"The Change of Heart of Don Nichols" from Minnesota Super Lawyers Wins SPJ's Page One Award

We're pleased to announce that "The Change of Heart of Don Nichols," a profile of the employment litigation partner with Nichols Kaster in Minneapolis, which appeared in the August 2010 issue of Minnesota Super Lawyers magazine, was honored this week in the Page One Awards sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It took third place in the category: Magazine Profile.

Congratulations to Kevin Featherly, the writer, and Adam Wahlberg, the editor.

Nichols was a top DWI lawyer, having won some 1,500 DWI cases, when he had a change of heart 16 years ago.

"It seemed like every Monday ...I was driving out to some municipal courthouse somewhere out in the suburbs asking some judge to let my client out of jail or reduce bail," he said in the article. "It just was losing its pizzazz."

Employment law presented a truer mission for Nichols, who'd watched his father, a cop, protect the little guy. With partner James Kaster, he transformed the firm into an employment law specialty shop, focusing on class action suits.

Nichols doesn't shy from the risk in high-stakes cases. Attorney Mike Ciresi told Super Lawyers that's not because of the adrenaline rush but because Nichols fights for heavy judicial causes. In 2009, the firm settled cases totaling $70 million, including one for $38 million.

Nichols considers lost cases valuable. "The losses--that's where your mettle gets tested, that's where you find out if you're a lawyer," he said.

-Adrienne Schofhauser