Lawyer: Helping my clients resolve difficult situations and navigate the legal seas, and “nerding” out about legal nuances
Favorite charity/non-profit: American Civil Liberties Union
Friends describe me as: Witty, loyal, motivated, and intellectually curious
Favorite quote: It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one most adaptable to change. – Attributed to Charles Darwin
(Previously) Little Known Fact: I was in a dance performance group for several years.

Andrea Mejia

T: 612.756.7148
E: AndreaM@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard

Andrea is a commercial litigation attorney, who also advises her clients on corporate, commercial, and transactional matters. She is licensed in Colombia and Minnesota. While in Colombia, Andrea worked for a law firm advising national and international clients in a wide variety of business and commercial matters involving real estate transactions, land use and development, corporate formation and governance, intellectual property, commercial contract review and negotiation, foreign investment, and general counsel.

Andrea also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jose Miguel Mendoza of the Superintendency of Corporations, Division of Private Enforcement. In this role, Andrea drafted opinions and bench memoranda and presided over hearings involving commercial and complex corporate disputes, such as shareholder disputes, shareholder derivative actions, and corporate governance claims.

In 2019, Andrea received her law degree in the United States. Today, she handles a variety of business and commercial litigation issues involving shareholder disputes, corporate governance, fraud and general contract disputes. Andrea also advises clients in the areas of foreign investment in the U.S. and U.S. corporate formation and governance, corporate law, real estate, and commercial transactions. 

Andrea is a passionate advocate of human trafficking cases. She has represented clients in labor trafficking cases in front of the USCIS and has supported law enforcement agencies’ criminal investigations of labor trafficking.

J.D., University of St. Thomas
School of Law (2019)
L.L.M., University of St. Thomas
School of Law (2017)
Andes University, Colombia, International
Business Law Diploma (2013)
J.D., Sergio Arboleda University,
Colombia (2011)

Court and Bar Admissions
United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota (2021)
State of Minnesota (2019)
Colombia (2011)

Minnesota State Bar Association
Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association

  • Secretary (October 2021-present)
  • Board Member (October 2019-
    October 2021)

Hennepin County Bar Association

  • Board member representing the
    MHBA (September 2021-present)
  • Member of the Diversity and inclusion

Favorite Travel Spot: Islas del Rosario, Colombia
Favorite Sport: Soccer
Theme Song: “Amor y Control” by Ruben Blades
(Previously) Little Known Fact: I don’t like big butterflies
Favorite Part of Being a Lawyer: Receiving a sincere thank you from a client
Favorite charity/non-profit: Advocates for Human Rights

Christopher Proczko

T: 612.756.7117
E: ChristopherP@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard


Christopher has nearly a decade of experience in courts across the country, litigating matters involving commercial disputes, public records requests, privacy interests, insurance, civil rights, corporate shareholder disputes, and media access rights. He is highly respected by both the bench and the bar as a fierce advocate and careful strategist. Christopher has briefed and argued dispositive and non-dispositive matters, negotiated settlements in complex matters both before and after commencement of a lawsuit, and guided clients to solutions that minimized their risk of exposure to both potential liability and unnecessary litigation cost. 

In addition to his dedication to his clients, Christopher is committed public service and equal access to the justice system. This belief in helping those without the financial means to receive adequate representation has led him to represent prisoners pursuing excessive force claims against their prison, independent publications responding to litigation threats and legal permanent residents fighting their forced removal and deportation to stay in the United States.

Before joining Sapientia, Christopher practiced at an AmLaw 100 firm in Minneapolis. He has been active in the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association throughout his career, and he currently serves as an Executive Board Member. Christopher served as a judicial clerk to Hon. Richard H. Kyle, Hon. Tony N. Leung, and Hon. Katherine M. Menendez, all in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Christopher is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt training at Rebel Jiu Jitsu in Eagan, Minnesota. Beyond that, he has collected a full range of hobbies over the years: he rides a fixed gear bike (with brakes—he’s not a maniac), is a pretty good disc golf player, used to shoot pool much better than he does now, and is struggling to teach himself to play the ukulele.

J.D., William Mitchell College of Law (summa cum laude 2011)
B.A., St. Olaf College (2004)

Court and Bar Admissions
State of Minnesota 2011
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota

Favorite Travel Spot: London, England
Favorite Sport: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Ultimate Frisbee
Theme Song: “Nobody Speak” by DJ Shadow featuring Run The Jewels
(Previously) Little Known Fact: I really, really do not like horses
Favorite Part of Being a Lawyer: Finding exactly the right words
Favorite charity/non-profit: Reporter’s Committee for a Free Press

David G. Watson

T: 612.756.7133
E: davidw@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard

David is a commercial litigator with experience in the areas of property subrogation, construction law, insurance defense, and other related areas. After graduating cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in January 2015, David was the judicial law clerk for the Honorable Sarah E. Hennesy in the Seventh Judicial District of the Minnesota Judicial Branch. David also served as a law clerk with the Criminal Division of the Saint Paul City Attorney’s Office.

  • Memberships

    Minnesota State Bar Association

      Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association

J.D., cum laude, William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) (January 2015)
B.A., Waldorf College (1995)

Court Admissions
Minnesota State Court (2015)
Minnesota Federal Court (2017)
Minnesota State Bar Association (2015)

Favorite Travel Spot: The Black Hills and the North Shore of Lake Superior
Favorite Sport: Ice Hockey
Theme Song: “Circles” by Soul Coughing
(Previously) Little Known Fact: I like both Star Wars and Star Trek. Can’t we all just get along?
Favorite Part of Being a Lawyer: Advocacy, writing, and thinking on my feet during an oral argument.
Favorite Charity or Non-profit: Minnesota Legal Aid

John Levy

T: 612.756.7113
E: JohnL@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard

John loves practicing law. He’s practiced for over 35 years, beginning on Wall Street, and brings a level of authenticity to his work that strengthens relationships, not only with his own clients but also with parties on the other side of transactions. His clients value the perspective he brings to the table, which is often a recognition of the actual dynamics at play, sometimes different than the stated or apparent interests or objectives of the parties. Whether in the context of general advisory services or transactions, John’s commitment, attentiveness, perspective, and assertiveness often makes him an integral part of client management teams.

John has vast experience in a multitude of transactional, business, and corporate practice areas, including the following:
• Bankruptcy, Workouts and Debtor/Creditor Law
• Business Formation, Structuring and Joint Ventures
• Business Succession Planning
• Commercial Lending
• Closely Held Businesses
• Corporate Finance and Capital Raising
• Corporate Governance
• Employment and Executive Compensation and Severance
• Entrepreneurs and Emerging Businesses
• Family-Owned Businesses and Succession Planning
• Food and Hospitality, Restaurants, Food Trucks
• Intellectual Property and Licensing
• Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)

When John is not advising clients, he is relaxing with loved ones, listening to the Grateful Dead, or playing disc golf, surfing or basketball. He particularly enjoys doing all of that on the East End of Long Island, where his family has a home.

  • Representative Experience
    • Represent clients in middle-market M&A transactions ranging from several hundreds of thousands to several hundreds of millions of dollars
    • Focus on executive compensation and severance, including having represented over 20 senior executives in connection with either executive employment or severance agreements
    • Experienced negotiator and mediator
    • Represent numerous restaurants, chefs, food trucks, and other food and beverage industry participants
    • Represent (pro bono) unaccompanied minor asylum seeker from El Salvador who arrived in the US at age 15 with her (then) 9‑year-old brother
    • Significant experience in loan workout work including representation of creditors’ committee in high profile investment bank (Stockwalk) bankruptcy
    • Represent clients in initial public offerings, having completed over 20 transactions aggregating more than $1 billion in capital raised
    • Represent clients on numerous private placement and other types of private financings
    • Well-versed in going-private transactions, including two management and ESOP-led going private leveraged buyout transactions
    • Lead lawyer on several proxy contests, including two public company contests
    • Represent numerous developers, lenders and/or guarantors in complex real estate developments and restructurings
    • Comprehensive industry experience in manufacturing, construction, printing, real estate development, and high tech
    • Founded and lead as President of Minnesota Food Truck Association, which informs Food Truck Law practice
  • Publications and Presentations
    • Moderator: “Food Trucks: Advising Your Clients on Wheels,” American Bar Association Section of Business Law, November 16, 2017
    • “Food Trucks – What it takes from a Legal and Practical Perspective,” Minnesota State Bar Association, April 27, 2016
    • Presenter: Grant Thornton Food & Beverage Executive Forum, April 20, 2015
    • Author, “Delaware Court’s decision could affect reverse triangular mergers,” In House Counsel Supplement to Minnesota Lawyer, October 2011
    • Quoted and featured in various newspapers and publications including the New York Times and Minneapolis Star Tribune
    • Member of the Twin Cities Business M&A Editorial Advisory Group
    • Author, Chapter 1 “Working with an Attorney” and Chapter 13 “Management Contracts” The Practical Musician, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, a division of the Minnesota State Bar Association, 1993
    • Author, “Recent Developments: Section 507 of the Bankruptcy Code 1,” Bankruptcy Developments Journal (1984)
    • Speaker at seminars on various topics pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, business law, and food trucks
  • Professional Associations
    • Minnesota Food Truck Association, Founder and President
    • American Bar Association, Business Law Section
    • National Food Truck Association, Officer and Board Member
    • Minnesota State Bar Association, Business Law Section
    • Hennepin County Bar Association, Business and Securities Law Section
  • Civic Involvement
    • Fulfilled wish for Make-A-Wish patient
    • Board of Directors, Minnesota Food Truck Association (Chairman)
    • Board of Directors, EnerChange (Secretary, past Vice Chairman)
    • Member of MN Department of Health Environmental Health Continuous Improvement Board Mobile Food Workgroup
    • Board of Directors, Soo Visual Arts Center
    • Member, Leadership Summit of Minneapolis Hospitality Zone Assessment
    • Board of Directors, National Food Truck Association
    • Board of Directors, ChefLucasFood

Emory University School of Law, J.D. (1985)
University of Vermont, B.A. (1982)

Court and Bar Admissions
State of Minnesota
State of New York
State of Georgia

North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2013–2020
Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers numerous years since inception in 1993
AV® Preeminent peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Member of Expert Panel of the Legal Transformation Study, an acclaimed study exploring strategic planning scenarios for the legal industry to 2020
Member of Law & Politics/Twin Cities Business M&A Editorial Advisory Group
Executive Managing Editor, Bankruptcy Developments Journal, Emory University School of Law

Jonathan A. Strauss

T: 612.756.7110
E: JonS@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard


Since 1997, Jon has been litigating product liability, commercial, privacy, defamation, construction, bid protest, employment, environmental, securities, and insurance matters.  He has tried numerous cases, although he regularly obtains dismissal for his clients through summary judgment.  As local, regional and national counsel for Fortune 500 corporations, he regularly works with litigation managers, assisting them to develop appropriate budgets for litigation.  Jon has also argued and won appeals before the Minnesota and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Jon is a highly decorated attorney.  He has been named a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Law and Politics five times (2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009), named one of ten “Up and Coming Attorneys” by Minnesota Lawyer  in 2002, and a Super Lawyer in 2015.  In 2007, Jon also won the Raeder Larson Public Service Award for outstanding service to the public through pro bono legal work.  For his pro bono efforts on behalf of individuals that had been on the I‑35W bridge when it collapsed, in 2009, Jon was a recipient of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s most prestigious honor, the Professional Excellence Award, which is awarded annually to the members who have demonstrated substantial efforts to advance the legal profession and the administration of justice.

Jon’s strong belief in helping those without the means to receive adequate representation has led him to assist in several high profile pro bono matters, including freeing a death row inmate in Texas, helped several debtors through complex bankruptcy proceedings, and representing victims of the I‑35W bridge collapse.

Jon is committed to improving his profession.  Throughout his entire career, he has been active in the state and county bar associations, including serving as President for the Hennepin County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the local county bar association.  Jon also shared his knowledge of the law as an Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell College of Law teaching a seminar regarding product liability.

Jon likes to have lots of fun. He is an avid Packer and Badger fan, and enjoys the pain that the Wisconsin teams inflict upon us here in Minnesota.  When not cheering for his teams, Jon is an avid foodie and a passionate food critic.  Finally, Jon was once a juggler and magician—performing for children’s birthday parties!  He does his best to sharpen those skills with his two young boys.

