James M. Strommen

James M. Strommen

Shareholder & Former President
Location:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Phone:
612-337-9233
Fax:
612-337-9310
Email:

Jim Strommen is a shareholder and past president of Kennedy & Graven, Chartered. He practices in the areas of Public Construction, Public Utilities, Joint Powers, and Right-of-way Use.

Jim Strommen is well-regarded in the areas of construction and public utilities law.  Since 1990, he has been general counsel to the Suburban Rate Authority, a joint powers organization of metropolitan area cities totaling over one million in population, which intervenes in electric, gas, and telecommunications matters before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.  He also serves as general counsel to the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority.  In his litigation practice, he represents cities and school districts in all phases of and delivery systems used in public construction projects.  During his career, Mr. Strommen has prosecuted criminal cases, won large damage awards and established significant legal precedent in appellate courts for his clients.

Mr. Strommen was raised in Richfield, Minnesota and graduated from high school in 1971.  He served in the U.S. Army after high school, studying German at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California (in 1972-73) and was attached to the Army Security Agency until 1977.  He graduated from Augsburg College in 1977 and taught high school for three years before entering the University of Minnesota Law School in 1980.

Mr. Strommen has been admitted to state and federal courts, including the Eighth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.  He has drafted or advised on legislation concerning utility franchises and municipal right-of-way authority.  Mr. Strommen has been a frequent presenter in his specialty areas for Minnesota city attorneys and public works organizations and has assisted in trial practice classes at the William Mitchell College of Law.

Mr. Strommen lives in Minnetonka with his wife.  They have three adult children, one of whom has multiple special needs.  He is active on behalf of special needs children and adults, having served on the Minneapolis and St. Paul Children's Health Care Hospitals Institutional Review Board and the Board of Directors of Mount Olivet Rolling Acres.  He served as President of the Music Association of Minnetonka and as a member of the board of Westwood Lutheran Church Foundation.  In running six marathons, he has raised significant funds for charitable causes.  Mr. Strommen also served as a volunteer arbitrator for the Minnesota Better Business Bureau for over 25 years.

Jim has this to say about his practice at Kennedy & Graven:

Public bodies face many challenges when carrying out public improvement projects. Addressing these challenges, which often interconnect with public utility use, introduces many issues unique to the cities and school districts we represent.

Areas of Practice

  • Utility and Telecommunications Law
  • Construction
  • Litigation
  • Local Government Law
  • Business Law

Past Employment Positions

  • LeFevere, Lefler, Kennedy, O'Brien & Drawz, Minneapolis, Associate and Partner, 1983 - 1989
  • Buffalo Lake, Minnesota, High School Teacher, Coach, 1977 - 1980

Education

  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Juris Doctor cum laude - 1983
    • Honors: Delta Theta Phi, President
  • Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude - 1977
    • Honors: Augsburg Honor Society
    • Honors: Language Scholarship
    • Major: Political Science and German
  • Defense Language Institute, German Interpreter, Monterey, California - 1973

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1983
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1993

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • Public Utilities Section, MSBA
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul Children's Health Care Hospital's Institutional Review Board, Member, 1989 - 1995
  • Music Association Board of Minnetonka, Member, President, 1999 - 2002
  • Mount Olivet Rolling Acres Board, Member, 2004 - Present

Honors and Awards

  • American Bar Association Article Award - Minneapolis Solar Energy Ordinance
  • Minnesota Law & Politics, 1993 - Largest Judgments by Minnesota Lawyers

Published Works

  • Co-Author, Minnesota City Attorney Conferences
  • Co-Author, Minnesota State City Engineers Association
  • Co-Author, Minnesota Public Works Association
  • Utility Franchises, Right-of-Way, Electric Utility Undergrounding, Construction Law, and Wireless Tower Siting, (Co-Author), Kennedy & Graven Annual Public Law Forums