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PRESS RELEASE

H. Jeffrey Peterson, a founding partner at Cope & Peterson, Ltd. in Virginia, Minnesota, has once again been named a Super Lawyer in the State of Minnesota in 2016. Less than 5 percent of the lawyers in Minnesota are named a Super Lawyer. Mr. Peterson has been named a Super Lawyer for over 15 consecutive years. Mr. Peterson, who has been a trial lawyer for 42 years, along with his son Andrew R. Peterson, represents individuals who have been injured in accidents. Mr. Peterson, who has tried in excess of 125 jury trials, also assists lawyers in resolving their cases by acting as mediator on the Range, Grand Rapids, Duluth, International Falls, Rochester and the Twin Cities.

Mr. Peterson is a past president of the Range Bar Association and served many years on its ethics committee. Mr. Peterson is the past national president of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA). He is also a past president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). 2016 is the 24th year in a row that Mr. Peterson has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the national rating service of lawyers, with an AV Preeminent Rating – the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

Mr. Peterson, who was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, has served three six-year terms as a member of the Judicial Selection Committee for judges in the 6th District, which includes Carlton County, Lake County and St. Louis County.

Mr. Peterson, along with his wife, Nancy, resides at Lake Vermilion near Tower, Minnesota.


PRESS RELEASE

Andrew R. Peterson with the law firm of Cope & Peterson, Ltd. in Virginia, Minnesota has been selected to the 2016 Minnesota Super Lawyers list. No more than 5% of the lawyers in Minnesota are selected by Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers, a part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Annual selections are made by using a multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

Mr. Peterson represents individuals who have been injured in accidents and has successfully represented hundreds of personal injury clients in northern Minnesota. In addition, Mr. Peterson practices in the areas of real estate law and criminal law.

Mr. Peterson is a MSBA Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialist and has also been recognized by the MSBA as a North Star Lawyer for providing 50 hours or more of pro bono legal service in a calendar year.

Mr. Peterson earned his B.A., cum laude, from Gustavus Adolphus College, and his J.D., cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law. Cope & Peterson is a full service law firm that has been serving the legal needs of the residents of northern Minnesota for over 40 years.


ANDREW R. PETERSON CERTIFIED AS MSBA BOARD CERTIFIED REAL PROPERTY LAW SPECIALIST

Cope & Peterson is proud to announce the certification of Andrew R. Peterson as a Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Board Certified Real Property Law Specialist. A lawyer who is a MSBA certified legal specialist has been recognized as having an enhanced level of skill and expertise, as well as substantial involvement in an established legal specialty. In addition to a written examination and disciplinary check, all MSBA board certified specialists must receive positive reviews from judges and attorneys familiar with their legal skills. When the attorney is considered board certified, it means that he or she has completed a rigorous approval process to establish full qualification as a specialist in their legal area.

In addition to being a Board Certified Real Property Law Specialist by the MSBA, Mr. Peterson is also a Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialist by the MSBA. Including Mr. Peterson, there are only four attorneys out of approximately 24,000 attorneys currently licensed to practice in Minnesota who are board certified as both a Real Property Law Specialist and a Civil Trial Law Specialist. Mr. Peterson is the only attorney outside of the metro area to be a MSBA Board Certified Real Property Law and a Civil Trial Law Specialist.

Mr. Peterson focuses his practice on personal injury, real estate, and criminal law. Cope & Peterson is a full service law firm that has been serving the legal needs of the residents of northern Minnesota for over 40 years.


ANDREW R. PETERSON CERTIFIED AS MSBA BOARD CERTIFIED CIVIL TRIAL LAW SPECIALIST

Cope & Peterson is proud to announce the certification of Andrew R. Peterson as a Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialist. This certification program is administered by the MSBA and approved by the State Board of Legal Certification.

The certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in a specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. Certified attorneys have demonstrated superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field, and this achievement has been earned by fewer than 3% of all licensed Minnesota attorneys.

“It is an honor to receive this certification from the Minnesota State Bar Association,” said Peterson, a partner with Cope & Peterson. Peterson focuses his practice on helping people who have been injured in accidents. In addition, he practices in the areas of real estate law and criminal law.

Peterson has been licensed to practice law in Minnesota since 2001. He was named to the 2015 Super Lawyers list published by the Super Lawyers Magazine. Peterson earned his B.A, cum laude, from Gustavus Adolphus College, and his J.D., cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law.

Cope & Peterson is a full service law firm that has been serving the legal needs of the residents of northern Minnesota for over 40 years.


