What does it take for a young attorney from a small, blue collar town in Iowa to earn his place as a trial lawyer in Minnesota’s preeminent personal injury law firm? It takes talent and tenacity, certainly, but it also requires that special “it” factor, that enigmatic blend of heart and zeal that raises a competent lawyer to a great one.
While earning his law degree from the University of South Dakota Law School, Dixon clerked for a transactional firm in Sioux Falls. That experience prompted the realization that he had just invested many years and dollars in a profession he wasn’t sure he liked. He had a passion to do the kind of work that made a critical difference in people’s lives. He relocated to the Twin Cities and eventually took a position at a small personal injury firm. That’s when his true calling in the law began to crystalize.
After five years, a lot of successfully resolved cases, but no opportunities to go to trial, Dixon pursued, and finally was offered, a position at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben. “There was one hesitation in hiring me; I had never tried a case before. We just didn’t have the resources at my old firm. I tried three cases my first year here and won all three. I’ve been here for over three years now, and I couldn’t ask for a better firm. We have some of the top personal injury lawyers in the country, many with 30 to 40 years in the practice, who are willing to share their knowledge. I’ve learned a great deal in three years by trying a lot of cases and working with attorneys who have seen everything.”
So, what qualities did those seasoned trial attorneys see in Dixon that have proven such an asset to the firm? They saw authenticity, and an unwavering determination to help injured people get justice. His down-to-earth nature makes Dixon relatable to clients and juries, both of whom rely upon him to put complex legal and medical matters into terms they understand. “Being from a small town, raised by hard-working parents, I can talk to people like normal human beings. I think it’s a difficulty some trial lawyers have if they’ve never been in the other guy’s position.”
Dixon is a good fit in a firm where clients are treated like people, not files. “My first day on the job, I was told, ‘Our clients never complain we don’t talk to them. If you get a phone call, you return it immediately. We pride ourselves on communication.’ Sometimes a client just wants to hear the voice of the person who is advocating for them.”
Dixon has proven himself a fierce advocate who has successfully resolved a wide array of personal injury matters from auto accidents to wrongful death cases. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the past three years and regularly gives back to his community and colleagues as a member and CLE presenter for the Minnesota Association for Justice.
In a legal climate where it is becoming increasingly rare for firms to take the risk and go to trial, Dixon said he is proud to be part of a firm known for trying cases large and small, and getting justice for injured people. “Insurance companies respect us, because they know we’ll go to trial. As a result, our clients get better treatment. The rule here is that this is a trial law firm. We try cases. Whether we win or lose, we fight for our clients’ best interests.”