  • Representative Experience
    • Honeywell v. Lutz, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2011: Successfully obtained affirmance holding that client was entitled to indemnity and insurance from subcontractor in construction matter.
    • Cleary v. Honeywell, Supreme Court of New York, 2003: Obtained summary judgment dismissal for temperature controller manufacturer in scald case.
    • Allstate Insurance Co. v. Empire Comfort Systems, Inc., State of Minnesota District Court, 2003: Successfully defended furnace manufacturer in products liability trial.
    • Siemens Transp. Systems, Inc. v. Metropolitan Council, 2001 WL 682892 (Minn. Ct. App. June 19, 2001): Fought off bid protest in trial regarding light rail vehicles in Minneapolis.
    • Reynolds v. Pennsylvania Higher Educ. Assistance Agency, 425 F.3d 526 (8th Cir. 2005), cert. denied, Educational Credit Management Corp. v. Reynolds, 127 S.Ct. 46 (2006): Won trial and two appeals resulting in discharge of debtor’s student loans. See Jonathan Strauss is Honored for Pro Bono Service. As a result of Jon’s work on this case, he was awarded the Raeder Larson Public Service Award by the Minnesota State Bar Association.
    • AEI Net Lease Income and Growth Fund XX Limited Partnership v. Anthony R. Alvarez, 2001 WL 710587 (Minn. Ct. App. June 26, 2001): Successfully argued before state appellate court in commercial landlord collections dispute.
    • Guy v. Cockrell, 343 F.3d 348 (5th Cir. 2003): Defended Texas defendant in federal habeas appeal, eventually resulting in his removal from death row.
  • Professional Recognition

    Named a Super Lawyer for 2015

    2009 recipient of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s most prestigious honor, the Professional Excellence Award, which is awarded annually to the members who have demonstrated substantial efforts to advance the legal profession and the administration of justice.

    2007 recipient of the Raeder Larson Public Service Award from the Bankruptcy Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. This award recognizes outstanding service to the public through pro bono legal services and honors the recipient’s dedication to a system providing equal justice for all.

    “Up & Coming Attorneys” Award — One of 10 selected by Minnesota Lawyer for 2002

    Rising Star — Selected by Minnesota Law & Politics for 2002, 2003, 2007 — 2009

  • Memberships

    Hennepin County Bar Association

      • Plebicite Committee, 2012–2013
      • Board of Directors, 2003 — 2010
      • Co-Chair, Litigation Committee, 2004 — 2006
      • Chair, Finance and Planning Committee, 2007 — 2008

    Hennepin County Bar Foundation
    Board of Directors 2009 — present
    Vice President (Presidential track) 2012–2013

    Minnesota State Bar Associations
    Assembly Member, 2004 — 2008, 2010
    Legislative Committee, 2004 — 2006
    General Policy Committee, 2006 — 2008, 2010
    Speaker — Bankruptcy Section October 1999 — Student Loan Discharges

  • Civic Involvement

    Member, Jewish Community Relations Council/Domestic & Civic Affairs Commission — 2000

    Treasurer, Dan Rogan for Robbinsdale City Council, 2004 — Present

    Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law, Business Practicum 2008

    Parents Advisory Committee, Shirley G. Moore Lab School, 2009 — Present

    Mentor, College Possible, 2011 — Present

JD, Northwestern University School of Law (1997)
B.A. Phi Beta Kappa, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1994)

Court Admissions
State of Minnesota, 1997
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 1997
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1999
Supreme Court of the United States, 2006
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2015

Favorite Travel Spot: Bora Bora
Favorite Sport: Baseball
Theme Song: “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” by Warren Zevon
(Previously) Little Known Fact: Is not really a big fan of spiders
Favorite Part of Being a Lawyer: An intense oral argument
Favorite Charity or Non-profit: College Possible
Friends Describe You As: Passionate about life and loyal

Kathy Luikens

T: 612.756.7172
E: kathyl@sapientialaw.com


Kathy Luikens has been a support professional in the legal industry for over 30 years. She has significant experience in general litigation, product liability, and criminal law, as well as transactional and corporate work in recent years. She brings a heightened attention to detail and streamlined efficiency to her work. In her free time, Kathy enjoys shopping, traveling, and camping. 

Favorite travel spot: Caribbean
Favorite sport: Hockey
Theme song: “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Jimmy Buffett (or just anything by Jimmy Buffett)
Favorite part of being a Legal Administrative Assistant: Learning new areas of law
Favorite charities: Church
Little known fact: Grew up in a small town in western Minnesota 

Karl J. Johnson

T: 612.756.7155
E: karlj@sapientialaw.com


Karl Johnson is one of only four attorneys in Minnesota certified as a Business Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification. He has appeared as attorney of record in thousands of bankruptcy cases representing debtors, creditors, trustees, and other parties in interest in bankruptcy cases under Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13. Karl clerked for retired Chief Bankruptcy Judge Gregory F. Kishel from 2010 to 2012. Karl is the author of the “Real Estate in Bankruptcy” chapter in the Real Estate Law volume of the Minnesota Practice Series and other publications about bankruptcy topics. From 2017 to 2022, Karl was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Bulletin. Karl speaks nationally on bankruptcy topics.

Karl represented the debtor with the first confirmed plan under subchapter V of chapter 11 in the nation. Karl has prevailed on issues of first impression regarding treatment of business expenses and student loans in chapter 13. Karl has also successfully defended bankruptcy appeals.

Karl’s clients include individuals, businesses, and institutional creditors. Karl has experience litigating creditor-debtor disputes, collecting debts, defending FDCPA actions, and litigating shareholder disputes.

Karl has also represented logistics companies and large retailers in negotiating motor carrier agreements, transportation broker services agreements, fulfilment center agreements, warehouse services agreements, and bulk transportation agreements.

In addition to his professional work, Karl is dedicated to enriching his community. Karl is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Karl regularly represents pro bono clients and in 2018 received the Raeder Larson Public Service Award for his pro bono service. Karl serves on the board of directors of Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was founded in 1966 to connect pro bono attorneys with pro bono clients, and has held the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the board. Karl is also active with the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Korean American Bar Association of Minnesota.

