About me

bio-250I suppose I should start with a confession: I used to work for one of the largest debt collection law firms in Minnesota. I grew tired of railroading people through the judicial system and couldn’t live with the knot in my stomach every time I had to squeeze a few bucks out of someone who didn’t have any to give. So I resigned and started my own law firm dedicated to helping people stand up for their rights and fight back against shady debt collectors. And since I used to work for one, I know many of their favorite tricks and can use my inside knowledge of debt collection to make a difference for you and your family.

I believe it’s important for consumers to know their rights, so I offer a bunch of free guides and forms and I blog frequently about defending debt collection lawsuits, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, wrongful repossession, and other consumer issues.

I believe that it’s important for all people, regardless of income, to have access to a lawyer. So I frequently work with the Volunteer Lawyers Network to help low-income people with debt collection problems.

What it’s like to work with me

rocco2I’m not a fancy big-firm lawyer. I have an adversarial relationship with neckties. I don’t drive a Mercedes. My office isn’t decorated with Italian marble and Renaissance art. When you hire me, you won’t get a lawyer that hides behind a secretary or paralegal. You’ll be getting someone that will personally return your calls. I know that dealing with debt collectors is very stressful and I’ll take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns so you can relax and focus on what’s really important.

I’m committed to a largely paperless office and to the use of new technology to make my work more efficient. This ultimately leads to lower costs and faster results for you.

I think that the hourly billing model is great for lawyers, but bad for clients. So I handle most of my cases with either flat or contingency fees.

I have an office in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis. I often ride my bike to work and like to get a quick run in along the nearby Mississippi River. And although I love my office, I don’t like to be chained to it. I’ve worked hard to make my office almost completely mobile and I can often be found working at a local coffee shop or even from home.

The rest of the story

I have a brilliant and fetching wife and three little rug-rats. We live in South Minneapolis with our two dogs and cat. To the dismay of some of our neighbors, we have a large vegetable garden in our front yard. We love to cook and are always trying new ingredients and recipes. In our spare time, we like going to the farmer’s market, as well as camping along Lake Superior’s amazing North Shore.

There are a few other vitally important things (OK, not really) that you should know about me. First, I have a clinically-diagnosed obsession with Pearl Jam. Admittedly, I’m speculating about the “clinically-diagnosed” part, but my daughter’s middle name really is Pearl. Second, I have a terrible weakness for any kind of ice cream. I lose all self-control whenever it’s nearby. Third, I wore the same pair of blue sweatpants every single day for a whole year when I was in college. Yes, I washed them occasionally. No, it didn’t help me meet girls. And finally, I think that Surly Furious is so divine that it may have the power to give eternal life. I’ll concede that might be a slight exaggeration, but it sure is good.

Now that you know a little bit about me, if you think that I’m someone you’d like to work with, please click here to fill out my free online case evaluation form.

My bio

Practice Areas

Debt collection abuse and harassment
Wrongful repossession
Collection lawsuit defense

Bar admissions

Minnesota
U.S. District Court of Minnesota

Education

William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.
Assistant Editor – William Mitchell Law Review

Macalester College, B.A.
Team Captain – Varsity Football

Professional associations & memberships

Minnesota State Bar Association
Hennepin County Bar Association
National Association of Consumer Advocates
Volunteer Lawyers Network

In the media

Creditors in danger of losing garnishment tool (pdf link here) | MN Lawyer | 1/7/11
Death won’t stop these debt collectors (pdf link here) | Star Tribune | 9/19/10
Debt settlement companies evade state restrictions (pdf link here) | The Minnesota Independent | 8/5/10
‘Unbundling’ legal services assists clients in a tough economy (pdf) | MN Lawyer | 4/16/10
Rosemount bill collector’s license revoked (pdf link here) | Star Tribune | 3/30/10
Getting the maximum ROI from the initial client interview (pdf) | MN Lawyer | 10/9/09
Lawyerist Insider Profile | Lawyerist.com | 8/16/09
Strategies for small-firm success in a down economy (pdf) | MN Lawyer | 5/8/09
Consumer lawyers keep busy as creditors push for payment (pdf) | MN Lawyer | 4/10/09