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Practice Areas

When your life, liberty or rights are at stake in a broken system, this is a true emergency to us. You deserve an advocate who is experienced, thorough, and fiercely committed to championing your rights and making you whole again. We provide top-tier legal representation for our clients in the following practice areas:

criminal defense

Criminal Defense


Under the Minnesota Criminal Code, drug crimes (also known as "controlled substance crimes") include drug possession, trafficking, manufacturing and/or delivery of illegal drugs. These charges are grouped into degrees of severity ranging from 1 and 5 and the penality depends on the degree, as well as other factors including whether a person has previous drug convictions on their record. A convicted drug offender is subject to a mandatory minimum jail or prison sentence, regardless of the degree of the new drug charge. Many times, drug charges arise from unconstituional searches and seizures. However, most defense lawyers will try to plead you out at the earliest possible occasion. They won't even bother looking for violations of your rights that could lead to a dismissal of charges altogether. That is why it is so important to have a fierce ally in your corner who will thoroughly inspect every document and report, examine every shred of evidence, and apply relevant case law to build your winning case.


Under the Minnesota Criminal Code, theft crimes are a broad category of offenses that include shoptlifting, receiving stolen goods, writing bad checks, and the so-called "white color crimes" like identity theft and embezzlement. This category of offenses are commonly referred to as "crimes of dishonesty" or "crimes involving moral turpitude" (CIMTs). Although theft crimes may not carry as severe of punishments as crimes involving violence, a theft conviction of any kind can nevertheless carry lifelong repercussions. For instance, many employers and professional licensing agencies summarily bar applicants who have committed "crimes of dishonesty." Additionally, a theft conviction (CIMT in the context of immigration cases) will most likely trigger automatic removal proceedings for non-citizens. The life-long repercussions that stem from a theft conviction is why you need a fierce ally in your corner who will up the fight that you deserves. Contact us today and let's start strategizing.

The most common property crimes in Minnesota are arson, burglary, trespass, and insurance fraud. The offenses in this category frequently overlap with offenses in other categories, thereby potentially leading to multiple charges for the same act. For some property crimes, there need not be any actual intent to cause property damage; mere negligence will suffice (i.e., smoking in a dangerous area that, in turn, causes a fire and that damages of someone else's property). A person who is convicted of a property crime will be subjected to punishment and resitutution to the alleged victim. Much like personal crimes, there are often many realistic defenses to property crimes. Most defense lawyers won't bother looking for the myriad of defenses to these crimes that tend to poke holes in the government's case and raise reasonable—but we do. Contact us today and let's start strategizing.



Under the Minnesota Criminal Code, "crimes against the person" refers to non-fatal, violent crimes like assault and battery, robbery, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. They also include less common charges, like knowing transfer of a sexually-transmitted infection. The punishment for these crimes vary depending on the degree of the defense, and other factors like whether a weapon was involved, and the number of prior convictions one has. "Crimes against the person" like assault and battery are very common charges in MN—and the most common charges that people plead guilty to. Prosecutors try to avoid going to trial for these crimes because they not only must prove you committed the act, but you intended to commit the act. Most defense lawyers won't bother looking for the myriad of defenses to these crimes that tend to poke holes in the government's case and raise reasonable—but we do. Contact us today and let's start strategizing.


Under the Minnesota criminal code, "homicide" collectively refers to intentional or reckless acts resulting in the death of another person. This includes murder, manslaughter, and vehicular homicide. Needless to say, homicide and related offenses are among the most serious charges in the MCC that could cause you to lose your liberty for life.  There are, however, a multitude of practicable defenses that can be raised against homicide charges—defenses that tend to raise reasonable doubt about the person's intent and/or involvement in the actual crime. However, most defense lawyers will not bother going there and will corner you into a plea agreement that reduces the severity of the charge by one or two degrees. As a matter of fact, 2%-8% of people serving life sentences are wrongfully convicted—and 50% of those people pleaded guilty to the charges they were innocent of! The life-altering repercussions of a homicide charge is why you need a fierce ally in your corner who believes in your presumption of innocence, and who will fiercely and fearlessly defend your rights until the bitterssweet end. We don't care if you can't afford to put up a strong defense—we got you on this.

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immigration law

Immigration Advocacy 

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Attorney Susanne Gad is an global expert in asylum law. After a decade-long career as a supervising attorney for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Susanne has become one of the most sought after attorneys in the nation for noncitizens seeking asylum. A foreign national who is physically present in the United States may apply for asylum if there is a well-founded fear of persecution in the home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in particular social group, or political opinion. An application for asylum may be submitted either as an affirmative request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or as a defense in removal proceedings. Attorney Susanne Gad has dedicated her career to helping asylum applicants fearing persecution in their home country. Contact our firm today and let us help you put your mind at ease.


We understand the fundamental importance of family unity, and we have helped countless non-citizens unite with their immediate and distant relative family members in the United States. There are two types of family-based immigrant visas: (1) Immediate Relative – these visas are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, child or parent; and (2) Family Preference – these visas are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). U.S. citizens can file an immigrant visa petition for their: • Spouse • Child • Parent • Sibling U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can only file an immigrant visa petition for their spouse or unmarried child. Contact our experienced immigration attorneys today to go over your options.


