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Biographies of the Justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court


AMDAHL, DOUGLAS K.        (Justice, 1980-1981; Chief Justice, 1981-1989)

Born January 23, 1919, Mabel, Minnesota. University of Minnesota, B.B A. 1946, William Mitchell College of Law J.D. (summa cum laude) 1951. Graduate, faculty member, and faculty advisor, National Judicial College (Reno). Military Service: U.S. Air Force, European Theater, 1943-1945. Board Member, National Board of Trial Advocacy; Trustee, William Mitchell College of Law. Member, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, and American and Minnesota State Bar Associations. Fellow, International Academy of Trial Judges. Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, 1955-1961; Judge, Minneapolis Municipal Court (1961-1962), Fourth Judicial District (1962-1980). Appointed Associate Justice, July 1980, Chief Justice, December 1981. Tenure as Chief Justice was 12/19/1981 - 1/31/1989 or 7 years, 1 months, 11 days. Died August 24, 2010.

Stepping Stones and the Judicial Career of Douglas K. Amdahl. Table of Contents - List of Opinions


ANDERSON, G. BARRY        (Justice, 2004- )

Born October 24, 1954, Mankato. Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1976); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1979) Partner, Arnold, Anderson & Dove PLLP (1984-98); city attorney, Hutchinson (1987-98); member and chairman, Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board(1997-98);  judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals (1998-2004).  Married; three children.  Appointed October 13, 2004.

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ANDERSON, PAUL H.        (Justice, 1994-2013)

Born May 14, 1943, Eden Prairie: Macalester college (B.A., 1965, cum laude with departmental honors in political science); University of Minnesota Law School, (J.D., 1968); VISTA volunteer attorney (1968-69); special assistant attorney general Criminal Division and Motor Vehicle Division of the Department of Public Safety, (1970-71); associate (1971-75) and partner (1975-92) LeVander, Gillen & Miller Law offices, South St. Paul; Independent School District No. 199, board member (1983-86) and chair(1984-86); member and chair of Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission (1991-92); appointed Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, September 1, 1992; married, two children. Appointed July 1, 1994; elected 1996, 2002, 2008. Retired May 31, 2013.


ANDERSON, RUSSELL A.        (Justice, 1998-2006; Chief Justice, 2006-2008)

Born May 28, 1942, Bemidji. St. Olaf College (B.A., 1964); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1968); George Washington University (LL.M., 1977). Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (1968-76); private practice (1976-82); Beltrami county attorney (1978-82); district court judge (1982-98); chief judge (1993-95). Married, three children. Appointed as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court on September 1, 1998; elected 2000. Appointed Chief Justice effective January 10, 2006. Retired on June 1, 2008.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


ATWATER, ISAAC         (Justice, 1858-1864)

Born in Homer, New York, on May 3, 1818. Attended rural schools, an academy, and a seminary. Entered Yale at age 22, and graduated 4 years later. After a year of teaching, returned to Yale, attended Law School, and was admitted to practice in 1848. Published first newspaper in Minnesota Territory to originate outside St. Paul. Member of the first Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota and incorporator of the company that erected the first bridge to span the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Paul. One of the first two Associate Justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court, serving from May 24, 1858, to July 6, 1864. Died on December 22, 1906, at age 88.

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BERRY, JOHN M.         (Justice, 1865-1887)

Born in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, on September 18, 1827. Attended Phillips Academy and graduated from Yale in 1847. Admitted to practice in New Hampshire in 1850. Came to Minnesota in 1853, served as a member of the Territorial Legislature (1856 - 1857) and as a Regent of the University of Minnesota (1860-1861). Chaired the House and then the Senate committees on the judiciary in 1863 and 1864, respectively. Elected an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, he took office on January 10, 1865, and remained on the court by virtue of successive reelections until his death on November 8, 1887.

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BLATZ, KATHLEEN A.        (Justice, 1996-1998; Chief Justice, 1998-2006)

Born July 22, 1954, Minneapolis. University of Notre Dame (B.A., 1976); University of Minnesota (M.S.W., 1978); University of Minnesota (J.D., 1984); Minnesota House of Representatives (1979-94); associate attorney Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, Ltd. (1984-88); assistant Hennepin County attorney (1992-93); Hennepin County district court Judge (1994-96). Appointed associate justice November 1, 1996; appointed Chief justice January 29, 1998; elected 2000. Resigned from the Court effective January 10, 2006. Tenure as Chief Justice was 1/29/1998 - 1/10/2006 or 7 years, 11 months, 19 days.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


BROWN, CALVIN L.        (Justice, 1899-1912; Chief Justices, 1912-1923)

Born in Goshen, New Hampshire, April 26, 1854. Came to Minnesota in 1855; admitted to the bar in 1876. Located at Morris in 1878, and was elected County Attorney of Stevens County in 1882, 1884, and 1886. Appointed Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District by Governor McGill on March 10, 1887, and elected to that office in 1888 and again in 1894. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Lind to succeed Justice Buck in 1899. Reelected in 1904, 1910. In 1912, nominated for the position of Chief Justice as a non-partisan candidate. Elected in November to that office. Served as Chief Justice until his death on September 24, 1923. Tenure as Chief Justice was from 1/7/1913 - 9/24/1923 or 10 years, 8 months, 17 days.

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BROWN, PHILLIP E.        (Justice, 1912-1915)

Born at Shullsburg, Wisconsin, June 19, 1856. Received his early education in the public schools and, after graduating from high school, taught district school until he entered the University of Wisconsin in 1875. Began study of the law in a lawyer's office in Platteville, Wisconsin, and was admitted to the bar in 1881 from the Albany College of Law, New York. Began practice at Darlington, Wisconsin and in 1883 located at Luverne, Minnesota, where he continued the practice of his profession. In 1884, was elected County Attorney, and at the expiration of his first term returned to private practice, which he continued until 1891 when Governor Merriam appointed him Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District. Was successively elected to that office for twenty years until his election to the office of Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, which seat he held until his death on February 6, 1915.

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BUCK, DANIEL        (Justice, 1894-1899)

Born in Boonville, New York, on September 28,1829. Received an academic education in his native state and moved to Minnesota in 1857 to practice law. Served as County Attorney of Blue Earth County for four years. In 1866, was a member of the House, and in 1881 a member of the Senate. Elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for term commencing January 1, 1894. Resigned on November 14, 1899, because of his wife's ill health. Died at Mankato, Minnesota, on May 21, 1905.

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BUNN, GEORGE L.        (Justice, 1911-1913; 1913-1918)

Born June 25, 1865, in Sparta, Wisconsin. Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1885, and from the law department of the same institution in 1888. Came to Minnesota September 18, 1888, locating at St. Paul. Appointed District Judge of the Second Judicial District January 2, 1897; elected in 1898, 1904, and 1910. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in January of 1911 by Governor Eberhart to succeed Mr. Justice Jaggard. This term expired January 6, 1913, on which date he was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Associate Justice Calvin Brown's appointment as Chief Justice. Was elected to the full 6-year term in 1914, and died in office on October 9, 1918.

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CANTY, THOMAS        (Justice, 1894-1899)

Born in London, England, April 24, 1854. In 1856 moved to Detroit, Michigan. Educated in the public schools and later became a teacher in Texas for 4 years. Came to Minnesota in 1880 and admitted to practice of law in 1881. Elected District Judge of Hennepin County and served for 3 years. Elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court January 1, 1894, and served one full six-year term.

