'That's not me,' divorce lawyer with same name as Chauvin attorney clarifies

Nelson is a pretty dang common name in Minnesota, dontcha know.
Publish date:

With the Derek Chauvin trial coming to an end on Tuesday, attorney Eric Nelson can look forward to a break.

Oh, no, not that one, the other one.

That would be Eric C. Nelson, a family law attorney who has been practicing in Minneapolis since 1996.

Due to his choice of profession, more than a few people appear to have been mistaking the divorce attorney for the namesake representing Chauvin, prompting this message on Nelson's website.

"[NOTE: IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE ERIC NELSON WHO IS REPRESENTING DEREK CHAUVIN, THAT'S NOT ME. YOU WANT THIS GUY. (Welcome to Minnesota, where the name Eric Nelson is as common as walleye sandwiches. I wish my parents had named me Thor instead. Then I wouldn't have this problem)].

Unfortunately, this case of mistaken identity has resulted in Nelson being on the receiving end of a deluge of calls and emails, a not insignificant number of which are hateful.

He told TMZ this past week he's received abusive voicemails – some of which he shared with TMZ – and even a veiled threat about his practice that he reported to the police. 

He's not wrong about Nelson being "as common as walleye sandwiches," given it's a derivation of Scandinavian names such as Nilsen, Nielsen, and Nilsson that were brought to Minnesota during the great migration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Combine that with the popularity of "Eric" as a first name in Minnesota – this nifty name tool from the Star Tribune shows it was pretty darn popular between 1970 and 1990 – then you end up with a fair number of middle-aged "Eric Nelsons" in the state.

For Eric Nelson, attorney for Derek Chauvin, his work isn't yet done as his client prepares a likely appeal against his conviction. There's also the matter of sentencing for the murder of Floyd in eight weeks' time.

Eric Nelson

Next Up

Kevin Fiala, Jordan Greenway

Wild blanked by Blues; playoff fate is in Colorado's hands

It comes down to the final day of the regular season.

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 10.04.32 PM

Number of suicides in Minnesota decreased in 2020

While the number dropped, 723 people still died by suicide last year.

Vikings fans, U.S. Bank Stadium

Ranking the most difficult games in the Vikings' 2021 schedule

The Vikings have some interesting matchups on their 17-game slate.

Spencer Silver

Chemist who co-invented Post-it Notes dies at home in St. Paul

He developed an adhesive that could stick to paper – repeatedly – without damaging the paper.

Danielle Hunter

Here is the official 2021 Minnesota Vikings schedule

How does an early January game at Lambeau Field sound?

Blake Bortles

Amid Aaron Rodgers drama, Packers reportedly sign Blake Bortles

The former No. 3 overall pick is headed to Green Bay.

You Houa Thao

Missing St. Paul man found dead in wooded area

The 73-year-old was reported missing May 8.

YouTube - Jim Klobuchar

Jim Klobuchar, celebrated Minnesota columnist, dies at 93

He died Wednesday after a battle with Alzheimer's.

Jerry Burns

Former Vikings head coach Jerry Burns dies at 94

Burns spent a total of 24 seasons with the Vikings as an offensive coordinator and head coach.


Derek Chauvin

Derek Chauvin's attorney objects to gag order in George Floyd case

The attorney argues that it's unfair for Chauvin to be gagged even though he has not commented publicly on the case.

Screen Shot 2020-06-06 at 7.52.35 AM

Attorney alleges Derek Chauvin committed voter fraud in Florida

The former officer had a home in Florida as well as in Minnesota.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Derek Chauvin's attorney files motion for a new trial

Chauvin was convicted of the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd last month.

Derek Chauvin

Derek Chauvin's wife 'devastated' by George Floyd death, will divorce husband

Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 7.44.24 AM

Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' cold open was about Derek Chauvin trial

It featured four cast members playing anchors of a fictional Minnesota TV news channel.

Derek Chauvin

Smaller protests outside homes of Derek Chauvin, Hennepin Co. Attorney

There was some property damage at Chauvin's house, but demonstrations were otherwise peaceful.