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Law School Says Goodbye to David Essling (’69)

NOVEMBER 12, 2012—David E. Essling (’69), who represented the chemically dependent and mentally ill on Ramsey County's Civil Commitment Defense Panel for 30 years, died Nov. 1, 2012, in Apple Valley, Minn., at age 68.

After completing his J.D., he joined his father, William Essling, in private practice and became an experienced litigator who truly enjoyed his work. He handled civil and criminal cases in state, federal, and appellate courts and also served on the Federal Criminal Defender Panel for Minnesota.

Essling completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame in 1965 and then enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard. After six months of active duty in South Carolina, he returned to the Twin Cities and enrolled in the Law School, continuing his six-year National Guard commitment on reserve duty while attending classes.

During Law School he worked for C. Paul Jones (’50), Minnesota's first public defender, interviewing prisoners and writing appellate briefs, and after graduation he clerked for Judge Miles Lord (’48) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Essling is survived by son Paul; daughter Jennifer Ciresi (’07), a member of the Law School's 2012 Board of Advisors and a legal writing instructor from 2008-11; three grandchildren, former wife Margaret; nephew Mark Essling (’85), a Law School legal writing instructor; and additional family members.


David Essling

David Essling (’69)