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CHATFIELD, ANDREW G.         (Justice, 1853-1857)

Born in Otsego County, New York, on January 27, 1810. Attended Hamilton Academy from earnings as a part-time teacher. At age 21, entered law office at Painted Post, New York, and was admitted to practice 3 years later. In New York at that time 3 years' study was required for admission to practice in county courts and 7 years' study was required for admission to the Supreme Court. Served in the Legislature and was chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1845. Resigned as Judge of Racine County, Wisconsin, to accept appointment by President Pierce to the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court on April 7, 1853. Served on the court until April 23, 1857. Received the nomination of his party for Chief Justice, Attorney General, and member of Congress. In 1870, was appointed Judge of the Eighth Judicial District and served until his death on October 3, 1875, at his rural home in Belle Plaine, Minnesota.

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CHRISTIANSON, THEODORE        (Justice, 1950-1955)

Born June 4, 1913, Dawson, Minnesota. Graduated University High School 1931. Attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1935. Obtained his law degree from the University in 1937. Practiced law in St. Paul 1937-1950. Appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court May 15, 1950; elected November 7, 1950. Died in office on September 19, 1955.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


CHRISTIANSON, WILLIAM C.        (Justice, 1946)

Born in Red Wing, Minnesota. Graduated from University of Chicago Law School 1920, and admitted to practice same year. Assistant County Attorney for Goodhue County four years, City Attorney of Red Wing nine years. Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court 1946. Member of War Crimes Tribunals at Nuremberg, Germany, 1947-1949, and presiding Judge in the trial of Hitler's cabinet ministers. Appointed District Judge in 1949, elected in 1950, and reelected in 1956. Died May 27, 1985.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


CLARK, GREENLEAF        (Justice, 1881-1882)

Born in Plaistow, New Hampshire, on August 23, 1835. Attended Atkinson Academy, New Hampshire. Graduated from Dartmouth College in 1855, and in 1857 graduated from Harvard Law School and was admitted to practice. Shortly thereafter he came to Minnesota to practice law. Appointed by Governor Pillsbury as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in March 1881 to fill one of the two seats created by the Laws of 1881, which increased the number of Associate Justices from two to four. Died in St. Paul, Minnesota, on December 7, 1904.

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COLLINS, LOREN W.         (Justice, 1887-1904)

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on August 7, 1838. Moved to the Territory of Minnesota at age 16 with his father and settled near Eden Prairie. Educated in the public schools. Later entered a law office in Hastings, Minnesota. Second Lieutenant in the Army during the Civil War and elevated to the rank of Captain because of gallant service. Resumed practice of law at St. Cloud in 1866 and following year appointed District Judge, Seventh Judicial District. Later served for 4 terms as Mayor of St. Cloud and for 8 years as County Attorney. Member of State Legislature (1881-1883), and on November 16, 1887, appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor McGill. Resigned from the court on April 1, 1904, to become candidate for Governor. Died at his home in Minneapolis on September 27, 1912.

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COOPER, DAVID         (Justice, 1849-1853)

Born July 22, 1821, at "Brooks Reserve" in Frederick County, Maryland. In 1831, moved to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and there attended Pennsylvania College, later studying law in the office of his brother. Was admitted to practice in 1845 and began the practice of law in Louistown, Pennsylvania. At age 28, appointed one of the first Associate Justices of the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court. Served on the court from July 14, 1850, to April 7, 1853. Upon withdrawal from the court, practiced law in St. Paul until 1864, when he moved to the Territory of Nevada.

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CORNELL, F. R. E.        (Justice, 1875-1881)

Born in Coventry, New York, on November 17, 1821. Graduated from Union College in 1842 and was admitted to practice in 1846. From 1852-1853 New York State Senator. In 1854 moved to Minnesota and was a member of the Minnesota Legislature in the years 1861, 1862, and 1865. Served as Attorney General from 1868-1874 Elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and took office on January 11, 1875. Served on the court until May 23, 1881, the date of his death.

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COYNE, M. JEANNE        (Justice, 1982-1996)

Born December 7, 1926, Minneapolis. Education: University of Minnesota, B.S.L., 1955; University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 1957. Member, Board of Editors and Associate Editor, Minnesota Law Review. Law Clerk to Mr. Justice Leroy E. Matson, Minnesota Supreme Court, 1956-1957. Member, American, Minnesota, and Hennepin County Bar Associations; National Association of Women Judges; National Association of Women Lawyers. Adjunct instructor in appellate advocacy, University of Minnesota Law School, 1964-1968. Editor, Women Lawyers Journal, 1971-1972. Engaged in the private practice of law in Minneapolis from 1957 until appointment as an Associate Justice in 1982. Died August 6, 1998.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions

Topical Summary of Cases Argued - List of Cases Argued


DELL, ROGER L.        (Justice, 1953; Chief Justice, 1953-1962)

Born July 19, 1897, Village of Bird Island, Minnesota. Attended Shakopee public schools, graduating from high school in 1916. Graduated from St. Paul College of Law in 1920. Served in World War I. Practiced law continuously at Fergus Falls, Minnesota, from 1920 until appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court effective January 12, 1953. Appointed Chief Justice July 16, 1953. Elected in 1954 and again in 1960. Lived in Fergus Falls after he left the court. Tenure as Chief Justice was 7/16/1953 - 1/24/1962 or 8 years, 6 months, 24 days.

Photo - Memorial - Summary/List of Opinions


DEVANEY, JOHN P.        (Chief Justice, 1933-1937)

Born near Lake Mills, Iowa, on June 30, 1883. Came to Minnesota in 1901 and entered the University of Minnesota. While there, he attained the following degrees: B.A. 1905; LL.B. 1907; LL.M. 1908. Admitted to practice in 1907. Appointed Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court on September 7, 1933 and elected to that office in November, 1934. Resigned in 1937, and resumed the practice of law. Died September 21, 1941. Tenure as Chief Justice was 9/7/1933 - February 14/1937 or 3 years, 4 months, 14 days.

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DIBELL, HOMER B.        (Justice, 1918-1934)

Born in Fillmore County in 1864. Graduated from University of Indiana in 1889 and from Northwestern University Law School in Chicago in 1890. Admitted to practice law in Minnesota in October 1890. Elected District Judge in 1898; reelected in 1904 and 1910. Appointed Supreme Court Commissioner April 1, 1913, and Associate Justice in 1918; elected in 1920, and reelected in 1926 and 1932. Died February 17, 1934.

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DICKINSON, DANIEL        (Justice, 1881-1893)

Born in Hartford, Vermont, October 28, 1839. Both of his parents died shortly after he was born and he was brought up by his grandfather. In 1860, graduated from Dartmouth College and entered a law office at Plattsburg, New York. From 1863 to 1865 was paymaster with the naval service of the United States. Moved to Mankato in 1868, and practiced law there until January 1875, when he was elected District Judge of the Sixth Judicial District. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1881 by Governor Pillsbury. Served there until October, 1893. After leaving the bench practiced law in Duluth, Minnesota, until his death on February 12, 1902.

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DIETZEN, CHRISTOPHER J.        (Justice, 2008- )

Born March 8, 1947, Yakima, Washington; Gonzaga University (B.B.A., 1969); Gonzaga University School of Law (J.D., 1973); attorney, Richter, Wimberly & Ericson (1973-1977); shareholder/attorney, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Linder, Ltd. (1978-2004). Married, four children, four grandchildren. Appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, December 15, 2004, elected 2006. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court 2008 by Governor Pawlenty.

