New attorneys expand areas of expertise at PR law firm
By Jean Ruzickajruzicka@parkrapidsenterprise.com Attorneys Jonathan Frieden and Matt Enger have joined the Thomason, Swanson and Zahn law firm, the duo adding criminal defense to the firm's comprehensive list of legal services. Frieden, who's ser...
By Jean Ruzicka
Attorneys Jonathan Frieden and Matt Enger have joined the Thomason, Swanson and Zahn law firm, the duo adding criminal defense to the firm’s comprehensive list of legal services.
Frieden, who’s served as an assistant county attorney in three counties - the past four years in Hubbard County - will shift his role from prosecutor to defense attorney.
“I will use my expertise in criminal law to defend the accused and make sure their rights are upheld and respected,” he said.
Frieden passed the bar in 2007, having graduated from William Mitchell College of Law, and began practicing in Mahnomen County. He was in Clearwater County for a year and “has been here ever since.”
Frieden grew up in Illinois, spending time in the summers with his grandpa fishing on Cass Lake. He met wife Sarah Ulmer Frieden in the Twin Cities, subsequently determining northern Minnesota to be “a great place to live,” and has “no plans to leave.”
As a prosecutor for the past seven years, Frieden has gained expertise in juvenile and adult crime and has had “extensive” felony jury trial experience.
Frieden’s focus will be criminal defense, civil litigation and family law. He will engage his experience in child support, civil commitments, guardianships, children in need of protection and/or services cases, tax appeals, shoreline ordinances, zoning, DNR issues and no-contact orders “to enhance his practice.”
With the addition of the two attorneys, the firm’s criminal defense and civil litigation services will be expanded.
“Matt has more experience with the firm than me,” Frieden said of Enger serving two summers as a law clerk for Thomason, Swanson and Zahn.
In November, Enger was admitted to the bar having earned a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in May, graduating cum laude.
He is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, where he double majored in political science and history. He grew up on a farm near Madison, where he returns in the summer to play for the town’s amateur baseball team.
He was hired as a full-time associate attorney in November.
Enger plans to practice criminal law, civil litigation and estate planning.
“We will be working with three very, very good attorneys who work on the front end to avoid litigation,” Frieden said.
Sara Swanson’s focus is real estate and estate planning. Roger Zahn’s practice is in business law and estate planning and Trent Wilcox works in family law.
Frieden cites prosecutorial experience - having tried over 20 jury trials - as a boon to his role. “It’s an acquired skill.
“Now that I’m on the other side, I can evaluate from a prosecutor standpoint,” he said of seeing the weaknesses and hypothetical problems the prosecutor may face. “I look at defense with a unique set of eyes,” he said of evaluating a case to get the best outcome – a plea agreement, not-guilty decision or outright dismissal.
“Criminal law is a very complicated area of law,” Frieden said. “So many different issues, cases. I’ve covered the gambit.
“Being a prosecutor has a unique place in my heart,” he said of justice served, accountability.
Criminal defense is a different way of doing it, he said of posture. “I won’t love it any less. You need the same skill sets. There are more similarities than differences.”
“We’re both excited to expand the services,” Enger said, “to build the client base.”
“This is a powerhouse firm that can handle a vast array of legal issues,” Frieden said, “with expertise second to none.”
Thomason, Swanson and Zahn may be reached at 732-7236.