Thomas M. Fafinski


Thomas M. Fafinski is Co-Founder of Virtus Law, PLLC. Tom graduated 13th in his class cum laude at William Mitchell College of Law and was also a cum laude graduate of the College of St. Thomas, with a BA in Finance. Tom is:

• a facilitator for 2 Allied Executive CEO/business leader peer groups and has been for nearly 9 years
• a facilitator for 2 estate and business law firm peer groups from across the country through a joint project with Virtus Law and WealthCounsel
• serves as Chairperson of Community Involvement Program, a $40M non-profit organization helping those with disabilities achieve their greatest life
• serves as Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Administrative Committee for St. Thomas Becket Catholic Church in Eagan
• a continuing education instructor relating to advanced estate planning concepts, especially for real estate investors, through Kaplan Education
• a past continuing education instructor for WealthCounsel (has taught nearly 50 program hours), member of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement Upper Midwest, Roundbank Advisory Council, member of Dakota County Technical College Entrepreneurship Program Advisory Council
• a member of the MNSCU faculty
• a member of Minnesota Real Estate Investor’s Association
• a proud father of 3 exceptional children and 3 average dogs
• the lucky guy who got to be husband of Amy Kadow Fafinski

He has been frequently published – nationally through the WealthCounsel Quarterly, Dakota County Tribune, Star Tribune and various newsletters. Tom has also been featured on Todd Rooker’s radio show “Cover your Assets”, as well as a guest speaker on multiple episodes of MSP Radio. He is a contributor and member of the national asset protection, tax and estate planning organization, Wealth Counsel. He is admitted in State and Federal Court for Minnesota. Tom is an active real estate investor with commercial holdings with nearly $10M in holdings.
Tom cherishes spending time with his family and extended family and enjoys reading mystery and suspense novels, golf, his dogs (for the most part) and attending sporting events. Tom is also a die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan.

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Nathan W. Nelson

Nathan W. Nelson is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Virtus Law, PLLC. Nathan graduated from Hamline University and the Hamline School of Law, and graduated summa cum laude with a Masters of Law in Taxation from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Nathan is licensed to practice law in both Minnesota and North Dakota.

Nathan represents businesses and high net worth individuals in the areas of estate planning, business and corporate law, litigation and banking. Nathan successfully argued the Supreme Court case Zweber v. Credit River Township. Read the Supreme Court decision here… He oversees the Estate Planning and Taxation departments in the firm.

Nathan is involved in MnREIA, and frequently speaks on issues relating to litigation for real estate investors and privately held businesses. He has been a guest speaker for real estate associations, multiple colleges and universities, on Todd Rooker’s radio show “Cover Your Assets”, and Jason Walgrave’s “Home Talk” on ESPN1500. Nathan is a peer group facilitator for Wealth Counsel; a national group of estate planning and asset protection attorneys. Nathan serves on the paralegal advisory board for Inver Hills Community College, and he is a Board Member and Housing Boards Committee Chair for the non-profit organization Community Involvement Programs (CIP). His articles have been published by Minnesota Real Estate Investors and in Minnesota Business Magazine and he was awarded the Rising Star designation from SuperLawyers in 2015 and 2016.

Nate balances his time at work with music, running and his three dogs. He is also a very big Marvel Comics fan!


Ryan D. Kaplan

ryanRyan D. Kaplan works in the areas of commercial and business law, estate planning, creditor/debtor law and bankruptcy law. He also advises clients on regulatory matters and provides guidance on compliance issues.

Before starting his own practice with Kaplan Legal Services, LLC, Ryan served as Corporate Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer with a life insurance purchasing company in Minneapolis, MN. Ryan previously practiced business and creditor/debtor law with a large law firm in Plymouth, MN. Ryan earned his law degree at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN while employed full-time with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

Ryan is an avid Minnesota Twins fan. He also enjoys racquetball, squash, running, volleyball, reading and spending time with his wife and three children in Plymouth, MN.