ANDREW R. PETERSON SELECTED TO 2015 MINNESOTA SUPER LAWYERS LIST

Andrew R. Peterson with the law firm of Cope & Peterson, Ltd. in Virginia, Minnesota has been selected to the 2015 Minnesota Super Lawyers list. No more than 5% of the lawyers in Minnesota are selected by Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers, a part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Annual selections are made by using a multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

Mr. Peterson represents individuals who have been injured in accidents and has successfully represented hundreds of personal injury clients in northern Minnesota. In addition, Mr. Peterson practices in the areas of real estate law and criminal law.

Cope & Peterson is a full service law firm that has been serving the legal needs of the residents of northern Minnesota for over 40 years.


H. JEFFREY PETERSON NAMED SUPER LAWYER

H. Jeffrey Peterson, a founding partner at Cope & Peterson, Ltd. in Virginia, Minnesota, has once again been named a Super Lawyer in the State of Minnesota in 2015. Less than 5 percent of the lawyers in Minnesota are named a Super Lawyer. Mr. Peterson, who has been a trial lawyer for 41 years, along with his son Andrew R. Peterson, represents individuals who have been injured in accidents.

Mr. Peterson is a past president of the Range Bar Association and served many years on its ethics committee. Mr. Peterson is the past national president of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA). He is also a past president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Mr. Peterson is board certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). 2015 is the 23rd year in a row that Mr. Peterson has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the national rating service of lawyers, with an AV Preeminent Rating – the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

Mr. Peterson, who was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, has served three six-year terms as a member of the Judicial Selection Committee for judges in the 6th District, which includes Carlton County, Lake County and St. Louis County.

Mr. Peterson, along with his wife, Nancy, resides at Lake Vermilion near Tower, Minnesota.


MARTINDALE-HUBBELL®

Andrew R. Peterson, an attorney with the Virginia law firm of Cope & Peterson, has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating. The Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating is the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. This rating represents the pinnacle of professional excellence, and it is achieved only after an attorney has been reviewed and recommended by their peers, members of the bar, and the judiciary. Andy focuses his practice on helping injured people, which includes car and trucking accidents, wrongful death, dog bites, boating and aviation accidents, product liability, and slip and fall accidents. Andy also practices in the areas of criminal law and real estate law. Andy has been named a Rising Star by Minnesota Law and Politics for seven consecutive years, and the Duluth Superior magazine in its first annual list of Best Lawyers in the Northland as voted on by their peers named Andy the Best of the Best for his skill in criminal defense/DUI. Cope and Peterson is a full service law firm that has been serving the legal needs of the residents of northern Minnesota for over 35 years.


 

EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION 

James Cope recently completed the 16 hour training program and has met all of the necessary qualifications to be appointed by the District Court as an evaluator in both Social Early Neutral Evaluations and Financial Early Neutral Evaluations.  Those qualifications include having practiced law for nearly 24 years with a concentration in family law, significant family law trial experience, and being a member in good standing with the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Early Neutral Evaluation is a form of alternative dispute resolution.  It is a voluntary process which, when applied to child custody and parenting time cases, blends the advantages of a custody study, settlement conference and mediation. 

This new process offers parties an opportunity to reach an early settlement informed by the probable outcome of what might otherwise be a full-length, intrusive custody study.  The information is provided in a confidential forum and the parties are aided by professionals experienced in the dynamics of mediation and negotiation. 

The Early Neutral Evaluation process has only recently been implemented in St. Louis County, though it has been used in other counties in the State of Minnesota for several years.  It has proved itself to be a very effective tool in assisting parties to resolve their differences in matters concerning custody, parenting time and property issues.  It allows the Court an opportunity to assist families sooner, more efficiently, more effectively and with less pain for everyone involved, especially the children. 

The program empowers families by leaving more control in the hands of the parents, who solve their problems faster, more economically and with much less Court intervention.  Parents learn very early in their case what is likely to happen if they carry their dispute all the way through to trial.  This prompt look at the probable outcome, this “reality check”, saves parents much time, money and heartache, and most importantly, extricates children from what might otherwise be a long and contentious custody battle

In Duluth, where the program was implemented in 2008, more than 80 percent of cases have been resolved in this voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution process.  The process affords confidentiality and direct problem-solving with instant advice from evaluators giving parties the information on the likely outcome of a full custody study.

