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Fredrikson & Byron has elected 11 new shareholders: Kristin N. Blenkush, Christina K. Brusven, Jason R.S. Cassady, Joseph J. Cassioppi, Krista A.P. Hatcher, Patrick D. Mahlberg, David R. Phillips, Jeffrey J. Serum, Christopher A. Stafford, Adam R. Steinert and Masha M. Yevzelman.

Kristin N. Blenkush works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Real Estate Group. She helps business owners, investors and individuals negotiate and document all types of real estate transactions, including leases, purchase and sale transactions, easements and operating agreements, real estate financing and other real estate matters. Blenkush strives to be responsive and efficient in meeting the needs of her clients, and works to facilitate and complete complex transactions based on her clients’ business objectives. Blenkush enjoys collaborating with clients proactively to identify and resolve potential risks.

Christina K. Brusven works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Energy, Renewable Energy and Government Relations Groups. She advises utilities, independent power producers and pipeline companies on siting, routing, permitting, rate and other regulatory matters before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and other federal, state and local agencies. Brusven guides clients through complex regulatory and permitting processes needed to construct, own and operate large energy, transmission and pipeline projects. She regularly appears before state regulators, administrative law judges and county and township boards. She also negotiates power purchase agreements, development agreements, road agreements and asset purchase agreements and conducts environmental and permitting compliance due diligence reviews.

Jason R.S. Cassady works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Oil & Gas and Real Estate Groups. He has significant experience in mineral title examination, including the preparation of drilling, division order, mortgage, and acquisition title opinions covering fee, state, Indian, and federal lands. Cassady has prepared numerous complex opinions, including opinions covering lands that include subdivided portions of various incorporated cities and unincorporated townsites and opinions that include navigable rivers. His practice includes a variety of transactional real estate matters relating to oil and gas exploration. He works closely with the firm’s Bismarck office. Prior to joining Fredrikson in 2007, Cassady practiced law for six years in the Des Moines area as a general practitioner, with a focus on real estate law.

Joseph J. Cassioppi works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Litigation, Banking & Financial Services Litigation, Appellate, Trusts & Estates Litigation and Oil & Gas Groups. Cassioppi is a litigator that combines his legal experience and dedication to client service to help clients resolve their most serious legal problems in all areas of business litigation, including banking, trusts and estates, appellate practice, and oil and gas litigation. He represents clients in federal and state trial and appellate courts across the country. Clients trust Joe to provide zealous advocacy and practical legal advice that takes into account all circumstances underlying their legal disputes.

Krista A.P. Hatcher works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Employment & Labor, Employment & Labor Litigation, Litigation, Class Action/Wage and Hour Litigation and Labor Management Relations Groups. Hatcher litigates and advises on a wide range of workplace issues, defending employers of all sizes against retaliation, discrimination, harassment, trade secret, wage and hour, and other employment-related claims. She represents companies in state and federal courts, mediation, arbitration, and in proceedings before administrative agencies such as the EEOC, NLRB and Minnesota Department of Human Rights. She has experience defending employers against whistleblower and other retaliation claims, allegations of discrimination, harassment, breach of contract and employment-related torts. She also has experience defending employers against wage-and-hour class and collective actions. Hatcher works with employers to enforce noncompete agreements, nonsolicitation agreements and other post-employment restrictive covenants and to protect their trade secrets and confidential information. She represents individuals and businesses in defending against breach of contract and business tort claims, including claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Hatcher also advises employers on a variety of issues, including leaves of absence, disability issues, discipline and discharge decisions, wage-and-hour compliance, drug/alcohol testing, and other human resources best practices. She drafts and reviews personnel policies, separation agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, and independent contractor agreements. She also has experience advising employers about labor relations issues. Hatcher provides harassment prevention and other employment-related training to managers and employees.

Patrick D. Mahlberg works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Condemnation & Eminent Domain and Litigation Groups. Mahlberg is an experienced litigator whose energy practice focuses on representing condemning authorities in litigation and regulatory proceedings involving energy transmission in the upper Midwest. In condemnation actions, Mahlberg has handled scores of valuation disputes to conclusion. Mahlberg’s litigation practice focuses on business litigation, shareholder disputes and debtor-creditor matters. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. John’s University and his J. D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. Mahlberg is an experienced litigator, representing parties in litigation and regulatory proceedings involving eminent domain, energy transmission, contracts and business torts. His practice involves a wide variety of business litigation and focuses on general commercial and securities matters. Patrick has experience in state and federal court, as well as in front of regulatory bodies.

