Meet Our Staff

Betsy Elsberry, Partner

Betsy Elsberry is a partner with Elsberry & Shively. Her practice areas focus on oil and gas, family law, and mediation. She has extensive experience in title examination, she handles oil and gas, real estate ligation, transactional, and curative matters for clients. As for family law, Betsy’s attention to detail and understanding of her clients’ needs allow her to help her clients make important decisions during difficult and emotional times in a timely and effective manner.

Betsy earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the University of North Dakota, and she was a Summa Cum Laude Graduate. Betsy then attended the University of North Dakota School of Law, and she graduated with distinction. After law school, Betsy clerked for the Honorable Justice Carol Ronning Kapsner of the North Dakota Supreme Court.

Betsy and her husband Joe are both from Minot, North Dakota, and they have resided in Bismarck for over ten years. In their free time, they enjoy all that the Bismarck community and North Dakota have to offer.

Erica Shively, Partner

Erica Shively is a partner with Elsberry & Shively whose primary practice areas are criminal defense, adoption, and family law. Erica has represented hundreds of clients and has extensive experience in the courtroom. Erica’s portfolio of criminal work includes representation for charges from misdemeanor to felony level. Erica has a winning record on jury trials. In family work, Erica prides herself on attentiveness to her clients’ needs, knowledge of North Dakota law, and experience with judges in North Dakota.

Erica is a native of Pleasant Lake, North Dakota. She graduated from the University of North Dakota, cum laude with a B.A. in Communication in 2003. Erica graduated with distinction from the University of North Dakota Law School in 2008. Erica is the proud mother of a daughter. In her free time, Erica enjoys reading, gardening, knitting, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Chris Rausch, Attorney

Chris Rausch is an attorney with Elsberry & Shively whose primary practice areas are tribal, business, criminal, and family law. Chris graduated with distinction from the University of North Dakota – School of Law in 2008 as a member of the Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers. Chris served as the law clerk for North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle from 2008-2009. He worked at the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, ND from 2009-2011, practicing in criminal law and family law. From 2011-2013, Chris served as Assistant In-House Attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, where he specialized in code and statute development/drafting and gaming law, and handled matters regarding employment, tax, education, government relations, historic preservation, criminal justice and lobbying.

Chris is a native of Bismarck. He is an avid writer and reader and enjoys bicycling, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and music.

Stephanie Pretzer, Attorney

Stephanie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Mary with degrees in social work and social & behavioral science. She then attended Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota where she graduated with specializations in health law policy and litigation. In 2014, Stephanie was elected as Bowman County State’s Attorney. As state’s attorney, she prosecuted a wide array of cases ranging from domestic violence to homicide as well as advised the county on civil matters. Stephanie’s primary practice area is now family law, where she uses her courtroom experience from her prior criminal work to strongly advocate for her clients.

Stephanie is from Scranton, North Dakota and is excited to become an active part of the Bismarck community. In her free time, Steph loves spending time with her friends and family, traveling, taking in live music, and cheering on her Pittsburgh Steelers.

Serena McCabe, Paralegal

Serena received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies and Bachelor of Art in Sociology from the University of North Dakota in 2010. She received her Paralegal Certificate from St. Cloud State University in 2013. Since 2011 she has been working in a law office setting as an administrative assistant, legal secretary, and paralegal. She has a diverse knowledge of both the criminal and civil processes. Serena also manages the day to day functions of Elsberry & Shively and serves as a great resource to our clients.

Dina Baird, Paralegal

Ondine “Dina” Baird received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota and worked as a food scientist for General Mills after college. She moved home to North Dakota in 2004 to run her own business and later began working in the legal field. Dina joined Elsberry & Shively in 2018 as an experienced paralegal and trained family law mediator. Her vast experience in oil and gas, real estate and probate work serves as an added benefit to our clients.

In her free time, she is a community activist, is a current and former board member of many local businesses. She is an appointed member of the municipal Parking Authority. Dina and her husband enjoy sour dough bread baking, gardening and visiting their daughter who is in college in Minnesota.

Tara Schwan, Paralegal + Legal Assistant

Tara prides herself on the administrative and paralegal services she provides to the clients of Elsberry & Shively. She is a master of all things and frequently orders in lunch, Amazon products, Target merchandise, and consistently provides technical support to the office.

Tara grew up in Bismarck and has a daughter. She served in the army for eight years and completed one tour in Afghanistan. Tara earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice Studies from Bismarck State College and will complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in liberal arts from Minot State University in 2019. She is also funny.