Honkanen Law Firm



Erik Honkanen

Erik formed the Law Office of Erik Honkanen, S.C. in 2008.  In 2013, he joined with Carver Richards to form Honkanen Richards, S.C.  In late 2013, the firm acquired another law firm in Hibbing.  In 2016, the firm expanded once again by adding long-time employee Niecie Strand as a partner to become Honkanen Richards Strand, S.C.  Erik earned his Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and Music from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2003.  He earned his Juris Doctor and his Master in Business Administration, concentrating in finance and strategy, from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

In 2002, Erik worked on the Campaign for Governor as the Seventh Congressional District Manager.  In 2004, he worked as a business consultant/contracted brief writer for the Law Office of Stephen D. Willett.  In 2007, Erik worked at Voyageur Asset Management as a Portfolio Administration Team Lead.

Erik is a member of the Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout), Brotherhood of Freemasons, and Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Virginia, MN.  He is also a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association (2007), Range Bar Association (2008), American Bar Association (2007), Mesabi Symphony Orchestra Musician and Board Member (2008).  He has served on various boards including the Marquette Catholic School advisory board, Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, and Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks.  

Erik enjoys working out, trapping beaver, eating at world-renowned restaurants, listening to classical music, playing gigs with his string quartet Heartstrings, and spending time with his close friends and his godchildren ‘Eva and Phiya.  


Carver Richards

Carver Richards joined Erik Honkanen in 2013 to form Honkanen Richards, S.C.  Prior to Honkanen Richards, Carver practiced law at the Trenti Law Firm from 1973 to 2013.  In 1971, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Minnesota.  In 1973, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the William Mitchell College of Law.

Carver is a United States Marine Corps veteran, having served from 1962 to his honorable discharge in 1965.  He has served on the Board of Delegates of the Minnesota State Bar Association and President of the Range Bar Association.  He has been certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the American Board of Trial Advocates with the designation of Diplomat.  Mr. Richards is continually recognized as a Minnesota Leading Lawyer in civil litigation since the program began.

In the community, Carver has been a member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Range Mental Health Center Board of Directors; Chairman of the Eveleth-Gilbert School Board; President of the Northern Lights Music Festival; Officer of the Eveleth Elks Club; Eshquaguma Country Club Board of Directors, where he is a two time Club Champion; and most recently appointed to the Board of Governors of the Minnesota Golf Association.  In the past, he has served as a counselor to Jeno Paulucci , consultant to Governor Rudy Perpich, and presently serves as an adviser to Representative Jason Metsa.

Carver is married to Barbara Forti of Hibbing, MN, has four daughters, four sons in law, and thirteen grandchildren.  Carver enjoys practicing law, reading mostly fiction, golfing, downhill skiing, and hanging out with his kids and grandkids.


Niecie Strand

Niecie is the newest partner at Honkanen Richards Strand, S.C., but is not new to our firm.  Niecie began her time at the firm in 2009 as a paralegal. In 2012, she began the weekend law program at Hamline University School of Law.  While in school, Niecie continued to work one on one with both our attorneys and our clients.  She also earned numerous accolades for her academic achievements including CALI’s in Civil Procedure, Torts, Property, Legal Research and Writing, and Comparative Constitutional Law.  In 2015 Niecie graduated summa cum laude with her juris doctorate degree.  

Niecie’s greatest passion is working with clients.  She strives to provide exceptional legal service while also making sure clients’ related needs are met.  Niecie understands that legal problems are not just about the “law,” rather, clients facing legal questions often need supports beyond this.  Further, Niecie works to ensure her clients have a good grasp of the issues at hand and what steps are being taken to resolve those issues.  She knows that it is her job to ensure every client understands and feels a part of the process.

Niecie was born and raised in Virginia, MN.  She left the area to complete her undergraduate degree at Hamline University, but returned in 2003 to raise her family.  Niecie stays busy raising her children, Eva and Phiya.  Niecie is also active in our community.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Virginia Rotary Club and is the Treasurer for the Tennis for All Commission.  Niecie also is employed by UMD as an Associate Professor and coach for UMD’s mock trial team.  


Heather Giersdorf

Heather was born and raised in Virginia and left the area in 1998 to study at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.  She moved to the East Coast in 2000 where she worked as an administrative assistant at L’Oreal Paris supporting the Marketing and Finance teams, while simultaneously completing her degree in Business Administration. She then went on to work for Société Générale as an Executive Assistant to the head of Corporate Mortgage Backed Securities. Heather returned to the Iron Range in 2012 to raise her two children.  

At the office, Heather supports all three attorneys and generally manages the mayhem.  She is cool under pressure, exercises extraordinary discretion, and can work through just about any problem.  


Meaghan Ortler

Meaghan was born and raised in Bow, New Hampshire.  Meaghan comes from a background of leisure, travel, and appropriate accommodations.  After attending college in Wisconsin, she found the love of her life.  Meaghan has previously worked in financial institutions including Wells Fargo and Frandsen Bank and Trust.  She is a great, proud mom and devoted wife.  Meaghan assists all three attorneys at Honkanen Richards Strand, S.C.  She is a very disciplined and hard-working employee.  She has a good attitude and works to ensure that clients are satisfied in their experience at the firm.  Meaghan enjoys traveling, reading classic novels, interior design, competing in fitness competitions, and chasing her daughter around the house.