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Name Change for Merged Firms

Jul. 12, 2018

Blethen, Gage & Krause and Berens, Rodenberg & O’Connor merged effective July 1, 2018. The new firm name is Blethen Berens. 

This is a merger of two highly compatible, well-respected law firms.  Both firms have a significant historical footprint in the region.  Blethen, Gage & Krause has been providing high quality legal services in the Greater Mankato area for over 120 years while Berens, Rodenberg & O’Connor has provided equally valuable services in the New Ulm area for over 90 years.  We hold similar values and philosophies on doing business: providing excellent service to clients with an emphasis on quality and integrity while supporting the community. 

Our respective addresses have not changed.  You may call us at 507-345-1166 for both locations.

As always, we will continue to serve our clients with the same dedication and quality which they have come to expect from us.  

2018 Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

Jul. 09, 2018

Blethen Berens is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been selected to the 2018 Minnesota Super Lawyers and 2018 Minnesota Rising Stars lists.

The following attorneys were selected as Super Lawyers:  Julia Ketcham CorbettBen McAninch, Christopher Roe and James Turk.

The following attorneys were selected as Rising Stars:  Beth Serrill, Jeremy Berg, and Jeffrey Grace.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional development.  The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.  Congratulations to each of the attorneys selected for this honor!

Be sure to contact our attorneys at 507-345-1166.

Best of Mankato – 4 Years in a Row!

Jul. 05, 2018

Blethen, Gage & Krause is excited to announce that for the fouth year in a row, we have been selected by Mankato Magazine as Mankato’s #1 law firm.  The people of Mankato and surrounding communities vote to determine who will be selected for this prestigious recognition.  We are truly honored to receive this award and wish to thank our clients and business partners for this acknowledgment.  We are proud to be a part of this vibrant community!

Get to Know Kim Literovich – Attorney of the Month

May. 14, 2018

Kimberly Literovich, a current partner of the firm, started with Blethen, Gage and Krause in May 2015.  She BGK Law Mankato Associatespreviously served with the firm of Shermoen & Jaksa in International Falls for eight years.  Kim focuses her practice in the areas of real estate, estate planning, probate, and small business.  A large segment of Kim’s practice is devoted to drafting individually-tailored estate plans which benefit her clients and their families for years to come.  Whether it’s a simple will, power of attorney or health care directive, or a more complicated trust or cumbersome probate matter, Kim eagerly and efficiently serves her clients.  Kim’s familiarity and background in working with medical assistance planning has also proven to be a valuable asset to her clients.  She also provides experienced legal advice in the areas of title insurance, title searches, and real estate closings. 

Her warm personality puts clients at ease and helps them navigate through an array of complex legal matters.  Kim performs her legal responsibilities with integrity and timeliness and strives to efficiently and successfully resolve any unexpected issues which may arise. 

“I was in search of a business attorney to assist me in organizing my legal business entity and corporate documents. Kim Literovich was exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable. I immediately felt that I could rely on Kim to guide my business decisions.”                       

                                                           Hannah Bretz, HB Digital Marketing

You may contact Kim at 507-345-1166 or at kliterovich@blethenlaw.com.

Long Standing Firms Merge

Apr. 23, 2018

Blethen, Gage & Krause and Berens Rodenberg & O’Connor, two of the region’s oldest and most well-respected law firms are pleased to announce their merger.

Both firms have a significant historical footprint in their respective areas.  Blethen, Gage & Krause has been providing high quality legal services in the Mankato area for over 120 years while Berens, Rodenberg & O’Connor has provided equally valuable services in the New Ulm area for over 90 years.

“Although there is a lot of history represented in the new firm, this merger is about looking forward” notes Berens Partner Jeremy Berg.  “Each firm brings complimentary talents and a combination of veteran and rising attorneys to the merger. Combining the strengths of the Blethen and Berens firms will provide our clients with a broad range of legal talents to meet the needs and challenges of our clients across the region while still providing the “Main Street” service that our communities expect.” 

