Meet Merlyn Meinerts
Meet Burnsville Family Law Attorney, Merlyn Meinerts in this brief introduction video.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (952) 736-1843
I grew up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota so that taught me the value of hard work. Working on a farm, I did everything from animal care and crop production to things like shingling barns and other hard work so I think that installs with somebody a lot of work ethic.
But I took a pretty dramatic turn at young age and started working in broadcasting when I was 16-years old. I was working at a local radio station, which led me to work in television and other radio stations thereafter. The translation for me is that it gives me an ability to communicate clearly and effectively when I’m involved in a case either by communicating to a court or to a mediator or to opposing counsel about a case in particular.
From broadcasting, I entered a career in politics because as a broadcaster I was interviewing politicians all the time. That took me to Washington DC where I spent several years. That taught me the art of negotiation. That taught me the art with dealing with high-powered, high-level people who are effective decision makers. I think that translates very well into the practice of law particularly as it relates to family law.
I would say the most rewarding aspect of working as a lawyer is seeing someone at peace and having a sense of hope when the process is all done. When you walk through door or contemplating a divorce or having just been served with divorce papers I can’t imagine anything more personally devastating along the way. Our job is to help that person navigate through those choppy waters and seeing a sense of peach and hope at the end of the process.
Well, I think there’s something to be said for one’s reputation in terms of how well they’re known by the judiciary, the bench, other attorneys, and people involved in the family law process. What kind of network of people do they have supporting them? Do they have effective people who can help with accounting issues, with child custody issues, a variety of other areas where there may be a need for an effective network one that I’ve developed and worked with some of the best people in the state when it comes to a need to have outside parties working as expert assistants.
The other issue I think is just with respect to experience overall. When you do something as often and as long as I have done it, it becomes second nature. Sometimes I’m concerned that younger lawyers need to repeat and do an intensive level of research on issues that I know just from firsthand experience because I’ve just handled a similar case. So it’s all about efficiency in representation.
I’ve frequently presented continuing legal education seminars on subjects such as custody, property division, alternative dispute resolution but probably the involvement I’m’ most proud of is working as a co-chair of the Early Neutral Evaluation Committee in Dakota County. That started a brand new process for how cases are handled, giving people an alternative way of resolving their case through early neutral evaluation. That’s been very, very successful.
Statistically speaking, almost 80 percent of the cases that go through early neutral evaluation have been effectively settled. That saves people a lot of money in attorney’s fees and costs. That saves the emotional wear and tear and it saves the court from being bogged down with cases that could otherwise be settled. So working in that capacity and having a hand in creating a whole new paradigm for case resolution has been very helpful and satisfying to me.
I tell my clients frequently to remember that there is hope at the end of this process. And my job is to instill with them a forward looking demeanor so they can understand that though this is life altering in many different ways, my job is to help them see hope, work effectively through their case, resolve issues with respect to custody so their relationship with their children is protected, resolve issues with respect to cash flow so that they know that there’s a financial hope for the future. And also, to resolve property issues so people know they’re provided for and that there is indeed a sense of hope when all is said and done.