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Attorney looks back on his satisfying career

Stuart “Stu” Krueger, longtime lawyer in River Falls, is getting set to retire.

Stu Krueger predicted his career in his River Falls High School yearbook, but he didn’t remember it until years later.

He found his old yearbook when he was in law school.

“I was surprised to see in the little blurb... I had said that I wanted to be a lawyer,” Krueger said.

Now, 37 years after finishing law school and starting to work as a lawyer, Krueger said “it’s time” to retire.

“I’m running out of time,” Krueger said. “Not that there’s anything bad going to happen, but there’s lot of other things that anybody who is thinking about retiring want to do, and it takes more time to do them than your spare time allows.”

One thing Krueger plans to spend that extra time doing is building things. He’ll be working on an addition to the Stockholm home he shares with his wife Jane, as well as a cabin he’s remodeling.

He also plans to have more time to hunt, fish, and spend time with his wife -- though she hasn’t retired yet. He said he already spends a great deal of time with his family -- including his two sons: Wiatt, who lives in Spring Brook, and Louis, who lives in St. Paul.

Krueger, a River Falls native, and a 1968 River Falls High School graduate, studied chemistry at what is now UW-River Falls. After college he taught high school chemistry and physical science and later taught at a middle school.

“I spent a year as a middle school teacher, and that convinced me that I wasn’t -- long-term -- going to be a teacher,” Krueger said.

That was when he decided to go to law school.

Thinking back, it must’ve been stuck in the back of my head that I’d like to be a lawyer,” Krueger said.

He earned his law degree from UW-Madison in 1977 and started practicing. He joined the firm that is now Rodli, Beskar, Krueger and Pletcher in 1995 as an owner. He said moving back to his hometown was pure coincidence.

“It was just the kind of job that I was looking for and it happened to be in my hometown,” Krueger said.

He said working in the same place he grew up has gone very well.

“I have not seen any downside to coming back to my hometown, and it keeps me close to family and still doing the kind of work that I wanted to do, so yeah, I thought it was great.”

Over the course of his 37-year career, Krueger has handled many cases and made many memories. He said trials that went well are some of his favorite memories.

“One real favorite is a lawsuit against Sears on a nightgown that a little girl was wearing and it caught fire and it burned her terribly,” Krueger said. “That was an interesting case.”

He used his background in chemistry and travelled to England to do a deposition with one of the very first people to work on treating fabric to make it flame-resistant.

This case was before a law passed requiring all children’s’ pajamas to be flame-resistant.

The case is also an example of one of the things Krueger said he enjoys about law -- getting to learn new things for his cases -- in this case when dealing with a product such as the nightgown.

“What I would say makes that interesting is that you’re dealing not just with the legal process but you have to understand that product well enough to be able to cross examine somebody who’s an expert,” Krueger said, “And hopefully make some points that make their position not as reasonable as they’d like it to be.”

For the complete story, please see the June 26 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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