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Nicholas Dwight Thornton

Nicholas Dwight Thornton

Fremstad Law Firm
  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI, Appeals & Appellate...
  • Minnesota, North Dakota
Claimed Lawyer ProfileSocial Media

Nick loves practicing law in and out of the courtroom. He has extensive experience in representing people in all stages of criminal proceedings, from the first appearance or arraignment through trial, appeal, and post-conviction proceedings. While his primary practice area is criminal law, Nick also practices in family law, personal injury, and general litigation. Nick is licensed to practice in all federal and state courts in North Dakota and Minnesota. Before joining Fremstad Law Firm, Nick represented almost two-thousand individual clients at the Fargo Public Defender Office in all types of criminal cases from driving under the influence and driving under suspension to murder and gross sexual imposition. Before that, he clerked for Justice Carol Ronning Kapsner at the North Dakota Supreme Court. Nick received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. Nick has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Mary and is pursuing a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of North Dakota. Nick has authored two articles published by the North Dakota Law Review, presented on a number of criminal defense-related topics at continuing legal education seminars, and has taught law-related classes at the University of Mary. Nick is a past-president and charter member of the North Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Nick also serves as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at a local youth wrestling club. Nick is originally from Jamestown, North Dakota. He and his wife have two very active sons. During their spare time, Nick and his family enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

University of Mary
MBA (2008) | Management
University of North Dakota School of Law
J.D. (2006) | Law
Honors: Order of the Coif; Juris Doctor with Distinction
Activities: UND Criminal Law Association; Student Trial Lawyer Association; American Bar Association, Law Student Division
Minnesota State College & University - Minnesota State University, Moorhead
B.A. (2003) | Criminal Justice
Honors: Cum Laude
Activities: Mock Trial, Criminal Justice Association
Professional Experience
Fremstad Law Firm
- Current
Public Defender
Fargo Public Defender's Office
Represent approximately 350 indigent adult clients per year charged with anything from class B misdemeanors to class AA felonies, in all stages of the criminal cases in North Dakota state courts. Also represent clients in appeals, post-conviction relief, juvenile delinquency, deprivation, and termination of parental rights matters.
Associate Attorney
Serkland Law Firm
Represented clients in a variety of legal matters from first client meeting to the case’s resolution. Practice areas included criminal defense, administrative law, business law, commercial transactions, banking law, and general civil litigation Served as CJA panel attorney for the United States District Court.
Law Clerk to the Honorable Carol Ronning Kapsner
North Dakota Supreme Court
Performed legal research and drafted memoranda, orders and opinions concerning a variety of issues before the Supreme Court, both civil and criminal
Articles & Publications
The Failing Promise of Padilla: How Padilla v. Kentucky Should Have Changed the Game in North Dakota, But Did Not
University of North Dakota Law Review
Unauthorized Practice of Law: A Case Study on How to Identify It and What to Do About It
State Bar Association of North Dakota
Avoiding Pitfalls: Common Reasons for Mediation Failure and Solutions for Success (co-authored with Jack G. Marcil)
University of North Dakota Law Review
2018 Trial Practice Institute Graduate
National Criminal Defense College
Rising Stars
Rising Stars
Rising Stars
Rising Stars
Rising Stars
Professional Associations
North Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
North Dakota State Bar # 06210
- Current
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
North Dakota
8th Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
United States District Court - District of Minnesota
United States District Court - District of North Dakota
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • DUI & DWI
  • Appeals & Appellate
  • Domestic Violence
  • White Collar Crime
  • Civil Rights
  • Cannabis & Marijuana Law
  • English: Spoken, Written
Social Media
Websites & Blogs
Contact & Map
Fremstad Law Firm - Fargo Office
3003 32nd Ave. S.
Ste. 240
Fargo, ND 58103
Telephone: (701) 478-7620
Fax: (701) 478-7621
Fremstad Law Firm - Valley City Office
200 Central Ave. N.
Valley City, ND 58072
Fremstad Law Firm - Detroit Lakes Office
119 Graystone Plaza
Ste. 101
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
Fremstad Law Firm - Moorhead Office
403 Center Ave
Ste. 403
Moorhead, MN 56560
Fremstad Law Firm - Bottineau Office
416 Sinclair St.
Bottineau, ND 58318