Timothy Purdon

Robins Kaplan LLP

Former United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota, Tim Purdon has made his career leading complex criminal investigations and high stakes civil litigation from both the plaintiff and defense counsel’s table.

His path has uniquely positioned him to rewrite the odds for businesses facing government investigations, for real people caught up in “once-in-a-lifetime” lawsuits with powerful interests, and for American Indian Tribes embroiled in complex historic disputes.  Tim has a twenty-year track record in private practice and in public service as a passionate champion for his clients and as an incisive strategic thinker.

The essence of who Tim is as a lawyer was captured in 2011 by the editorial page of his hometown newspaper. Reflecting on Tim’s relentless fight as U.S. Attorney for increased public safety in Indian Country, they wrote that Tim’s efforts “confirmed Purdon’s passion and seriousness about trying to make a difference for those less fortunate, for the voices of so many that have been muted for years….” “State’s Largest Minority has Huge Impact,” Bismarck Tribune (March 20, 2011).

Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP, Tim served as North Dakota’s U.S. Attorney from 2010-2015.  In that role, he was the chief federal law enforcement official in North Dakota with responsibility for prosecuting all federal crimes in North Dakota and defending the United States in civil litigation.

As U.S. Attorney, Tim placed special emphasis on the issues of increasing public safety on the American Indian reservations in North Dakota and on working with law enforcement partners to counter the new threat from organized crime that emerged as a result of the oil boom in western North Dakota’s Bakken region.

Prior to becoming U.S. Attorney, Tim spent 15 years representing North Dakotans — trying cases across the state, leading class actions lawsuits, and arguing complex appeals.

Tim was called on to assume leadership roles at the Department of Justice while he was U.S. Attorney. In 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder tapped Tim to be a member of the select Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (“AGAC”).

The AGAC advises the Attorney General on criminal justice matters and serves as the voice of the United States Attorney community in setting Department of Justice policies. In 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Tim the Chair of the Attorney General’s Native American Issues subcommittee (“NAIS”).

The NAIS is responsible for making policy recommendations to the Attorney General regarding public safety and legal issues that impact tribal communities. While Chair of NAIS, Tim represented the Department of Justice in testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

When Tim left the Justice Department, Attorney General Holder praised his tenure as U.S. Attorney for North Dakota stating that, “Tim Purdon has been an outstanding United States Attorney, a fierce advocate for the people of North Dakota and a strong national leader whose efforts to improve public safety in Indian Country have made a profound difference – and touched countless lives.”


  • Hamline University School of Law, J.D. (1994)
  • Minnesota State University – Moorhead, B.A., English (1991)
  • North Dakota State College of Science, A.A. (1989)

Bar Admissions:

  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Dakota


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