About Jeff DeGree
I began defending criminal cases in 1991, as a third year law student, when I worked as a clerk at the Ramsey County public defender’s office in St. Paul. It is hard to believe that over 20 years have passed. During that time I have continued to defend those either accused of, or under investigation for, having been involved in criminal activity.
For approximately eight years, I worked full time as a public defender, first in the small town of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and later in Stillwater, Minnesota. In that time, I handled all types of criminal cases.
During my time as a public defender, I successfully argued scores of suppression motions, including cases involving illegal search and seizures, Miranda violations, involuntary statements, improper interrogations, lack of competency, and mental illness defense. I gained numerous trial acquittals, including cases involving allegations of attempted homicide, numerous sexual assaults, controlled substances, burglary, theft, and DUI.
Also during that time I defended one of Minnesota’s most infamous alleged serial killers. In this case, alleged to have occurred in 1979, I successfully persuaded the judge to suppress evidence indicating my client had committed five additional homicides and ten sexual assaults. The case was one of the most complex murder cases in state history.
While I enjoyed working as a public defender, I grew frustrated by having so many cases. I simply could not provide the quality representation I desired. Thus, in 1999, I went into private practice, focusing on quality service and letting the rest take care of itself. I have greatly enjoyed being able to develop deeper relationships with clients and being able to more fully develop and defend their cases.
While in private practice, I have continued to successfully litigate and defend all types of cases, from driving offenses to several first-degree murder cases. My practice expanded to defending cases in Federal Court where I have handled cases involving white collar crime, bank robbery, controlled substances and terrorism. My defense of a young man accused of possessing several Molotov cocktails during the 2008 Republican National Convention was featured in the movie Better this World.
I have been consistently recognized by my peers as among the best criminal defense attorneys in Minnesota, having been named a Super Lawyer every year (except one) since 1999. I also help teach other attorneys by frequently speaking at Continuing Legal Education courses. I am also a frequent contributor to Fox 9 news.
- Wisconsin, 1992
- Minnesota, 1995
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 2002
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa, 2009
- American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia, 1992
- Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA, 1988
Honors and Awards:
- Super Lawyer, Minnesota Law & Politics and Mpls./St. Paul Magazine, 1999 – 2003, 2004 – 2014.
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (since 1992)
- Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Board of Directors, 2002 – 2008)
- Washington County Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Minneapolis Hockey Association, board member and coach
- Minneapolis High School Boys Hockey Booster Club
Areas of Practice:
- Sex Crimes
- Drug Offenses
- Weapons & Firearms
- Violent Crimes