Michael Scott Gaarder

Top rated family law attorney in St. Cloud, Minnesota

Michael Scott Gaarder

Practice Areas: Family law, Personal injury, Business & corporate; view more

Licensed in Minnesota since: 2006

Education: Hamline University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2013 - 2016


630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101
St. Cloud, MN 56301 Visit website


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

Family law, Personal injury - general: plaintiff, Business/corporate, Criminal defense, Civil litigation: plaintiff

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, Business formation and planning, Limited liability companies, Contracts, Arrest & arraignment, Assault & battery, Criminal law, Drug & alcohol violations, Failure to pay child support, Felony, Misdemeanor, Theft, Criminal domestic violence

  • 50% Family law
  • 20% Personal injury - general: plaintiff
  • 10% Business/corporate
  • 10% Criminal defense
  • 10% Civil litigation: plaintiff

First Admitted: 2006, Minnesota

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

  • 2013 Northstar Lawyer by the Minnesota State Bar Association, May 8th, 2014
  • Super Lawyers edition, one of the top Rising Star Attorneys in the state of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, 2013
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2014 - 2016
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 2007
  • Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Admitted U.S. District Court (Minnesota), 2008
  • Minnesota, 2006
  • Cloud City Achievers BNI Chapter, Past President, 2014 - 2015
  • Stearns-Benton Bar Association
  • Seventh Judicial District Ethics, Committee Member
  • American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys (former Member)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Volunteer Attorney Program (Central Minnesota)
Educational Background:
  • Law Enforcement Certificate and Passed Minnesota POST Board Examination., 2000
  • Juris Doctor, Hamline University School of Law., 2006
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, B.A., Major: International Relations, 1998

Office location for Michael Scott Gaarder

630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101
St. Cloud, MN 56301

Phone: 320-253-7879


7 Years Super Lawyers
4 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2013 - 2016

Articles about Michael Scott Gaarder by Super Lawyers

Discovery with Michael S. Gaarder

Additional sources of information about Michael Scott Gaarder

Attorney resources for Michael Scott Gaarder

Page Generated: 0.065693855285645 sec