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Mike’s practice involves both transactional work and litigation. Throughout his career, Mike has been involved in drafting contracts, loan documents (promissory notes, security agreements, guarantees), business forms for corporations and LLC’s, providing counsel in bank workout agreements, forbearances, and receiverships. Mike also serves as outside general counsel to a variety of businesses.

Mike has also represented entities and individuals in both North Dakota and Minnesota in state and federal courts litigation such issues as lien rights under various statutory lien schemes, contract disputes, receiverships, foreclosures, claim and delivery/replevin, construction issues, collection actions, and bankruptcy litigation (adversary proceedings). Despite being very comfortable in court, in front of both judges and juries, Mike seeks to advise his clients to find amicable resolutions–when possible–to avoid the uncertainty of trials.

Representative Experience:

  • Represented various defendants in bankruptcy clawback litigation arising out of the Petters Ponzi scheme in Minnesota, one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the history of the United States. Successfully defended clients at the 8th Circuit, Kelley v. Boosalis/Kanios/Papadimos (974 F.3d 884). This 8th Circuit decision reversed the rulings of the District Court and was instrumental in obtaining favorable settlements.
  • Various banks in North Dakota and Minnesota with respect to loan documentation, workouts, forbearances, litigation, and foreclosure.
  • Third-party lenders in litigation, collection, and foreclosure.
  • Creditors in Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13 bankruptcies.
  • Individuals and entities in adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court, often times resolving issues at the summary judgment stage.
  • Banks in the drafting of loan documents, including original loan documentation as well as modifications.
  • Individuals and entities in commencing and defending litigation with respect to construction defect claims.
  • Represented individual in defamation and malicious prosecution claims.
  • Represented individual shareholder in case of first impression with respect to minority rights.

Education and Experience:

ABST Law (Since 2008)
Law Clerk, Honorable William A. Hill, United States Bankruptcy Court, District of North Dakota (2005-2008)
Cousineau McGuire, Minneapolis, MN (2003-2005)
Spirit Lake Tribal Court (2001-2002)
University of North Dakota (J.D., with distinction, 2001)
North Dakota State University (B.S. 1998)


2016-2021 Great Plains Super Lawyer

Bar Admissions:

Minnesota Supreme Court (2001)
North Dakota Supreme Court (2008)
U.S. District Court – Minnesota (2005)
U.S. District Court – North Dakota (2008)
8th Circuit Court of Appeals (2011)
B.A.P. 8th Circuit (2011)

Professional Activities and Awards

Previously an Adjunct Professor, University of Mary, Fargo, ND, M.B.A. Program (Business and Legal Ethics)
Ad Hoc Committee on Local Bankruptcy Rules, North Dakota
Presenter at various CLE programs on bankruptcy, commercial law, and debtor/creditor issues

Community Services & Activities

Knights of Columbus, Sts. Anne & Joachim
2014-2018 Junior Achievement
Board of Directors – Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity (President – 2019; Past-President – 2020)
Board of Directors – Lake Agassiz Certified Development Co.

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