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DOUGLAS, WALLACE B.        (Justice, 1904-1905)

Born near Leyden, New York, September 21, 1852. Attended public schools in New York and Illinois and studied for a year at Cazenovia Seminary. Received law degree from University of Michigan in 1875 and was admitted to practice. Came to Minnesota in 1883, locating at Moor head. Served as City Attorney, member of Board of Education, and County Attorney for Clay County. Elected Attorney General in 1898, reelected 1900 and 1902. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Van Sant on March 31, 1904. Served on the court until January 1, 1905, at which time he retired to private practice. Served on State Forestry Board for more than 20 years. Preservation of Itasca State Park was largely due to his efforts. Died December 9, 1930 in Ferndale, Washington, at age 78.

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ELLIOTT, CHARLES B.        (Justice, 1905-1909)

Born on a farm in Morgan County, Ohio, on January 6, 1861. Educated in a country school and later studied at Marietta Academy for a year. Upon moving to Iowa with his parents, entered the University of Iowa Law School and graduated in 1881. In 1884, moved to Minnesota and in 1887 earned the first degree of Doctor of Philosophy ever granted by the University of Minnesota. In 1890, at age 29, appointed to the municipal bench in Minneapolis, and 4 years later to the district bench. On October 1, 1905, appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and won election to that seat the same year. On September 1, 1909, resigned from the bench to accept presidential appointment as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. During the Spanish-American War was Adjutant General of Minnesota. Authored a number of law books and a 2-volume history on "Government of the Philippines." Died in Minneapolis September 18, 1935.

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EMMETT, LaFAYETTE         (Chief Justice, 1858-1865)

Born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on May 18, 1822. Studied law in the office of Columbus Delano, who later became Secretary of Interior. Admitted to practice in Ohio in 1843. Elected Prosecuting Attorney for Knox County in 1846. Came to Minnesota in 1851. Served as Attorney General of the Territory of Minnesota from 1853-1858. Elected first Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court at age 35 and served from May 25, 1858, to January 10, 1865. Moved to southern Minnesota in 1872 and later to New Mexico, where one of his daughters married McGill Otero, then Governor of New Mexico. Died in Santa Fe on August 10, 1906.

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FLANDRAU, CHARLES EUGENE         (Justice, 1857-1858; 1858-1864)

Born in New York City on July 15, 1828. Attended public schools in Georgetown, District of Columbia. Studied law in the office of his father, who practiced for many years with Aaron Burr. Admitted to practice in 1851. Came to Minnesota in 1853. Served as District Attorney for Nicollet County, Deputy Clerk of Federal District Court, and member of the Territorial Council. Appointed to the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court by President Buchanan on April 23, 1857. Elected, at age 29, to the Minnesota Supreme Court, 1858, and served until his resignation in 1864. After living in Nevada and Missouri, returned to Minnesota in 1867 and was elected Minneapolis City Attorney. Died in St. Paul on July 15, 1903.

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FULLER, JEROME        (Chief Justice, 1851-1852)

Little is known of his early life. Came to Minnesota from Brockport, New York. Appointed to the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court by President Fillmore on November 13, 1851. The United States Senate rejected his appointment, but word of the rejection did not reach St. Paul until Fuller had arrived here and begun his duties. Fuller sat on the July 1852 term of court and continued to serve until December 15 of that year. Subsequently he returned to Brockport, New York, where he was elected County Judge.


GALLAGHER, FRANK T.        (Justice, 1947-1963)

Born July 13, 1887, Wilton Township, Waseca County, Minnesota. Graduated Waseca High School 1907, University of Minnesota Law School 1913. Practiced law at Albert Lea, and for 25 years at Waseca. Member of Board of Education at Waseca for 13 years. Elected Associate Justice Supreme Court in November 1946. Reelected November 1952 and November 1958. Retired in 1963. Died May 21, 1977.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


GALLAGHER, HENRY M.        (Chief Justice, 1937-1944)

Born in Waseca County, Minnesota, on September 10, 1885. Graduated from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, in 1910. Received LL.B. degree. Admitted to practice in Minnesota in 1910. At age 27, selected Municipal Judge of the City of Waseca 1912-1913. County Attorney of Waseca County 1913-1915, 1919-1923. Member of Board of Law Examiners, 1926-1932. Appointed Chief Justice and assumed his duties February 15, 1937, and served until 1944, declining to run for reelection. Subsequently practiced law in Mankato. Died April 3, 1965. Tenure as Chief Justice was 2/15/1937 - 1/1944 or 6 years, 10 months.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


GALLAGHER, THOMAS F.        (Justice, 1943-1967)

Born November 24, 1897, Faribault, Minnesota. Attended St. Thomas Academy, St. Paul, 1912-1914, graduated Faribault High School 1915; University of Minnesota B.A. 1919, LL.B. 1921. Practiced law in Minneapolis 1921-1942. Elected Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court 1942, and reelected thereafter. Retired in 1967. Died March 3, 1985.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


GARDEBRING, SANDRA S.        (Justice, 1991-1998)

Born June 15, 1947, Bismarck, ND; Luther College (B.A., 1969); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1973; law review); special assistant attorney general (1973-77); commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (1977-79; 1982-84); director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 5 enforcement division (1979-82); chair, Metropolitan Council (1984-86); commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Services (1986-89); Minnesota Court of Appeals (1989-91);married Paul A. Ogren. Appointed January 4, 1991; elected 1992. Died July 20, 2010 in California.

Obituary

Summary of Opinions

Topical Summary of Court of Appeals Opinions - Published Court of Appeals Opinions

Topical Summary of Supreme Court Opinions - Supreme Court Opinions


GILBERT, JAMES H.        (Justice, 1998-2004)

Born March 11, 1947; University of Minnesota (B.A., 1969 Political Science); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1972) Meshbesher & Spence (1972-98); served as shareholder, vice president, secretary, director, head of the Business Law Department, managing partner (1984-92) and CEO (1996-97). Member and chair of Minnesota Judicial Merit Selection Commission (1992-98). Married Mary Makepeace Gilbert; three daughters, Alison, Erica and Kristina. Appointed January 29, 1998; elected 2000.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


GILDEA, LORIE SKJERVEN.        (Justice, 2006-2010, Chief Justice 2010-)

Grew up in Plummer, MN. B.A. University of Minnesota Morris, 1983; J.D. Georgetown University Law Center, 1986. Appointed as Associated Justice January 11, 2006. Appointed Chief Justice May 13, 2010, effective July 1, 2010.

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GILFILLAN, JAMES        (Chief Justice, 1869-1870; 1875-1894)

Born in Bannockburn, Scotland, on March 9, 1829. Resided in Chenango County, New York, where he studied law and attended a law school at Balston Spa. Admitted to practice in 1850. Practiced law in Buffalo until he came to Minnesota in 1857. Served as a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he returned to Minnesota to resume the practice of law. He was appointed by Governor Austin as Chief Justice and served from July 14, 1869 to January 7, 1870. Five years later he was again appointed Chief Justice when Christopher Ripley, who unexpectedly won the election for Chief Justice in 1869, resigned because of ill health. By virtue of reelection he remained Chief Justice until his death on December 16, 1894.

