James R. Swanson
Originally from Minnesota, Jim is a founding member and managing partner of the Louisiana law firm Fishman Haygood. Jim is regarded as a go-to litigator for complex disputes and his dedication to learning the smallest details enables him to represent his clients with precision. Clients praise him as “an incredibly smart, focused, tenacious and outstanding trial lawyer.”
A product of Minnesota public schools, Jim is also President of the Choice Foundation, the governing board of three New Orleans turnaround public charter schools that educate nearly 2,000 students from low-income and at-risk backgrounds. He is the treasurer of the Innocence Project New Orleans, and has taught at Loyola Law School and Tulane University in trial advocacy and media law.
Alysson L. Mills
Alysson is a partner at Fishman Haygood. Her practice includes securities, media, and general commercial litigation cases. She also regularly represents indigent criminal defendants in federal court and serves as co-counsel with the Innocence Project in federal habeas cases in Mississippi.
Outside the office, Alysson serves on the governing board of the Choice Foundation, and is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans, a free French immersion public charter school in New Orleans that reserves two-thirds of its seats for students of low-income and at-risk backgrounds. Alysson also teaches a course on first amendment and media law at Tulane University.
Jesse C. Stewart
A former elementary school teacher, Jesse is an associate at Fishman Haygood. Jesse’s litigation practice is concentrated in complex commercial disputes, including class actions. In addition, Jesse regularly represents indigent criminal defendants in state and federal court, and provides pro bono legal services to various public education-focused non-profit organizations in the New Orleans area.
Jesse earned his Bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Prior to law school, Jesse worked at the New York City Council Education Committee, and taught first grade in Newark, New Jersey. Jesse earned his law degree at the University of Virginia, where he founded and directed the School of Law’s Alternative Spring Break pro bono program.
Lewis A. Remele, Jr.
A lifelong Minnesotan, Lew is a partner at Bassford Remele, a Minneapolis-based litigation firm founded in 1882. He is regarded as one of the leading lawyers in Minnesota, and was selected Best Lawyer in Minnesota by Minnesota Law & Politics/Super Lawyers a dozen times since 2000, among many other awards and accolades.
Lew maintains a civil trial practice in both tort and commercial matters. His practice areas include alternative dispute resolution, antitrust litigation, commercial litigation, complex and class action litigation, contracts, employment law, ethics and professional responsibility, intellectual property litigation, legal malpractice, and shareholder litigation.
Lew is past president of both the Minnesota State and Hennepin County Bar Associations, and the Academy of Court Appointed Special Masters. He also is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Frederick E. Finch
Fred is a partner at Bassford Remele, a Minneapolis-based litigation firm founded in 1882. He is an experienced trial lawyer who has participated in employment and labor law, business torts, and related matters for more than 42 years.
Fred is an active and enthusiastic leader of the organized bar. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association from 2009-2012, and has served in the Assembly, Board of Governors, and Executive Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), and twice received the MSBA President’s Award.
A graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, Fred has also been a guest moderator on legal issues for KSTP Radio’s “Ask the Lawyer” and has presented numerous lectures and written articles on employment and labor law.
Nekima is an award-winning professor of law at the University of St. Thomas Law School, a civil rights attorney, and a nationally recognized expert on a range of civil rights and social justice issues at the intersections of race, public policy, economic justice, public education, juvenile justice, and the criminal justice system. She was elected President of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP in May 2015.
She serves as the founding director of the University of St. Thomas Law School’s Community Justice Project, an award-winning civil rights legal clinic. She is also co-founder and board chair of Brotherhood, Inc.: a nonprofit organization geared toward young African American men ages 16-24, who have been involved in the criminal justice system, gangs, or who are at risk of such involvement.
Nekima also serves as the chair of the Minnesota State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and is the co-chair of Everybody In, a regional collaboration of more than 40 stakeholders working to close the racial unemployment gaps in the region by 2020. She also serves on the boards of the Minneapolis Foundation, Catholic Charities, the African American Museum, and Growth & Justice.