Steven Meshbesher is an esteemed Minnesota attorney renowned for winning high-profile cases such as his victory against Duluth heiress Elisabeth Congdon.
He represented Byron Smith, who was charged in 2014 with shooting two teenagers, against charges that the judge improperly ordered the courtroom closed, depriving Smith of his right to an open trial.
Early Life and Education
Steven Meshbesher attended Eden Prairie High School where he played both cornerback and linebacker on their football team. Later, he earned his Juris Doctorate at Creighton University while learning all facets of criminal defense from his uncle Ron Meshbesher who was one of Minnesota’s premier attorneys.
Meshbesher was put to the ultimate test during 1977 with Elisabeth Congdon’s murder at Glensheen Mansion on Lake Superior. Her nurse Velma Pietila was also killed with an iron candlestick; suspicion quickly fell on Congdon’s adopted daughter Marjorie Caldwell who was eventually cleared through Meshbesher’s tireless work and was eventually exonerated of charges against her.
Meshbesher filed a motion for a new trial this week, alleging that Judge Stephen J. Hall violated Smith’s right to an open and public trial by closing off his courtroom to observers and journalists during 2014 trial.
Steven Meshbesher holds both a Bachelor’s degree in European Cultural History and Juris Doctorate degree from Creighton University School of Law. After eight years practicing alongside his uncle Ron Meshbesher, Steven established his own firm in 1997 – continuing the family legacy with client-centric service and successful verdicts.
Meshbesher began his legal career prosecuting cases at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, successfully prosecuting 45 felony trials with a 92% conviction rate. Later he switched over to defense work and established his own practice that eventually expanded rapidly over time.
Meshbesher made his mark as a criminal defense attorney with notable cases such as the 1972 Virginia Piper kidnapping and Duluth murder trial of Elisabeth Congdon heiress Elisabeth Congdon. After retiring early 2014 after 57 years of practice, Meshbesher contracted Alzheimer’s disease and passed away at an assisted living facility in Deephaven on Wednesday.
Steven Meshbesher is survived by his wife and three daughters; memorial arrangements are in progress.
Meshbesher earned national renown decades ago for his defense work in highly publicized cases such as the 1972 kidnapping and murder of Virginia Piper in 1972 and Elisabeth Congdon’s murder in 1977 in Duluth. After 57 years as a practicing lawyer he retired in early 2014.
Meshbesher & Associates serves clients throughout Minnesota from their office at Lumber Exchange building. In a case involving Byron Smith, Meshbesher is demanding a new trial, alleging the judge who presided over his 2014 murder trial violated federal constitution by closing courtroom to spectators and press. According to Meshbesher’s arguments, this action denied his client their right to public trial as well as undermined credibility of this criminal proceedings judge. An decision regarding this request for new trial has yet to be determined; Meshbesher & Associates have clients throughout Minnesota offices located across multiple Minnesota communities.
Meshbesher, an esteemed Minnesota attorney with decades of courtroom success. He gained prominence for handling high-profile cases such as the 1972 Virginia Piper kidnapping and 1977 murder of Duluth heiress Elisabeth Congdon. Meshbesher’s dedication and compassionate approach earned him great client testimonials as well as a stellar track record.
He learned how to argue a case from his uncle, Ron Meshbesher – one of the country’s premier criminal defense attorneys with his humorous oratory and ability to persuade jurors in courtroom cases, which contributed to his success and led him to retire early 2014.