Michael Scott Gaarder

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in St. Cloud, MN

Pennington, Cherne, Gaarder & Geiger Hagen, PLLC
 | 630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101, PO Box 1756
St. Cloud, MN 56302-1756
Phone: 320-253-7879
Fax: 320-252-8238
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2013 - 2016
Licensed Since: 2006
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (50%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%),
  • Civil Litigation: Plaintiff (10%),
  • Criminal Defense (10%),
  • Business/Corporate (10%)
Attorney Profile

As a partner with the Pennington, Cherne, & Gaarder, PLLC, law firm in St. Cloud, Minnesota, attorney Michael Scott Gaarder focuses his practice on criminal defense, family law, personal injury, employment law, general civil litigation and appeals. Additionally, he also represents commercial clients and business owners with contract and business disputes, entity formation and all other areas of business law.

A 1998 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in international relations, Mr. Gaarder attended Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, where he majored in law enforcement and passed the Minnesota POST Test in 2004. In 2006, he graduated with his law degree from Hamline University School of Law, and the Minnesota State Bar Association admitted him to practice that same year. In 2007, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota admitted him to practice.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Mr. Gaarder received his certification from the veterans administration to represent veterans with their legal matters, and while he was in service, he volunteered as a prosecutor for the Naval Legal Service and was involved with the Staff Judge Advocate's Office.

A consummate professional, Mr. Gaarder remains active in several professional legal organizations, including the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Stearns-Benton Bar Association. He is also a member of the 7th Judicial District Ethics Committee and once served as president for the Cloud City Achievers BNI Chapter.

In recognition for his high level of service and professionalism, Mr. Gaarder has received a number of awards and honors throughout his career. He is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and Lead Counsel verified him as a family law attorney. Moreover, the Minnesota State Bar Association named him North Star Lawyer in 2013.

Practice Areas
  • 50%Family Law
  • 20%Personal Injury - General
  • 10%Civil Litigation
  • 10%Criminal Defense
  • 10%Business/Corporate
Focus Areas

Adoption, Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Name Change, Paternity, Marital Property, Father's Rights, Animal Bites, Assault, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Failure to Pay Child Support, Felony, Misdemeanor, Theft, Criminal Domestic Violence, Business Formation and Planning, Limited Liability Companies, Contracts


Selected to Super Lawyers for 4 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 4 years

Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2020 Rising Stars: 2013 - 2016

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About Michael Gaarder

Admitted: 2006, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: http://www.saintcloudlaw.com/About/Michael-S-Gaarder.shtml


  • Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2014 - 2016
  • Super Lawyers edition, one of the top Rising Star Attorneys in the state of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, 2013
  • 2013 Northstar Lawyer by the Minnesota State Bar Association, May 8th, 2014

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Admitted U.S. District Court (Minnesota), 2008
  • American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys (former Member)
  • Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Cloud City Achievers BNI Chapter, Past President, 2014 - 2015
  • Seventh Judicial District Ethics, Committee Member
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 2007
  • Minnesota, 2006
  • Stearns-Benton Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Volunteer Attorney Program (Central Minnesota)

Educational Background:

  • Juris Doctor, Hamline University School of Law., 2006
  • Law Enforcement Certificate and Passed Minnesota POST Board Examination., 2000
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, B.A., Major: International Relations, 1998
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Office Location for Michael Scott Gaarder

630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101
PO Box 1756
St. Cloud, MN 56302-1756

Phone: 320-253-7879

Fax: 320-252-8238

Michael Scott Gaarder:

Last Updated: 1/7/2020

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