Former law clerk is new assistant county attorney
A new face in the Faribault County Courthouse is not totally new to the county’s court system.
Graham Berg-Moberg recently became the new assistant county attorney, working with county attorney Troy Timmerman.
He began his new position last October, but Berg-Moberg was no stranger to the Faribault County courtroom.
“I had spent the previous year, starting in October of 2013, working as the clerk for Judge (Douglas) Richards here,” he says. “It is fairly common for recent law school grads to go and clerk for a judge, and I saw the opportunity to come here and clerk for Judge Richards.”
The 29-year-old was born in the Twin Cities and ended up graduating from law school there, but in between he lived in several places, he says.
“My father is an ELCA Lutheran minister,” Berg-Moberg explains. “So, we moved to different congregations from time to time.”
The longest time was in Janesville, Wis., where Berg-Moberg attended high school. However, the family moved to St. Anthony Park in St. Paul while he was still in school and it is there that he graduated from high school.
After that, he received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science at the University of Minnesota, Morris, then went to graduate school and law school at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He took a year off from schooling to go to China to teach English at a university there.
After graduating from law school, it was time to look for work.
“I was told that if you want to be a prosecutor, the best way to start out is as a clerk, somewhere in Greater Minnesota,” he says. “I saw Judge Richards was looking, was hired, and moved here to Blue Earth.”
Clerking for a judge basically means doing all the research of the law for the many cases the judge will be handling.
“It gave me the opportunity to see a case from the court’s perspective,” Berg-Moberg says. “Clerking is like being the judge’s lawyer. My research can be incorporated into the judge’s final order.”
With the retirement of assistant county attorney Lamar Piper, Berg-Moberg applied for and was hired to replace him. He adds that it is not uncommon for law clerks to become prosecutors or defense attorneys.
“I like it,” he says about his new position. “It is a lot of responsibility, takes some quick thinking, and I am having a lot of courtroom experience.”
Much more experience than many of his classmates, some of whom have positions with large law firms in the Twin Cities.
“One of my classmates was all excited about taking his first deposition,” Berg-Moberg says. “Meanwhile, I have been actually trying cases in a courtroom.”
And, that includes a murder case that is in progress in the county.
“We have a lot of cases and keep very busy,” he says. “On a typical Monday we will have 30 new cases come in, and probably another four or five throughout the week. Then another two or three juvenile cases, plus any civil matters that affect the county.”
Sometimes there is a case that comes in from outside Faribault County.
“We recently had to work on a case from Albert Lea, because the county attorney there asked us to, due to a possible conflict of interest,” Berg-Moberg says. “That gave me the opportunity to work on a case involving possible election law fraud, something else none of my classmates have probably had to do.”
When he is not busy working on the many court cases in the county, Berg-Moberg relaxes by doing some disc golf in the summer as well as skiing and sailing. He also spends time on some weekends with his girlfriend, who is an attorney for a large law firm in the Twin Cities.
“I really enjoy my job here,” Berg-Moberg says. “I think you become a better litigator if you start in an area like Blue Earth, because it gives you a chance of working on more complex cases.”