In a Social Early Neutral Evaluation, which deals primarily with issues of custody and parenting time, a two-person, male/female team meets with the parties and their attorneys, if the parties are represented.  Each side makes brief case presentations, gives brief responses to the other’s presentation and answers questions from the Early Neutral Evaluation team.  After a private consultation, the team gives feedback regarding the probable outcome of a full evaluation and what they deem to be viable settlement options.  Attorneys then consult privately with their clients and all parties re-convene to attempt to negotiate settlement.  If additional information is necessary, a subsequent session may be scheduled.  Confidentiality is an important aspect of this program because it allows parties to approach the process with more openness.  If the case settles, the evaluators, with the assistance of the parties and their counsel, will prepare the settlement agreement and sign it at that time.  The agreement will then be sent to the District Court Judge for the Judge’s approval.  If the case is not settled, the District Court Judge is notified whether any issues were resolved and whether the evaluators recommend further evaluation.

In a Financial Early Neutral Evaluation, which addresses financial issues such as child support, spousal maintenance and property division, one qualified evaluator meets with the parties and their attorneys, if represented.  Each side provides the evaluator with the necessary financial information in advance to allow the evaluator to provide feedback regarding the probable outcome of a full evaluation and possible settlement options.  If the parties agree, the evaluator will assist them in negotiating a settlement of some or all property issues.  If additional information such as appraisals or valuation of assets is necessary, the parties will agree how to obtain that information and a subsequent session may be scheduled.  If the case settles, the evaluator will assist the parties and their counsel, if represented, to prepare the settlement agreement and sign it at that time.  The agreement will then be sent to the District Court Judge for approval.  If not, the case will be sent back to the District Court along with the evaluator’s recommendation on whatever further evaluations are necessary. 

The ENE process is usually completed within one month for the Social ENE and 60 days for the Financial ENE.  Hourly rates are set according to a sliding fee scale and based on the family’s combined gross annual income.  Payment must be made at the time of each evaluation session.  In the vast majority of cases, the process lends itself to candid exchange in an environment conducive to problem-solving and settlement.  It does all of this in a more economical shortened time frame that forestalls the bitterness and expense of drawn-out litigation.

In addition to being certified as a early neutral evaluator, James Cope, who is certified as a civil trial specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association, is also a Rule 114 civil neutral mediator and arbitrator qualified to provide mediation services for those parties wishing to attempt to mediate their differences without the necessity of significant Court involvement.


 

RANGE BAR ASSOCIATION ETHICS COMMITTEE

Andrew R. Peterson, an attorney with Cope & Peterson, Ltd. in Virginia, was appointed by the Range Bar Association to serve as a member on the Twentieth District Ethics Committee.  The Twentieth District Ethics Committee is charged with conducting the initial investigation of complaints against attorneys and making recommendations as to the disposition of those complaints.  As a member of the Ethics Committee, Andy will render a valuable public service to the Court, the Board, the bar and public.  Cope & Peterson is a full service law firm that has been serving the legal needs of the residents in northern Minnesota for over 35 years.


 

COMMUNITY

In this season of gift giving, the staff at Cope and Peterson have come up with a positive way to give back to the local community.  What started as donating change in exchange for a soda (the “Soda Fund”), has expanded into pot luck lunches.  Now referred to as “Goodwill Lunches”, employees take turns providing lunch for the office.  In exchange for lunch, we donate money.  Between the Goodwill Lunches and the Soda Fund, the money adds up for local charities.  Although distributions are usually made to local organizations, selected by the staff, at the end of the year, in 2010, a March donation was made to the Quad Cities Rotary Club in order to obtain matching funds for the local food shelf.  The staff enjoys lunch together on a regular basis and have come up with themes for lunches and treats.  Occasionally there are contests such as salsa or chili cook-offs.  It is a fun activity that everyone enjoys and the donations made at the end of the year are a bonus!  This year the staff at Cope and Peterson decided to donate the proceeds from our Pop Fund and  Goodwill Lunches to the Salvation Army’s “Angel Tree”


 

2010 SUPER LAWYER

H. Jeffrey Peterson of the law firm of Cope & Peterson, Ltd. in Virginia, Minnesota, has once again been named a Super Lawyer in the State of Minnesota.  Less than 5 percent of the lawyers in Minnesota are named a Super Lawyer.  Mr. Peterson, who has been a trial lawyer in excess of 35 years, along with his son Andrew R. Peterson, represents individuals who have been injured in accidents. 

In addition to being named a Super Lawyer, Mr. Peterson is currently the president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a group of approximately 150 trial lawyers selected by invitation, whose purpose is to promote the right to trial by jury and to foster civility among lawyers and judges. 

Mr. Peterson is a fellow in of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a group of 100 lawyers in the State of Minnesota who limits its membership to lawyers who have been trial lawyers for at least 15 years.  In addition, the American College of Trial Lawyers limits its members to less than 1 percent of the lawyers in any given state.  Mr. Peterson recently hosted the Minnesota Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers at its annual summer meeting that was held at Fortune Bay. 

