Honest. Honorable. Strong. Tough. Fair. Calm. Knowledgeable. Analytical. Logical. Creative. Tenacious. Competitive. Personable. Dan O’Connell believes he brings these attributes to every client, every case, and every courtroom he encounters. That may be why he has been named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America® three times in the last 4 years, once in Family law and twice in Family Mediation in the Minneapolis Area. Mr. O'Connell regularly practices law in the seven county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (Ramsey, Washington, Hennepin, Dakota, Scott, Carver and Anoka counties). Mr. O'Connell helps clients overcome the fear and uncertainty of divorce. He guides his clients through a respectful, streamlined divorce process. He handles divorces with complex financial matters and highly compensated executives, non-marital issues, alimony issues, retirement issues, and business valuation issues. He handles cases with custody and parenting time issues. He handles grandparents’ rights cases, interested third party custody and parenting time cases, and de facto custody cases. He has worked on multiple cases in which the parties were of the same sex. His calming demeanor and empathetic personality help him assist clients and lawyers toward amicable and dignified resolutions through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) where, in addition to serving as a mediator, he serves as an arbitrator, consensual special magistrate (private judge), and referee. He has an accounting background and has an active CPA license in Minnesota. He is Board Certified in Family Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is dedicated to the resolution of family conflict as a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as a member of the Collaborative Law Institute, and as a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. If there is not a good settlement available, Mr. O'Connell is a skilled trial attorney who is a relentless advocate for his clients. He loves the practice of law and the challenges it brings. He mediates both civil law and family law disputes. He has been representing lawyers, doctors, dentists and other professionals in licensing and ethics matters for over twenty-five years.
1983 U.S. Tax Court
1984 U.S. District Court (Minnesota)
1984 U.S. Court of Appeals (8th Cir.).
Professional Associations & Memberships
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 2004-present (Board of Governors 2006-present); Assn. of Professional Responsibility Lawyers 1992-present; Collaborative Law Institute 2004-present; Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (2007-present); MSBA 1984-present (Council 2003-2006; Assembly 2003-2006 & 1991-94; Governance Committee Chair 2004-2006; Multijurisdictional Task Force 2004-2006; Operations Committee 1992-2004; Assn. Governance Task Force 2003; Co-chair 2001and 2006 MSBA Conventions; Multidisciplinary Practice Task Force 1999-2002; Family Law Section 1985-present; Alternative Dispute Resolution Section 1995-present); RCBA 1984-present (Past-President 2002-2003, President 2001-2002, President-Elect 2000-2001; Vice President 1999-2000; Secretary/Treasurer 1995-98; Personnel Committee Chair 2002-2003; Family Law Section 1985-present; Memorial Committee 1986-present; Strategic Planning Committee 1998-2001 (Co-chair 2000-2001)); Minnesota Assn. of Justice1985-present; American Institute of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants 1992-present; American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 1979-present; Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants 1979-present; Conflict Resolution Minnesota 2018; and Assn. for Conflict Resolution 1991-2016, 2018.
William Mitchell College of Law, MN, 1981, J.D.
University of St. Thomas, MN, 1977, Magna Cum Laude
Awards and Recognition
Dan O'Connell is named by The Best Lawyers in America for excellence in family law. He is the 2006 recipient of the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award of the Ramsey County Bar Association. Mr. O'Connell is named a "Super Lawyer" by Minnesota Law and Politics, Twin Cities Business Monthly and Mpls./St. Paul Magazines and one of the top 40 family law lawyers in Minnesota. He has also been listed as a "Leading American Attorney" for Minnesota in family law and mediation.
Community Involvement and Pro Bono
Member of Ramsey County Pro Se Litigant Program 2000-present; represents clients for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services; conducted mediations for the former Catholic Charities Mediation Program; St. Pascal's School Baseball Coach 1995-2002 and 2008-present; Church of St. Pascal Baylon Men's Club Christmas Tree Sales (1996-present); Maplewood Athletic Assn. Baseball Coach 1991-2000; Maplewood Parks and Recreation Department Soccer Coach 1991-1997; and Leadership St. Paul (Graduate 1996).