Making a Difference in the Lives of our Clients

Successful defense of those accused of crimes from fraud to murder

Defending You Against Every Kind of Civil Claim

Our insurance defense practice group helps clients who have been sued for car accidents, slip-and-falls, assaults, premises liability, defamation, abuse, and a myriad of other issues.

Significant recoveries for victims of police or government misconduct

Proudly Representing Daycare Providers

We have successfully represented dozens of childcare providers, and we have the experience to handle your case at any level from administrative and licensing proceedings to liability actions.

Defending Contractors from Bolts to Nuts

Goetz & Eckland represents general contractors, developers, and subcontractors of every trade in litigation, as well as contract creation and review.

Standing Up for Accused College Students

SERVICES

Our specialization

Goetz & Eckland is a full-service litigation firm, with lawyers who specialize in civil and criminal cases, from both the plaintiff side and the defense side. We look forward to speaking with you to learn how we can best serve your needs.
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TEAM

Our lawyers

We are doing every day what we set out to do— make a positive difference in the lives of our clients. We work closely with our clients to make sure we understand how we can best help them. We are practical lawyers who heavily invest ourselves in the outcome of our clients' cases.

Our Philosophy

In everything we do, we have a simple goal: Make a positive difference in the lives of our clients. To best help our clients, we must first know our clients. That's why on every single case we work closely with our client to make sure we understand how we can best help. We are practical lawyers who heavily invest ourselves in the outcome of our clients' cases.

We recognize that not every problem has the same solution. Some solutions require hard-nosed litigation, while other solutions require diplomacy to negotiate a compromise. Whatever the approach, our attorneys dedicate themselves to practicing with unwavering professionalism and integrity.

We look forward to speaking with you to learn how we can best serve your needs.

Firm News and In the Press

Goetz still fights for...

Convicted murderer Mahdi Hassan Ali is expected to receive a sentence of life in prison without parole Monday morning in Hennepin County District Court, after being found guilty of killing three men at the Seward Market in Minneapolis during a failed robbery attempt in 2010.

But Ali's defense attorney, Fred Goetz, is still fighting for him.

Read the MPRnews article

Courage to Tell the Truth

“My advice to others is to do what feels comfortable for you, but don’t be afraid to share ...”

For Deborah Eckland, 26-year civil litigator and co-founder of Goetz & Eckland P.A., her courtroom credo is to “always tell the truth.” According to Eckland, “If you ever lose credibility with the jury, you’re done.”

Read the Attorney at Law Magazine Minnesota article

Hoyland v. McMenomy: No Immunity for Civil Rights Claim

Read the news article here

Frederick Goetz successfully protects the right of citizens to verbally criticize the actions of a police officer without being subject to arrest. In the case of Hoyland v. McMenomy, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the order of United States District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson denying the officers motion for dismissal on qualified immunity grounds. Hoyland, a decorated U.S. Army veteran, was at his front door some 30 to 40 feet away from officers who were threatening to shoot his wife for not complying with their orders. Hoyland was trying to tell the officers that his wife was handicapped and physically unable to comply with their demands and verbally criticizing the officers for their unreasonably aggressive actions. Almost as soon as Mr. Hoyland came outside and began speaking with the officers they ordered him to go back inside his home. When he did not immediately comply, the officers arrested him for obstruction of legal process. Hoyland later sued the responsible officers for false arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment and retaliating against him for criticizing their conduct in violation of his First Amendment right to freedom of expression. The Eighth Circuit rejected the officers arguments that they had immunity for such conduct and held that Hoyland could sue them for violation of his civil rights.

The full opinion is available here

Trip and Fall Case Dismissed

Trip and fall claims are a common risk for property owners. In Minnesota, property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care for all entrants, but that duty is limited when a potentially dangerous condition is open and obvious to a reasonable person.

In Homick v. Hellem, Deborah Eckland defended Defendant Bozena Hellem against such a trip-and-fall claim brought against her as the 30-year owner of an apartment building. The plaintiff tripped on a visibly uneven slab of concrete in broad daylight, and sued for his alleged injuries. Ms. Hellem moved for summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims as a matter of law because the slab of concrete was so open and obvious that no warning was necessary. As the refrain goes, nobody needs warning of what they know or should reasonably be expected to know. The court agreed and granted summary judgment in Ms. Hellem’s favor, adding that plaintiff should have watched his step in order to prevent his injuries.

Unhappy with the result, plaintiff has filed the case with the Court of Appeals.

Insurer Has No Duty to Defend

In the case of Zurich v. Big D v. Schwieters and Westfield, involving 24 million dollars in claimed damages, Westfield Insurance Company’s insured subcontractor installed non-fire retardant lumber at four construction projects and was sued when the lumber had to be removed and replaced. The subcontractor tendered the cases to Westfield for defense and indemnity. Westfield declined the tender because its policy was not triggered because there was no “property damage.” The only damage was done intentionally as part of the repair and replacement of the incorrect lumber and insurance policies are not intended to provide coverage for such damages. Deborah Eckland and Elizabeth Taylor opposed the subcontractor’s Motion for Summary Judgment in which it sought a declaration that Westfield has a duty to defend the lawsuits. The Hennepin County District Court agreed that there is no “property damage” as defined by the policy and ruled that Westfield has no duty to defend the insured.

Bill Celebrezze joins Goetz & Eckland

We are proud to announce that Bill Celebrezze has joined the firm as a partner. Bill brings a wealth of litigation experience and expertise in the employment law field. We are looking forward to expanding this area of our practice. Welcome on board, Bill!

Mike Rowley joins Goetz & Eckland

Goetz & Eckland is delighted to announce that Mike Rowley has joined the firm as a partner. Mike has extensive experience handling construction law cases and is considered an authority in the field. He is a perfect addition to our thriving construction defense practice. Welcome, Mike!