James A. Sanford

Phone:  952-404-2100

E-mail: JamesS@ssmnlaw.com


Jim Sanford 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.

Jim is actively involved in his community having volunteered with the Minnetonka School District, Minnetonka Hockey Association, Tonka United Soccer Association, Minnetonka Girls Softball Association, Light of Hope and Wayzata Community Church.  He is currently a member of both the Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce and the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, Jim has served on various profit and nonprofit boards, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the bank and holding company of Platinum Bank.

Jim has spent years advising banks and finance companies while also developing a business and estate planning practice.  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 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.



  • 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:

  • Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce

  • Platinum Bank (Board of Directors)

  • Business & Estate Advisers (Advisory Board)

  • Light of Hope-Kenya (Board of Directors)

  • Wayzata Community Church