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About me

MSBA Certified Civil Trial Specialist

Steve joined Pemberton Law in 1974 and works in the Fergus Falls office.  Steve’s practice includes general civil litigation, personal injury, auto and farm accidents, business litigation, real estate, construction, township law, and aviation.  Foremost in Steve's practice of law is his concern for his clients.  Every client and every case is important.  He has achieved settlements for clients in excess of one million dollars on several occasions.

Every year, Steve is selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law & Politics and was selected as a leading attorney in Minnesota by American Research Institute.

Professionally, he is a past chair of the Civil Litigation Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association and is also on the Board of Governors of the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association.  Steve is licensed to practice in state and federal courts in both Minnesota and North Dakota. He is a MSBA Board Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Law and is a Civil Trial Specialist certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

He served on the MSBA Civil Litigation Jury Task force from 1994 to 1996 and the publications committee co-chair for the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association. He served on the MTLA Board of Governors from 1996 - 2006. He is a member of the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota and was elected to its Board of Governors in 1996, where he continues to serve. 

He serves as a neutral for both arbitration and mediation, and is on the panel of arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association. He was selected to serve on the panel of arbitrators for the Prudential Insurance mass litigation appeals process, deciding dozens of appeals by policyholders. He serves as a panel member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association legal services plan.

A Fergus Falls native, Steve graduated from Fergus Falls High School and was awarded a National Merit Scholarship to attended Macalester College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  Steve graduated Cum Laude in 1974 from the University of Minnesota Law School.

In the community, Steve is a member of United Methodist Church of Peace, member and past President of the Otter-Risers Kiwanis Club, member and past President for A Center for the Arts, and Director and past President of Communicating for Agriculture and the Self-Employed.  Steve is board chair of Lake Region Healthcare Corporation and director and past president of Communicating for America, Inc., a rural advocacy group. Steve is past president of the Otter Tail County Historical Society and the Otter Tail County Bar Association.  He is an Eagle Scout and is involved in Boy Scouts (where he currently serves as District Finance Chair), and has served on the Fergus Area College Foundation board and the regional board of KCCM-Minnesota Public Radio and on the board of Pioneer Public TV. He is also a trustee of the Roger and Agnes Dell Charitable Trust.


Practice areas


  1. Personal Injury: 35%
  2. Litigation: 30%
  3. Medical Malpractice: 20%
  4. Mediation: 10%
  5. Aviation: 5%

Attorney endorsements

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Contact info

Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kershner, PLLP

110 N Mill St
PO Box 866
Fergus Falls, MN, 56538-0866


NDAuthorized to practice law198108/27/2016
MNAuthorized to practice197408/14/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certified Civil Trial SpecialistMinnesota State Bar AssociationN/A
Minnesota Super LawyerMinnesota Law & Politics MagazineN/A
Leading Minnesota AttorneysAmerican Research CorporationN/A
Association namePosition nameDuration
Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of MinnesotaBoard of Governors1996 - Present
Lawyer Pilots Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Minnesota State Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Otter Tail County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Trial Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, Publications CommitteeCo-ChairN/A
Minnesota Trial Lawyers AssociationBoard of Governors1996 - 2006
Minnesota State Bar Association, Civil Litigation SectionChair1996 - 1997
Minnesota State Bar Association, Civil Litigation SectionJury Task Force1994 - 1996
Minnesota State Bar Association, Civil Litigation SectionGoverning Council1992 - 1999
Publication nameTitleDate
Minnesota Bench and BarADR in Minnesota1995
Minnesota Trial Lawyer MagazineCrossing the Red1995
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Minnesota Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1974
Macalester CollegeN/AN/AN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Minnesota Continuing Legal EducationExpert Witnesses: How to Select and Use Them2000
Minnesota. Assn. of Townships Legal SeminarTown Contracting Procedures1999
Minnesota. Assn. of Townships Legal SeminarAttorney-Client Relationships: Conflict of Interest1998
Minnesota Institute of Legal EducationMistakes Mediators Make1998
Minnesota Continuing Legal EducationHow to Evaluate a Personal Injury Case1998