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GOODRICH, AARON         (Chief Justice, 1849-1851)

Born in Cayuga County, New York, July 16, 1807. In 1815, moved to western New York, where he spent his youth on his father's farm, attended country school, and read a great many law books. At about age 20, went to Tennessee, completed his studies, and commenced the practice of law. Served from 1847 to 1848 as a member of the Tennessee State Legislature. Was appointed to the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court on June 1, 1849, by President Taylor. Held the first session of the Territorial Supreme Court at the American House in St. Paul approximately 7 months after his appointment. Served on the court from January 14, 1850, to November 13, 1851. Appointed in 1861 by President Lincoln as Secretary of Legation at Brussels. Returned to St. Paul in 1869, where he resided until his death on June 24, 1887.

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HALLAM, OSCAR        (Justice, 1913-1923)

Born on a farm at Linden, Wisconsin, October 19, 1865. Attended district school there, and in 1881 entered the Dodgeville high school and in 1882 the University of Wisconsin. Graduated there in 1887, and in 1889 from the Wisconsin University Law School. Came to Minnesota in 1889 and located in St. Paul, where he was admitted to the bar and practiced until January 1, 1905, when he became a District Judge, Second Judicial District. Was an instructor in the St. Paul College of Law from its beginning. Elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1912, serving from January of 1913 until his resignation in May 1923. Died September 23, 1945.

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HANSON, SAM        (Justice, 2002-2008)

Born August 26, 1939, Mankato. St Olaf College (B.A., 1961); William Mitchell College of Law (LL.B. with honors, 1965); deputy clerk of courts, U.S. District Court (1961-63); law librarian, U.S. Court of Appeals (1963-64); law clerk, Hennepin County District Court (1964-65); law clerk, Minnesota Supreme Court (1965-66); attorney (1966-2000), president (1988-93), Briggs and Morgan; judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals (2000-02); married, six children. Appointed June 6, 2002. Retired January 1, 2008 to return to private practice at Briggs and Morgan.

The Judicial Career of Sam Hanson - Table of contents.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions

Ehrich, Jeffrey A. A Legacy of Scholarship: The Judicial Decisions of Justice Samuel L. Hanson. 34 William Mitchell Law Review 1249 (2008).


HAYNER, HENRY Z.        (Chief Justice, 1851-1852)

Came to Minnesota from New York. Served as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court from December 16, 1851 to April 7, 1852. Appointed by President Fillmore. Arrived in St. Paul too late to hold the fall term of court, so his duties were limited to such matters as came before him in chambers. It is believed that after leaving Minnesota he returned to New York to accept an appointment to the state bench.


HILTON, CLIFFORD L.        (Justice, 1928-1943)

Born in Kenyon, Minnesota. Moved to Fergus Falls in 1879. Graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1884 and from University of Wisconsin College of Law in 1888. Admitted to practice in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 1888. Admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1911. Served as City Attorney of Fergus Falls, 1896-1898; County Attorney of Otter Tail County, 1899-1909; Assistant Attorney General, 1909-1917; Deputy Attorney General April 1917 to March 8,1918, when appointed Attorney General. Elected Attorney General in 1918 and reelected for 4 more two-year terms. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court January 1, 1928, and elected for a 6-year term on November 6, 1928. Reelected to two succeeding terms in subsequent years. Died April 5, 1946.

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HOLT, ANDREW        (Justice, 1912-1942)

Born in East Union, Carver County, Minnesota, May 20, 1855. Attended the common schools of the county, St. Ansgar's Academy at East Union, now Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter. Entered the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1880. Studied law and was admitted to practice in 1881. Practiced law in the city of Minneapolis until January 1894, when he was appointed Municipal Judge; elected in the fall of 1894 and again in the fall of 1900. Elected to the district bench in 1904. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court to succeed Justice Simpson who had resigned. Elected for the full term of six years at the election of 1912, reelected in 1918, 1924, 1930 and 1936. First member of the Court to have been born in Minnesota. Died Febrary 11, 1948.

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JAGGARD, EDWIN A.        (Justice, 1905-1911)

Born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, June 21, 1859. Graduated from Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1879 and enrolled in the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated 3 years later. Came to Minnesota in 1882 and practiced law in St. Paul. In 1898 was elected to the Ramsey County District Court bench and served one term. In 1904, while serving as District Judge, was elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and was reelected in 1910. Served on the court until his death on February 13, 1911.

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KEITH, ALEXANDER M.        (Justice, 1989-1990; Chief Justice, 1990-1998)

Born November 22, 1928, Rochester. Amherst College (1950); Yale University Law School (1953); Mayo Clinic legal department (1955-60); private practice (1960-89); Minnesota Senate (1959-62); Minnesota Lieutenant Governor (1963-66); wife, Marion; sons, Ian, Douglas. Appointed February 1, 1989. Tenure as Chief Justice was 12/1/1990 - 1/29/1998 or 7 years, 1 month, 29 days.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


KELLEY, GLENN E.        (Justice, 1981-1990)

Born April 25, 1921. Northern State College, Aberdeen, South Dakota (B.S.), University of Michigan Law School (LL.B.), National Judicial College (Reno), and New York University Appellate Judges Seminar. Served as District Judge, Third Judicial District from 1969 until appointment as Associate Justice, 1981. Died April 11, 1992.

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The Judicial Career of Glenn E. Kelley - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


KELLY, FALLON        (Justice, 1970-1980)

Born September 13, 1907, Crookston, Minnesota. Education: St. Thomas Academy, St. Paul; University of Minnesota; University of Minnesota Law School, LL.B. 1933. Member, Board of Editors, Minnesota Law Review 1931-1933. General Law practice 1933-1970, except for Military Service, U.S. Navy, 1943-1945, U.S. District Attorney, 1958-1961, City Attorney of South St. Paul 2 years. Appointed Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court July 6, 1970; resigned July 6, 1980. Died June 19, 1992.

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The Professional Career of Fallon Kelly: 1933-1980 - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


KNUTSON, OSCAR R.        (Justice, 1948-1962; Chief Justice, 1962-1973)

Born October 9, 1899, Superior, Wisconsin. Moved with parents to farm near Warren, Minnesota, 1916. Graduated N.W. School of Agriculture 1919; Warren High School 1920. Attended St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, 1920-1921. Graduated University of Minnesota Law School 1927, LL.B Practiced law in Warren 1927-1941; appointed District Judge January 2, 1941, elected 1942. Resigned to accept appointment as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1948, reelected thereafter. Appointed Chief Justice in 1962, in which capacity he served until his resignation in 1973. Died June 15, 1981. Tenure as Chief Justice was 1/25/1962 - 12/17/1973 or 10 years, 10 months, 22 days.

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Transcript of Oral History Interview - Summary/List of Opinions


LANCASTER , JOAN ERICKSEN        (Justice, 1998-2002)

Minneapolis. Born October 11, 1954, St. Paul. St. Olaf College (B.A., magna cum laude); Oxford University (Special Diploma in Social Studies); University of Minnesota Law School (1981); Private practice (1981-83), assistant United States attorney (civil, 1983-85; criminal 1985-93), shareholder Leonard, Street & Deinard (1993-95), district court judge (1995-98). Married Peter Lancaster, two children, John and Claire. Appointed September 8, 1998.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


LEWIS, CHARLES L.        (Justice, 1900-1912)

Born near Ottawa, Illinois, March 1851. Attended public school in Ottawa, then Oberlin College, graduating in 1876. In 1879, opened a law office in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Elected County Attorney, Otter Tail County, serving two terms. In 1891, moved to Duluth and two years later was appointed District Judge, Eleventh Judicial District, a position which he later resigned to return to private practice. Elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for term commencing January 1, 1900. Re-elected in 1906 and served until January 1, 1912. Lived in Wisconsin, Arizona, and California after leaving the bench. Died February 11, 1936.

