[email protected]
212 Third Avenue North, Suite 140
Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA

Nikki Carlson

[email protected]
+1 612.203.1205

Nikki Carlson is resourceful, connected and has boundless creativity.

She brings 25 years of experience in professional communications. She works with attorneys to create persuasive opening statements, demonstrative aids and closing arguments. She has helped to pick dozens of juries, and has a perfect track record in predicting jury forepersons.

She has developed complete marketing plans and earned positive media coverage for many clients, developed successful strategies for complex legislative and land-use decisions, and led many winning political campaigns. She is one of the most in-demand fundraisers for political campaigns, capital campaigns and non-profits.

She has served on many non-profit boards and is the youngest Woman of Distinction in the Minnesota Democratic Party Hall of Fame. She serves on the board of Axis Medical, the state’s largest community clinic. She majored in Anthropology at Grinnell College and pioneered studies in race and ethnicity.

Lisa Miller
[email protected]
+1 952.221.6316

Lisa is an attorney licensed in Minnesota and Florida, rounding the team at Carlson Turner Miller.  She is strategic, no-nonsense and never loses sight of the forest for the trees.

Lisa has practiced law since 1981.  For fifteen years in Florida, she specialized in commercial litigation, representing clients like Bank of America, Palm Beach County and numerous large real estate developers. Since coming to Minnesota she has worked in corporate trust, software licensing, healthcare and real estate. She has also managed finance and compliance for federal elections.

Lisa supports our clients in a variety of ways from providing legal strategy, assisting with discovery and research to persuasive writing, exhibit management and demonstrative aids preparation for use in trial and alternative dispute resolution.

Lisa graduated number one in her class from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Political Science and summa cum laude from the UF law school. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.

She has served on several boards including Episcopal Community Services and Centro Legal.

Adriana Surmak 
Manager of Operations
[email protected]
Adriana manages all the critical operations functions for CTM, and is the go-to problem solver in the organization. Never shying from a challenge, she’ll handle it, in three languages, and any world currency.


Adriana graduated from Knox College with advanced studies at Centre de linguistique appliquée de Besançon and has three years experience in operations and quality improvement.

Aaron Parness
[email protected]
+1 202.465.2667

Aaron Parness is attorney specializing in legal research and trial support services. Aaron is thorough and organized. Prior to joining Carlson|Turner|Miller, Aaron was an Associate Attorney at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, and served as a Public Interest Fellow for the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund. He served as co-counsel in the case of Turner v. FBI, which resulted in a favorable jury verdict on behalf of FBI whistleblower Jane Turner. During his work at the Defense Fund he served as Media Affairs Coordinator where he worked with high profile clients whose stories were featured of shows such as “60 Minutes.”

Prior to working for the Defense Fund, he worked with the Northeastern Poverty Law Clinic, served as an intern for the United State District Court of Massachusetts, Judge Nancy Gertner, worked under Delegate Joan Pitkin in the Maryland State House of Delegates for the Appropriations Committee, and served as a law clerk for Hrones, Garrity & Hedges in Boston.

Mr. Parness earned a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and a B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

Lou Demars
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Lou DeMars represents clients before municipal governments in Minneapolis and cities and townships throughout Hennepin, Anoka and Ramsey counties. Lou is highly experienced and will leave no stone unturned to reach a solution.

Lou was elected to four terms in the Minneapolis City Council, and selected as President by his peers. He also has twenty-five years of experience in banking and real estate project financing, specializing in structured project financing of municipal and private conventional bonds.

Lou served as president of the Minnesota Institute of Public Finance, was a Minneapolis Park Commissioner and a Commodore in the Minneapolis Aquatennial. He serves on the board of Artspace Projects, Inc., Minnesota Minority Junior Golf Association, the Minnesota 100, the Metropolitan Lifelong Learning Center and is active in the Metro Mayors Association.

Nick Frandsen
[email protected]
+1 952.856.0114

Nick is a professional web designer, and technology and social media consultant. He is creative, flexible, and fast. He has developed comprehensive web, digital and social media programs for numerous federal and state political campaigns, political action committees, law firms and businesses. He is focused on leveraging digital tools to meet client needs, and is voracious about cutting edge knowledge and practices in technology.

He serves on the board of the Shreya Dixit Memorial Foundation, a non-profit committed to raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.