Lano, O'Toole & Bengtson, Ltd. has a long history of providing quality legal services in Itasca County and surrounding areas of Northern Minnesota. Two premier trial firms merged in 1974 to form the present law firm. One law firm, known as the Spellacy firm, had its origins when A.W. Spellacy began practicing law in Marble, Minnesota, in 1921. The other firm, known as the Murphy firm, began in Grand Rapids in 1935 when twin brothers J.D. (Jeremiah) and James Murphy started a law practice together.
Five former members of the constituent firms have since gone on to become Minnesota District Court Judges. Neal Lano, who joined the Spellacy firm in 1953, is the only firm member who was present at the time of the 1974 merger. He continues in an "of counsel" capacity with Lano, O'Toole & Bengtson.
Dennis O'Toole, a native of North Dakota, holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and earned his law degree from the University of North Dakota. He worked for a consulting engineering firm and for a major computer manufacturer prior to attending law school. Upon graduation, Dennis served a one-year clerkship for the Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court. He then practiced with a larger Duluth law firm for two years before moving to Grand Rapids to join this firm in 1979. Dennis maintained a strong civil litigation practice for many years, and was among the first lawyers in Minnesota to be certified as a Civil Trial Specialist. His trial experience has included complex products liability, construction, insurance and environmental cases, as well as bankruptcies and commercial disputes. Several Years ago he determined to substantially reduce his trial practice and opt out of his Civil Trial specialty designation in order to better apply his trial experience to advising his clients. Dennis concentrates his practice in business organizations and transactions, including banking and finance, commercial real estate, environmental law, land use, insurance and business planning. His trial and litigation background allow him to remain active in coordinating personal injury claims and other litigation issues for clients. Dennis for several years represented north central Minnesota on the Minnesot State Bar Association Board of Governors, serving upon and chairing several committees of that organization. He also served as President of the Fifteenth District Bar Association. Active in community and charitable organizations, Dennis served on the Board of Directors of Courage Center and as President of Itasca Little League. Dennis is rated A-V by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.
Brian Bengtson, raised in Battle Lake, Minnesota, is a graduate of Moorhead State University, summa cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He obtained his law degree, with distinction, from the University of Nebraska. While at Nebraska, he was a member of the Nebraska Law Review from 1980-1982 and served as Executive Editor in 1981. Following law school, he joined a major national firm based in Los Angeles. After practicing law in California for six years, he returned to Minnesota and joined this firm in 1989. Brian has strong experience in products liability, business, personal injury, insurance and construction litigation.
Feel free to visit during normal business hours.
515 NE 2nd Ave, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am- 12:00 pm
and 1:00- 4:00 pm