Firm Overview

Twin City Attorneys P.A. was incorporated on May 10, 1984. James Whelpley and Associates, Chartered was incorporated on April 4, 1988. Until 1988, the shareholders in Twin City Attorneys were my former business associate and I. Since then, I have been the only shareholder in both.

We deal primarily with family law, bankruptcy, and criminal law. We also do civil litigation (law suits) although that is not our major focus.

Example cases

Example of a Chapter 7 case: "Bill" and "Betty" both had good jobs and were careful to save money and not over-spend. They were doing very well until "Betty" had a stroke and was unable to work anymore. Their savings soon evaporated and they were sued by a creditor, which threatened garnishment of "Bill's" paycheck. By filing Chapter 7 they were able to start fresh without the car loan and credit card payments they could no longer afford.

Example of a Chapter 13 case: "Jack" was out of work 6 months and fell four months behind in his mortgage payments. When he found a job, he was able to make his current payments, but not able to pay the arrearage, which was over $7,000, including late fees. Filing Chapter 13 allowed him to catch up by making payments of $350 per month which he could afford.

Example of a paternity case: "Manuel" had a child with his girlfriend, but they broke up before the birth and "Michelle" refused to allow him to see the child. We went to court to get the orders "Manuel" needed to have a normal relationship with his child.

Main Office

Main
2151 Hamline Avenue North
Roseville  MN  55113

Phone
  • (651) 639-0313
Fax
  • (651) 639-0056

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

We routinely offer free initial telephone consultations. We also offer free half-hour in-office consultations for people who are seriously considering a divorce, bankruptcy, or criminal defense representation. Hourly rates apply for coaching services.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

We have many fixed-price services. Bankruptcies are almost always done on a flat fee basis. Many divorces can be done as flat fees as well.

Hourly Rates

Current hourly rates are $275 an hour for me, $200 an hour for Amy, my associate, and $100 to $125 an hour for our non-lawyer assistants.

Office Information

Office Hours

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Plus 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday and 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Office Manager

Wanda Woodruff

Emergency After Hours

No

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I joined the Marines, in part, because I wanted to do trial work. After a couple of years of criminal defense and prosecution, I was transferred to Legal Assistance, which involves helping with non-criminal legal problems, a large portion of which were divorces. When I came back to Minnesota, I did both criminal and family law, but discovered it was much easier to find divorce work than criminal defense because much of the criminal defense was handled by public defenders. After I went into business with another lawyer who was interested primarily in doing bankruptcies, I started doing them as well.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I am heavily in favor of client education on legal issues. I have made educational presentations to groups, maintain a website offering information on legal issues, and have incorporated a non-profit organization which I hope to use to provide legal information to a larger number of people.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I do review documents prepared by clients, but if the document is somewhat complicated, it is often cheaper and easier for me to draft a new document than go back and make extensive modifications to an old document.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I have been helping clients to represent themselves for over 20 years. Most clients who represent themselves seem to want help with strategy and document preparation.

James Whelpley

Before returning to Minnesota, I spent a little over four years as a lawyer in the United States Marine Corps. I primarily handled military criminal cases.

I think that besides knowing the law, a lawyer needs to understand different kinds of people and the experiences they have had. For this reason I think that almost anything in my past has been helpful, from the four years I spent in the Marines to the fact that my mother was born in a part of Wisconsin that was so Norwegian that she didn't learn to speak English until she was eight years old. My dad was Canadian, my uncles were farmers, mechanics, and truck drivers. I think all these things make it easier for me to identify with different kinds of people.

I am non-judgmental and try to be encouraging to all of our clients, most of whom are going through some very bad times in their lives. At the same time, I have a duty to tell clients that they are making a mistake if I think they are.

Personal interests:

I like to build and make things whether it is a shed in the back yard or something pounded out of metal. Some day I hope to have enough time to improve my minimal Spanish and learn a couple of other languages.

License
  • Bar Number: 011649X
    Minnesota , 1975
Education
  • University of Minnesota Law School
    Juris Doctor , 1975
    Minneapolis, MN
    I worked on both misdemeanor prosecution and prisoner representation projects and the law school's legal aid office. I handled my first divorce the year before graduation.
  • University of Minnesota
    B.A. , 1970
    Minneapolis, MN
    Sociology. I was an undergraduate teaching assistant and worked for two professors on a study of police/citizen interactions.

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