Kristi J. Paulson

Kristi J. Paulson is an experienced litigator and trial attorney.   In 1998, Kristi opened the doors of her own law firm, Kristi J. Paulson, Chartered. Her practice focused on personal injury cases, general civil litigation, employment law, and professional and medical malpractice, family law, business litigation, commercial law, and criminal law.   Prior to that time, Kristi worked for the downtown law firm of Hvass, Weisman & King, Chartered as a trial attorney focusing in those same areas.

After a successful trial practice that has spanned over two decades, Kristi Paulson shifted the focus of her practice to Mediation.  She serves as a Mediator and an ADR Professional and Qualified Neutral under Minnesota Rule 114.   Kristi is uniquely qualified to conduct online mediations as well as in person mediations.   Since 2009, she has been a consultant for various universities developing online programs and has also assisted companies with online mediation practice standards as a consultant.  Kristi describes herself as “old school” favoring in person process but recognized the demand and success that mediation can have when done correctly in the digital age.

Kristi has tried many cases to conclusion in federal and state courts.   Her commitment to the civil jury system is evidenced by her nomination and acceptance into membership of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates, of which Kristi has been a member since 2017.  Kristi is also the director of the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers and is the Past President and Director of the Douglas K. Amdahl Inn of Court, a Minnesota Chapter of the American Inns of Court.  Kristi served a ten year term on the Board of Governor’s for the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association and was the President of the Minnesota Consumer Alliance.

Rule 114 Qualified Mediator and Neutral

Kristi has participated in countless mediations and arbitrations over her trial practice career.   She is Rule 114 Qualified in the State of Minnesota having completed the necessary coursework to qualify for inclusion on the list of qualified neutrals maintained by the Minnesota Supreme Court.   She is Rule 114 qualified in both Civil Law and Family Law, having completed all of the training and coursework for inclusion on both lists.   Further, Kristi completed the additional training and is a qualified Rule 114 Arbitrator.

Board Member - Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board and Minnesota ADR Ethics Board

Kristi maintains the highest degree of civility, ethics and professionalism in her practice and her mediations.  In 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court appointed Kristi J. Paulson to the Lawyer’s Board of Professional Responsibility. The Lawyers Board consists of 23 members (14 lawyers and 9 non-lawyer members) appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Board is responsible for the oversight and administration of the Minnesota lawyer discipline system. Board members serve as “judges” and preside over proceedings concerning allegations of unprofessional conduct and also consider appeals of complaints.

Also, in 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court appointed Kristi to serve on the ADR Ethic Board for the State of Minnesota. This Board is intended to promote ethics in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process. It is made up of Judges, court administration staff, and ADR Professionals. The Board investigates complaints and makes recommendations to the Supreme Court if discipline is warranted.


  • University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1993)

  • North Dakota State University (M.A., 1990)

  • Moorhead State University, (B.A.,summa cum laude, 1998)

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Claims

  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribal Court

  • United States Supreme Court

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association

  • Federal Bar Association

  • Minnesota State Bar Association

  • Dakota County Bar Association.

  • Douglas K. Amdahl Inn of Court.

    • Member since 1996

    • President 2003-2004

  • American Board of Trial Advocates

  • American Bar Association Life Fellow

  • American Inns of Court

  • Minnesota Association for Justice

  • Minnesota Consumer Alliance

  • ABOTA Fellow

  • Minnesota Women Lawyers

  • MSBA Mock Trial Supporter and Sponsor

  • MSBA Civil Litigation Section

  • ABA Section of Dispute Resolution

  • MSBA ADR Section

Professional Honors and Distinctions

  • America’s Top Personal Injury Attorneys

  • Martindale-Hubbel – AV Rated

  • Lawyers of Distinction

  • America’s Top High Stakes Litigators

  • Minnesota “Rising Star”

  • Minnesota “Super Lawyer”

Seminars and CLE's

Kristi has a talent for organizing interesting and varied seminars.  She has a variety of interests and has a creative mind and talent for bringing together interesting speakers and interesting topics.  Kristi intends to work to promote more online seminars and approaches to law as the digital age of law becomes more the norm than the exception.

