Meet Our Lawyers

Michael Strain

Michael Strain

Michael Strain has been recognized by his peers as one of South Dakota’s outstanding trial lawyers. In 1995, he was selected as South Dakota Trial Lawyer of the Year. He has also been labeled as “Super Lawyer” by the Great Plains Super Lawyers Magazine. Mr. Strain has developed a stellar record as a trial attorney in civil and criminal jury trials over the course of his career, trying over 100 cases to verdict, and bringing numerous others to settlement. His litigation practice has ranged from minor car accidents, to civil rights litigation, to medical malpractice cases, to business litigation cases, to murder trials. Mr. Strain has obtained numerous “not guilty” verdicts in criminal trials, and has obtained many substantial civil verdicts and settlements. His litigation practice is focused on the area of business litigation, civil rights, personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal law. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Strain won 19 civil jury trials in a row.

A few examples of Michael’s cases include:
Civil Rights
  • Grassili v. Barr, et al.: Obtained a $4,505,522 jury verdict (including punitive damages) in a civil trial against the California Highway Patrol for retaliation against a citizen. Pretrial offer, $0.
Business Litigation
  • Family Products LLC v. Infomercial Ventures Partnership: Won in arbitration against Family Products for misuse of intellectual property rights and breach of contract relative to the showing of the John Beck Real Estate Infomercials. Said arbitration resulted in a confidential settlement between the parties.
Personal Injury
  • Lone Wolf v. Duckwall Alco Stores, Inc.: Obtained a $2,000,000 verdict in Federal District Court in Nebraska for a Native American who slipped and fell at the Defendant’s store.
  • Klutman v. Sioux Falls Storm: Obtained a $500,000 verdict for a youth whose knee was injured at the Sioux Falls Arena, while playing clinic football.
  • Harvey v. Manning.: Obtained a $150,000 verdict for a trip and fall in Douglas, Wyoming.
  • Fasthorse v. Hook: Obtained a $175,000 verdict for a woman who was T-boned, and had $6,000 in chiropractic expenses.
  • Loen v. Sandbolt: Obtained a $135,000 verdict for a woman who was rear-ended with $7,000 in medical expenses.
Bad Faith Insurance
  • Bertelsen v. Allstate Insurance Company: Obtained a $1,650,000 jury verdict (including punitive damages), in a civil trial against Allstate Insurance Company for failing to pay the medical benefits due under their auto policy. Said jury verdict ultimately resulted in a confidential settlement between the parties.
Criminal Defense
  • State v. Hoadley: Mr. Strain was instrumental in obtaining a life sentence for Darrel Hoadley, where his Co-defendants received the death penalty.
  • Mr. Strain has received numerous “not guilty” verdicts in criminal jury trial.

After obtaining his law degree at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, he clerked for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota for one year before commencing his practice at the Morman Law Firm in Sturgis. Michael continued his trial education by being a student at, and subsequently a staff member for several years, at the Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming. Michael is a member of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and is licensed to practice law in South Dakota and Wyoming.

Further, Mr. Strain has conducted legal trial seminars in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Montana and Wyoming over the last ten years, including several seminars sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California and San Diego. Mr. Strain is very active in post-graduate education and conduct legal presentations at seminars nationwide.

Currently, Michael’s practice is focused on a local, state, and national practice. Through affiliation, Michael represents clients in many other Federal and State Courts throughout the United States. Michael is known for taking cases on behalf of injured people who have nowhere else to go to seek justice.

Kari L. Nordstrom

Kari L. Nordstrom, associate of Strain Morman Law Firm, was born in Brookings, SD. She attended Augustana College where she majored in Business Administration and Psychology. She examined banks in Texas for the US Treasury Department prior to attending law school at the University of Minnesota, eventually returning to her home state. Her areas of focus include family, business and criminal law.