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  • News Release: Pemberton Law still providing expertise after 135 years

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    January 31, 2018

    Pemberton Law still providing expertise after 135 years

    Pemberton Law Firm has had years of experience serving their clients. At 135 years old, the firm has built multiple relationships with a variety of clients.

    Pemberton Law Firm was formed in 1883 and they moved into the Fergus Falls location at 110 N. Mill St. in 1906. According to Matt McGovern, administrator of Pemberton Law Firm locations, the building the Pemberton Law Firm office resides in was built in 1882 and was the First National Bank of Fergus Falls.

    “Being that this building was a bank, there are several vaults throughout the building that still have the original artwork,” McGovern said. “Then, as we moved in here, the firm was generally two people and around 1929, a gentleman named Roger Dell joined the firm and he went on to later become the Minnesota Supreme Court Justice.”

    From there, McGovern said the firm continued to grow, having four to six attorneys on staff. Now, the firm has 21 attorneys and is based in Fergus Falls, Alexandria, Wadena and Detroit Lakes. Pemberton Law Firm also has 40 staff and is one of the largest law firms in outstate Minnesota.

    “So we have more resources to be able to take on larger clients and help people avoid having to use Twin Cities firms for specialized services,” McGovern said.

    The law firm areas Pemberton Law Firm covers are the Health Care law, personal injury, large litigation type files and the National Syngenta Corn litigation.

    “We basically have attorneys who practice through the entire state of Minnesota and surrounding states and up into Canada,” McGovern said.

    Pemberton Law Firm also deals with a lot of estate planning for farmers and succession planning for families and family cabins. Not being a lawyer himself, McGovern always finds it fascinating to see the wide variety of cases that come in and out of the doors of Pemberton Law Firm.

    “The massive volume of cases that comes out of this place is amazing and it’s for people all over the state,” McGovern said. “We open close to 1,000 unique files a year and that is everything from estate planning to large litigation type files that sometimes take years to complete.”

    The majority of the cases Pemberton Law Firm deals with on a daily basis revolve around estate planning, setting up family trusts, real estate work and family law. McGovern said they also work with general business, corporate type cases which include working with banks and large businesses in the area. Another large area that the firm works in is around the Employment Labor law.

    “We work with schools, counties and superintendents all over the state,” McGovern said. “It has been a large, growing business.”

    In addition to the growth in staff and services, McGovern said the building has changed over the years as well, including most recently.

    “Just in this last year, we have renovated three areas of this building,” McGovern said.

    One neat thing about renovating an old building, according to McGovern, is the unusual discoveries they find.

    “Whenever we move a wall, we always find something unexpected,” McGovern said. “We always find old doorways and we try to piece back together what the building used to look like.”

    McGovern likes to document what they find in renovations, keeping notes and photographs in a file in hopes of educating future generations on the history of the building.

    “Hopefully someone from 100 years from now can look back to now and say, ‘Oh, cool. That is what it used to look like.’”

    Contact:
    Matt McGovern, Administrator
    (218) 736-5493
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