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Thomas Michael Fafinski

Business Attorney at Brooklyn Park, MN

4.2   10 reviews

also known as Tom Fafinski

  • Licensed for 32 years
    State MN
    Acquired 1991
    Status
    Authorized to Practice No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Thomas

Learn Thomas’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Business
    20%
    Transactions, formation and operation of technology companies like MSPs.

  2. Estate planning
    20%
    Wealth transition planning for wealthy individuals from MSP owners and technology investors to W2 employees with pensions or retirement savings.

  3. Contracts and agreements
    10%

  4. Corporate and incorporation
    10%

  5. Mergers and acquisitions
    10%

  6. Probate
    10%

  7. Trusts
    10%

  8. Wills and living wills
    10%

Thomas M. Fafinski is co-founder of Virtus Law PLLC, a 7 attorney firm in Minnesota which simulates a general counsel’s office for hundreds of privately-held technology businesses and moderate to high wealth estate planning.  He graduated 13thin his class at William Mitchell College of Law, cum laude, in January of 1991 and is also a cum laude graduate of the College of St. Thomas where he secured a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance.   

Tom founded Fafinski & Wallrich, PA, which grew to a medium sized law firm of 10 attorneys.  When approached for a second time to merge practices with a large downtown law firm, Fafinski’s group remained independent.  Eventually, this group was purchased by an investor attorney from a large law firm and he continued as an employee for roughly 5 years.  Tom had the opportunity to start Virtus Law PLLC with his partner, Nathan Nelson, in 2010.  While practicing under 3 banners over 24 years, Fafinski has continually served those with an interest in privately-held businesses and real estate investors in a general counsel capacity.

Tom has been an adjunct faculty role of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities teaching business law and real estate issues.  Tom has also been featured in roughly one dozen continuing education courses directed toward estate planning for real estate investors sponsored and promoted by Kaplan.  Tom has been featured in roughly 30 hours of continuing legal education courses on a national estate planning stage.  He is involved in local round table business leader peer group and orchestrates several national estate and trust law firm think tank groups.  He has been published or featured in William Mitchell College of Law Magazine, Dakota County Tribune, StarTribune and various association newsletters and has been a guest speaker for several local radio programs.  

Tom is also real estate investor, although not involved in daily operations [his spouse is].  Tom he is active with the investment decisions associated with his real estate portfolio.

He is admitted in State and Federal Court for Minnesota.  Tom enjoys spending time with his family, learning, reading, Mustangs of the ‘60s, all kinds of sports and is a die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan.

Photos and videos

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Location

Virtus Law, PLLC
7040 Lakeland Av N
Suite 100, Virtus Professional Center
Brooklyn Park, MN, 55428
Virtus Law, PLLC
600 Main Street S
Suite 120
Cambridge, MN, 55008
Virtus Law PLLC
2785 White Bear Avenue N
Suite 101
Maplewood, MN, 55109
Virtus Law, PLLC
4916 Lincoln Dr
Edina, MN, 55436
Virtus Law, PLLC
1171 Northland Drive
Mendota Heights, MN, 55120
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Reviews

4.2 / 5.0
  10 customer reviews
5 Star
 
80%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
20%
Posted by Bill | June 28, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney and Staff
Tom and his staff handed my estate plan and also did our Company policy and procedure plan. Very competent, I would highly recommend calling Tom for any of your needs.
Posted by Alan | June 24, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
excellent business partner
Although this particular business venture did not pan out, I learned that Tom is very good as a lawyer, and as a business partner. His communication skills and strategies are excellent. Very approachable.
Posted by Earron | June 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Standup Attorney
It's quite often that you hear that "attorneys are snakes" or "attorneys are thieves" etc (I can say this because I hear the same about my profession.) And I can say this simply is not the case with Tom and his firm. Each interaction has been educational and smooth. They have performed at the level they promised and delivered the results that they promised as well. I have never felt so good about hiring an attorney as I have with Tom and Virtus Law. I would highly recommend them!
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Posted by Kerby | January 19, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Virtus is a Step Above the Rest!
I've worked with Tom and the team at Virtus Law for several years and I have nothing but good things to say about the team of lawyers and the staff. I have had them help me with some very basic items as well as a number of deeply complex items and nothing gets by them. They are thoughtful, engaging and highly responsive. If you are looking for the best of the best, this is the team that can help you get that. We are greatly appreciative of all the time, effort and energy they've put in while helping us grow our business and fortifying our business from a legal perceptive. Thank you!
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Posted by anonymous | April 1, 2013
Trustworthy, knowledgeable and well connected
Tom helped facilitate the sale of my business and was instrumental in connecting me with a qualified buyer and overcoming obstacles to consummate a timely and orderly transaction.
Posted by Glenn | March 31, 2013
Creative, Fair, Even Keeled and Solution Oriented
Tom and his team have been extremely valuable to me, my family and my business in navigating difficult and confusing challenges and needs. He and his team have always educated me and kept me on a path that would keep me and my family safe and protected, while helping me to create wealth generating ideas.
Posted by Todd | March 29, 2013
President
Tom has been a fantastic strategic partner in helping our clients successfully navigate through the rules of setting up an LLC that is owned by the clients retirement plan
Posted by John | March 22, 2013
Tom Fafinski and his firm continuously amaze me!
I have been very please with my experience using Tom and his firm Virtus Law for a variety of legal services. I am a business owner and have used he and his firm for personal and business purposes. His Corporate expertise is extraordinary. I have used him for real estate, corporate contracts and have been grateful for his advice and creativity with tax, estate planning and exit/succession planning. Tom's grasp is far more sophisticated than many other lawyers capabilities. His firm also really helped me out when my teenager got a DWI. His firm response was immediate and very comforting. I strongly recommend Tom and the several others in the Virtus law firm that I have experienced. I am grateful for the exceptional job that they do for me. I am committed and confident in using Tom and Virtus Law for any and all of my legal matters.
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Posted by anonymous | June 8, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Inept
Was hired to do work that was never delivered. He never spoke to me after I paid. He made his associates do all the work (that was never completed).
Response from Thomas Fafinski June 9, 2017
It is true that the vast majority of the projects we undertake are completed by associate attorneys. The combination of my design, collaboration with our technicians and delivery to our clients is intended to ensure advanced planning concepts at an affordable rate. Our model of representation mimics the custom home building process. For example, if you were to design the perfect home, you would engage an architect. The architect designs the home/solution to meet your needs. The architect then turns it over to a builder, who builds the house to the exact specifications laid out in the blueprint. The architect inspects during the building process and examines progress to make sure it is consistent with the blueprints created – normally unbeknownst to the homeowner. While the architect could probably build the house, it would be totally unaffordable to have the architect swing the hammer, pull the electric lines, install the plumbing, etc. In addition, the builder and skilled trades may suggest modifications to make the solution better, suggestions perhaps overlooked by the architect. We have adopted the same custom build model. I design a solution to be implemented affordably by associates who work for us at a mere fraction of my hourly rate. I, and sometimes my partner (who has an advanced degree in taxation known as an LL.M, having graduated with a perfect 4.0 and automatic admission to a program to secure the highest legal degree available, a JSD) inspect during the building process to make sure it is being constructed as designed. I recognize that there was a failure with this client (who we have not been able to identify) if our process was not understood by them. I try to remember to explain how this winning formula ensures participation by a senior attorney with nearly 30 years of experience but at a rate that pales in comparison to the alternative of having me design, research, build, revise, modify and deliver the entire solution. Whether this person is aware of it or not, either my highly rated tax partner or I were involved in the implementation behind the scenes, as an architect would inspect building progress. This is the first negative feedback to my recollection that we have encountered on our proven process, one which I have utilized for almost 20 years. Since I do not know who this client is, I cannot address the “never completed” comment.
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Posted by anonymous | May 5, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Negative Rating for Thomas Fafinski
I had a mere consultation with Mr. Fafinski as he was a highly recommended attorney. He is a instructor at Colleges which frightens me as he has been the most unethical attorney I have ever dealt with. He continues to charge addition attorney fees while I call his firm to settle a judgement for $2,400. He or his firm have not called me back to resolve and it has been 7 months of calls/texts. Instead of providing me a finalization, I receive District Court papers to appear in court due to increased costs of $33,000. Yes, that is correct $33,000. Does that sound ethical? I have never experience anything like this. For this $2,400 I have had my friend deposed, writs of execution for my vehicles and the list goes on. I signed no engagement letter and asked him to do nothing. My experience has not been positive and I hope the judge this month will assist me in finalization of this Vindictive action. I have spoke with other attorneys and they agree it is Vindictive. I wonder how many other victims for this highly recommended attorney.
Read less
Response from Thomas Fafinski May 9, 2016
My law firm secured a judgment for legal services following retention with credit for a deposit. Thereafter, he made claims of unethical conduct and offered to withdraw them if we released him. We refused and the allegations were reviewed and dismissed. The fees we are seeking to collect are for significant efforts we have undergone to collect on the judgment from a debtor actively concealing assets. We are not required to accept something less than the judgment amount and his tactics do not favor such consideration. While unfortunate, as the other reviews reflect, his experience is based more on his refusal to pay, in our opinion.
Read less
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 255-435 per hour
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Virtus Law
  • 2010 - Present
  • Instructor
  • Kaplan Professional School
  • 2014 - 2015
  • Attorney
  • BenePartum Law Group PA
  • 2002 - 2010
  • Attorney
  • Fafinski & Wallrich, P.A.
  • 1991 - 2002
View all work experience

