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Special Master Panel Named for I-35W Survivor Compensation Fund

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2008

Minnesota Chief Justice Russell A. Anderson has named Susan M. Holden, Steven J. Kirsch and Michael D. Tewksbury to serve as members of the legislatively-mandated special master panel to consider claims, make offers of settlement and enter into settlement agreements for a special fund established by the Legislature to compensate survivors of the August 2007, I-35W bridge collapse. Susan Holden will serve as chair of the panel.

By law, the panel must consist of three attorneys who have experience in legal issues involving the settlement of tort claims and the determination of damages. The legislation appropriates $24,000,000 for settlement payments, with an additional $12,640,000 for "supplemental payments."  The appropriation for administration of the process, from which the panel members will be paid, is $750,000. 

Susan M. Holden is an attorney in private practice with the Minneapolis-based firm of Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey, Ltd.  Holden specializes in litigating tort claims on behalf of injured people or their surviving family members.  Holden, a graduate of St. Cloud State University and the William Mitchell College of Law, served as president of the Minnesota State Bar Association from 2005 to 2006, and president of the Hennepin County Bar Association from 1999 to 2000.

Steven J. Kirsch is an attorney in private practice with the St. Paul based firm of Murnane Brandt, specializing in civil litigation and primarily representing defendants and plaintiffs in personal injury litigation.  He has an extensive mediation and arbitration practice and has lectured widely on alternative dispute resolution. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and of the Hamline University School of Law.

Michael  D. Tewksbury is an attorney in private practice with the Minneapolis-based firm of Tewksbury & Kerfeld, P.A., specializing in civil litigation and representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury litigation.  Tewksbury is a specialist in alternative dispute resolution, and has lectured extensively on personal injury litigation. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and of Gonzaga University School of Law.