  • Representative Experience
    • Prevailed on issue of first impression regarding treatment of student loans in chapter 13: In re Jordahl, 539 B.R. 567 (8th Cir. BAP 2015)
    • Prevailed on issue of first impression regarding treatment of business expenses under chapter 13: In re Hoffman, 511 B.R. 128 (Bankr. D. Minn. 2014)
    • Represented a client in a bankruptcy adversary proceeding, resulting in state court sanctions being excepted from discharge
    • Defended a bankruptcy adversary proceeding based on allegations of fraud, resulting in dismissal of the complaint
    • Settled a seven-figure fraudulent transfer action for less than 8% of the amount in controversy
    • Negotiated adequate protection that resulted in larger plan payments for a bank client
    • Successfully argued that a nonprofit organization cannot be classified as a small business debtor in a Chapter 11 case and cannot be burdened with the additional procedural requirements that are imposed on a small business debtor
    • Represented debtor in the first confirmed plan in the Eighth Circuit under subchapter V of chapter 11
    • Represented debtors in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case of a restaurant chain with locations in more than a dozen states
    • Negotiated to settle a $1.5 million preference claim for only $170,000
  • Selected Publications and Speeches
    • Co-Author, Recent Developments in Section 503—Administrative Expenses, Norton Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law (Bruce Grohsgal, ed., 2023 ed. Upcoming)
    • Author, Real Estate in Bankruptcy, 25 MINNESOTA PRACTICE—REAL ESTATE LAW, Ch.7 (Wertheim ed., 2019–2021 eds.)
    • Co-Author, “Sale of Assets,” Bankruptcy Practice in Minnesota Deskbook (Larison, Running and Stewart eds., 1st ed., 2016 update; 2nd ed., 2018 and 2020 update)
    • Co-Author, “Bankruptcy Basics,” Representing the Ongoing Business Deskbook, (Willeke edition, 2nd edition, 2017 and 2018 update)
    • Co-Author, “Vesting With or Without Agreement: Implications for Due Process,” National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 3, at 21 (2nd Qtr. 2016)
    • “Commercial Leases in Bankruptcy,” Minnesota CLE, May 23, 2023
    • “Asset Sales and Liquidating Plans in Sub V,” Nat’l Assoc. of Bankr. Trustees Annual Conference, Chicago, Aug. 27, 2021
    • “7 Things Every Real Estate Attorney Needs to Know About Leases and Bankruptcy Right Now,” Minnesota CLE, July 21, 2021
    • “An Update on Subchapter V—Was it Worth It?” William J. O’Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankr. Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, May 21, 2021
    • Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, Mitchell Hamline Law School, November 13, 2020
    • Case Law Update, Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute, October 8, 2020
    • Case Law Update, Agricultural Law & Bankruptcy Law Virtual Seminar, State Bar Association of North Dakota, June 3, 2020
    • Case Law Update, Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute, October 3, 2019
    • “Contracts in Bankruptcy,” Minnesota CLE, August 27, 2019
    • “I Take Exception to Your Discharge: Current Developments in Dischargeability Actions,” Minnesota State Bar Association, July 16, 2019.
    • Bankruptcy Case Law Update Webinar, May 31, 2019
    • Case Law Update, Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute, October 4, 2018.
    • “Business Bankruptcy Roundtable,” Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute, October 24, 2017.
    • “New Law & Significant Issues in Bankruptcy: Asset Sales,” Minnesota CLE, July 26, 2017.
    • “Effectively Utilizing Chapter 12 Bankruptcy as a Tool in Agricultural Workouts,” Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota Webinar, March 8, 2017.
    • “What Can You Do With Property Nobody Wants? Vest: Opportunities for Debtors and Pitfalls for Secured Creditors,” Minnesota State Bar Association Bankruptcy Section, February 21, 2017.
  • Awards
    • Honoree, Top Lawyers, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Minnesota Monthly (2022)
    • Honoree, Best Lawyers® Ones to Watch,” Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2021 — present)
    • Honoree, Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Stars
    • Honoree, 2018 Raeder Larson Public Service Award
  • Professional Affiliations
    • Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association Member Secretary (2022–2023)
    • Hennepin County Bar Association Member 
    • American Bankruptcy Institute Member 
    • Risk Management Association Member 
    • Korean American Bar Association Member 
    • Minnesota State Bar Association Member Bankruptcy Section: Pro bono Committee Member, Education Chair (2020–2022), Treasurer (2021–2022), and Secretary (2022–2023) Bankruptcy Bulletin, Co-Editor-in-Chief
    • Turnaround Management Association Member 
    • Volunteer Lawyers Network Board of Directors Secretary (2020–2021) Treasurer/Vice Chair (2021–2022)
      Chair (2022–2023)
    • American Board of Certification — Certified Business Bankruptcy Specialist
    • American Bar Foundation — Fellow 
    • Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District Member — District Ethics Committee 
  • Civic Involvement
    • Credit Abuse Resistance Education Volunteer 
    • 65–6650-9928, v. 1

Bankruptcy and Restructuring
Lending and Finance

University of Minnesota Law School (2010)
University of Michigan, M.A. (2002)
Sarah Lawrence College, B.A. (1996)

Court Admissions
State — Minnesota
Federal — District of Minnesota Federal — Central District of Illinois
Federal — Western District of Wisconsin
Federal — Northern District of Texas
Federal — 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

Ken Edstrom

T: 612.756.7108
E: kene@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard



Ken has over 37 years of experience in insolvency, corporate disputes, debt restructuring, bankruptcy, receiverships, assignments for the benefit of creditors, financing and commercial litigation. Ken represents businesses seeking to protect their financial rights. Ken also represents individuals and businesses experiencing or seeking to avoid financial difficulties.

Ken has practiced in the Twin Cities his entire career. He represents all sides in bankruptcy proceedings and has been debtor’s counsel on some of the most significant Chapter 11 filings in Minnesota over the past 30 years. He also represents creditors’ committees and secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, and he has litigated adversary actions in bankruptcy courts around the country.

Ken is a frequent lecturer and writer on topics involving the bankruptcy rights of individuals and businesses. He is licensed in Minnesota, Arizona and numerous federal and bankruptcy Courts around the region and the country, including the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Ken is one of only six attorneys in Minnesota to be certified in business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification, a certification he has held since the year 2000. In addition, Ken has been voted as a “Superlawyer” by his peers (only 5% of all attorneys are so designated) for fifteen years in a row and for 19 of the past 20 years.