Education

  • William Mitchell College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • N/A
  • College of St. Thomas
  • N/A

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Darlson Manno Limited Partnership v. Diversified Capital Mortgage
  • Favorable
  • In re HARSTAD v. Egan & Sons
  • Affirmed
  • Rosemount, Inc. v. Blessi Evans, et. al.
View all legal cases

Associations

  • Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest
  • Board of Directors
  • 2015 - Present
  • Dakota County Technical College
  • Advisory Board
  • 2015 - Present
  • Allied Executives
  • Peer Group Director
  • 2008 - Present
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • N/A
  • Minnesota Real Estate Investor's Association
  • N/A
  • Manufacturer's Alliance
  • N/A
  • MN Multi Housing Association
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards
  • The American Registry
  • 2015
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2004
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2003
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2002
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2001
  • Minnesota Law and Politics Magazine
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • 2000
  • Minnesota Super Lawyer
  • Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine
  • 1999
  • National Leadership Award
  • Business Advisory Council
  • N/A
View all awards

Publications

  • Dakota County Tribune
  • Using your IRA to invest in Real Estate
  • 2011
  • Dakota County Tribune
  • Where the Current Economic Outlook and Legal Strategies Intersect.
  • 2011
  • dakota county tribune
  • Business 101: What if my new business partner is my old partner’s creditor, or worse, an ex-spouse?
  • 2011
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • SECURE Act - Development Friday
  • SECURE Act
  • 2020
  • Pandemic Planning for Financial Advisors
  • Pandemic Planning for Financial Advisors
  • 2020
  • WealthCounsel Symposium
  • Power of Peer Groups
  • 2019
  • Wealthcounsel symposium
  • Peer Groups for Law Firms
  • 2018
  • 2014 Planning for the Generations Symposium
  • Business Essentials
  • 2014
  • Cover Your Assets
  • Banking
  • 2013
  • The Proper Use of Land Trust
  • The Proper Use of Land Trust
  • 2012
  • New Age Estate Planning - A Holistic View
  • New Age Estate Planning - A Holistic View
  • 2012
  • MNREIA December 2012 All Member Meeting
  • Government Regulation in Business
  • 2012
  • Physician's Guide to Legal Planning
  • Physician's Guide to Legal Planning
  • 2011
  • Independent's Day
  • Partnerships Using Other People's Money
  • 2011
  • Advanced Planner's Monthly Meeting
  • Estate Planning for Real Estate Investors
  • 2011
  • Planning Business Success on Purpose
  • Planning Business Success on Purpose
  • 2010
  • Monthly investor meeting
  • Asset Protection and Estate Planning
  • 2010
  • DCTC course
  • Real Estate Finance
  • 2010
  • DCTC
  • Cashflow Analysis
  • 2010
  • DCTC
  • Real Estate Law III
  • 2010
  • Monthly RE investor meeting
  • Real Estate Q & A
  • 2007
  • Allied Executive Quarterly Workshop
  • Asset Protection Planning for Privately Owned Businesses
  • 2007
  • Monthly RE investor meeting
  • Real Estate Q & A
  • 2006
  • Monthly RE investor meeting
  • Real Estate Q & A
  • 2005
  • MAR Monthly Workshop
  • Planning Business on Purpose
  • 2005
  • Monthly RE investor meeting
  • Real Estate Q & A
  • 2003
  • Landscaper's Seminar
  • Business Organizations
  • 1999
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (17)
Given (39)
Endorse Thomas
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 22
Relationship: Friend
"I endorse this lawyer. Tom is an experienced estate planning attorney who will work for you and with you to ensure that your estate plan addresses your needs, meets your goals, and is consistent with your values."
Business Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tom is a top notch lawyer. He is knowledgable and experienced, particularly in business, asset protection and estates. I recommend Tom and his firm for your legal needs."
Business Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Tom sets the bar pretty high for attorney excellence. I've consulted with him on a number of business and estate planning matters and have nothing but the utmost respect for him and his practice. I recommend him without hesitation!"
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tom is an incredible thought leader in the estate planning community and is a great asset to anyone seeking his services. I highly recommend Tom !!"
