Fintan L. Dooley

Bismarck, ND
(701) 212-1000
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Fintan Dooley is an attorney who cares deeply about every case he takes. With offices in both North Dakota and Wisconsin, he serves clients from all walks of life, with all types of serious legal issues. From bankruptcy, to civil rights, to workers’ rights, to criminal defense and family law or parental rights, Fintan Dooley works tirelessly to help you achieve your goals. Attorney Dooley likes to take on the “hard” cases, the ones to which a cookie cutter approach just doesn’t fit. He is not afraid of doing the legwork and the research to find the best possible solution to a problem. He is approachable and keeps his clients informed at every step of the way.

Attorney Dooley is the Coordinator of the Salt Contaminated Land and Water Council Inc 501C3 Educational Entity. He briefly worked for the USDA in Mandan on a Native Grass research study. For more than 30 years he has defended the rights of farmers and ranchers in matters involving water and extractive industries. He has worked on oil well drilling operations in Wyoming and Louisiana. He has seen the effects of good and bad operations on both private lands and public waters.

Fintan Dooley was the lead researcher and author of United Plainsmen v. ND Water Conservation Commission, a 1976 case in which a unanimous North Dakota Supreme Court held that the North Dakota Water Commission is the primary trustee of state waters. The United Plainsmen case has been cited by courts around the world, such as the Supreme Court of India, for the proposition that government is a trustee of the citizens' water and elected leaders may not give it away or parcel it out to political supporters. Through the Salted Land Council, Dooley has advocated for recognition of the public trust roles of North Dakota's elected and appointed officials not only over fresh water, but also over salt water produced by the North Dakota oil boom.

Fintan L. Dooley worked on 4 oil wells. The two in Wyoming were disasters in terms of humans and the environment. The one is in the Mississippi Delta was also a disaster. He also spent time working on a oil well in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an extemporary operation for workers and marine life.

Fintan Dooley's views on bankruptcy: his poem

How I get wisdom
me a bankrupt
A shamed person
Upon my folly
Above my blunders
I go on and up!

Areas of Practice

  • Bankruptcy
  • ABC (Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors)
  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Land Use & Zoning
  • Energy Law
  • Natural Resources
  • Forensic Accounting for Mineral Owners
  • Oil & Gas - Royalties/Accounting
  • Royalty Payment Deficiencies & Fraud
  • Criminal Law/Sexual Offenders 
  • Consitutional Law
  • Condemnation
  • Eminent Domain/Abuse
  • Civil Rights/Police Misconduct
  • Discrimination 

Bar Admissions

  • North Dakota, 1976
  • U.S. District Court District of North Dakota, 1976
  • Wisconsin, 2007


  • University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1975
  • North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota
  • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1968
  • Defense Language Institute West Coast
  • Honors: Arab Club Award for Pronunciation


  • English
  • Arabic
  • German
  • Spanish

Fintan's self Image of the Crusader Fintan in 2000 after his first 25 years of practice - Suspended , Benched , Told to Stand Down