Ohnstad Twichell has the unique distinction of having seven of its members serve as judges in various jurisdictions, including the North Dakota Supreme Court, United States District Court, and various state courts.
The law firm of Ohnstad Twichell, P.C., West Fargo, North Dakota, was founded on August 1, 1939, by Manfred R. Ohnstad, as a sole practitioner, and is located in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota. There are currently 17 attorneys practicing with the law firm.
Ohnstad formed a partnership in 1949 with Arthur W. McCauley (now deceased). In 1955, Ohnstad formed a partnership with Daniel R. Twichell. Twichell continued to practice with the law firm until he retired on December 31, 2006. He currently serves in an “of counsel” capacity.
Former U.S. Attorney Ralph B. Maxwell joined the law firm in 1958, and resigned in 1968 to become a district judge of the First Judicial District, Cass County, North Dakota. During his tenure with the West Fargo firm it was known as Ohnstad, Twichell & Maxwell.
Duane R. Breitling served as an attorney with the Legislative Research Council of the State of North Dakota in Bismarck prior to joining the firm in 1967. He officially retired in 2008.
Robert E. Rosenvold, previously an attorney with the Estate Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service, became a member of the firm in 1975, followed by David L. Wanner in 1977. Wanner joined the firm with extensive experience in the estate and trust areas, having worked in the trust department of First National Bank and Trust Company, Fargo, ND. Both attorneys have worked at the Ohnstad Twichell law firm for over 35 years. Rosenvold works primarily in estate planning and estate administration. Wanner works primarily in real estate law, probate and estate planning.
Two attorneys who had served as judicial law clerks in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota, joined the firm in 1978. Michael D. Nelson served under Chief Judge Paul Benson of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, while Brian D. Neugebauer served under Chief Justice Ralph Erickstad of the North Dakota Supreme Court. They have both been with the Ohnstad Twichell law firm for over 30 years. Nelson works in commercial litigation; Neugebauer works in municipal and bonding law.
Mary Muehlen Maring, who had been a law clerk for Judge Bruce E. Stone of the Hennepin County District Court, Minneapolis, joined the firm in 1982 after practicing law for eight years in Minneapolis. She practiced in divorce and family law. In 1996, Mary Muehlen Maring was appointed to the North Dakota Supreme Court.
Ralph R. Erickson joined the firm in 1984. Erickson left the firm in 1991 and was subsequently elected Cass County District Judge in 1994 and appointed U.S. District Judge in 2003.
On January 1, 1987, the firm merged with the Hillsboro law firm of Berg & Juelson, composed of Bradley W. Berg and John A. Juelson, both 1976 graduates of the University of North Dakota School of Law. Juelson continues to maintain the office at its Hillsboro location. He works primarily with estate administration, estate planning, real estate, corporate law, taxation, and municipal law.
In August of 1987, Steven E. McCullough, a graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law, joined the firm. In 2004, he was elected as a District Judge of the District Court for the East Central Judicial District (Fargo, North Dakota). He took office on January 1, 2005.
On January 1, 1990, the firm merged with the Mayville law firm of Vinje & Engelman, composed of S. Lee Vinje and Jerald L. Engelman. We wish to express our deepest sorrow upon Lee’s death on February 21, 2009.
On January 1, 1991, Robert G. Hoy, a graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law, joined the firm. He was appointed Cass County State’s Attorney in 1981 and elected for two terms through 1990, when he went into private practice with Ohnstad Twichell. Hoy continues his practice at the West Fargo office, primarily in the areas of civil and criminal litigation (criminal defense).
On January 1, 1994, Ross V. Keller, a University of North Dakota graduate, joined the firm as an associate attorney. He worked at the North Dakota Legislative Council from 1991 until 1994. He became a shareholder in 2002. Keller maintains his practice at the Hillsboro location, primarily in the areas of real estate and agricultural law, probate and estate administration, estate planning, guardianships, conservatorships, and corporate law.
On December 15, 1994, Marshall W. McCullough, CPA, joined the firm as an associate attorney. He graduated from the University of Denver College of Law. From 1987-1994, Marshall was a tax manager at Price Waterhouse in San Francisco. He is currently a shareholder in the firm and works at the West Fargo location, primarily in the areas of corporate law/business law and estate planning.
Sara K. Sorenson joined the firm in 2003 as an associate attorney in the Fargo, North Dakota, office. She was a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Judge Rodney Webb. Ohnstad Twichell named her as a shareholder effective January 1, 2008. Sara concentrates her practice in civil litigation and works in the West Fargo office. Sara also works with mineral, oil, gas and wind issues.
Sean M. Fredricks joined the firm in 2004 as an associate attorney in the West Fargo office. He became a shareholder in the corporation on January 1, 2007. Sean practices in the area of water law.
Attorney Susan L. Ellison merged her law firm with the Ohnstad Twichell law firm and became a shareholder on July 1, 2005. She was a judicial law clerk for the East Central Judicial District Court in Fargo. Susan offices in West Fargo and practices in the areas of employment law, divorce law/family law, and elder law. Susan Ellison is also a qualified family mediator in North Dakota and Minnesota.
John T. Shockley joined the firm on August 1, 2005, as an associate attorney. He is currently a shareholder and offices in the West Fargo and Barnesville locations. John practices in the area of municipal law and bonding.
Christopher M. McShane joined the law firm in August of 2006. He became a shareholder in January 2012. Chris offices in West Fargo and concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and real estate law.
Lukas D. Andrud joined the law firm in October 2008. He offices in West Fargo and practices in the areas of water law, real estate law, and oil, gas and wind law.
Michel W. Stefonowicz joined the firm in 2009 after practicing for many years in Crosby, ND. He continues to practice in the areas of mineral probates, mineral title curative work, oil and gas leases, well site location and pipeline right of way agreements, as well as probate and estate planning. Mike works in the West Fargo office.
On July 1, 2010, the former Burgum Law Office in Casselton, ND, merged with Ohnstad Twichell. Delvin Losing joined Ohnstad Twichell on July 1, 2010, as a shareholder. He practices in the Casselton location in the areas of real estate, corporate/business, estate planning, probate, and general litigation.
Most of the attorneys are licensed to practice in North Dakota and Minnesota, and serve communities including West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead, Mayville, Hillsboro, Page, Hope, Valley City, Jamestown, Minot, Williston, Stanley, Crosby, Wahpeton, Barnesville, Harwood, Tower City, Casselton, Leonard, Mapleton, and other surrounding communities. Areas of practice include, but are not limited to:
•Alternative Dispute Resolution
•Elder Law Issues
•Employment Law (Wage and Hour, Overtime, Privacy, Employee Contracts, Job Benefits, Discipline, ADA, Termination, ERISA Plans, Discrimination, FMLA, Employee Manuals, ND Dept. of Labor Complaints)
•Divorce/Family Law (Divorces, Child Custody, Visitation, Child Support, Adoption, Mediation)
•Estate Planning Law
•Litigation: Arbitration and Mediation; Commercial; Insurance Defense; Medical Negligence; Personal Injury; Products Liability
•Oil, Gas and Wind Law
•Real Estate Law: Purchase Agreements; Sales Agreements; Leases; Title Insurance; Closing Services; Foreclosures
•Trusts, Salary Continuation Plans, Etc.