James W. Balmer | Duluth Trial Lawyers Falsani, Balmer, Peterson, & Balmer
Since 1973, Jim Balmer has represented thousands of people in all kinds of litigation, including injury trials, workers’ compensation trials and hearings, Social Security Disability hearings, and appeals in those areas. He has handled car crashes, slips and falls, worksite injuries, defective product claims, dog attacks, liquor liability claims and other bodily injury matters. Jim lectures at various seminars, primarily in the area of trial tactics.
Jim is admitted to practice before all Minnesota and Wisconsin courts, both state and federal, and has tried cases throughout both states. He has argued cases before the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, headquartered in St. Louis.
His experience and familiarity with courtroom law results in Jim having been certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1986, over 30 years. He has been certified in this specialty by the Minnesota State Bar Association since 1987, the first year the MSBA recognized such specialty certification.
Jim has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation-only organization of experienced jury trial lawyers, since 2002. He holds the rank of Diplomate, one of only ten in Minnesota, and the only one north of the Twin Cities. Jim has been recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury since 1997.
Jim is listed in the prestigious “Best Lawyers in America” as a personal injury specialist representing plaintiffs. This same listing service has recognized Jim as Duluth area Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year in 2017 and 2019.
Jim was named the 2010 Volunteer Attorney of the Year for the Sixth Judicial District by the Volunteer Attorney Program. The award recognizes the lawyer who has given most generously of his or her time and talents to provide free legal help to lower-income residents of northeastern Minnesota.
Debra Cruz | Levin Gann PA
Debra Cruz, originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida With Honors, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Ms. Cruz assumed the position of Managing Principal of Levin Gann PA, a full service law firm, effective January 2018.
Ms. Cruz began her private practice in Miami, Florida where she defended and prosecuted individuals and businesses in unfair competition, negligence and contract claims in the state and federal trial and appellate courts, and where her trial opinions have been published. She also volunteered as a Guardian Ad Litem, appointed by the courts to represent the needs of children in custody disputes involving claims of abuse. Ms. Cruz joined both the Maryland and Washington, D.C. bars in 1991.
Ms. Cruz concentrates her practice on domestic relations, zealously representing individuals who are involved in divorces or custody disputes, helping them obtain a fair and equitable division of marital property, child support, alimony, and access to or visitation with their children in the Maryland Courts and through mediation. She is a member of the Baltimore City and County Family Law Committees, and frequently lectures on recent developments in Maryland Family Law. She is a contributing editor and author to the MSBA’s 10th Edition of Maryland Divorce and Separation Law. Ms. Cruz is also a long-standing member of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Baltimore City and County Bar Associations and of the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland Peer Review Committee, where she assists in the resolution of citizen complaints about attorneys.