Once a non-citizen has been placed in removal proceedings, you have one chance to get it right. That means there is zero tolerance for your immigration attorney to make errors. Our lawyers have among the highest success rates in the nation for helping noncitizens avoid deportation after removal proceedings have commenced. In fact, the vast majority of our clients have turned to us after other immigration lawyers made errors in their cases. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution entitles foreign nationals have a right to counsel and due process in immigration court, but you only have one chance to get it right. Every case is unique and engenders its' own defenses against removal. This is exactly why our practice does not rely on templates or recycled motions for different clients. Other firms just copy and paste information into tempaltes, but we start every case from scratch and actually put in the grunt work. Our comprehensive work ethic and compassionate, client-focused appraoch is why we have such a high success rate at getting removal proceedings dismissed.


Attorney Susanne Gad is a global expert in helping victims of crime and trafficking seek relief and lawful residency in the United States. If you have been the victim of a crime or severe trafficking, you may be eligible to remain lawfully in the United States through a U-Visa, T-Visa, or meeting the criteria for residency under the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA"). T Visas are available for victims of severe trafficking including sex-trafficking, involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery who are physically present in the United States and meet other requirements. T visas are granted for a period of 3 years. T visa holders may adjust status to lawful permanent resident. The U Visa allows family members who have been cooperative with law enforcement with the investigation and prosecution of the crime, and who have suffered substantial physical or emotional harm from the crime to remain in the United States and obtain a work permit, and eventually adjust status to lawful permanent resident status after a period of 4-years. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows the spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is battered or subject to extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status. If you have been the victim of a crime or severe trafficking, contact us to discuss the paths to lawful residency in the United States.

Civil Rights  & Wrongful Convictions

civil rights






There is no greater injustice than being accused and convicted of a crime that you did not commit. A false conviction is a disgrace that can have a far-reaching impact on the wrongfully convicted, the victims of the crime, their families and communities, and on our society as a whole. Imprisoning an innocent person leaves the real perpetrator free to commit more crimes. It is estimated that 2%-8% of prisoners are innocent of the crimes for which they are serving time for. Through DNA and other forms of scientific testing, we can help prove a wrongfully convicted person's innocence. We handle difficult matters involving: ✓Citizens who have been prosecuted for heinous crimes they did not commit ✓False arrest and false imprisonment ✓ Coerced confessions and other fruits of police misconduct ✓Recanted testimony of witnesses ✓The false reporting of results of scientific testing ✓Pivotal DNA evidence that has established the innocence of wrongfully convicted people ✓Evidence that was improperly collected or handled If you or a loved one has been wrongfully convicted of a crime, you have the right to bring a civil lawsuit for damages. If you have questions that must be answered, seek the advice of an attorney who understands what you have been through and who can provide guidance on how to rectify this grave injustice.

When a person is arrested, detained or incarcerated wrongfully, a ripple effect can occur, causing many problems for the victim and his or her family. The damage can include income loss, job problems, damage to reputation, and family difficulties and disruptions, not to mention psychological and physical injury to the person who was falsely arrested or imprisoned. False arrest and false imprisonment represent serious failures of our law enforcement and criminal justice systems, serious civil rights violations that can form the basis of civil lawsuits. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors and other authorities can be held accountable when they violate an individual's civil rights.

Police officers have a difficult job, but they are paid to serve the public — with taxpayers' money. When an officer breaks the law through the use of excessive force or other abusive or corrupt conduct, he or she can be held accountable through a civil lawsuit. We handle difficult cases that include: ✓Police misconduct that was covered up ✓Police beatings and other violent conduct perpetrated during arrests and while suspects were in custody ✓The inappropriate use of handcuffs, pepper spray, tasers and other equipment during arrests and traffic stops ✓Defenseless individuals who were shot by police while unarmed ✓Jail or prison abuse of prisoners including deliberate indifference to their medical needs Every case is different. Unfortunately, our firm is not able to handle every case involving persons whose civil rights have been violated by law enforcement. However, we provide responsive, results-oriented service to every client we represent.

Many forms of improper treatment of prisoners, whether by commission or omission, are prohibited by federal and state laws. Our firm represents clients in civil rights cases involving: ✓Beatings and assaults by corrections staff and inmates ✓Prisoner rape and sexual assaults ✓Prison suicides ✓Deliberate indifference to inmates' medical needs ✓Refusal to provide substance abuse treatment that results in post-release overdose fatalities If you or a loved one suffered any form of abuse or maltreatment in a federal, state or county prison or jail, you have the right to be heard and seek damages. We are fiercely committed to defending people who are incarcerated and winning every case we take on.

Attorney Sarah Gad is the former Forensics Director of the Law Offices of Kathleen T. Zellner & Associates, which has helped exonerate 23 people of serious crimes using DNA and other forms of scientific testing. As forensic technology continues to evolve, individuals throughout the country are being released from prison due to DNA tests, sometimes after years of incarceration. In many cases, investigation of original trials that led to the wrongful incarceration reveals errors and improprieties in physical evidence collection, laboratory procedures or the reporting of test results. If you or a loved one was falsely convicted of a serious crime, DNA tests may be an essential part of proving innocence when a person is: ✓Falsely accused and/or convicted of murder and rape ✓Convicted of crimes because of false confessions If you are imprisoned and cannot afford a DNA test, we will provide one for free, and once we exonerate you, we will hold the county that wrongfully convicted accountable.

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