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LILLEHAUG, DAVID L.        (Justice, 2013-)

Born 1954, Waverly, Iowa. B.A. summa cum laude, Augustana College, 1976. J.D. cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1979. Appointed on Mar. 26, 2013, by Governor Mark Dayton, effective June 3, 2013.

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LOEVINGER, LEE        (Justice, 1960-1961)

Born April 24, 1913, St Paul, Minnesota. Admitted to practice in Minnesota 1936, District of Columbia 1966. Graduated University of Minnesota, summa cum laude 1933 B.A. J.D. 1936. Visiting Professor and Lecturer, University of Minnesota 1953-1961. Associate Justice Minnesota Supreme Court 1960-1961. Assistant Attorney General in charge of Antitrust Division, U.S. Dept. of Justice 1961-1963. Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission 1963-1968. Established private practice in Washington, D.C. Died in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2004.

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Summary/List of Opinions


LORING, CHARLES        (Justice, 1930-1944; Chief Justice, 1944-1953)

Born on a farm in Kinnickinnic Township, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Moved in 1877 to Clay County, Minnesota. Educated at State Normal School at Moorhead, Phillips Exeter Academy, and University of Minnesota Law School. Major Judge Advocate in U.S. Army during World War I, and Lt. Col. Judge Advocate in regular army. Appointed Supreme Court Commissioner August 1, 1930. Appointed Associate Justice of Supreme Court November 1930, elected 1932, reelected 1938. Appointed Chief Justice January 1944, and elected to succeeding terms. Lived in Tucson, Arizona after his retirement from the court. Died March 7, 1961. Tenure as Chief Justice was Jan. 1944 - 7/15/1953 or 9 years, 6 months, 15 days.

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LOVELY, JOHN A.        (Justice, 1900-1905)

Born in Burlington, Vermont, November 18, 1843. Admitted to practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1864, and in 1867 moved to Albert Lea, Minnesota. Elected County Attorney, Freeborn County (1869-1874). President Minnesota Bar Association (1875-1878). Elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court at the general election in 1898. Served on the court from January 1900 to October 1905. Died at his home in Albert Lea on January 28, 1908.

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MacLAUGHLIN, HARRY H.        (Justice, 1972-1977)

Born in Breckenridge, Minnesota. Education: University of Minnesota, College of Business Administration (B.B.A. 1949); University of Minnesota Law School (LL.B , J D. 1956). Member, Board of Editors, Minnesota Law Review 1954-1955. Law Clerk to Mr. Justice Frank Gallagher, Minnesota Supreme Court 1955-1956. Military Service: United States Navy 1945-1946. Private practice of law in Minneapolis 1956-1972. Part-time instructor, William Mitchell College of Law 1958-1963. Former member, National Advisory Council, Small Business Administration; State College Board; Minneapolis Charter Commission. Appointed Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court May 1, 1972; resigned September 29, 1977, to become a United States District Judge. Died May 3, 2005.

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MAGNEY, CLARENCE R.        (Justice, 1943-1953)

Born January 11, 1883, Town of Trenton, Pierce County, Wisconsin. Later came to Minnesota and attended public schools at Bayport. Graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1903 and Harvard Law School in 1908. Elected Mayor of Duluth 1917, resigned 1920, elected District Judge 1920. Appointed Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court July 1, 1943, elected 1944, and reelected thereafter. Died May 14, 1962.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


MAGNUSON, ERIC J.        (Chief Justice, 2008-2010 )

Born Morris, Illinois, 1951. B.A. in history from the University of Minnesota; graduated cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law. Law clerk to former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Sheran, 1976 to 1977; law clerk to former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Douglas K. Amdahl, while Amdahl was a Hennepin County district court judge. Attorney with Briggs and Morgan, Minneapolis, 2007-2008; attorney with Rider Bennett, Minneapolis from 1977 to 2007. Chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection from 2003 to 2008. Appointed as Chief Justice June 2, 2008; resigned effective June 30, 2010 and returned to private practice.

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MATSON, LEROY E.        (Justice, 1945-1960)

Born in Crookston, Minnesota, February 11, 1896. Brought up on a farm in Saum in Beltrami County. Graduated from Bemidji High School in 1916 and from the University of Minnesota in 1926 with B.A and LL.B. degrees. Served 23 months overseas in World War I with First Infantry Division. Elected Associate Justice in 1944 and reelected thereafter. Died in office on February 28, 1960.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


McMILLAN, SAMUEL J. R.         (Justice, 1864-1874; Chief Justice, 1874-1875)

Born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1826. Graduated from Pennsylvania's Western University in 1846, studied law for three years, and was admitted to practice in 1849. Came to Minnesota Territory in 1852, settling at Stillwater. Six years later he was elected District Judge, First Judicial District, and held that office until 1864, when he was appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He was reelected to the court twice, and in 1874 was appointed Chief Justice by Governor Davis. Resigned as Chief Justice a year later, when he was elected to the United States Senate. Died in 1897.

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MEEKER, BRADLEY B.       (Justice, 1849-1853)

Born in Fairfield, Connecticut, March 13, 1813. Attended Weston Academy and Yale under the patronage of Governor Thomlison of Connecticut because his parents did not have the means to provide for his education. After leaving Yale, moved to Richmond, Kentucky, where he taught school and studied law. Was admitted to practice in 1843. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court on June 1, 1849, by President Taylor. Served on the court until July 1853. Died on February 20, 1873, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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MEYER, HELEN M.        (Justice, 2002-2012)

Born February 24, 1954, St. Joseph, Minnesota. University of Minnesota (B.S., 1976); William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 1983); associate attorney, Schwebel, Goetz, Sieben and Hanson (1982-87); founding partner, Pritzker and Meyer, 1987; established Meyer and Associates, 1996; held leadership positions, Minnesota State Bar Association, Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers; served on Judicial Merit Selection Commission and Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission. Appointed June 6, 2002 by Governor Jesse Ventura; elected 2004, 2010. Retired August 10, 2012.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


MITCHELL, WILLIAM        (Justice, 1881-1900)

Born in Stamford, Ontario, November 19, 1832, the son of a Canadian farmer of Scottish parentage. Attended Jefferson College at Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1853. Taught for two years at Morgantown Academy, West Virginia. Admitted to practice in 1857, and soon thereafter moved to Winona, Minnesota. Member of the second Legislature of Minnesota (1859-1860) Served one term as County Attorney for Winona County. In 1874 was elected District Judge, Third Judicial District, reelected in 1880. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Pillsbury in 1881 to fill one of the two seats created by the Laws of 1881. Served on the court until January 1900. Died at his home in Winona on August 21, 1900.

