Having practiced law since 1990, Jerry A. Burg now has his own law office in Uptown Minneapolis. His new practice concentrates on three areas: family law, criminal law, and employment law.
While the last two encompass a vast number of different circumstances, family law is narrower, centering on custody, parental rights issues, and divorce. However, when clients have unconventional families, and aren’t allowed the legal protection of marriage, family law becomes far more complicated.
Burg says, “The reality is that there are a lot of people who need advice when their family is going to break apart, and a lot of people who need advice when they’re trying to put a family together. It’s not always an easy process to try to mirror marriage by trying to put together legal documents, and you can only go so far. You can’t contract around the Defense of Marriage Act.”
Of course, no one wants to spend time and money sitting in a lawyer’s office, but as Burg puts it, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Pulling documents off the Internet and filling them out yourself can lead to painful and costly disputes down the road. Not as many people may try the do-it-yourself approach to criminal law, but they still may fail to hire a lawyer for less serious offenses.
As Burg explains, many times, even in a first-time misdemeanor charge, a good lawyer can arrange for a much better outcome, including no long-term consequences for the client.
Burg continues to practice employment law, representing clients in agency proceedings, and in both state and federal court. He finds this area of practice rewarding and challenging.
In Burg’s words, “Discrimination is always tough to prove, and the ‘bad guys’ are good at hiding their hostility, but I love this work.”
Currently, Burg is spending extra time researching laws that affect the transgender community.
As Burg notes, “I think that one of the cutting edge areas [of law] and one of the frustrating areas is the whole universe of legal rights—the absence of legal and social support for individuals who are living their lives as the gender they experience themselves to be. Anatomy seems to be very important to state legislators. It’s not so terribly important to people who understand what gender means.”
Jerry A. Burg, Attorney at Law