Joseph S. Lawder, Attorney

Joseph S. Lawder, Attorney

Trusted Advice, Skilled Advocacy and Creative Solutions in Real Estate, Financial and Fiduciary Law

Firm Overview

Joe Lawder established Lawder Law to serve clients with greater efficiency and reasonable rates. His value-driven mission comes without compromise to the excellent service, dependable judgment and ethical creativity he has always delivered. Joe's practice centers around his certification by the Minnesota State Bar as a Real Estate Specialist which strengthens his core practice areas of financial, fiduciary and real estate litigation. With experience in a wide range of civil litigation and strategic affiliations with lawyers in his office and across the Midwest, Joe can develop a practical solution to your legal problem or he will advise you where to turn. Lawder Law's success is founded upon the trust of clients who know Joe's advice is motivated only by their best interests.

Main Office

Main Office
413 Wacouta St. Ste. 250

St. Paul MN 55101


(651) 252-1955


(651) 252-1956


Lawder Law, PLLC


Office Information

Real Estate

With over 25 years of experience, Lawder Law is knowledgeable as to all facets of real estate and is experienced in litigation as well as transactional solutions.

Joe Lawder has successfully represented businesses and individuals in matters involving title, boundary, adverse possession, easements, condemnation, eviction, equity stripping, specific performance, mortgage validity and priority, liens and regulatory matters. Joe's negotiation and persuasion skills are deployed when mediating or appearing before a government entity on matters such as land use, planning and zoning, permitting, variances, CUPs and other administrative processes. Joe also develops creative transactional solutions to his clients' real estate needs and is experienced in negotiating and drafting agreements and acting in a consulting or special administrative capacity.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Lawder Law is founded upon a pure commitment to serving clients' interests. This is a better way to deliver advice and advocacy that is built upon decades of experience. Representation does not have to be disaffected by billable hour quotas and inefficient staffing. It can be forged by trust and skill.

Joseph Lawder

Joseph S. Lawder, Attorney

Joe's legal career has spanned a broad spectrum including general commercial litigation and contract disputes, creditors' rights and bankruptcy, real estate, insurance defense and coverage, employment, civil rights, tort and fraud litigation, class action, personal injury, and aviation law. In the last 15 years, Joe's practice has focused on lead counsel work representing clients in collection, foreclosure, workout, regulatory/compliance, fiduciary/trust/estate, real estate, insurance coverage and defense in numerous administrative tribunals, state and federal courts across the country.

Board Certified Real Property Specialist

C.P.A. Certificate (inactive)

Joe was a partner at a large, prestigious Minnesota law firm and left to strike out on his own in 2017. His practice involved litigation and transactional work for financial institutions, fiduciaries, property and business owners. Highlights include:

Representing Petters bankruptcy Trustee responsible for unwinding the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme and pursuing claw-back claims to recover money for the bankruptcy estate.

Pursuing complex post-judgment remedies on behalf of judgment creditors collecting multi-million dollar judgments by uncovering hidden assets, piercing the corporate veil and retrieving fraudulent transfers.

Led litigation team defending real estate developer in $16 million construction defect claim involving 12 building condominium complex and obtained favorable settlement after surgical use of summary judgment to shift liability to other parties in case.

Representing trustees, personal representatives and beneficiaries in several disputes over estate planning instruments, will contests and claims of breach of fiduciary duty in estates and trusts of all sizes.

Negotiation, drafting and dispute resolution involving collection, foreclosure, workout, restructuring, lender liability, leases, sale transactions, mechanics' liens, mortgage loans/priority disputes, security interests, guaranties, receiverships, equity stripping, participated loans, zoning, land use, condemnation, evictions.

From 1996 to 2007, for three years as an associate and thereafter as an equity partner at another renowned Minnesota law firm, Joe developed a general practice emphasizing business, real estate and insurance related disputes.

Trials, appeals, arbitrations and mediations, on behalf of numerous lenders and property owners through title insurance defense.

Depositions, expert selection and preparation, motion preparation and argument and case development for insured defendants and commercial litigation clients in large volume of defense work.

Litigated several aviation accident cases, including trial verdicts for passenger hearing loss, and the FAA for runway collision; and a major settlement against the FAA for weather-related general aviation crash; pursued class-action to obtain benefits for air-tanker pilots under PSOBA.

Joe was appointed as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri from 1993 to 1996, representing state agencies and employees in civil matters involving employment, civil rights, torts, contract, governmental regulation, class action and anti-trust litigation.

Instrumental in developing anti-trust theories influential to persuade NFL to allow Rams to move to St. Louis.

Defended class action brought by Missouri inmates relating to correctional facility conditions.

Missouri Court of Appeals: Judicial Clerk from 1992 to 1993 for state appellate judge.

St. Louis City Attorney: Student prosecutor in 1991 solely responsible for handling criminal dockets for city ordinance violations.

GE Capital: From 1988 to 1989, before going to law school, Joe was a financial analyst in its Corporate Finance Group.

Joe serves as a Conciliation Court Referee in Dakota County, Minnesota, where he resides. Joe hears cases quarterly as a small claims court judge.

Joe previously served as an adjunct professor for University of St. Thomas School of Business teaching Business Law.


St. Louis University
J.D., 1992

Marquette University
B.S. Accounting, 1988