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tom Fafinski is a first-rate attorney and exceptional mentor. I have had the privilege of working with Tom for a few years and during that time I have come to see how compassionate and dedicated he is to his clients. Not too many people share Tom's ability to explain complex estate planning techniques with such ease. He understands the needs of families and has the knowledge and experience to help them protect, preserve and transfer wealth. As an estate planning attorney myself, I have attended educational programs presented by experts nationwide. Tom's presentations are always among the best and I enjoy learning from him. His dedication and enthusiasm for the subject matter are readily apparent. Tom has a way of explaining complex and interrelated topics so that they make sense. He is a lawyer’s lawyer, with a tremendous grasp of how to use trusts and business entities to accomplish a number of goals efficiently and privately. Anyone would be lucky to have an attorney of his caliber."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Other
"Tom is an excellent attorney. He is thoughtful and concerned about his clients. He is cutting edge on technology and is great with people skills. You will not be disappointed"
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | May 11
Relationship: Other
"Tom is the consummate professional. He is a visionary by nature but also possesses the technical skills to carry out the many ideas he has to meet the needs of his clients. As a result, his clients receive the very best results, both in the estate planning and business realms, that he and his highly skilled team can provide. The client is the true winner when working with Tom and his team."
Estate planning Attorney | May 11
Relationship: Other
"Tom is a very knowledgeable attorney who focuses on the right solutions for his clients. There is no "one size fits all" in Tom's toolbox. Tom is one of those attorneys that just gets it. He puts in the time to make sure he is on the cutting edge of the newest techniques and methods in estate planning."
Business Attorney | Dec 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Tom is a wonderful resource for any business person. He will both support you and challenge your assumptions to help you make the best decisions possible for your, unique, situation. Tom's work in various industries and with different corporate cultures makes him a true asset for any company. I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 24
Relationship: Other
"I have worked with Tom at the national level dealing with advanced estate planning methods, techniques and trends. I am truly impressed with the wealth of his knowledge and always look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with him. Tom is a thought leader at the national level and has worked to help lawyers across the country to learn about his enlightened approach to client issues."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Tom is easy going, insightful and able to identify practical solutions to client problems that many lawyers overlook. His interpersonal skills are superb when it comes to advocating for a client."
Business Attorney | Nov 22
Relationship: Other
"I know Tom because I am in an attorney peer group with him. In this group, we are all open and transparent about what we are doing, financially and other ways. In this environment, you get to know what the person is really like because you really are behind the curtain so to speak. And seeing Tom in that context provides me the insight to say that he is, without question, a thought leader in the legal profession with a growing national reputation. I'm proud to have a relationship with him and proud to endorse him."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I know Tom through a national group of business and estate planning attorneys, and I learned a lot from him about his creative and client-centered approach to practicing law."
Business Attorney | Feb 17
Relationship: Co-worker
"Tom focuses on creative solutions that generate a return for the client."
Business Attorney | Mar 30
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have had Tom across the table from me. He is tough, but fair minded, very knowledgeable and intent on reaching an amicable solution in a difficult situation. I endorse this lawyer."
Business Attorney | Mar 22
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse Tom Fafinski in the areas of Business and Commercial Law. He has a large wealth of experience in assisting clients with corporate formation, maximizing their corporate tax deductions and minimizing the partners/members/shareholders personal liability. Tom's corporate strategies for his clients are ground-breaking in both their execution and implementation. Being a business owner himself, he has first-hand knowledge of how to maximize tax savings and best structure a business to fit one's particular needs."
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