Kyle A. Gaffaney

kyleKyle A. Gaffaney is an Of Counsel Attorney practicing in business and estate and income tax areas. He is licensed in Minnesota. Kyle attended Loyola University of Chicago School of Law where he received the William J. Kilbridge award for outstanding academic performance in clinical studies and Federal Income Taxation. He was also the News Editor of the Consumer Law Review and received a certificate in Taxation from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.

Kyle is a Minnesota native, growing up in the rural Minnesota town of Glenwood. He has degrees in Accounting and Management Information Systems from the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management. After graduating from the U of MN, Kyle worked as an Accountant at local investment management firm for five years. Mr. Gaffaney resides in Minneapolis with his wife.

Steven V. Rose

Steven V. Rose is an Attorney in our litigation department. He has a BA degree from the University of MN – Duluth in Criminology and Political Science and earned his Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law. Steve has over 16 years experience practicing law.

Steve is an experienced trial lawyer in all facets of complex commercial, creditor-debtor and business litigation, and landlord/tenant law. Steve has successfully argued appellate cases. He is admitted to practice in the State of Minnesota and the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Steve lives in Morristown with his wife and two children. He coaches his son’s and daughter’s basketball teams and enjoys sports, hunting, the outdoors, and time on the lake.


R. Donald Estes

don 2R. Donald Estes has joined Virtus Law PLLC as Of Counsel. Mr. Estes has been practicing law for almost five decades and has unparalleled business and legal acumen. He has a bachelors degree from the University of Minnesota. He earned his law degree from Columbia University in 1967. He was very heavily involved in pro bono work with Legal Advice Clinics, Inc. and the Minneapolis Foundation during his first five years practicing law as an Associate with Thompson Nielsen Klaverkamp & James P.A. He became partner there, but at the end of 1981 he left to become a co-founder and President of Estes Parsinen & Levy P.A. (now part of Barnes & Thornburg). Don committed over twenty years to the United States Naval Reserve as a JAG Officer.

He has nurtured one-person companies into multi-million dollar, world-wide organizations. Since 1989, when he started doing joint venture work in Asia, he has practiced with Estes Law Firm P.A. Although not certified as an Estate Planning Law Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association (no one is), he is certified as such and as an Accredited Estate Planner® by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. He currently serves as director of a multitude of Twin Cities and San Francisco based organizations and as Chairman/CEO of World Products Inc. a Sonoma, CA based electronics manufacturer.

Don is highly respected in business and legal sectors and endorsed by his peers and clients. He is a champion for his clients and channels his intense passion into developing quality, long lasting relationships. In addition to the Minnesota Bar, Mr. Estes is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, US Tax Court, the International Court of Trade, Federal Court District of Minnesota, Circuit Court of Appeals and is certified as UCMJ Article 27 Trial/Defense Counsel.

Candace M. Groth

Candace is an experienced mergers and acquisitions attorney and deal team leader with a focus in the technology, healthcare, and real estate industries. Additionally, she regularly advises clients on a variety of general corporate matters, including commercial contracts, tax and equity structuring matters, and privacy and cyber security concerns. Candace is licensed to practice law in both Minnesota and Texas.

Candace received her Juris Doctorate, summa cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in 2014 and her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude in International Studies from Macalester College in 2011. She also earned a Global Arbitration Law and Practice Certificate from Hamline Law’s nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Institution and a Business Law Certificate from Hamline Law’s Business Law Institute. During law school, Candace participated in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Competition.

After law school, Candace served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Christine A. Nowak on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Candace is an active member of the Dallas Bar Association, Vivaldi Patron Circle, DAYL Foundation, and Minnesota State Bar Association.  Additionally, she currently serves as Chair of the Civil Liberties & Civil Rights Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Candace enjoys cycling, running, and reading historical fiction in her free time.  She also likes spending time with her shih tzu dog Artie.


Tim A. Netzell

Tim Netzell has joined Virtus Law, PLLC as Of Counsel. Tim has been certified by the bar association as a Real Property Specialist.  This specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. Tim has a bachelors degree from Northwestern College. He earned his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1989. He has prided himself on making real estate transactions easier for over 25 years. He has experience every step of the way in the legal process- from purchase agreements to title insurance.