Kristi has taught courses for Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, Minnesota State Bar Association, Amdahl Inn of Court, The Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Association for Justice amongst others in areas such as:

  • Depositions and Trial Tactics

  • Adverse Medical Examinations

  • Law Practice Management

  • Elimination of Bias

  • Cross Examination

  • The Art of Storytelling

  • Public Speaking for Lawyers

  • Implicit Bias

  • Wrongful Death Cases

  • Starting a Law Practice

  • Ethics

  • The “Me Too” era

Teaching and Online Course Development

In 2009, Kristi was retained as a consultant and hired as a Professor to develop an online program in Speech Communication.  She developed and taught courses in Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Advanced Issues in Communication, Negotiation, and Strategic Communication.  She continues to teach and consult for North Dakota State University, now as an Adjunct Professor.

Kristi was also hired by another college in North Dakota to create online courses and teach courses in communications, business law, criminal justice and policing systems.

In 2009, Kristi was retained as a subject matter expert and assisted in the online course design of an educational program for a paralegal degree. She authored courses such as Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Law Practice Management, Evidence for Paralegals, Torts, Trusts and Estates, Business Law, Family Law, Criminal Law, Paralegal Ethics, Civil Litigation I, and Civil Litigation II.

The same university hired her to serve as the course author for several of its criminal justice courses including Criminal Justice Courses Taught: Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, Computer Crime Scene Investigation, Emergency Planning, Information Security, Criminal Justice Ethics, Advanced Criminal Law, Judicial Process, and Introduction to Criminology.

During this time, she also served as Communication Faculty and taught courses in Interpersonal Communication, Business Communication, Public Speaking, Media Relations, and Strategic Communication.

Kristi is well versed in a variety of online mediums and different software systems.  More importantly, she has had over a decade of experience using online forums, online systems and has been very successful in establishing and creating systems that remain in place today.   Her communication and interpersonal skills are well suited to the online environment, given her years of addressing the unique challenges the online medium presents.

Remote Law Practice with Conference Room Availability Throughout the State

In the year 2000, Kristi did what was practically unheard of an established a home based office.  In 2020, remote law practice and home based offices are often the norm.  She was cool before she knew she was cool.   Kristi no longer meets with clients or conduct mediations in her house, as she once did.   Two children and a dog who is overly protective are part of the primary reasons.    However, she does work remotely and conducts online seminars, meetings, and mediations from her home based office.  That is also where all of her “thinking” and “real work” take place.

In terms of meetings, they either take place, at a mutually agreed location or Kristi has conference space and meeting locations in downtown Minneapolis, Burnsville, Lakeville, Moorhead, St. Paul, Perham, Edina, Bloomington, etc.   Over the years she has developed a phenomenal network of office space and locations available for use or rent.   For mediations most often offices of one of the lawyers are used or Kristi arranged to rent a space with conference rooms.  All of the office space or conference rooms used are professional and located in premiere office space.

Community Involvement

Kristi and her family live just south of Minneapolis.  She is active in her children’s school and has been the treasurer as well as a supporter and member of the parent teacher organizations.  She and her family are also active in a large church in the southern metro.

Kristi grew up in Moorhead and is still connected and loves her hometown.   She and her daughter are huge Moorhead Spud’s Boy’s Hockey Fans!  Kristi also taught for Moorhead High School for a year in the English Department and served several years as a speech and debate coach way back when.  She continues to keep an eye on the team and is a proud supporter of the team.  Basically, she is an avid supporter of Moorhead High School in general!  I guess it is all about the orange and black.

Cancer research,  battered women shelters, and babies and children in need are areas Kristi not only feels strongly about but takes an active role in supporting.  She serves as a member on the Mary Kay Foundation which supports and raises money for both of these causes.  She is also a strong supporter of the Lewis House in Eagan Minnesota.   She is a regular donor of materials and handmade quilts and baby items to Bundles of Love Charities.

Kristi is creative not only in her law practice, but she has an artistic side to her as well.  She loves to sew, quilt, paint and created beaded jewelry.  She is a member of Minnesota Quilter’s and the Minnesota Bead Society.   Kristi loves to think outside of the box and use both her left brain and her right brain – she has found it serves her well in the practice of law as well!

She is also a strong supporter of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Program.  For several years she has joined hands with the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers and raised scholarships to support the winning team at the State Tournament as they then continue on to Nationals.   She is routinely asked to sit on the Final Round Panel, joining Supreme Court jurists, judges, and State Bar Association leadership.

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