  • Memberships/Affiliations:
    American Bar Association
    American Bankruptcy Institute
    Minnesota State Bar Association — Bankruptcy Section
    Hennepin County Bar Association — Debtor-Creditor Committee
  • Recent Reported Cases
    • Dakota County v. Milan, (In re Milan), 2016 BL 312159, B.A.P. 8th Cir., No. 16–6012, 9/22/16 ).
    • In re Acuity Medical, Bankr. Minn. Bky. No. 15–40126.
    • Analog Technologies Corp. v. Knutson, 2015 Minn.App. LEXIS 624 (Analog III).
    • In re Premier Healthcare Services, Inc., 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 865. 
    • In re Next Generation Media, 524 B.R. 824 (Bankr. Minn. 2015). 
    • Allred v. Hauser (In re Jundt), 2014 Bankr. 2729 (Dist. S.D.).
    • In re Coyote Creek, LLC, Bankr. Minn. Bky. No. 13–36053.
    • Analog Technologies, Inc. v. Knutson, 2013 Minn.App. 1158 (Analog II). 
    • Honsa v. Petrilak, Bankr. Minn. Adv. No. 12–03324 (Constantine).
    • KFC Corporation v. Wagstaff Minnesota, et al., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 372 (Dist. Minn.). 
    • Ries v. Legendary Marine (In re Genmar Holdings), 481 B.R. 500 (Bankr. D. Minn. 2012) 
    • In re Keely and Grabanski Land Partnership, L.P., 455 B.R. 153 (8th Cir. BAP 2011). 
    • Analog Technologies Corp. v. Knutson, 2011 WL 1236164, Minn.App., April 05, 2011 (Ross) (Analog I).
    • Lee v. Haukaas (In Re Haukaas), 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 2930. 
    • In re Kladek, Inc., d/b/a The King of Diamonds, Bankr. Minn. 10–35032 (Kressel).
    • In re Next Generation Media, Inc., Bankr. Minn. 10–40097 (Kressel).
    • Manty v. Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd., Minn. Adv. 10–03071 (Kishel).
    • In re: Talon Manufacturing, Inc., Bankr. Minn. 10–42155 (Kressel).
    • In re Veblen West Dairy LLP, 434 B.R. 550, Bankr. S.D. 2010 (Nail).
    • In re Smith, Bankr. No. 09–47382 (Bankr. D. Minn. 2010). 
    • Swift & Co. v. Elias Farms, Inc., et al, 539 F.3d 849 (C.A.8 (Minn.)
  • Publications/Presentations
    • Case commentary published by the MSBA’s Bankruptcy section: IN RE LUEBBERT, 987 F.3D 771 (8TH CIR. 2021) FEBRUARY 9, 2021: read more
    • “The Nifty Nine: The Most Important Bankruptcy Cases Decided by SCOTUS.” Co-Author: Minnesota CLE 2017
    • Chapter on Bankruptcy Issues, “Family Law Financial Handbook” Minnesota CLE, 2016
    • “The Effect of Law v. Siegel on the Ability to Deny Claims of Exemption” American Bankruptcy Institute Consumer Committee News, Spring 2015
    • “The Intersection of Family Law and Bankruptcy”- Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute 2014
    • “Contingent Property Interests in Bankruptcy” – Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute 2013
    • Association of Attorneys and Real Estate Executives: “New Bankruptcy Realities” presentation, April 2012
    • Co-Author, “To Be Paid or Not to be Paid, That is the Question” — Minnesota State Bar Association CLE 2012
    • Minnesota State Bar Association Bankruptcy Deskbook – “Exemptions;” 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
    • “Individual Chapter 11s in Minnesota After BAPCPA: Uncharted Territory” — Minnesota Continuing Legal Education webcast (co-author), 2011
    • Chapter 11 First Day Motions in Minnesota, an Introduction ” (co-author), September 2010
    • State Capital Group Legal Blog: “BAPCPA Fails to Live up to its Advance Billing.http://bankruptcy.scglegal.com/2012/08/bapcpa-fails-to-live-up-to-its-advance.html, August 2011
    • “First Circuit Bucks Majority on Discharge of Unlisted Debt in No-Asset Case” – ABI Journal, Vol. XXVII, No. 9, November 2009
    • Outline: MSBA presentation, In re Addison, Minnesota State Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section, November 18, 2008
    • “Hidden Traps of Small Business Chapter 11s” – Minnesota State Bar Association CLE, 2008;
    • “Section 522(o): Can You Change the Law if You Leave the Language the Same?” – American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Committee News, April 2008
    • Numerous other articles and CLE outlines authored over the years on insurance law, landlord-tenant law and bankruptcy law

J.D., University of Minnesota Law School (1983)
Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, Moorhead State University (1980)

Court Admissions
State of Minnesota, 1983
State of Arizona, 2015
District of Minnesota, 1983
Multiple Other District Courts
Eighth Circuit, 1983
United States Supreme Court, 1986
United States Tax Court, 1996


“Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics (2006 — 2021)
AP Rated by Martindale Hubbell

Favorite travel spot: Paris
Favorite sport: Horse Racing, if that is a sport
Theme song: Whatever Gets You Through the Night
Favorite part of being a lawyer: Improving the lives of my clients
Favorite charity: My Church
Little known fact: One of my brothers was born a year and a day before me and another was born a year and a day after me.

Lorenz (Larry) Fett

T: 612–756-7107
E: LarryF@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard


Lorenz started at Sapientia in April 2011, practicing in civil litigation with an emphasis on civil rights, privacy and employment law. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts, as well as some tribal courts. His reason for joining Sapientia? He was particularly attracted to the talent and personalities of Sapientia’s legal team, and hopes he lives up to the implied wisdom of the name and the great legal crew.

Lorenz (or “Larry”) began his career as a litigator in 1977 in Marshalltown, Iowa, and enjoyed the baptism by fire experienced by those who find themselves a few months from law school immediately trying cases before not one but two judges who would later be appointed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He heeded Greeley’s admonition and moved from Iowa to California, practicing at a noted construction defect firm in San Diego, and from there moved back to the Midwest, practicing with the Minneapolis law firms of Lockridge Grindal Nauen, Parsinen Kaplan Rosberg & Gotlieb, and Holstein Law Group. He is admitted to practice in Minnesota, Iowa, California, the Eighth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court, and select tribal courts in Minnesota.

Larry took a writer’s retreat in 2002 to the extreme, and began writing fiction and installing wood floors. Since then, he received several awards, including Honorable Mention in the 2002–2003 Loft Mentor Series; second place in the 2003 SASE/Ache Literary Magazine Annual Fiction Contest for the short story “in the i of my dog” (yes, he does have a dog); and Honorable Mention in the 2004 Writer’s Digest 73rd Annual Writing Competition (over 18,000 entries) for the short story “The Speckled Tongue.”

