PaulEbeltoft

Paul Ebeltoft is Special Counsel to Ebeltoft . Sickler . Lawyers. He is no longer employed by the Firm and is no longer engaged in day-to-day lawyering. However, we plan to keep him closely connected to the law firm that he helped found. Under special arrangement with Ebeltoft . Sickler . Lawyers, Paul will provide legal services exclusively to the Firm and at its request. In this way, our lawyers and staff will retain the benefit of Paul's decades of experience as a trial lawyer in North Dakota.
A sampling of significant reported cases in which Paul played a key role are:

Herold v. Burlington Northern, Inc., In this case, Paul was a part of a team of lawyers who helped a brain-damaged quadriplegic and his wife recover what is believed to be the largest personal injury jury award ever made in our state.

West Plains Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Fund, This case was one of first impression. The State of North Dakota refused to compensate Paul's client for its remediation of a contaminated chemical storage and use area. He successfully showed how the agency had failed to follow its own rules.

Dickinson Public School District, et al. v. Wayne Sanstead, Superintendent, Department of Public Instruction, et. al, This is a case that Paul lost. It was a claim against the State of North Dakota to recover underpayments of per pupil student aid to primary and secondary school districts. Some cite the dissenting opinion as a break in the North Dakota Supreme Court's defense of sovereign immunity.

Ron Rebel, Jr. et al. v. Nodak Mutual Insurance Company, In this fairly pedestrian declaratory judgment case Paul won the case based upon an issue which was not apparent and not ripe for determination until the case had entered appellate review. Plaintiff's failure to obtain an assignment as a part of a Miller-Shugart agreement, resulted in dismissal of his appeal.

Voge v. Schnaidt, This was a case of first impression in North Dakota. Paul won at the trial court level by arguing that the federal maritime statute of limitation, not the longer North Dakota statute, governed personal injury litigation arising from a boating accident on the Missouri River. The Supreme Court later upheld Paul's lower court victory, setting a new standard for boating accidents on navigable waters in the nation's most landlocked state.



Paul and his wife, Gail, live in Dickinson. They have two grown sons. Rob lives in New York City. David is in Corning, New York with his lovely wife, Payal, and their happy and handsome sons, Kavi and Nilay.

Taking fourth place behind Gail, his small family, and the law, Paul spends his free time in his yard during summertime and in a small greenhouse in the colder months. We also hope that Paul will continue a role he has fulfilled since the firm moved to its new office in 2014 - lawn boy and gardener. As shown by the picture, for Paul, keeping things green is an avocation.

  
Professional Awards
  • "AV" rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Included in peer selected publication The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of product liability litigation
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer in civil litigation and personal injury litigation. This is a rating service that selects outstanding lawyers through a multi-phased process that includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
  • Community Service Award for the Southwest Judicial District from the State Bar Association of North Dakota, 2005
  • Outstanding Chairman Award, State Bar Association of North Dakota, 1992

Professional Memberships
  • State Bar Association of North Dakota
  • International Association of Defense Counsel

Court Admissions
  • North Dakota Supreme Court
  • United States District Court - North Dakota
  • United States Court of Appeals - Eighth Circuit

Education
  • Bachelor of Arts, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, Political Science, 1971
  • Juris Doctorate, The National Law Center, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 1976
  • Certificate: General Mediation Skills, Hamline University Law and Graduate Schools, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2002

Former Law Firm Affiliation
  • Mackoff Kellogg Law Firm, Dickinson, North Dakota