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About me

I have had a diverse legal and business career. I was a partner with one of North Dakota’s largest law firms for nearly 10 years. During that time I developed my practice to include employment law, business litigation, and collections. I left private practice to become General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources for a privately held real estate and venture capital business with extensive real estate and other small business holdings. This broadened my knowledge and experience in starting and acquiring businesses and in the operating complexities of such businesses.

While acting as General Counsel, I recognized the value of this unique perspective as both business owner and business attorney. In 2008 I founded Joel M. Fremstad, PC with a clear focus on bringing this advantage to my clients.

I graduated from the North Dakota School of Law with honors including Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers and served as Research Editor of the North Dakota Law Review. After graduation, I clerked for the North Dakota Supreme Court and then joined what was then Nilles, Hansen and Davies, Ltd in Fargo. I am currently licensed in both North Dakota and Minnesota and have also appeared before several tribal courts.

I am active in the Fargo Moorhead Community. I am the Past President of the Cass County Bar Association, the Past President of The Fargo Rotary Club ( and the Past Board Chair of Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization ( I am  currently a member of the North Dakota Judiciary Standards Committee and am on the Board of the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, North Dakota (

I am married and have two children.


Photos and videos

1643427 1384268027

Contact info

PO Box 3143
Fargo, ND, 58107

Practice areas


  1. Employment: 25%
    18 years
  2. Business: 25%
    18 years
  3. Litigation: 20%
    18 years
  4. Contracts: 20%
    18 years
  5. Debt Collection: 10%
    18 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Nicholas Dwight Thornton

    Joel is a fantastic lawyer who takes a pragmatic approach in representing his clients. He gives his clients the advice they need to hear in a timely manner.


    Nicholas Thornton Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked for lawyer


MNAuthorized to practice199807/15/2016
NDAuthorized to practice law199707/24/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Order of CoifUniversity of North Dakota1997
Order of the BarristersUniversity of North Dakota1997
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
General CounselThe Marcil Group2008 - 2009
AttorneyNilles Law Firm2005 - 2007
Legislative CounselCongressman Earl Pomeroy2003 - 2004
AttorneyNilles Law Firm1998 - 2003
Law ClerkNorth Dakota Supreme COurt1997 - 1998
Association namePosition nameDuration
State Bar Association of North DakotaPast President1998 - Present
Minnesota State Bar AssociationN/A1998 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Ziegelmann v. Daimlerchrysler Corp.Dismissed for failure to state a claim
Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Tribal Court of Spirit LakeReversed
Rodenburg v. F-M YMCAAffirmed
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
North Dakota Law ReviewNorth Dakota Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b): Looking for the Storied "Infrequent Harsh Case"1996
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of North Dakota School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1997
Jamestown CollegeHistory/Political Science and Business AdministrationBA - Bachelor of Arts1994
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
NCPERS National ConferenceHealth Care Legislation Before Congress2004
Employee Discharge & DocumentationEmployee Discharge & Documentation2003
Employee Discharge & DocumentationEmployee Discharge & Documentation2002
Nilles Law FirmElectronic Research2001
Nilles Law FirmEthics in Technology2001
Nilles Law FirmWage & Hour2001
Nilles Law FirmFundamentals of Employee Policies2000
Internet Research for Legal StaffInternet Research for Legal Staff2000
Hiring, Discipline & TerminationEmployment Law2000