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Top 100 Super Lawyers, The Cream of the Crop

MPLS ST. PAUL Magazine
August 2002

Every year Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine surveys practicing lawyers in the State of Minnesota to name the “Super Lawyers” in various specialties. In the field of personal injury, 17 Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben lawyers were named by this publication as “Super Lawyers.” Statewide, less than 2% of all attorneys are named “Super Lawyers” by the magazine.


This honor recognizes expert attorneys in the area of personal injury who have demonstrated exceptional legal ability in representing injury victims. The law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben is proud of this honor for their distinguished trial attorneys.




William A. Crandall

Paul E. Godlewski*

John C. Goetz*   

Mark H. Gruesner

Max H. Hacker

William E. Jepsen

Robert L. Lazear

Peter W. Riley*

Robert J. Schmitz

James R. Schwebel*     
William R. Sieben*

Larry E. Stern

Richard L. Tousignant

James G. Weinmeyer





How Super Lawyers® Were Selected


The General Survey In January of this year, we mailed 18,000 ballots to randomly selected attorneys across Minnesota. We asked attorneys to vote for the best lawyers they have personally observed in action – whether as opposing counsel, as co-counsel, from first-person observation in the courtroom, etc. Our intent was to avoid lawyers voting for others based purely on reputation or hearsay.


Each ballot had the name of the addressee-attorney on it. Only ballots properly verified by that attorney (with signature and attorney registration number filled in) were counted.


We received more than 12,000 nominating votes. Each lawyer was given a score based on the number of votes he or she received and where these votes came from. Votes received from lawyers in other firms were awarded significantly more points than votes received from lawyers in the same firm.


The Screening Process Lawyers who received only same-firm votes were eliminated from the list of candidates. In other words, in order to be considered for inclusion, a lawyer had to have received votes from lawyers outside his or her firm or organization.


We also kept track of who votes for whom. We did this to watch for what we call “back-scratch voting,” that is, two lawyers voting for each other. If we noticed a disproportionate number of back-scratch votes, we eliminated that lawyer from our list of candidates.


The Blue Ribbon Panel Review The lawyers who remained on the list were then divided according to their areas of practice. A Blue Ribbon Panel consisting of the top vote-getters from our previous surveys was assembled for each area of practice.  These panels reviewed and votes on the list of nominees in their areas of practice. The point totals resulting from the Blue Ribbon Panes votes were then added to the lawyers’ scores.


The Final Selection Process In coming up with a final point total, we added the lawyers’ scores from this year to their scores from the previous two years.


In order to ensure a well-balanced list with lawyers from a variety of practices, we divided the nominees into three groups according to their firm size, i.e., small/solo, midsize and large. We took the top vote-getters from each of these three groups to compile our final list.

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