St. Paul Law Firm Moore, Costello Closes After 157 Years

The Pioneer Press, citing unnamed sources, reported that the firm decided to wind down at the same time that two of its health care attorneys left for a Minneapolis firm.

Law firm Moore, Costello & Hart—one of the oldest businesses in Minnesota—is shutting down after 157 years, according to a report by the Pioneer Press.
 
The St. Paul newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reported that the firm made the decision to close around the same time that two of its health care attorneys left for a Minneapolis firm.
 
Earlier this week, Nilan Johnson Lewis announced that it added two shareholders to its health care practice group—Susan Kratz and Heidi Neff Christianson, both of whom it said came from Moore, Costello & Hart.
 
According to the Pioneer Press, sources familiar with the situation said that Kratz and Christianson took a large portion of their previous employer’s business with them when they joined Nilan Johnson Lewis. But other unnamed sources familiar with the firm told the newspaper that two attorneys leaving shouldn’t have necessitated the firm’s closure and said there may not have been enough interest in building up the portions of the practice that remained.
 
“We are excited to grow our health care practice with the valuable addition of Susan and Heidi,” Nilan Johnson Lewis President Matthew Damon said in a news release. “Their extensive health care expertise will add significantly to the team, while also delivering value to our clients through their deep industry knowledge.”
 
Moore, Costello & Hart’s main office is located on the 14th floor of the Alliance Bank Building on Fifth Street in downtown St. Paul—and it website indicates that it operates a second office in downtown Minneapolis. According to the website, it provides legal services in four core areas: small business consultation, nonprofit and health care law, estate planning, and commercial and construction litigation.
 
According to the Pioneer Press, Moore, Costello & Hart’s clients have included HealthEast and the University of St. Thomas—and one of its former partners, Warren Burger, went on to serve as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969.
 
The firm declined to speak with the Pioneer Press, but a stack of cardboard boxes were reportedly sitting in one corner of its lobby on Wednesday—and some employees who walked through appeared to be packing.

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