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Bona Fides: University of North Dakota Law School. Admitted in North Dakota, 1965. Type of Practice: Bossart handles primarily plaintiffs’ personal-injury cases, including serious automobile accidents, medical malpractice and product liability. Over the years, though, he has come to the defense of the “little guy” against corporate interests in diverse cases such as foreclosure and condemnation. Getting Started: After 30 years with a law firm, Bossart decided to practice on his own. “That way,” he says, “I am able to pursue other endeavors.” These include serving national and local trial lawyers associations, and speaking nationally on the subject of stress and how lawyers can balance work and life. He has also addressed this subject before other groups, including the medical profession. Bossart also has become interested in the spiritual aspects of the practice of law and plans to speak and write more on this subject in the coming years. Gross Revenues: Although he’d rather not name a specific figure, Bossart says that his income, derived primarily from contingency fees, is “very comfortable.” Start-up Tip: Bossart advises those going solo to “plan and anticipate everything carefully. Have a good accounting system in place.” It also helps to use contract lawyers to assist in cases. Support Employees: Bossart employs a secretary, a legal assistant, a law clerk and a nurse-paralegal. Most Useful Books: The North Dakota Century Code, the Bible and any book by Max Lucado. Key Research Tools: Lexis/Nexis is the legal tool Bossart turns to most often, in addition to the state statutes and rules. He also faithfully reads ATLA Trial Magazine. Square Footage of Office: 1,500. Monthly Rent: $850. Hardware/Software: Bossart’s office includes Compac Desk Pro computers, Hewlett Packard Laser Jet 4000 TN printers, Compac laptops and a photocopier/fax/printer machine. He uses Corel Word Perfect Office 2000 and Quick Books Pro. Family Profile: Married to his wife Bette for 38 years, Bossart has two grown children, who are both married, and he has four grandchildren. His son is a chiropractor and his daughter is a school teacher. He drives a Chrysler Minivan and a General Motors SUV Cadillac Escalade. Shining Moment: Bossart represented a young Native American couple who were evicted — without notice — from their trailer home in the dead of a North Dakota winter. His clients were “honest, decent, hard-working citizens who did not deserve the treatment they received.” As a small-town lawyer, Bossart and a colleague, Michael McGuire, took a risk in bucking the system by representing the couple against the local bank that brought the foreclosure. The case made law in North Dakota, changing property-seizure due process requirements. Although the case was 25 years ago, “It is seldom that Mike and I get together without bringing up this case. It is this type of case that makes me feel proud to be a lawyer who helps people.” Bossart figures his fees in that case came to “about 9 or 10 cents an hour.” But it “was worth it all” when he saw the look on his clients’ faces when they won at trial. Had It to Do Over? He “absolutely” would go solo again, to “simplify life and practice.”

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