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MURPHY, WILLIAM P.       (Justice, 1955-1972)

Born July 6, 1898, St. Cloud, Minnesota. Graduate Cathedral High School, St. Cloud, St. Paul College of Law, LL.B. Attorney for Capitol Trust Co. 1922-1924; general practice of law St. Cloud 1924-1939; Assistant United States Attorney 1939-1951; Regional Enforcement Director, Office of Price Stabilization 1952; general practice of law St. Paul 1953-1955; appointed Associate Justice of Supreme Court 1955. Subsequently elected to succeeding terms. Resigned in 1972. Died April 22, 1986.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


NELSON, MARTIN A.        (Justice, 1953-1972)

Born February 21, 1889, Hesper, Iowa. Educated in public schools, Hesper, Iowa, Mabel, Minnesota, and Mechanic Arts High School, St. Paul. Registered as a pharmacist, 1912. LL.B. St Paul College of Law, 1916. Served as an aviator during World War I. Member of American Legion. Trustee, St. Olaf Hospital 22 years, 10 years as Board President. Republican nominee for Governor of Minnesota 1934, 1936. Practiced law at St. Paul 1916 to time of enlistment in World War I, and at Austin, Minnesota, from 1919 to 1944. Appointed District Judge 1944 and elected in 1944 and 1950. Appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1953; elected to succeeding terms. Resigned in 1972. Died May 22, 1979.

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Summary/List of Opinions


NELSON, RENSSELAER R.       (Justice, 1857-1858)

Born in Cooperstown, New York, on May 12, 1826. Attended the public schools, Hartwich Seminary, and a military school. Graduated from Yale in 1847 and 2 years later was admitted to practice. Served as Judge of the United States District Court for northern New York. Came to Minnesota on May 12, 1850, and lived and practiced law in St. Paul. In 1854, moved to Superior, Wisconsin, and accepted appointment as District Attorney for Douglas County. Appointed to the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court by President Buchanan on April 23, 1857, and served until May 24, 1858, when the territory became a state and the newly elected state officers assumed their duties. In 1858, at the time Minnesota was admitted to the Union, he was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota, a position he held for 38 years. Died in St. Paul on October 15, 1904.

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O'BRIEN, THOMAS D.        (Justice, 1909-1911)

Born in LaPointe, on Madeline Island, Wisconsin, February 14, 1859, and at age 4 moved to Minnesota. Admitted to practice law in 1880 and became Clerk of Municipal Court of St. Paul. In 1885 appointed Assistant City Attorney. In 1891, elected Ramsey County Attorney and served for one term, declining reelection. From 1905 to 1907, was Insurance Commissioner for State of Minnesota. On September 1, 1909, appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for term expiring on January 1, 1911, at which time he returned to private practice. Was one of the founders of the St. Paul College of Law, now William Mitchell, and was Dean of the St. Thomas College of Law until its dissolution. Died at his home in St. Paul on September 3, 1935.

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OLSEN, INGERVAL M.        (Justice, 1930-1936)

Born in Norway, January 4, 1861. Came to Nicollet County, Minnesota, in 1865. Graduated from University of Minnesota in 1887; admitted to the bar in 1893; practiced law at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Elected Judge of District Court in 1906, reelected 1912; was not a candidate in 1918. Reappointed to District Bench on February 1, 1920, and reelected in 1920 and 1926. Appointed Commissioner of Minnesota Supreme Court, October 1, 1927. Appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court November 1930; elected Associate Justice November 8, 1932. Died June 26, 1943.

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OLSON, JULIUS J.        (Justice, 1934-1948)

Born in Norway on February 22, 1875. Came to Lake Park in 1883. Graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1897 and from the University of Minnesota College of Law in 1900. Located at Warren the same year and practiced there until appointed District Judge by Governor Christianson in November 1930. Resigned as District Judge on March 5, 1934, to accept appointment as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Elected to the same office in November 1934 and thereafter. Died May 22, 1955 in Warren.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


OTIS, JAMES C.        (Justice, 1961-1982)

Born March 23, 1912, St. Paul, Minnesota. Graduate St. Paul Academy, Yale University, and University of Minnesota Law School. Practiced law from 1937 to 1948, except for two years as a civilian with the U.S, Army Corps of Engineers 1942-1944. Served as Judge of District Court, Second Judicial District 1954-1961. Appointed Associate Justice of Supreme Court in 1961; elected to subsequent terms. Resigned September 1, 1982. Died March 15, 1993.

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The Judicial Career of James C. Otis - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


PAGE , ALAN C.        (Justice, 1993- )

Born August 7, 1945, Canton, OH; University of Notre Dame, (B.A., 1967); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1978); associate, Lindquist & Vennum (1979-84); special assistant attorney general, employment law division, (1985-87); assistant attorney general (1987-93); board of directors Minneapolis Urban League (1987-1990); member, board of regents, University of Minnesota (1989-93); founder, Page Education Foundation (1988); married, four children; elected 1992, 1998, 2004.

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PETERSON, C. DONALD        (Justice, 1967-1986)

Born February 2, 1918, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Graduate Minnehaha Academy, University of Minnesota (B.A.), University of Illinois (J.D), New York University Appellate Judges Seminar. Admitted to practice law Minnesota courts 1941, United States Supreme Court 1950. Military service: U.S. Air Force, World War II and Korean War. Representative Minnesota Legislature 1959-1963. Chairman, Minnesota Press Council. Elected Associate Justice of Supreme Court 1966, reelected subsequently. Died December 19, 1987.

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The Professional, Public and Judicial Career of C. Donald Peterson - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


PETERSON, HARRY H.        (Justice, 1936-1950)

Born and raised in St. Paul. Attended public schools, graduated from University of Minnesota Law School in 1912, LL.B., cum laude. Served as Assistant County Attorney and County Attorney of Ramsey County. Elected Attorney General in 1932, reelected 1934, 1936. Appointed Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court in 1936, elected in 1938, and reelected in 1944. Since resigning in 1950, practiced in Minneapolis. Died January 23, 1985.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


PIRSIG, MAYNARD E.        (Justice, 1942)

Born Elmore, Minnesota, January 9, 1902. Graduated from University of Minnesota College of Law 1925. 1924-1931, counsel, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis; 1933-1970, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota, and Dean of Law School 1948-1955; Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law 1971; Secretary, State Judicial Council, 1937-1951. Appointed Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court in October of 1942, serving for the balance of that year and then returned to the University as Professor of Law. Died February 5, 1997.

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Summary/List of Opinions


POPOVICH, PETER S.        (Justice, 1987-1989; Chief Justice, 1989-1990)

St. Mary's Point and Chisholm, Hibbing Junior College (A.A.); University of Minnesota (B.A.), St. Paul College of Law (1947); private practice, (1947-83); Minnesota House of Representatives (1953-63); Chairman, Minnesota Statehood Centennial Commission (1955-59); appointed as Chief Judge, Court of Appeals on November 2, 1983 (1983-87); appointed as Justice, Supreme Court on November 16, 1987 (1987-89); wife, Gail; four children and three stepchildren. Appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on February 1, 1989. Retired on November 30, 1990. Died March 29, 1996. Tenure as Chief Justice was 2/1/1989 - 11/30/1990 or 1 year, 9 months.

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The Judicial Career of Peter S. Popovich - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


QUINN, JAMES H.        (Justice, 1917-1928)

Born in Kilbourn City, Wisconsin, June 23, 1857. Came to Minnesota in 1863, locating in Blue Earth County. Admitted to practice law in 1884. In 1888 elected County Attorney of Faribault County and reelected four times. In 1897, appointed by Governor Clough to the office of District Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial District. Served until 1916, when elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Reelected in 1922. In 1928, ill health caused his retirement from the court. Died February 15, 1930 in St. Paul.

