J. Michael Dady

Michael Dady '71

Michael was born and raised on an Indian Reservation in Northeast South Dakota, as part of the fourth generation of his family in the beer business. Michael entered St. John's University in 1967, planning to become a priest, as was his classmate, now Abbot, John Klassen. His vocational plans changed while at St. John's, and Michael graduated magna cum laude from St. John's in 1971, and from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1975.

Michael's interest in founding, building and leading an entrepreneurial law firm was initially nurtured back in 1975, as Michael was about to graduate from law school, when his Father cried: "Help!"  He had just received a notice from his brewer that the family beer distribution business would be terminated in 30 days. In

1983, after eight years of doing what every law student is encouraged to do after law school - help every person who asks for help, on any side of any dispute - the light bulb came on for Michael, and he decided to build a national law practice with a single focus - helping people like his father resolve their business-threatening disputes. In 1994, Michael founded Dady & Gardner, P.A. to do just that, and only that.

Since then, Michael and his colleagues have successfully resolved business-threatening disputes for franchisees, dealers and distributors in over 350 different systems.  According to Chambers USA, which annually surveys lawyers nationally, by specialty, Michael and his ten lawyer Dady & Gardner, P.A. firm are recognized by their adversaries as the best in America at what they do. Michael credits his family and the Benedictine influence of his continuing experience with the St. John's community, for his drive to nurture and use the gifts he has been given, to be of service to others.

In addition to Michael's entrepreneurial efforts to build and lead a successful boutique law firm, Michael has been active in participating, and in leading, causes he believes in, as evidenced by his service as President of the St. John's Alumni Association, Chair of the St. John's Board of Regents, Chair of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and, most enjoyably, as the "head cowboy" on his working cattle ranch in Northeast South Dakota - much to the delight of his four grandchildren, and his family and friends.