Edward Cleary (’77) Appointed to Court of Appeals
NOVEMBER 23, 2011—Judge Edward J. Cleary (’77) has been appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Court of Appeals representing the Fourth Congressional District, replacing Judge Harriet M. Lansing (’70), who retired this year. Currently assistant chief judge in the Ramsey County District, Cleary was appointed in 2002 by then-Gov. Jesse Ventura and was subsequently elected twice.
Previously, Cleary practiced civil and criminal defense litigation for 20 years and served as an assistant public defender in the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office from 1980-95. The Minnesota Supreme Court appointed him director of the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility and Client Security Board in 1997, and he served in that role until 2002. He has been an adjunct professor at the Law School since 2000.
Cleary has served as president of the Ramsey County Bar Association and a member of its executive council; as a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s governing council and board of governors; and as a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of the Board on Judicial Standards. He has been on the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission since 2006.
The Minnesota State Bar Association honored Cleary and co-recipient William J. Wernz with the President’s Award for work on the Task Force on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct in 2003, and with the David Graven Public Service Award commitment to community and public service in 1998. In 1995 he published Beyond the Burning Cross: A Landmark Case of Race, Censorship, and the First Amendment, describing his defense before the U.S. Supreme Court of a white student who burned a cross on a black family’s lawn in St. Paul.