About Us

Heller & Thyen is a law firm focused on helping ordinary people navigate our complex legal system in the areas of bankruptcy and personal injury. As an experienced and reputable law firm, we work hard to make sure our clients get the best possible outcome while keeping them informed every step of the way.


With offices in St. Cloud and Minneapolis, Minnesota, we are able to meet with you with little delay. We have expanded our office hours and under special circumstances, can meet with you in the evenings, weekends or at your home.

Knowledge and Experience

Many large firms send out very young and inexperienced attorneys to meet with clients, and they are unable to answer anything more than the most basic questions. Our attorneys are very experienced and knowledgeable in our areas of the law and can confidently predict how your case will work out. If we see a potential problem with your case, we will tell you upfront so we don’t waste your time and money.


We are often told that we are very friendly and approachable, and that we put our clients at ease. Maybe that’s because we don’t lecture them; we work with them and advocate for them. The best and most common compliment we receive is, “Wow, you don’t seem like a lawyer!”

If the need arises, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our initial consultations are always free.

Our Staff

Stephen L. Heller

Owner & President

Stephen has been practicing law since 1994. For the past 15 years he has practiced in the area of personal injury law, and has also practiced bankruptcy law since 1997. Stephen has a long record of success in helping injured people obtain the recovery they deserve after being injured as a result of the negligence of others. Stephen also gets deep satisfaction in helping people with financial difficulties be able to obtain a fresh start and transform their lives.

B.A. College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota 1990
J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN 1993

Professional Associations
Minnesota Association of Justice
Minnesota State Bar Association
Stearns/Benton Bar Association
American Bankruptcy Institute
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
John E. Simonett Inns of Court -Vice President

Bar Admissions
California 1994
Minnesota 1994
United States District Court – District of Minnesota 1997

Honors and Distinctions
Named a SuperLawyer by Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine

Robert S. Thyen


Robert is currently practicing in the areas of consumer and commercial bankruptcies representing debtors. He has been practicing law in St. Cloud since starting with Heller & Thyen in 2002. His initial practice included handling personal injury cases on behalf of the injured. He successfully litigated cases that the insurance companies were not willing to settle fairly. Presently, Robert’s practice consists of representing debtors in consumer and commercial bankruptcies. He believes in taking the time to get to know his client and their situation. His background in alternative dispute resolution enables him to effectively and efficiently achieve favorable outcomes for his clients.

B.A. Saint Cloud State University, St Cloud, Minnesota, 1999
J.D. Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2002
Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Professional Associations
Minnesota State Bar Association
Stearns/Benton Bar Association
Inns of Court

Bar Admissions
Minnesota 2002
United States District Court 2004

Justin Braulick


Justin Braulick is an experienced personal injury lawyer and criminal defense attorney. Mr. Braulick represents clients in the areas of criminal defense, family law and personal injury. Mr. Braulick fights for the best outcome by providing assertive, diligent and aggressive representation. You will receive the attention, respect, and compassion you deserve.

Justin is admitted to practice in Minnesota State Court as well as Federal United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Previously, Justin worked as a therapist with clients who struggled with sexual issues along with mental disorders.

The University of St. Thomas School of Law, J.D.
St. Cloud State University, M.S., B.S.

Professional Associations and Memberships
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Minnesota Association for Justice
Minnesota State Bar Association
Stearns/Benton Bar Association
President of the John E. Simonett American Inn of Court

Areas of Expertise
Personal Injury
Criminal Defense
Family Law

Justin Michael BraulickReviewsout of 13 reviews
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The National Trial Lawyers
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James (JR) Spangler


JR is an experienced family law & criminal defense attorney.

JR began practicing law in 1991 in California where he primarily handled
personal injury and civil dispute matters. He moved to Minnesota in 2002 with
his wife who is from St. Cloud. His practice expanded to include, and now
emphasizes, Family Law and Criminal Defense.

JR believes it is important that different angles and viewpoints are considered when working to get quality results for the clients. He prides himself on working closely with clients to understand what is important for them and know that they would not be seeking help if they did not have an important problem to solve.

University of Colorado – Boulder (B.A. 1981).
University of San Diego School of Law (J.D. 1991)

Professional Associations and Memberships
Minnesota State Bar Association
Stearns-Benton County Bar Association
Past Participant of John E. Simonett Chapter of American Inns of Court
Also licensed to practice in California.

Areas of Expertise
Family Law
Criminal Defense
Personal Injury
Contractual Disputes

Erin L. Kipka

Bankruptcy Paralegal

Erin has been in the legal field for over 10 years. Prior to working at Heller & Thyen, Erin worked at Stearns County Courthouse for 1 year. She joined Heller Law Firm June 1, 2006.

Graduated with a Business Management AAS Degree (emphasis in Office & Legal Administration) from Rasmussen College in June 2006.


Jessica Tran


Jessica Tran has 3 years of experience working in the legal field. Prior to working at Heller & Thyen, Jessica worked at Braulick Law Firm, LLC. She joined Heller & Thyen in May of 2017.

Graduated with a Paralegal AAS Degree from St. Cloud Technical and Community College in 2013.

Jennifer K. Engelhart


Jen joined Heller & Thyen on June 11, 2018.  She has an extensive background working in a professional office setting.  She joins us with experience working in the areas of Family Law and Criminal Law.

Family Law and Criminal Law

Community Involvement

Jen co-facilitates one of the local area divorce care groups.

Kelsi L. Weaver

Legal Secretary

Kelsi joined our team in August 2014 as a legal secretary. If you visit our St. Cloud office, you will most likely be greeted by Kelsi. She is also the pleasant voice on the other end of the phone, and performs transcription, filing and data entry.

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