David R. Phillips works in the Bismarck office and is a member of the Energy, Oil & Gas and Real Estate Groups. Phillips has been practicing law for more than nine years, and has experience in a wide variety of litigation and transactional matters. He has represented both public and private clients in many practice areas, including contract negotiation and contract disputes, employment law, statutory and regulatory interpretation, open meetings and open records claims, and personal injury litigation. He has represented clients as defense counsel and as plaintiff’s counsel in numerous disputes in district court and in the context of North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights complaints. Phillips also focuses his practice on school law and currently represents several school districts. Phillips is a full member of the North Dakota School Boards Association Legal Services Affiliation.

Jeffrey J. Serum works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Oil & Gas and Real Estate Groups. Serum is a seasoned real estate lawyer focusing on the development of mineral interests for the oil and gas industry and the acquisition, development, construction, leasing and financing of real estate for the commercial real estate industry. Serum handles real estate matters relating to oil and gas exploration and production for oil and gas companies, with emphasis on mineral title examination. He works with a wide range of clients including real estate developers, retailers, property managers and manufacturers. Clients seek Serum’s guidance to anticipate the many issues that may arise in the acquisition and disposition of real estate to avoid unnecessary delays and pitfalls in the pre-closing process and to avoid post-acquisition problems. His transactional services include determination of the appropriate deal structure, preparation and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements and lease agreements, due diligence review, and assistance with debt and equity financing. Developers seek Serum’s assistance with land use and development matters, including preparing and negotiating reciprocal easement agreements, preparing and negotiating development agreements with municipal officials and appearing before municipal governing bodies for annexation, zoning and subdivision matters.

Christopher A. Stafford works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Property Tax Appeals and Litigation Groups. Stafford practices property tax law, where he uses his expertise with large data sets and statistical analysis to resolve complex valuation problems in commercial real estate. He represents local, state and national clients in the area of property taxation before the Minnesota Tax Court and the Minnesota Supreme Court. His property tax experience includes a wide variety of commercial, retail, industrial and utility properties in cases posing a full range of complex legal and valuation issues. He employs rigorous legal, financial and mathematical analysis to the unique circumstances of each client. He also has considerable experience with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act as it relates to the interests of property owners and other private parties. Stafford also has significant experience in public law, including election and political law. He has represented numerous campaigns and candidates in recounts, contests and other election litigation and has counseled campaigns, political parties and political consultants on a variety of compliance issues. Prior to joining Fredrikson, Stafford worked for the South Dakota Department of Corrections, where he helped develop the statistical modeling for the state’s parole risk-assessment system.

Adam R. Steinert works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation, Patents and Intellectual Property Groups. Steinert tries patent and trade secret cases on behalf of inventors and corporate clients, enforcing and defending his clients’ intellectual property in a wide range of technologies, from software and semiconductors to medical devices. In addition to practicing in Minnesota, Steinert appears regularly in the top national venues for patent litigation, including Texas, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, California, Virginia and before the U.S. International Trade Commission. Steinert takes a business-oriented approach to litigation, utilizing the full array of available tools—including parallel Patent Office review and reexamination proceedings and alternative dispute resolution (ADR)—to deliver cost-effective business solutions to his clients’ IP issues. He also advises clients on transactional IP matters, including licensing, inventor agreements and IP due diligence.

Masha M. Yevzelman works in the Minneapolis office and is a member of the Tax Disputes & Litigation, Litigation, Property Tax Appeals and Trusts & Estates Groups. Yevzelman focuses on state and local taxation. She represents clients at all stages of state and local tax controversies, from audits and administrative appeals to tax court and appellate litigation. Yevzelman’s experience includes resolving and litigating complex state and local tax matters in the areas of sales tax, corporate franchise tax, individual income tax, and other state and local taxes. Yevzelman also represents clients in federal offshore tax matters relating to foreign financial accounts, foreign income, and foreign entities, including in voluntary disclosures, IRS audits, and appeals. She serves clients from a variety of industries including cooperatives, entertainment, hotel, product distribution, computer software and hardware, insurance, aircraft leasing, securities, energy, retail, credit services, healthcare information technology and photographic equipment and supplies. Yevzelman currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Tax Council.

Fredrikson & Byron is a 275-attorney law firm based in Minneapolis, with offices in Bismarck, Des Moines, Fargo, Monterrey, Mexico, and Shanghai, China. Fredrikson & Byron has a reputation as the firm “where law and business meet”. Our attorneys bring business acumen and entrepreneurial thinking to work with clients, and operate as business advisors and strategic partners, as well as legal counselors. More information about the firm is available at Follow us on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FredriksonLaw.

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