Larry was raised on a farm and still farms in both Iowa and Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1973, with a B.A. in English; received his law degree, with distinction, from the University of Iowa in 1976; and now lives in St. Paul with his dog Scooter, his mother Bonnie Belle, and his daughter Cora Belle.

Interview with Larry Fett on WCCO Radio. Read More about this story.

J.D., With Distinction, University of Iowa College of Law (1976)
B.A., English, University of Iowa (1973)

Court Admissions
State of Minnesota
State of Iowa
State of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

Favorite travel spot: Any place between here and the Rockies, especially northwestern Nebraska (don’t laugh if you’ve never been there!)
Favorite sport: Any kind of racing.
Theme song: The Unclouded Day
Favorite part of being a lawyer: Helping my client win the lawsuit, of course, but also taking that stress out of my client’s life, and hopefully finding that one case that really makes a difference.
Favorite Charity or Non-Profit: Church
Friends Describe Me As: Intense, Technical, and Analytical
Favorite Quote: “Go west, young man, go west!”
(Previously) Little Known Fact: I like horses and rode every day when I was younger and had a horse, a standardbred bay I bought injured off the track and kept on our farm to herd cattle and scare the daylights out of me and my friends.  With him I raced the neighboring quarter horses and he was never beaten in any distance over a half mile.  I named him Tony after my Uncle, who was a bouncer and a schoolteacher.

Robin Wolpert

T: 612.756.7103
E: robinw@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard


Robin Wolpert is an accomplished appellate practitioner, business litigator, and white-collar criminal defense attorney. With her unique blend of government, in-house, and private sector experience, Robin develops creative problem-solving strategies and, where necessary, manages litigation seamlessly from trial through appeal.

Robin handles a diverse mix of civil and criminal lawsuits and appeals, focusing on constitutional law, defamation, social media and misinformation campaigns, business fraud and misappropriation, and business compliance. She represents clients in litigation involving private parties or the government, including cases with parallel criminal and civil proceedings, civil and criminal appeals, and investigations. Robin has extensive experience in compliance with federal and international anti-bribery and anticorruption standards—including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act, and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws. In addition, she spent much of her career advising and litigating on behalf of state and local government as a prosecutor and outside counsel.

Always passionate about public service, Robin is a national leader and public speaker on democracy, ethics, lawyer well-being, implicit bias, and diversity, equity & inclusion. She serves as President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, Treasurer of the Institute for Well Being in Law (IWIL), member of the ABA House of Delegates, member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism, special advisor to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI), past chair of Minnesota’s Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, and past president of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She was Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law teaching constitutional criminal procedure in 2022.

  • Memberships/Affiliations

    Institute for Well-Being In Law (IWIL), Treasurer (2021-present)

     ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism (2021-present)

     ABA Rule of Law Initiative, Special Advisor (2023-present)

     ABA House of Delegates (2020-present)

     National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being (2019–2020)

     National Conference of Bar Presidents:

    • President (2023-present)
    • Executive Council (2017–present)
    • Secretary (2020–2021)
    • Treasurer (2021–2022)
    • President Elect (2022–23)

     Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board:

    • Chair (2017–2021)
    • Executive Committee (2015–2021)
    • Board of Directors (2013–2021)
    • Investigator (2007–12)

    Minnesota State Bar Association:

    • President (2016–2017)
    • President Elect (2015–2016)
    • Treasurer (2014–2015)
    • Secretary (2013–2014)

    Commission on Juvenile Sentencing For Heinous Crimes (2016–18)

    Minnesota State Bar Association Criminal Law Section Council, 2017–23

    Commission On Judicial Selection (10th Judicial District) (2011–16)

    Minnesota County Attorneys Association, appellate and best practices committees (2013- 15)

    Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society:

    • Chair (2015)
    • Vice-Chair (2014)
    • Secretary (2013)
    • Treasurer (2012)

    Minnesota State Bar Association Appellate Practice Section Council Chair (2011)

  • Professional Recognition

    Top Women Lawyers, 2017- 2023

    Named 2018 D & I Honoree by The Minnesota Lawyer click here

    SuperLawyers, 2017- 2023

    Named “2016 Attorney of the Year” by The Minnesota Lawyer, click here

    Named “2012 Attorney of the Year” by The Minnesota Lawyer, click here

    Named “Minnesota Rising Star,” by Minnesota Law & Politics (2011)

    Amicus Service Award, International Municipal Lawyers Association

    Lawsuit of the Year, Minnesota Law & Politics (2008)

    Minnesota Citizens Commission For The Preservation Of An Impartial Judiciary (Governor Al Quie, Chair), Reporter 2006-07


J.D., cum laude, Cornell Law School (2001)
Ph.D., Political Science, University of Chicago (1995) B.A., Colby College (1985)

Court Admissions

State of Minnesota
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit


Favorite Travel Spot: Langkawi, Malaysia

Favorite Sport: Downhill skiing

Theme Song: Mahler 5 (Previously) Little Known Fact: I am a former college professor and I love working with the next generation.

Favorite Part of Being a Lawyer: Empowering my clients to achieve their goals and partnering with them to create options for success both inside and outside the legal process.

Favorite Charity or Non-profit: Urban Ventures in Minneapolis Friends Describe You As: Creative and passionate about serving clients, the legal profession, and the public.

Sonia Miller-Van Oort

T: 612.756.7125
E: SoniaMV@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard



Sonia Miller-Van Oort is a highly respected and accomplished litigation attorney. She has worked on a variety of litigation involving commercial disputes, product liability cases, non-competition and non-solicitation matters, breach-of-contract cases, invasion-of-privacy matters, franchise disputes, tortious interference claims, and misrepresentation and fraud claims. Having represented clients nationally, regionally, and locally, Sonia has a breadth of experience briefing and arguing dispositive and non-dispositive motions, negotiating settlements in complex matters, and trying cases both in state and federal court. Sonia’s clients most value her strong oral advocacy abilities, negotiation skills, and practical, yet innovative approach to addressing their needs.

