Judge Edward J. Cleary (’77) Appointed Chief Judge of Minn. Court of Appeals
SEPTEMBER 23, 2013—Judge Edward J. Cleary (’77) has been appointed chief judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, effective Nov. 1, 2013. The current chief judge, Matthew Johnson, had previously announced that he would not seek reappointment when his term ends on Oct. 31.
In his remarks on Sept. 18, Gov. Mark Dayton said, "Judge Cleary has demonstrated a strong commitment to public service throughout his career and to justice as a member of the judiciary. He has received the highest possible recommendations from attorneys who have appeared before him and from colleagues who have worked with him."
Cleary was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. Dayton in Nov. 2011, after having served as a judge for the state's Second Judicial District (Ramsey County) since 2002. Before that he was director of the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (1997-2002), a lawyer in private practice for nearly 20 years, and an assistant public defender for Ramsey County.
Cleary is a member of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, the Minnesota and Ramsey County bar associations, and the Minnesota District Judges Association. He has been an adjunct professor at the Law School since 2000. In 1994 his book Beyond the Burning Cross: A Landmark Case of Race, Censorship, and the First Amendment was published by Random House. In 1996 the book won the American Library Association's Oboler Memorial Award, which honors the nation's best work on intellectual freedom.