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James Robert Spangler

Criminal defense Attorney at Saint CLoud, MN

5.0   7 reviews
  • State Years
    Minnesota - MN 23 years
    California - CA 32 years
  • Licensed for 23 years
    State MN
    Acquired 2000
    Authorized to Practice No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 32 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1991
    Inactive No misconduct found

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

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

I have been practicing law for over 22 years.  I started in California in 1991 where my practice emphasized personal injury and general civil cases.  I handled a variety of matters including complex injuries following vehicle accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, American Disability Acts matters, and even an Olympic class athlete injured while preparing for the 2000 Olympic Games.  I also handled civil business matters of contract formation and disputes.


I met my wife, a St. Cloud local, in Los Angeles, and we made our way to Minnesota in 2002 to raise our family.  I have since expanded my practice to include Family Law and Criminal Defense.  I joined Vermeulen Law Office in 2007 and found my home with regard to my work.


I truly love being in Central Minnesota, and having the opportunity to represent clients throughout the State.  Vermeulen Law Office is a place where all of the lawyers work together to achieve the best results possible for our clients.  We discuss our cases and work as a team so that multiple angles are examined for each issue.


We emphasize Family Law matters, Criminal Defense and Personal Injury.  These are very broad labels.  Family includes Divorces, Child Support, Custody of children born out of wedlock, and Adoption.  Personal Injury includes all accidents including injury and Wrongful Death.  Criminal Defense ranges from misdemeanor offenses to complex felonies.  Our practice is one where we dedicate ourselves to getting to the root of our client’s legal needs so that they can take care of their lives without worrying about their legal situations.   


Heller & Thyen
606 25 TH AVE. S.
Suite 110
Saint CLoud, MN, 556301

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5.0 / 5.0
  7 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | September 25, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Experienced legal representation
Mr. Spangler respresented me in DUI. I was overwhelmed by the situation and he was knowledgeable, thorough and reassuring. His communication with me was clear and responded to my questions very promptly. He handled my case in an efficient, professional manner, and brought it to a quick and very satisfactory conclusion. I would definitely recommend him.
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Posted by Greg | October 21, 2014
I would definitely hire JR again!
JR Spangler represented me in a highly contentious divorce, and again in a child support modification. His experience in family law made the process easier for me. JR handled my legal matters in a professional and courteous manner. He was honest and straight-forward with me while remaining sensitive to my emotions and frustrations. He responded to e-mails and phone calls in a timely manner and took the time to explain the process when needed. If I ever need legal representation again I will absolutely call on him. I have highly recommend JR to everyone who asks and know that others I have referred to him have been just as happy with his representation as I was.
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Posted by Chris | September 30, 2014
Awarded full custody
My wife and I retained JR about 5 years ago for child custody. JR outlined a strategy based on facts and throughout a 7 day trial cross examined nearly 20 people. His controlled, uplifting demeanor was impactful because he's likable - yet can strike quickly with force. I was awarded sole physical and legal custody of my child. Yes, a man can get custody of his child in MN. Hire JR!
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Posted by Vonda | September 26, 2014
Integrity at It's Best!
Divorce is a difficult situation for anyone. Mine was no exception. There were many court dates, mediation attempts, and a custody study that I was facing with much uncertainty as I had no previous experience with the legal system. I am grateful to have found JR to handle my divorce and walk me through the entire process. JR was very professional, honest and helpful in explaining the process as well as walking me through to the finality. At the onset, I was a very timid and quiet person, afraid to stand up for myself. Coming out of a controlling marriage, I felt I had no voice. JR helped me find my voice and helped me build the confidence that I needed to withstand all the hurdles I encountered through the process. He was always fair and upfront with all issues that came up. JR always had a word of encouragement for me every time I was discouraged. He always handled my case with professionalism and integrity. I recommend JR.
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Posted by Larry | September 18, 2014
He helped our family when we had no where else to turn!!!
JR was there for our family when no one else would help us. He kept us informed of all our legal rights and made sure that we fully understood the legal process we were having to go through. He made himself available to us day and night, it didn't matter if it was the weekend or not. He always returned our calls right away!! We trusted him with our family and he did not ever let us down. Even when it was taking, what seemed to us a lifetime, JR was always there to support us.
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Posted by Gary | September 18, 2014
J.R. did a great job in helping me through a tough time!
Please contact J.R. if you need any assistance and counsel in his area of expertise. He was on top of all areas from the first phone call to the last email. Kept me in the loop at all times and was very responsive to every touch point (phone call, email, or text). J.R. gets my referral. Best of luck in your endeavors.
Posted by Joseph | February 23, 2010
Helping a legal system neophyte navigate and understand the process of holding those responsible for their actions accountable
I was an athlete injured in an accident that I was falsely accused oif being responsible for. J.R. took me under his wing and helped me work through the legal process of bringing those responsible to court and answering for their actions (and in-actions). It was a touchy situation that J.R. handled very well and made me feel comfortable in staying the course and holding them accountable. He was personable and friendly and has even kept tabs on me long after the successful completion of the trial. He went the extra mile and continues to do so.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 8.3 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Vermeulen Law Office, PA
  • 2007 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Pennington & Lies
  • 2005 - 2007
  • Attorney
  • Blease & Zuccaro
  • 2002 - 2005
  • Partner
  • Pantone & Spangler
  • 1997 - 2002
View all work experience


  • University of San Diego School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1991
  • Univ of Colorado Boulder
  • undergraduate
  • 1981


  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • Stearns-Benton County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • Greater Westside SERTOMA
  • Board Member
  • 2009 - 2012
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Cubmaster/Den Leader
  • 2004 - 2010
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1997 - 2002
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 1991 - 2002
View all associations

Honors and Awards

  • Client's Choice Award
  • AVVO
  • 2014
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2011
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2010
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2009
View all awards

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (3)
Endorse James
Child custody Attorney | Sep 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Personal injury Attorney | Mar 10
Relationship: Co-worker
"J.R. is a real bulldog of a lawyer with no fear of other attorneys, judges or companies. He zealously fights for the needs of his clients to insure that they receive the outcome that they deserve."
Family Attorney | Feb 19
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"J.R. Spangler is an attorney with extensive experience representing individuals and protecting their rights. He takes a no-holds-barred approach to his cases and is a savvy trial attorney. His wide experience serves his clients well. J.R. Spangler is a powerful ally to have on your side."
Family Attorney | Feb 19
Relationship: Co-worker
"J.R. is a smart and cagey attorney who will not be bullied by the system or opposing counsel. He has a unique ability to identify with his clients and he wisely brings his broad life and professional experiences into play as he applies himself to his work with admirable strength and conviction."
Saint CLoud Criminal defense Lawyer James Robert Spangler
James Robert Spangler
Criminal defense Attorney
Saint CLoud, MN
Licensed for 32 years