This is a merger of two highly compatible firms which hold similar values and philosophies in doing business – providing excellent service to clients with an emphasis on quality and integrity while supporting the community.  Both firms represent clients in a wide range of business and personal matters.   The combined firm will employ 19 attorneys and 24 employees.

Silas Danielson, Blethen Partner, says, “We are excited about the addition of such a high quality firm.  We look forward to expanding our market and capitalizing on the abilities of all of our lawyers and staff.  This merger is a great opportunity for the Blethen and Berens groups.”

The merger will be effective July 1, 2018.  The merged firm will retain the use of their current names for the immediate future and their respective locations in Mankato and New Ulm.

Minnesota Personal Injury & Wrongful Death – Did You Know

Apr. 19, 2018

A personal injury or wrongful death claim can arise in Minnesota under a number of different scenarios.  Often times these types of claim are intimidating and confusing.

Did you know…

Dog Bites – Minnesota law imposes strict liability on a dog owner for dog bites.  This means that no knowledge or negligence is required for a dog owner to be held liable for injuries caused by his or her dog.   Minn. Stat. § 347.22; Engquist v. Loyas, 803 N.W.2d 400 (Minn. 2011).  In fact, claims have been brought against a dog owner even in situations where the dog did not directly bite anyone, but still caused injury.  Liability as a dog owner can also extend to a person who harbors or keeps a dog.  A person “harboring” a dog is generally someone who feeds and cares for a dog.

Car Accidents – A pedestrian or bicyclist traveling across a street and struck by a vehicle may find coverage for injuries with his or her own car insurance.  The pedestrian/bicyclist’s insurance in this example is called no-fault (PIP) insurance and is required on all “motor vehicles” in Minnesota.  That pedestrian/bicyclist may also be able to file a claim for bodily injury against the at-fault driver.  A person injured in a car accident must, however, satisfy a certain threshold before bringing a case in court for bodily injury against the at-fault driver.  Those thresholds include:

  • Permanent injury or disfigurement;
  • Disability lasting more than 60 days;
  • More than $4,000 in medical expenses (excluding diagnostics like x-rays); and

But what if the at-fault driver in the example above does not have insurance?  In that scenario, a claim could again be filed against the pedestrian/bicyclist’s own policy for uninsured coverage.

Motorcycles – Minnesota does not require the same type of insurance on a motorcycle as is required on a car or truck.  A motorcycle owner need only carry liability coverage – no-fault (PIP) and underinsured/uninsured coverages are not required.  Minn. Stat. § 65B.48, Subd. 5.  This can have a dramatic effect on the amount of recovery available in an accident involving a motorcycle, and the source of recovery. 

Wrongful Death – The time limit within which a claim for wrongful death can be brought is generally 3 years.  Minn. Stat. § 573.02.  In addition, a claim for wrongful death must be brought by a trustee for the surviving spouse and next of kin.  Minn. Stat. § 573.02, Subd. 2, 3.  To complicate matters, the recovery in a wrongful death case is limited to “pecuniary loss.”  Pecuniary loss includes the reasonable value of counsel, guidance, advice and assistance, among other things. Pain and suffering, as is often claimed in car accident cases, is not available in a wrongful death case however.

Our law firm has successfully litigated a wide range of personal injury and wrongful death matters.  Contact us at 507-345-1166 to schedule an appointment and discuss your case today.

 

Jeff Grace – Attorney of the Month

Apr. 16, 2018

Jeff joined Blethen, Gage and Krause in 2014 after working as an in-house trial attorney for a national insurance company. Jeff’s practice involved insurance defense, representing both individuals and the company in all phases of litigation. He gained significant trial experience, successfully litigating both bench and jury trials.Jeffrey Grace - Mankato Law Firm

Jeff’s current practice is focused on general litigation and insurance law.  He graduated from William Mitchell College of Law (J.D.) and St. Olaf College (B.A.).  Jeff was named as a “Rising Star” in the Minnesota legal community in 2016 and 2017.  Jeff is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association and Greater Mankato Growth Young Professionals.

Outside of work, Jeff enjoys playing and coaching several sports, camping fishing, skiing and spending time with his family.

