R.J. represents companies and individuals in all aspects of business disputes. He represents plaintiffs in some cases and defendants in others. His clients come from a variety of industries, including construction, oil and gas, real estate, transportation, manufacturing, environmental, and insurance. R.J. has developed a particular emphasis in problems dealing with construction and real estate. He represents contractors, property owners, subcontractors, developers, and tenants during projects and in court and arbitration proceedings.

It is important to R.J. that his clients understand the litigation process and are involved in the strategy and decision-making process each step of the way. R.J. is heavily involved in and responsible for all aspects of his cases, from initial client contact through the discovery process, motion practice, oral argument, mediation, trial or arbitration, and appeal. R.J. regularly appears on behalf of his clients in state and federal courts in North Dakota.

R.J. graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Public Policy and earned his J.D., with honors, at Southern Methodist University School of Law. During law school, he was Lead Articles Editor on the SMU Law Review, a national moot court team member, and a James Cleo Thompson Scholarship recipient. R.J. also completed externships with the Honorable Daniel L. Hovland of the U.S. District Court for North Dakota and with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. R.J. and his wife Kellen, an optometrist, both grew up in Bismarck.

Practice Areas

Environmental Law

Oil & Gas

General Litigation

Commercial Litigation


Real Estate

Insurance Law & Litigation

Honors and Distinctions

Great Plains Rising Stars®, Thomson/Reuters (2015-2016)

Admitted To Practice

North Dakota



State Bar Association of North Dakota

State Bar of Texas

The Big Muddy Bar Association

American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law

Judge Bruce M. Van Sickle American Inn of Court

Associated Builders and Contractors


R.J. Pathroff, Ripe, Riper, Ripest? The Ninth Circuit’s Decision in Addington v. U.S. Airline Pilots Association Sets a Misguided Ripeness Standard in Duty of Fair Representation Claims, 76 J. Air L. & Com. 127 (2011).

Community Involvement

Young Professionals in Energy

Rebuilding Together Board