James A. Sanford

Phone: 952-404-2100

E-mail: JamesS@ssmnlaw.com

Jim Sanford has spent nearly 30 years practicing business law and estate planning. He is licensed to practice law in Minnesota and Wisconsin. As a business attorney, he has advised companies of all sizes at all stages of the life cycle – from inception through succession. At the same time, Jim has worked with many individuals as an estate planning attorney, developing plans that are specific to the unique needs of his clients. As well as being an attorney, Jim is a business man and understands the daily life of an entrepreneur running a company. He has lived the experience and brings those insights to how Sanford, Pierson, Thone & Strean serves its clients.

Jim is actively involved in his community. Currently, he is on the Chanhassen, Minnesota Economic Development Commission and on the Board of Directors of the bank and holding company of Platinum Bank. Jim is also a member of both the Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce and the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, Jim has volunteered with the Minnetonka School District, Minnetonka Hockey Association, Tonka United Soccer Association and Minnetonka Girls Softball Association. Jim has served on various profit and nonprofit boards including Light of Hope and Wayzata Community Church.

Jim is an avid reader, enjoys sports and the outdoors, and especially loves spending time at his family’s northern Wisconsin cabin. Jim and his wife Kris are parents to three young adults, Tyler, Anna and Ellie and lives in Chanhassen.

Jim was born in Duluth, Minnesota. He moved to the Twin Cities metropolitan area to attend college. Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts, and proceeded immediately to the University of Minnesota Law School were in graduated in 1986 with a Juris Doctorate. Jim was admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1986, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota in 1988, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin in 1990, Wisconsin bar in 1992, and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin in 1995. In 1995, he founded the firm that has evolved into Sanford, Pierson, Thone & Strean, and currently serves as its Chief Manager.



  • University of Minnesota (B.A., magna cum laude, 1983)

  • University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1986)

  • Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Associations:

  • Hennepin County Bar Association

  • Minnesota State Bar Association

  • Wisconsin State Bar Association

Community Activities: