Steven E. Ness earned his undergraduate degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and his Juris Doctorate at William Mitchell College of Law.

For more than twenty-five years the primary focus of Steve’s practice has been business planning and serving as general counsel for many closely held businesses. He also has extensive litigation experience ranging from complex cases involving intellectual property issues, licensing, sales representatives, breach of contract, unfair competition and negligent trust administration to defending and prosecuting large and small disputes between business owners. Steve is also an experienced estate planner and has represented financial institution trust departments.

He has a wide range of experience in the merger, sale or acquisition of businesses, business succession, exit strategies and real estate.

He is admitted to practice in State and Federal District Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals. Steve is a member of the Hennepin County and Minnesota Bar Associations and is also on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s list of approved neutrals and serves as on the complex commercial dispute panel with the American Arbitration Association, National Arbitration Forum and provides private mediation services through Advance Mediation Center, Inc.

Steve is a frequent lecturer on his areas of practice to various business organizations and professional groups.


Peter C. Brehm earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at North Dakota State University and is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor Society.  While at  NDSU, Peter was a member of the NDSU cross country and track & filed teams, and earned All-America  honors at 1,500 meters.    Peter earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude (1997), and his Master of Laws and Taxation (1999) from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He also served as a member of the William Mitchell Law Review.

Peter served as as an associate at Henretta, Cross, Ness & Dolan, and then as General Counsel for Midwest Casualty Insurance Company before starting his own firm the law firm Peter C. Brehm and Associates in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 2004, He was named a Rising Star in Small and Closely Held Businesses by Law and Politics magazine.  Peter is a member of the Minnesota State and United States District Court Bars, and the Arizona State Bar.

In addition to his role as general counsel for several closely-held businesses, Peter advises clients on issues relating to  business succession planning, employment issues, tax related transactions, and commercial litigation. He has represented companies and selling shareholders in taxable and tax-free transactions and ESOP transactions.

Peter is also an Accredited Valuation Analyst (“AVA”) and performs over 20 small business valuations each year through his company Advantage Valuation Services, LLC.

Peter is an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of law, and provides seminars for business owners and small business advisers on starting, operating, and winding down small businesses.