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About me

I started Estes Parsinen & Levy P.A. at the end of 1981.  John Parsinen, Bob Levy and I built that firm into 29 lawyers with 50 staff people when I left in May of 1989 to work for a limited number of clients.  Firm management is different than being a lawyer which is what I wanted to do.  My practice has been very broad and very client oriented, meaning that I will drop everything to focus on a single client's needs and I will get you out of the problem or achieve the planning goal you are lookiung for.  I bring in other supremely well qualified lawyers to assist if I am not the very best lawyer to be handling the situation.  I do not need to send the business to my partners of which there are none.  I serve as a director for most of my clients.  I bring to the table a panoramic strategic vision built upon years of experience.  One readily appreciates the old adage, "Go to a young doctor and an old lawyer."  I am that battle scarred, grizzled lawyer that has been through the wars.  I know what I don't know.   I am not looking for clients.  I  am  more interested in serving my current clients well, but if you have something that requires breakthrough thinking and a fast response, I could be interested.  I am admitted to United States Supreme Court, US Tax Court, the International Court of Trade, Federal Court District of Minnesota and Circuit Court of Appeals.  I was certified as Trial/Defense Counsel as a JAG officer.  (For purposes of accuracy, there were a few limited years in which I was NOT a member of the American, Minnesota, Hennepin County or International Bar Associations.)


Practice areas


  1. Business: 60%
    48 years, 350 cases
  2. Estate Planning: 35%
    48 years, 600 cases
  3. Probate: 4%
    48 years, 60 cases
  4. Real Estate: 1%
    48 years, 100 cases



Retainer (sometimes), Pro bono (1%)

Payment types:


Attorney endorsements

4 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Nathan Wayne Nelson

    Don is very experienced yet knows how to calm fears and explain processes to those who may be intimidated and/or unfamiliar with the process, or starting from scratch. Utilizing his patience when necessary; Don helps his clients to understand when it is time for next steps. Informative and trustworthy, Don demonstrates the ability to work with a diverse clientele with a wide array of needs. Don is thorough, thoughtful and responsive; his attention to detail is critical, and he keeps his eyes on what is most efficient, effective and important legal consideration. He has a calm way of applying his wisdom pragmatically, reasonably, and confidently.


    Nathan Nelson Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Thomas Michael Fafinski

    R. Donald Estes is a champion of using the law to create business solutions. His 50 years of experience is matched only by his success. He has served an important niche as general counsel to a handful of clients. If you are lucky enough to qualify, I would seize the opportunity as I absolutely endorse this lawyer.


    Thomas Fafinski Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

4741 Fremont Avenue So
Minneapolis, MN, 55409


MNAuthorized to practice196807/15/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Estate Planning Law SpecialistEstate Law Specialist Board, Inc, ABA accredited, but not MN2013
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2010
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2009
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2008
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2007
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2006
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2005
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2004
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2003
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2002
Certificate of AppreciationUnited States District Court Minnesota District2001
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2001
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2000
Certification of GraduationNational Institute of Trial Advocacy2000
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1999
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1998
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1997
License to PracticeInternational Court of Trade1996
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1996
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1995
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1994
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1993
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1992
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1991
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1990
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1989
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1988
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1987
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1986
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1985
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1984
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1983
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1982
License to PracticeUnited States Supreme Court1980
Licensed to practiceInternational Court of trade1976
Certification as Trial and Defense CounselUnited States Navy1975
Licensed to practiceU.S. Tax Court1975
License to PracticeUnited States District Court Minnesota District1967
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PresidentWarhorse Realty Advisors LLC, MN licensed. Broker2014 - Present
CEO, ChairmanWorld Products Inc., worldwide electronics manufacturer.2013 - Present
PresidentEstes Law Firm P.A.1999 - Present
OwnerEstes Law Firm1989 - 1998
PresidentEstes Parsinen & Levy, P.A.1982 - 1989
DirectorMultiple companies1968 - 2014
DirectorThompson Nielsen Klaverkamp & James P.A.1967 - 1981
Association namePosition nameDuration
ElderCounselMember2014 - Present
Twin Cities Estate and Financial Planning CouncilsDirector2014 - Present
American Bar Association, Senior Lawyers DivisionMember Investment Committee2014 - Present
American Bar Association, Senior Lawyers DivisionVice Chair Board of Editors Voice of Experience2014 - Present
Financial Planning AssociationMember2014 - Present
WealthCounselMember2007 - Present
International Bar AssociationMember1995 - Present
American Bar Association, International Law and Practice SectionMember1992 - Present
American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law SectionMember1975 - Present
American Bar Association, Business Law SectionMember1975 - Present
Hennepin County Bar AssociationMember1968 - Present
Minnesota State Bar AssociationMember1968 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1968 - Present
United States Naval Reserve JAG CorpsLt. Commander Trial/Defense Counsel1969 - 1991
Publication nameTitleDate
ABA Voice of ExperienceThe ATRA-Math Estate Planning After the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act2014
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Columbia University School of LawLawLL.B - Bachelor of Laws1967
University of MinnesotaPhysiologyBA - Bachelor of Arts1964
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Minnesota State Bar AssociationTechnology in your law practice2001
Minnesota Continuing Legal EducationPracticing Law out of a Cigar Box1999