Aafedt Forde Strengthens Its Practice by Adding SEVEN Experienced Workers' Compensation Defense Attorneys

Aafedt Forde keeps on rolling. Strong! After adding four experienced workers' compensation attorneys last fall, the firm proudly announces it is adding another group of seven seasoned litigators in the firm's niche practice area. With this new group of attorneys, AAFEDT FORDE has further strenghtened its role as the preeminent workers' compensation defense firm in Minnesota.

Please join us in welcoming Craig Larsen, Whitney Teel, Natalie Lund, Parker Olson, Emily Johnson, Bryan Wachter, and Raquel 'R.J.' Lara. All of the attorneys bring with them outstanding credentials and experience, strengthening the firm’s core practice areas. Read on to learn more about what these impressive lawyers bring to Aafedt Forde.

Craig A. Larsen devotes his practice solely to workers’ compensation law, with the majority of his time spent representing employers, insurers, and self-insured employers. Craig also represents intervenors in workers’ compensation matters. During his career, Craig has handled a great variety of cases, ranging from standard back injury cases, to multi-party contribution claims, death cases, catastrophic injuries, and claims involving psychological injuries. He has represented clients before the Workers’ Compensation Division, the Office of Administrative Hearings, the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, and the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Whitney L. Teel focuses exclusively on the defense of employers and insurers in all aspects of workers’ compensation litigation. She has 17 years of experience litigating workers’ compensation cases at the Office of Administrative Hearings and Minnesota appellate courts. Whitney has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star attorney and in the list of Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota. She is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America™ and a contributing author to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Deskbook.

Natalie Lund is an experienced litigator who has successfully represented clients in all phases of litigation, from providing advice at the inception of a claim, to obtaining favorable results at hearing, settlement, motion proceedings, and on appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court. Natalie has an exceptional appellate practice, with two of her more recent Supreme Court cases cited by attorneys in the vast majority of settlement agreements. The breadth of her experience allows Natalie to advise her clients effectively regarding their rights and obligations under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation system.

Parker T. Olson handles the defense of workers’ compensation claims, including file management, strategy recommendations, settlements with intervenors, witness depositions, hearings, and motion practice. Parker has been named to the Minnesota Rising Stars list each of the last two years and has also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America™ in the field of Workers’ Compensation Law for Employers. He has presented in national and local workers’ compensation seminars on a variety of topics. Parker is also licensed to practice law in California.

Emily L. Johnson is experienced in the defense of workers’ compensation cases from initial compensability determinations through formal hearings and Supreme Court appeals. She enjoys helping employers and insurers problem solve and strategize for the best possible claim outcomes. Prior to joining Aafedt Forde, she served as a law clerk for an Estate Planning firm and was a Certified Student Attorney for the Community Justice Project Clinic at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she worked with local community leaders to advance social justice projects.

Bryan M. Wachter focuses his practice exclusively on workers’ compensation defense. He represents employers and insurers in all stages of litigation from initial consultations through formal hearings. Bryan also has experience working in general civil litigation as well as legal drafting and negotiating on behalf of a Fortune 500 company. He brings his wide range of knowledge and attention to detail to every case he handles. Each year, Bryan also volunteers his time coaching 1L students through the University of St. Thomas Roadmap to Employment project. Clients appreciate Bryan's responsiveness, creativity, and excellent work product.

RJ (Raquel J.) Lara focuses her practice on workers’ compensation defense. She works with employers and insurers to provide representation and service at all stages of litigation, from initial consultation and compensability questions to formal hearings. Prior to joining Aafedt Forde, RJ worked as a contract analyst for the City of St. Paul. In that position RJ wrote and contested contracts, wrote bid advertisements, and negotiated service contracts for various departments within the City. While in law school, RJ served as a student attorney in the Community Justice Project Clinic, where she served community stakeholders and addressed various legal problems, including health care issues. She also volunteered with the Minnesota Justice Foundation’s Street Law Program and was president of the Jewish Law Student Association.

We are honored to welcome Craig, Whitney, Natalie, Parker, Emily, Bryan, and RJ to the team after their years of practice at the law firm of Cousineau Waldhauser & Kieselbach, a defense firm in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.