Mr. Peterson is a past president of the Range Bar Association and served many years on its ethics committee.  Mr. Peterson is the past national president of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys and is one of only 138 attorneys who are certified by both the Minnesota State Bar Association and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a civil trial specialist.

Mr. Peterson, along with his wife, Nancy, resides at Lake Vermilion near Tower, Minnesota.


 

ABOTA NEWS

On January 1, 2010, H. Jeffrey Peterson, a member of the Virginia, Minnesota law firm of Cope & Peterson, Ltd., assumed the presidency of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  ABOTA is comprised of trial lawyers throughout the United States who are selected for ABOTA by invitation only.  ABOTA, which has about 150 members in Minnesota, works to preserve the right to jury trial guaranteed by the 7th Amendment and promote civility among trial lawyers and judges.  A trial lawyer invited to join ABOTA must have tried at least twenty cases to a jury.  Mr. Peterson, in his 36 years as a trial lawyer, has tried in excess of 125 cases to a jury.  Mr. Peterson, along with his son Andrew, tries cases in state and federal court.


 

MINNESOTA JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLITICS-2010 RISING STAR

Andrew R. Peterson, an attorney with the Virginia law firm of Cope & Peterson, Ltd. has been named a 2010 Rising Star by the Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics. Rising Stars is a product of a rigorous selection process based on peer recognition and professional achievement. The publication asks Minnesota attorneys to nominate the best attorneys who are under the age of 40, or who have been practicing for ten years or less. Only 2.5% of all attorneys in Minnesota receive this recognition as being the top young lawyers in Minnesota. Andy focuses his practice on helping injured people, which includes car and trucking accidents, wrongful death, dog bites, boating and aviation accidents, products liability, and slip and fall accidents. Andy has successfully represented hundreds of personal injury clients in northern Minnesota. Cope & Peterson is a full service law firm that has been serving the legal needs of the residents of northern Minnesota for over 35 years. 


 

DULUTH SUPERIOR MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES THE BEST OF THE BEST

Duluth, MN – September, 2009.  Duluth Superior Magazine in its first annual list of the best lawyers in the Northland as voted on by their peers, named John Cope, Jeff Peterson, Jim Cope, Alicia Cope, and Andy Peterson the best of the best.  John was recognized for his work in corporate law.  Jeff was recognized for his skill in litigation and also for his work in mediation.  Jim was voted best in divorce/family law.  Alicia was recognized for her expertise in elderly law/probate and Andy was honored for his skill in criminal defense/DUI.  Cope & Peterson is proud that all of its attorneys were recognized as the best of the best.


 

MSBA CERTIFIES JAMES R. COPE AS A CIVIL TRIAL SPECIALIST

MPLS, MN. The Minnesota State Bar Association announced it has re-certified James R. Cope, Cope & Peterson, LTD. of Virginia, as a Civil Trial Specialist: an attorney who has completed a rigorous approval process to establish full qualification for reliable experience and skills as a specialist in their practice area. MSBA Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists have participated in the preparation and trial of significant civil cases. They are familiar with the negotiation and pre-trial process, as well as with the rules of evidence, procedure, and law involved in civil cases. Cope has been certified as a Civil Trial Specialist since 1996. This certification makes Cope one of a limited number of attorneys in Minnesota to have earned the credential. Approximately 2% of the 1,300 attorneys belonging to the MSBA Civil Litigation Section are board certified as civil trial specialists. "Becoming a Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist is one way for me to demonstrate my commitment to civil trial work. I want my clients to have the peace of mind from knowing my credentials have been documented by an independent organization," explains Cope.


 

Andrew Peterson and Alicia Cope named 2008 "Rising Stars"

Cousins, Andrew R. Peterson and Alicia L. Cope, attorneys with the Virginia law firm of Cope & Peterson, Ltd. have been named 2008 Rising Stars by the Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics. "Rising Stars" is a special designation which is the product of a rigorous selection process based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Only 2.5% of all attorneys in Minnesota receive this recognition as being the top young lawyers in Minnesota. Mr. Peterson focuses his practice on personal injury, which includes car accidents, wrongful death, dog bites, boating accidents, and slip and fall accidents. Mr. Peterson has successfully represented hundreds of personal injury clients in northern Minnesota, many through jury trials. Ms. Cope practices in the areas of real estate, probate, estate planning, elder law and business law. In 2006 Ms. Cope was certified as a Real Property Law Specialist by the MSBA, a credential earned by less than 2% of attorneys practicing law in Minnesota. Fathers and uncles, John F. Cope, H. Jeffrey Peterson, and James R. Cope are proud that the tradition of providing quality legal service to the residents of northern Minnesota is continuing at Cope & Peterson, Ltd.


