Eric brings both legal and business experience to his ADR practice. A Rule 114 qualified neutral, Eric has practiced law for over 30 years—currently with Nilsson Brandt, P.A.—in the areas of finance, commercial real estate, business formations, governance and break-ups and other commercial matters; in transactional and litigation settings. He has also managed a corporate business line and knows the importance of thinking strategically, not just tactically, when approaching business disputes—and the costs and uncertainly that often accompany them. Having litigated commercial cases before judges and juries, he understands that the “open and shut case” is as rare as the “free lunch,” particularly if collectibility of a judgment and recovery of legal fees are taken into account. He has seen firsthand, how often “legal analyses” trump “financial analyses,” to the detriment of all concerned. Furthermore, by experience, he knows that all too often, it is unrealistic to expect judges or jurors to have sufficient experience to understand and grapple with complex business issues and interests.
Having won cases that “should have been lost” and having lost cases that “should have been won,” and in all cases, having faced the unhappy realities of litigation costs and protracted timeframes, Eric has become a firm and enthusiastic believer in ADR. He's a “believer” not simply because ADR is mandated under the (MN) Rules of General Practice for District Court, but because it brings to the table more tools, more options, more ingredients for resolving business disputes and allowing enterprises to move forward successfully. He encourages early ADR.
With patience, creativity, substantive experience and full intellectual engagement, Eric can help litigants and their attorneys optimize the ADR process. Moreover, through decades of legal and business experience and active involvement with the world beyond these arenas, Eric has developed a distinct disposition for “seeing both—and often multiple—sides of the story.”
To broaden his perspective on law and business, Eric travels, follows closely political and economic developments, reads history voraciously, skis every day of the winter, practices his violin every day (and performs publicly—two “house concerts” every winter), and is Chair of the Governing Members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and a member of the World Press Institute board of directors. He is married and has two adult sons. He and his wife reside in Falcon Heights, MN.