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Law firm gets new home

Stacy K. Morgan, a 1994 graduate of Hastings High School, is the new owner of the historic home and historic law office building at 906 Vermillion St. in Hastings. Her firm specializes in family law, and she has a criminal defense attorney on staff as well.

When she was 8 years old, Stacy Morgan was riding her bicycle to a neighborhood store in Hastings. She was on her way to buy some candy.

She ended up getting a ticket.

A Hastings patrol officer said he saw Morgan ignore a stop sign.

He gave her a citation and sent her on her way.

Morgan was devastated. She spent the rest of her day on her bike, convinced that once she told her parents about the ticket, she wouldn't see the light of day again.

To her surprise, her parents (Darlene and the late Ron Shearer) were not upset. They talked with their daughter about the ticket, and were convinced by her side of the story.

Morgan was convinced she had not, in fact, ignored the stop sign.

That's when her parents talked to her, at least a little bit, about people named lawyers, and what they do for a living. They defend those who are wrongly accused, her parents told her.

And from that point on, Morgan knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. She graduated from Hastings High School in 1994, graduated from Hamline University, and then graduated from the Hamline School of Law. By 2000, she was a lawyer.

Later that year, she opened a practice in Hastings. Soon she had her main office in Oakdale and a satellite office in Hastings.

Now, Morgan's one-and-only office is here in Hastings. And it's a space you'll probably recognize.

In April, Morgan purchased and moved into the building at 906 Vermillion St., the wonderful historic home that dates back to the 1800s. And while the home's history is certainly important, the legal history surrounding the house is just as important.

At least five district court judges have had offices in the building. Three of them are judges in Dakota County, including William Thuet, Tim Wermager and Rex Stacy.

"We feel very comfortable here, and very fortunate that we get to practice law in this space and in my hometown," she said.

Morgan practices family law out of the space. Kelli Gaborsky, a criminal defense attorney, is on staff at the firm. The office paralegal is Mary Condon.

Jim O'Connell has his own practice upstairs at 906 Vermillion St.

Morgan has found being an attorney is exactly what she had hoped for.

"I thought it was going to be a good way to help people and be involved in the community," Morgan said.

"I think that we work hard to help people during what is a very difficult period of time in their lives," Morgan said. She said she thinks it is important for the firm to be able to guide clients through the legal process, and it is also important to be compassionate toward the client's situation.

Many times, Morgan sees clients endure a major transition in their lives. She helps them as best she can and finds that rewarding.

Morgan and her husband, Tom, live in Hastings.