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About me


Dick has more than 30 years of trying a wide range of jury cases in many courtrooms, federal and state, including over 100 to a jury verdict.  He is listed on the rosters of the American Arbitration Association in both commercial and employment arbitration, and also does construction arbitration, as well as hundreds of mediations of all types of lawsuits.  Dick has arbitrated significant employment disputes including with his award confirmed at Federal Circuit Court level and certiari denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.  His arbitrations include national corporation executive employment disputes in energy, healthcare, leasing, securities trading, manufacturing and retailing industries as well as mediations and/or arbitrations of construction claims, water intrusion, fire loss, contract compliance and performance, contractor lien claims, and crop insurance claims.   Dick has served as a member of the AAA-Prudential Policyholder Remediation Plan Appeals Committee mediating and arbitrating claims under the Plan in any of the 50 states. 


 Dick is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of the American Board of Trial Advocates.  These two national organizations of trial specialists limit their membership to less than 5 percent of well-recognized litigation specialists through nomination by peers and action by their national Boards of Governors.  Dick has also been listed in each of more than the last 10 consecutive years in "Best Lawyers in America". 


 Dick has recently received the 2012 "Fidelis Apparitor" Award given by the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University of which has recognized his, "commitment to excellence in the legal profession through many years of leadership and service to the Minnesota State Bar Association and for providing a strong legal voice for both plaintiffs and defendants in courtrooms throughout the upper Midwest including, 'a lifetime of constructive professional and voluntary work on behalf of the legal community'".  Further Dick has received the Minnesota State Bar Association's Advocate Award for 2013 recognizing that he has "demonstrated commitment to the civil litigation system over years of service, brought about structural improvements to the civil litigation system and advanced the cause of underrepresented groups". 


 Some of Dick's other professional recognitions include: The American Research Institute has listed him as a specialist (limited to the top six percent of Minnesota attorneys) in six categories: ADR (Mediation/Arbitration), Commercial Litigation, Employment Law: Individual, Employment Law: Management, Personal Injury Defense Law General, and Personal Injury Law General.  Minnesota Law & Politics magazine designated him as number 2 among all Personal Injury Super Lawyers 2001, number 6 among all Super Lawyers 2002, among the top 40 Healthcare Super Lawyers 2003, and number 2 among all ADR Super Lawyers 2003 and consistently thru 2006 as one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Minnesota – all categories.  Minnesota Lawyer listed him as one of nine outstanding Minnesota lawyers of 1999. 


 Dick has served as President of the Minnesota State Bar Association; twice as a member of the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Committee; six years as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board; has served on various Supreme Court Committees, including Rules of Evidence Advisory Committee and Rules of Civil Procedure Advisory Committee; nine years as chair of Minnesota Racing Commission; and 12 years as statewide at-large member of Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission.


 Dick is also a lecturer and author on a wide variety of subjects, including at the national level, and has served as platform chairman, parliamentarian, and meeting facilitator at multi-state assemblies.


 Dick has been married to his wife, BettyJoan, since college days.  They have three sons, a daughter, and grandchildren.  In his spare time, he enjoys the out of doors, literature, and the arts.





Practice areas


  1. Lawsuits & Disputes: 25%
  2. Personal Injury: 25%
  3. Litigation: 25%
  4. Employment: 25%


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Robert Charles Barnes

    Excellent, highly experienced mediator.


    Robert Barnes Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Other

Contact info

Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kershner, PLLP

110 N Mill St
Fergus Falls, MN, 56537


NDAuthorized to practice law198208/27/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Advocates AwardMinnesota State Bar Association2013
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2013
Minnesota Super LawyerMinnesota Super Lawyers2013
Minnesota Super LawyerMinnesota Law & Politics Magazine2012
Fidelis Apparitor AwardCollege of Saint Benedict2012
Minnesota Super LawyerMinnesota Law & Politics Magazine2011
Minnesota Super LawyerMinnesota Law & Politics Magazine2010
Minnesota Super LawyerMinnesota Law & Politics Magazine2009
Top 6% Minnesota AttorneysAmerican Research Corporation2005
Top Health Care Super LawyerMinnesota Law & Politics Magazine2003
9 Outstanding Minnesota LawyersMinnesota Lawyer1999
Specialist: ADR, Commercial, Employment, Personal Injury DefenseAmerican Research CorporationN/A
RecognitionBest Lawyers in AmericaN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyPemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kershner, PLLP1960 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
American College of Trial LawyersFellowN/A
American Board of Trial AdvocatesFellowN/A
American Arbitration Association, Commericial ArbitrationMemberN/A
American Arbitration Association, Employment ArbitrationMemberN/A
Minnesota State Bar AssociationPast PresidentN/A
Minnesota State Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education CommitteeMemberN/A
Minnesota Supreme Court Lawyers Professional Responsibility BoardMemberN/A
Minnesota Judicial Selection CommissionMemberN/A
AAA Prudential Policyholder Remediation Plan Appeals CommitteeN/AN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
William Mitchell Law ReviewA Remembrance of John Simonett: The Consumate Trial Lawyer and the Consumate Gentleman2013
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Minnesota Law SchoolLawJD - Juris DoctorN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small FirmsBest Negotiation Tips2013