Interestingly, Tim started his career as a Marketing Representative at First Security Title, Inc. in 1983. Beginning in 1993, he built one of the largest independent title agencies in Minnesota. In 1999, that firm was recognized as the Largest Remitting Agent in Minnesota. Yet, he managed to remain proactive after that, which he concludes is a key to his success.

He opened Netzell Legal Services, PLLC in 1989 and has been performing transactional real estate work ever since. Tim has handled everything from acquisition to construction, and zoning to leasing. He assists commercial and residential developers in obtaining, developing, leasing and selling their real estate projects. With extensive experience in purchase leasing agreements, zoning and regulatory issues, Tim’s clients can rest assured that he can help with any legal concern that presents itself.

Tim prides himself on serving his clients, he figures out what his clients need before they know that they need it. Because of this, he is still serving the same clients that the did back in 1989. His goal is to make them happy so they would refuse to go anywhere else.


Christopher J. Motz

Christopher J. Motz has joined Virtus Law PLLC as Of Counsel focusing primarily on Estate Planning and Elder Law. He previously was an Attorney and Counselor at Motz & Motz, LLC. He advises clients on a range of issues including Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate, Business, and Elder Law. With a background in high-conflict situations, Chris offers valuable insights in risk mitigation. A representative sample of his work includes crafting cost-effective Wills and Trusts to pass wealth to heirs and beneficiaries, using income/asset maximization strategies to plan for long-term elder care, and creating business succession plans.

Chris also currently serves as a Judge Advocate General in the Minnesota Air National Guard and was previously privileged to lead Marines as Marine Corps infantry officer. He is a member of the Cambridge Knights of Columbus and serves on the board of Industries, Inc. In his spare time, Chris enjoys gardening, home improvement, and spending time with his wife and two young girls.

Hannah R. Motz

Hannah Motz is an Of Counsel Attorney practicing primarily in business succession and estate planning. Prior to joining Virtus Law Hannah practiced law as Of Counsel at Motz & Motz LLC. She focuses on high-end estate and tax planning, business succession planning, charitable gifting, and planning for incapacity. Hannah always begins by seeking to understand a client’s situation and goals. She loves working with clients to craft a plan that is as simple as possible to meet their goals. She is also happy to work with other professional advisors to ensure the plan will serve cash-flow needs today and build a legacy for tomorrow.

Hannah’s hobbies include running, oil and acrylic painting, refurbishing her old farm house, reading, and visiting with family and friends. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Benedictine College, with majors in Philosophy and French. Hannah is married to Chris and has two daughters, Frances and Magdalene.

Bruce L. Beck

Bruce L. Beck is an Of Counsel attorney practicing in the area of Elder Law, Estate Planning and Administration. He has handled many estates, Elder Law problems and Real Estate cases. Some cases Mr. Beck has handled have been featured in National Publications; He is in Who’s Who in America? and Who’s Who in American Law?. He has also written and lectured on topics relating to Elder Law, Probate and Real Estate.

Bruce is a graduate of Cornell College and the University of Minnesota Law School. Since 1973, he has maintained an office in the North St. Paul, Maplewood, and Oakdale area where he has been a fixture in the legal community.


Daniel R. Spicer

Daniel R. Spicer is an associate attorney at Virtus Law. He focuses his practice on real estate and business transactions as well as litigation including business litigation, landlord/tenant and creditor/debtor litigation.

Daniel received his BS from the University of North Texas and earned his Juris Doctor with honors from Mitchell Hamline School of Law with a focus in Business Law. While in law school, he participated in the Giles Sutherland Rich IP Moot Court Competition, and served as an associate member on Volume 43 of the Mitchell Hamline Law Review. He is credited as a contributing author in the published Law Review Symposium Article: Think Like a Lawyer, Act Like a Mogul: Tackling Practical Business Problems in a Changing Legal Landscape. Daniel also took part in the Business Law Clinic.

Daniel lives in Saint Paul with his wife, beagle, and orange tabby cat. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and traveling.