Elizabeth H. Kiernat, Attorney


In her real estate law practice, Elizabeth H. Kiernat ("Besty") guides clients in deal negotiations with an efficient, direct, and collaborative approach that leads to timely and smooth transactional closings. 

Her experience includes representation of:

  • Real estate investors, real estate investment trusts, businesses, and individuals in a wide variety of real estate transactions, including acquisition, sales, development, contract negotiations, title review, site due diligence, and financing transactions
  • Landlords and tenants in retail, restaurant, office, commercial, and industrial leasing transactions
  • Lenders and borrowers in real estate financing lending matters
  • Property owners in drafting and negotiating shared facilities and use agreements

One area of practice strength is closing multiple and complex transactions, where speed, attention to detail, and flexibility are critical to the success of the transaction. Betsy steers clients and helps them manage risks through all the stages and requirements of owning, leasing, developing, and financing real estate in a complex, competitive, and volatile market.  

In addition, Betsy assists clients in achieving their estate planning goals. She seeks to achieve a custom plan using strategic planning techniques and tools, and her clients’ wealth transfer wishes.  

Commercial Real Estate Development, Sales, Acquisitions, Leases, and Finance  

Betsy’s experience representing clients in transactions includes office, retail, industrial/warehouse, multifamily, and seniors housing projects. She assists clients in identifying and resolving title and survey issues, and in negotiating title insurance coverage. More >

In her representation of clients in sales, acquisition, and finance transactions, Betsy helps remove obstacles to closing and structures deals toward a “no surprises” closing. She serves the business interests of the clients by freeing their staff to handle new business, and by leaving the client with a positive impression of the transaction. 

Multifamily Agency Lending – Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

As a lead attorney in Moss & Barnett’s multifamily and commercial real estate finance team, Betsy is part of a professional cadre focused on representing lenders nationwide who originate and then sell mortgage loans to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

She also represents clients in both acquisition financing and loan refinancing transactions. She routinely works on portfolio transactions, where the collateral consists of many properties located in multiple jurisdictions.

Betsy represents Freddie Mac Program Plus® lenders and has helped to close hundreds of Freddie Mac transactions in every product line. She also serves as counsel on loans originated under Fannie Mae’s Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (DUS)® loan product. More >

Estate Planning 

In her estate planning counsel, Betsy assists clients in planning for and implementing the transfer of assets during life and at death. She provides sophisticated, confidential, and practical advice on: 

  • Succession planning for family businesses
  • Formation of tax-exempt organizations
  • Estate planning and administration
  • Wills and trusts
  • Powers of attorney
  • Health care directives 

Betsy collaborates with clients to achieve their personal, family, business, and charitable objectives. She assists with the complex and technical nature of the transfer of assets, and helps those individuals charged with the responsibilities of administering estates and trusts.

Practice Areas

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers

Honors & Recognition

  • Minnesota Super Lawyers – "Rising Stars," 2008
  • Moss & Barnett – Adjunct Board of Directors, 2008

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota


  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN, J.D.
  • St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, B.A., cum laude

Community Involvement

  • MS Society – Magic Pennies Team Fundraiser
  • Struthers Parkinson’s Center – Donor Committee and Development Committee
  • Como Zoo – Polar Bear Campaign Committee
  • Wilder Foundation – Table host and annual fundraiser
  • St. Olaf College – Reunion Committee
  • St. Paul Academy & Summit School – Former class agent