Ten Attorneys Join Briggs and Morgan

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January 6, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (Jan. 6, 2015) – Briggs and Morgan, P.A. is pleased to announce the addition of 10 associates to the firm’s Business Law, Business Litigation, Employment Benefits and Labor, Energy, and Financial Institutions and Real Estate sections. The ten associates are all based in the firm’s Minneapolis office.

Two of the 10 new associates, Peter Surdel and Sara Wenzel, are lateral hires.

Peter Surdel is a member of the firm's Financial Institutions and Real Estate section and represents clients in the areas of asset-based lending, syndicated credit facilities, traditional commercial lending and commercial real estate lending. Prior to joining Briggs, Surdel practiced investment management law at a Chicago-based law firm. He received his J.D. from Harvard University Law School in 2010 and his B.A. from Columbia University in 2005.

Sara Wenzel also is a member of the firm’s Financial Institutions and Real Estate section. She helps clients primarily in the areas of real estate acquisitions and dispositions, commercial real estate development and leasing, and commercial real estate finance. Wenzel practiced law at the Minneapolis office of a national law firm prior to joining Briggs. She received her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in 2013 and her B.A. from Luther College in 2008.

The other eight associates include Katharine Tace James, Brady Janzen, Ben Kajer, Brieanna Maershbecker, Cyrus Malek, Emily Peterson, Kathryn Short and Jordan Weber.

Katharine Tace James is a member of the Energy section. She received her B.A. from Lewis & Clark College in 2010 and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2014. While in law school, Tace was a member of the Minnesota Journal of International Law. She also served as a law clerk for Alliant Energy and as a judicial extern for the Honorable Franklin L. Noel of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Brady Janzen is a member of the Business Law section. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Morris, where he was captain of the football team, and his J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, summa cum laude, in 2014. Brady served as a summer associate at Briggs in 2013. Before attending law school, he worked as an environmental compliance coordinator for Riverview, LLP, and he also worked at Schwartz Farms, Inc.

Ben Kajer is a member of the Financial Institutions and Real Estate section. He received his B.S. from Boston College, magna cum laude, and his J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2014. Ben also received Dean's Awards in Accounting for Lawyers and Real Estate Transactions. During law school, he was a member of Law Review and worked as a legal intern for the Minnesota Vikings organization and as a policy counsel intern for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Ben worked as a summer associate at Briggs in 2013. Prior to attending law school, Ben was a paralegal assistant at U.S. Bancorp and an actuarial intern at Allianz Life.

Brieanna Maershbecker is a member of the Financial Institutions and Real Estate section. She received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Moorhead, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, summa cum laude, in 2014. While in law school, Brieanna was a research assistant to Professor Colette Routel, an extern for the Honorable Tony N. Leung and a participant in the Native American Law Clinic. She was also a member of National Native American Moot Court and won the award for best brief in 2014. Brieanna was a summer associate at Briggs in 2013. Prior to law school, she worked as a law clerk for a North Dakota law firm.

Cyrus Malek is a member of the Energy section. He received his B.A. from Carleton College in 2007 and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, magna cum laude, in 2013. While in law school, he was a member of Law Review, externed for the Honorable Patrick J. Schiltz of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, competed in the Vale Corporate Moot Court and was selected as a fellow for the Marshall-Brennan Project. He was a summer associate at Briggs in 2012 and comes to the firm after completing a one-year clerkship with Judge Terri J. Stoneburner and Judge Peter M. Reyes at the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Prior to law school, Cyrus was a sportswriter for the online soccer publication Goal.com.

Emily Peterson is a member of the Employment Benefits and Labor section. She received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 2005 and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, magna cum laude, in 2013. During law school, Emily interned for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, and served as a legal project assistant for the Silha Center or the Study of Media Ethics and Law. She was also a note and comment editor of the Minnesota Law Review. Emily was a 2012 summer associate at Briggs. She comes to Briggs after a clerkship with Chief Justice Gildea at the Minnesota Supreme Court. Prior to law school, Emily was a writer for the Star Tribune.

Kathryn Short is a member of the Business Litigation section. She received her B.A. from Boston College, her M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame and her J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2012. Prior to law school, Kathryn taught 9th and 10th grade English and 9th grade religion. She comes to Briggs after serving as an in-chambers staff attorney and then as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Wilson at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Jordan Weber is a member of the Business Litigation section. He received his B.S. from the University of South Dakota, summa cum laude, and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, magna cum laude, where he received honors in legal research and writing. While in law school, Jordan served as a note and comment editor for the Minnesota Law Review. He was a summer associate at Briggs in 2012 and 2013. Prior to law school, Jordan worked as a Technology Fellow for the University of South Dakota.

About Briggs and Morgan
Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, is a trusted name in business law and litigation services. With offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, the firm’s attorneys are committed to providing superior client service and sound legal counsel to clients nationwide. Briggs and Morgan ranks among The NLJ 350 as one of the nation’s largest firms and has received numerous accolades, including recognition by Corporate Counsel and top clients as a “Go-To Law Firm®” in the areas of litigation, corporate transactions, corporate governance, and labor and employment. The firm and its attorneys have also been selected for publication in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA.