Paul Jacobsen is a licensed attorney and is a qualified neutral under Minnesota Rule 114 for civil mediations, civil arbitrations and family law mediations. He is also on the construction and commercial arbitration and mediation panels of the American Arbitration Association. The International Mediation Institute, an international organization based in the Netherlands, added him as a certified mediator based on his qualifications. He has acted as a mediator or arbitrator in over 1400 cases venued in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
From 1984 to 1995, Paul was a partner at Briggs & Morgan (now Taft Law) a large law firm based in Minneapolis and St. Paul. At Briggs & Morgan, he was a member of several different practice groups, including Construction Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Litigation. He has handled a wide range of legal disputes, including those involving building failures, heavy highway claims, professional design malpractice, real estate disputes, aircraft purchasing, equine law, personal injury, environmental claims under CERCLA and MERLA, insurance coverage, mechanics liens, and many other substantive areas of the law. Paul has also handled appellate cases before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Paul is a magna cum laude graduate of both the University of Minnesota Law School and of St. Olaf College, is a member of Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa, and has studied abroad in Norway. As an adult, he has traveled extensively throughout the world, including most of Europe and parts of Asia and Central America. He has been an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline), teaching both Legal Writing and Government Contracts, and has given ADR presentations to lawyers and students in the United States and Ireland. He has published articles in the construction and real estate areas and is the author of the book Net Law: How Lawyers Use the Internet (O’Reilly 1997).
When mediation was in its infancy in the 1980s, Paul participated in mediations as an attorney, and he saw mediation's effectiveness in resolving complex construction disputes, which were particularly expensive to litigate and take to trial. In 1995, he completed all training required by Minnesota Court Rule 114 to be a qualified neutral conducting civil mediations, arbitrations, med-arbs, early neutral evaluation, mini-trials and the various other ADR procedures. Later that year, he set up the first mediation-focused law practice in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Since then, he has provided arbitration and mediation services throughout the Upper Midwest--by selection of the parties, by referral of area judges, and through the American Arbitration Association. The vast majority of his mediations result in settlements that he documents at the end of the mediation before anyone goes home.
When he was doing divorce mediations, Paul thought there must be a better way to divide personal property in a divorce. He would regularly see parties spend thousands of dollars in fees arguing over their household property. To assist parties dividing their property in contentious divorces, he created CleanSplit, which was the first of its kind website to help divorcing parties divide their property in a divorce with an online tool.
Paul is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Minnesota Bar Association, and the Aitkin/Crow Wing County Bar Association. In his free time, he fishes, hunts, turns wooden bowls from local wood, writes fiction, and hangs out with friends and family.
Paul now restricts his ADR practice to mediations and arbitrations to disputes involving construction, commercial, and real estate, and where all parties are represented by counsel. Please contact Paul to discuss whether your dispute is a good fit for him. If not, he will provide referrals to other ADR professionals.