Sonia’s skills both inside and outside of the courtroom have been recognized by her peers and adversaries alike. In 2002, Sonia was selected as one of only ten attorneys in Minnesota to be recognized as an “Up and Coming Attorney.” She was subsequently named a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Law and Politics in 2005, 2006, 2008, and a “Super Lawyer” in 2013, 2014, and 2015. And in 2007–2008, Sonia had the distinguished honor of being elected the 89th President of the Hennepin County Bar Association (one of the 15 largest county bar associations in the country), serving as the Association’s first Hispanic President and the second youngest President in its history. Sonia served as the first Latino President of the Minnesota State Bar Association and fifth female President in 2017–2018. In September 2020, Indiana University-Mauer School of Law presented Sonia with its Distinguished Service award in recognition of her extraordinary service to the legal community.

Not only is Sonia committed to her legal practice and meeting her clients’ needs, she is also committed to public service. Sonia was appointed by the ABA President to serve on the prestigious ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary as the 8th Circuit representative; in this capacity, Sonia and the 14-member committee volunteer significant time evaluating presidential nominees to the federal court and issuing ratings to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Department of Justice, and the White House. Over the years, Sonia has provided pro bono assistance to numerous clients, including representation of parents, guardians ad litem, and children caught in foster care and custody disputes. Her commitment to community is also reflected in the variety of non-profit boards of directors on which she has served: the Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Volunteer Lawyers Network, University of Minnesota Legal Services, and the Notre Dame Club of Minnesota. Sonia also served for eight years on the School Board of the Hopkins-based Spanish-immersion public charter school, International Spanish Language Academy, serving as Chair for two years and an officer for several. Sonia feels a strong allegiance to her law school and was honored to be asked to serve on the Indiana University Alumni Board of Directors for several years, as well as the Latino Alumni Advisory Board.

Those who know Sonia know she takes her fun seriously. In addition to playing many board games with her husband and two nearly-grown children, Sonia loves travel, playing competitive tennis, dancing the night away, and cheering on the Notre Dame football team.

  • Memberships/Affiliations

    Council on Litigation Management

    Defense Research Institute

    Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association

    National Association of Professional Women

    Minnesota Women Lawyers

    Hennepin County Bar Association:

    President (2007–2008)

    President-Elect (2006–2007)

    Treasurer (2005–2006)

    Secretary (2004–2005)

    Executive Committee (2004- 2009)

    Board of Directors (1998- 2009, 2010- present)

    Community Relations Committee (Chair: 2002- 2004; Co-Chair: 2001–2002)

    Finance & Planning Committee (2003–2008)

    Leadership Institute Planning Committee (2003- 2005)

    Nominating Committee (1999–2004)

    Program Assessment Committee (2002–2003)

    Delivery of Legal Services Committee (Co-Vice-Chair: 2000–2002)

    New Lawyers Section (Chair: 1999–2001)

    Minnesota State Bar Association:

    Treasurer (on leadership track to be President in 2017)

    Board of Governors/Assembly (1998—2004; 2006—2011)

    Operations Committee (2009—present)

    Diversity Implementation Task Force (2006—present) (Co-Chair: 2009—present )

    Governance Committee (2007—2009; Chair 2011–2015)

    Operations Committee (2009–present)

    Diversity Implementation Task Force (2006–present) (Co-Chair:  2009–present)

    Governance Committee (2007–2009)

    Food & Drug Section (Treasurer: 2002–present; Secretary: 2001–2002)

    American Bar Association:

    National Council of Bar Presidents (2007–2009)

    National Affiliate Assistance Team, Young Lawyers Division (1999–2000,2002–2003, 2004–2006)

    Lawyers with Disability Committee, Young Lawyers Division (Co-Vice Chair: 2003– 2004)

    Litigation Committee (Co-Vice Chair: 2002–2003)

    Co-Coordinator, Young Lawyers Division Pilot Project-Taking Hate Out of the Classroom (2001–2002)

    Co-Coordinator, Young Lawyers Division Pilot Project- Operation Arbitration (2000–2001)

  • Civic Involvement

    International Spanish Language Academy, School Board (Chair 2009–2011)

    (Former) Hennepin County Bar Foundation — Board of Directors

    (Former) Volunteer Lawyers Network – Board of Directors

    (Former) Indiana University School of Law- Alumni Board of Directors

    Notre Dame Club of Minnesota — Board of Directors

    University of Minnesota Student Legal Services- former Board of Directors

    Youth Empowerment Summit- Minneapolis, Founder

    Helping Kids Belong Project — Coordinator

    “We the Jury” Project — Coordinator

    Immaculate Heart of Mary – Lector, Volunteer Teacher

  • Representative Experience
    • Tonicstar, Ltd. v. Lovegreen Turbine Services, Inc., 2006 WL 2472826 (D.Minn)
    • Leucadia v. Intermas, 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2334 (D.Minn)
    • Berczyk v. Emerson Tool Craft, et al., 291 F. Supp. 2d 1004 (D.Minn. 2003)
    • Hammel v. Eau Galle Cheese Factory, 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 7515
    • Hammel v. Eau Galle Cheese Factory, 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 11380
    • In Re: Welfare of S.N.R., 617 NW 2d 77 (Minn. App. 2000)
    • Halloran v. FranChoice
    • Brambillas v. Underwriters of Lloyds of London
  • Publications
  • Presentations
    • “Millennials in the Workforce: Making the “In it for me” Employee In It For You,” CBIZ & Flynn Gaskins & Bennett Seminar, 5/09
    • Panelist,” Women as Leaders in the Legal Profession,” Visions of Women’s Leadership Conference, University of St. Thomas, 10/08
    • Speaker, “Judicial Elections—the Changing Landscape,” American Association of University Women, 11/06
    • “Strategic and Long-Range Planning for Organizations” — 2005 NAPABA National Bar Leadership Institute (IL)
    • “Trends in Non-Compete Litigation” — Firm Seminar, November, 2004
    • “State Farm v. Campbell: The Last Word on Punitive Damages?” — Firm Seminar, September, 2004
    • “Finding & Motivating Members” — 2004
      ABA Young Lawyers Division Fall Conference (TX) & Western Regional Conference (CA)
    • “Top Ten Changes in the ADA”- 2004 ABA Young Lawyers Division Mid-Year Meeting (TX)
    • “Where are We with the ADA”- 2003 ABA Young Lawyers Division Fall Conference (PA)
    • “Is Adoption of the ‘Inevitable Disclosure’ Doctrine Inevitable in Minnesota Courts?” Firm Seminar, 12/03
    • “Defending a Medical Device Claim”- MSBA CLE, 6/03
    • “Taking Hate Out of the Junior/Senior High School Classroom”- 2002 ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference (CO)
    • “Operation Arbitration”- 2001 ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference (AK)
    • “Goal-Setting: Achieving Your Personal Goals”- 2000 ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference (TX)
    • “Youth Empowerment Summit”- 1999 ABA Midwest Regional Conference (WI)
    • “The Lawyerist”- 2015 Podcast #32: Sonia Miller Van Oort’s Non-Traditional Law Firm


