Paul Forster’s practice focuses on energy law, with an emphasis on natural resources litigation and commercial litigation. He regularly advocates for the firm’s energy clients before federal, state, and tribal courts, and also advises clients regarding their business practices and risk mitigation strategies. Paul has handled numerous civil jury trials and bench trials in federal, state, and tribal court, as well as numerous appeals before the North Dakota Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Areas of significant experience include royalty litigation and defense of class actions; mineral and leasehold title disputes; issues arising under operating agreements, development agreements, and purchase and sale agreements; condemnations and surface damage disputes; energy facility construction disputes; and other complex civil litigation involving the energy industry. Paul also serves as the chair of North Dakota’s Judicial Nominating Committee and represents the state bar association on the Trustees Council of the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law (formerly the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation).

A native of Bismarck, North Dakota, Paul is a Partner in Crowley Fleck’s Bismarck office. Before joining the firm, Paul completed a clerkship for the Honorable Morton Denlow, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and also worked in the litigation department of a leading corporate law firm. Paul graduated top in his class from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2010. He attended college at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he earned degrees in mathematics and history.

Practice Areas

Bar Admission

North Dakota
U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
Fort Berthold Indian Reservation


2010 – J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law
2006 – B.A. in Math & History, Gonzaga University

Prior Experience (Employment)

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (2011-2013)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Morton Denlow, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (2010-2011)

Honors & Awards

Chambers USA North Dakota – Litigation: Energy & Natural Resources: Band 1- 2023
Great Plains Super Lawyers – 2021-2023
Great Plains Super Lawyers – Rising Star (2017-2020)
Valedictorian, Chicago-Kent College of Law Class of 2010
Order of the Coif
Executive Editor, Seventh Circuit Review (2009-2010)
Notes and Comments Editor, Chicago-Kent Law Review (2009-2010)

Community Involvement

Chair, North Dakota Judicial Nominating Committee
Trustee, Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law (f/k/a Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation)
Secretary, Catholic Bar Association (Bismarck Chapter)
Officer, BisMan Troops of St. George
Parish Council, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

Professional Affiliations

State Bar Association of North Dakota
Big Muddy Bar Association
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
North Dakota Defense Lawyers Association
Defense Research Institute
Inns of Court
Federalist Society
Catholic Bar Association