Maschka, Riedy, Ries & Frentz Law Firm: From Trauma to Triumph, Attaining Justice for Injured People

By H. K. Wilson

Renee Rubish, Jed Chronic and Nick Maxewell

Attorney Jerry Maschka is one of Minnesota’s most distinguished trial attorneys. An MSBA civil trial specialist with more than 40 years of experience, Maschka and his partner Renee Rubish are recognized perennially among Woodward White’s Best Lawyers in America. When Maschka and Rubish opened their personal injury law firm in 1999, they founded it on six key attributes Maschka believed a successful plaintiff’s firm must have: Client focus; lawyers of the highest quality; commitment to the highest professional standard; exhaustive attention to detail; tolerance to invest whatever is necessary to maximize client recoveries; and a culture of collaboration.

These same principles power Maschka, Riedy, Ries & Frentz Law Firm (MRRF) today.

“Decades of experience evaluating injury cases made it relatively easy to identify those areas in which we could add value to an injured client’s claim,” Maschka says. “I came to believe Southern Minnesota had a need for a firm with lawyers who could handle the more complex cases, devote the necessary attention to detail and advance resources on cases.”

Over the years, Maschka has assembled a team of attorneys equally committed to standing side by side with clients who are experiencing traumatic life events.

Decades of experience evaluating injury cases made it relatively easy to identify those areas in which we could add value to an injured client’s claim.

“In 2007, Nick Maxwell joined the firm and progressed to be an excellent lawyer capable of handling our most serious and complex matters,” Maschka says. “In 2013, we were approached by Jed Chronic, who was relocating to Minnesota from Missouri. Jed had substantial experience managing product and trucking cases in both state and federal courts across several states. With Jed, we added new areas of expertise and substantial additional capacity to handle injury and death cases. In 2018, Nick Frentz merged his injury practice (Frentz & Frentz) with ours, which expanded our client base and relationships with other lawyers. We continue to be well positioned to help injured people far into the future.”

“I wanted to find a firm with actual trial lawyers who try cases,” Chronic says. “Some firms avoid the courtroom and seek settlements instead of pushing for the best result for the client. You have to be willing to take cases to trial. It was clear to me these attorneys do that. The other side knows who is willing to try cases and try them well, and that knowledge affects outcomes.”

Living a Life-Long Dream

Standing: Nick Maxwell and Cody Booker.
Seated: Jed Chronic, Renee Rubish, Chris Zimmerman and Eric Iverson

Nick Frentz is an MSBA certified civil trial law specialist with 30 years of experience representing injured people. He is also the Minnesota State Senator for District 19. “I was elected and sworn in January 3, 2017. I love serving in the Senate, but due to the substantial time commitment in St. Paul, it soon became clear it was time to consider merging Frentz & Frentz with another firm. I wanted to work with other dedicated lawyers in my field of personal injury and wrongful death. I did not even consider merging with another law firm; I saw no reason to look elsewhere. Knowing the sterling reputation of Maschka, Riedy & Ries and seeing the great results it obtained for clients confirmed the merger was the best move for my clients, my practice and my service to the State.”

Renee Rubish, both an MSBA board certified civil trial law specialist and registered nurse, says her nursing background and desire to help people were among her top reasons for becoming a personal injury practitioner. She epitomizes the firm’s mission of providing compassionate service alongside expert legal representation. With her keen understanding of both medicine and law, she strives to “counsel clients on the process of a claim, help them understand the medical piece of their injury and provide some emotional support along the way.” Her command of medicine uniquely positioned Rubish to lead the firm’s medical malpractice team.

Nick Maxwell is a firm partner and retired Major of the Minnesota Army National Guard who served honorably for 21 years. “Our clients benefit from having multiple people evaluating their situation from varied perspectives, because injuries impact people differently. We have lawyers and staff of different ages, genders and backgrounds, and we encourage everyone working on a matter to share their thoughts and ideas. Anyone can have a good idea. Our talented paralegals and staff have great perspectives on everything from liability evaluations to the steps we can take to elevate a recovery. Each of our clients benefits from this collaboration.”