If you need legal help in the areas of litigation, contact Jeff at jgrace@blethenlaw.com or at 507-345-1166.

 

Mike Karp – Featured Attorney of the Month

Mar. 20, 2018

Michael (Mike) Karp has been with the firm since 1981.  Mike dedicates his practice to business Mankato Law Partnerlaw, commercial ventures, real estate and related matters. His clients regularly seek his advice regarding entity formation, structure and business continuity planning. He is skilled in documenting complex business and real estate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions and related financing arrangements.

He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and is certified as a Real Property Law Specialist by the Real Property Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, approved by the Minnesota State Board of Legal Certification. Once designated as a “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law & Politics, and as a Leading Minnesota Attorney, his straightforward manner and no-nonsense business approach makes him a vital member of our firm.

When not serving his clients, Mike volunteers countless hours for local community organizations.  In addition, Mike serves as volunteer counsel to Twin Valley Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America (President, 2005-2007), and to Lake Washington Club, Inc.  Mike will be honored for his outstanding service and dedication in support of the Twin Valley Council In April.

You may contact Mike at 507-345-1166 for your business needs.

Distinguished Service Award to Julia Ketcham Corbett

Mar. 05, 2018

Julia Ketcham Corbett was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Greater Mankato Growth Board of Directors.  She is only the third person to receive this award honoring her leadership and service to the Mankato area via the Greater Mankato Growth Board as well as Programs and Services.  Below is a list of her great accomplishments:

Board of Directors – Greater Mankato Growthjulia-ketcham-corbett BGK Law

  • Served on the Board (March 2009 – March 2018). Also had a previous term on the Mankato Area Chamber of Commerce Board (pre-merger) from 2000 – 2004
  • Served on the Executive Committee (2011 – 2018); three years post her role as Chair.  In that role accepted responsibility to serve as leadership representation for the organization on…
    • enhancing the Visit Mankato nominations process
    • vetting additional property considerations for GMG, Inc.
  • Served as Chair of the Board (2013-2015).  In that role, helped provide key leadership as Greater Mankato Growth navigated new territory, both operationally and programmatically.
    • provided assured and stable leadership amidst the President & CEO’s cancer diagnosis, hospitalizations, and treatments
    • involved in Project ABE (now GreenSeam, LLC) which was initiated and launched during her tenure
    • provided leadership as GMG’s new Public Affairs approach and work was only in its infancy at the start of her tenure

Programs & Services

  • Served as a mentor as part of the Young Professionals Mentor series
  • Has been a strong supporter and advocate for both Leadership Institute and Young Professionals; including identifying participants, sponsoring, and speaking at events
  • Attended the “local” Leadership Delegation retreat in Chaska and the InterCity Leadership visits to Charlottesville and Columbia
  • Instrumental in both championing for the implementation of Greater Mankato at the Capitol to raise the visibility of our region and driving community attendance
  • Served on the 2016 Task Force for passage of the Local Option Sales Tax
  • Serves as a member of the Regional Recreation Sports Facilities Task Force
  • Serves on the Executive Talent Council

From all of us here at Blethen, Gage and Krause, thank you for being such a committed advocate to the Mankato area.

Beth Serrill Elected to Mankato YMCA

Mar. 05, 2018

Beth Serrill has been elected Vice President of the Mankato Family YMCA.  Beth believes strongly in the YMCA’s BGK Lawmission to provide programming to our community that builds a healthy spirit, mind, body, and social well being for all. 

As a family law attorney, Beth recognizes how integral organizations like the YMCA can be to the health and well-being of a family, especially in times of transition when consistency and support are so important.  And as an active wife and mother she’s appreciative of the phenomenal programming that the YMCA offers.  She is very proud to be a part of the community of wellness that the YMCA provides that is so much more than just a gym with programming like Exercise is Medicine, Pedaling for Parkinson’s, and LiveStrong at the YMCA.

To learn more about the Mankato YMCA, visit https://mankatoymca.org.

To learn more about Beth and her practice, go here.  Or you may contact her at 507-345-1166.