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RIPLEY, CHRISTOPHER G.        (Chief Justice, 1870-1874)

Born in Waltham, Massachusetts, September 6, 1822, the son of a Unitarian minister. Attended Harvard College, graduating in 1841. Thereafter he attended Harvard Law School for a year before entering the law office of Franklin Dexter, a celebrated Boston lawyer. Came to Minnesota Territory in 1855, settling at Brownsville. Elected Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for the term beginning January 1870. Resigned in 1874 for reasons of ill health. Died in Concord, Massachusetts, on October 15, 1881.

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ROGOSHESKE, WALTER F.        ( Justice, 1962-1980)

Born July 12, 1914, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Attended St. Cloud Teachers College; graduated from Valparaiso University in 1939. Member State House of Representatives 1943-1949, service in World War II. Former Chairman, Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission. Lecturer in law, University of Minnesota Law School since 1951. Appointed District Judge March 1, 1950, reelected 1950 and 1956. Member and chairman of A.B.A. Advisory Committee on Prosecution and Defense Functions, A.B.A. Project on Standards for Criminal Justice. Appointed Associate Justice of Supreme Court effective February 1, 1962; subsequently reelected to succeeding terms. Resigned September 7, 1980. Died May 15, 1998.

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The Professional Career of Walter F. Rogosheske - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


SCHALLER, ALBERT        (Justice, 1915-1917)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 1856. Was a graduate of St. Vincent's College at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and spent two years studying in France. Upon his return to the United States attended Washington University Law School at St. Louis, Missouri, from which he graduated in 1879. Admitted to practice in Minnesota that same year. From 1880-1890, was County Attorney of Dakota County. Was legal advisor to the City of Hastings from 1891-1897, City Attorney of South St. Paul from 1895-1899, and State Senator from 1895-1915. In 1915, was appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and served from March of that year until January 1, 1917, the expiration of his term. After leaving the bench, practiced law in St. Paul and Hastings. Died in Hastings on March 31, 1934.

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SCOTT, GEORGE M.        (Justice, 1973-1987)

Born September 14, 1922. University of Minnesota and William Mitchell College of Law, BS-JD. Private practice, Minneapolis, 1951-1955. Deputy Attorney General, State of Minnesota, 1955. Hennepin County Attorney 18 years. Former instructor and present member of Board of Trustees, William Mitchell College of Law. Member, ABA Special Committee on Minimum Standards for Administration of Criminal Justice; ABA National Advisory Board, Omnibus Hearing Empirical Investigation Project; ABA National Pre-Trial Intervention Service Center. Supreme Court Coordinator, Rules of Criminal Procedure and Juvenile Justice Commission. President, Minnesota County Attorneys Association, 1960-1961; National District Attorneys Association, 1964-1965. Member, Board of Governors, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1962, Recipient of Citation for Exceptional Merit, American Trial Lawyers Association. Appointed Associate Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court July 3, 1973; reelected subsequently. Died on May 25, 2006.

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The Civic and Judicial Career of George M. Scott - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


SHERAN, ROBERT J.        (Justice, 1963-1970; Chief Justice, 1973-1981)

Born January 2, 1916, in Waseca, Minnesota. Died January 25, 2012 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Graduated from College of St. Thomas 1936 and University of Minnesota Law School 1939. Served in Minnesota House of Representatives during the 1947 and 1949 sessions. Appointed Associate Justice of Supreme Court on January 8, 1963. Resigned July 1970, and reappointed as Chief Justice December 18, 1973. Resigned as Chief Justice December 18, 1981. Tenure as Chief Justice was 12/18/1973 - 12/18/1981 or 8 years.

The Professional Career of Robert J. Sheran - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions

Oral History


SHERBURNE, MOSES        (Justice, 1853-1857)

Born in Mount Vernon, Maine, on January 25, 1808. Educated in the public schools and at an academy in China, Maine. Admitted to practice in 1831. Served in both the House and Senate of the State Legislature of Maine. Served as Postmaster, Judge of Probate, Maine State Bank Commissioner, and Major-General of the Militia. Appointed to the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court by President Pierce on April 6, 1853, and served until 1857. Was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1857, and in 1858 was a member of a commission appointed by the Legislature to revise the General Laws of the State of Minnesota. Died at his home in St. Paul on March 23, 1868.

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SIMONETT, JOHN E.        (Justice, 1981-1994)

Born July 12, 1924, in Mankato, Minnesota. Raised in Le Center, Minnesota. Graduated from St. John's University, Collegeville, 1948 and University of Minnesota Law School 1951. President, Minnesota Law Review. Private practice in Little Falls, 1951-1981 until appointment as Associate Justice, 1981. Died July 28, 2011 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Judicial Career of John E. Simonett - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions

Oral History


SIMPSON, DAVID F.        (Justice, 1911)

Born in Waupun, Wisconsin, June 13, 1860. Attended Ripon College and the University of Wisconsin from which he graduated in 1882. Received LL.B. in 1884 from Columbia University Law School and came to Minnesota. From 1893-1897, City Attorney for Minneapolis. In the fall of 1896, elected District Judge, Fourth Judicial District, and was reelected twice, resigning in 1910, upon his election to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Served from January 1, 1911, to January 1, 1912. Later practiced law in Minneapolis until his death on October 11, 1925.

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START, CHARLES M.        (Chief Justice, 1895-1913)

Born in Bakersfield, Vermont, October 4, 1839. Upon graduation from Batte Academy, entered a Vermont law office. In 1862-1863, served in the Union Army. Resigned because of disability in 1863 and came to Rochester, Minnesota, to practice law. Was City Attorney for several years; Prosecuting Attorney for Olmsted county for 8 years; Attorney General for 1 year; District Judge, Third Judicial District, for 14 years; and Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from January 7, 1895, to January 6, 1913, when he voluntarily resigned. Died at his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, December 19, 1919. Tenure as Chief Justice was from 1/7/1895 - 1/6/1913 or 17 years, 11 months, 6 days.

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STONE, ROYAL A.        (Justice, 1923-1942)

Born in LeSueur, Minnesota, in 1875. Admitted to practice law in 1897 after graduating from Washington University College of Law at St. Louis. Came to St. Paul in 1905. Assistant Attorney General from 1905 to 1907. Served with the infantry during the Spanish-American War and World War I. Appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court May 25, 1923, elected to the same position November 4, 1924, and reelected in 1930 and in 1936. Died September 13, 1942.

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STRAS, DAVID R.        (Justice, 2010-)

Born in Wichita, Kansas. B.A., 1995, M.B.A., 1999, University of Kansas. J.D, 1999, University of Kansas School of Law. Member of the faculty, University of Minnesota Law School, 2004-2010.

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STREISSGUTH, THOMAS O.        (Justice, 1942, 1944)

Born February 27, 1889, Arlington, Minnesota. Graduated from University of Minnesota Law School 1914. Practiced law at Redwood Falls 1914-1915, from 1915 to 1923 at Gaylord, then at New Ulm until 1950. Candidate for Governor in 1932. Served as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for two short periods in 1942 and 1944 by appointment. Died at New Ulm on December 21, 1950.

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Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


STRINGER, EDWARD C.        (Justice, 1994-2002)

Born February 13, 1935, St. Paul. Amherst College (B.A., 1957, cum laude, American studies); University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1960, cum laude, Order of the Coif); Stringer, Donnelly & Sharood (1960-1969); Briggs & Morgan, partner and shareholder, manger, board of directors (1969-1980); The Pillsbury Company, senior vice president and general counsel (1980-82); executive vice president and general counsel(1982-83);executive vice president, general council and chief administrative officer (1983-1989); secretary (1983-87); U.S. Department of Education, general counsel (1989-1991); Office of the Governor, State Of Minnesota, deputy chief of staff (1992); chief of staff (1992-94); married Virginia L., four children, one stepson. Appointed September 1, 1994, elected 1996.