The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) announced that attorney Alicia L. Cope of Cope and Peterson, Ltd, Virginia, was certified as a Real Property Law Specialist. To earn the Real Property Law Specialist credential, an attorney must pass an examination in real property law, demonstrate a substantial level of experience and legal education in real estate matters, pass a disciplinary check and successfully obtain objective review by attorneys familiar with the attorney's experience. Only 334, out of approximately 25,000 attorneys currently licensed to practice law in Minnesota, are currently Board Certified as Real Property Law Specialists in Minnesota. "Becoming a Board Certified Real Property Law Specialist is one way to demonstrate my commitment to furthering my education in the area of real estate and for my clients to have peace of mind from knowing my credentials," explains Cope.


H. Jeffrey Peterson recently spoke at the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Defense Lawyers. The conference was held in Duluth, Minnesota. Mr. Peterson, who has tried in excess of 100 jury trials, spoke on "What Works in Mediations and Arbitrations?" In addition to again being named a Super Lawyer by Minnesota Law & Politics, an honor bestowed upon less than 5% of the attorneys in Minnesota, Mr. Peterson has been named the treasurer of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) for 2007.


 

Families that practice law together ... (you know the rest)

By Jane Pribek
Special to Minnesota Lawyer

It was just happenstance - and perhaps a little youth and naivete - that brothers-in-law H. Jeffrey Peterson and John F. Cope decided to become partners in law in 1976. Their Virginia, Minn., firm, Cope & Peterson Ltd., has since grown to five attorneys. But, what really makes their story unusual is that all of the lawyers in the firm are related to either Cope or Peterson. All three members of the Cope family who are lawyers work at the firm; as do both the lawyers in the Peterson family. While there is nothing out of the ordinary in families producing multiple lawyers, it is rare, if not unique, that a law firm would be composed of five lawyers drawn from just two families. Part of what made the initial partnership succeed is that they have complementary practices; Jeffrey is a civil litigator, while John changed his focus to transactional work in the mid-70s. "Back then, we weren't competing for work. Rather, we were both looking for work, together," Jeffrey recalls. They found it. And how. To the point where, 11 years later, when John's younger brother, James R. Cope, graduated from law school and joined the firm, he was given a large stack of files and told to "jump in with both feet." But both lawyers also gave him a great deal of guidance, says James, who had earned his J.D. with the sole purpose of returning to Virginia to work with them. It was dejavu all over again, when John's daughter, Alicia L. Cope, and Jeffrey's son, Andrew R. Peterson, started law school in the 1990s. Alicia joined the firm in 1998, followed by Andrew in 2001. The fact that they're all family impresses some clients, says Andrew. It plays well before a jury, adds Jeffrey. And, it's probably more of an asset in a small town like Virginia, where people tend to know everyone else and family still matters, says John. "We all have roots here, and we've been practicing together for a long time. I think that does matter to clients. Clients know we're going to be here. Continuity is worth something to most people."

Coping with the Petersons

They all speak of different benefits when it comes to working for a family run law firm. Jeffrey and John are enjoying the opportunity to work side-by-side with, and teach, their children, who have both gravitated to their fathers' legal concentrations - although both say they've learned quite a bit from the younger generation of lawyers as well. And, both say that, primarily as a result of working so closely with people whom they love, they have no plans to retire anytime soon. In fact, when and if that time would come, because they're in a family firm, they enjoy significant flexibility and would work when needed or when they wanted to work. Flexibility is something that Alicia heralds as well. Now a mother of three, ages 6, 4 and six months, she doubts that any other employer would allow her to start at 6:00 a.m. and leave at 3:00 p.m. to take her daughter to dance, for example. She has additionally benefited from joining a well-established firm, in that she is typically afforded instant credibility and respect because of her surname. She always does her best to live up to it, she notes. For his part, Andrew says the comfort level for him, as a new lawyer, has been phenomenal. He never feels like any question is too elementary, or that he's taking up too much of a senior partner's time, when that senior partner is his own dad. He's also trying or settling sizeable cases - an opportunity many new lawyers don't get until they've put in years of legal research or taken countless depositions. All said that the trust level is high. No one's tracking anyone else's billable hours, and no one's concerned about who's driving the best car. "The work ethic is inbred deeply here," remarks John.

Jane Pribek is an editor-at-large with Dolan Media, Minnesota Lawyer's parent company. She can be reached at janepribek@bellsouth.net.

Reprinted with Permission of Minnesota Lawyer.