This is serious work, and it has significant implications for the people we represent.

MRRF advocates on behalf of injured people across Minnesota and beyond, with lawyers licensed to serve clients in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri. The firm frequently acts as local counsel for outstate law firms and as co-counsel in both local and outstate matters.

In an environment that fosters collaboration and constant improvement, MRRF attorneys continually hone their craft to achieve just results for injured people.

“There is a constant push here to get better at the practice of law.” Chronic says. “We are always going to seminars and learning the latest trial techniques so we can best represent the client. That approach helps globally in terms of leveraging a better outcome. From the time our client steps through the door, we start preparing their case to be heard by a jury who will evaluate the evidence. We don’t wait to prepare for trial. We strive to better understand and demonstrate client injuries using medical literature and illustrations that both depict injuries in great detail and provide an explanation of the medical procedures performed. The techniques we use are powerful tools to utilize with a jury. They are equally powerful with adjusters and defense lawyers who are also trying to do their best to evaluate claims and balance risk. We work hard to provide adjusters with information early in a claim to establish appropriate reserves, which ultimately helps facilitate settlement offers commensurate with the insult suffered by our client.”

“And we are always willing to advance expenses and bring in experts early in a case,” Rubish adds.

Due to the precision and care with which MRRF handles each matter, it has earned the trust of the legal community. “The quality of the work done at MRRF is second to none,” Frentz says. “From the expert witness preparation, to sophisticated liability analysis, the use of focus groups, to staff expertise, everything here is designed to be the best. Since joining the firm, I’ve seen clients get results other firms simply don’t get. This is why MRRF receives referrals from attorneys all over the Midwest. The lawyers who send their clients here get quality analysis and feedback, appropriate fee sharing agreements, and the comfort of knowing the referral is best for their client.”

“It is important for referring attorneys to know that when they refer a matter to us, we take it seriously,” Rubish says. “We communicate with their client while also communicating and collaborating with the referring attorney to get an outcome that is in the best interests of that client. Once the injury case is resolved, the client will go back to the referring attorney for all other legal matters.”

“Personal injury is becoming more specialized,” Chronic says. “From the handling of subrogation claims to Medicare issues to the nuances of insurance policies, it can be a great source of relief for a referring lawyer to involve our firm, knowing these issues will be professionally handled and their clients well cared for.”

Damon T. Eisma, an attorney in Luverne, Minnesota who has been practicing for more than 25 years, echoed Chronic’s observations. “We have had exceptional experiences partnering with MRRF on personal injury and wrongful death cases. There are many potential pitfalls in these cases. In our view, general practitioners do not have the legal and investigative resources to discover and preserve evidence and thus adequately represent clients involved with injury cases and should not be ‘dabbling’ in these types of cases. We rest easy knowing our clients are in the hands of expert injury lawyers who collaborate with us and provide regular updates.”

Wilkerson, Hegna, Kavanaugh & Johnston partners with MRRF when its clients require personal injury or other unique litigation representation. Managing Partner Morgan W. Kavanaugh describes MRRF’s attorneys as “professional, responsive lawyers who bring considerable resources to bear on solving complex problems.”

From car and truck accidents and product injuries to medical malpractice and wrongful death claims, the trial attorneys at Maschka, Riedy, Ries & Frentz deliver competent, caring and knowledgeable representation.

“This is serious work, and it has significant implications for the people we represent,” Maxwell says. “Nobody here is casual about the approach. If something doesn’t get done today, that usually means somebody isn’t getting something they need. We understand those realities and care about getting justice for the people we’re here to serve.”

Maschka, Riedy, Ries & Frentz

151 Saint Andrews Court,
Building 1010
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 625-6600

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