Summary of Opinions - Topical Summary of Opinions - List of Opinions


TODD, JOHN J.        (Justice, 1972-1985)

Born March 16, 1927. Raised in South St. Paul, Minnesota. Graduated University of Minnesota Law School December 1950. Practiced law South St. Paul, Minnesota, from that time until January 3, 1972, when appointed as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Served from March 1965 to January 1972 on Minnesota Tax Court. Member of American Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association. Past president First District Bar Association, State of Minnesota.

The Legal and Judicial Career of John J. Todd - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


TOMLJANOVICH, ESTHER M.        (Justice, 1990-1998)

Born November 1, 1931; St. Paul College of Law (1955); Assistant Revisor of Statutes (1957-1966); Revisor of Statutes (1974-1977). Appointed to the trial court bench August 30, 1977; elected 1978, 1984; married, one son; appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court August 31, 1990.

The Judicial Career of Esther M. Tomljanovich - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions

Articles: Iijima, A. L. The Jurisprudence of Justice Esther Tomljanovich: Balancing the Scales of Justice. William Mitchell Law Review v. 32 no. 1 (2005) p. 435-54; Anderson, Paul H. A Tribute to Justice Esther M. Tomljanovich. William Mitchell Law Review v. 32 no. 4 (2005) p. 1737-1750.


VANDERBURGH, CHARLES E.        (Justice, 1882-1894)

Born in Saratoga County, New York, in 1829. Attended Courtland Academy, and in 1852 graduated from Yale. Admitted to practice in 1855, and came to Minnesota in the following year. In 1859, elected District Judge, Fourth Judicial District, and served until 1880 by virtue of reelection. Elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and served in that position from 1882 to 1894, when he returned to private practice of law. Died at his home in Minneapolis on March 3, 1898.

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WAHL, ROSALIE E.        (Justice, 1977-1994)

Born August 27, 1924. University of Kansas (B.A., 1946), William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 1967), National Institute of Trial Advocacy (1978), and New York University Appellate Judges Seminar (1978). Assistant State Public Defender (1967-1973). Former Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Minnesota, and Professor of Law, William Mitchell. Council member, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. Member, Accreditation Committee, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar; American Bar Foundation Fellow. Corporation member William Mitchell College of Law; Board of Visitors, University of Minnesota Law School. Appointed to the Supreme Court October 3, 1977; reelected subsequently.

The Social Justice, Legal and Judicial Career of Rosalie Erwin Wahl - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions

ROSALIE WAHL: An Inventory of Her Papers at the Minnesota Historical Society

Rosalie Wahl: A Vision for a Better World. A film from the Minnesota Historical Society's Minnesota's Greatest Generation Project.

Oral History


WELCH, WILLIAM H.        (Chief Justice, 1853-1858)

Born in Connecticut. Graduated from Yale Law School. Came to Minnesota in 1850 and resided in St. Anthony (Minneapolis), where he served as Justice of the Peace. Appointed to the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court by President Pierce and reappointed 4 years later by President Buchanan., Served on the court from April 7, 1853, to May 24, 1858. After leaving the court, lived at Red Wing until his death.

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WILSON, SAMUEL B.        (Chief Justice, 1923-1933)

Born at Prices Branch, Montgomery County, Missouri, in 1873. Educated in the public schools and graduated from the Minnesota Teachers College at Mankato, Minnesota. Later attended University of Minnesota, from which he graduated in 1896 with an LL.B. degree and admitted to the bar the same year, locating at Mankato. Served as Judge of Probate and later served 6 years as County Attorney of Blue Earth County. Served in various capacities during World War I. Appointed Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court on September 29, 1923. Elected in 1924 and 1930. Died January 24, 1954. Tenure as Chief Justice was from 9/29/1923 - 9/6/1933 or 9 years, 11 moonths, 6 days.

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WILSON, THOMAS        (Justice, 1864; Chief Justice, 1865-1869)

Born in County Tyrone, Ireland. Immigrated to the United States with his parents at age 12. Settled in Pennsylvania, attended common school, and worked on his father's farm. Graduated from Allegheny College in 1852, commenced law studies, and was admitted to practice in 1855. Shortly thereafter came to Winona, Minnesota. Member of the Constitutional Convention of 1857. For 6 years served as District Judge, Third Judicial District. Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1864 by Governor Swift. Became Chief Justice in 1865. Resigned from the court in 1869 to resume private practice. Active in civic and public affairs. Was a Minnesota State Representative from 1880 to 1881; State Senator from 1883 to 1885. Elected to Congress in 1886 and served one term. In 1890 was a candidate for Governor of the State of Minnesota. Died April 3, 1910.

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WRIGHT, WILHELMINA M.        (Justice, 2012-)

Born 1964; Yale University (B.A., cum laude, 1986); Harvard Law School (J.D., 1989); judicial clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1989-91); private practice attorney, Hogan & Hartson, LLP (1991-95); assistant U.S. Attorney for the district of Minnesota (1995-2000); judge, Ramsey County District Court (2000-02); Judge Minnesota Court of Appeals (2002-2012.) Appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court August 20, 2012, by Governor Mark Dayton upon the retirement of Helen Meyer. Has served on the court since September 27, 2012.

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YETKA, LAWRENCE R.        (Justice, 1973- 1993)

Born October 1, 1924, Cloquet, Minnesota. Attended Cloquet public schools; graduate 1948 University of Minnesota Law School. Served in Minnesota House of Representatives 1951 to 1961. Chairman of House Judiciary Committee 1955-1961. Chairman of State Judicial Council. Special Municipal Judge 1961 to 1964. Cloquet City Attorney 1964-1973. Attorney for Duluth Port Authority 1957-1960. Attorney for Western Lake Superior Sanitary District 1971-1973. Appointed Associate Justice of Supreme Court of Minnesota July 3, 1973; reelected subsequently.

The Political, Professional and Judicial Career of Lawrence R. Yetka - Table of Contents - Summary/List of Opinions


YOUNG, GEORGE B.         (Justice, 1874-1875)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 25, 1840. Graduated from Harvard Law School in 1863 and was admitted to practice in New York City in 1864. Came to Minnesota in 1870, was admitted to the bar of this state, and practiced law here until 1874, when he was appointed by Governor Davis as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. His term expired in 1875 and from that date until 1892 he served as Supreme Court Reporter. Thereafter he resumed the private practice of law until his death in St. Paul on December 30, 1906.

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YOUNGDAHL, LUTHER W.         (Justice, 1943-1946)

Born May 29, 1896, Minneapolis. Graduated South High School, attended University of Minnesota one year, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College. Served in army during World War I, discharged as First Lieutenant in Field Artillery. Graduated Minnesota College of Law and admitted to practice in 1921. Assistant Minneapolis City Attorney 1921-1923. Appointed Municipal Judge 1930, elected 1931. Elected District Judge 1936, and Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court 1942. Elected Governor 1946, 1948, and 1950. Appointed Federal District Judge in Washington, DC. in 1951. Died June 21, 1978.

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Summary/List of Opinions


Sources:


Minnesota State Law Library: Biographies of the Justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court

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