J.D., cum laude, Indiana University—Maurer School of Law, Indiana Law Review (1997)

B.A., Dean’s List, University of Notre Dame (1993)

Moscow State University (Summer Program 1992)

Court Admissions

State of Minnesota

State of Iowa

U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court


“Distinguished Service Award” from Indiana University- Mauer School of Law (2020)

“Top Attorneys in Minnesota,” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine (2014–2020)

“Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota,” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine (2014–2020)

“Top 100 Minnesota Highstakes Lawyers” (2019)

“2014 Attorney of the Year,” by The Minnesota Lawyer

“Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics (2013, 2014, 2015)

“Thought Leader,” Future Firms, Indiana University- Mauer School of Law (2009)

“Minnesota Rising Star” by Law & Politics (2005, 2006, 2008)

“Star of the Quarter” by American Bar Association Young Lawyer Division (2006)

Awarded “Distinguished Service Award” by Notre Dame Club of Minnesota (2006)

Selected by Minnesota Lawyer as 1 of 10 “Up and Coming Attorneys” (2002)


Favorite travel spot: Israel

Favorite sport: Tennis

Theme song: “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

Favorite part of being a lawyer: Developing litigation strategy and implementing it to get the desired result

Katie Tholkes

T: 612.756.7150
E: katiet@sapientialaw.com


Katie Tholkes is a paralegal at Sapientia Law Group.  She primarily provides support to the firm’s litigation team, but also has experience in regulatory compliance, real estate, and other transactional matters.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College and a Paralegal Certificate from Hamline University.  She is also a member of the Minnesota Paralegal Association, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, and LEX National Paralegal Honor Society.

The things Katie most enjoys about her job are the opportunity to learn something new from each and every case, and being able to contribute to such a dedicated and creative team of attorneys and support staff to meet the needs of clients.  Outside of work, Katie enjoys cooking and baking, reading both fiction and nonfiction, and spending time with family and friends.

Favorite travel spot: Ireland
Favorite sport: Speedwalking through the skyway
Theme song: “Running with the Wolves” by Cloud Cult
Favorite part of being a Paralegal: There’s a lot of variety in the work I do, which means I get to learn about many different types of businesses and areas of law.
Favorite charities: Fistula Foundation and Backpack Project MN
Little known fact: I read cookbooks for fun. 

Towle Neu

T: 612.756.7122
E: TowleN@sapientialaw.com
VCard: Download VCard


 Towle is a business and transactional attorney with more than 20 years of experience. His practice focuses on real estate, asset and stock transactions, new business creation and expansion, outside general counsel services, and lending. He provides strategic legal counsel to a wide range of clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, in various industries, from commercial finance and real estate development to life sciences and manufacturing.

Towle started his legal career 20 years ago at a prominent construction litigation firm in Minneapolis, but eventually transitioned to real estate transactional and lending work. Prior to joining Sapientia in 2015, he was also the owner of an independent filmmaking business and a solo practitioner. Coupled with his transactional and general counsel experience, this unique background and gives Towle invaluable insight to understanding his clients’ needs and concerns and fuels his commitment to client loyalty, cost-effective service, and creative solutions.

General Counsel Services

Towle works closely with his clients on day-to-day operational and growth issues, as well as finding creative solutions to critical business decisions, including company formation, ownership structure and change, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, contracts and licensing, private equity and financing, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial business transactions. In this capacity, he prides himself on being a loyal and trusted confidante to his clients, which gives them the freedom to focus on their business priorities and strategic decisions, not legal concerns.

Towle is also a member of Sapientia’s COVID-19 Business Counsel team formed in response to the pandemic. He combines his lending and transactional experience with his knowledge of the COVID-19 federal loans and financial assistance available to small businesses that are impacted by the pandemic, including those programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Transactional

Towle also has significant experience representing owners, developers, and lenders in all aspects of real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, construction lending, and project management, including drafting, negotiating, closing, and administering construction and term loans; negotiating construction contracts, commercial leases, purchase agreements, and declarations of restrictive covenants, and review and analysis of title and survey, environmental, corporate compliance, and all other due diligence.

  • Representative General Counsel Experience
    • Outside general counsel to a foreign, publicly traded company expanding into the U.S. life sciences industry focused on developing technology for mental health diagnosis and monitoring. Draft and negotiate business-development agreements, including product development contracts, consulting agreements, NDAs, data sharing and clinical trial agreements, and sales and licensing contracts.
    • Represent the developer of a 400-acre residential garage condominium and road track project in rural Minnesota.
    • Represent a property management company in connection with its operation of several apartment communities in the Twin Cities.
    • As outside general counsel, oversaw internal investigation of alleged breach of fiduciary duties by executive officer.
  • Representative Transactional Experience
    • Represented the lender of a $70,000,000 construction and term loan for the development of a 70-tenant lifestyle shopping center in the Minneapolis metro area.
    • Represented a national bank in a $12,300,000 construction and term loan for development of an office building in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
    • Represented a national retail company in its receipt of $36,000,000 STAR bond funds for the construction of a 235,000 sq. ft. store in Sparks, Nevada.
    • Represented a lender in a $15,000,000 loan for the construction of an ethanol plant.
    • Represented a Twin Cities real estate group in the sales of four apartment complexes for a total of $7,600,000.
    • Represented the developer in the construction financing of a 27-story condominium tower and adjacent townhomes in downtown Minneapolis.
    • Represented the buyer in its purchase and leasing of several office buildings in the Twin Cities metro area ranging in value from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000.

J.D., with distinction, University of Iowa College of Law (1999)
B.S., Dean’s List, Northwestern University (1995)

Court Admissions
State of Minnesota

Favorite Travel Spots: Laos and a secret location in the Colorado Rockies
Favorite Sport: Mountain Biking. Yes, it’s a sport. Theme Song: Live Wire by Mötley Crüe
Favorite Non-Profit: IFP of Minnesota
Favorite Part of Being a Lawyer: It’s a profession where having gray hair is a good thing.
Little Known Fact: Directed the feature film Heart of Wilderness